Society's ChildS


'Witches' burnt to death in Kenya

Eleven elderly people accused of being witches have been burned to death by a mob in the west of Kenya, police say.


'Psychopath' Label 'penalising' convicted killer?

A convicted murderer and child sex offender is challenging being labelled a "psychopath" as he heads toward his first parole hearing after 13 years in jail.

Phillip John Smith's lawyer, Tony Ellis, told a High Court judge yesterday that if Smith was shown to have a history of psychopathy his chance of getting parole was "not good".

The procedure leading to the assessment was not properly done, Mr Ellis said.

"In essence you need a good psychological report to get out, and if it is tainted by all this it is not going to happen."

Eye 2

IAEA has no evidence on Iran''s building nuclear arms - ElBaradei

Mohammad El-Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said here Monday the UN nuclear watchdog has no evidence proving that Iran was building a nuclear bomb, but affirmed that the Iranian nuclear file was part of security of region.

"We are saying that (we have no evidence about Iran's manufacturing of nuclear bomb) and we can't know the intentions of Iran in future," El-Baradei addressed a World Economic Forum's (WEF) session about new strategies to achieve stability.


Best of the Web: Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation: Part 4

The bridge of the USS Bon Homme Richard, January 1964. Just months later, the guy on the right would guide his ship into the Tonkin Gulf, and the young man on the left would begin a remarkable transformation into a brooding rock god. The Bon Homme Richard, by the way, was launched on April 29, 1944, under the sponsorship of Catherine McCain, the grandmother of a certain presidential contender.

Until around 1913, Laurel Canyon remained an undeveloped (and unincorporated) slice of LA - a pristine wilderness area rich in native flora and fauna. That all began to change when Charles Spencer Mann and his partners began buying up land along what would become Laurel Canyon Boulevard, as well as up Lookout Mountain. A narrow road leading up to the crest of Lookout Mountain was carved out, and upon that crest was constructed a lavish 70-room inn with sweeping views of the city below and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The Lookout Inn featured a large ballroom, riding stables, tennis courts and a golf course, among other amenities. But the inn, alas, would only stand for a decade; in 1923, it burned down, as tends to happen rather frequently in Laurel Canyon.

Comment: Continue to parts V & VI


Best of the Web: Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part 3

"I mean, fuck, he auditioned for Neil [Young] for fuck's sake."

Graham Nash, explaining to author Michael Walker how close Charlie Manson was to the Laurel Canyon scene.


During the ten-year period during which Bruce, Novarro, Mineo, Linkletter, Stevens, Tate, Sebring, Frykowski and Folger all turned up dead, a whole lot of other people connected to Laurel Canyon did as well, often under very questionable circumstances. The list includes, but is certainly not limited to, all of the following names:

Comment: Continue to part IV

Heart - Black

UK: Psychopath's "whole life" sentence overturned

A judge this morning overturned the "whole life" jail tariff of a psychopath who murdered a North East skin specialist.

Reginald Wilson, serving life for killing Dr David Birkett at his Middlesbrough home in 1990, can now ask the Parole Board to free him next month


SOTT Focus: Arna's Children

Arna Ashraf
Ashraf Abu-elhaje, an actor (1996) in the theatre of Jenin refugee-camp. Ashraf leads a large group of fighters in the battle of Jenin 2002. Ashraf was killed by a rocket fired from a helicopter.

Last night I sat through the screening of a documentary called "Arna's Children". Arna was a Jewish woman, who moved to Jenin refugee camp in Palestine and there created a center for children. The screening was organized by the 'Palestine Solidarity Campaign' to mark the 60th Anniversary of Al-Nakba - the Palestinians "day of Catastrophe" when the state of Israel was illegally established on their land. The film is the work of Juliano Mer-Khamis, Arna's son and an actor. Through the creative arts and games, Arna tried to help the Palestinian children of the camp express their feelings of anger, frustration and helplessness as they see their houses demolished by Israeli tanks, their people murdered by Israeli soldiers.

Juliano created a theatre group as part of Arna's center for children which helped give a voice and meaning to the lives of Palestine's children. It also allowed them to dream of a better future. But living in Jenin camp, under the occupation and brutal oppression by the IDF, we follow their lives to see that they did not become actors, painters, teachers, doctors, whatever it was they dreamed of. Many grew up to become resistance fighters, two of them killed by the Israeli army during fights, one during a "suicide attack".

Black Cat

New Book Claims O.J. Simpson Confessed: Is O.J. a Psychopath?

Comment: The content of this article was removed at the request of the copyright owner.

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Evil Rays

Best of the Web: Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part 2

"He was great, he was unreal - really, really good."

"He had this kind of music that nobody else was doing. I thought he really had something crazy, something great. He was like a living poet."

©Steven Johnson

[Today's first trivia question: both of the above statements were made, on separate occasions, by a famous Laurel Canyon musician of the 1960s era. Both quotes were offered up in praise of another Laurel Canyon musician. Award yourself five points for correctly identifying the person who made the remarks, and five for identifying who the statements refer to. The answers are at the end of this post.]

Comment: Continue to part III


SOTT Focus: US: At least 245 cases of taser deaths between June 2001 and June 2007, but don't talk about it!

Well, it looks like something fishy is going on with a topic that has been in the news for quite awhile now: deaths due to Tasers.

We begin our little story with an article from
Pinellas County Taser Deaths - Excusable Or Not?

June Maxam
North Country Gazette
7 May 2008

Between June 2001 and June 2007, there were at least 245 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers. Of these cases, in seven cases, medical examiners said tasers were a cause or a contributing factor or could not be ruled out as a cause of death.

In 16 cases, coroners and other officials stated that a taser was a secondary or contributory factor of death.

In dozens of cases, coroners cited excited delirium as cause of death. Excited delirium has been questioned as a medical diagnosis.

Several deaths occurred as a result of injuries sustained in struggles. In a few of these cases, head injury due to falling after being shocked contributed to later death.

In 2005, a medical examiner ruled for the first time that a taser was the primary factor in a death. [...]
Fabulous. If you put the headline together with the text, it sounds like Pinellas County, FL is a veritable hotbed for Taser Deaths. So what's the big deal? The day after we posted this article under our Fair Use Policy, we received an e-mail as follows: