McCain—Survivor, hero, villain, family man.

I've been thinking about Senator John McCain—survivor, hero, villain, family man? In mourning the passing of a one-of-a-kind U.S. senator, I've concluded he was a complex character, defying pigeon holes.  McCain—more than a survivor, hero, villain, family man. I get the impression that McCain was inventing himself as he went along.—1st. A rebel and later a poor student at Annapolis, frustrated that his family pigeon holed him as a Navy Man  given that his dad and grandfather were … [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...]

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...]

Male privilege, sex, and the fall of a cleft icon.

An op ed piece in Friday's Washington Post helped make up my mind re former congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). The op ed author described a classic case of male privilege in action. The writer Melissa Richmond* is currently vice president of Running Start, an organization that encourages women to run for political office.   Richmond wrote that she thought she'd lost out on a career in politics after an encounter with Rep. Franks eight years ago. In her own words:I’ve always been proud … [Read more...]

Brock Turner, Oscar Pistorius: how white privilege works.

I sometimes examine white privilege in my crim justice writings, and I'm doing so in a memoir I'm currently working on.  What's interesting about Brock Turner, Oscar Pistorius is that they may've been given light sentences because they were white and outstanding athletes. They are athletes in cultures (America and South Africa) where athleticism is prized. In such cultures super athletes, for sure, are treated leniently by their justice systems because of it. I've written about Pistorius … [Read more...]

Revenge serial killings by a doctor: precision knife attacks.

 I've been studying revenge serial killings lately for a project I'm doing. They're one of the several types researchers have uncovered since multicide started being a media phenom in the '70s. Among others, types of serial killings include Visionary, Mission-oriented, Hedonistic, and Power/control. I'll explain other types of killings in future posts regarding the "arch villains" of our era. Today's villainous person is an unlikely character. He's a doctor.Serial killer motivated by … [Read more...]

Oscar Pistorius’sentencing suggests he’s a psychopath.

Finally, the other shoe has dropped. And the judge has answered our question . . . sort of. The question asked several Pistorius blogs ago was, does Oscar have psychopathic tendencies like Lance Armstrong and OJ Simpson? Because I felt I knew less about Oscar than Lance and OJ and because a different culture and criminal justice system was at work, I decided to let the judge determine Oscar's mental state. Psychopath? By sentencing Oscar to five years—much less than the ten years she might … [Read more...]