Crime 101-Everything you wanted to know about crime but didn’t know who to ask.

Unfortunately, crime is a part of life. It’s been asked many times, does crime pay and the response is; indeed it does. Many members of our society depend on crime for their livelihood. Judges, lawyers, police, etc. derive their income directly from crime and the individuals that commit crimes. However, most people have no idea about the criminal mind and the reasons that people commit crimes in the first place. 

This why I created this page. Here I answer questions from my readers over at Quora.com. 

Here are this week’s questions:

10) Hillary Marek requested your answer to this

How do you find out when a prisoner has been paroled if you do not know where they are incarcerated at?

Hi Hillary:

I can answer this question in two different ways. 1) If you are a victim of this individual your state’s/district attorney is supposed to notify you concerning the whereabouts, length of prison term and prospective parole date of this individual. 2) If you are a family member or a concerned citizen; the state department of corrections in which he was convicted should maintain a website which gives you inmate information such as the nature of the offense, intake date, and potential release dates. If none of the above helps, you must do your due diligence by finding out the county and state in which he was convicted. From that point find out where he was sent to do his time.  For counties and states that don’t maintain such information, https://vinelink.vineapps.com/state may be of assistance in your search.

9) Neil Kuchinsky requested your answer to this 

If a prison psychiatrist will not prescribe inmates antidepressants as a matter of policy, because “it’s appropriate to be depressed when you’re in prison”, should such a policy lead to sanctions by a professional board?

Hi Neil:

In order to institute such a change in policy, enough legislators have to give a damn about the mental state of the incarcerated. Once that is done, psychiatrists have to establish a distinct difference between the emotion of depression and the disease of depression.  It is natural for those that are incarcerated to feel depressed, periodically. When the disease of depression has set in and affected an individual’s ability to function daily while deteriorating his/her mental state, treatment of some manner must be administered.  But as I said, lawmakers must start the ball to rolling by caring about those affected.

8) Natasha Kathleen requested your answer to this 

Why are we still using the prison system even though there’s evidence that it has little deterrent effect on crime?

Hi Natasha:

Our society is not built upon cures; it exists based upon ongoing treatment. If the cure to AIDS or cancer was distributed to the world, the medical field would take an immeasurable loss.  Prisons were never designed to deter crime. A prison’s function is to house individuals sentenced by a judge for a designated period of time. If the crime rate was, say, cut in half, it would cause an economic catastrophe. Bars and restaurants exist to serve, not the one time visitor, but the repeat customer; so do prisons.

Crime is a profitable endeavor, especially on the legal side. Police, attorney, judges’ incomes are derived directly from the commission of crime. Countless items that we use daily are made inside of prison walls. Inmates are paid funds that make sweatshop wages look like executive salaries. That is not including private prisons that are publicly traded. You may be investing in prison stocks through your mutual funds. You would be amazed at how rich people and companies get from prisons. With all the millions at stake, do you really think ANYONE really wants to deter crime?

7) Gary Pearson requested your answer to this 

If you’re not a fighter but like to give head are you fairly safe in prison?

What’s Up Gary:

I was going to ignore this question due to its sheer ignorance, however, I decided to address the question and answer some real misconceptions about prison that readers may have. First of all, in total, I have spent approximately 12-15 years of my life incarcerated. I add that to let readers know that I know what I am talking about. In that time I have never seen or heard of: a) prison rape, b) prison sex act between inmates, c) a male soliciting sex from another male, d) a person get jumped on/beat up for no reason.

That being said let me clear some things up. If a gay man enters prison and decides that he wants sex, he will seek out others like him. When a straight man enters prison and he carries himself as a straight man, he will not be approached, solicited, or advanced upon by males wanting sex from men. Over 95% of fights occur due to gambling or some sort of debt. The other 5% are normally gang-related. For the most part, people go into prison doing whatever it takes to go home. Most incarcerated people go into prison with the objective of going home. They realize that engaging in any of the above-mentioned activity is counterproductive and not conducive to their objective. Occasionally, you will have those with long bids to do that might want to fight a new inmate. Usually, those bullies reserve their intentions for inmates that come in, “big-teething,” Big-teething, is talking loud, bragging about who they were on the street, what they had, how many women they have and who they’ve robbed/killed; all of which are normally found to be lies.

If a person has to go to prison, he should go in focused on the main objective of going home.  As long as he’s not trying to act overly tough, (it’s easy to spot a phony) and be himself; he’ll be able to get through his prison bid without utilizing his talents in fellatio.

6) Daniel Leahy requested your answer to this · Feb 10

In prison, if a guard is constantly taking advantage of you, is there ever a point you should fight back?

Hi Daniel:

When the abuse first started is when action should’ve been taken. To respond physically and fight the guard is a no-win situation A guard is an employee. An employee always has a supervisor. A guard ’s supervisor comes in the form of his sergeant, lieutenant, etc. If an inmate is constantly harassed by a guard the first action should be to put it on paper and file a grievance. If that doesn’t work he should fill out a request slip to see the sergeant of his living quarters. To get the necessary assistance, he not only has to know the hierarchy of the prison he must do the required footwork to stop the abuse or get the officer removed.

5) Tom Fuzery requested your answer to this 

Does it matter what day of the week is in prison? Why yes/not?

Hi Tom:

Does the day of the week matter to you? Why would it not matter to someone doing time? Just as with you, an inmate does not do the same thing each day. Even more importantly he doesn’t have the same opportunity to get stuff done. The library may be only open to him at certain times on certain days. The same is true for every other aspect of prison life (gym, yard, commissary, visitation). Contrary to popular belief, prison is not simply sitting in a 6×9 cell watching the paint peel. Most importantly the days matter because each one done gets him closer to going home.

4) Tim Webster requested your answer to this 

Why do some lawyers settle for a plea bargain when they know their client is innocent?

Hi Tim:

It’s not what you know; it’s what you can prove. In the case of the defense lawyer requesting that a client plead out; a defense lawyer will NEVER ask a client if his really guilty or innocent. That being said he will look at the evidence from an objective point of view. If he feels that the evidence presented to the court is overwhelming and will lead to a finding of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, despite the best defense he could come up with, he will then ask if client if he wants to plead guilty to get the client the least amount of time possible.

3) Tim Webster requested your answer to this 

Why would someone plead guilty to a felony charge when they know they are innocent?

Hi Tim:

I’m going to give you a scenario. Jim gets arrested for simple possession. The drugs weren’t on him but the cop found them near Jim and charged him for the possession. Jim’s arrested and given an unattainable bond, therefore, he fights his case from inside of the county. He fights the case for 6 months; simple possession carries 1-3 years in prison. Each day Jim is incarcerated, he is credited for 2 days. It’s Jim’s word against the cop’s testimony. On Jim’s next court date he can either plead guilty to the possession and go home or continue to fight the case from inside the county. In this situation what would you do?

Every day, innocent people sacrifice their morals, ethics and ultimately their belief in the judicial system to go home. Several economic factors lead to individuals (mainly minorities) to overcrowd jails. Inability to afford proper counsel, inability to afford a bail amount, fictitious police testimony, as well as a litany of other situations, can force otherwise innocent people to plead guilty so that they can ultimately go home.

2) Ross Taylor requested your answer to this 

Imagine a 50-year-old first-time offender is sent to prison for a non-violent crime. Would they go straight to a low-security prison?

Hi Ross:

A 50-year-old, first time offender would get probation 9 out of 10 times. In the event that the crime was not probationable and the state’s/district attorney simply refused to lower the charges to make it probationable, the offender would indeed go to a minimum security prison and soon transferred to a work release/house arrest situation.

1) Jim Gibb requested your answer to this 

What is the smartest thing you’ve seen someone do in prison?

The smartest thing that I’ve seen someone do in prison is to get processed, assigned a living quarter, do as requested by the staff, do as required by their mittimus, stay out of the guard’s faces and out of other inmates business, wait for their outdate and go home. The same thing that is done by 92% of inmates everyday. Doing a bid is not brain surgery nor is it rocket science. You go in, be yourself, do your time and go home; period.

Hi Jim:

10) Brian Van Dine requested your answer to this · 

Statistically, what are the chances of someone literally getting away with murder and does geography, education or other variables alter this figure?

Hi Brian:

Unfortunately, the odds of someone getting away with murder are about 50/50. The murder clearance rates drop even lower if you live in a larger metropolitan area, the victim is Black or Hispanic between 17-35 and the victim and perpetrator have no ties to each other.  Police arrested someone in 63 percent of the killings of white victims, they did so in just 47 percent of those with black victims. Black or Hispanic male gunshot victims in major metropolitan areas between the ages of 17-35 are normally considered gang related/drug related and have a homicide clearance rate of 24% meaning they have a 76% chance of going unsolved.

9) Tim Webster requested your answer to this 

What is the secret to surviving prison?

Hi Tim:

There is no big secret in surviving prison; however, just as in mainstream society, there are a few unwritten rules to get you through your prison bid with the least amount of friction between you and other inmates. The first and most important is to mind your own business. If a situation does not involve you; do not involve yourself in it.  Secondly, if you owe it, pay it. If you owe somebody something, no matter how you got to that point, (borrowing, gambling, etc.) repay it at the time that you agreed to repay. The main reason for people getting their asses kicked in prison is owing and not repaying. Thirdly, do not ask other inmates what they are there for. If an inmate asks for your advice or they decide to talk about his case to you, then it’s cool; but never question another inmate about the situation that put them there. Lastly, clean up behind yourself; remember Mommy is not there with you so be mindful of your hygiene and the cleanliness of your surroundings. Getting through your bid with no friction with staff; follow direction from officers.

