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Judge awards $150M to the victims’ families of the Jonesboro school shooting

Judge awards $150M to the victims' families of the Jonesboro school shooting

Mitchell Johnson

Before there was Columbine, there was Jonesboro. On March 24, 1998, 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Andrew Golden shot and killed four students and a teacher at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Eleven other people had also been injured. At the time of the shooting there was no law in the state of Arkansas that could keep the killers in prison beyond their 21st birthday. Since then, that loophole has been closed. Johnson was released in 2005, while Golden was released in 2007. While Golden, now going by the name of Drew Grant, has largely remained out of the public eye, Johnson was arrested in 2007 on drugs and weapons charges and in 2008 on theft charges. He was sentenced to 22 years but was paroled in 2015.

Yesterday, a Craighead County judge ruled the two killers owed the families of their victims a wrongful death settlement of $150 million. This lawsuit has been going on for almost two decades. The families realize they will never receive the settlement, but mostly filed the suit to have depositions from both shooters released to the public in order to try to prevent future school shootings. Neither killer was present at the ruling. Johnson’s depositions can be found here, while Golden’s can be found here. Due to time constraints, I haven’t been able to go through all of the depositions, however, I will be making a future post about them.

Another reason the families filed the lawsuit was to prevent Johnson and Golden, the only mass school shooters who have been released from jail, from making money from their story. While Arkansas does have a Son of Sam law in place, another infamous son of Arkansas, convicted child killer Damien Echols, has shown there are ways around that. Thanks to this lawsuit neither Johnson nor Golden will be able to make a dime from their mass murders and loophole release.

(Sources)
KAIT
Arkansas Online
Arkansas Times

Comic of the Week: Red Hood and the Outlaws #13

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Don’t expect them regularly because I suck at keeping schedules, and there aren’t really that many good comics worth noticing out there right now. Plus I have space to fill since a lot of the crime content has been moved to Social Mayhem and Crime Classified.

Anyway, I’m a huge fan of the Jason Todd character. I liked him as Robin, I voted for him to live in the Death in the Family storyline, and I loved it even more when he returned as Red Hood.

However, I have been a little disappointed with the character since the New 52. I’d rather see him as DC’s version of the Punisher than another member of the Bat-Family.

I still read Red Hood and The Outlaws since Jason Todd is still one of my favorite characters. The most recent issue isn’t spectacular or groundbreaking, but it made me laugh when Lex Luthor threw out the following quote after promising to heal Bizarro.

Comic of the Week: Red Hood and the Outlaws #13

If that quote doesn’t ring any bells, it’s a quote from the horrible movie adaptation of the video game Street Fighter. The only saving grace of the movie is when Raul Julia, playing M. Bison, turns to Ming-Na Wen, playing Chun-Li, and says…

For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.

Here’s the entire scene for reference.

And for that reason alone, issue #13 of Red Hood and the Outlaws is my pick for comic of the week.

Crazy conspiracy lady ordered to pay $8.4M to man she claims raped her

Crazy conspiracy lady ordered to pay $8.4M to man she claims raped her

Rape is a serious subject. It’s spoken about in the same grave tones as something like cancer. For many victims of rape, they consider it a worse crime than murder. One of the things that makes it such a horrible crime is many victims never come forward to report a rape out of fear of retribution or shame. What doesn’t help with the problem is when someone falsely claims to have been raped.

52-year-old Susan Shannon of Everett, Washington, claims she was raped by retired Army Colonel David “Wil” Riggins when the two attended West Point in the mid to late 1980s. By most reports she never contacted any authority about it until Col. Riggins was up for promotion to Brigadier General in 2013. Shannon then made blog posts on her personal blog claiming Riggins had raped her. Riggins was then pulled out of contention for the promotion because of the accusations. He retired instead. No subsequent investigation was ever able to prove any rape had taken place. Shannon was sued by Riggins for defamation and a jury ruled in his favor and awarded the retired Colonel $8.4 million.

