Sam's Town Point
"...She had convened a press conference to deliver big news. Ten years after city and county officials gathered to announce that they'd found the four men responsible for the grisly 1991 yogurt shop murders, Lehmberg had decided to dismiss all charges against the only two men ever tried for the crime, Robert Springsteen and Michael Scott..."
"...Directed by: Yoav Potash. On technical merits, Crime After Crime isn't a great film..."
"...Starring: Lisa Gay Hamilton, Denis Leary, James Wood, Isaiah Washington and Clint Eastwood. Like so many of the flawed gems in the Clint Eastwood oeuvre, True Crime manages to underscore both the virtues that have earned him recognition as a major director and the limitations that consign him, for the most part, to a position just a cut or two below the first rank..."
"...Starring: Michael Elphick, Esmond Knight, Jerold Wells, Me Me Lei, Preben Lerdorff Rye and Ghota Andersen. The Element of Crime, von Trier's first feature-length film (originally released in 1984), is proof-positive that the Danish director has been at the same game all along..."
"...While crime in the U.S. decreased only slightly overall in 2011, crime in Austin declined significantly, in almost every category, when compared to 2010, according to the FBI's latest uniform crime report, released this week...."
"...The FBI has released its preliminary snapshot of crime during the first part of 2010, showing that, again, crime has decreased across the country...."
"...According to preliminary numbers released this week by the FBI, violent crime in the U.S. dropped more than 4% during the first six months of 2009...."
"...For my money, a crime novel just isn't complete without a few slugs: from a .45, from the fist of a hired goon, and from a bottle of hooch. The first two I don't need to experience personally for my reading pleasure to be enhanced, but that third slug always adds a little kick to my slip into crime..."
"...There are some SXSW panels that stick with you. Reel Murder: From Crime Scene to Big Screen wasn't memorable just because of the guests or the topic..."
"...More bad news for Texas television production: Variety reports that ABC's American Crime, which shot its first two seasons in Austin, will be relocating to California for season 3, and it looks like production incentives are the culprit...."
"...So far, the Chronicle's July crime spree has focused largely on the written word, but maybe you prefer your mysteries, murders, and manhunts onscreen. Then, friend, this is your lucky week...."
"...There is no correlation between legalization of medical marijuana and increases in crime. That's the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas who looked at crime trends from 1990-2006 across all 50 states, the period of time during which the first 11 states legalized medi-pot...."
"...Finally, a full year after the Austin Police Department shuttered its DNA lab due to out-of-date procedures and unqualified analysts, department officials have tapped a third party to run an audit on the five remaining crime labs currently in operation...."
"...The morning after he received a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for 12 Years a Slave last March, John Ridley was on a flight to Austin to finish prep for shooting the American Crime pilot for ABC. The series remained to shoot in Austin for its entire limited run..."
"..."Do the crime, do the time," goes the old saying. Unless, of course, the criminals are corporate executives..."
"...Sounds a bit Dorian Gray-ish to me, and you have to wonder how many of those films will end up being any good, but that's another subject altogether. On the film's plus side, high-powered explosion nuts will get a bang (no pun intended, honest) out of Crime Story's extremely satisfying climax..."
"...To you and me, that sounds like a crushing number – but Goldman Sachs raked in $33 billion in revenue last year alone, so it's a reasonable cost of doing business. After all, Goldman sold tens of billions of dollars in the fraudulent investment packages leading to the settlement, so the bottom line is that crime can actually pay – if it's big enough...."
"...Faced with whopping debt and a frightening budget forecast, what kind of law enforcement priorities do California lawmakers have on their minds? As it turns out, nothing new (unless you consider locking people up for a longer period of time a "new" strategy), but plenty that is just scary, scary, scary. And, as it turns out, the biggest financial backer of state lawmakers' biggest "anti-crime" initiative is now facing a possibility of 340 years in prison...."
"..."You've been treading some unsafe ground." – "Six Bells Chime," by Crime & the City Solution, from the soundtrack to Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, 1987..."
"...On Wednesday, June 24, Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen walked out of jail after spending nearly 10 years behind bars for the 1991 murders of four girls at a North Austin yogurt shop – a crime both insist they took no part in...."
"...Six months have passed since the Austin Police Department announced the shutdown of its DNA lab due to poorly trained staff and the use of outdated, faulty procedures. Without a functioning lab, the city and county collectively have struggled to process DNA evidence in criminal cases, creating substantial holdups for district prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, survivors of sexual assault and other crimes, and their alleged attackers...."
