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Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

He’s dead — and I’m relieved

In behavior, Crime, domestic life, life, love, men, urban life, US, women on March 6, 2014 at 12:58 am

By Caitlin Kelly

Time to let go, at last

Time to let go, at last

The world is divided into two groups: people who have become unwitting victims of crime, and those who have not.

It is further subdivided into those who have sought redress and action, from the police and their judicial system, and those who chose not to.

And, yet again, into those whom the judicial system offered recompense, in the form of an arrest, successful prosecution and conviction.

One description we all hope to avoid in this world is plaintiff.

In late December 1997, I met a man through a personal ad in a local weekly newspaper. “Integrity and honesty paramount,” it read. He said he was an athlete and a lawyer. He was slim, slight, dark-haired and dark-eyed, handsome and intelligent. He dressed well and wore crisp white button-down cotton shirts.

He had small teeth, like a child’s, and small hands, someone physically unimposing, someone you’d be silly to fear.

But someone you should.

He was, it became clear much later, a convicted con man who had wrought havoc in Chicago, defrauding local business — and several area women — before being arrested, convicted and serving time.

Then he picked up and moved to suburban New York, where he began again.

And found me.

I won’t bore you with the many arcane details of the four months this man was in my life, morphing , (or not, really), from attentive, generous boyfriend to threatening and emotionally abusive criminal.

When we met, I was planning to fly to Australia, alone, hoping to report a story for my first book, but I missed my connecting flight — costing me an additional $1,800 for a last-minute one-way ticket on Christmas Eve — then, as now, a huge sum for a self-employed writer. Purporting to be a wealthy and successful lawyer, he offered to pay my ticket — just as well, since his deliberate tardiness had made me late for that first flight from New York to Los Angeles.

Instead, it was the first of many traps he laid, his “kindness” a powerful form of entrapment-through-gratitude. He wove a web of obligation and connection, skilled from years of practice.

For years after I rid myself of him, and his ancient, wizened mother, Alma, who helped him in his schemes, I wondered who else he was targeting, cheating and lying to. I wondered if anyone would ever get him arrested and charged and convicted — my local police and district attorney literally laughed me out of their offices when I brought them evidence of the six felonies he had committed against me, including credit card theft and forgery of my signature.

I even wondered if another victim — as one friend also suggested — had killed him, as enraged as I had been once I realized how he’d manipulated and duped me.

So last week, I Googled him. And found a record of his New York City death, in 2007, at the age of 48.

I shook and slept very badly that night. Could it be that he truly was gone? How? When?

When I realized what he’d been doing to me — and to other women simultaneously, as it turned out — I confronted him. The man who had been proposing marriage and telling me “I love you” changed his tune with one phone call.

The next three words were somewhat different, after I asked him if he had stolen and used my credit card — as my issuer had alerted me.

“It’s not provable,” he said icily.

And it was not.

Since then, I refuse to visit the town he lived in, a fact I only discovered by hiring a private detective, a calm, gentle man in whose debt I will remain for life as only he  — a former New York City detective — truly understood the psychic devastation such vicious deception leaves in its wake.

My job as a journalist is discerning the truth in people, making intelligent judgments about their veracity.

For many months, I doubted this ability, terrified to trust any new man in my life. I lost any faith I once had in the police and judicial system to protect me from harm. I changed my locks and bank account numbers and got an additional unlisted phone number. My family and friends were furious with me for not figuring out who he was, quickly and easily.

It taught me, too, about my own vulnerability, how my isolation and sense of insecurity — like carrion in the road — had attracted his determined attention. I wised up.

It is hard to accept that he is no longer a threat to me or to anyone else.

But I am relieved.

What do Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o have in common?

In behavior, Crime, culture, life, love, men, news, sports, US, women on January 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm

They are the reverse sides of the same coin.

Deception.

Ruthless, remorseless, relentless emotional manipulation. Armstrong was the perp, Te’o a victim.

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti ...