Now I know it’s not unusual for rape victims not to come forward for years. I know there is a problem of rape and sexual assaults among the military. However, when you take a closer look at Ms. Shannon, the underlying tin foil hat starts to show.

On her blog, Ms. Shannon has claimed the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a conspiracy perpetrated by the government in order to take our guns. She claims to be a Christian, yet calls the Mormon Church a cult and the Roman Catholic Church part of the New World Order. She’s also a bible-thumping homophobe who would probably fit right in with the Phelps family. What’s worse is she has a GoFundMe page to help with her legal expenses and she’s already raised $11,000 at the time of this posting. I guess it pays to be crazy.

In my opinion she is a disgrace to rape victims who had to fight with every inch of their being to try to bring their rapists to justice. While character is not always the best indicator when it comes to proving rape, I think in this case it goes a long way in showing the mental capacity of this woman, her obvious delusions, and her apparent constant need for attention.

UPDATE: As I was writing this post I noticed the post on Shannon’s blog entitled ‘In my defense’, in which she pleads her case and claims to be the victim of the media, it appears she had all opposing comments removed and the comments were then closed. Again, I think this goes a long way in showing how her mind operates.

Own your WalMart outrage like a hero

Social media had their collective panties in a bunch when the following picture was shown of a WalMart in Evansville, Indiana.

Of course when someone puts the images of guns and school together you can’t help but think of school shootings, but is this really worth our outrage? Of course this wasn’t done intentionally by WalMart but you’d think the store personally went to school children and handed them guns the way some people are overreacting. For all we know it could have been done by some customer who thought they were funny, and to be honest, I did chuckle a little, but I can have a dark sense of humor at times.

What we should be outraged about is how some parents refuse to check on their kids activities, especially when there are guns in the home. We should be outraged about parents who refuse to get their children psychiatric help because the parents think they’ve somehow failed as a parent if they admit their child has a problem. We should be outraged about the generations of children we’ve raised to be emotional marshmallows whose first response is to turn to violence when things don’t go their way for whatever reason. But no, let’s rage at WalMart instead since they’re obviously the reason behind school shootings.

Defense attorney calls middle school shooting plot a ‘fairy tale’

Defense attorney calls middle school shooting plot a 'fairytale'

Zemmer Middle School

(Story broke 8/2/2017)

I originally posted about the alleged school shooting plot against Zemmer Middle School in Lapeer, Michigan, here. If you’ll recall, two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old were arrested and charged as adults for allegedly plotting an attack against the school. The teens made a video similar to the Columbine Basement Tapes, where these teens proclaimed themselves gods while threatening violence against the school.

A couple of weeks ago, they appeared in court where one of their defense attorneys claimed the plot was merely the wild imagination of zealous police investigators and referred to the plot as a fairy tale of teen angst expressed in fiction. So I guess the video Cho Seung-Hui sent to a national news channel was just angsty fiction before he killed dozens at Virginia Tech. Or the videos Alvaro Castillo sent to a local news station after killing his father was just a fairy tale. That’s not even mentioning all the videos made by other potential school shooters who were stooped before they could carry out their plans.

When these kids live in homes with guns and proclaim themselves gods who will have followers after they kill as many as they can, isn’t angsty teen fiction or a fairy tale. It’s evidence that shows how much violence these kids could be capable of.

Emergency Programming Note

I was going to announce this after my appearance on #Murder tonight, however, a story broke that forces my hand.

I’ve broken off all the stories about craigslist, Backpage and the like into a new site called Crime Classified. The site isn’t quite ready for primetime, but an issue has forced my hand.

So from now on, stories about classifieds sites and apps will be over there.

If you follow me on social media, you don’t have to do a thing. However, if you follow me either on RSS feed or through the mailing list, you will have to subscribe to the new site as well.

And for further spoilers, I’m going to be doing the same for my social media posts as well in the near future.