"...What's disturbing however is the claim from San Antonio's Sgt. Gabe Trevino that the attack was absolutely not a hate crime..."
"...Misdeeds know no season, but when a curiously large number of new mystery and true crime books slated for summer release was dumped off at the Chronicle offices like so many dead bodies, it seemed an optimum time to indulge our love for the unlawful. Thus, we give you July Is Crime Month, four weeks' worth of Chronicle writers and editors going down those "mean streets" and sharing what they've found there: reviews of recent crime fiction and nonfiction, interviews with authors and publishers in the field, plugs for upcoming crime-related readings and screenings, and appreciations of classic crime sagas – and their creators – in print and onscreen..."
"...According to Williamson County 277th District Court Judge Ken Anderson, who prior to 2002 spent 16½ years as district attorney, having the "right people" working in law enforcement – police and prosecutors – is crucial. "We all have a stake in having the right people in these jobs," Anderson wrote in his 1997 book, Crime in Texas: Your Complete Guide to the Criminal Justice System..."
"...The Austin Police Department held a late-afternoon press conference Friday to announce a late-afternoon Friday news dump kind of thing: The department's crime lab, shuttered since June after consultation with the Texas Forensic Science Commission and the American Society of Crime Lab Directors, didn't shut down voluntarily because a supervisor had succumbed to cancer. Rather, it closed after the FSC and ASCLD discovered a string of issues with the way APD was conducting DNA analysis – methods that may have affected a number of sexual assault trials in Austin over the past decade...."
"...The man accused of committing the rape responsible in part for shutting down Austin Police's crime lab was, until Tuesday, in custody in Harris County, where he's been charged with the sexual assault of two other individuals. Both assaults were committed recently – in 2014 and this year – well after the rape that occurred in Austin, and well after APD first began to struggle with its examination and analysis of the evidence gathered from that rape...."
"...At the sight of John Hawkes' wiry frame stumbling drunkenly out of bed in Small Town Crime, one recalls Elliott Gould's conversation with his cat in The Long Goodbye. Like Altman's era-defining anti-thriller, this revisionist noir finds what writer/directors Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms call "a very reluctant hero being dragged into a case by destiny." But seeing as how these brothers and longtime collaborators are on the brink of their snappishly funny movie's world premiere at SXSW – their highest-profile screening ever in a two-decade career – they could just as easily be referring to themselves...."
"...Austin Chronicle: How did you get into writing crime novels specifically? I understand you were a lawyer, and this is a chicken or egg kind of question, but was it crime stories that drew you into legal work or the other way around?..."
"...Bush named Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as the “axis of evil” and worthy of preemptive strikes in the “war on terror” – what if mainland China had taken him at his word and dropped a million soldiers on Baghdad in the name of finding weapons of mass destruction and fighting terrorism? What would the response of the chicken hawks have been to that? Or just maybe the major was a whacked-out, mentally ill Army officer caught up in the frustration of seeing so many lives – American and otherwise – ruined by our imperialist aggression. No doubt his actions were premeditated and rose to the crime of murder, but terrorism? No..."
"...Finally, a full year after the Austin Police Department shuttered its DNA lab due to out-of-date procedures and unqualified analysts, department officials have tapped a third party to run an audit on the five remaining crime labs currently in operation – those for blood alcohol/toxicology, controlled substances, crime scene, latent prints, and firearm and tool mark. The National Forensic Science Technology Center will manage each audit..."
"...The characters, that is: The ones populating any number of modern crime thrillers and violence-riddled mysteries that feature detectives (private or otherwise) and hitmen (or hitwomen, for that matter) and other criminals and their victims and are successfully purveyed by publishers like, oh, Akashic, say. And Melville House..."
"...On Monday, June 16, 2001, Vanessa and I had had lunch in Houston as I begged her to help me with some research on a true crime book I was working on about the case of Andrea Yates, whose trial for murdering her five children began this week. Vanessa gave me a few tips, then spoke of how she hadn't eaten or slept in days, only cried, as she feared she was going to be jailed for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury, despite having previously helped the federal investigators..."
"...I dig crime fiction a lot. I especially dig L.A.-based crime fiction..."
"...No mold has been detected inside the 520 rape kits sent out for testing since the Austin Police Department discovered a mold-like substance growing on 849 of their backlogged kits in April. But the crime lab saga is far from over..."