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o taken in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sad truth is this: Liars at the level of Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o’s “girlfriend” — a catfisher extraordinaire — have as much resemblance to the rest of us as ice to fire. (To those of you not in the U.S., the Te’o saga is the big news story right now, a star Notre Dame college football player who had a two-year relationship by phone and email with a woman who said she had cancer and died.)

She never existed.

To the normal person, i.e. not a sociopath, who by definition is incapable of empathy (hmmm, how might have it felt to the journalists Armstrong sued, knowing they were right? Hey, who cares?), a lie is usually fairly minor:

That dress looks great! I love my new job! The kids? They’re terrific!

Sociopaths are a whole other breed. They see the rest of the world as prey, they the predators. Trying to get them to explain their behavior in rational terms — as Oprah Winfrey did in her interview — is like trying to get your dog to sing opera. No matter how much you wish it could happen, it won’t.

They just can’t do it. They don’t operate from the same essential principles as the rest of us.

High-level liars count on our goodwill, our good nature, our trust, our wish to believe that what people tell us is actually true.

I know this because in 1998 I became the victim of a con man, a convicted felon who left Chicago, where his exploits made front page news (working in tandem with his mother) and moved to New York in search of fresh and unsuspecting victims. I became one when, in December 1997, I answered a personal ad in a local paper.

You can’t make this bit up: “Honesty and integrity paramount” he wrote. He pretended to be a successful lawyer — in Chicago, he was a “doctor” with a “business card”, one so amateur the most junior health reporter would have known was fake.

We see what we want to see. We hear what we want to hear. If we can’t move through the world with some balance of open-heartedness to cynicism, we’re toast.

I don’t want to rehash all the details here of what happened to me. I figured he was a liar very early on, but — lonely, broke, isolated, my self-confidence at an all-time low — I was roadkill. Easy pickings! I stayed because his behavior appeared, initially, kind and attentive: he brought me a pot of home-made soup to my door, for heaven’s sake. He was funny, smart, well-dressed, physically attractive.

It got much darker and then he opened my mail and stole a credit card and used my phone to activate it and forged my signature — there’s four felonies right there. The cops laughed and the DA did nothing.

But he fooled a lot of people, including my friend with the Columbia Phd in psychology and her multiply-published author boyfriend. I kept waiting for someone else to second my fears.

Only my mother, raised in NY, did. But by then it was too late.

Here’s the backstory on Te’o.

Rape in India up 25 percent. Why?

In behavior, cities, Crime, culture, life, news, parenting, politics, urban life, women on December 31, 2012 at 11:17 am
Rape

Rape (Photo credit: Valeri Pizhanski)

While the rest of the world recently watched the horrors of a mass shooting of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut with disgust and dismay at Americans’ deep and profound attachment to private gun ownership, (consequences be damned), my own shock, disgust and sadness at that (latest) massacre here has been matched — possibly exceeded — by the reports of rape from India, where a 23-year-old woman was attacked and raped then thrown from a moving bus.

Her battered, torn body gave up the ghost in Singapore, where she was sent in a last-ditch desperate attempt to save her life. A 17-year-old girl, also raped — one of the barely one percent of women even reporting this assault to authorities — committed suicide.

This prompted one Indian politician to suggest girls stop wearing skirts to school.

No salwar kameez — the modest tunic/trousers combination — will protect any woman from  the brutality and terror of rape.

Here’s one analysis — albeit by John Lloyd,  a middle-age white male journalist writing for Reuters:

Indian observers have cast both tradition and modernity as background causes. The country’s most prominent sociologist, Dipankar Gupta, said the “unmet aspirations” among hundreds of millions of young men “who know just enough English to know that they don’t know English” were a major cause of Indian criminality. (It’s a telling comment: Fluency in English is among the most obvious class markers in India; most of the protesters’ signs were in English.) Cities are seen both as a place where success can be achieved and where traditional respect for fathers gives way to life in a space where male hedonism can be indulged. For the six drunkards on the New Delhi bus ride, a rape and a beating were folded into a fun night out.

