Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography

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Selected biographies list[edit]

Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/1

Concert at a Free Mumia demonstration in Germany, 2007

Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954) was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner, and is currently a prisoner at State Correctional Institution - Greene near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. In December 2001 a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania affirmed the conviction but quashed his original punishment and ordered resentencing. Both Abu-Jamal and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appealed. The case was orally argued before a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia on May 17, 2007, and is pending. His case has received international attention. Supporters and human rights campaigners variously assert that he is innocent, that he was set up, that he did not receive a fair trial, and/or oppose the death penalty. Opponents assert that he is guilty, that he received the benefit of due process and was legitimately convicted of murder. Execution proponents among these assert that under Pennsylvania law his eventual judicial execution is warranted and mandated by the nature of his crime. Prior to his arrest he was a Black Panther Party activist, cab driver, and journalist. During the period of his imprisonment he has courted controversy as an honoree of municipal, educational and civil society organizations, and as a spoken word commentator and published author of several works - most notably Live from Death Row.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/2

Mark Felt

W. Mark Felt is a former agent and top official of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. After 30 years of denials, Felt revealed himself in May 2005 to be the Watergate scandal informant called "Deep Throat." During the early investigation of the Watergate scandal (197274), Felt was the Bureau's Associate Director, the second-ranking post in the FBI. While Associate Director, Felt provided Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward with critical leads on the story that eventually saw the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. In 1980, Felt was convicted of violating the civil rights of people thought to be associated with the Weather Underground by ordering FBI agents to break into their homes. On May 31, 2005, Felt was revealed to have been "Deep Throat". His identity as Woodward's informant was a secret for three decades and had been the source of much speculation in American political and popular culture. Felt resides in Santa Rosa, California and has completed an update of his 1979 autobiography which provides information on his past as "Deep Throat."


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/3
John Martin (born John Martin Scripps, December 9, 1959 – April 19, 1996) was a British serial killer who murdered three tourists — Gerard Lowe in Singapore, and Sheila and Darin Damude in Thailand — with another three unconfirmed victims. He posed as a tourist himself when committing the murders, which made British tabloids nickname him "the tourist from Hell". He cut up all his victims' bodies, using butchery skills he learned in prison, before disposing of them. Martin was arrested in Singapore when he returned there after murdering the Damudes. Photographs of decomposed body parts were shown as evidence during his trial, making it "one of the most grisly" ever heard in Singapore. He defended himself by saying that the death of Lowe had been an accident and that a friend of his had killed the Damudes. The judge did not believe Martin's account of events and sentenced him to death by hanging, making him the first Briton in Singapore to be given the death penalty.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/4

FBI fugitive photo

Katherine Ann Power (b. January 25, 1949) is an American ex-convict and long-time fugitive, who was placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Ten Most Wanted List in 1970, along with her accomplice Susan Edith Saxe, a fellow student at Brandeis University. The two participated in robberies at a Massachusetts National Guard armory and a bank in Brighton, Massachusetts where Boston police officer Walter Schroeder was shot and killed by one of their accomplices. These acts were to support protesting the war in Vietnam. Power remained at large for 23 years. In 1993, Katherine Ann Power negotiated a surrender with authorities and ended 23 years of hiding. Negotiations were carried out through her attorneys Steven Black, a public defender, and Rikki Klieman, a prominent Boston lawyer. On September 15, 1993, she pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and manslaughter in Boston. Power was sentenced to eight to twelve years in prison for the bank robbery, and five years and a $10,000 fine for the National Guard armory crimes. Additionally, judge Robert Banks of Suffolk County Superior Court imposed a probation condition that Power could not profit from her crime. Power appealed this portion of the sentence on First Amendment grounds, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected the argument and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/5

Albert Fish mugshot in 1903

Albert Hamilton Fish (May 19, 1870 – January 16, 1936) was an American sado-masochistic serial killer and cannibal. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria and possibly the Brooklyn Vampire. He boasted that he had "had children in every State," putting the figure at around 100, although it is not clear whether he was talking about molestation or cannibalization, less still as to whether it was true or not. He was a suspect in at least five killings in his lifetime. Fish confessed to three murders that police were able to trace to a known homicide, and confessed to stabbing at least two other people. He was put on trial for the kidnap and murder of Grace Budd, and was convicted and executed via electric chair.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/6

