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Village Idiot Alex Jones Must Spill His Secrets
Lawsuits by Sandy Hook families want to look at Infowars’ books
News Story  January 17, 2019, by Austin Sanders
"...Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled on Friday that plaintiffs in a defamation lawsuit against Jones, alleging a "campaign of harassment" following the Sandy Hook school shooting, could access the financial records of Jones and Infowars, the unaccountably popular multimedia platform from which he proliferates his nonsense – including the theory that Sandy Hook was a "false flag" hoax designed to gin up support for stricter gun laws. (Note that 20 children under the age of 7, along with seven adults and the shooter, died in the 2012 massacre.) The ruling could give the plaintiffs – relatives of children and adults killed in the massacre and an FBI agent who responded to the shooting – access to the internal communications and marketing strategies at Infowars, a step the plaintiffs' lawyers described as necessary to understand the planning and coordination that went into perpetuating the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory..."

SXSW Adds 102 Movies to 2019 Film Festival Lineup
After Us, what else does the film fest have in store?
DAILY SXSW  January 16, 2019, by Richard Whittaker
"...The Day Shall Come D: Chris Morris (UK, U.S.) An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams..."

NYT: Feds Probing Southwest Key
Dept. of Justice looks at the books of embattled East Austin nonprofit
News Story  December 27, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas is examining the nonprofit's finances and whether it misappropriated government money, according to the NYT's sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the inquiry. Prosecutors on the case are working with the FBI, they report...."

The Top 10 Austin News Milestones of 2018
Days like these
News Story  December 27, 2018, by Mike Clark-Madison, Mary Tuma, Nina Hernandez, Sarah Marloff, Austin Sanders and Michael King
"...But the second attack, which killed 17-year-old Mason, a student at East Austin College Prep and member of the Austin Youth Orchestra poised for a successful musical career, was followed within hours by an explosion in Montopolis that grievously wounded 75-year-old Esperanza Herrera. At that point, during South by Southwest, the shaken city knew a serial killer was loose in its midst; an army of FBI and ATF agents came to assist then-Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley in the investigation..."

Rape Kit Backlog Cleared: Now What?
Advocates still uncertain of what’s being done with the results
News Story  November 15, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...Forensic magazine reported in October on six contamination "incidents" at the lab, and the Texas Forensic Science Commission (which audited APD's lab prior to its shutdown) has, since July, been reviewing the lab's operations. Forensic notes that APD notified TFSC of the contamination issues after being alerted by the Kentucky State Police, which is helping APD upload test results into CODIS, the FBI's national DNA database (a 2011 Texas law authored by then-Sen..."

More Drama for Dusterhoft
Complaint alleges APD commander procured drugs
DAILY News  November 12, 2018, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Feeling recently that the IA investigation into Dusterhoft had stalled, she today filed a criminal complaint regarding the alleged drug offense. Childers said that she plans to send copies of the complaint by certified mail to APD, the FBI, the DEA, Gov..."

Viper Club
Susan Sarandon and the murky world of paying kidnappers
Film Review  November 2, 2018, by Marc Savlov
"...Nevertheless, Sarandon’s performance as Helen is a model of stoic rectitude. When the FBI and the CIA warn her that any attempt on her part to negotiate with Andy’s kidnappers will result not only in her arrest but also in the arrests of anyone else involved, family, friend, or otherwise, she persists through gritted teeth and furrowed brow with an assist from the wealthy Charlotte (Falco), who’s already been here, done this...."

Fantastic Fest Review: Destroyer
Nicole Kidman never lands a body blow in this hard-hitting noir
DAILY Screens  October 1, 2018, by Jenny Nulf
"...That doesn’t mean every attempt will stick. In Destroyer Kusama directs a script, by husband Phil Hay and his writing partner Matt Manfredi, about an FBI agent who has fallen from grace after a particularly rough undercover job has ruined her..."

How to Jail the Poor
Travis County tries to fix its Driving While License Invalid issue
News Story  September 20, 2018, by Chase Hoffberger
"...... Class Cs aren't reported on a typical DPS/FBI background check..."

White Boy Rick
A true-life tale of coke, corruption, and betrayal
Film Review  September 14, 2018, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Granted, Wershe Jr. was holding numerous kilos intended for resale when he was apprehended, but he was also working as an FBI informant infiltrating Detroit’s black drug culture, and the same federal agents who masterminded this crooked scheme failed to come to the teen’s defense when it came time for his trial and sentencing..."

