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The Official Website of Andrew Vachss

The Whisper-Stream

Andrew Vachss wrote about Columbine in 1977. "I didn't predict anything," he told the New York Post. "But I had talked to plenty of kids who, that was their dream."

Since that time, there have been numerous items that hit the news after they appeared in Andrew Vachss' books, article, or interviews. Here are some samples:

Excerpted from Flood,
Published 1985

I rolled down my window, offered a smoke to Michelle, who declined in favor of her own brand. She smokes these long skinny things with pink paper and black filter tips she gets from Nat Sherman's. I tried one once when I ran out of my own—they don't taste bad.

"You know JoJo?" I asked her.

"Everybody knows JoJo, baby. Why?"

"I'm still looking for that maggot, right? The Cobra?"

"So you went to JoJo? Are you completely bonkers?"

"Maybe I am. I know she's a rough–off artist. I never met her before today but I know her rep. I thought I'd run the thing by her, tell her about the bounty and—"

"What bounty?"

"A grand cash, no questions asked, no testimony needed."

"And you told JoJo?"

"Yeah. How could I know she'd go into the fucking Twilight Zone on me?"

"Burke, you didn't show her a picture, did you? Or an artist's sketch?"

"Yeah, I did. How did you know?"

"And then she just went off, right?"

"I said yeah. What's the story?"

"Sweetheart, I thought you knew about JoJo. Sometimes I don't see how you can do your work, ignorant as you are. JoJo used to be a sweet young thing. One of those country broads—got tired of the farm and turned tricks back home down in Cornballsville. So she comes up here to make money in the big city, right? And where do you think she decides to set up shop? Delancey and the Bowery, if you can believe it. And she's out there without a daddy, thinking those double–sawbuck tricks are major dollars, you know? Now there's nothing down here but experienced black ladies, honey, plus a few little white–bread runaways that the pimps are afraid to let work near the Port Authority because there's warrants out on them, and all.

"And the working girls don't tell her nothing about the Life, you know—they just try and pull her into one of their old man's stables. But JoJo's not going for that—she's going to do a solo act. So one night this freakmobile shows up on the corner—two punks in front, another pair in the back. Ain't no working girl with any smarts getting in that car—but the other bitches play like it's no big deal and old dumb JoJo goes for it and they take her away to some room one of them had and they keep her there for three whole days—tie her up and fuck her and do a bullwhip number on her and make her spread for some Polaroids—they just go the whole freako hog. And after they pull a couple of trains on her they send out for pizza and let the delivery man have a shot. They call up all their friends and invite them too. And when they're finally going to leave, JoJo's a bloody mess and she ups and asks them for the money. Can you believe that? Well, one of them just goes nuts behind that and he takes a baseball bat to her and when the cops find her half her skull is caved in.

"They take her to the hospital and put a steel plate in her head and get her patched up and then some detective comes in with one of those mugshot books and shows them to her and she starts screaming, "That's them," and points to all of them and jumps right out of the bed and they have to knock her out with the needles . . . JoJo ends up in the looney ward for a year or two until she learns how to play the game and they spring her. Now she just gets even—every day, every way. Baby, you show her anything that even looks like a mug shot and it's Psycho City."

For all those who actually believe that Aileen Wuornos was "America's first female serial killer," or the first working girl with a history of horrific abuse who came to believe "they're all alike."

Excerpted from Flood, chapter 3
Published 1985

"You have to know who to look for—that's always the game. Forget the hookers. They never have a dime anyway, and if they're not already in the pens waiting for arraignment, they're carrying some scumbag pimp's money to pay another girl's fines. And real poor people are a waste of time too, for obvious practical reasons. What you want is some lame who thinks a private lawyer is going to do more for him than Legal Aid—someone who thinks he's got an image, even if he was busted for stealing welfare checks. But the best is some parent whose kid has just been arrested. Tonight I couldn't wait for the best, just a fast hundred and out the door. Breaking my ass to get back to zero. The people inside the big building were all worried about getting a sentence—and here I was, already serving mine."

Excerpted from "3 criminal defense attorneys indicted for allegedly bribing court staff to give them clients"
Published September 29, 2014,by NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

According to the first of two indictments, Yu, Lee and Nunez had a Criminal Justice Agency staffer, who has not been identified, use "his position within the court system to persuade" wealthy defendants to hire Yu and Lee.
The CJA worker, who authorities said is now a cooperating witness, interviewed defendants before they were arraigned and assessed whether they could afford private lawyers. The lawyers had him use his position to scout clients — and got him a second cell phone to use for the scheme, prosecutors said.
The worker would then recommend defendants hire the lawyers, telling them they'd get before a judge faster if they did, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Excerpted from Flood (pg. 62-63)
Published 1985

The proper way (and the way I fixed up my computer-junkie friend) is simply to find someone who died soon after birth with an age and race similar to the person you want to fix up. Then you apply for a duplicate birth certificate in that person's name, which becomes your name when it's issued. This perfectly legitimate piece of paper opens the door to all the rest—driver's license, social security card, you name it. And that paper is perfectly good. To get a passport, for example, all they want is a birth certificate, which you can get certified at the Health Department for a couple of bucks, and a driver's license or something similar.

The finishing touch is to hire some local lawyer and tell him you want to change your name for professional reasons, like you want to be an actor or something equally useful. Then you put an ad in the paper announcing to the world, including your creditors, that you want to change your name. Most dead people don't have too many creditors, especially those who have been in such a state for a couple of decades or so. When nobody comes forward to object to the change of name, the court will give you a certified order so you can change your name legally on all the other documents. This adds another layer of smog to what was phony to begin with, and it's more than enough to keep a step ahead. The whole package costs less than $500 from start to finish. It's a bargain—you'd pay more than twice that just for a phony passport.

The next thing you do is run up some credit accounts. It doesn't take much—most of the charge card companies will issue one of their pieces of magic plastic to someone on welfare. Then you pay the bills, not exactly on time but close enough. When a cop stops you, there's nothing like the American Express Gold to make him think you're a solid citizen, especially if you're outside New York.

Excerpted from "Senators try to block ID theft of the deceased"
Published 11/25/2011 by the Chicago Sun-Times

ID thieves would have a harder time trying to profit off the deaths of children and others under a House bill introduced last week to limit access to Social Security numbers available online.

When Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) unveiled the "Keeping IDs Safe Act of 2011," he criticized Social Security's publicly released Death Master File, which has been used for at least a decade [key phrase being "at least"] by thieves to access Social Security numbers, file bogus tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service and collect refunds.

Johnson's "KIDS Act" would effectively end public access to the death file, which now can be searched for a small fee or even for free on genealogy and other online sites. The files contain the Social Security numbers and other personal information that can easily be used by identity thieves.


The Chicago Sun-Times early this month featured Benny Watters of Lake Forest, who had his identity stolen after he died at age 5 in September 2010, and the struggles his family has had with the Internal Revenue Service.

When Benny's family filed a tax return in August 2011, it was rejected, apparently because someone else had stolen the boy's identity and already had claimed him as a dependent.

Benny's mother, Lisa, blames genealogy websites — Benny's number is readily available on "I can't understand why it's necessary to display a whole Social Security number," she said.

The introduction of Johnson's bill came two weeks after a Scripps Howard News Service investigation documented similar cases across the country.

Johnson also blamed the administration of the death file for making life miserable for 14,000 still-living Americans a year who are erroneously listed as dead, which can place them in an Orwellian nightmare where it's difficult to get jobs or open bank accounts, the Scripps investigation found in July.

The legislation would allow only law enforcement, tax administrators and government researchers to have access to the death file.

Excerpted from Safe House, p. 11
Published 1988

This one ain't no Fourteenth Amendment citizen, is he?" the voice on the phone said.

"He's the same fucking citizen I am," I said, keeping my voice down to a jailhouse whisper-soft with threat.

"No offense, man," the voice said quickly. "But you know how I have to play it. I mean . . ."
"No offense. A yard a day, right?"
"Right. Ten-day minimum."
"He'll have it with him."

Excerpted from "The ultra-right agrees that '14th amendment citizens' don't belong in America."
August 19, 2015, Yahoo news

"I don't think they have American citizenship," the real estate mogul and former Celebrity Apprentice host replied. "We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell. We have to start a process, Bill, where we take back our country."

Excerpted from Shella,
Published 1993

He had a Bible with him, and he talked about what was in it. He talked about resources—he said that a lot, resources. How if we had enough resources we could have our homeland.

"Partition!" he yelled. And everybody cheered.

He said Partition was our own land. A couple of states for white people only. Our own schools, our own churches, everything our own. The Promised Land, he said it like it was holy. He said it was promised to us, right from the Bible. The truth of God.

God was a white man, everybody knows that. Even the niggers know that. That's why they hate us.

Excerpted from: The FBI has recordings of meetings where Doyle outlined his plan to rob an armored car, attack a gun store owner with an eventual plan to "purchase land, stockpile weapons, and train for the coming race war."
November 10, 2015

Excerpted from Down in the Zero,
Published 1994

    I didn't react. Why would I want to see? This was coming too quick, secrets piled on secrets. When that happens, there's always a trade lurking close.
    She got to her feet, walked out of the room. She was back in a minute, holding a slick-paper magazine with a black and white photo of a woman bending over on the cover—there was another person in the photo, but all you could see was the paddle in their hand. I stood up, joined her under the light. She thumbed through rapidly, looking for the ad. It was marked with a red ink star, hand—drawn. I held it close to read the small type:

    Proverbs 13:24(!)
       Next time your kid has a good one coming, make
       a full—size cassette of the chastisement and send it to me.
       I pay $50 for fifteen minutes, more for longer. Good
       sound quality a must. I travel frequently, with my own
       equipment. Write to make arrangements.

   Only a P.O. box was listed, no name. A new kind of kiddie porn, legal too—I'd never heard of it before. Freaks carefully recording their own children getting whipped. To entertain other maggots. For money. I felt ice—picks of fire in my chest.
   "Why did you show me this?" I asked her, my voice flat and level.
   "Cherry told me. A long time ago. She said that's what you do."
   "No. She said you ... hunt people like that."

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2002 — An underground ring of adults who created and trafficked in pornographic videos of naked children being beaten with paddles, hairbrushes and canes illustrates how predators use the Internet to connect with people with similar fetishes, federal law enforcement authorities said Monday.

Excerpted from Footsteps of The Hawk,
Published 1995

Stupid of me to forget Mama's prejudices. It took me years to understand that tribalism was stronger than racism could ever be, I learned it in Africa, but sometimes I forget.

Excerpted from "The Obama Doctrine" by Jeffrey Goldberg, published April, 2016 by the Atlantic Monthly

One of the most destructive forces in the Middle East, Obama believes, is tribalism–a force no president can neutralize. Tribalism, made manifest in the reversion to sect, creed, clan, and village by the desperate citizens of failing states, is the source of much of the Muslim Middle East's problems, and it is another source of his fatalism. Obama has deep respect for the destructive resilience of tribalism–part of his memoir, Dreams From My Father, concerns the way in which tribalism in post-colonial Kenya helped ruin his father's life–which goes some distance in explaining why he is so fastidious about avoiding entanglements in tribal conflicts.

Excerpted from Another Life
pp. 99-100

"Your politicians may be reviled, but the average American is a 'believer' of some sort—he does not understand the need for realism in life. Your former president, the one before that simpleminded tool, now he was a master at mixing politics and realism."

"Clinton? He was a fool. If he hadn't—"

"Meaningless," the Sheikh scoffed. "Clinton did what any man of power would do. He understood that all the self-righteous hysteria would pass. As it did. You do not appreciate the finesse of a man who could pardon a Jewish thief like Marc Rich, while refusing to release a Zionist patriot like Jonathan Pollard."

I didn't say anything. Clinton had been slick at dispensing that special brand of compassionate largesse. Like when he commuted the sentence of Mel Reynolds, a Chicago pol who used an intern for sex.

Don't go for the cheap joke: Reynolds's intern wasn't a mistress or a wannabe wife, she was an underage girl. And then there was that solicitation to get her to pose for porn, too. While Reynolds was doing time on that charge, a federal indictment dropped on him, for all kinds of political corruption. That was the sentence Clinton cut, so Reynolds could serve the rest of his time in a halfway house. Working for Jesse Jackson. You know what they call a Chicago politician who lives on his salary? Unfit for office.

The Sheikh took my blanked-out face for skepticism, and answered the question I hadn't been planning to ask. "A man of higher intelligence is capable of recognizing the commitment of his enemies. Pollard was a Zionist fanatic, but his acts were in service to his filthy people, not for personal profit. That is the difference between a soldier and a mercenary. Both fight, but one for a cause, the other for cash. A man clever enough to balance the interests of others is simultaneously serving his own. Clinton was a friend to our people, as was Bush. A wise man understands that different tools may be used for the same purpose, if employed skillfully."

Excerpted from Israeli Spy Pollard Will be Released in November

WASHINGTON—A federal panel granted parole to Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, setting in motion his release from prison after 30 years of a life sentence that was long a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel.

Excerpted from Safe House
pp. 122-123, published 1998

"He was very polite, very respectful. Said he knew about a pedophile ring. A new twist—on-line molestation in real time."


"One of the freaks would get the little girl—they only used girls in this one—in his studio. Then he'd set up the cameras, notify the rest of them and flash her image over their modems. They could tell him what they wanted him to do to the little girl, and they could all watch as he did it."

Excerpted from Woman allegedly drugged, molested boy during Skype chats in second abuse case linked to disgraced NYPD sergeant

A Massachusetts woman allegedly drugged and molested an 8-year-old boy during sickening Skype sessions with a disgraced NYPD sergeant, the Daily News has learned.

The woman, whose name The News is withholding to protect the identity of the now-13-year-old victim, is the second woman charged with participating in the sexual exploitation of children with Sgt. Alberto Randazzo.

Excerpted from Mortal Lock
(p. 142)

"I drove my own car to Hartsfield–Jackson Airport in Atlanta, and left it in the short–stay lot. Then I rented a car, putting down the credit card as security. They took it without blinking. The driver's license I showed them was a complete fabrication, except for my photograph. Making one only takes a few minutes: all you need is a template, a computer, and a laminator."

"Then I drove straight to the first gun shop I saw in the little town I had already picked out. I made sure they had the twin to Roger's Colt Python, brand–new, still in the box. Then I walked out."

"The man who walked in and bought the gun was a marginal human being. His nose was a mass of broken capillaries, his eyes were rheumy, and his whole body reeked of liquor and sweat. But the gun store took his cash. The fifty I paid him would probably hasten his imminent death—and he wouldn't remember me."

Excerpted from

Two guns purchased from the same Georgia store have now killed three cops nationwide, the Daily News has learned.

The most recent shooting underscores, again, the need for more control of gun sales in states that are part of the so–called "Iron Pipeline," an NYPD spokesman said Tuesday. The pipeline is a collection of Southern states with lax gun laws that critics say allow a steady flow of illegal guns into Northern cities.

Excerpted from
Safe House, (p. 130)

"The White Night underground is a poisonous brew, fed by rumors and driven by psychos. American–born Nazis working as mercenaries in Croatia, slaughtering Serbs, cleansing the ethnic cleansers, the whole operation set up by fascist groups in Germany who had fond World War II memories of the Croats helping out...."