8) Jacob Lee requested your answer to this 

Do you have to pay for food in prison?

Hi Jacob:

In prison you are provided with 3 meals per day, Normally every week inmates are allowed to purchase food items from commissary utilizing money available within your trust fund account.

7) Janean Hughey requested your answer to this 

How hard will it be for Chris Watts to survive in prison?

Hi Janean:

For readers unfamiliar with Chris Watts, his crime and punishment. On November 19, 2018; Christopher Watts was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of Shanann, Bella, Celeste, and Niko Watts; and the unborn child that his wife, Shanann was pregnant with. Ordinarily, any crimes against children and mothers are frowned upon by the inmate population of any prison. To ensure that this inmate’s stay is as painful as possible, prison guards will alert gang heads to the identity of any individual convicted of a crime against children and placed in his immediate charge. However, in cases such as this, a high profile case surrounded by media coverage; the defendant is placed in PC (Protective Custody). While in PC, the inmate’s interaction with the general inmate population is severely limited. The only physical contact is between the inmate and prison officials. The PC inmate eats meals in his cell, goes to yard/gym by himself and is accompanied at all time with an assigned prison guard(s). In any other circumstances, other inmates within the same prison would devise a scheme to bring harsh prison justice down upon Chris Watts. However, due to “security concerns”, Watts was moved to an out-of-state location on December 3, 2018. He arrived at the Dodge Correctional Institution on December 5, 2018. Dodge Correctional Institution is a maximum-security prison, in Waupun, Wisconsin. Officials report that Watts will serve the remainder of his life sentences at Dodge, but in my opinion, he will probably transfer a great deal, especially within the first 10-20 years of his sentence. All of this to protect the life of a man who callously took the lives of his own wife and children; one yet to be born.

6) Greg Sleeper requested your answer to this · 

What is the significance of Sierah’s Law in Ohio?

Hi Greg:

For those that are unaware of Sierah’s Law and its reason for existence. Sierah Catherine Joughin, was born February 11, 1996, in Sylvania, Ohio.  Sierah was kidnapped while riding her bike on July 19, 2016. Sierah’s bike was found abandoned in a cornfield, but there were no signs of the missing girl; only other items that didn’t belong to her including a motorcycle helmet. A passing driver spotted the motorcycle helmet and took it to police. Once tested, the helmet was found to have Sierah’s blood on it, as well as DNA belonging to James Worley. In 1990 Worley went to prison, serving just three years of a four-to-10-year sentence for abducting 26-year-old Robin Gardner.

Police raided the property of James Worley, only a mile away from where the helmet was found.  Authorities were shocked to discover a makeshift dungeon hidden in a secret room behind hay bales. They also found a carpet-lined freezer containing blood, women’s underwear, handcuffs, rope, and tape. Items including a mattress and paper towels with Sierah’s DNA on them were also found. On 22 July, three days after she disappeared, a search party found Sierah’s body burning in a freshly dug grave in a cornfield.

As a result of the death of the young University of Toledo student’s death, lawmakers created Sierah’s Law. The law is to create a geographically searchable registry of violent offenders in Ohio. Sierah’s family believes that had a registry been in place when she was kidnapped, her killer James Worley, might have been questioned sooner. The law passed unanimously by an Ohio House committee Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 receiving a unanimous 85-0 vote by the entire House.

The significance of this law is that, just as in the sex offender registry, authorities now have a starting point in which to look should this unfortunate occasion arise again. Communities will know just who is moving into their areas and the potential for danger that comes with the move. However, a sticky situation that comes with the violation of human rights. The sex offender registry indicates that the offender has committed some sexually based felony offense. Sierah’s law will do the same for violent felonies but at what point will the exact nature of each and every offense be examined? Sexually based crimes are one thing but will this new law solve problems or create others? Only time will tell.

5) Daniel Leahy requested your answer to this 

What happens in a prison ‘lockdown’ does it break any human rights?

Hi Daniel:

All prison lockdowns are not equal. There are five separate lockdown levels. Level five being the most severe and total while level one is the lowest level of prison lockdown. This does not include partial lockdown of certain wings or buildings. Each lockdown is deemed necessary for the safety of all and unless proven to be in place for excessive time periods do not violate any human rights.

4) Janean Hughey requested your answer to this 

Should a parent that’s locked up in jail or prison ask that his children be brought for visitation?

Hi Janean:

That is a case by case scenario and here’s why.  If someone is in custody of a county jail that means that their visits most likely occur in a crowded room in which they speak to each other through inch thick bulletproof glass. If a child is too young to understand the concept of jail, crime, and punishment; this may have a damaging effect on the child’s psyche. In prison, visits are more personal whereas the child and the inmate are able to touch each other. Visiting rooms are generally less chaotic in prisons and the visits are a more nurturing experience. In summation; if the child is of age to bring him/herself to the visit than a visit at the county shouldn’t be a problem otherwise don’t put a child through that. Just wait until the inmate either comes home or is sentenced and wait to go to the prison to visit. If the inmate is in prison, allow the visit but speak to the child and create an understanding of where you are and how long you will be there.

3) Garret Smith requested your answer to this 

How are things snuck into prisons?

Hi Garret:

Movies and television portray the anal cavity as a means for sneaking mass quantities of contraband into penal institutions and this is just not the case. The majority of banned items in jails and prisons are brought in by the guards and through visits.

2) Janean Hughey requested your answer to this 

Chris Watts’ mother desperately needs to find answers to why her son killed his family and the circumstances that caused him to commit these crimes. Could finding these answers help prevent this from happening again in the future?

Hi Janean:

Chris Watts killed his wife, unborn child and three children. The answers and circumstances that Chris’ mother is searching for can only be found in the visiting room of her son’s current penitentiary home.  He is the only person that can provide the reasoning for his actions. I do not believe that any information that Watts can give to his mother will prevent other cases of familicide from occurring.

1) Tim Webster requested your answer to this 

I am 48 years old seeking a criminal justice degree. I am also a convicted felon. How can I become a behind the scenes legal advisor?

Hi Tim:

As a convicted felon I commend you on your efforts, however, I am unsure about the questions that you are asking. What manner of legal advisor are you seeking to become? Are you planning to gain your law degree and practice? If so it is possible. I would like to know more specifically what your post-graduate plans are.

Got questions about crime? Each month I answer the top 10 questions about crime asked on Quora.com 

Good Evening Readers!!

Once again our friends at Quora.com has hit me with 10 new questions to share with you.

Enjoy the top 10 questions of the week beginning December 16, 2018

 10) Tim Webster requested your answer to this

Is the prison system about punishment or rehabilitation?

Hi Tim:

Unfortunately the current prison system is more about punishment than rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is about ending a way of life by creating possibilities for a new and better way of life. The fact of the matter is; prison is a business, similar to that of the pharmaceutical business. There is no money in the cure. The money is in the treatment. If cancer is cured, it loses its financial viability. Therefore the treatment of the disease creates a lucrative business enterprise for all parties except the patient. If offenders are rehabilitated during prison stays, the recidivism rate drops thereby ending the need for many prisons. As long as convicts are punished for their crimes, nothing is learned and recidivism rises creating a lucrative business enterprise for all parties; except the convict.

9) David Crestfield requested your answer to this

Are prisoners allowed cell phones?

Hi David:

Cell phones are not permitted for those incarcerated. They present an incredible security risk and are considered contraband. However, some prisoners do have cell phones by way of them being brought in via nefarious means

8) Peter Creed requested your answer to this

As a hiring manager, what are you supposed to do when someone answers yes to the question “have you ever been convicted of a felony”?

Hi Peter:

I am so glad that you asked me this question and I hope that other hiring managers follow me on social media. As a hiring manager you are placed in a position of great power; more power than I think you realize. You potentially hold the keys to some people’s future, freedom and lives.

When you see that the job applicant has picked yes, decide what you would’ve done had that question not been on the application. Based on the job candidate’s application/resume; does he/she have the qualifications necessary to fill the open position. If not, you know what to do. However, if the person’s experience and education make the person a potentially viable candidate, grant him an interview. Without being judgmental or jumping to conclusions, allow the candidate to explain the circumstances of their conviction. If hired, does their presence in the work place jeopardize your business in any way?  If not, give the individual the same consideration as you would anyone else. Remember, he/she has paid their debt to society and should be looked at as simply a person applying to the open position; nothing more, nothing less.

7) Elec Hill requested your answer to this

Is there a correlation between addiction and serial murder?

Hi Elec:

I don’t know if you’ve heard me speak or read my book but as I’ve indicated in the past; yes there is a direct correlation between addiction and serial murder. In both situations it is the obsession and compulsion that serves as the driving force within the mind of the addict as well as the serial murderer.

6) Katherine Worden requested your answer to this

If you could solve one murder case, which would you choose?