AFS Rolls Out the Carpet for White Boy Rick
Matthew McConaughey to attend preview screening, Q&A
DAILY Screens  August 21, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...The film, starring McConaughey, Jennifer Jason lee, Bruce Dern, and Piper Laurie, is based on the true story of Richard Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt), aka White Boy Rick, the youngest informant in the history of the FBI..."

The Ballad of Townes & Blaze
The twisted but not-so-tall tale of Van Zandt and Foley, Lonesome Dove meets Barfly
Features Story  August 16, 2018, by Sybil Rosen
"...The original album Blaze Foley was recorded, pressed, and never released in the Eighties. Instead, the executive producer was indicted on drug charges and, according to Blaze, the albums ended up in the hands of the FBI, through no fault of Townes I might add...."

Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner
In the sequel to UNSUB, Gardiner pits Caitlin Hendrix against a killer based on Ted Bundy and shows again what a great storyteller she is
Arts Review  July 26, 2018, by Jessi Cape
"...The first book in her UNSUB series (soon to join the CBS television roster) was inspired by the Zodiac Killer, while the new installment, Into the Black Nowhere, homes in on an unsub (aka UNidentified SUBject) based on serial murderer and rapist Ted Bun­dy. Once again, Gardiner's protagonist is Caitlin Hendrix, a police detective in the series' first book, now an FBI profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit and someone who's suffered her own personal tragedies and physical harm as a result of criminal violence..."

The Rock's take on The Towering Inferno is a damp squib
Film Review  July 13, 2018, by Matthew Monagle
"...Years after a violent terrorist attack led to his retirement from the FBI, Will Sawyer (Johnson) finally has a chance to get his struggling security company off the ground. All Sawyer needs to do is fly to Hong Kong and perform a risk assessment of the tallest building in the world, a superstructure that contains living quarters and offices hundreds of stories above the ground..."

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Marvel's crime caper comedy sequel gets bigger, smaller, but still fun
Film Review  July 6, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...But they’re not the only people with agendas: high-level fence Sonny Burch (Goggins, as irrepressibly sleazy as ever) wants all that delicious tech, and the mysterious Ghost (John-Kamen), who can slip between realities, is after the lost van Dyne for her own nefarious reasons. Meanwhile, Lang’s biggest concern is making sure that FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Park) doesn’t know he’s breaking curfew and turning back to his micro adventuring ways...."

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Director Finds International Themes to Tex-Mex Thriller
Stefano Sollima goes border to border
Screens Story  June 28, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...The unexpected sequel to 2015's surprise hit Sicario makes the polar opposite decision to that made by FBI Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt). At the end of the first film, she decided she could no longer walk the same dark path as CIA operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and freelance agent of mayhem Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), who now become the focus of the next two films..."

Saluting Dorothy Turner
Postmarks  June 26, 2018
"...Dorothy Turner. She was president of the Black Citizens' Task Force for many years and one of its co-founders. After the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force decimated the alliance between the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and the BCTF, Dorothy and I were left to continue the struggle without many of our comrades. I learned so much from her..."

Bart Layton on Secrets, Lies, and American Animals
How the documentarian turned true crime tropes on their heads
DAILY Screens  June 14, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...Layton cast four rising stars as the real-life crooks: Burnout jock Warren Lipka (Evan Peters), future entrepreneur Chas Allen (Blake Jenner), art school kid Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan), and, most unlikely of all, aspiring FBI agent Eric Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson). However, his twist was to cast the real Lipka, Allen, Reinhard, and Borsuk as themselves, playing Greek chorus on the truth (or otherwise) of what was being shown on-screen, and what each other claimed happen..."

Show Dogs
Unfunny canine buddy-cop comedy is no man's best friend.

Film Review  May 25, 2018, by Steve Davis
"...In this stupefyingly inane buddy-cop comedy featuring a cast of talking canines, a macho NYPD rottweiler named Max goes undercover to compete in a prestigious Las Vegas dog show as part of an assignment to bust up an international animal smuggling ring that’s stolen a precious baby panda to be sold on the black market. Tagging along on a short leash is his initially resistant human partner Frank (Arnett), an oddly tanned FBI agent who eventually becomes the Turner to Max’s Hooch as the two bond to become a team..."

