• Family and friends say a final goodbye to Norma Angélica Bruno Román who was killed last Thursday. (Jorge Ríos/RML/Agencia el Universal)

    A Death Foretold

    Who Killed This Woman at a Funeral?

    Despite government efforts to impose law and order in Iguala after more than 40 students disappeared there, murderers still operate with impunity.

    IGUALA, Mexico — Beside the open casket at the funeral of Norma Angélica Bruno Román, age 25, was neither the time nor the place to mourn her murder.

    Norma’s wake was held inside the home she shared with her parents and her two small children. It is a modest concrete dwelling on a street corner in the neighborhood of San Gerardo. Outside, a blue tarp was hoisted to shade a few rows of plastic chairs rented from the local funeral parlor. Halfway down the block, the Mexican Federal Police stood guard in an armored patrol vehicle, part of a force put in place after Iguala’s cops were accused of complicity in the murders and disappearances of 46 student demonstrators last year.

  • Handout

    No Heartbeat

    Charged With Murder for a Miscarriage

    A woman survived kidnapping, rape, and savage beatings—but her unborn child did not. Now Oklahoma City police are calling the death a homicide, and her missing ex is wanted for murder.

    The woman was six weeks pregnant when her ex-boyfriend allegedly locked her in a room for three days without food and repeatedly raped and sodomized her while savagely beating her with his fists, a hard-soled sandal, and the buckle end of a belt.

    “Beaten to the point she was almost unrecognizable by her family,” says a June 16 affidavit filed by the Oklahoma City police. “[The woman] had both eyes swollen shut, severe bruising all over her body, severe trauma in her vagina, and numerous deep cuts from the belt buckle.”

  • No Peace

    Abused by Military Justice

    Over a year ago, a civilian woman accused her Marine ex-husband of beating and raping her. She’s still waiting for the incidents to be fully investigated.

    Three years after she separated from her husband, Bobbie Herron still suffers from his abuse. Last week she went in for another round of surgery, this time to fix the broken orbital socket and deviated septum he left her with after an attack in 2010.

    For over a year, Herron has been working through the military system, appealing for justice against the Marine ex-husband she says routinely raped and beat her. To Herron it has felt like “a marathon that I ran in quicksand, getting nowhere quickly.”

  • YouTube

    ‘Rape Teacher’ Accused On YouTube

    How one woman used the Internet to accuse her alleged childhood abuser.

    We’re all too familiar with the inherent dangers of Internet vigilantism—the false leads on social media sites following the Boston Marathon bombings, the attempts to seek digital justice motivated by nefarious intent. But every now and then, online vigilantism precipitates civic justice.

    Such appears to be the case with a now-viral video posted to YouTube and titled “A call to my childhood rapist teacher.” A woman identifying as Jamie X claims she was a 12-year-old student at Chemawa Middle School in Riverside, California when a former teacher, Andrea Cardosa, allegedly began molesting her. Jamie, now 28, says she only recently came to terms with the alleged sex abuse and was planning on reporting it to authorities when she discovered that the statute of limitations on the alleged crime had expired. So, according to Jamie, she took matters in her own hands, exposing her alleged abuser to everyone with an Internet connection.


    Montana Rapist to Get New Hearing

    30-day sentence may be illegal.

    A Montana judge has ordered a new sentencing hearing for convicted rapist Stacey Dean Rambold, saying his initial sentence does not meet the 2-year mandatory minimum, and may be illegal. Judge G. Todd Baugh made headlines last week when he suspended all but 31 days of Rambold’s 15-year sentence for the rape of a 14-year-old student and sparked outrage with statements that the victim, who later committed suicide, was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher.

    Read it at The Billings Gazette
  • Getty

    Femme Fatale

    The Original Gone Girls

    Dorothy Salisbury Davis is the last survivor among a generation of women writers who pioneered psychological thrillers. By Sarah Weinman.

    On a gloriously sunny July afternoon, I took the bus up from the George Washington Bridge Station to Palisades, New York, to meet one of the mystery genre’s living legends. The point of my visit with Dorothy Salisbury Davis, at an assisted-living facility she’s called home the past three years, was to give her a finished copy, just off the press, of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, the anthology of domestic suspense fiction I edited for Penguin.

    Troubled Daughters reprints Davis’s story “Lost Generation”, a politically-tinged tale of school protests and righteous belief with a shocker of an ending that spurred Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine editor Fred Dannay, in a note accompanying the story’s original publication in 1971, to warn readers it was “not a pleasant story” but urged them to read it nonetheless.

  • This June 2011 photo shows, seated from left, Christina Anderson, Christopher Saincome, Christina's sisters Samantha Saincome and Andrea Saincome, their niece Hannah Anderson, (reclining), Alexi (friend of Hannah's), and James Lee DiMaggio. On the floor are Ethan Anderson, left, and Andrea's infant child. (Courtesy of Andrea Saincome via AP)

    Kidnap Survivor

    All About Hannah Anderson

    The California teen has been found alive! Here are five things you need to know about her abduction and daring rescue.