Hi Katherine:

After giving this much thought and though it may sound corny but it would definitely be The Black Dahlia Murder. Never has there been as a single murder a case that has attracted the attention of not only the nation but of the world. The media hype that surrounded this case is unprecedented; as a matter of fact, I know of no single case since this that has the notoriety and following of The Black Dahlia murder. Solving a murder case that involved an extensive investigation that produced over 150 persons of interest and a total of 60 confessions that, not to mention, occurred nearly 72 years ago would be the case that I would, if I could; choose to solve.

5) Brittany DeCarlo requested your answer to this

What makes some people so fascinated with serial killers?

Hi Brittany:

I believe that the true fascination comes from people seeing an aspect of societal life that is not normally explored. For example, people have an interest in crime and punish due to the fact that the people, for the most part, are hard-working individuals with a respect for life. Most people are not faced with any aspect of crime in their day to day lives. That being said, people have an innate interest in seeing how those that live differently from what is known as the norm. The incomprehensibility of people dealing with crime or the criminal element regularly attracts our interest. Going deeper down the rabbit-hole; murder, the most taboo offense in our society, shocks our sense of humanity and makes us question the logic of those that commit serial murder.

4) Michael Henen requested your answer to this

What is the most important rule to survive prison in 5 years sentence?

Hi Michael:

Regardless of the sentence length, the most important rule of prison is remembering where you are and why you are there. Do not forget that you are in prison and begin involving yourself in “prison politics,” and become aligned with this individual or that individual exclusively. Friendships will occur naturally but do not go out of your way to become friends with any one person or group of people. Remember you came there to do your time and go home.

3) Krish Patel requested your answer to this

Is prison as scary as it is in the movies?

Hi Krish:

It depends on what part of the movie you are asking about. If you are inquiring about the lonesomeness, the missing of family and friends and the days and nights of constantly wishing you had it to do over again; then hell yeah it’s scary. However, if you are asking in reference to the movies depiction of prison life as being filled with constant rapes, extortion, daily beat downs and gang wars; don’t forget the corrupt prison guards who are just as vile as the inmates they’re in charge of; then no, it’s nothing like that.

Movies are here to entertain you, but here is the real life of most prison bids. Almost 70% of people incarcerated are non-violent offenders. This means that most people serving time will go home eventually; therefore, most inmates try not engage in activities that will cause them to remain incarcerated any longer than their sentence dictates. Other than the occasional argument between cellmates, usually inmates get through their bids without any major infractions.

2) Idris Abdullah requested your answer to this ·

Why are drive by shootings uniquely traumatizing compared to violent assaults by other means?

Hi Idris:

The reason they are so uniquely traumatizing is the fact that there is nothing unique about them. I mean that they can happen anywhere. In other situations we take steps to prepare for or prevent violent assaults. Whether learning self-defense or carrying our own firearms, we establish a sense of security to prepare for a violent assault, should it happen. There is no prevention from being a victim of a drive by.

1)Kathleen Albright requested your answer to

How do I go about sending letters to serial killers?

Hi Kathleen:

The individual that you are interested in writing to should be found on the convicting state’s department of corrections’ inmate locater. Once you find out where the inmate is located as well as their inmate identification number then you can write the inmate. If the person is in federal custody you would go to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons’ website

THAT’S WHY I’M HERE!!!!!

A New Week, 10 New Questions from Quora.com Readers

These are the questions from the week beginning 12/02/2018

10) Jason Sakamoto requested your answer to this

Do you know anyone who turned their lives around after being released from prison?

Hi Jason:

There have been many people whose lives have done a complete 180 due to their time in prison. Once incarcerated these individuals chose to use their time to focus on making a positive change in their lives whether it was gaining an education, learning a trade or making their minds up that enough is enough and that they will never find themselves in their current situation again.

9) M.Vincent Holguin requested your answer to this

What is the definition of “crime rate”?

Hi Vincent:

Crime rate is defined as the amount of crime committed in an area based on that given area’s population.

8) James Cox requested your answer to this

If a person spends time in prison for a crime he or she did not commit are they automatically compensated monetarily after the mistake has been discovered?

Hi James:

Unfortunately, no you are not automatically compensated for the time that was taken from you. Once exonerated, the accused must file a law suit against the state and proceed with this action until an accepted settlement offer is made or a final determination concerning culpability and compensation amount is determined by a judge.

7) Lydia Mimiaga requested your answer to this

How much do you favor or condemn capital punishment?

Hi Lydia:

Oddly enough, I am pro-capital punishment. However, capital punishment should be implemented in situations where the defendant is not only undoubtedly guilty (DNA, multiple eyewitness accounts, etc.) but admits guilt without the slightest bit of remorse. I have seen cases where the defendant all but admits that they not only killed the victim(s) and since they knew that the death penalty was not a possibility; conducted themselves in an arrogant fashion in open court, even going as far as to disrespect the family of the victim. Also, guilt proven by the above-mentioned manners in the murder of children should be punished by death.