Unbelievable Summers at the Paramount
The most unforgettable moments from this year’s classics of cinema
Screens Story  May 17, 2018, by Chronicle staff
"...It's on page 342 of my dog-eared 1989 mass-market paperback, and unfolds at the hour-and-40-minute mark in the film: a moment that was such a shock, a brilliant reveal in a novel that was so economical, yet so evocative, and (for better or worse) ignited a renaissance of our collective obsession with serial killers. FBI cadet Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) rings the doorbell of a potential lead and descends into hell as she realizes she has stumbled into the lair of Buffalo Bill..."

Bad Samaritan
David Tennant plays Hannibal Lecter, which is less fun than it sounds.
Film Review  May 4, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...Instead, it's straight out of the glut of post-Silence of the Lambs potboilers, like The Bone Collector, only even marginally redeemed by Tennant surpassing the discount-store Hannibal Lecter tag so easily applied to that subgenre’s antagonists. Boyce even tried to provide him with a Clarice Starling/Alex Cross (remember Kiss the Girls? Anyone? No?) in a dogged FBI agent (Heggins) who believes Sean when no one else will..."

Feds Shut Down
Alt-weekly founders charged with facilitating sex trafficking
News Story  April 19, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...If you search for the long-running classified advertising site now, all you'll get is a disclaimer from the federal government informing you the site has been seized in partnership with various agencies including the Texas Attorney General's Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the FBI...."

A Good Time to Be Lawrence Wright
With new book God Save Texas, The Looming Tower series on Hulu, and his play Cleo at the Alley, Lawrence Wright is the man of the moment
Arts Story  April 12, 2018, by Elizabeth Banicki
"..."He asked me to help clear his name. He wanted to talk to the FBI, and I knew a lot of FBI agents and put him in touch, but the CIA put a hex on that."..."

The Many Projects of Lawrence Wright
From TV to the stage the local writer has been busy
Arts Story  April 12, 2018, by Elizabeth Banicki and Robert Faires
"...Hulu's series The Looming Tower, based on Lawrence Wright's award-winning book, pokes at these ideas. It exposes our most prominent intelligence agencies, the CIA and FBI, as so preoccupied with their vicious rivalry and the personal problems of the people running them that the nation's security at the most critical time in history was back-burner..."

Beside the Point: Everybody’s Got the Right
Concerning the fate of Mark Conditt’s confession
News Column  April 12, 2018, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Should it be released, we'll listen to it roughly 30 minutes after they get it and post their story online.) City attorneys have appealed those requests to the state's attorney general, citing the ongoing investigation into the bombings and Con­ditt's conduct. But at a joint press conference Monday concerning the redacted release of a federal probable cause affidavit written to get Conditt under arrest, FBI Special Agent Chris Combs cited concerns his agency may have with any eventual release...."

Sex Pistols Go Boom
Iconic punk final tour implosion in D.O.A.
Screens Story  April 5, 2018, by Tim Stegall
"...Then you have Forcade – the Yippie who publicly antagonized Abbie Hoffman, and made headlines for hurling a cream pie in the face of a pornography commissioner – amping the already paranoia-and-chaos infected atmosphere, his inferences that the FBI were trailing the tour prevailing to the present. The telephone game ultimately resulted in Sex Pistols singer John Lydon's recent memoir Anger Is an Energy asserting High Times was a front for the CIA...."

Smash Structural White Supremacy
Postmarks  March 23, 2018
"...Dear Editor, Both structural and individual racism and white supremacy explains why the Austin Police Department did not initially suspect a racist white American male engaged in domestic terrorism when the first bombs killed three Black and Brown people. Instead, Austin Police first engaged in a “blame-the-victim” assault suggesting that one of the Black victims was actually making a bomb when it accidentally exploded. Then when the Latina was killed, the White Supremacist Austin Police suspected a drug cartel. Come on. Now that the domestic terrorist is revealed to be a racist, Christian home-schooled, young white male – a self-described psychopath – who opposed abortion and homosexuality yet thought it a good idea to get rid of the sex offender registry (?!) AND who was associated with survivalists, one must wonder: Will the Austin Police Department update its suspect profiling criteria and methodology as well as assisting the FBI and other law enforcement in doing the same thing? Had the APD not been paralyzed from the outset by structural and individual racism and white supremacy, it is AT LEAST CONCEIVABLE the domestic terrorist, Mark Conditt, could have been identified and apprehended earlier – than, say, if the PD was looking for drug cartels or something – thus eliminating weeks of outright terror inflicted on Austin through police white supremacy, incompetence, and outright stupidity. And need it be asked, had the bombs had gone off in West Austin or Northwest Hills, whether the APD response would have been vastly different and immediate? Structural White Supremacy in the Austin and other law enforcement agencies needs to be smashed into a thousand pieces the way President John F..."