Female empowerment has unsettled men everywhere. Women who think and speak for themselves rip apart settled hierarchies; educated women who take jobs other than mechanical, peasant labor or household tasks threaten the grip men have over income and its patterns of spending. The rootlesssness of the mainly dirt-poor migrants who flock to New Delhi and other cities for work tears them away from a life in which marriage is embedded in family and social structures.

And the nation’s leaders too often create moral vacuums. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered an anguished and brief reaction over Christmas, in which he sounded like a man who felt every one of his eight years in office and 80 years of life, and had nothing to offer but sympathy as with the father of three daughters. His honesty is unquestioned, but his governments have presided over large increases in corruption and in reported rape cases. Neither of these has been more than sporadically tackled. Now, in the December days on the streets of New Delhi, there may be something more than a flash flood of protesters – something that points to a tipping point.

From news.com.au:

Her killing has prompted government promises of better protection for women, and deep soul-searching in a nation where horrifying gang-rapes are commonplace and sexual harassment is routinely dismissed as “Eve-teasing”.

Several thousand people massed again yesterday in the centre of the Indian capital – some to express sympathy for the victim who had been out to watch a film with her boyfriend, others to voice anger at the government.

Stringent security measures that have seen government offices and other public areas sealed off in New Delhi to prevent protests have been seized on by critics as further evidence of an out-of-touch government bungling its response.

From Counterfire, a radical left website advocating for social change:

This horrific incident comes at a time of growing outrage in India about how women are treated and about the prevalence of rape and sexual assault. Demonstrators have repeatedly taken to the streets, to be met with tear gas, water cannon and attacks from riot police.

Police are guarding the presidential palace, parliament and war memorial in an attempt to deflect the rage which so many people feel not just towards the perpetrators of this and other rapes, but towards the government and police who are regarded as at best complacent – and at worst as colluding in growing numbers of attacks on women.

Sexual violence and official complicity

The government was silent for days after the attack. It has done little to challenge the climate where sexual attacks are widespread and offenders walk free. It is now proposing naming sex offenders, which may make some small difference but is hardly likely to alter the fundamentals of society where women are often not believed and where, if they are known to have been raped, they face social stigma and are unlikely to get married.

In a recent case, police jeered and laughed when a young 17-year-old woman in Punjab tried to report a gang rape. She was urged to drop the case and either marry one of the perpetrators or accept cash compensation. She committed suicide by taking poison.

Official figures show that 228,650 of the total 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year in India were against women.

Campaigners are demanding tougher sentences and better policing. Many will realise, however, that such demands will do little to stop rape and that there need to be fundamental changes in society if women are to be able to move freely around the streets and to have the right to live, work and study without the threat of sexual violence.

Broadside has readers in India.

I need to hear from you now.

What is going on?

Why are Indian women such objects of contempt, loathing and derision?

How is this considered acceptable by police, the judiciary, feminists, the press and the government?

Etan Patz’ Death Finally Solved — 33 Years Later

In behavior, children, cities, Crime, family, History, journalism, life, love, Media, news, parenting, urban life, US on May 25, 2012 at 11:10 am
Etan Patz

Etan Patz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It takes a lot to roil New York City…and hardened, jaded, always-in-a-hurry New Yorkers.

But today is one of those days.

Pedro Hernandez, who worked in a bodega, (a small urban convenience store) in 1979, confessed this week to one of the most famous, and heartbreaking, murders in New York’s modern history. He lured a small, blond boy named Etan Patz, who lived down the street in Soho — then a gritty artists’ neighborhood, now a sea of costly stores — with a promise of candy. He strangled him and threw his body in a garbage bag, and left it out with the trash.

Etan was six years old, on his way to school. For the past three decades here, he’s been a symbol of innocence stolen, a mystery unsolved in arguably one of the toughest and most sophisticated cities of the world.