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838 – April 26, 1865) was an American stage actor, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865. Lincoln died the next day from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, becoming the first American president to be assassinated. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth family of actors from Maryland. He was also a Confederate sympathizer and expressed vehement dissatisfaction with the South's defeat in the Civil War. He opposed Lincoln's proposal to extend voting rights to recently emancipated slaves. Booth and a group of co-conspirators led by him planned to kill Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William Seward, and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in a desperate bid to help the tottering Confederacy's cause. Although Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered four days earlier, Booth believed the war was not yet over since Confederate General Joseph Johnston's army was still fighting the Union Army under General William Tecumseh Sherman. Of the conspirators, only Booth was successful in carrying out his part of the plot. Following the shooting, Booth fled by horseback to southern Maryland and eventually to a farm in rural northern Virginia, where he was tracked down and killed by Union soldiers two weeks later. Several of the other conspirators were tried and hanged shortly thereafter.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/7

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg after their conviction

Julius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28, 1915 – June 19, 1953) were American Communists who received international attention when they were executed having been found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage in relation to passing information on the American nuclear bomb to the Soviet Union. The guilt of the Rosenbergs and the appropriateness of their sentence have been controversial and a subject of perennial debate amongst scholars. However, information released since the end of the Cold War seems to confirm the charges of espionage against Julius and, to a lesser extent, Ethel.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/8

[[Image:{{{image}}}|115px|Matthew Cox Secret Service Wanted poster]]

Matthew Bevan Cox (born July 2, 1969), also sometimes known as Matthew B. Cox and Matt Cox, is an American felon and con man who has been convicted of conspiracy and grand theft. Cox, also an aspiring author, wrote an unpublished manuscript entitled The Associates. In the manuscript a character, which was most likely based upon himself, travelled the country committing mortgage fraud. Cox later committed crimes in almost exactly the same manner as the character in the novel had. Cox was able to falsify documents to make it appear as though he owned properties which he did not, and then was able to fraudulently obtain several mortgages on the properties for 5–6 times their actual worth. Throughout his criminal career Cox is estimated to have acquired several million dollars in this manner. He also enlisted the help of several female accomplices, some of whom are now in prison or have served time in prison. Cox was apprehended by authorities on November 16, 2006. Indicted on 42 counts, with prison sentences of potentially 400 years if convicted, Cox plea bargained his sentence down to a maximum of 54 years on April 11, 2007.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/9
Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz (b. 1929) was a senior Argentine police officer, who worked in the Buenos Aires Provincial Police during the first years of the military dictatorship known as the National Reorganization Process. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006, on charges of homicide, illegal deprivation of freedom (kidnapping), and torture. The tribunal, besides passing the sentence, stated that Etchecolatz's crimes were "crimes against humanity in the context of the genocide that took place in Argentina". The term "genocide" was thus employed for the first time in the official treatment of "Dirty War" crimes, as requested by the accusers. The "Dirty War" was a series of the atrocities committed under the military dictatorship of Argentina during 1976 to 1983. The dictatorship began with a coup d'état against President Isabel Peron followed by the accession of a military junta led by General Jorge Rafael Videla. During military rule, thousands of political dissidents were either killed or went into "forced disappearance".


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/10

Virginia Tech memorial

Seung-Hui Cho (January 18, 1984 – April 16, 2007) was a student at Virginia Tech who committed mass murder of 32 people and wounded 25 others in the shooting rampage which has come to be known as the Virginia Tech massacre. Cho committed suicide after law enforcement officers breached the doors of the building where he had killed and injured his victims. Cho was a South Korean national who had permanent resident status in the United States, where he arrived at a young age with his family. He was diagnosed with a severe form of an anxiety disorder known as selective mutism in middle school, as well as depression. In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine convened a panel consisting of various officials and experts to investigate and examine the response and handling of issues related to the Virginia Tech shootings. The panel released its final report in August 2007, devoting more than 30 pages to detailing Cho's troubled history. In the report, the panel criticized numerous failures — by school administrators, educators and mental health professionals who came into contact with Cho during his college years and who failed to notice his deteriorating condition and help him. The panel also criticized misinterpretations of privacy laws and gaps in Virginia's mental health system and gun laws. In addition, the panel faulted Virginia Tech administrators in particular for failing to take immediate action after the first shootings.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/11

Solution to Zodiac's 408-symbol cipher

The Zodiac Killer is a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. His identity remains unknown. The Zodiac coined his name in a series of taunting letters he sent to the press. His letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved. The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targeted. Others have also been suspected to be Zodiac victims, but there has been thus far no conclusive evidence to link them to the killer. In April 2004, the San Francisco Police Department marked the case "inactive", but reopened it some time before March 2007. The case remains open in other jurisdictions as well.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/12

