Nearly three years have passed since Long Island police uncovered the bodies of four dead girls along their local ocean parkway. Following the discovery, authorities uncovered commonalities among the deceased that included internet prostitution and a poor, working class socio-economic background. These revelations, coupled with a fifth girl who disappeared nearby under similar circumstances, resulted in the pursuit of a faceless serial killer who left behind very few leads.
In July of 2007, the sleepy suburban town of Cheshire, Connecticut woke up to a house set ablaze, three fatalities, one survivor, and two suspects caught fleeing the scene. What had started as a home invasion and robbery had ended in rape, arson, and a triple homicide. A new full-length documentary debuting on Monday, July 22nd on HBO explores how the Cheshire murders scarred the town, terrorized the survivors, and sparked public debate in a state poised to abolish capital punishment. Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, who together produced and directed The Cheshire Murders, joined us to discuss their film.
9:56: Mara says, “We need more police officers and we need to more of the community involved.” Says we need people to look out for each other. “We need to work together.” The department needs to do a better job, as well.
9:54: Mara says stats are kept on how many crimes are solved. For example, on robberies, we do much better than the national average. “You constantly have to assess what you’re doing.”
Part 1, also referred to as "index crimes," is a category of eight crimes laid out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as serious crimes likely to be reported. What sets Part 1 crimes apart, in particular, is the way they are tracked: Part 1 crimes are tracked based on how often they are reported, whereas Part 2 crimes - comprising just about all other crimes, such as drug offenses, white collar crime, and nuisance crimes like public drunkenness - are tracked based on arrests made.
All this summer, NHPR’s newsroom will take a closer look at crime in Manchester and how it affects the city and its residents. We’re calling the series Queen City Crime. Today, we begin with a look at Manchester’s Police Department and how it balances small-city challenges with big-city problems. A renewed focus on community policing is helping the department solve some of its staffing issues.
Early in June, the Supreme Court cleared the way for police to take DNA samples for people they arrest, without a warrant. The decision has stirred concerns among criminal justice and privacy advocates. The challenge of legally obtaining DNA samples from suspects is an essential plot point in police and court dramas – driving the action across two or even three commercial breaks. New York Times television critic Neil Genzlingerwondered what effect the high court ruling could have on TV crime shows.
At the time of his capture in 2011, James “Whitey” Bulger was wanted for 19 murders, extortion and loan sharking committed during his reign over Boston’s Irish mob between the 1970s and 1995. During 16 years on the lam, Whitey became the subject of myth; characterized alternately as a “good bad guy”, and, in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 film, The Departed, a venal sociopath.
Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen, a pair of Boston Globe journalists have drawn on 25 years of reporting to create a more complete and nuanced portrait of the restless boy from the Boston projects who became the most wanted fugitive of his generation. Tonight, Murphy and Cullen will be at the Red River Theatre for a screening of The Departed and at a pre-screening reception and talk.
Prosecutors say they now have a clearer picture of what happened to University of New Hampshire student Elizabeth Marriott, who has been missing and presumed dead last October.
Police arrested a man from Dover, Seth Mazzaglia, shortly after Marriott went missing, but it wasn’t until the last few days that a grand jury formally indicted Mazzaglia on a series of charges, including first and second degree murder.
In February, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Maryland v. King -- concerning the warrantless collection of DNA from people arrested for, but not convicted of a crime; Maryland is one of 28 states that collect DNA upon arrest. The case against the state questions whether DNA collected from people still presumed innocent violates the Fourth Amendment. The decision could have far-reaching implications in the real world, where DNA solves far fewer cases than on TV. Jason Silverstein is a PhD student in anthropology at Harvard and a contributor to The Nation. He looked into the racial implications of the case that Justice Samuel Alito called, “Perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades.”
Between 1978 and 1988, the murders of seven women in New Hampshire and Vermont were attributed to the “Connecticut River Valley Killer”. Investigations of several suspects, and one deathbed confession went cold, and the killer was never found. Novelist Joseph Olshan’s “Cloudland,” is a fictionalized crime thriller based on the case. We spoke to Joe Olshan last spring when the book was released, now, it’s out in paperback. He lived in the upper valley when the sixth and final victim was found, and he explained what, as an outsider, he saw happen to local residents.