The Patz family, who had only one child, still live in the same apartment on the street where he was taken from them. Their name, and that of Etan, has long been part of Manhattan lore, the mystery no one could solve.

He was the first child whose photo was put on a milk carton, now common in the U.S. with missing children.

I didn’t plan to blog about Etan but this brings back terrible memories for me of a young girl, Alison Parrott,  then 11, whose murder I covered, and whose funeral I attended, when I was a reporter in Toronto at The Globe and Mail. She, too, was lured to her death, by a man pretending to be a photographer who said he wanted to take pictures of her and her team before an upcoming track meet in New Jersey. He raped and strangled her and left her in a ravine.

It was almost unbearable to cover that story.

No one can read such stuff, or write it, without the cold fear that it might have been them or their child or someone they dearly loved.

No one can report such details impassionately without wondering what exactly happened that day and why no one stopped him or saved her.

No one, with a heart, can ever forget such a story, no matter how many more you hear and how much you wish to.

I attended Alison’s funeral and sat in the back of the small church, where every pew was jammed with mourners and press. I was there to take notes and to observe and listen, but cried and tried to keep my notebook pages dry as I scribbled.

“Love is stronger than death” my story began, the words the minister used to begin his address to the crowd. I had to fight hard with my editor to keep them. It was the last story I wrote on staff for the paper, and they did.

I love being a reporter.

I live to find and tell compelling stories.

But sometimes they sear you forever.

Barbara Sheehan Acquitted — Another Victim Of Intimate Terrorism

In behavior, Crime, domestic life, family, news, women on October 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm
21 Leader, Michael Dowd

Lawyer Michael Dowd, expert in battered woman syndrome...Image by WeNews via Flickr

Here’s a lousy idea – decriminalizing domestic violence, as Topeka, Kansas authorities are considering.

For the past few weeks, New York has been watching the trial of a Barbara Sheehan, a policeman’s wife, who shot her husband after years of abuse.

I wish we’d re-name domestic violence for what it really is – intimate terrorism. The victims who survive it suffer hidden, constant, terrifying abuse few of us could possibly imagine, let alone overcome.

Her lawyer is Michael Dowd, known nationally in the U.S. as the go-to guy for these horrific cases. From a recent profile of him in The New York Times:

For the last 30 years, Mr. Dowd has defended battered women who have killed their husbands, sometimes with a carving knife, a semi-automatic handgun or a machete. He has done so many of these cases that he has been called the “black widow lawyer” by some of his peers.

“It is very emotionally difficult to take such cases; they really get to me,” said Mr. Dowd, 69, who addresses the court in an avuncular, booming voice that seems calculated to disarm jurors. “This may be my last one.”

For Mr. Dowd, his seminal battered-woman case occurred in 1987, when he marshaled a self-defense argument to secure an acquittal for Karen Straw, a Queens woman who stabbed her husband to death after he had raped her at knife point in front of her two children. Ms. Straw had sought a protection order, and the case drew national attention to the moral conundrum of abused women who kill their aggressors.

Mr. Dowd, the father of three daughters, has since defended nearly two dozen women who have killed their husbands; only one served prison time, and the rest were either exonerated or received lesser sentences. His main legal weapon has been the so-called battered-woman defense, in which the abused woman who has killed her spouse recounts the horrors of her abuse in graphic detail to prove to the jury that she reasonably feared for her life.

I interviewed Dowd for my book about women and guns, “Blown Away”, which included the toxic effects of gun violence on women’s lives (in addition to the legal pleasures of gun use for women.) These women, he told me in 2003, are more like soldiers in combat — facing constant threats to their life — than wives.

I came away better understanding when and why some women finally choose to kill their abusers, usually someone who has been tormenting them, physically and psychologically — and threatening her family, friends, children and pets with violence or annihilation — for years, if not decades. This was the case for Sheehan, as well.