Excerpted from

SPLIT, Croatia (AP) — Croatia could face punishment by UEFA after a swastika pattern could be seen on the pitch during its European Championship qualifying match against Italy, which ended 1–1 on Friday.

It was unclear whether the symbol was mowed into the pitch or painted on the grass, but it was clearly marked in the middle of the half Italy was attacking in the first period.

Grounds crew attempted to cover it up during halftime, but to little avail.

Excerpted from Dead and Gone,
Published 2000

“Do you think those outfits that give away all this ‘free’ Net stuff aren’t turning around and selling your address to all kinds of people compiling their own sucker lists?”

“Something for nothing, huh?”

“Some ‘nothing.’ Every time you use that ‘free’ stuff, you’re making a perfect record. Of yourself. Every place you go, every site you check out, everything you buy online.”

Excerpted from Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data
Published April 24, 2017 by the New York Times. discloses its freewheeling use of personal data in its privacy policy, which says that “we may collect, use, transfer, sell and disclose nonpersonal information for any purpose” and that the data can be used “to build anonymous market research products and services.”

Yet few people read such policies closely, privacy advocates said. Katharina Kopp, director of policy at the Center for Digital Democracy, said of, “Under the disguise of being customer friendly and helping their customers to get rid of ‘email junk,’ they allow the profiling and targeting of their unwitting customers by third parties.”

Ms. Kopp called the tactic a “particularly misleading practice,” despite the disclosure in its privacy policy.

Excerpted from Pain Management, pp. 236-237
Published 2001

There’s another music scene that doesn’t get air play — unless you count the shortwave psycho-shows. NSBM — National Socialist Black Metal — a bizarre brew of confused mysticism and real clear race hate. You can’t find it over-the-counter, but it does a big enough business on the Internet that it’s already being ripped off . . . bootlegged, big-time.

Excerpted from Deputy’s son accused in church fires may have been influenced by ‘black metal’

Police haven’t released a possible motive, but social media profiles linked to Matthews show he was influenced by black metal, a genre which has been associated with church burnings, according to CNN. Black metal music by popular groups such as Behemoth and Gorgoroth often contains lyrics that embrace satanism and paganism.

Excerpted from Pain Management, pp. 236-237
Published 2001

"What about the pain?"

"All I get for that is the medical marijuana—it's the only 'illegal' drug I've used since I got pregnant, and Tam's eighteen now. And in college," she said, proudly. "But even that doesn't always work."

"And that slimy Supreme Court just struck down the law that allows medical marijuana," Ann said, fiercely. "They won't let people even—"

"Shhh, honey," Dawn said to her. "Look," she said earnestly, turning to me, leaning forward slightly, her man's big hand on her shoulder, "the thing about neurologically based chronic pain is, it doesn't work like 'normal' pain. Pot isn't enough. It relaxes the muscles just great, but does nothing at all for 'nerve burn.' It's like a really bad sunburn, only all over your whole body. I can even feel it inside—like if you could get a sunburn on your large intestine, or something.

"And the thing about that is, when it gets bad enough, it makes you . . . I don't know . . . something less than human. When you can't sleep, can't sit up, can't move, can't get any kind of relief, just lay there and cry, curled up in a ball. It got to the point where I was willing to do just about . . . anything to make it stop, even for a few minutes."

"The only people who really understand pain are the ones who have it," her man said, making it clear he was ready to help a few doctors learn. "When Dawn scratched her cornea, that lowlife punk in the white coat acted like she did it on purpose, just to score a few stinking Vicodins. You think I couldn't find better stuff in ten minutes? You think I don't know where the tweek labs are? If Dawn hadn't . . ."

He didn't finish. Didn't have to.

Excerpted from "Marijuana pills and sprays ease MS symptoms"
Published 03/25/2014 by Medical News Today

Multiple sclerosis is characterized by disrupted communication between the brain and the body, resulting in symptoms ranging from blurred vision to muscle weakness and pain. There is no cure for the condition, and therapies have proven difficult, as many have serious side effects. But now, relief may come in the form of a medical marijuana pill.

This is according to a new guideline released from the American Academy of Neurology and published in its journal Neurology.

The guideline investigated complementary or alternative medicine therapies (CAM) for multiple sclerosis (MS). These are unconventional therapies used alongside or instead of doctor-recommended therapies.

Medical News Today recently wrote a spotlight feature focusing on symptoms and treatments for the condition to coincide with National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March.

In that feature, Arney Rosenblat, associate vice president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, told us that though there are currently 10 disease-modifying therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for MS, "there is deep unmet need for additional therapies, especially to treat progressive forms of disease for which there are few treatment options."

Excerpted from Only Child, p. 35
Published 2002

"Always camps," she said, no expression on her face. "Always fighting. So—always refugees. Cambodia, Laos, Burma. On Thai border, plenty place to hear whispers."
"Yeah," I agreed. "I heard about some of those hustles. I guess, if you had one of your own go MIA, you'd listen to anyone who claimed to have seen him, pay to bring him over." I thought of Robert Garwood, a Marine who had spent fourteen years in Vietnam. He was either a POW or a collaborator, depending on whose story you bought. The smart money had it that he'd originally been grabbed by the VC, then changed sides while in captivity.
Years after the U.S. pullout, he came back, and the military put him on trial. Found him guilty of collaboration, but not desertion. Maybe because they'd never listed him as a deserter, even after returning POWs reported that he'd gone over.
One of those stories you never know the truth of, I guess. But for those who want to believe that some of the American soldiers listed as MIA are still alive, Garwood's tales of "live sightings" are precious gospel. To those folks, Garwood couldn't have been a collaborator; he had to have been a prisoner. Because, if he lied about one thing, then ....

Excerpted from Bergdahl Release Renews Mystery Over His Capture in Afghanistan
Published June 02, 2014 by Bloomberg News

The release of the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan has reopened the mystery of how he was captured—and whether he's a patriot or a deserter.
Even before Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl arrives home in the U.S. after almost five years in captivity, scores of soldiers, veterans and others have lit up social media with postings denouncing the former prisoner for allegedly abandoning his unit.
The U.S. Army has never described the circumstances of Bergdahl's disappearance from a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan or his capture by terrorists. An online petition drive that has more than 5,600 digital signatures calls on the Obama administration to punish Bergdahl for going AWOL, or absent without leave.
"He's at best a deserter and at worst a traitor," Josh Korder, who said he served with Bergdahl in Afghanistan, told CNN yesterday. "Any of us would have died for him. For him to just leave us like that, it was a very big betrayal."
President Barack Obama said during a visit to Warsaw today that Bergdahl would have been returned home "regardless of the circumstances" of his capture.

Excerpted from Only Child, p. 171-172
Published 2002

"And there's all that 'upskirt' squick, too," Cyn said. "You know, little perverts walking around with minicams in their briefcases. They put them on the ground, film right up a girl's skirt without her knowing. Then it goes straight to the Internet. You wouldn't think anybody would want stuff like that, not when there's a million girls who'll let you film anything — anything — if you just pay them. But it's a different head."

Excerpted from Man Allegedly Took 'Upskirt' Pictures Of Woman At Union Square Subway Station
Published by CBS, New York City, April 14, 2014

Excerpted from Only Child, p. 198-199
Published 2002

“If it was rare enough, I could move it,” he said, his voice utterly devoid of doubt. “There’s people, they’ll buy dirt from a serial killer’s grave, you convince them it’s authentic. That’s the no-starter, authentic. You don’t have that, you’ve got nothing.”

“Same for rape tapes?”

“If it was real, and you could prove it, hell, yes. There’s been rumors for years about the Homolka tapes.”

“Homolka?” I asked, faking a blank.

“Bernardo and Homolka, you heard of them, right? Husband-wife team, up in Canada. They snatched young girls, sex-tortured them in their basement. Very heavy stuff. Then they killed them. Anyway, the cops found the tapes. The actual tapes. But the government closed the courtroom when they showed them during the trial. Anyone had one of those, he’d be rich.”

“Why do you call them the Homolka tapes?”

“Homolka was the broad. Blonde chick. Young. She got some nothing sentence. For testifying against the husband. The prosecutor made that deal before they got hold of the tapes. Anyway, she’s the one everyone’s interested in. Even has fan clubs on the Internet. She’s going to be out soon, I think. Word is, she may have a couple of the tapes hidden away....”

Excerpted from Canadian serial killer who raped, murdered schoolgirls with husband spotted doing volunteer work for elementary school
Published June 2, 2017 by New York Daily News

"When I first read the (leaflet), I thought it was a hoax," parent Andy Maraj told the Montreal Gazette. "But then I saw her and I saw her walking around with her dog for the children to play with. I told my daughter: 'This lady, I don’t want you to go near her please. If she calls you, don’t go near her and call me,' because I don’t trust the school."

Excerpted from Down Here,
Published 2004

“Here is our working grid, Burke,” the West Indian said, knowing he was showing off, proud to be doing it.
The screen was paper-white, the letters against it sharp-edged black. “That TFT technique is so sweet on an LCD,” Terry said to Clarence, “but it’s really wasted on just words and numbers – you should see what it does for graphics.”
Clarence nodded gravely. He hit some keys, and the screen filled. (see charts/graphs on several following pages ... pattern-recognition for serial predators).

Excerpted from Serial Killers Should Fear This Algorithm
Published February 8, 2017 by Bloomberg Businessweek

"Building software to identify trends in unsolved murders using data nobody's bothered with before..."

Excerpted from Mask Market
Published 2006

I caught the paranoid's eye, made a "What can you do?" face. He studied me for a split second, then nodded down at the thick briefcase he had across his knees and twisted his lips a millimeter. The fool next to me said, "Hello. Hell-o!" before pushing a button on his phone to disconnect. He hit another button — my money was on "redial" — then stared blankly at the little screen, as if it would explain some deep mystery. All over the train car, people were shouting into their phones but not getting a response.

"Dead zone," I heard someone say, smugly. "We'll pass through it in a minute."

I locked eyes with the paranoid across from me long enough to realize that the smug guy had it all wrong. Portable cell-phone jammers are expensive — good ones go for a couple of grand — but they're a reasonable investment for a lunatic who wants to make sure nobody watching him can report back to HQ. I would have offered the jammer a high-five, but I suspected that would start him suspecting me. So I leaned close, whispered, "You should carry a phone, too. Just in case one of these morons ever looks around and does the math."

He nodded sagely. After all, I wasn't one of Them.

Who says therapy doesn't work?

Excerpted from "Chicago man faces felony charges for using cellphone jammer on the train because 'he gets annoyed at people talking' around him"
Published March 11, 2016 by the New York Daily News

Excerpted from Mask Market
Published 2006

"If you won't see us, you'll never see us coming."

Excerpted from "Inside the Mind of a Mass Killer"
Published 07/29/2013 by Pacific Standard

"A central theme that runs through these diaries is one of feeling rejected, dismissed, disrespected and devalued by an in-group invariably depicted as 'jocks and preppies,' and of wanting vengeance for this maltreatment," Dutton and his colleagues write. "The in-group is despised for being superficial and for getting unwanted status."

Excerpted from Terminal,
Published 2007

We were in my Plymouth, parked at the end of a prostie stroll just a few blocks east of the Hudson. The real estate agents call the area "Clinton." Who's going to want to pay seven figures for a bare loft in a neighborhood called "Hell's Kitchen"? That's why there's no Lower East Side anymore. And why's there's a "TriBeCa," and a "SoHo."

But the name game isn't just for the real estate pushers. The Bureau of Child Welfare calls itself the Administration for Children's Services now. Of course, it still pays its workers a ton less for dealing with humans who treat their children like garbage than the "sanitation engineers" who empty the cans people leave at the curb.

In this city, the agencies copy the criminals: when there's too much heat, they just switch to an alias.

Excerpted from Administration for Children's Services failing to prevent tragedies despite city efforts to make changes
published February 9, 2014 by NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Every mayor from Ed Koch to Michael Bloomberg has tried to fix the city's troubled child protection unit, the Administration for Children's Services. Its name has changed four times since the 1960s-each rebranding part of a city effort, usually spurred by tragedy, to make systemic changes that would keep at-risk children safe.

Excerpted from Terminal, p. 23
Published 2007

Sex offenders are being disgorged from prison like toxic waste into drinking water. Profiteers are selling Megan's Law snake oil to morons who think a human that would rape a baby would never lie about his home address.

Some other geniuses are pushing GPS cuffs for the freaks. Won't stop them from doing what they do, but it'll save a lot of money on cadaver dogs.

It's just a matter of time before some marketing degenerate wires up a halfway house for sex offenders and makes a reality–TV show out of it.

Excerpted from "Upstate NY Man who raped girl, killer her mother, sentenced to life in prison"
Published May 16, 2014 by The Daily News

Renz removed his GPS tracking bracelet from his ankle and reconnected it before probation officers were notified, leaving them to think he was still at his mother's home at the time of the rape and murder.

A search of his home uncovered hundreds of videos and thousands of pictures depicting young girls being raped.

Excerpted from Terminal,
Published 2007

Hobbyists troll the Internet pretending to be children to attract pedophiles. Some pathetic first-timers actually show up at the "girl's" house, looking for the hot underage action they've been promised. Naturally, the camera crews are waiting. Nobody ever goes to jail, but it makes for nice low-budget TV. Another public service, brought to you by the network.

Jared Fogle mocks 'To Catch a Predator' pervs on VH1 show

Excerpted from Terminal,
Published 2007

“So what’s with that MS-13 thing?”

“Mara Salvatrucha. Started on your coast, all guys from El Salvador. Got together for the reasons anyone crews up. Same reasons you did. At first. Then they started pulling from all over Central America: Guatemala, Honduras, like that.

“You grow up with death squads owning the night, people ‘disappearing’ all the time, the threat of dying doesn’t have any impact on you after a while. Some of them were street kids who got across the border; some of them were the same soldiers who used to hunt them. They’re not into ‘organized’ crime . . . at least, not yet. Dope is the same as robbery or a shakedown to them—a thing you do for money. But they never hire out—they get money by violence, not for it, see?”

“They ink up?”

“Big-time. Some of them, right on the face. In Honduras, an MS-13 tattoo buys you serious time. Just for the tattoo, I mean. So it’s a commitment. In for life, whether it’s on the bricks or behind bars. They’re big on messages. Heads on stakes. The kind of thing the newspaper clowns call ‘senseless violence.’ But it makes perfect sense to them. Works, too.

“See, they’ve got no rules, no boundaries. Never had a treaty with anyone. They can’t be infiltrated—undercovers can slip into the Mafia if they’re good earners, but MS-13 wants to see you make a body, up close. Got to be with a blade, and it’s got to be slow. They don’t even pretend to be legit businessmen. Forget the tax boys, forget the wiretaps, forget the forensic accountants to catch them laundering money.

“Their life expectancy is death, see? They’re proud of being crazy. And anyone who’s not crazy is scared of them. Scared to death.”

Excerpted from "Cuomo plans on sending 25 State Police troopers to help 'eliminate' MS-13 gang."
Published in New York Daily News, April 27, 2017

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is deploying more than two-dozen State Police troopers to Long Island to help combat the notorious MS-13 gang.

