Lawsuit accuses Tinley Park firefighters of hate crime


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The Dark Net Is Thriving


The Dark Net Is Thriving
Business Insider
Mr Ulbricht is due to stand trial in New York next January on charges that include computer hacking and money laundering. But law … One-fifth of its listings are in its “Fraud” section or in “Guides and Tutorials”, which often explain how to commit

Cody Mark Cousins: Murder by Insanity or Hatred and Drugs?

     Cody Mark Cousins, after graduating from high school in Springsboro, Indiana in 2008, enrolled as an engineering major at Purdue University. While attending classes on the West Lafayette, Indiana campus, Cousins struggled with mental illness and drug abuse. During the summer of 2013, during a 72-hour-stint in a mental ward, a psychiatrist opined that Cousins, already suffering from bipolar disorder, was developing schizophrenia.

     The fact that the university student had been acting aggressively and experiencing hallucinations could have been the result of his use of the drug ecstasy. From August to October 2013, Cousins bought a gram of ecstasy every ten days. During this period he also abused amphetamine. Still, he managed to make the dean’s list three times.

     At noon on Tuesday January 21, 2014, Cousins attended a class in the electrical engineering building taught by a 21-year-old teaching assistant from West Bend, Wisconsin named Andrew F. Boldt. During this class, in front of classmates, Cousins pulled out a handgun and shot Boldt five times. As Cousins replaced the empty revolver with a knife, he told the horrified witnesses to call the police. Cousins next stabbed the teaching assistant 19 times then walked out of the classroom.

     Later on the day of Andrew Boldt’s murder, police officers booked Cody Cousins into the Tippecanoe County Jail on the charge of first-degree murder. If convicted as charged, Cousins faced up to 65 years in prison. The judge denied him bond and ordered psychiatric evaluation.

     In May 2014, Cousin’s attorney filed notice that he planned to plead his client guilty but mentally ill.

     The Cousins murder trial got underway in the summer of 2014. In his opening statement to the jury, Tippecanoe County prosecutor Pat Harrington argued that the defendant, frustrated by his own lack of success, killed the victim out of drug-fueled hatred and envy. “Violent thoughts,” Harrington said, “led to violent actions. That’s not insanity–that’s what happened.”

     Defense attorney Kirk Freeman, when it came his turn to address the jury, spoke of his clients’s history of insanity and argued that guilty but mentally ill would be an appropriate verdict in this case. The defense attorney pointed out that mental illness ran in the defendant’s family.

     According to a prosecution psychiatrist, when the defendant shot and stabbed Andrew Boldt to death, he was not acting pursuant to the symptoms of any form of mental illness. A second medical expert took the stand for the prosecution and said essentially the same thing.

     Following the closing arguments, the jury, in rejecting the insanity defense, found the defendant guilty as charged. The verdict surprised no one.

     Judge Thomas Busch, following testimony from both sides at the convicted man’s September 19, 2014 sentencing hearing, sentenced him to 65 years in prison. “This is a crime of hatred,” the judge said. “It’s also a crime of terror. Cousins chose a place where people were gathered.”

     Cousins, given credit for the 242 days he’d already spent in jail, would not be eligible for release until July 22, 2046. That year he would be 54 years old.

     On October 28, 2014, at nine o’clock at night, while being held in a one-man cell in the Orientation Unit of the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Cody Cousins slashed his arms and neck with a sharp instrument. An ambulance crew tried in vain to save the bleeding, unresponsive inmate. A half hour later, medical personnel pronounced the convicted killer dead. 

Writing Quote: Story Endings for Middle-Grade Readers

     When writing for nine-to twelve-year-olds, the endings don’t have to be happy. But they do have to be satisfying in some fundamental way. In younger books, stories deal primarily with situations and feelings the child might encounter. In middle-grade stories the endings grow out of the characters, their internal changes, and their ability to understand and cope with the world around them. As a consequence, the endings of these books are more complex.

     For instance, sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way the hero wants it to. Yet she does get some of what she needs–an understanding of how the world works, perhaps, or a new-found ability to cope with a confusing and challenging event. She might have to accept adverse circumstances or even mourn a deep loss. But in all of these situations, the hero learns something. She changes, grows and begins to get a firmer grasp on the complexity of the world around her.

Nancy Lamb, Crafting Stories for Children, 2001 

Criminal Justice Quote: Baby Dies in Crib As Parents Drink

     A 9-month-old baby in Prince William County, Virginia was pronounced dead after being left unattended in a crib for 16 hours…Avarice Alexander was in her crib from 8:30 PM October 15, 2014 to 12:30 PM the next day…

     Police took the 21-year-old parents, Adam and Jasmyne Alexander, into custody. They were charged on October 16, 2014 with child neglect. [Child neglect? What about criminal homicide?] Police allege the baby was left in her crib while the parents were drinking.

     A page was created by the mother, claiming that her daughter had died of SIDS. [SIDS is a description of death, not a cause.] An aunt has since taken over the fundraising account, claiming the funds will be used so her niece can have a proper burial. The aunt says that the parents will have no access to any of the donations.

“Baby Left in Crib For 16 Hours Dies,” Dayton Daily News, October 18, 2014 

Writing Quote: The Pretentious Writer

     I’m put off when I suspect that a writer is too aware of his own style or is more concerned with style than content and communication. It’s a lot like a speaker who takes on a pompous speaker’s voice when he’s talking publicly. I consider this pretentious and phony. I prefer authors who don’t recognize their own voices or, if they do, are clever enough to make their writing style appear naturally interesting and unique…

     There is a particularly dreadful style of writing, prose intended to sound lofty and important, found in a lot of promotional literature put out by colleges and universities. The thoughts and messages conveyed in this form are usually quite simple. An example of this style can be found in many college mission statements. In straightforward prose, one might write: “The goal of college is the education of its students.” Because this is so obvious, to write it simply and directly makes it sound vacuous. But when the mission statement is puffed up with carefully selected words and high-minded phrases, the simplicity of the message is replaced by syntax intended to make it sound profound. This style of writing is pompous and false, and represents writing at its worst.

Thornton P. Knowles, The Psychology of Writing, 1976 

Police fire at driver who tried to run down an officer

Police fire at driver who tried to run down an officer
“Anyone who has any information on Rosario’s whereabouts, or any other information that could help is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916)783-7867,” police wrote in a press release. “Tipsters can remain anonymous, and could get a cash reward …