I spoke to several of these women for my book. While in a bathroom in a Texas library, one woman told me her tale, of the husband who kept a loaded shotgun beneath his side of the bed and of her own father who refused to give her shelter or financial help to allow her to flee.

Or the woman who, trying to flee her abusive Midwestern husband, parked her car in a friend’s garage to hide her location, but he hunted her and found her. She shot him at point-blank range. She did not go to prison.

Why don’t these women “just leave”?

Because when they do, their enraged male partners hunt them down and kill them.

Sheehan, after a deadlocked jury kept deliberating, was acquitted this week.

Those 9/11 Photos Still Make Me Ill

In behavior, cities, Crime, History, journalism, Media, news, work on September 7, 2011 at 12:20 am
The World Trade Center in New York.

Image via Wikipedia

The hand-wringing sentimental Niagara has begun.

My latest copy of New York magazine arrived, its cover a color photo of the dust cloud after the fall of the Twin Towers. Inside, it offers an alphabet (!?) of all things 9/11, from three men named Michael Lynch who died that day to a mini-profile of the last person pulled from the Trade Center wreckage.

Stop. Just stop.

I was shocked at my reaction when I tried to read that issue. I fought back tears, then had nightmares after I read some of it. So did the sweetie. We’re both hardened, seasoned mid-career news journalists, accustomed to handling difficult and emotional material.

No matter. It’s just too damn much.

Here’s The New York Times‘ survey of how some journalists are covering this 10th anniversary:

The National Geographic Channel has scheduled a marathon of related coverage on Sept. 11.

Other outlets also decided to try to get out ahead of the pack. Adam Moss, the editor of New York magazine, decided its issue — an A to Z compendium of Sept. 11-related vignettes — should be published well ahead of the 10th anniversary so it would reach readers before the onslaught of coverage began.

“I’m sure, inevitably, people will feel it’s too much and shut down at some point,” he said. “We just hoped we could get what we feel is a pretty good issue out there before others did.”

I was in Maryland that day and the sweetie was all packed, everything he owned ready to move from Brooklyn into my apartment 30 miles north. Instead, as a photo editor for The New York Times, he was pressed into immediate service on the biggest news story of the century. The paper won the team Pulitzer for their work that day.

But we both tasted far more of 9/11 than we had ever wished. Burned bits of paper floated into his backyard. I interviewed a volunteer who worked at the morgue and cried for 30 minutes after I hung up the phone, my professional composure shattered by the hideous details of what I heard.

For my first book, I interviewed Patty Varone, a true unsung heroine of that day whose name is unknown to almost every American — but whose role in it was essential. I’m the only journalist she ever spoke to.

She was for years his personal bodyguard, and so it was she who interrupted Mayor Giuliani’s hotel breakfast meeting that morning to tell him he had to leave at once. It was she who had to keep him safe — how? — as debris and bodies rained from the skies when they arrived at the attack site in downtown Manhattan.

It takes a lot to rattle an 18-year NYPD veteran. She had a tough time telling me her story. I’m grateful she shared it.

Journalists — print, film and broadcast — saw and heard far more than many civilians did that day. Many things we know and saw were carefully edited out of much of what you, the reading/viewing public, “know” about 9/11. We still carry smells, sights and sounds we wish we could scrub from our memory, but we can’t.

We know people who lost loved ones. We know fellow journalists physically and emotionally scarred by the events of that day.

So I have no need, and very little appetite, for any more of this.

How about you?

A Little Boy Lost — Murdered And Dismembered

In behavior, children, cities, Crime, domestic life, family, news, parenting, urban life, US on July 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm
13th Avenue in Borough Park

Borough Park, Brooklyn, scene of the murder. Image via Wikipedia

It takes a lot to shock New York, but the city and its suburbs are gasping today in shock, horror and fear at this week’s death and dismemberment of Leiby Kletzky, an eight-year-old boy kidnapped while walking home — for the first time — from day camp.