Describing MS-13 as an international criminal organization “as brazen as it is brutal,” Cuomo said Wednesday that the State Police was also creating a new high-intensity, anti-gang unit that would include electronic surveillance equipment and aviation units.

“They are a network that has created horrendous crimes, their currency is fear and intimidation and they're getting more outrageous and more obnoxious in their activities,” Cuomo said.

Excerpted from Another Life
Published 2008

“He was very polite, very respectful. Said he knew about a pedophile ring. A new twist: online molestation, in real time.”


“One of the pedo-skells would get the little girl – they only used girls in this one– in his studio. Then he’d set up the cameras, notify the others, and flash her image over their modems. They could tell him what they wanted him to do to the little girl, and they could all watch as he did it.”

Philippines, May 9, 2017

Excerpted from "American expat nabbed in child porn bust in Philippines"

Deakin’s arrest April 20 reveals one of the darkest corners of the internet, where pedophiles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia pay facilitators on the other side of the world to sexually abuse children, even babies, directing their moves through online livestreaming services.

The relatively new crime of webcam sex tourism is spreading rapidly, with new digital technologies sparking what the United Nations calls an “alarming growth of new forms of child sexual exploitation online.” The FBI says it’s epidemic, and that at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online.​

Excerpted from Another Life, p. 40
Published 2008

“What did you think all this 'cure for malaria' press-release slop was really about? Unless there's a way to vaccinate against it, we can't get personnel to remain there for the length of time we'd need. No amount of firepower will take out those damn mosquitoes. Malaria kills millions of Africans every year, but not half as many as it would if the indigenous people hadn't developed some genetic resistance over the centuries.

“That's why blacks get sickle-cell and other races don't. You want non-native experts to live there, you have to guarantee them more than protection from the warlords. Human-borne disease isn't a problem: we can fly in whores every week, certified clean. But those miserable little bugs . . .”

“So the people who are putting up all that money are just . . . ?”

“Businessmen,” Pryce finished my sentence. “This is about money. Period, end of sentence. And they get a triple-return on their investment, too.”

I looked a question at him.

He held up a hand. Went back to his trick of ticking off points on his webbed fingers. “One, there's all that recognition as saviors of humanity: prizes, great press, tax breaks . . . maybe even a goodwill barrier against hackers. Two, there's the oil. Three, the drug companies get to experiment on humans.”

Excerpted from "WATCH: Striking Down Malaria.. With A Laser?"
Published August 16, 2013, by the Huffington Post

That's the idea behind my company's humanitarian work with Bill Gates, which I discussed in my 2010 TED talk. We're not the first to apply first-world technology to developing world problems, but we think we have something special to contribute as a company dedicated to invention. We apply all of the same brain power and capabilities used in our for-profit invention work and focus them on inventions to improve life in developing countries.

Excerpted from Haiku, p. 53
Published 2009

"Could you not protect one another?" I asked. Mine was not a challenging query, it was the speech of a humble man in search of knowledge. "Perhaps by taking turns sleeping, so some could always keep watch?"

"Even if we could do that—and who's going to trust their life to one of us staying awake—it wouldn't do no good," the leader told me.

"Those kids, they don't just carry spray bottles. They got baseball bats, lead pipes, all kinds of stuff to break bones with. And they like doing it, fucking us up for kicks."

Excerpted from "3 Teens Held in Albuquerque Homeless Slayings"
Published July 20, 2014,by The Herald–Journal News

[T]he trio allegedly used various objects to attack the men, including cinder blocks. According to the 15–year–old, they all took turns picking up cinder blocks over their heads and smashing them into the men's faces more than 10 times.
The suspects said after the attack, they took one victim's driver's license and debit card. The license was found in the teens' home, police said.
According to the 15–year–old, all three have previously attacked homeless people around Albuquerque. Police are now going to look into open cases involving attacks on transients to see if they are related, Drobik said.

Excerpted from Haiku,
Published 2009

I listened as I taught my students to listen — humbly, but with discernment. I did not measure offered knowledge by how long the guide had managed to survive, but by how he had done so. I decided I would heed only the words of those who had lost all, yet still retained themselves.

"Don't ever go in those shelters," I had been warned, that first night by the fire. "An old man like you, they'd eat you alive."

Excerpted from Cops are investigating the suspicious death of a 50-year-old man found with a thin wire wrapped around his neck in a city homeless shelter in Kips Bay, police and sources said.
Published April 15, 2016,by NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

NYPD probes mysterious death of man, 50, garroted at Manhattan shelter.

Excerpted from Haiku,p.33
Published 2009

"And don't go near the park at night, neither," another said. "Those benches look good — keep you off the ground and all — but that's where the kids go to hunt."

"Hunt?" I asked.

"This here's what you call a bonfire," the first one told me, pointing at the oil drum. I could see by his manner and bearing that he was accustomed to being the spokesman for his group. "What those evil fucking kids do is what they call making a bumfire. And that's us — bums."

"All they need is to catch one of us sleeping. They got these plastic squeeze bottles full of gasoline. Spray you all over, strike a match, and whoosh!" he said, pointedly looking down at the blazing fire.

Excerpted from Homeless man set on fire in parking lot attack, not expected to survive as police search for suspect
Published April 18, 2016,by NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A man doused a homeless man with flammable liquid and set him on fire in a San Diego parking lot Sunday morning, police said.

The "serious burn injuries throughout his body" left Julio Caesar Edeza, 39, in critical condition after the 11:45 a.m. attack, and he's not expected to survive, said San Diego police Lt. Manny Del Toro.

Police on Monday released a sketch of the as-yet-unidentified suspect in his 30s last seen driving a black two-door pickup truck from the Euclid Ave. Rite Aide lot in the Oak Park neighborhood. Homicide detectives are leading the search for the attempted murderer.

Excerpted from Blue Belle, p. 247
Published 1988

"You know what a chop shop is?"

"Where they steal cars, break them down for parts?"

"Yeah. They have them for babies too. They sell the white babies. The other ones, they're not worth too much for adoption, so they cut them up for parts."


"Rich baby needs a heart transplant, a new kidney, you think they care where the organs come from?"

"I don't believe you!"

"The world I live in, it's a lot deeper underground than any subway. It's a world where you can buy a baby's heart."

Excerpted from "Mexican cartel henchman arrested for killing children to harvest their organs"
Published 03/18/2014 by The Daily News

The Knights Templar runs a network whose members identify people with certain physical characteristics, many of them children, and then kidnap them, Castellanos Becerra said at a news conference this week.

After being abducted, the victims were driven to rented houses, where their organs were removed to be sold on the black market.

Excerpted from Another Life, pp. 132-133
Published 2008

"So—Ali, then?" the Prof came back to it, boring in, demanding more.

"I think, that first time, he was scared of Liston," I said. "But that didn't matter; Sonny did what the people who owned him told him to do."

Excerpted from "FBI suspected iconic 1964 Ali-Liston fight was rigged by mob"
Published 02/24/2014 by The Washington Times

Four-decade-old documents released to The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act show the FBI suspected the fight may have been fixed by a Las Vegas figure tied to organized crime and to Liston. The documents show no evidence that Ali was in on the scheme or even knew about it. And nothing suggests the bureau ever fully corroborated the suspicions it investigated.

Excerpted from "Raising the Stakes for Child Pornography,"
Published 02/19/2006

PROTECT: In your article, you say we must enact federal laws to allow the United States to sue on behalf of as-yet-unidentified children depicted in seized pornography. What, specifically, do you mean by this?

VACHSS: Essentially, I am speaking of expanding existing "asset forfeiture" statutes in a unique way. Let me (briefly) explain. Asset forfeiture is divided into two basic types:

1. Criminal forfeiture which requires in personam jurisdiction and a criminal conviction; and
2. Civil forfeiture where there is in rem jurisdiction over the asset itself. Even under recent reforms, the burden of proof on the government is low. Civil forfeiture does not require a conviction.

It's a little more complicated than that, however, because there are then two subtypes of civil forfeiture:

1. Civil judicial forfeiture, where the government has to actually go to court to get an order of forfeiture; and
2. Administrative forfeiture. The vast majority of property is seized without anyone objecting. Administrative forfeiture is limited to certain specified property — in a narcotics case, examples would be the drugs themselves and the vehicles used to transport them.

Civil forfeiture gained prominence during the so-called "war on drugs," and gained strength with the evolution of RICO statutes. Now civil forfeiture is possible for a whole variety of crimes (including child pornography, under Title 18 United States Code 2254) but the laws involving forfeiture for drug trafficking or money laundering tend to be much stronger than those for other crimes. For example, there are expansive multi-national civil forfeiture laws when narco-trafficking is involved.

I specifically want the federal government to be able to sue, because it has both the resources and the mandate. I am not advocating "class action" suits on behalf of unidentified victims. The goal is not enrichment of individual lawyers. The goal is to benefit child pornography victims, penalize the profiteers, and add assets to the agencies charged with enforcing the law.

The seized assets should be used to improve all aspects of law enforcement in this area, from hiring more prosecutors and investigators to improving technological tracing skills and equipment. A portion — I feel 25% is more than adequate — should be set aside in an escrow fund for victims who are eventually identified.

Excerpted from "Supreme Court to decide on child porn victim restitution"
Published 01/20/2014 by The Daily News

Courts so far have awarded restitution in 182 cases and Amy has collected $1.6 million. Of that total, $1.2 million came from one man.

Typically, the court-ordered awards and the amounts collected have been much smaller, as little as $50 in one case, according to Justice Department records. Many judges have ordered no payments at all, Marsh said.

The restitution law does not allow Amy to receive more than the lifetime estimate of her losses, Marsh said. But until the 5th Circuit ruling, Marsh said, "She has been forced to go around the country endlessly seeking out defendants with assets. It's endless, and it takes a toll on the victim."

If upheld, the ruling would change the equation. Courts would not have to determine exactly how much harm any one defendant caused Amy. Instead, all defendants would be liable for the entire outstanding amount, raising the possibility that a few well-heeled people among those convicted might contribute most, if not all, of the remaining restitution.

Marsh said such an outcome would be just, and wealthy defendants could fight among themselves about who should pay what. "It's really about shifting the burden from the innocent victim to the people who are responsible," Marsh said.

Excerpted from "Testimony of Andrew Vachss before the United States National Commission on Libraries and Information Science,"
Published 11/10/1998

[T]he greatest danger of the Internet to vulnerable children is not the display of kiddie porn ... it is the very real potential for enticement.

Excerpted from "Australian man busted for child porn after targeting Manhattan teen, others: cops"
Published 01/18/2014 by The Daily News

Mark Anthony Warren, 49, who was arrested in Australia, posed as a teen girl on social media websites engaging his victims in sexually explicit chats. He then threatened to send the recordings to their families and friends, prosecutors said.

Excerpted from Blackjack, pg. 5-6
Published 2010

"No question about it, he's the one. Killed three of their people so far, and I've got the documents to prove it. You know why that lion is so nice and relaxed? This whole area is reserved for photo-safaris. No hunting allowed. The only exception is when the government certifies that a particular animal has become dangerous to man."

"Aren't they all dangerous?"

"Only if they leave the preserve. And why should they do that? They've got everything they need right here: plenty of food, clean water, a goodly supply of game . . . you name it. If you lived at the Four Seasons, why would you ever check into a Motel 6?"

"Then how is this one different?"

"He's not," the man said, his voice a life raft bobbing on a perfect ocean of confidence. "I am .The 'president' of this so-called country is actually the owner—everything inside the borders belongs to him.

"You understand?" the man continued, glancing at the woman to make certain she missed none of the implications of his speech. "This country is his property. If you own something, you can sell it. Or rent it. But there's nothing left for him to sell anymore, not from this country. Half the population's already dead. Natural causes, like starvation and disease. There's no infrastructure at all, no way to distribute food or even seed. It could have been a paradise, but President-for-life Qranunto never understood even the simplest business principles. Now it's impossible for that maniac to get his hands on hard currency."

"He must have some—"

"Money? Sure. He did. But now it's all gone. Sitting in banks all around the world. Billions. But he can't get his hands on it."

"If it's in his name, why not just take it out?"

"Because he has no one he could trust, so he set everything up so that he'd have to show up in person to claim it. And he's wanted by every country on the planet. The UN, the World Court, even whatever useless organization they have for Africa, they all have him under an arrest-on-sight order. If he wants any money in his hands, he has to have someone come over here and put it there."


"'Oh' is right, baby. Cost me one-point-five million. That's in euros, not dollars. For that, I get the run of the place. That's why we're using the Land Rover. What we're doing isn't some stupid 'safari'—in fact, it's not about hunting at all."

Excerpted from "Permit to hunt endangered African black rhino sells for $350,000 at Dallas auction"
Published 01/12/2014 by The Daily News

A permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino sold Saturday night for $350,000 at a Dallas auction held to raise money for conservation efforts but criticized by wildlife advocates.

Steve Wagner, a spokesman for the Dallas Safari Club, which sponsored the closed-door event, confirmed the sale of the permit for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia. He declined to name the buyer.

Excerpted from Down Here, p. 289
Published 2004

"You think those people wiring up their own children and sending them into crowded markets in Israel are revolutionaries? Wake up. They're fucking flesh-peddlers, selling their kids for the bounty. It's the most lucrative form of child labor ever invented. You know what the bounty is up to now? Fifty grand. Fifty thousand dollars, for people who don't know what an indoor toilet is. For people whose other kids are going to grow up to be cannon fodder, anyway. The car-bombers, the one-way pilots, the . . . For all of them, who's putting up the money? Not the terrorists themselves, my friend. The little princes who finance them."

Excerpted from "Afghan girl wearing suicide bomber's vest detained after family ordered her to carry out attack"
Published 01/06/2014 by The Daily News

The child, identified as Spozhmai, believed to be the 8- to 10-year-old sister of a Taliban commander, was instructed to carry out a suicide attack on border police in Helmand province on Monday when discovered, the BBC reported.

Her death sentence came after being accused by her father and brothers of having "illicit relations" with officers, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

Excerpted from "Unleashing the Criminal Mind"
Published 1990

Vachss says child pornography has become a "cottage industry" thanks to burgeoning technology. "The Polaroid camera was the first quantum leap. Now you can go to a video store and walk out with the kind of equipment that can produce a technologically better product than Cecil B. De Mille made in the '50's."

Those most damaged by child pornography, of course, are the children themselves. In Strega, Burke recovers a pornographic photograph of a child so the boy's therapist can burn it in front of him—a kind of catharsis.

"This business about kiddie porn being the death of the soul is true," Vachss says. "Because they feel imprisoned forever and just can't get out from under it."

Excerpted from "Age of Innocence"
Published 1994

Kiddie porn, once a monolith, has become a cottage industry. With the advent of do-it-yourself devices such as the Polaroid camera and the camcorder, anyone can produce a "quality" product.

Excerpted from "Perspective: Attacking the Problem"
Published 1990

Child pornography is pretty much a cottage industry now. Any deviant with a Polaroid camera or a hand-held camcorder can make his own stuff. It's not made commercially in the sense that they'd make five hundred copies of a Polaroid shot, but it certainly is trafficked in.

Excerpted from "Alabama man raped, videotaped his son with other man in interstate child porn ring: prosecutors"
Published 12/16/2013 by The Daily News

Two Alabama men kept a 9-year-old boy captive for months as they sexually tortured him and filmed it as part of a larger child porn ring, prosecutors in Huntsville say in a disturbing case.