What Made Him Do It?
Weeks-long bomb scare ends Wednesday with few answers
News Story  March 22, 2018, by Nina Hernandez
"...Two hours before daybreak on Wednesday morning, as he was readying himself for yet another press briefing with his assistant chiefs, City Manager Spencer Cronk, and members of the Texas Rangers, FBI, and Bureau of ATF, a KXAN reporter asked interim Police Chief Brian Manley how he was feeling at that moment...."

Laura Monterrosa Released From T. Don Hutto
Could this be a bellwether for detained immigrants?
News Story  March 22, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...The Salvadoran first made news last November when she accused a female guard of sexual assault against her, triggering a series of retaliatory incidents. Monter­rosa's detainment has since drawn hundreds of community ralliers and petitioners calling for her release, and is currently being investigated by the FBI..."

SXSW Film Review: American Animals
A docudrama as audacious as the heist it re-creates
DAILY SXSW  March 19, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"...First, he assembled a crackerjack team of actors: Evan Peters as the wild-minded Warren Lipka; Barry Keoghan as Spencer Reinhard, the dreaming artist who has romanticized the idea of the suffering artist; Blake Jenner as entrepreneurial Chas Allen, who seems way too smart to be engaged in this stupidity (and he knows it); and Jared Abrahamson as Eric Borsuk, the bored future FBI agent who falls easily over to the wrong side of the law...."

Package Bombings: More Questions Than Answers
Rumors and research after an uneasy week
DAILY News  March 17, 2018, by Nina Hernandez
"...Zion Baptist Church, though it wasn’t too rich in details. Evidence from each crime scene has been sent to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia..."

Domestic Terrorism in Austin
Trio of package bombs target minority homes
News Story  March 14, 2018, by Nina Hernandez
"...The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobac­co, Firearms and Explosives joined APD at Oldfort Hill, and before long Homicide detectives and FBI agents were canvassing the area. APD evacuated close neighbors as a bomb squad cleared a second package (which proved non-suspicious) from the neighborhood..."

News Story  March 14, 2018
"...Spring break is generally national SXSW news from Austin, but this year's headlines report mysterious package bombings having killed two people, injured others. The FBI and other federal agencies are joining local police in the investigations..."

Monday Explosions Jar Austin
If you see an unmarked package, quickly call 911
DAILY News  March 12, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...Postal Service, which is one of many organizations partnering with APD in what Manley expects to be a lengthy investigation, has confirmed that these packages were not sent from their offices. Mayor Steve Adler, City Manager Spencer Cronk, and members of the FBI joined Manley for today’s press conference, though only Manley spoke...."

The Border Patrol Myth
The most dangerous policing job? Not so.
News Story  March 8, 2018, by Debbie Nathan
"...The "vicious murder" meme was soon challenged by mainstream media. They reported that investigators looking into agent Ma­rtinez's death, including the FBI, were speculating that Martinez and his partner might have accidentally fallen into the culvert..."

ICE Retaliates Against Hutto Detainee?
Laura Monterrosa says she was sent to solitary confinement
DAILY News  February 16, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Dozens of community members protested at the detention center on Wednesday, and several met with Monterrosa personally. In December, the FBI took over the Monterrosa investigation from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office..."

Six New Shows to Distract Yourself With This Year
Your 2018 TV preview
DAILY Screens  January 27, 2018, by Josh Kupecki
"...Don’t get me wrong, Taylor Kitsch is definitely in it to win it with his portrayal of mullet-headed Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. The events that lead up to the Waco siege are also seen through the eyes of Michael Shannon’s FBI hostage negotiator, and the ubiquitous Shea Whigham is always a welcome sight..."

Noose Found on WilCo Campaign Sign
CD 31 candidate Christine Mann’s sign vandalized by hate crime
News Story  January 11, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Mann shortly thereafter fell victim to a similarly charged threat on her Facebook page, where she'd posted a picture of the sign and noose. A commenter identified as "John Clark" wrote: "The only problem I see with this is she's not at the end of it," accused her of "using black people to further her communist liberal hate," and suggested that "there's nothing a little rope won't fix." Mann reported the comments to the FBI and WCSO..."