3 teens arrested in Southern California school shooting plot

3 teens arrested in Southern California school shooting plot

Calexico High School

(Story broke 5/10/2017)

There isn’t a lot of information about this story, but what is known is three students of Calexico High School, in Calexico, California, were arrested back in May for allegedly plotting a school shooting against the school. I was unable to find the ages of all three unnamed juvenile suspects, but at least one of them is 15-years-old. While police haven’t released many details, they have said their case for attempted murder is strong. At least one of the suspects lived in a home with multiple firearms.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to discuss. First off, the plot was foiled because another student actually informed the principal about the alleged scheme. Too many times before school shootings there have been reports of a student either knowing about the plan, or seeing the gun, but chalk it up to “I didn’t think he was serious”. As the saying goes, if you see something, say something. It’s better for it to be a false alarm than an actual school shooting where life and limb are lost.

The other topic is, of course, bullying. It has been raised in this case but local police put it best…

Police said that bullying may have been a factor, but they are quick to point out that it is no excuse to put the lives of others in danger.

Someone with a gun who shoots unarmed kids is not only a bully in their own right, but they’re also a coward.

Trio of teenage columbiners charged with plotting middle school shooting

Trio of teenage columbiners charged with plotting middle school shooting

Zemmer Middle School

(Story broke 5/10/2017)

Back in February, three teens, two aged 14 and one 15, were arrested for allegedly plotting an attack against Zemmer Middle School in Lapeer, Michigan. Back in May, the trio appeared in court where a video made by the teens was played that was heavily influenced by the so-called ‘Basement Tapes’ from Columbine. If you’re familiar with the history of Columbine, this won’t be anything new.

Please forgive the copious copying and pasting.

In the film, XXXXX and XXXXX, 14, sat side-by-side in armchairs in XXXXX’s parents’ basement, smoking while describing the alleged plot to “shoot up” Zemmer Middle School and their plans to commit suicide after.

“It’ll be nerve-wracking, alright, but it’ll be the best moment of our lives,” said XXXXX.

“Our short lives,” XXXXX added.

“I can’t [expletive] wait,” said XXXXX.

Calling themselves “gods” and saying that they intended to “bring justice to the world, one school at a time,” the two teens listed off intended targets in the shooting, throwing their heads back and laughing to themselves.

“I thought I could I could trust someone not to [expletive] walk all over me for almost a year now, it’s [expletive],” XXXXX said in the video. “As if my life wasn’t bad enough. But you know what? It won’t matter.”

“We’re going to use a sawed-off machine gun, some pistols,” said XXXXX.

“Gonna be the best [expletive] of my life,” said XXXXX.

The pair claimed in the video that the attack would leave them with “followers” who would watch over from the afterlife.

“You know what, XXXXX, we’re gonna be in heaven, resting in peace, watching over our followers for generations to come. We will have followers, trust me … till this world is brought to justice one school at a time.”

“If not several,” said XXXXX.

In the video, the two also discussed the Columbine shooters and “Zero Hour,” the documentary on the 1999 mass murder at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students fatally shot 13, injured 21 and subsequently committed suicide.

“We’ll be resting with them,” XXXXX said in the video, laughing.

As usual, I’m not naming these kids because that’s the kind of attention they crave with this kind of behavior.

As far as the video is concerned, it makes me laugh. These kids are in middle school and consider themselves gods? Please, you’re far from gods, you’re not even acolytes. You’re just another group of plebeians who think they’re being edgy by emulating the Columbine cowards Harris and Klebold. You’re not the first and sadly, I’ll doubt you’ll be the last. You know nothing about the real world and obviously have little to no parental guidance in your lives.

Speaking of parental guidance, guns were kept in two of the homes by parents, but by all accounts the weapons were secured. However, that doesn’t mean that any security measure couldn’t have been circumvented by the teens. It wouldn’t have been the first time a kid has gotten hold of the key to the gun locker and took the weapon to a school.

Thankfully, the trio have been charged as adults and are looking at life sentences on attempted murder charges. Instead of gods, they’ll just be numbers, collect-calling their parents for commissary money.