So disturbing were the more than 100 photographs police found that officers could not even positively identify the boy because they could not bear to look, cops said in court on Monday, reports.

Charles Dunnavant is charged with sexual torture, sodomy, aggravated child abuse and exposing a person to an STD.

Carl Philip Herold, the boy's father, is charged with sodomy, sexual abuse, aggravated child abuse, child pornography production, distributing child pornography and with allowing his child to be depicted in pornography.

Excerpted from Terminal
Published 2007

A hundred years ago, the New York Zoological Society—yeah, that's right, they own the Bronx Zoo now—actually kept an African Pygmy in a cage, right next to the orangutans and chimps.

Sure, slavery was outlawed by then, but that only applied to humans. An "explorer" had captured the Pygmy in the Congo, and turned him into an exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair.

When that show was over, the owner sold his property. It's the American way.

Excerpted from "Chimps should be recognized as 'legal persons,' lawsuits claim"
Published 12/03/2013 by CNN

Should a captive chimpanzee have the same rights as a "legal person"?

That's the debate set to unfold after an activist group filed lawsuits on behalf of four chimpanzees, asking the New York Supreme Court to grant them the "right to bodily liberty."

"When we go to court on behalf of the first chimpanzee plaintiffs, we'll be asking judges to recognize, for the first time, that these cognitively complex, autonomous beings have the basic legal right to not be imprisoned," said Steven M. Wise, founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project.

Excerpted from Down Here, pp. 260-262
Published 2004

“Did you ever read about the Boston Strangler case?”

“I heard of it. But it was a long time ago, wasn’t it?”

“The Sixties. A serial killer was at large. The public was panicked. The media—and this is the key to the whole dynamic—was demanding action. Everyone was on the spot. They already had this guy—Albert DeSalvo was his name—on a whole ton of sex crimes. Different MO—not a homicide in the bunch—but more than enough to give him a life sentence.

“So now they’ve got DeSalvo in a prison where they evaluate defendants to see if they’re competent to stand trial. Out of the blue, he makes a deal to confess to all the strangling cases.”

“Plead guilty?”

“It was a little trickier than that. He ‘clears up’ the cases, gives the police information about the crimes, stuff like that. But the deal is, since there’s no other evidence he was the Strangler—no fingerprints, no blood, no body fluids, no witnesses, nothing—the confession can’t be used. So DeSalvo gets the same life sentence he would have gotten anyway, and everyone’s happy.”

“I still don’t see what’s so horrible. I mean, what he did, of course. But he still went to prison for life.”

“What if he wasn’t the Strangler?”

“What? Then why would he—?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I wasn’t there. But a lot of people, today, think he was lying about those crimes. Especially relatives of the victims. There’s a whole new investigation going on now.”

“It doesn’t make any sense,” she said, her tone just below angry.

“He was going down for the count anyway. And he wasn’t going to do an extra day for the Strangler’s crimes. Maybe he got some money . . . from a book deal or whatever. Maybe he just wanted to be famous—the cops get confessions like that all the time.”

“Did the crimes stop after he was arrested?” she asked. I caught the faintest whiff of triumph in her voice—the cold-blooded researcher, confronting the “believer” with the hard facts.

“They did,” I said. “But if he got the information—about the crimes—from someone else, that person could have been locked up, too. With DeSalvo. Maybe in the nuthouse.”

“What does he say?”


“Yes. Well, what does he say about it, now that all that time has passed?”

“He’s not saying anything,” I told her. “A few years after he went to prison, he was stabbed to death.”

“Oh my God. Who did it?”

“Nobody knows,” I said. “Or, at least, nobody was ever charged with it.”

Excerpted from "Authorities to exhume body of confessed Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo, officials say"
Published July 11, 2013, by the Boston Globe

The first of the 11 murders eventually attributed to the Boston Strangler took place on June 14, 1962, when the body of Anna Slesers, a 55-year-old Latvian seamstress, was found in her Gainsborough Street apartment by her son. And the last was Sullivan who was murdered on Jan. 4, 1964.

DeSalvo's surviving relatives and Casey Sherman, the nephew of Mary Sullivan, joined forces about a decade ago to conduct DNA testing on Sullivan's remains. The result did not link DeSalvo to Sullivan's death.

Note: DeSalvo sexually assaulted for many years, but all his victims were young women, and he never killed any of them. But he might have killed one who resisted ... very possible that he copied the Strangler's m.o. to throw police off the trail....

Excerpted from "Fighting and Writing for Justice"
Published by Courier-Post, 1989

"Child pornography is not a First Amendment issue. It's a picture of a crime. That takes it out of the free speech arena," he said. He shook his head and exhaled heavily, knowing many in the rest of the world don't share that belief, choosing to argue about shades of grey.

Excerpted from "Perspective: Attacking the Problem"
Published by Current Issues, Volume 1: Child Abuse, 1990

My definition is that kiddie pornography is the photograph of a crime, and therefore per se illegal in my view; it should be prosecuted as such.

Excerpted from "Age of Innocence"
Published by the London Observer, 1994

Child pornography should not be attacked on the grounds that it causes crime, but that it is a crime.

Excerpted from "Looking into the Abyss"
Published in the Monterey County Weekly, 1998

We have to stop this nonsense of treating kiddie porn as some mere peccadillo. It is a photograph of a crime.

Excerpted from "If We Really Want To Keep Our Children Safe"
Published in Parade Magazine, 1999

We need to recognize that child pornography is not "speech"—it is a photograph of a crime.

Excerpted from "Raising the Stakes for Child Pornography"
Published by, 2006

America's pattern-recognition software needs to be re-coded. Myths such as "just looking at pictures does no harm" should be attacked for what they are: camouflage for predators. Because, in truth, every individual who purchases child pornography is subsidizing the rape of children.

Excerpted from "Attorney Calls For Crusade Against 'Evil' Of Child Porn"
Published by The Day, 2008

Federal agents said Hesketh and Gregory Nadolski of Buffalo exchanged 85 pictures during a chat session about, among other things, the sexual molestation of children. They said that during the conversation, Hesketh sent Nadolski a picture of an adult male raping an infant girl. The picture is a crime scene, Vachss said. "What they're doing is getting the baby raped," he said of people who would trade such a photo. Vachss said in so-called child pornography the participants are children, not actors, and they are not capable of consenting.

Excerpted from "Child pornography is child rape: Cops"
Published June 27, 2013, by the Toronto Sun

Cops who hunt child predators say the term "child pornography" needs to be retired and be given a more apt term, such as "child rape."

"It's not a child lying on a beach naked, it's a child that is being actively sexually assaulted. It is the rape of a child captured on image or video. It's a crime scene," said Detective Chris Purchas, a lead investigator with the Toronto Police told a news conference in Dartmouth this week. "The term 'pornography' indicates consent, it indicates an adult. A lot of things pornography relates to are not applicable to children."

Excerpted from Terminal, pp. 206-207
Published 2007

Joseph Kony was a witch doctor—turned—warlord who ran the Lord's Resistance Army, a gang of rape-for-fun, kill-for-kicks zombies. Basic training was simple in that army. They kidnapped children, made them watch a few torture-mutilations, pointed at the bodies, and gave the children a choice: Join us, or join them. Kony started in Uganda, but was now based in the south of Sudan, where he was getting paid to make sure the region stayed destabilized. The World Court issued a warrant for his arrest. They didn't say who was going to serve it on him.

Excerpted from "US to seek ways to continue helping hunt for Kony"
Published April 04, 2013, by The State

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005 for his brutal campaign that originated in Uganda in the 1980s. He became better known in the U.S. after the release in March 2012 of a video called "Kony 2012" by the charity Invisible Children. The video became an internet sensation, being viewed by more than 100 million people.

Excerpted from Terminal, p. 23
Published 2007

Sex offenders are being disgorged from prison like toxic waste into drinking water. Profiteers are selling Megan's Law snake oil to morons who think a human that would rape a baby would never lie about his home address.

Some other geniuses are pushing GPS cuffs for the freaks. Won't stop them from doing what they do, but it'll save a lot of money on cadaver dogs.

It's just a matter of time before some marketing degenerate wires up a halfway house for sex offenders and makes a reality-TV show out of it.

Excerpted from "N.Y. murder, rape suspect removed and reassembled monitoring bracelet in under a minute"
Published March 19, 2013, by Daily News

Federal authorities say a man charged with killing a woman and raping her 10-year-old daughter after a carjacking at a New York mall last week was able to remove and reassemble his court-ordered electronic monitoring bracelet in about a minute before carrying out the attacks.

Local media report that a U.S. probation officer says 29-year-old David Renz managed to cut the device from his ankle and put it back together so quickly that it didn't prompt the company in Colorado that makes the monitors to notify court officers in Syracuse.

See also "NY man pleads guilty to killing woman, raping girl"
Published July 17, 2013, by Boston Globe

Excerpted from Aftershock, p. 291
Written in early 2012, to be published June 11, 2013

"The crux of the issue is that these girls are still living in mortal fear. They've been subjected to crimes usually only committed in Third World countries. By that," he said, holding up his hand as if to anticipate some politically correct objection, "I don't mean gang rape. That happens everywhere. What doesn't happen here—at least, I've never heard of such a case, nor found one in the literature—is that the victims perceive the community approves of the conduct of the perpetrators, the same way some Arabic cultures approve of so-called 'honor rape.' The same way some cultures which practice so-called 'ethnic cleansing' use rape as a weapon of war.

"What all these victims have in common is a shared perception of community approval. As if the victims somehow deserved to be raped—that they brought it on themselves. Again, I defer to my colleague on this. But what I can tell this Court is, if forced to testify in open court, if forced to reveal their identities to the whole community, the witnesses could opt for several psychological strategies, any one of which could result in permanent hospitalization. At best."

Excerpted from "Steubenville Rape Case: Does America Have an Unadmitted Rape Culture Problem? "
Published January 2013 by Policymic

After a 2012 report from the DOD released numbers saying that since 2006 there had been a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults, Fox News analyst Liz Trotta stated that women should "expect" to be raped working in such close proximity.

The expectation of rape.

That is what survivors must deal with our peers/media telling us. "They should have known something like that would happen." They deal with critique of clothing, character, past sexual history, and are forced to relive the trauma.

Excerpted from Pain Management
Published 2002

"Roxanol. Morphine sulfate. It's about the best painkiller out there. Except for maybe methadone."

"Methadone? I thought that was for—"

"Dope fiends? Sure. But, like all opiates, synthetic or not, its true purpose is to kill pain. That's why it was developed—by the Third Reich, after their route to the poppy fields was cut off, and they couldn't manufacture morphine."

"So why don't they just give methadone to the people with the worst pain?"

"Why?" she snarled, her voice so loaded with fury I thought it would shatter from the strain. "Because, see, it's very difficult to detox from methadone. And we don't want anyone to become a terrible 'drug addict,' now, do we?"

"What difference would it make if they were—?"

"Dying? None, obviously. Or even if they would die from the pain if they didn't get regular relief from it. Stupid, mean-spirited, nasty little . . . The moralists don't get it. The only way a painkiller can really get you high is if there's no pain left to kill."

"No physical pain," I said, letting the words sit between us.

She gave me a long, searching look. "No physical pain," she finally agreed.

Excerpted from "The Painful Truth About Prescriptions"
Published 03/03/2013 by Bloomberg

[T]he federal government is expected to soon tighten the rules for prescribing a popular subset of painkillers, those containing the narcotic hydrocodone mixed with acetaminophen (Vicodin is one of these) or with ibuprofen. This would be a matter of moving hydrocodone combinations up a notch from Schedule III to Schedule II, the most-restricted category of legal drugs, as recommended by an expert panel. Then, no refills will be allowed; patients will be able to get additional pills only by new prescription, either written or prescribed through an electronic system.

Excerpted from Only Child
Published 2002

Without further preamble, he pointed the remote at the console and kicked the tape into life.


The camera's eye picked up a synagogue.

"Jews!" A harsh, off-camera whisper. "Fucking Jews."

Figures running across an expanse of lawn.

Heavy breathing.

Swastikas springing from spray cans.

"Heil Hitler!"

"The white man is coming, kike bastards!" A different voice.

Fade to black, deeper than darkness.

In the silence, I said, "How did you know they'd be—"

"What you've just seen," he interrupted, "is a very early example of what I call noir vérité."

"I love that name!" Michelle.

He bowed slightly, taking his due, but not finished opening our eyes. "With cinéma vérité, I had realism but not control," he said. "With faux vérité, I had control but not realism. But with noir vérité, I finally had both."

"How is that . . . I mean, how is what we just saw . . . both?" I asked him, my tone a study in confused admiration.

"How many actors did you see?"

"Uh . . . four, I think, right?"

"No," he said. Waited a beat. "You saw one. One of them knew this was a movie. The other three, they thought they were going on an 'action.'"

"You mean they were set up to . . . ?"

"Not set up! They wanted to do exactly what they did. It was the actor's assignment to get them to do it when they did it, and where they did it, that's all. For the actor, this was a role. But for the others . . ."

"I think I under—"

"That was just the beginning," he said. "The first step."

Excerpted from "New Jersey man gets 3 years in prison for beating a homeless man"
Published 03/01/2013 by Daily News

A video posted on YouTube a few days before Christmas in 2011 shows a young man striding purposefully into the woods as a cameraman asks what he's about to do.

"About to go beat up this bum," the man in the video says.

And that's exactly what he does, punching and kicking a homeless man in the face, bloodying his nose, before wishing him a Merry Christmas.

That videotaped assault led to a three-year prison sentence Friday for the man shown carrying it out.

Taylor Giresi, 22, whose lawyer said he has an IQ of 74 and numerous psychological issues, told Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. that he didn't intend to hurt David Ivins. But he also said he failed to see what the big deal was.


Prosecutors and Giresi's defense lawyer agreed Giresi was egged on and had his actions directed by a juvenile who filmed the attack and who was 17 at the time. The juvenile, whose name has not been made public, spent more than two months in a state youth detention center, and later received a one-year suspended sentence and placed on probation for a year.


"Just dive on him! Dive on him!" the cameraman says on the video as the assailant approaches a disheveled-looking man in a wooded area. The young man in the video knocks the homeless man to the ground, as the attacker and the cameraman dissolve into fits of laughter.

After initially attacking the homeless man, the young man in the video returns to him again. As the cameraman urges him on, he punches the homeless man in the face, sending him sprawling to the ground.

Excerpted from "Adults in city park incite prepubescent girls to viciously fight each other"
Published 02/20/2013 by Daily News

In a seemingly unprovoked fight, adults film two little girls and yell at them to strike one another. It's unclear what park the video was filmed in, says the Parks Department, but similar videos have led to the arrest of parents.

Excerpted from "As the Crow Flies"
Published 2010

Jerrald had a thick file. He'd been evaluated a number of times. I kept seeing stuff like "attachment disorder." I skipped over the flabby labels and went right to the stone foundation they built those on—the boy had been torturing animals since he was in the second grade.

The counselors wrote that Jerrald was "acting out." Or "crying for help." Some mentioned "conduct disorder."

To read what they wrote, you'd think they knew what they were talking about. Every one of his "behaviors" always had some explanation.