6) Riccardo Toscano requested your answer to this

If you were tasked with redesigning the punishment system (e.g. prisons, fines, etc.), how would you go about it?

Hi Ricardo:

The first thing I would do is redesign the bail/ pre-trial system. Our current system requires that despite guilt or innocence; if arrested, an individual must provide a cash bail to be released. If that bond amount cannot be paid, the individual remains incarcerated until the final determination of the case thereby penalizing a potentially innocent individual for being poor.

The legal system does that intentionally knowing that if the defendant remains incarcerated, he/she is more likely to plead guilty to charges, despite his innocence or guilt, simply to get out of jail. In doing this, the court saves the county/state the costs of a trial and nullifies the defendant potentially being found innocent. Our current system requires that the defendant is held hostage until his/her ransom is paid or until the defendant submits to the will of the prosecution; despite the facts of the case. Furthermore, after being forced to enter a plea of guilty, the defendant is then charged with court costs and fines.

Statistics show a stark difference in conviction rates between defendants that fight their cases on bond compared to those forced to defend themselves in court while incarcerated.

 5) Daniel Leahy requested your answer to this

How close was you with your cell mate in prison?

Hi Daniel:

I’ve had 6-7 prison cell mates as well as countless cell mates in county jail. Some I had more in common with than others; but in each instance we shared a mutual respect for personal: beliefs, space and property; therefore we were cool and I never had a problem with a cell mate. I’ve had more problems with college roommates than with prison cell mates.

4) Angel Tenebroso requested your answer to this

Why are some murderers placed in supermax prisons and others are not? Which are the criteria (not serial killers, only murderers)?

Hi Angel:

Several different factors determine this. When an individual goes to prison they are evaluated by medical doctors as well as psychologists or psychiatrists. It is their determination, the length of the prison term and the facts surrounding the conviction case that dictates what security level of a prison is necessary to house a murderer or any inmate for that matter. 

3) Davidson Julot requested your answer to this

Is drug trafficking a blue collar crime or a white collar crime?

Hi Davidson:

Generally, drug trafficking is considered a blue-collar crime, especially on the state level. If federal intervention in the case is made and the charges extend further than the basic hand to hand street transactions, then the case can be considered white collar. Terms such as conspiracy, enterprise andR.I.C.O. changes the perception of drug trafficking into white-collar crime.

 2) Arnold Pope requested your answer to this

Hypothetically, how long is a murder scene kept untouched/preserved for evidence? At what point do they “clean it up”?

Hi Arnold:Unless there are extenuating circumstances, usually the crime scene isreleased after a period of 2-5 days. The lead detective dictates how long thescene of the crime is on lock down. They generally try to collect evidenceexpeditiously as time is an enemy to evidence collection.

1)Idris Abdullah requested your answer to this

What are common mistakes made by inmates upon entering prison which have lasting effect on their stay?

Hi Idris:

The most common mistakes made by new inmates is coming in trying to be the toughest guy on the deck. There is always that one guy that has watched too much television and thinks someone is going to approach him in an offensive manner. This guy comes in giving everyone, (guards, staff, other inmates) a hard time and wants so much for other inmates to think he is a lot tougher than he really is. Two things that is true about prison, one is that phonies are easily sniffed out and two, you will get anything that you are looking for. The inmate gives off an air that he is looking for trouble and 9 times out of 10 he not only finds it; he also finds that he is nowhere as tough as he portrayed himself to be. He soon gets his ass whipped and news quickly spreads around the yard. From that point he is labelled a punk and is treated with disrespect by everyone he encounters in that facility.

 


These are the questions from the week beginning 11/26/2018

 10) Catherine MacLeod requested your answer to this

Are true crime books and documentaries bad for society as some people claim?

Hi Catherine:

Generalizing and labeling, entertainment media is worse for society than any particular genre. The effect on society that a genre has is relative to the individual that is taking the information in. Most people can take in a good crime story or movie, be entertained and keep it moving. The fact of the matter is that in our society we have many individuals that suffer from a myriad of undiagnosed mental health issues. It is impossible to know what will send an individual spiraling into a world of depravity; regardless of the genre. So no; true crime books and documentaries are not bad for society as some people claim. Allowing undiagnosed mentally ill individuals the ability to obtain books and movies that may set them off at any moment is what’s bad for society.

9) Angela Twardosz requested your answer to this

What case got you interested in true crime and why?