From today’s New York Times:

The funeral for the boy swelled to capacity before its scheduled start time at 8:30, prompting many of the thousands who could not get in to gather behind police barricades, crowding neighborhood streets as they waited to pay their respects to the young boy, Leiby Kletzky, whose remains were discovered earlier in the day. Throngs of police officers and members of a local security patrol group, the shomrim, kept order as a steady stream of visitors poured into the courtyard, adjacent to a school between 16th and 17th Avenues, within two blocks of where the boy lived. One of the shomrim volunteers estimated close to 8,000 people were in attendance.

That the alleged killer is a fellow Jew, that it happened within the confines of Borough Park, a heavily Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood where many small children live, has made the horror even worse.

The murder is terrifying for every parent, every child, everyone — and I have no kids — who deeply values trust, kindness, the benevolent stranger who will, when you are wandering and scared, help you.

Not kill you.

This story hit me hard because I have, many times, placed my trust — as a woman, alone, often in foreign countries — in strangers. I have gotten into their cars and trucks, have accepted spontaneous invitations into their homes, stayed in their apartments and houses. In not one instance, ever, was I scared, threatened, propositioned, aggressed.

I made friends, ate some great meals, had wonderful adventures. In Palermo, 26, alone, I met two men in the vegetable market, the Vucciria, like me out taking photos. When I ran out of film (these were the 80s) one gave me a roll, a generous gesture when color film overseas was costly. Astor and Nini invited me to their apartment for lunch. I was alone, female, carrying Nikon cameras. A total mark.

I went. Lunch was amazing: fun, a few others for company, and then they dropped me off at the TV station where I had an interview later that day.

It could have ended very badly. It did not.

The problem every parent faces, and each of us must negotiate — at every age — is when, where and how much (if?) to trust someone we do not know, have recently met and whose motives appear kind and helpful.

They can be evil. They can be a predator.

I know this, too, having become, home in New York, the victim of a con man, a convicted felon who brought me a pot of homemade soup, who showered me with affection and lavish praises…all in order to gain access to my credit cards, finances and who knows what else.

The police and DA laughed at my naievete, shrugged off the fact he’d committed six felonies in the time I knew him (from opening my mail to using my credit card to forging my signtaure) — and left me with the sad, dark and undeniable knowledge that monsters do live among us.

France Makes Verbally Abusing A Woman A Crime

In Crime, women, world on July 1, 2010 at 9:46 am
Nadine Morano, French politician

Nadine Morano -- Merci! Image via Wikipedia

It’s no longer enough to hit a woman, but threatening her with violence is now a crime in France. From The New York Times:

The French Parliament gave final and unanimous approval on Tuesday to a law that makes “psychological violence” a criminal offense as part of a law intended to help victims of physical violence and abuse, especially in the home.

The law is thought to be too vague by some judges and the police, and whether they choose to investigate and prosecute such offenses will define the success of the new legislation.

Nadine Morano, the secretary of state for the family, told the National Assembly that “we have introduced an important measure here, which recognizes psychological violence, because it isn’t just blows, but also words.”

Ms. Morano said the primary abuse help line for French women got 90,000 calls a year, with 84 percent concerning psychological violence.

The legislation, introduced by Danielle Bousquet, a Socialist, and Guy Geoffroy, a member of the ruling center-right Union for a Popular Movement, quickly found bipartisan support and backing from the government. In November, Prime Minister François Fillon called the draft law “a national cause” and said it would allow the authorities to deal with “the most insidious situations, which don’t leave a mark to the naked eye but can mutilate the victim’s inner self.”

Those found guilty face up to three years in jail and a fine of 75,000 euros, or about $90,000.

This is an important step — 2.2 French women are killed in domestic violence every day, slightly lower than the three a day in the U.S.

Women who live with threatening and abusive partners live in a kind of hell few of us can imagine. A man’s verbal abuse can do just as much damage to a woman’s psyche and confidence — her ability to work or have friends or see her family or care for her kids — as a punch to the face. You can call the cops if he hits you; physical assault is a crime and provable while threatening words become a game of he-said, she-said, the damage deep but invisible.