But I knew what Jerrald was doing.


Excerpted from "Putnam County police worry a serial cat killer may be on the loose after a fourth feline is found dead"
Published 02/15/2013 by Daily News

A cat killer is on the loose.

Police in Putnam County, N.Y. are concerned that a string of four cat murders may have been committed by the same person. ... officials say that the crimes against cats belie a twisted mind that poses a danger to more than animals.

"It's moving into the realm of — something's going to happen to a human," Ross said. "Something's going to be done to a human because this person no longer has the control to hold back."

Excerpted from "Unsafe at Any Age," 2005

The judge would have warned the jury against being influenced by news reports on the case, but could any judge excise from the minds of modern-day jurors the overwhelming impact of "fictionalized fact" TV shows like "Law & Order" and "C.S.I."? When a defense lawyer challenges, "Where's the DNA?" how many jurors, acculturated to the (misguided) belief that there is "always" forensic evidence, nod their heads and hold its absence against the prosecution?

Excerpted from "The Pulp Pusher Interview," 2007

I do see a lot of pastiche, and way too much foolishness that apparently believes "Law & Order" is a reality series.

Excerpted from "Andrew Vachss on the trouble with shows like 'Law & Order' and 'CSI,'" 2009

"Law & Order" is a sit-com.

Excerpted from "The Truth of 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,'" 2011

What if I hadn't asked that question? If you think the same result would have been reached, you probably think "Law & Order" is reality TV.

Excerpted from Tucker Max's "Why You Should Not Go to Law School"
Published 02/18/2013 by The Huffington Post

"I want to be like Jack McCoy from Law & Order [or insert your favorite legal TV show character]."

I have little sympathy for this perspective. It is 2012, if you still allow yourself to be misled by the bullshit on TV, it means you are either very naive or an unrecoverable moron, and you should immediately drown yourself in the nearest toilet to save the world the frustration of having to deal with you and your stupidity. Let me be VERY clear about this for you:

The actual job of being a lawyer is NOTHING AT ALL like what you see on TV.

It is possibly less like the real thing than any other profession depicted on television. Every doctor I've ever talked to scoffs at shows like ER and House, but they all say that at least the diagnoses are connected to the physical symptoms we see and are treated with the proper kinds of drugs. In legal dramas, the exact opposite is the case. Don't think so? The next time you get a DUI (if you're going to law school to be like Jack McCoy this WILL happen), represent yourself and try to give a speech while questioning the arresting officer. You won't make it longer than 30 seconds before you're held in contempt and locked up for wasting everyone's time. Is that a little harsh? Maybe. Welcome to the grown-up world.

Excerpted from Another Life, p. 40
Published 2008

Africans don't trust us. Why should they? Nigeria may be the richest country on the whole continent, but it has the highest rate of polio in the world.

Excerpted from "Nigeria polio vaccinators shot dead in Kano"
Published 02/08/2013 by BBC News

Nine female polio vaccinators have been killed in two shootings at health centres in northern Nigeria, police have told the BBC.

Think it's over? Think there isn't a reason why they have the highest rate of polio?

Excerpted from "Working Roots"
Published 1994 in Born Bad

"Give it up," is all Marcus said.

Shawn put his hand in his pocket, brought out the fifty dollars he'd taken to school to impress everyone, wishing he hadn't. Rufus handed over his dough too.

"The jacket too, punk!"

Hot tears shot into Rufus's eyes, but he slowly took off the lime-green jacket and dropped it on the ground. One of Marcus's boys picked it up.

"Those look about my size," Marcus said, pointing his gun at the ground.

Shawn felt a stabbing pain in his chest as he bent to unlace his sneakers. When he let himself look up, they were gone.

Excerpted from "Cops: Here are the four guys who killed Raphael Ward for his Marmot jacket"
Published 01/07/2013 by The Daily News

Raphael Ward, 16, was killed after he resisted handing over his Marmot winter parka to the group in front of a church on Rivington St., near the Baruch Houses apartment where he lived with his brother and mother, cops said.

Excerpted from "Labeling Mental Disorders Doesn't Answer the Real Question: Does a 'Diagnosis' Mean There's a Cure?"
Published 11/2012 on tumblr

"Various personality disorders may cause distress to an individual, but, generally, such distress occurs only when the individual's delusion is not accepted or acknowledged by the rest of the world. For example: a narcissist will keep moving from therapist to therapist, as each in turn proves incapable of explaining why society does not recognize the narcissist's unique superiority and personal perfection. When a personality disorder goes red-zone, there are only three possible results: (1) criminal conduct, (2) psychosis, and/or (3) suicide."

Excerpted from "Dress-up Day"
Published in Everybody Pays (Vintage, 1999)

"I don't know who did it. I don't know who to blame. Maybe it was the guidance counselor. I saw my file, the one she kept. I wasn't really curious, but I had already broken into the school. Lots of teachers leave money in their desks. In my file, it said: Attachment Disorder. And the words 'unhealthy relationship' a lot. About me and Darla. So maybe it was the guidance counselor. It could have been Darla's parents too. But I know that it wasn't what she said—that she just wanted to have dates and stuff with other boys and maybe we were too close and she was too young to make a commitment. I know Darla would never say anything like that unless someone told her to do it."

Excerpted from Mask Market
Published 2006

"If you won't see us, you'll never see us coming."

Excerpted from "Adam Lanza School Shooter Suspect Had Personality Disorder, Report Says"
Published 12/14/2012 by The Huffington Post

Adam Lanza, the man the Associated Press has identified as the gunman in Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, had a checkered past and a personality disorder, according to reports that cite law enforcement officials.

The brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, told authorities that Adam Lanza, 20, is autistic or has a "personality disorder," ABC News reported. A law enforcement official told Fox that Adam Lanza had a "checkered past" and was a "troubled youth," The Daily Beast reported. CNN reported Adam Lanza had no criminal record.

At least 27 people, including 20 children, died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Authorities said that the shooting appears to have been carried out by a lone gunman, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to AP.

According to public records, Adam Lanza lived at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown. His mother, Nancy Lanza, who was shot to death in her home on Friday, is also listed as a resident at that address, reported. Adam Lanza's parents divorced in 2009. His father, according to The Stamford Advocate, is Peter Lanza, vice president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services. Peter Lanza reportedly lives in Stamford, Conn.

The gunman was wearing dark clothing, a mask, and a bulletproof vest, and was carrying three guns—a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both handguns, and a .223-caliber rifle, police said.

The masked gunman entered the school administration office around 9:40 a.m., approximately 30 minutes after the school day began. The first 911 call was received by police one minute later.

Investigators said that the gunman fired at least 100 rounds.

Excerpted from "A Novel View: All Evil's Alike"
Published 04/11/2004 by the New York Post

"I promise you, there are people in America whose only problem with the Taliban is that they did it for the wrong god. Whether it's incest, rape, terrorism or Nazism, it's all the same thing—accumulating and abusing power."

Excerpted from "Richard Mourdock or Abu Hamza?"
Published 10/26/2012 by Slate

Here are nine stupid, backward, and often misogynistic quotes from nine different Islamic fundamentalist and Christian social conservative leaders. See if you can spot which one is which.

Excerpted from Blossom, pg. 214-216
Published 1996

We went riding that night. Looking. It was just after eight when I pulled into a gas station. Virgil filled the tank while I reached out for Vincenzo. The Prof put him on the phone.

"The kind of person you want is a piquerist," he told me.

"A what?"

"Piquerist." He spelled it for me. Explained how the word came from the French, meaning to penetrate. I didn't interrupt him—Vincenzo flies down the track when he's got a full head of steam, but he derails easily. "That sounds right to me," I told him.

"It wasn't in the DSM-III, not even in the latest revised edition. It's a pathological condition: it means the realization of sexual satisfaction from penetrating a victim by sniper activity. Or stab wounds, or even bites. And I found that case you wanted. People v. Drake. The defendant went to the city dump late at night. He fired nineteen rounds from a semi-automatic rifle into a car parked there. Two people were killed. He said that he didn't know anybody was in the car—he was just taking target practice. When the police examined the bodies, they found the female victim had bite marks on her and a bruised rectum. The female was dead before the bite marks were inflicted. Do you want the citation?"

I knew better than to say no.

"The official designation is 129 A.D.2d 966, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, decided April 3, 1987."

"Perfect job, Vincenzo. Can I ask you some questions about the case?"

"I have a copy with me."

"Okay. Was the shooter wearing camo gear?"

"Camo gear? It says ... he was dressed in battle fatigues."

"Yeah, right. The weapon, do you have any specifics?"

"It says .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, plus a high-powered 5.69-millimeter rifle and two large hunting knives. That's all."

"Just one more, Vincenzo. It was a psychiatrist who said this guy was a ... piquerist, right?"


"Did he testify for the defense or the prosecution?"

"For the prosecution. The defendant said the whole thing was an accident. He was just practicing."

"You're the world's best researcher, Vincenzo."

"Thank you. I have a lot of notes, should I...?"

"Hang on to them for me, okay? Let me speak to the Prof."

"I'll bet a dime my man was on time."

"Right on time. I'm in the picture now."

"They got freaks everywhere, bro'. You should know."

Excerpted from "Needle bandit strikes again? Man wanted for threatening victims with syringe may have committed 9th robbery"
Published 09/29/2012 by the Daily News

The man wanted for a string of robberies using a hypodermic needle may have struck again — his ninth time — on a Manhattan subway Friday morning, police said.

A bandit matching the description of the wanted suspect, Anthony Angel Cintron, 39, approached a 14-year-old boy on a northbound 1 train near the W. 86th St. stop about 8:30 a.m., cops said.

The suspect began chatting with the teen before he flashed a syringe and swiped the boy's cell phone, cops said.

The teen got off the train at the W. 103rd St. station and called police. Authorities stopped the train at the W. 145th St. station, but the suspect was nowhere to be found.

Investigators were poring through surveillance camera footage for an image of the suspect to see if he can be linked to several similar robberies in the Bronx.

Cintron — who is 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds, with tattoos on both sides of his neck — allegedly used a syringe to rob at least seven people of their iPads, iPods and cell phones, police said.

Cops urge anyone with information to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.

Excerpted from Down in the Zero, pg. 135-136
Published 1995

"Just listen," she interrupted. "I'm an actress. A role–player. I'm like a therapist too, for some of them. It relieves tension ... like a massage. The girl-on-girl stuff is the most popular. Everybody in the scene says I'm a star."

"Whatever you say." There's plenty of honest whores— whores who don't take your picture with hidden cameras.

"It's true. It's a business. A good business."

"Most of your customers are men?"

"For the live scenes, sure. But we get women too. Couples, even. And we have plenty of women buyers for the videos. Some mostly buy ... kid stuff."

I turned my head so I was looking deep into her eyes. She held my stare for a minute, then she nipped at the palm of her hand, just below the thumb, and cast her eyes down. "Audio and custom," she said. "That's mostly what they want. There's a woman in Iowa, she advertises in all the magazines. You want to see?"

I didn't react. Why would I want to see? This was coming too quick, secrets piled on secrets. When that happens, there's always a trade lurking close.

She got to her feet, walked out of the room. She was back in a minute, holding a slick-paper magazine with a black-and-white photo of a woman bending over on the cover—there was another person in the photo, but all you could see was the paddle in their hand. I stood up, joined her under the light. She thumbed through rapidly, looking for the ad. It was marked with a red ink star, hand-drawn. I held it close to read the small type:

Proverbs 13:24(!)
Next time your kid has a good one coming, make a full–size cassette of the chastisement and send it to me. I pay $50 for fifteen minutes, more for longer. Good sound quality a must. I travel frequently, with my own equipment. Write to make arrangements.

Only a P.O. box was listed, no name. A new kind of kiddie porn, legal too—I'd never heard of it before. Freaks carefully recording their own children getting whipped. To entertain other maggots. For money. I felt ice–picks of fire in my chest.

Excerpted from Pain Management, pg. 67
Published 2002

"And you hunt teachers?"

"You know, I did hunt one, once," I told him, keeping my tone conversational. "I knew he was a freak. I knew what he liked. I knew where he'd been, so I figured out where he'd be going."

"I'm not sure I'm following . . ."

"This teacher, he never had a single complaint lodged against him in thirty years. But he quit three jobs. Pretty good jobs, near as I could tell. And moved on. Nobody at any of his old jobs had a bad word to say about him. So I took a look. My kind of look: a hard one. And what all the schools he left had in common was this: each one had banned corporal punishment. You understand what I'm saying, Mr. Powell?"

"I believe so."

"Yeah? Well, let me spell it out for you, just in case. This guy was a child molester, but he never had sex with any of the kids. No, what he did was 'punish' them. That's how he got his rocks off, paddling kids. Nothing illegal about it, in some schools. And every time one of the schools changed their policy, he'd just go someplace else. Where he could have his fun."

"That's sick."

"I'm sure that's what the teachers union would have said, if he'd ever gotten busted for what he was doing."

"You don't like teachers much, Mr. . . . Grange?"

"I like teachers fine. I don't like freaks who hide behind authority to fuck with kids. Do you?"

Excerpted from "Texas mom outraged her teen daughter was paddled 'bright red' by male vice principal for cheating incident"
Published 09/23/2012 by the Daily News

When [a high school sophomore] was suspected by school officials of allowing a classmate to copy her work she was presented with two choices — suspension or paddling. [The student], not wanting to miss school time, opted for the latter.

But her mom is "unglued" over who did the paddling, and how hard.

"I knew school policy was females swatted females, and males swatted males," Anna Jorgensen told WFAA-TV. "If Taylor wanted that, I said that would be fine."

But when her daughter came home Wednesday after the paddling, her bottom looked like it had been "burned and blistered, it was so bad," Jorgensen said.

"It was bright red," [the student] added.

Jorgensen was even more outraged when she learned that a male vice principal at Springtown High School, northwest of Fort Worth, doled out the discipline.

She called the vice principal the next day. She said he told her he hadn't hit [the student] any harder than he normally would, and that he was unaware of the Springtown Independent School District police that states, "Corporal punishment shall be administered only by an employee who is the same sex as the student." [Because, of course, same-sex child abuse never occurs....]

Corporal punishment is legal in schools in 19 states, including Texas, though Jimmy Dunne, president of the group People Opposed to Paddling Students told ABC News, "A lot of people think it was abolished 20 years ago."

Springtown ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley said the vice principal may have violated the policy, but he's also trying to abolish that very policy, according to WFAA.

He claims the gender makeup of faculty and students can make it difficult to guarantee that kids are paddled by an administrator of the same sex. [And ... this would the only public school in the USA that is light on female staff, right?]

But Jorgensen said her daughter is proof that the policy needs to stay in place.

"I don't believe a man intentionally meant to do that to her," she said. "But it still happens, because men are too big and strong to be hitting 96-pound girls." [How can one believe that "men are too big and strong to be hitting 96-pound girls" but that this particular man didn't "intentionally [mean] to do that to her"?]

States where corporal punishment is legal in schools:

North Carolina
South Carolina

Excerpted from "A Novel View: All Evil's Alike"
Published 04/11/2004 by the New York Post

"I promise you, there are people in America whose only problem with the Taliban is that they did it for the wrong god. Whether it's incest, rape, terrorism or Nazism, it's all the same thing—accumulating and abusing power."

