Crime and punishment

Two Days, Three Shitty Anniversaries And One Bloody Month

by Bill Brenner April 19, 2015 Crime and punishment

Today — April 19, and tomorrow, April 20 — we have a trio of tragedies to remember. Full disclosure: I’m about to steal liberally from Wikipedia. April 19, 1993: Waco, Texas The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), accompanied by several members of the media, attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel,…  [Read More]

Telling the Tate-LaBianca Story: Truth and Embellishment

by Bill Brenner August 9, 2014 Crime and punishment

A while back I wrote a post about how, in my opinion, Restless Souls: The Sharon Tate Family’s Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice by Alisa Statman and Brie Tate, was the most important book ever written about the Manson Murders. Since then the book’s accuracy has been thrown into question. So let’s talk about it. Brian Davis, host of the online Tate-LaBianca Radio Program podcast, which posts Sunday nights, contacted me…  [Read More]

Tate-LaBianca, 45 Years Later: A Strange Society of Manson Watchers

by Bill Brenner August 6, 2014 Crime and punishment

This week marks the 45th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders. I’m marking it first with a prayer for the victims and second by making note of some interesting people I’ve met as a result of this lifelong Manson obsession I have. I’ve been to L.A. twice, and both times drove around to the two murder sites and other places. I’ve also read Restless Souls: The Sharon Tate Family’s Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and…  [Read More]

Leave Abigail Hernandez Alone

by Bill Brenner July 31, 2014 Crime and punishment

Trashing the victim in a crime is nothing new; we’ve been doing it forever. That doesn’t make it right. Mood music: After the Manson murders in 1969, for example, the newspapers were full of speculation about how the victims may have done themselves in by living a lifestyle that attracted dangerous people. Today people are fixated on the case of Abigail Hernandez, a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl who recently returned home after being missing for several…  [Read More]

Wherein I Run Afoul Of The U.S. Secret Service

by Bill Brenner January 24, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My resolve against the inner demons is tested regularly. Some are little tests, like being put in a room with all the food and alcohol I once binged on daily to see if I can resist the temptation. Some are bigger tests, like getting lost en route to Washington D.C a few years ago with my wife and kids in the car. Getting lost in a car used to be the stuff my anxiety attacks were made…  [Read More]

It’s Never Too Late to Renegotiate Your Life

by Bill Brenner September 13, 2013 Crime and punishment

When you have legal problems, mountains of debt, bad relationships and a job that makes you unhappy, it’s easy to feel like there’s a point of no return, that this is how your life turned out and that’s that. I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. Mood music: I can say that, because I’ve lived it. I’m thinking about this after talking to a friend who allowed an addiction to get out of hand to…  [Read More]

“Rolling Stone” Bomber Cover Sparks Outrage, But Why?

by Bill Brenner July 17, 2013 Crime and punishment

Before I deliver what will surely be an unpopular opinion, let me note the following: The Boston Marathon bombings happened on my home turf. That day, I was sickened by the video replays, scenes of people without limbs and word that one of the victims was an 8-year-old boy. I was as full of satisfaction as everyone else a few nights later, when one of the bombers was hunted down and captured. Mood music: Several friends were at the…  [Read More]

Obsessing About Snowden Blinds Us From Bigger Truths

by Bill Brenner June 26, 2013 Crime and punishment

I’ve hestitated to write about Edward Snowden, the former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) who leaked details of top-secret mass surveillance programs to the press. People see him as either a hero or a traitor, but I’ve been conflicted. Mood music: I used to fear everything and wanted the government to do everything possible to keep me safe, even if it meant giving up some liberty. I eventually got past the fear and now believe we must live life…  [Read More]

Paula Deen and the N-Word

by Bill Brenner June 24, 2013 Crime and punishment

I’m not a fan of cooking celebrity Paula Deen. When I first heard The Food Network fired Deen for using the N-word in the past, I figured she got what she deserved. But part of me feels sorry for her. Here’s one of three apology videos she made: According to various news reports, including an item in The Huffington Post, Deen’s troubles stem from her admission that she used the N-word in the past. She…  [Read More]

If the Charges Are True, This Man Is a Monster

by Bill Brenner April 24, 2013 Crime and punishment

I tend to avoid the abortion issue, because it’s a no-win topic. But I’ve been following a murder trial recently that turns my stomach so severely that I can’t keep my mouth shut. Mood music: [spotify:track:21MwEJ8tHezcPy77BaELJ6] The Catholic Church tends to label anyone who is against Roe v. Wade as being a baby killer. I don’t think the situation is that simple. I agree that abortion is wrong, tragic and evil. It disgusts me that some…  [Read More]