At Least 36 Dead in Istanbul Airport Suicide Attacks

terrorismThe New York Times reports that three suicide terrorist attackers used bombs and firearms to kill at least 36 people and wound scores of others yesterday at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey. The attacks mark the latest in a string of terrorist acts the country has faced over the past year.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s carnage, initial speculation centered on Turkey’s two main enemies: the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Please visit the above link to read more or visit CNN here for continuing coverage of this story.

Texas Mom Shot Dead By Police After Killing Daughters

fort_bend_logoA 42-year-old woman was shot dead by police outside of a home Friday in the Houston suburb of Fulshear after greeting an officer with a handgun, reports CBSNews.com.

Authorities say Christie Sheats shot and killed her two daughters, aged 17 and 22, before being shot dead herself after a responding officer saw the woman attempting to shoot one of the victims again.

The killings seemingly climaxed a family argument, but the motive for the shootings remains unclear.

Please visit the above link to read more.

Two Charged in Pennsylvania Mass Shooting

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Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Two men have been officially charged in a mass shooting that left five adults and one unborn child dead this past March in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, reports WPXI.

Cheron Shelton and Robert Thomas were charged yesterday with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, criminal conspiracy and attempted homicide. The pair are accused of ambushing the victims with a pistol and AK-47 during a backyard cookout.

Three other people were wounded in the attack.

Investigators have determined that the AK-47 was also used in the murder of a man five years ago in Pittsburgh’s Arlington neighborhood.

Please visit the above link to read more.

Novelist Lois Duncan Passes Away

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Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

The Washington Post reports that Lois Duncan, renowned author of numerous true crime and young adult suspense novels, passed away June 15 at her home in Bradenton, Florida.

Duncan’s teen thriller, I Know What You Did Last Summer, would spawn a successful film franchise of the same name. The author also penned a pair of books dedicated to the unsolved 1989 murder of her teenage daughter, Kaitlyn Arquette, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Duncan was 82 years old at the time of her death.

Please visit the above link to read more.

Book Review: Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers: Violent Crime and Disorder in Victorian Britain

bombers_rioters_coverRenowned British author Simon Webb takes a historical and comparative look at some of the most heinous criminal carnage in the British Victorian era with Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers: Violent Crime and Disorder in Victorian Britain, released by Pen and Sword Books this past November.

While many identify the Victorian age as a period of elegance, style and sophistication essentially devoid of violent crime, Webb explains through nine chapters of appalling and vicious events that criminalistic behavior is hardly a phenomenon of recent years. In fact, the back cover of Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers contains this troubling line: “Between 2003 and 2013, not a single Metropolitan police officer was murdered, yet during a typical decade in the Victorian period, 1860 to 1870, nine officers were shot, stabbed or beaten to death in London.”

Webb documents acts of terrorism, street crime and mass murder within the pages of Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers. Included are stories detailing the slayings of police officers in the line of duty, the use of military to combat rioting and an entire chapter devoted to “Victorian London’s 9/11.”

Supplementing the stories of carnage and rampage are eight pages of photographs, which provide a pictorial perspective of the bloodshed documented in Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers.

You can purchase Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers via the Pen & Sword Books website at this link.

(Special thanks to Charlie Simpson of Pen & Sword Books)

Book Review: Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family

every_last_tieFrom 1978 to 1995, an unknown American domestic terrorist waged a bombing rampage targeting those involved with modern technology. Dubbed the “Unabomber” by the mainstream media, the anarchist’s homemade devices would claim three lives and injure 23 others over a 17-year span.

The Unabomber’s reign of terror came to an end in April 1996, when Ted Kaczynski, a former assistant university professor, mathematics prodigy and Harvard graduate, was arrested at his cabin in rural Montana. Inside the lodge, investigators discovered an abundance of bomb components, what appeared to be an original typed manuscript of a manifesto published by The Washington Post and The New York Times and one bomb ready for mailing, leaving little doubt as to the identity of the Unabomber.

Following Kaczynski’s apprehension, it was revealed that his younger brother, David, was responsible for the identification and arrest of the Unabomber after David’s wife became suspicious that Kaczynski could be the one behind the bomb attacks. Kaczynski pleaded guilty in 1998 to all of the government’s charges against him and received eight life sentences without the possibility of parole.

David Kaczynski has penned a memoir titled Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family. Released earlier this year by Duke University Press, the book details Kaczynski family life, David’s often tumultuous relationship with Ted during adulthood and the difficulties of living under mainstream media pressure following he and his wife Linda’s angst-ridden decision to notify authorities of their suspicions that Ted was the Unabomber.

Kaczynski, a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, former youth shelter assistant director and anti-death penalty advocate, is a well-spoken author whose anguish while wrestling with his suspicions of Ted is painfully clear within the pages of Every Last Tie. Essentially estranged from his brother since 1990, the reader can’t help but feel David maintains some hope of a reconciliation one day.

Included in Every Last Tie is twenty pages of Kaczynski family photographs (courtesy of David) and an afterword by psychiatry professor and forensic psychiatrist James L. Knoll IV. At 141 pages, the book is an easy and compelling read.

Every Last Tie is available for purchase on Amazon at this link or via the Duke University Press website here.

(Special thanks to Duke University Press)

Pregnant Louisiana Teacher Found Murdered, Assistant Principal Charged

lyntell_washingtonWAFB reports that a Baton Rouge middle school assistant principal has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree feticide after the body of a pregnant woman who taught at the same school was found in a ditch this past Tuesday.

Police identified the badly decomposed body of Lyntell Washington, a former East Baton Rouge Parish School System Teacher of the Year, on Wednesday. 39-year-old Robert Marks has been charged in her slaying.

Washington’s three-year-old daughter was found alone near her mother’s vehicle days before the victim’s body was discovered. According to the probable cause report, the child told investigators that “Mr. Robbie” had hurt her mother and offered other information connecting Marks to the crime.

A co-worker at the school where both Washington and Marks were employed reportedly told police that Washington was pregnant with Marks’ child and had threatened to tell his wife about their affair.

Please visit the above link to read more.