Excerpted from "Senate Candidate Provokes Ire With 'Legitimate Rape' Comment"
Published 08/19/2012 by the New York Times

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."

Excerpted from "How Many Dead Children Are Needed to End the Rhetoric?"
Published 08/12/1994 by New York Daily News

"[M]ake no mistake, sex offender 'treatment' is the growth industry of the '90s."

Excerpted from "Private Prison Company May Take Over Virginia Sex Offender Center"
Published 07/16/2012 by The Huffington Post

"The proposed contract in Virginia would give a private company authority over convicted sex offenders enrolled in a controversial program known as 'civil commitment,' through which the state designates some inmates sexually violent predators. That label gives the state the right to hold those inmates indefinitely while administering mental health treatment."

Excerpted from Only Child (pg. 135)
Published 2002

"You're the closest thing to movie people I know," I said, after I told them how I wanted to go in.

"We don't do mainstream," Rejji said. "But . . . well, two things: One, we do what we do for money. So, if anyone paid us, we would; it's not some artistic thing. Two, movies are movies, I think. They make them all the same way. The budgets are different, maybe. The scripts are for damn sure different. But the process, I think it's close enough."

"So you think we could fake it?"

"Fake what?" Rejji asked. "Fake making an adult video? Why would anybody fake that?"

Excerpted from "Overheard on All-American success stories? Porn stars gone mainstream"
Published 06/15/2012 by

"The line has become pretty thin nowadays between porn and so much of the salacious junk that passes for mainstream entertainment. I frankly have seen some porn performers who seem more clean cut than druggies like Lohan or the trash on Jersey Shore."

Excerpted from Hard Candy (pg. 119)
Published 1989

But the page from the prescription pad told me what I wanted to know: the doctor was selling Androlan, Malogex ... all the injectable forms of testosterone. Even threw in a supply of needles. There's a new program for child molesters. The shrinks still haven't figured it out—the freaks, they don't want to be cured. This new program, it's only for special degenerates. Ones with money. Counseling, therapy ... and Depo-Provera. Chemical castration, they call it. Reduces the sex drive down to near-zero. Supposedly makes the freaks safe, even around kids. Methadone for baby-rapers. Some judges love it. The freaks are crazy about the program—it's a Get Out of Jail Free card. The maggots do their research better than the scientists and all their federal grants. They figured out that a regular dose of testosterone cancels the Depo-Provera. Gets them back to what they call normal.

Excerpted from "Repeat sex offender to undergo chemical castration; First time South Korea has used extreme punishment"
Published 05/24/2012 by The Daily News

South Korea passed a law in 2010 allowing judges or a Justice Ministry panel the option of ordering chemical castration after a series of violent sexual assaults on children sparked public outrage.

The man to be castrated this week was convicted four times between 1984 and 2002 of raping or sexually molesting girls under the ages of 13, the ministry said in a separate statement. A psychiatric test has concluded the man is a pedophile and needs medication, the officials said.

He will be released from prison in July under the condition that he receive injections every three months for three years, according to the ministry.

Excerpted from Aftershock
Written in 2010, to be published in 2013

"What do you want from me?"

I took that as the red-flare signal: the one that told us to stop working the perimeter and strike at the core. "I want you to help protect the next victims from this gang of rapists."


"You and another forty or so young women, yes."

"I don't understand," she said, glancing around nervously, even though the baby monitor hadn't transmitted anything but the sweet snuffly breathing of a contented infant.

"No one in that gang has ever been prosecuted for rape. You did everything right. Went by the book. But the police never even made an arrest, did they?"


"And you told them at least one of their names," I said, not spelling out the "their."


"That's happened more times than you could imagine. I mean, that exact same thing. Why should the police arrest anyone when they know the DA is never going to prosecute?"

Excerpted from "Justice Department probes handling of Montana rape reports"
Published 05/01/2012 by Reuters

The U.S. Justice Department unveiled a broad probe on Tuesday into complaints that authorities were failing to aggressively investigate sexual assault reports in Missoula, Montana, citing more than 80 reported rapes there during the past three years.

The investigation includes a review of the handling of sexual assault and harassment reports at the University of Montana at Missoula, where at least 11 student-related sex assault cases have surfaced in recent months.

At least two members of the university's Big Sky Conference champion football team, the Grizzlies, have been accused of rape, leading to the recent dismissal of the football coach and the school's athletic director.

A central thrust of the federal investigation will focus on complaints that local law enforcement has failed to properly investigate and prosecute sexual assaults on women in Missoula due to gender discrimination, the Justice Department said.

Excerpted from Another Life (pg. 40)
Published 2008

Malaria kills millions of Africans every year, but not half as many as it would if the indigenous people hadn't developed some genetic resistance over the centuries.

Excerpted from "Malaria deaths hugely underestimated — Lancet study"
Published 02/02/2012 by BBC News

Worldwide malaria deaths may be almost twice as high as previously estimated, a study reports.

The research, published in the British medical journal the Lancet, suggests 1.24 million people died from the mosquito-borne disease in 2010.

This compares to a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate for 2010 of 655,000 deaths.

Excerpted from Only Child (pg. 271)
Published 2002

"Now, who was acting in that one?" he asked, eyes on Rejji, who he'd spotted sneaking peeks at the screen.

"It can't have been the one doing the paddling," I said. "Why would the others have just gone along and—?"

"This is the final stage," he said. "Or nearly it, anyway. Because they were all acting. But only one of them knew the script."

"I don't . . ."

"Okay, look," he said, leaning forward, intense. "They all thought they were acting. In a movie. The script was this sorority thing . . . like you saw for yourself. But the girl doing the paddling, she was told that this was a different movie. And the plot of that movie was a girl who wants to get even with another girl, so she makes up this whole ‘movie' thing."

"Unreal!" I said.

"Completely real," he corrected. "The concept is that everyone knows they're on camera, but only some of them know that the script isn't really the script. But even the ones who think they know, they don't understand that their role is another role. One that only the director knows. And when it all comes together, at that perfect moment, it's totally real. And totally under my direction."

"Oh my God!" Michelle said.

"Noir vérité," he said proudly. "That's why it's always done with a single camera. The last thing I want is a Rashomon effect. Here, each of the actors has his or her own reality, but the only truth is what goes into the camera. And there can be only one truth. That," he said, pausing, the way he'd rehearsed this moment before his mirror so many times, "was my vision."

"That's . . . amazing," I said. "So, in each movie you make, the star—"

"The catalyst," he said. "Not the star. In noir vérité, there are no stars. Because there are no limits, do you see?"

"Not . . . really."

"The ultimate control is the director's. In noir vérité, the director directs. Not just the lines, or the sets. He directs reality. The catalyst—there can be more than one—their job is to create the opportunity for conduct. But the conduct itself is real."

"So if you let the . . . person think they're the catalyst, but they're really playing the role of catalyst . . . ?"

"Exactly," he said.

"Everything I heard about you was gospel," I told him, admiringly.

"This is a new concept. Nobody's got this one. And it truly has no limits. You could do . . . anything with it."

"No limits," he agreed.

"Couldn't it ever get . . . I don't know, out of hand?"

"Even if it did," he said, shrugging his shoulders, "whatever happened, it wouldn't be real. It would be something else entirely. My creation. Noir vérité."

Excerpted from "Report: Teens Behind Florida YouTube Attack to Be Charged as Adults"
Published 04/10/2008 by Fox News

The seven Florida teens accused in the "animalistic attack" filmed for YouTube are to be tried as adults, reported Thursday.

Excerpted from "Transit police looking for girls behind vicious YouTube attack on Portland TriMet train"
Published 01/10/2012 by The Oregonian

Police are trying to identify a group of girls who were filmed relentlessly slapping and punching a middle schooler on a TriMet train on Dec. 26.

The violent video of what appears to be a random attack has been posted on YouTube and has been circulated among students at Southeast Portland's Centennial Middle School, officials said.

Excerpted from "Dad of one of teens charged in YouTube beating says attack was a 'retaliation'"
Published 01/18/2012 by the Chicago Tribune

[17-year-old son Raymond Palamino] has been charged as an adult with robbery and aggravated battery for the attack that has gone viral on YouTube. Judge Israel Desierto set bail for Palomino at $100,000 over the strenuous arguments of the teen's attorney.


The other teens — two 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl — were all cited in juvenile delinquency petitions on the same charges, police said. Their identities were not made public because they are juveniles. ... Prosecutors said Palomino and the other boys persuaded the girl to lure the victim into an alley in the 2700 block of South Shields, where the others were waiting to beat him. When Palomino saw the victim walking through the alley, he yelled "get him!" to the others, according to Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti.

The video was shot via cell phone.

The image of Chicago in this case has been reflective in similar incident in other cities, where youths go on "sprees," videotape them and post them on YouTube, [Chicago Police Superintendent Garry] McCarthy said.

"This is a national epidemic. It's not something that's particular to Chicago," he said.

Excerpted from Terminal (pg. 54)
Published 2007

"I'm dying,” he said. "Doctors told me I got a year, maybe a year and a half."

I watched him, waiting.

"I'm not just rolling over for it. I spent what I had, used up a lot of favors. There's a place over in Switzerland where they're supposed to have been doing stuff with stem cells for a long time. Years and years before that asshole we got running this country said it was illegal. Anyway, supposedly, supposedly, they've got a way to beat this . . . thing I got."

Excerpted from "First U.S. Patient Gets Stem Cell Trachea Transplant"
Published 01/13/2011 by ABC World News

Christopher Lyles, 30, of Abingdon, Md, exhausted the limited treatment options available in the U.S. for his tracheal cancer. But Lyles read about an experimental tracheal transplant procedure surgeons performed in Europe using adult stem cells.

"Every surgeon told me it was inoperable," said Lyles. "It was hard to hear that."

Lyles reached out to Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, director of the Advanced Center for Translational Regenerative Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who was the head surgeon in previous transplant cases.

After a 12-hour procedure in Sweden, Lyles was breathing through a lab-grown windpipe that doctors fashioned from his own stem cells.

Excerpted from Two Trains Running (pg. 134)
Published 2005

"Ah," the bulky man sighed, "will you give me a listen, Mickey Shalare? Our cause, we say it's for a united Ireland, do we not? But we don't mean a word of it, no more than the tribes in Nigeria really want to live together. There's plenty that could call themselves 'Irish,' yes? But how many of us are there in that big stew?"

Excerpted from "Nigeria Arrests 2 in Blast That Killed 26 in Church"
Published 12/26/2011 by the New York Times

While Boko Haram has long struck at the police — and more recently at the United Nations — the attacks during the Christmas holiday raised fears that the group was trying to exploit Nigeria's religious differences to incite violence between Christians and Muslims, a persistent problem for the country.

Excerpted from Another Life (pg. 133)
Published 2008

As soon as he dropped a couple of fights, they dropped the coverage, but the same deal still works, even today. When the women's junior-flyweight world title became vacant, the match to determine the championship was held inside a Thai prison. After the Thai won the fight, the government immediately announced she was going to be freed. After all, she could be stripped of her title if she didn't defend it within six months. Such injustice cannot be tolerated in a democracy, even one where making fun of the King is a double-digit crime.

Excerpted from "US troubled by court rulings in Thailand"
Published 12/06/2011 by the Associated Press

[A] Thai court sentenced 61-year-old grandfather Amphon Tangnoppakul to 20 years in prison for sending four text messages deemed offensive to the Thai queen.

Excerpted from "American sentenced to prison for insulting Thai royals"
Published 12/08/2011 by the Washington Times

An American who translated a banned biography of Thailand's king and posted the content online while living in Colorado was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in a Thai prison Thursday for defaming the country's royal family.

Excerpted from Blossom (pg. 29)
Published 1990

I used the Exact Change lane on the Triboro, grabbed the first exit, and ran parallel to Bruckner Boulevard through the South Bronx to Hunts Point. Turned off at Tiffany, motored past the mini-Attica they call a juvenile detention facility at the corner of Spofford, and turned left, heading for the network of juke joints, topless bars, and salvage yards that make up half the economy of the neighborhood.

Excerpted from "Bronx's notorious Spofford, aka Bridges Juvenile Center, finally shut down"
Published 03/31/2011 by the Daily News

Until last month, the vermin-infested detention center on Spofford Ave. held about 100 youth in dark cells with no air conditioning.

John Mattingly, commissioner of the city Administration for Children's Services, which absorbed the city Department of Juvenile Justice last year, called the closure "a red letter day for . . . the city" and referred to Bridges as a "Dickensian building" desperately in need of closure.

"It's finally closed - I'm ecstatic," said Darryl Briggs, 21, who began to "feel like a number" when detained there four years ago.

Excerpted from Choice of Evil (pg. 257)
Published 1999

When I finally got cable here, I learned that there's an all-news TV show too, just like the radio. I clicked it on. Another dead baby. Beaten to death. ACS wasn't giving out any explanations, although it admitted the family was "known" to them. ACS: that's "Administration for Children's Services." When I was a kid, they called it BCW. They've changed the name half a dozen times since then, usually after a bunch of babies die.

Even when they die, it doesn't amount to much. I remember the last big media-play murder. Kid doesn't show up for school for a whole year. Nobody even checks. Finally, they come around looking. Little girl's not there. Turns out the mother's boyfriend strangled her to death while the mother held the kid's hands so she couldn't struggle. Then they wrapped the body in plastic and duct tape and trucked it through the snow in a laundry cart to a Dumpster near a vacant lot. The DA offers the mother probation for her testimony, and she gets on the stand and tells it like it happened. The jury's so full of hate for the DA letting her walk away, they convict the guy only of manslaughter, not murder, trying to divide the blame by sending a message. Same way the jury did with Lisa Steinberg's killer—his girlfriend got a free pass from the DA too. Wolfe had that kind of case once. Only she took them both down, not going for the sure-thing conviction of the man by free-passing the woman.

I remembered the "social worker" I had when I was a kid. One of them, anyway. A young girl . . . although I guess she looked pretty old to me then. All I remember about her was her mouth. Her lying mouth. I never looked at her eyes.

Excerpted from "Murder charges filed against mother of slain 4-year-old boy"
Published 11/29/2011 by the Chicago Sun-Times

A mom accused of teaming up with her boyfriend to beat her 4-year-old son to death on the boy's birthday last week had tearfully admitted this summer to punching the child so hard that he had to be hospitalized, court records show.

The records offer an eerie foreshadowing of Friday's murder of little Christopher Valdez and raise serious questions about the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services' handling of the case.

Crystal Valdez told investigators at Oak Lawn's Advocate Christ Hospital in July that she had used make-up to cover her son's bruises after she beat him for crying, the records show.

Though she told them "I punched him — I have anger issues," and was in October convicted of domestic battery against her son, DCFS in August found that allegations of abuse were unsubstantiated, allowing her to keep the boy and his 5-year-old sister.

The 28-year-old and her lover Cesar Ruiz, 34, killed Christopher on Friday then covered his bruises with make-up, just 34 days after Judge James Murphy found her guilty and sentenced her to a conditional discharge and parenting classes, prosecutors alleged in court Monday.

As a sobbing Crystal Valdez protested her innocence in court next to an impassive Ruiz on Monday, DCFS spokesman Jimmy Whitlow refused to comment further on social workers' handling of the case.