"...The lecture was apparently not recorded, but various witnesses recalled a number of Jones' controversial statements. The views she expressed included not only that minorities are responsible for more violent crime than are whites, but also that claims by death row inmates that racism or arbitrariness infected their prosecutions, or that they are mentally retarded or actually innocent, are merely "red herrings." She reportedly told the law students and other attendees that she thought the U.S..."
"...Twenty-seven-year-old Darius Lovings is being held on a $350,000 bond and is facing capital murder charges after a crime spree that he told police was prompted by voices in his head telling him to "find victims." Lovings is allegedly responsible for the June 24 shooting death of 34-year-old Department of Public Safety employee William Ervin. Police say the victim was trying to help Lovings, who pretended to be a motorist in distress before pulling a gun on Ervin on Sprinkle Cutoff Road..."
"...A former employee of the Austin Police Department crime lab has filed a formal complaint with Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, alleging irregularities in drug testing procedures – including that at times reports have been issued before any actual forensic drug analysis has been done. "I believe that scientific evidence should be accurate and reliable when used against defendants charged in criminal cases," wrote former lab employee Debra Stephens in a December letter to Lehmberg...."
"...Tracking the national average, violent crimes reported to Austin police in 2010 decreased by 6% from the previous year. It was the fourth year in a row that violent crime has decreased nationally..."
"...The Austin Police Department last week announced that it would partner with the national Regional Analysis and Information Data Sharing service to provide Austin residents with a new tool for tracking neighborhood – or citywide – crime. (The new tool can be accessed at www.raidsonline.com.) There's a lot of data here; how useful it will be is unclear – or, for that matter, how much more useful it will be than other tools already out there, including APD's Crime Viewer (www.cityofaustin.org/GIS/crimeviewer/CrimeViewer_disclaimer.html) or Krimelabb (www.krimelabb.com), which provides residents a user-friendly way to sort through thousands of APD incident reports...."
"..."Franchise" has become a bit of a dirty word in cinema, reserved only for mega-properties with unlimited spin-offs and sequels dripping with merchandising opportunities. But Small Town Crime is so engrossing in its optimistic darkness that it screams for the further pulpy adventures of Mike Kendall..."
"...Why is the GOP so shamefully soft on crime? Because it is not just small fry debt collectors involved in this outlandish shakedown of innocent borrowers, but such Wall Street powerhouses as JPMorgan Chase and Citibank – which are also generous political donors to Republican candidates...."
"...The prospective bill, sketched out in deliberate response to the recent shooting deaths of officers in both Dallas and Sunday in Baton Rouge, currently bears no official language. A press release issued by Abbott's office clarified that the proposal would center around re-classifying crimes against state law enforcement as hate crimes, thereby jacking up their respective penalties..."
"...In his SXSW Interactive panel Future Crimes From the Digital Underworld, security expert Marc Goodman didn't claim to have all the answers, his goal was to get people to start asking more questions...."
"...Dear Editor, What part of "violent crime … is down 14%” in the Downtown area does Marc Savlov not understand [“Crime and the City Solution,” Music, June 26]? This reads to me like a poncey twit that doesn't like the color of the people who have started hanging out in his neighborhood and is trying to whip up public hysteria. Why the editors choose to indulge him is beyond me; they should send him back to writing the worst movie reviews in Austin...."
"...Greetings, I was just wondering why "war crimes" was put in quotes in the Calling the Ghosts movie synopsis in the online version [“Film Listings Online”]. To me, the way the quotes appear around "war crimes" seems rape is not a war crime..."
"...Of course it is important to expose and discuss the facts and failings of the Austin Police Department – that subject has been plumbed many times in the Chronicle. In this particular instance, though, the issue at hand is not really the police presence – what is shocking and sickening is the sexual assault and horrific hate crime that went down in our fair city..."
"...The article's arguments seem pretty convincing actually, but so what? So the Statesman drew correct conclusions incompetently. Is the Chronicle saying the Statesman may be right but the Chronicle is afraid people might discount their findings because they sort of made it all up? Meaning that we need some really decent investigation of this issue? If that's the Chronicle's intention, then hurrah for them! But if the Chronicle's only goal here is to blast the Statesman, then I have to accuse the Chronicle of a worse journalistic crime than the Statesman's..."
"...David Honish said in his letter of Aug. 8 ("Guns Prevent Violence") that the UK's ban on the ownership of handguns was followed by a rise in violent crime..."
"...Paramedics arrived, and took Sheppard to the Dell Seton Medical Center, where she died the next day. As the suspect came into focus, it became clear that he was unlinked to Sheppard, and that she was just one victim in a violent holiday crime spree...."