Hi Angela:

There was no 1 particular case that initially peaked my interests. I guess I’ve always had an interest in crime and trying to understand why I was always drawn to it. It became more in 2012. I was on what’s commonly known as, ”house arrest.” For anyone that’s unfamiliar with the term, house arrest is the street name for electronic monitoring, (E.M.). Instead of jail, an individual serves their incarceration/pre-trial period at home with an electronic anklet and electronic receiver binding them to their home. (See Antman and the Wasp asPaul Rudd illustrates the fine points of house arrest)During this time I came across the channel Investigation Discovery and became familiar with their subject matter. I was totally smitten with the channel but soon noticed that most of the individuals highlighted were White. I ended up spending a year and a half on E.M. and during this time I sought out and researched the existence of Black serial killers which led to me writing the book, The Darker Side of Evil, the creation of my blog, Reignmaker1911.com, more recently my YouTube channel as well as my transformation from master-criminal to expert in criminal behavior.

8) Shirley Day requested your answer to this

Why is DNA from a crime scene not compared with a line-up of anonymous samples but only matched to a suspect?

Hi Shirley:

The fact is Shirley there is no such thing as anonymous samples. The general public is not required to have DNA samples on file. Under the law, every felon sentenced on or after Aug. 22, 2002, must provide a DNA sample, whether they are under the supervision of the Department of Corrections or county jail or probation. DNA samples collected at a crime scene is run against the database of pre-collected samples in hopes of a match. During investigations, authorities may require that person’s of interest to voluntarily submit a DNA sample in an effort to include or exclude an individual from the case’s suspect pool.  

7) San Goshi requested your answer to this

What are some examples of serial killers who were formally identified but never arrested or convicted?

Hi San:

We don’t have to think hard to come up with serial killers that were never identified. Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac Killer, etc. top that long list. Media outlets come up with witty nicknames to identify otherwise nameless and faceless perpetrators of their infamous acts of depravity. Once a killer has been definitely and definitively identified as the perpetrator, Iknow of no situation where the serial killer was not charged and arrested..However, when it comes to being identified, arrested but not convicted; that’s a horse of a totally different color. There have been cases throughout recorded history that, despite the evidence levied against the defendant; the killer managed to avoid being convicted.

6) Hugo Quinonez requested your answer to this

What is the difference between crime and felony?

Hi Hugo:

Crime is a word used to describe any infraction of a law or set of laws instituted and accepted by a group of individuals to establish order and maintain peace among this same group of individuals. These infractions can normally be divided into 2 subgroups; misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are minor infractions whereas felonies are considered major infractions and carry more severe penalties for their violations.

5) Ju Chop requested your answer to this

Can an officer run your tags on your property if there was no visible infraction prior?

Hi Ju:

Unfortunately Ju, the answer to this question is yes. Most of the police officers that you see in the streets, especially uniformed officers in cars; are out there doing what you asked. They get behind random cars, run their plates and hope some manner of infraction comes back. It is perfectly legal for police officers to run your plates even though they have no reason to suspect a crime has taken place. Courts have decided that police can randomly check license plates because drivers should not and do not have an expectation of privacy concerning their license plates.

4) Carola Angelen requested your answer to this

 When was crime scene photography first used in the UK?

Hi Carola:

The very first records that of crime photography, (a.k.a. forensic photography) in the U.K. was in England in the 1850s. Previous to this, any manner of police based photography dates back to 1843-44 in Belgium. With pictures ranging from mug shots to prisoners in their cells, they originated the practice of implementing photographic documentation of prison inmates.  The problem back then was that there was no specialized training required and pictures were often taken by anyone with a camera, even policemen, guards or prison officials.

In the 1890’s, the French photographer, Alphonse Bertillon was the first to recognize that regular photography methods were futile for identification of suspects. Bertillon was also key in developing crime photography that involved documenting the scene of the crime, rather than the criminal. Bertillon is responsible for radical changes in forensic photography including taking pictures of the victim (scars, wounds, birthmarks, etc.) for the purpose of identification or conviction; as well as capturing the crime scene, the placement of objects, the position of a body, photographing evidence and fingerprints.

Crime photographer, Arthur “Weegee” Fellig,  further changed forensic photography by routinely arriving at crime scenes before other reporters, many times before the police. He established the practice of the CSI being the first investigators to the scene.

3) Mark-Anthony Canty requested your answer to this

What crimes did Dennis Kozlowski actually commit?

Hi Mark-Anthony

Leo Dennis Kozlowski was the CEO of Tyco International, a security systems company, (not the toy people) from 1992 until 2002.  Kozlowski was convicted in 2005 of crimes related to his receipt of $81 million in unauthorized bonuses, the purchase of art for $14.725 million and the payment by Tyco of a $20 million investment banking fee to Frank Walsh, a former Tyco director.

When Kozlowski became CEO, Tyco experienced a sharp resurgence and massively expanded during the late 1990s. As Tyco became more and more successful, CEO Kozlowski brokered himself a massive salary package as well as a generous commission with a bonus structure that was unheard of at that time. The CEO’s extravagant lifestyle his compensation became public knowledge in the early 2000s. Due to Kozlowski living a life of sheer  excess eyebrows were raised and questions asked.