It remains unclear how DCFS investigators concluded that there was not "credible evidence to support an allegation of abuse" in the earlier attack when Judge Murphy found evidence to meet the far higher legal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt." DCFS did find evidence of neglect, spokesman Kendall Marlowe said Sunday.


Outside court, Ruiz's sister Maria Castillo said she did not understand why her brother's bail was higher than Valdez's, given her history of violence against Christopher, or why Valdez was allowed to continue to raise the boy.

"Why the children were given back to her I have no idea — it's beyond me," Castillo said Monday. "It's a tragedy."

Excerpted from Choice of Evil
Published 2001

The heat got worse, visible waves hovering just above the ground. TV cranked it up more. CNN especially. Not the weather reports—the footage of Hutu and Tutsi slaughtering each other on both sides of the Rwanda border again. The mass-homicide images flashed me back. Headaches. Fevers. Night sweats. And that terrifying visitor they call ague: cold, bone-marrow-deep, so bad you can't close your jaw or your teeth will crack like dry twigs from the chattering, an electric shaking that has to work its way through your body before there's any peace. It never announces its coming—it's just there, and all you can do is ride it out. Biafra, that genocidal nightmare, intruding now like it never had before. Pansy recoiled at the smell coming off me.

I took some of the quinine they'd given me years ago, but it just made my ears ring. I went to a doctor who specialized in tropical diseases. She said the ringing was tinnitus. Common thing for malaria victims —the tiny cilia in the ear become brittle and snap. Nothing can be done about it. The ringing would just come and go for the rest of my life. Like the rest of my life.

I asked Mama. The herbalist she sent me to was so ancient he would have been New Age in the Roaring Twenties. He made about a dozen piles of stuff, then dealt a heavy pinch of each into six little brown paper bags. It looked like: thick white Popsicle sticks, basil leaves like they use for topping veal marsala in Tuscan restaurants, tiny clumps of twigs like from a finch's nest, sections of tree bark— dark outside, pure clean white inside—gnarled lumps of dark reddish roots, big rubbery slabs of mushroom cap.

"You have malaria, yes?"


"Africa or Asia?"


"Never go away," he promised. "You soldier?"

"What difference?" I asked him.

He shrugged at that truth. Said, "Parasites, back now. Go away soon, you do medicine. You put this in big pot, okay? Boil into tea, drink three times every day. Two, three weeks, all gone."

So I did it. Washed each glass down with a hit of dark chocolate between sips.

And he was right.

Chinese scientists awarded Nobel Prize for advances in treatment of malaria using traditional medicine

Mao Zedong set up a secret military project, Project 523 — named after its starting date, May 23, 1967 — to find a solution. But China's top expert in the field of malaria research, like legions of other Chinese in this time of high political turmoil, had been labeled a "rightist" and shunted aside. After making little headway on the problem, the government turned to the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, and to a little-known scientist, Tu Youyou, who had studied both Western and Chinese medicine — and who found the solution in traditional Chinese healing. Dr. Tu, 84, on Monday became the first citizen of the People's Republic of China to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences, for discovering artemisinin, a drug that is now part of standard antimalarial regimens. She shared the Nobel for medicine or physiology with two scientists who also developed antiparasitic drugs. Dr. Tu, through the Institute of Chinese Materia Medica at the Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences where she works, issued a statement about the value of artemisinin and traditional Chinese medicine. "Artemisinin is a gift for the world's people from traditional Chinese medicine," the statement said.

Excerpted from Terminal (pg. 206)
Published 2007

The murderers who run Burma decided Suu Kyi, the woman who won the election the generals had voided with bullets, needed to stay under "house arrest." She won a Nobel Peace Prize more than fifteen years ago, so their decision was sure to spark some heavy discussions in the UN.

Yeah, what a scary thought. There's already four million slaughtered in the Congo, and blue helmets on the ground are about as effective as Tom Cruise working a suicide hotline.

Excerpted from "Congo Elections: Violence Feared Ahead Of Elections"
Published 11/21/2011 by the Huffington Post

One leading opposition candidate already has proclaimed himself president. Police have fired live bullets into the air at protests. And rebels in the country's violence-wracked east have been burning voter cards to keep people from going to the polls.

The outcome of Congo's Nov. 28 presidential election is almost certain to keep President Joseph Kabila in power, but so too is the likelihood it will bring more chaos to sub-Saharan Africa's largest nation. ...

"There are too many mosquitoes in the living room. Now is the time to apply insecticide," Gabriel Kyungu, a Kabila ally, was quoted as saying. Kyungu, who is president of the Katanga provincial assembly, has denied the accusation. ...

Kabila became president after his father's 2001 assassination and won a landmark 2006 vote that was largely run by the United Nations, which still has some 19,000 peacekeepers here nearly a decade after civil war ended.

Excerpted from an interview between Andrew Vachss and Richard Layman, published in Current Issues, Volume 1: Child Abuse, 1990

I want to be very, very clear about this. Are [court-appointed advocates, such as guardians ad litem] useful? The answer is, they can be. Are they ever a substitute for actual representation by lawyers? No. Underline no. Repeat, NO. I think that concept represents one of the most pernicious trends in child protective work in this country today. There are states—and Florida is an excellent example—where a child who is the victim of abuse will not be represented by a lawyer but will be represented by a "court-appointed special advocate" [CASA]. These people are not lawyers. Because they're not lawyers, they can't represent a child in terms of the totality of that child's needs. They can't file a motion. They can't argue before a court with any kind of force. I'll give you some concrete examples. If a child tells a secret to a court-appointed special advocate there is no attorney-client privilege. That child is not guaranteed the confidentiality that he would have in speaking to an attorney. We have a standard in American justice called effective assistance of counsel. Under that standard, if you're accused of a crime and your lawyer is incompetent, your case could be reversed, because you're entitled to minimal effectiveness. No non-lawyer can meet that standard. The whole Court Appointed Special Advocate concept gets its power from the idea that it's cheap; it's cost-effective. That's utter nonsense. You look at a state like Florida that could provide a stream of attorneys for a Ted Bundy and can't provide one attorney for an abused child. I think there's such a moral difficulty with that, that it's unresolvable.

Excerpted from "Colorado Supreme Court: Neglected and abused kids shouldn't trust their lawyers"
Published 10/26/2011 by the Denver Westword

One of the most basic principles of the American legal system is the guarantee that what you tell the attorney representing you is confidential and can't be disclosed without your permission. That's an absolute. Unless, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled this week, you happen to be a vulnerable child in a dependency and neglect proceeding -- for example, the alleged victim of a sexual assault by your own stepfather.

Excerpted from Choice of Evil (pg. 269)
Published 1999

I love it. Disney cleans up Times Square, but they hire a convicted child molester to direct one of their movies. People protested, but the studio ranted on about giving people another chance. Sure, once it came down to money, all of a sudden, Disney's got more faith in "rehabilitation" than an NCAA recruiter.

Excerpted from "Joe Paterno's shame shadows his success"
Published 11/09/2011 by the Vancouver Sun

Maybe Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will ... be honest with us and tell us how much he knew about the allegations of sexual abuse of boys against his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. And maybe he will tell us when he knew about those allegations.

Maybe he will explain why he didn't immediately call the police in 2002 when then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary said he told Paterno he had witnessed Sandusky having sex in the shower with a boy who was about 10 years old. Paterno needs to tell us why there was no follow-up.

And maybe he will explain why he didn't ban Sandusky from the university's athletic facilities after McQueary presented this damning evidence to him.

Joe Paterno needs to explain himself.

Excerpted from Pain Management (pg. 67)
Published 2001

"And you hunt teachers?"

"You know, I did hunt one, once," I told him, keeping my tone conversational. "I knew he was a freak. I knew what he liked. I knew where he'd been, so I figured out where he'd be going."

"I'm not sure I'm following . . ."

"This teacher, he never had a single complaint lodged against him in thirty years. But he quit three jobs. Pretty good jobs, near as I could tell. And moved on. Nobody at any of his old jobs had a bad word to say about him. So I took a look. My kind of look: a hard one. And what all the schools he left had in common was this: each one had banned corporal punishment. You understand what I'm saying, Mr. Powell?"

"I believe so."

"Yeah? Well, let me spell it out for you, just in case. This guy was a child molester, but he never had sex with any of the kids. No, what he did was ‘punish' them. That's how he got his rocks off, paddling kids. Nothing illegal about it, in some schools. And every time one of the schools changed their policy, he'd just go someplace else. Where he could have his fun."

"That's sick."

"I'm sure that's what the teachers' union would have said, if he'd ever gotten busted for what he was doing."

"You don't like teachers much, Mr. . . . Grange?"

"I like teachers fine. I don't like freaks who hide behind authority to fuck with kids. Do you?"

Excerpted from "Schoolteacher Accused Of Physically Abusing Child"
Published 06/19/2002 by the Sun-Sentinel

A suburban West Palm Beach elementary schoolteacher faces a child-abuse charge after co-workers complained she slapped and shook students in her special education class.

Carol Suhr, 56, of Lake Worth, was arrested last week after a two-month investigation into how she treated her 13 students at Berkshire Elementary School, 1060 S. Kirk Road. The students -- ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade -- all have mental disabilities, according to court records.

Suhr, a 30-year teaching veteran, is charged with physically abusing one of her students but could face additional counts of child abuse, said Lanna Belohlavek, assistant state attorney. If convicted of the single abuse charge, she could face up to five years in prison.

Suhr has been on administrative duty with pay since April 16 -- the day four co-workers complained to the school's principal about her behavior, said Nat Harrington, spokesman for the Palm Beach County School District.

A school district committee is evaluating the allegations against Suhr, Harrington said. That committee will make a recommendation to the school board later this month on whether to discipline Suhr.

Suhr had been reprimanded by her school principal in February 2000 for grabbing a student by his shirt and poking his shoulders, according to court records.

In addition, school officials received complaints in May 2001 that she slapped a student and pushed another student's nose, court documents state. However, there was insufficient evidence to support those allegations, police said.

During the past school year, Suhr's co-workers said she repeatedly yelled at her students, smacking their heads or chins if they angered her. One of the co-workers reported that she once watched as Suhr repeatedly smacked a deaf child's mouth shut, causing the boy to bite his tongue.

Police said Suhr denied being abusive, saying she would tap the children with her fingers to get their attention.

Suhr's attorney, Chris Jette, said the teacher will plead not guilty to the charge.

She posted bond and was released from the Palm Beach County Jail immediately after her arrest, Jette said.

Excerpted from Dead & Gone (pg. 326)
Published 2000

"Any businessman understands it's not enough to know your product; you also have to know your market. And I have been successfully marketing information to pedophiles for years. There are states where sex with a child under eleven can get you twenty-five years in prison. . . unless it's your own child. Then, if the DA can be persuaded to charge 'incest' instead of 'sexual assault of a child,' the offender can expect probation. Do you know which states have the loosest requirements for running a day-care center? Which organizations don't do background checks for those who volunteer to work with kids? Which jurisdictions make it easiest to get a foster child? Which won't prosecute polygamy?"

Excerpted from "State paid sex offenders as baby sitters"
Published 08/28/2011 by the Chicago Tribune

Cornelius Osborne ... was convicted of raping two women. A succession of felonies, from robbery to failing to register as a sex offender, repeatedly sent him to prison, state records show. But over more than two years, the state paid Osborne nearly $5,000 to baby-sit two children, before his latest conviction — for dealing drugs — put him back behind bars.

The [Illinois] state Department of Human Services poorly vetted baby sitters for years — and when a 2009 law forced better checks, it took nearly 18 months to start them ... .

Also, despite the reforms, the Tribune found that even now the state lacks safeguards to weed out baby sitters who watch children while living in the homes of sex offenders and other felons deemed too dangerous for the program.

Excerpted from Terminal (pg. 23)
Published 2007

Hobbyists troll the Internet pretending to be children to attract pedophiles. Some pathetic first-timers actually show up at the "girl's" house, looking for the hot underage action they've been promised. Naturally, the camera crews are waiting. Nobody ever goes to jail, but it makes for nice low-budget TV. Another public service, brought to you by the network.

Excerpted from "Accused pedophile sailor kicked out of Navy after 'To Catch A Predator' sting has case tossed out"
Published 08/18/2011 by The Fresno Bee

A California judge tossed out a case against a former Navy man caught in a sting orchestrated by the NBC program in part because the show's producers engage in entrapment. ...

"The axiom, 'Actions speak louder than words,' clearly does not apply in this case," Judge Arthur Wick said as he threw out the case Tuesday, saying prosecutors could not prove Roisman had "specific intent" to commit a crime.

Excerpted from Dead and Gone
Published 2000

Down the road a piece, I saw the signs for Jemez Springs. After we passed through the town, the road started to get steep. The Indian nodded his head in the direction of a church. There was a row of rooms behind it, like some motel out of the fifties, but very neat and well maintained. "Servants of the Paraclete," he said.

I'd never been near the place, but I'd heard about it for years. A safehouse for pedophile priests, where they could hole up for a while ... and then go back into a new parish, all "cured." The church doesn't call them child molesters, or baby-rapers, or anything so terribly stigmatizing. No, predatory priests were "ephebophiles," part of the church's PR campaign to "dimensionalize" its own degenerates.

They know exactly how to play it. First, you make up some "syndrome" or "disorder" that covers the crime. Then you give it some fancy-sounding name, and count on the whores and fools to spread the word. You don't have to prove anything, just repeat it often enough, preferably through a good media machine. Doesn't matter if the entire scientific community sneers at it. What counts is that it gives defense attorneys an argument for a "non-incarcerative alternative." And black-robed collaborators all the excuse they need.

I could see why they wouldn't have a sign out front. But I didn't know if the Indian was offering to educate me, or trying another test to see if I was who I claimed to be. So I just said: "Oh yeah. The recycling center."

Transcribed from that brilliant insight into the vital role FBI "profilers" play in stopping all serial killers, "Criminal Minds," from the 2009 episode, "Omnivore"

David Rossi: I believe our killer has another interest that may give us the best opportunity to catch him. The Reaper's last victim was an older woman. He killed her quickly, with a single shot. The prior, younger victim he spent more time with. Stabbed 46 times.

Cop 1: Why?

Aaron Hotchner: He paid special attention to his younger, female victims, and his weapon of choice with them is the knife. A ... substitute instrument for bodily penetration.

Rossie: And the younger the victim, the more time and effort he spends. I think our guy is a ephebophile.

Cop 1: Ephebophile?

Cop 2: Someone who's attracted to adolescent, post-pubescent children. Teenagers?

Hotchner: Look for men with access and authority. High school teachers, councilors, coaches, and anyone who's been charged with sex crimes against teenage girls in the last ten years. That's all for now. Thank you.

Excerpted from "National sex offender registry among goals sought by Vachss," by Craig McDonald
Published 07/14/2005 by ThisWeek

"There's a danger to registries. The danger of all registries is a false sense of security. Because if you're going to follow the logic, what's going to happen, my friend, is people are going to start saying, 'Well, I looked him up on the Internet and he wasn't registered.' This is like a seal of approval, now."

Excerpted from The Weight
Published 2010

"You know what that means, being a Registered Sex Offender? I maxed out, but I still got to keep an address, let them know when I move, stuff like that."