Point Austin: Beyond Fire and Fury
Trump's White House follies obscure a deeper trail of corruption
News Column  January 11, 2018, by Michael King
"...• Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, repeatedly spoke with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the electoral transition, allegedly discussing removal of Ukraine-related economic sanctions against Russia. (Flynn was fired, ostensibly for lying to Vice President Mike Pence, and has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, in lieu of heavier charges.)..."

Top 10 Quotes of the Week
Who said what?
News Column  December 28, 2017
"...8) "The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government."..."

T. Don Hutto Abuse Case Goes to FBI
Laura Monterrosa's sexual assault saga continues
News Story  December 7, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...However, Grassroots claims WCSO admitted in a phone conversation last Friday that they did not pursue any investigation. Meanwhile, ICE (which contracts with CoreCivic to run Hutto) said the federal agency, with the assistance of WCSO, found the allegations made by Monterrosa "unsubstantiated," concluding the information she provided could "not be corroborated" and that the case "lacked evidence to pursue any further action." Responding to a Chronicle follow-up, ICE's regional spokesperson emailed back two words: "Contact FBI." In a turn of events, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's San Antonio field office, Austin Resident Agency Office, and the Civil Rights Division have now taken over the case as a civil rights investigation..."

Point Austin: Reasons to Be Thankful
At holiday time, mixed blessings are all we have
News Column  November 21, 2017, by Michael King
"..."Buzzfeed reported the FBI is investigating 60 money transfers sent through Citibank accounts by the Russian Foreign Ministry, most with a note saying the money was to be used 'to finance election campaign of 2016.'"..."

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows
Columns  November 16, 2017, by Mr. Smarty Pants
"...The FBI launched the Most Wanted list on March 14, 1950...."

DVDanger: The Poughkeepsie Tapes
Missing found-footage finally escapes, plus Bautista in Bushwick
DAILY Screens  November 14, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...Take out the more conventional and graphic horror elements, and this is still an insanely harsh drama about how the trail of carnage left by a serial killer devastates everyone. The families, the victims, the police officers, the FBI profilers, and it is all exacerbated by the knowledge that Ed is quite simply just fucking with them..."

What’cha Watchin’?
Office Manager Carrie Young dives back into Animaniacs' earworms
Screens Column  November 9, 2017
"...Mindhunter (Netflix) Two FBI agents interviewing serial killers in the Seventies. Good performances, and surprisingly funny at times..."

Truly Fake News
Postmarks  October 30, 2017
"...27]. Mother Jones' database is your best news source for information on crime statistics, really?   Let's have a new mask next week showing a black male with a gun. Why not? According to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services, 16,914 murders in the United States were committed in 2016 with some 6,095 by black men, and 5,004 by white men, yet the country is 13% black and 72% white according the the U.S..."

Federally Sanctioned Sexual Assault?
Civil rights loophole at the heart of court reporter's case
News Story  October 26, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"..."It felt like they were trying to overwhelm and sabotage me," she said. She recalls being locked out of the women's restroom after Earle changed the locks, and, according to Balcombe, "gave keys to all other staff except me." Balcombe also said she received little computer support despite her fears of being hacked – at least until she contacted the FBI's cyber security department..."

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
Account of the informant who brought down Nixon's administration
Film Review  October 20, 2017, by Marc Savlov
"...That said, Mark Felt should be a riveting historical parallel, or at the very least an alt-right-universe lesson on how not to screw up an already jittery nation. Against all odds, unfortunately, director Landesman’s portrait of FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt (Neeson, well cast), who would eventually reveal that he was the legendary informant – aka “Deep Throat” – leading to the downfall of Nixon’s cryptofascist administration, is its own worst enemy..."

Let's Go to the Videotape
Postmarks  August 28, 2017
"...At the time, Rather said the collapse looked like “controlled demolition,” and he was right. The 50-story building, which housed the CIA, the FBI, the SEC, and NYC emergency response offices, mysteriously caught fire on several floors and collapsed into its own footprint at free-fall speed..."

Wind River
Crime and punishment on a Wyoming reservation
Film Review  August 11, 2017, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...In the best role he’s had since starting down the superhero highway, Jeremy Renner stars as Cory Lambert, a game warden for the Fish and Wildlife Service who, while out hunting wild bears that have been devouring livestock, discovers in the snow the frozen body of a young Native American girl – barefoot, bloodied, and apparently raped. Ben (Greene), the local authority, begins the investigation, but homicides on the reservation are federal affairs, so the FBI sends in Jane Banner (Olsen), an effective but green agent..."

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