Lust, blue collar crime, and A DEATH IN BELMONT.

I've been reading a lot of true crime books lately as well as finishing up a series of paintings I call "The Seven Deadly Sins."  Currently, I'm reading Sebastian Junger's A death in Belmont, and my painting of "Lust" in the series seems especially apropos. You see, the book is about the sex-crazed Boston Strangler who terrorized parts of Boston during the 1960's. Blue collar crime...and lust. Here's a summary of the book: A fatal collision of three lives in the most intriguing and original … [Read more...]

Understanding White Privilege – its sociological origins.

 In an effort at understanding white privilege from an historical perspective, I wrote a post back in January. In this post, I'm into understanding white privilege from a sociological perspective. For a variety of reasons, one engaging perspective of this sort by sociologist Alan G. Johnson starts off with the notion that the British were instrumental in the development of the idea of racial superiority. According to Johnson's perspective,  the British were not the first to believe that … [Read more...]

Am I privileged? Try these exercises.

I'm writing a book about how the American criminal justice system treats "privileged" murderers  different from others.  The murderers' privileges in my book (working title "Four Murders & a Funeral") start  with being white males and in some cases end with being privileged in yet other ways.) Because of my book topic, people often ask me what I mean by "privilege." Well, here's a definition from a white male who's also gay, and you wouldn't be alone thinking 'maybe he's not privileged if … [Read more...]

Throw the book at certain rapists in this #meToo era.

  Amber Rose Carlson wrote a piece about her rapist and his sentence for the New York Times recently. Besides dealing with rapists and sentencing, she covers many other timely topics in this #meToo era. Life without parole for rapists. These topics include  injustice, male privilege, life without parole, and several others. I've blogged and written about many of them  (for instance, in my forthcoming book,  Four Murders and a Funeral). I include Ms. Carlson's piece here in its entirety. … [Read more...]

Did The Unicorn Killer found Earth Day?

The Unicorn Killer, a character in a book I'm writing, often shows up in media stories. This is especially true just before the annual celebration of Earth Day. The big day is always April 22, just as it was back in 1970 when Senator Gaylord Nelson and others helped get it off the ground. Usually the story headlines look like this:"Earth Day Cofounder Killed, Composted Girlfriend" “Earth Day Started by Convicted Killer who Mummified his GF’s Body.”The Unicorn Killer. I’ve spent time … [Read more...]

To “Check your privilege,” watch Dominick Dunne on the Justice Network.

As I write my current book, I'm outraged at the light sentences given to several of the privileged murderers I've gotten to know over the years. (I'm a criminologist and embrace the "check your privilege" movement.) For these reasons I've developed an affinity for Dominick Dunne. He's the late American writer, investigative journalist, and producer who covered the trial of his  daughter's murderer. Like me, Dunne was incensed at the verdict (acquittal of  2nd-degree murder charge in favor of … [Read more...]

Scary NFLer—victim of bullying, discrimination, or mental illness?

I'm disturbed and saddened that discrimination and/or mental illness has taken a serious toll on a bullying victim I've featured in prior posts.    Ex-NFLer Jonathan Martin graduated from Harvard-Westlake prep school in L.A. and then Stanford. He joined the Miami Dolphins in 2012. But during his 2nd year with Miami, he became the center of a scandal involving harassment and bullying on the part of his teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey.  Hero, villain, or fool? Things … [Read more...]