Tag Archives | Murder

Russian Cannibal Who Ate Victim’s Liver Arrested

"He was always different," says his mother. Moscow resident Nikolai Shadrin murdered and ate a stranger and scattered body parts in various locations across the city. When the police arrived at his apartment to arrest him, they found Shadrin eating his victim's liver with potatoes. Also, he has a very sunny demeanor and says he can't remember the whole episode because he was very drunk when it happened.
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Seeing Beyond ‘Evil’

Dr EvilKate Kelland reports on Reuters via MNN:

Simon Baron Cohen has been battling with evil all his life. As a scientist seeking to understand random acts of violence, from street brawls to psychopathic killings to genocide, he has puzzled for decades over what prompts such acts of human cruelty. And he’s decided that evil is not good enough.

“I’m not satisfied with the term ‘evil’,” says the Cambridge University psychology and psychiatry professor, one of the world’s top experts in autism and developmental psychopathology.

“We’ve inherited this word … and we use it to express our abhorrence when people do awful things, usually acts of cruelty, but I don’t think it’s anything more than another word for doing something bad. And as a scientist that doesn’t seem to me to be much of an explanation. So I’ve been looking for an alternative — we need a new theory of human cruelty.”

Baron Cohen, who is also director of the Autism Research Center at Cambridge, has just written a book in which he calls for a kind of rebranding of evil to offer a more scientific explanation for why people kill and torture, or have such great difficulty understanding the feelings of others.

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Edward H. Rulloff, Victorian New York’s Evil Genius

Edward H. Rulloff's brain on display at Cornell University.

Edward H. Rulloff's brain on display at Cornell.

E. H. Freeman’s biography of the criminal-scholar Edward H. Rulloff is finally back in print. Victorian Gothic looks at his bizarre life and obsession with philology:

Visitors to Cornell University’s psychology department would be hard pressed to overlook the eight pickled brains, preserved in heavy glass jars, which are proudly showcased on the second floor of Uris Hall. A small sample of the 122 specimens in the university’s Wilder Brain Collection, each belongs to a notable scholar or learned individual whose think-meat was once deemed worthy of anatomical examination.

One of these brains, however, is not like the others. If the brain of Edward H. Rulloff, a.k.a. Professor Leurio, were able to come alive, glowing and pulsating as it issued angry, murderous commands to you from inside your head, it would.

Rulloff was a criminal genius who left no question of how he should like to be remembered.

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Confessions Of A Thug

Victoriangothic.org reviews the classic novel which first popularized the Thuggee cult, a darkly psychological adventure story with a murderous anti-hero, Ameer Ali:

Philip Meadows Taylor’s 1839 novel Confessions of a Thug captured the imagination of 19th-century Britain with its chilling depiction of an organized death cult preying upon the hapless travelers of India’s wild and desolate roads. Based upon real accounts Taylor gathered during his work suppressing the Thuggee cult for the Nizam of Hyderabad, the book is ominously introduced as an authoritative exposé in which true events have been faithfully woven into a fictionalized narrative.

Group of Thugs c. 1864.

Group of Thugs c. 1864.

As portrayed by Taylor, the Thugs are the votaries of Bhowanee (Kali); the destructive aspect of the Supreme Being. Endowed with superior intelligence and cunning, they are sent forth to make “sacrifices” on her behalf. The reward for their piety is the plunder they gather from their victims. In so far as they observe her omens and obey her taboos, Bhowanee grants them protection from earthly authorities.

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FBI Reveals Documents In Biggie Smalls Death Probe

Suspect Sketch

Composite sketch of the suspect in the Christopher Wallace shooting.

View the documents in the FBI’s Vault, a new website for records never before released to the public. Via CNN:

The 1997 murder of Christopher Wallace, the rapper also known as The Notorious B.I.G. and Biggie Smalls, remains an unsolved crime despite Los Angeles police and FBI investigations that lasted for years.

The FBI, which joined the case five years after the shooting, opened up its files this week by publishing hundreds of pages of investigation reports and notes from its probe on the agencies website.