Chalk and pencil sketch of Jack Sheppard in Newgate Prison

Jack Sheppard was a notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. Born into a poor family, he was apprenticed as a carpenter but took to theft and burglary in 1723, with little more than a year of his training to complete. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure, and wildly popular with the poorer classes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years. The inability of the noted "Thief-Taker General" (and thief) Jonathan Wild to control Sheppard, and injuries suffered by Wild at the hands of Sheppard's colleague, Joseph "Blueskin" Blake, led to Wild's downfall. Sheppard was as renowned for his attempts to escape justice as for his crimes. He returned to the public consciousness in around 1840, when William Harrison Ainsworth wrote a novel entitled Jack Sheppard, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. The popularity of his tale, and the fear that others would be drawn to emulate his behaviour, led the authorities to refuse to license any plays in London with "Jack Sheppard" in the title for forty years.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/13

Charles Edward Magoon

Charles Edward Magoon was a prominent United States lawyer, judge, diplomat, and administrator who is best remembered as a governor of both the Panama Canal Zone and Cuba. He was also the subject of several small scandals during his career. As a legal adviser working for the United States Department of War, he drafted recommendations and reports that were used by Congress and the executive branch in governing the United States' new territories following the Spanish–American War. These reports were collected as a published book in 1902, then considered the seminal work on the subject. During his time as a governor, Magoon worked to put these recommendations into practice.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/14

Ernest Emerson

Ernest Emerson is a custom knifemaker, martial artist, and edged-weapons authority who founded Emerson Knives, Inc in 1996. Once known for making "art knives", he later became better known as one of the knifemakers who started the Tactical Knife trend in the early 1990s with his award winning cutlery. Emerson's knives have been displayed as museum pieces, carried by Navy SEALs, used by NASA in outer space, and have been featured in books and films, making them valuable and popular with collectors. Emerson's knifemaking career was born from his experience as an engineer and machinist in the aerospace industry coupled with his lifelong study of martial arts. Drawing on his experience as a craftsman and engineer, Emerson has also begun making custom handmade electric guitars. Emerson's own personally developed fighting technique, Emerson Combat Systems, has been taught to police officers, elite military units, and civilians worldwide; making Emerson a highly sought after combatives instructor, author, and noted authority on edged-weapons in combat.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/15

Portrait of Garran in the 1930s

Robert Garran was an Australian lawyer and public servant, an early leading expert in Australian constitutional law, the first employee of the Government of Australia and the first Solicitor-General of Australia. Garran spent thirty-one years as permanent head of the Attorney-General's Department, providing advice to ten different Prime Ministers (from Barton to Lyons). He played a significant behind-the-scenes role in the Australian federation movement, as adviser to Edmund Barton and chair of the Drafting Committee at the 1897–1898 Constitutional Convention. In addition to his professional work, Garran was also an important figure in the development of the city of Canberra during its early years. He founded several important cultural associations, organised the creation of the Canberra University College, and later contributed to the establishment of the Australian National University. Garran published at least eight books and many journal articles throughout his lifetime, covering such topics as constitutional law, the history of federalism in Australia, and German language poetry.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/16

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. He had been the 25th Vice President before becoming President upon the assassination of President William McKinley. Inaugurated at the age of 42, Roosevelt became the youngest President in U.S. history. Within the Republican Party, he was a reformer who sought to bring the party's conservative ideals into the 20th century. He broke with his friend and successor William Howard Taft and ran as a third party candidate in 1912 on the Progressive Party ticket. Before his presidency, Roosevelt served as a New York State assemblyman, Police Commissioner of New York City, U.S. Civil Service Commissioner, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy. As a colonel, he commanded his famous all-volunteer First U.S. National Cavalry regiment, the "Rough Riders" during the Spanish–American War. Roosevelt also served a successful term as Governor of New York. He was a famous historian and naturalist; his 15 books include works on outdoor life, natural history, U.S. Western and political history, an autobiography and a host of other topics. In his lifetime, he was considered a foremost authority on North American big game animals and Eastern birds.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/17

Jonathan Wild in the condemned cell at Newgate Prison

Jonathan Wild was perhaps the most famous criminal of London, if not of the United Kingdom, in the 18th century, both because of his own actions and the uses novelists, playwrights, and political satirists made of them. He invented a scheme which allowed him to run one of the most successful gangs of thieves of the era, all the while appearing to be the nation's leading policeman. He manipulated the press and the nation's fears to become the most loved public figure of the 1720s; this love turned to hatred when his villainy was exposed. After his death, he became a symbol of naked corruption and hypocrisy.


Portal:Criminal justice/Selected biography/18

Ziad Jarrah

Ziad Jarrah was named by the FBI as one of the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is believed to have taken over as the pilot of the aircraft and made an unsuccessful attempt to crash the plane into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. After a wealthy and secular upbringing, Jarrah became involved in the September 11 conspiracy in college. Unique among the hijackers, he had a girlfriend and was close to his family. There are disputes concerning whether or not Jarrah was actually on Flight 93, although the 9/11 Commission concluded that his was not a case of mistaken identity.


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