    1. Anderson and her captor were spotted by horseback riders.

    Despite all our technological advancements, the big break in this case came Wednesday, when two couples on horseback in the Idaho wilderness spotted Hannah Anderson and James Lee DiMaggio on a trail and then later by a lake. “She kinda had a scared look on her face,” said rancher Mike Young. “I just had a gut feeling about him.” What tipped them off? Anderson and DiMaggio seemed unprepared for camping, and they were going the wrong way when DiMaggio said they were looking for the Salmon River. And Anderson was wearing what looked like pajama pants—not the most appropriate attire for such rugged terrain. When the two couples returned home, they saw the Amber Alert issued for Anderson and called police. Given the vastness of Idaho’s back country, it’s a miracle the riders came across Anderson once, let alone twice.

  • Frances Twitty/Getty

    FBI Sting

    Bust the Creeps, Too

    The FBI just saved more than 100 kids from the sex trade, but what about the johns? By Michael Daly.

    For a seventh year, the FBI has joined with local law enforcement in targeting child prostitution with Operation Cross Country, rescuing 105 kids from the sex trade and arresting 159 pimps.

    That is up from 79 rescued kids and 105 arrested pimps last year. The year before, it was 69 kids and 99 pimps.

  • Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images


    FBI Arrests 150 in Sex-Trafficking Sting

    And rescues more than 100 exploited children.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Monday that it has arrested 150 pimps and rescued more than 100 exploited teenagers involved in sex trafficking. Taken together, the raids, which took place in more than 70 cities, constitute the largest FBI action focused on finding sexually exploited children. The youngest child recovered was 13 years old, according to authorities. Ronald Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal-investigative division, said the bureau hopes that more people will now be aware of sex trafficking. Those arrested will face human-trafficking charges.

    Read it at NBC News
  • Young woman walking on a college campus. (Doug Menuez/Getty)

    College Polish

    Staying Safe Off Campus

    For college students, security wanes beyond the gates.

    As my roommates and I prepared to move out of our dorm, our first year of college complete, we heard news that a fellow Hofstra student had been killed in a home invasion the night before. It wasn’t completely shocking—Hempstead, New York has a higher-than-average crime rate, and we were often warned about walking alone off campus at night—but now that someone had been killed in her home, we reassessed our safety in a new light.

    News quickly spread: a girl and her three roommates—including her twin sister—were attacked inside their rented off-campus house after a prison parolee broke in and held them hostage, leading to a shootout with police where student Andrea Rebello was accidentally shot by the cops. The Rebello family intends to sue the Nassau County Police Department for “wrongful death, civil rights and negligence actions.” (John Ciampoli, Nassau County Attorney, has stated he's “sure that that was in the scope of police procedures…and I’m of the belief myself that we’ll find out that the police officer acted appropriately.”)

  • John Ramsey, right, and his wife Patsy leave home after a press conference February 20, 2001. (Erik S. Lesser/Newsmakers)


    The Cross-Finger Point

    How some high-profile murders never get solved.

    Why do some cases, like that of the slain JonBenet Ramsey, carry on for years without prosecution? Often, there’s the problem of “cross-finger pointing.” One victim dies and two very likely suspects are identified, but only one of them did it—and they’re relatives, so neither one will give the other up (or, if they do, the guilty party can counter-blame the innocent party). It’s all explained in an excerpt from Wendy Murphy’s And Justice for Some, with a special focus on how many of these cases have to do with sexual assault and murder of women and girls—and how our tax dollars can perpetuate the problem.

  • Scott Olson/Getty Images

    One boy has confessed to making the video.

    Three Chicago teens were arrested and charged Friday with the rape of a 12-year-old girl in December—and then posting a video of the attack on Facebook. Scandale Fritz, 16, Kenneth Brown, 15, and Justin Applewhite, 16, are being held on held on $900,000 bail, and they were all charged as adults. According to police, the girl had gone to Fritz’s house to talk to him, and he demanded that they have sex. She refused at first, but Brown is said to have had a gun in his pocket, and the boys then allegedly sexually assaulted her and forced her to perform sex acts on them. Fritz also allegedly recorded the sex acts, posted the footage on Facebook, and has reportedly admitted to police that he made the video. It’s not clear why it took so many months before the teens were charged.

  • Arias during "victim impact statement" on May 16 in Phoenix. (Pool photo by Rob Schumacher)


    Jodi Arias Victim’s Family Speaks

    Brother has nightmares of seeing Travis’s dead body.

    Convicted murderer Jodi Arias has already made clear that she’d prefer the death penalty over life in prison for the death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. But before the jury could determine Arias’s fate, they had to hear from a few more witnesses—including the victim's family. In a Phoenix courtroom, Thursday, Alexander’s brother, Steven, told the jury of all the problems he’s experienced since Travis was killed—including violent nightmares in which he, his wife, and his daughter are chased by someone wielding a knife. In the dream, he then sees his dead brother’s body “curled up on a shower, thrown in there, left to rot for days, all alone.” Steven’s emotional testimony, plus that of his sister, made a visible impact on the jury, who will listen to more witnesses, including Arias herself and another ex-boyfriend on Monday. Prosecutor Juan Martinez insisted, in his opening statements Thursday, that because of the brutality of the murder in question, “the only appropriate sentence ... is death.”

    Read it at Associated Press