Readers get a behind-the-scenes look at the FBI and LAPD’s work, but the documents are heavily redacted, hiding the names of sources, investigators and suspects.

The drive-by shooting, in front of dozens of witnesses who were leaving a music industry party in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997, spurred several conspiracy theories, but no arrests.

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The FBI Wants You! … To Crack This Code

CypheredNoteVia the FBI’s official website:

On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

“We are really good at what we do,” said CRRU chief Dan Olson, “but we could use some help with this one.”

In fact, Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes are one of CRRU’s top unsolved cases. “Breaking the code,” said Olson, “could reveal the victim’s whereabouts before his death and could lead to the solution of a homicide. Not every cipher we get arrives at our door under those circumstances.”

Read More: FBI’s official website

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11-Year-Old Boy Is The Youngest Person To Face A Life Sentence Without Parole

Jordan Brown poses for his school photo.

Jordan Brown poses for his school photo.

A Pennsylvanian boy, age 11, was arrested for shooting his father’s pregnant fianceé in her sleep. He is now this youngest person to face a life sentence without parole. The judge has been criticized for his decision to try the boy as an adult because he refused to plead guilty. Defense attorneys and human rights campaigners have argued that the judge’s decision violates the boy’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Raw Story reports:

Boy’s claim of innocence prompted judge to try him as adult

A Pennsylvania boy who was 11 years old when he allegedly shot and killed his father’s pregnant fiancee could find himself being the youngest person ever sentenced to life without parole.

Human rights campaigners have said the case shows the US’ justice system to be unusually harsh towards juvenile offenders, and argue that a life sentence for the boy could violate international law.

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Mexican Activist Chavez Murdered

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez, a human rights activist, was best known for her poetry and actions to help raise awareness of the violence towards women, especially in the border-city of Juarez. After years of activism, Chavez has fallen to the same violence she has fought against. Via Fox News Latino:

A poet and women’s rights activist was murdered in Ciudad Juarez, a gritty border metropolis that has become Mexico’s most violent city, officials and associates of the victim said.

Susana Chavez’s body was found last week, but it was not identified until Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Chavez’s left hand was chopped off and her body was dumped in a poor neighborhood in downtown Juarez, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

Chavez organized protests to draw attention to crimes against women in the border city and participated in poetry readings that she dedicated to murdered women.

[Continues at Fox News Latino]

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Where Have All The Serial Killers Gone?

1419Will the age of antidepressants render the serial murderer a figment of the past?

In a slice of good news, serial killing sprees occur far less frequently than at their peak twenty years ago and no longer produce iconic American monsters along the lines of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Ted Bundy, all of who seemed to personify people’s worst fears about society. (That said, to many, the horrific massacre in Tucson this past weekend symbolizes the escalation of violent political rhetoric.) Slate looks back at the “golden age of serial murderers”:

Serial killers just aren’t the sensation they used to be. They haven’t disappeared, of course. But the number of serial murders seems to be dwindling, as does the public’s fascination with them.

Statistics on serial murder are hard to come by—the FBI doesn’t keep numbers, according to a spokeswoman—but the data we do have suggests serial murders peaked in the 1980s and have been declining ever since.

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Vatican Bank Investigated For Money Laundering – Again.

Emblem_of_the_PapacyI wonder which banking official will suddenly die during this investigation? Victor L. Simpson and Nicole Winfield report for AP:

VATICAN CITY – This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall.

Nevertheless, the Institute for Religious Works is a bank, and it’s under harsh new scrutiny in a case involving money-laundering allegations that led police to seize euro23 million ($30 million) in Vatican assets in September. Critics say the case shows that the “Vatican Bank” has never shed its penchant for secrecy and scandal.

The Vatican calls the seizure of assets a “misunderstanding” and expresses optimism it will be quickly cleared up. But court documents show that prosecutors say the Vatican Bank deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws “with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital.” The documents also reveal investigators’ suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and Mafia.

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