crime and punishment

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]

“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]

Five Takeaways from Steubenville Rape Case

by Bill Brenner March 18, 2013 Crime and punishment

After taking in some of the outrage among friends over the seemingly sympathetic coverage CNN gave to two Steubenville, Ohio, teens convicted of raping a young girl, I decided to watch the specific report that generated all the fuss. Mood music: [spotify:track:4NOsHwVqjELCPWiY72bao5] People are often conflicted over stories like this because the convicted are two kids who did what a lot of kids are capable of doing when they had too much booze. Reporters seemed heartbroken…  [Read More]

Sex Change Outrage: Should We Pay for Convict’s Operation?

by Bill Brenner September 18, 2012 Crime and punishment

There are a lot of good people out there who deal with brutal medical situations that make them outcasts. There’s the depression I’ve covered extensively here. And there are things like being transgender. But if you’re behind bars for murder, should taxpayers be paying for your treatment? Mood music: [spotify:track:44XvCIXl5rqHGAWcAS2I2i] Depression is a simpler example. If antidepressants can make a convict well enough to better serve the prison community where he or she is doing time,…  [Read More]

Exeter Hospital: Stop Making Excuses and Test Employees for Hepatitis C

by Bill Brenner August 17, 2012 Medicine

An open letter to New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital. To Whom It May Concern: You may find the outrage I’m about to unleash unfair. But the Hepatitis C scare caused by your lax security has threatened someone I love and thousands of others. I spent my childhood in and out of the hospital, getting stuck with needles weekly and sometimes daily. I had a blood transfusion in the 1970s, before blood was tested for AIDS contamination,…  [Read More]

Nikki Sixx, Michael Jackson and Pedophiles, Part 2

by Bill Brenner June 26, 2012 Crime and punishment

Last year, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx created a Twitter shitstorm when he opined about Michael Jackson being an alleged pedophile. At the time, I wrote a blog post about it being a fascinating case study in human nature. This week marks the third anniversary of Jackson’s death, and the case study has taken an interesting turn. Mood music: [spotify:track:1S3Bc6pVYOmzad7d1WiQO7] I knew something was up when my post from last year started getting a ton of…  [Read More]