I spent a lot of time around women who had been abused, beaten and repeatedly threatened, sometimes for years or decades, for my 2004 book, “Blown Away: American Women and Guns”. Just listening to their stories left my own soul bruised and darkened, like the elegant blond who spoke to me in a Texas library bathroom and told me her husband kept a shotgun under his side of the bed and threatened regularly to aim it at her. Her own family of origin said — suck it up.

I’ve also spent time around men who were extremely verbally abusive, when they weren’t utterly charming.

Untangling one’s psyche from these men isn’t nearly as simple as it can appear.

Ottawa Rocked By Rookie Cop's Killing, Its First In 26 Years: Former RCMP Officer Charged

In Crime on December 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm
Mounties (female)

Image by Mrs Logic via Flickr

This is one weird story — a former RCMP officer charged with killing an Ottawa police officer.

The policeman, only three years on the force, was Eric Czapnik, a Polish immigrant, and the alleged assailant, Kevin Gregson, who is said to have stabbed him outside a hospital at 4:30 a.m., is a former officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, formerly working in Regina, Saskatchewan. The young officer was ambushed and stabbed, with no apparent motive, while sitting in his police vehicle.

Ottawa, a normally calm and placid city, Canada’s capital, where people skate to work along the Rideau Canal, is stunned by its first cop-killing since 1983.

Reports The Globe and Mail:

The slaying sent shock waves through the 1,800-plus uniformed and civilian members of the Ottawa Police Service, which had not lost an officer in the line of duty in more than a quarter-century.

Constable Czapnik was a Poland-born immigrant and father who had been with the force for just three years.

He was stabbed in the neck, a police source said.

The two officers had apparently never met before and no motive in the slaying was immediately apparent.

Mr. Gregson was a Saskatchewan-based RCMP officer who pleaded guilty to uttering a death threat and pulling a knife on a Mormon church official in Regina in 2006, court records show.

He received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty in a Regina court.

Mr. Gencher described his client as “associated with the RCMP.”

He was expected to appear at Ottawa’s downtown Elgin Street courthouse later Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

“The officer was at the hospital on an unrelated call when the incident occurred,” said Constable Alain Boucher.

College Rape Victims Speak Out, Hoping To Help Others

In Crime, education, women on December 19, 2009 at 9:19 pm

College rape victims say their attacks are often ignored or minimized, according to a new study reported by CNN:

One in five college women will be raped, or experience an attempted rape, before graduation. Less than 5 percent will report these crimes to officials on or off campus, and, when they do, there’s a good chance the system will let them down.

A handful of former students who spoke out and reported rapes at their schools told CNN they didn’t feel protected by their universities. They were initially interviewed as part of an investigative series by the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit that says it seeks to make institutions more transparent and accountable.

The women welcomed the chance to share their experiences and offer advice to students today.

“I was too young, still in too much shock and too emotionally gone to make decisions on my own,” said a woman who, as a freshman, reported a rape in 2001. “I needed an adult I trusted. The school did not provide such a person.”

Schools are aware it’s a problem, a big problem. … They’re just not dealing with this issue head-on.
–Kristen Lombardi, Center for Public Integrity

The shocking statistics of rape and attempted rape on campus came to light in a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice nine years ago. But the recently released series published by the Washington center shows that while federal law requires schools to act on sexual assault allegations and look out for the rights of victims, many higher-education institutions aren’t making the grade.

“Schools are aware it’s a problem, a big problem,” said Kristen Lombardi, the center’s lead reporter for Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice. She pointed to a “culture of silence” and said critics say, “The biggest sin is one of omission. They’re just not dealing with this issue head-on in a public manner with their student bodies.”

The story has so far gathered 250 comments, several of which point out that men, too, are raped on campus and also need support and advice.

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