The question was never “if” he received the money. The question was if he received the money in accordance with his pre-established compensation package. Kozlowski left Tyco in 2002 amidst the controversy concerning allegations.

The question was and still remains had Kozlowski actually broken any laws?  His fate was determined; not by a judge holding him to the letter of the law but by a jury that saw a man sitting in a courtroom making $100 million a year, living a life that most, if not all envied. His original trial ended in a mistrial. His second found him convicted on 22 counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records, securities fraud and conspiracy.  Dennis Kozlowski may have spent almost 9 years of his life in prison from simply being hated on.

2) David Nelson requested your answer to this

What is the biggest myth about crime?

Hi David:

I believe that the biggest myth about crime is that only certain people are more susceptible to committing crimes then others. Or that there is some crime consortium that sits in a dark room somewhere and just plot crimes. Any person of any race, creed, color, nationality or religious belief can be deemed a criminal at some point given the right (or wrong) set of circumstances. Crime is described as any act that is an infraction of laws established and accepted by a people or society. How many times have you crossed the street on a red light or popped a grape in your mouth while grocery shopping? On YouTube there are countless videos of pranks gone wrong that turned otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals.

Those who participate in crime as an income or way of life; do the exact same things that everyone else does. They shop at the same stores, eat at the same restaurants, worship at the same churches, temples and synagogues and have the same hopes and dreams for their children. People that I know that engage in criminal acts as a means for survival do so with the sincerest wish that their children do not have to make the same choices in life.

Understand that I do not excuse anyone for criminal acts. Those that participate in such lifestyles, (especially those that use any manner of violence) should be prosecuted by law. I do wish to bring a level of understanding and shed some light on a popular misconception. No person lives a completely good or evil life. We all have our faults, vices, and shortcomings and none of us are perfect. It only takes one moment of indiscretion; a momentary lapse of judgment to change the course of one’s life; forever.

1) Josh Knight requested your answer to this

What was your lowest point in prison?

Hi Josh:

Damn good question. The lowest point of my prison life came when I finally woke up and realized just who I was as well as who my decisions are affecting.

In prison, as long as people are sending you money and letters regularly; prison is a breeze. As long as you are getting attention from people in the world, your prison popularity rises and you become the prison equivalent of one the “cool kids” in high school. However, when the money and letters stopped, like a spoiled bitch I called home cussing and demanding money.

After about 2 months of not receiving anything and feeling sorry for myself, I came to the painful reality that nobody owes me anything. It was my greed, selfishness and stupidity that put me in this situation. I was taking advantage of people that cared for me and making demands that I had no right to make. Every dime that was being sent me had to come from somewhere, usually my children. Instead of worrying about maintaining a façade of being a “baller” around people that I wouldn’t even know out in the world, I should be at home raising my children; teaching them how not to end up like this.

I sank into a period of depression and self-loathing. By writing, I gradually worked myself out of that mental state. I developed a “to do list”; a game plan created to keep myself from repeating the same comedy of errors that landed me in the penitentiary. That low point probably saved my life. By arriving at that point in my life I realized that I could only go up from there.

Everyone has a lowest point. The point in which we rise up to go forth and achieve our goals.  However, we must be cautious, many times we think we’ve hit our lowest point; only to find that you’ve only hit a false bottom.

6 thoughts on “Crime 101-Everything you wanted to know about crime but didn’t know who to ask.

  1. Im the son of the first victim. Linda Sutton was my mom. Son Of Sutton. I read your bio. From catholic schools, to drugs, marriage, father, college degree, etc. But the we have alot of thing in common, same story. But the difference between me n you. And i respect you. I was made into a natraul born @#%?μ¿…the affect n impact those devils did.. but life goes on. Contact me with palms open..antonesutton@yahoo.com.. hear our/my story of the. The Son that Rebuke the devils..lol..

  2. My son died from hanging himself in prison. I am glad that you are trying to get reform in the system. As my son said, “who’s idea was it to lock all them up in one place. If you weren’t a criminal going in, you sure were coming out.”

    1. My book is listed right there on my website. The name is The Darker Side of Evil. Simply click on the tab that says The Darker Side of Evil. As far as your son; I am terribly sorry to hear that. America has criminal just us, incarceration & rehabilitation so backwards that it is truly pathetic. The way crime is fought and punishment administered enhances the likelyhood of future crime; and the true crime is the fact that THEY KNOW THIS!!!

      1. I looked at your site right after I asked you that,lol.. I will read more of it later. The prison population is higher here than anywhere else. It needs fixin’.

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