"Cramps your style, does it?"

"No, that's not it. They don't actually do anything. It's just a stupid Web site. And you know who uses it the most?"

"Uses what the most?"

"This 'registry' thing. The people who use it most are those . . . 'pedophiles,' they call them. See, what they do, when they're trying to worm their way in someplace, like with a single mother who's living with her little daughter, they tell her to check them out. On this Web site, I mean. When that comes up empty, it's like the government is saying, 'This guy, he's all right,' see?"

Excerpted from " to begin checking for sex offenders in wake of lawsuit"
Published 04/18/2011 by CNN

The statement from's president cautioned that despite the background checks, the website could not guarantee "the actions of all its members."

"We want to stress that while these checks may help in certain instances, they remain highly flawed, and it is critical that this effort does not provide a false sense of security to our members," Ginsberg's statement said.

Excerpted from That's How I Roll
Pantheon, 03/20/2012
(manuscript completed, 2010)

When you're birthed out of your own sister—when her father is your father, too—you know you're not going to come out right.

Turns out, I had drawn the shortest straw. When the vertebrae don't form correctly, a little sac filled with fluid extends through an opening in the spine. That's called "myelomeningocele." It can hit just about anywhere along your spine, so I guess it was lucky for me that it happened at the lowest point—because anything below that point is never going to work the way it should.

Excerpted from "Health Buzz: DNA Test Exposes Undisclosed Incest"
Published 02/11/2011 by US News & World Report

About half of children born from incestuous relationships will be afflicted by a developmental disability.

Excerpted from "Success of Spina Bifida Study Opens Fetal Surgery Door"
Published 02/09/2011 by the New York Times

Now, for the first time, a rigorous clinical trial shows that fetal surgery can help babies with a condition that is not usually life-threatening. Babies with a form of spina bifida, a debilitating spinal abnormality, were more likely to walk and experience fewer neurological problems if operated on before being born rather than afterward.
The spina bifida study involved the most severe form, myelomeningocele (MY-ell-oh-men-NING-guh-seal), in which the spine does not close properly and the spinal cord protrudes.

Excerpted from Terminal, page 23
Published 2007

It's just a matter of time before some marketing degenerate wires up a halfway house for sex offenders and makes a reality-TV show out of it.

Excerpted from " 'Our America' launches on Oprah's OWN network "
Published 02/14/2011 by The Fresno Bee

Question: What exactly will you be doing with the series?

Answer: We set out to try and understand or explore what it really means to be an American. And sometimes the answer to that is a very moving answer. Sometimes it's very challenging.

Were there times when you felt like you were in danger?

I think when I was with heroin addicts about to go on a drug run or when my team and I -- a team of all women -- were in the middle of a sex offender colony in the middle of the woods of Florida. Those moments made me a little nervous.

How do you remain objective about a sex offender?

Our intention was, in a certain way, to take ownership of the fact that these are Americans, just like you and me. And by shunning them, and by kind of watching on the periphery, is that making the situation any better? We, in every episode, try and pose those kinds of questions.

Excerpted from Two Trains Running
Published 2005

"Al Capone had syphilis, all right. But he didn't get it when he was a kid—he got it in the federal penitentiary."

"How? If he was—"

"When he first got busted for taxes, he made some kind of a deal to plead guilty. According to him—and I mean him, not some rumor; that's what he said—he was supposed to draw a deuce in the pen, and cover all the charges with that. But he bragged to the papers about it, and the judge—a federal judge, remember—said he wouldn't go along. Hell, with all that press, he couldn't go along, or it would look like he was on the mob's payroll, too. Get himself investigated. So Capone went to trial. And he ended up with eleven years."

"You think, if he had kept his mouth shut—?"

"We'll never know. Anyway, they put him in the Cook County Jail while he was waiting to see how his appeals came out. And, kid, let me tell you, he ran the place. Had three private cells to himself, fixed up like a hotel suite. He ate steak and lobster, drank the best bonded booze, had all the 'visitors' he wanted, too.

"When he lost his appeals, he was sent to the federal pen in Atlanta. And he ran that place just like he ran Cook County. The man was a king inside those walls. And that's when it happened."

"The syphilis."

"Yep. Girl named Noreen Tisdale. Most gorgeous blonde you ever saw in your life. Face like a schoolgirl, and a body like Candy Barr—never mind, trust me, she was a real stunner. Visited that scar-faced greaseball five times, just to make sure."

"Wait! You're saying she knew—"

"Knew? That's what she was paid for, kid. First, she had to fuck a guy who had the syph—early stage. Then she had to be checked by a doctor, make sure she had it. And then she goes and lets Capone fuck her, any way he wanted it. By the time she was done with him, that was it."

"But couldn't a doctor—?"

"What? Fix him? Maybe . . . maybe . . . if he'd gotten to one in time. But, soon as they were sure they had him infected, they boxed him up and shipped him to Alcatraz. That's when Big Al stopped running the show. No more special treatment. No privileges, no nothing. And the only thing the doctors they had in there ever treated was stab wounds."

"Why would any woman do . . . all that?" Dave said.

"Her husband was sitting in the Death House at the Georgia State Pen. Bank robbery, and a guard got killed. He got a pardon from the governor when another guy confessed to the crime. Turned out her husband was innocent all along."

"Jesus Lord!"

"Yeah. She was some kind of woman."

"Her? I meant . . . an innocent man on Death Row. It's so . . ."

"He was guilty as sin, Davy."

"But you just said—"

Mack drew a long, deep breath. Let it out slowly. Turned to the younger man and said, "It was a business deal, son. All the way around. Noreen did the job, and she got paid what she wanted for it. And what we got, we got Capone."

"We? You don't mean—?"

"Yeah, I do. That was just an experiment, at the time. And it worked. Nobody knew exactly what would happen if a man got syphilis and never got any treatment at all. Not for sure, anyway. Can you imagine what you could do with something like that? A disease you get from sex? The Krauts had their mustard gas in World War I. This, this could be bigger than that by a thousand, a million times. If you knew how to keep it under control, use it only when you wanted to use it, you could own the whole damn world."

Excerpted from "Horrific US Medical Experiments Come to Light"
Published 02/27/2011 by AOL News

Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government's apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.


In the 1946-48 study, American scientists infected prisoners and patients in a mental hospital in Guatemala with syphilis, apparently to test whether penicillin could prevent some sexually transmitted disease. The study came up with no useful information and was hidden for decades.

The Guatemala study nauseated ethicists on multiple levels. Beyond infecting patients with a terrible illness, it was clear that people in the study did not understand what was being done to them or were not able to give their consent. Indeed, though it happened at a time when scientists were quick to publish research that showed frank disinterest in the rights of study participants, this study was buried in file drawers.

"It was unusually unethical, even at the time," said Stark, the Wesleyan researcher.

Excerpted from New York Times
Published 01/05/1993

Chronic sexual predators have crossed an osmotic membrane. They can't step back to the other side—our side. And they don't want to. If we don't kill or release them, we have but one choice: Call them monsters and isolate them.

When it comes to the sexual sadist, psychiatric diagnoses won't protect us. Appeasement endangers us. Rehabilitation is a joke.

I've spoken to many predators over the years. They always exhibit amazement that we do not hunt them. And that when we capture them, we eventually let them go. Our attitude is a deliberate interference with Darwinism—an endangerment of our species.

A proper experiment produces answers. Experiments with sexual sadists have produced only victims. Washington State's sexual predator law will surely be challenged in the courts and it may take years before constitutional and criminological criteria are established to incarcerate a criminal beyond his or her sentence.

Excerpted from The Court's 41-page opinion
Issued 01/27/2011

Last week, on January 27, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Sixth Appellate District, issued its decision in the case of People v. Gonzales.

Here's how the Court summarized the situation:

[begin excerpt]

In 2007, the Santa Clara County District Attorney filed a petition to commit defendant Ramiro Gonzales as a sexually violent predator (SVP) under the SVP Act. (Welf. & Inst. Code, 6600 et seq.)

A jury found the defendant qualified as an SVP, and the court ordered defendant committed to the custody of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for an indeterminate term.

On appeal from the commitment order, defendant claims the trial court erred in releasing psychological records to the prosecution and admitting the testimony of a former therapist.

He claims there is insufficient evidence that his circumstances had materially changed since a previous determination that he did not qualify as an SVP.

He claims the court erred in refusing to instruct the jury that mental retardation could not be considered a mental disorder in determining whether he qualified as an SVP.

He claims the indeterminate commitment violates his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process and also the constitutional protections against ex post facto legislation and double jeopardy.

Finally, he claims the SVP law, as amended, violates his First Amendment rights.

[end excerpt]

Here is part of the Court's decision:

[begin excerpt]

Defendant contends that the trial court erred in finding that the "dangerous patient" exception applied.

We agree.

Our Supreme Court has consistently recognized " "the public interest in supporting effective treatment of mental illness and . . . the consequent public importance of safeguarding the confidential character of psychotherapeutic communication." [Citations.]" (People v. Wharton (1991) 53 Cal.3d 522, 555 (Wharton), quoting Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425, 440.) By its terms the psychotherapist-patient privilege protects " "confidential communication between patient and psychotherapist." " (Evid.Code, 1012, 1014.)

"The privilege can cover a communication that was never, in fact, "confidential"--so long as it was made in confidence.

The communication need only comprise "information . . . transmitted between a patient and his psychotherapist in the course of that relationship and in confidence by a means which, so far as the patient is aware, discloses the information" to no "outside" third person. [Citation.] [] Similarly, the privilege can cover a communication that has lost its "confidential" status. []

"[T]he patient . . . has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication between patient and psychotherapist . . . " [Citation.]"

[end excerpt]

A final excerpt: "We conclude that the court committed reversible error in releasing privileged psychotherapeutic records and admitting testimony concerning privileged information. Accordingly, we reverse the commitment order."

Excerpted from Only Child, page 148
Published 2002

"You want these kids to give it up, right? Listen, they'll do anything—to anybody—if you whisper 'movies' at them. We saw that when we were out on the coast, virgins blowing Great Danes because some greaseball tells them that's the way Monroe got started. But they'd have to believe you could make it happen. And a screenwriter can't make anything happen."

"What if I was a—?"

"Casting director!" Cyn blurted out. "That is just awesomely
perfect. Right, Rej? Nobody knows their names, and they may not get the final say, but they thin the herd. If you don't get past them, the director never gets to see your tape."

"You're a genius, Cyn," Rej said. "Makes me want to crawl over there and kiss your ass."

"Don't pay any attention to her, Burke," the blonde said.
"This one's our ticket, I know it."

Excerpted from The (NY) Daily News
Published 01/09/2011

An aspiring actress from Queens was charged with abduction after snatching a baby in Toronto on Dec. 30 while pretending to be a movie casting director, cops said.

Michelle Gopaul, 24, allegedly placed an advertisement on craigslist in Canada offering $15,000 for an infant to act in a Bollywood-style film, police and media reports said.

To read the full story, click here.

Excerpted from Mask Market, page 13
Published 2006

The same year my car had been born, the mayor had been a guy named Lindsay. He was the ideal politician, a tall, good-looking, Yale-graduate, war-veteran, "fusion" Republican who ran on the Liberal ticket. He got a lot of credit for New York not going the way of Newark or Detroit or Los Angeles during the riots the year before. But when the big blizzard hit in February of '69 and paralyzed the city, Lindsay took the heat for the Sanitation Department being caught napping, and that was the end of his career.

Every mayor that followed him got the message. New Yorkers will tolerate just about anything on their streets, from projectile-vomiting drunks to mumbling lunatics, but snow is un-fucking-acceptable.

Excerpted from Reuters
Published 12/29/2010

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a political independent whose reputation was built on competence, may have been defeated this time by a blizzard.

To read the full story, click here.

Excerpted from Terminal, page 177
Published 2007

Henricks was in Europe somewhere. Not relocated; on business. I only knew that because The Wall Street Journal had a little squib about him meeting with some big players in the Netherlands—neutral territory?—about putting together a consortium to run a natural-gas pipeline from the Russian icelands all the way down to a Y pipe. One channel to go to countries where they paid in euros, the other to one that paid in anything you wanted, from warplanes to harvested organs.

Excerpted from The (NY) Daily News
Published 12/15/2010

The prime minister of Kosovo is the capo of a shady underworld organization responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and even human organs across Eastern Europe, according to a European inquiry on organized crime reviewed by The Guardian.

To read the full story, click here.

Excerpted from Blossom, page 45
Published 1990

I got up to go. He didn't offer to shake hands. I'd see him again someday. The senator wasn't cut out for crime. He was the kind of man who'd use vanity plates on a getaway car.

Excerpted from Boston's WCVB-TV
Published 11/14/2010

A Hooksett woman was arrested and charged with robbing a pharmacy after a witness jotted down the vanity plate on her car as she left the area, police said.

To read the full story, click here.

Excerpted from The Weight, page 45
Published 11/09/2010 (and written a year earlier)

That's the first thing that hit me. I hadn't been away that long, but now it seemed like nobody cared about going for the wall anymore. The guys with real juice, they could get anything they wanted right there. They didn't care about soft money. Or even pistols. What they really wanted was cell phones.

A cell phone, that's super-bling now. The ultimate. Perfect for a shot-caller who's never getting out of Ad-Seg. With a cell, he can reach out anytime he wants.

I thought that was amazing, but a guy who'd done time in Mexico told me the narco kingpins always had cell phones. Carried them around, nobody said a thing. We were just slow catching up here.

Excerpted from
Published 12/04/2010

Notorious cult leader Charles Manson was caught with a cell phone in his jail cell.

Manson was caught with an LG flip phone under his mattress and had used it several times before officers discovered it, Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections told Fox 8 News.

To read the full story, click here.

Then ask yourself, how does a cell phone make its way into the Security Housing Unit of a prison? That phone wasn't smuggled in by any "visitor."

Excerpted from Two Trains Running, page 269
Published 2005

"I didn't know who else to talk to," David Peterson said.

"You did the right thing," SAC Wainwright assured him.

"Exactly the right thing," the man standing next to Wainwright's desk seconded. He was a stranger to Dave, dressed in a matte gray alpaca suit which draped softly over his lithe frame, and a white silk shirt, buttoned at the throat. The man's skin was the color of raw- hide, emphasizing the artificial whiteness of his too-perfect teeth. His eyes were shallow pools of dirty water. "What is it this time?" he said. "Nazi scientists, working in a secret lab to send rockets to the moon? A plot to test new vaccines on military personnel? Flying saucers?"

"Giving syphilis to Al Capone," Dave said, relieved when the unnamed man barked a laugh.

Excerpted from the Chicago Sun-Times
Published 11/17/2010

The long-secret report provided new details of many of the major cases handled by the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations. The report reflects how American officials assigned to recruit foreign scientists circumvented President Harry S Truman's order not to bring in Nazi Party members.

Arthur Rudolph, one of hundreds of scientists brought to the U.S., told investigators in 1947 he had attended a hanging of inmates accused of sabotage at a German V-2 rocket plant he ran. U.S. immigration officials knew he had been a Nazi party member, but he was admitted to the U.S. anyway. Rudolph became father of the Saturn V rocket, enabling the U.S. to reach the moon.

To read the full story, click here.


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