16 Stories

Chicago Leads US in Murders, Lacks Detectives to Solve Them

The city has a murder clearance rate of 46%, one of the lowest in the US

(Newser) - The situation in Chicago looks dire. According to a Reuters report, the murder rate in America's third-largest city is skyrocketing while the number of detectives tasked with solving those homicides is dropping. Chicago is on pace to have more homicides this year than in any year since 1997. In... More »

Cops: Guys Try to Steal Car With Detective in It

Well-thought-out plan does not succeed

(Newser) - It must have seemed like easy pickins: Police say two men in suburban Fort Worth spotted a car warming up outside a home early yesterday morning and tried to steal it. The first problem was that, unbeknownst to them because of the still-frosted windows, the owner was inside, reports Reuters... More »

Report: Black Man Secretly Helped Great Crime Writers

Gumshoe Samuel Marlowe apparently wrote to Chandler, Hammett

(Newser) - Two great American crime novelists may have relied on a man unknown to history—a black detective in Los Angeles—to help them get their facts straight, the LA Times reports. Samuel Marlowe, said to be the city's first black gumshoe, worked for celebrities, studios, and speakeasies in the... More »

Detective Scrawls Message in Victim's Blood

Charles Hoffacker may be in trouble for it, too

(Newser) - Crime-solver by day, offbeat artist by night? That's New Orleans homicide detective Charles Hoffacker, who last week scrawled a message at a murder scene—in the victim's blood, WWLTV reports. The department has decommissioned him (no uni, no gun, no street jobs) and launched an internal investigation, but... More »

Sherlock Holmes Would Stink as Detective Today

Criminology teacher takes down the world-famous crime-solver

(Newser) - Who hasn't been annoyed when Sherlock Holmes deftly solves a crime with a "what the...?" answer and calls it "elementary, my dear Watson"? Criminology teacher Noah Charney is apparently among us, writing in the Daily Beast that Holmes' thinking just wouldn't work in real-life... More »

Legendary Thief Caught by Retired Archnemesis

Lonnie Mason had been on Blane Nordahl's trail for decades

(Newser) - It's a criminal tale that reads like Catch Me If You Can. At its center: a thief of antique silver alleged to have burgled 500 homes over 30 years (including that of Ivanka Trump) and the retired detective who spent his career trailing him. Blane Nordahl was arrested yesterday... More »

2 LA Cops Shot Near Station

Ambush leaves detectives injured

(Newser) - Two LAPD detectives were hospitalized after being shot on their return to a police station early today; authorities are now searching for the gunman who ambushed the cops. Three people have been detained following the attack, which involved an exchange of shots. "When they swiped their key card" to... More »

Rapist May Be Sentenced— Even Though He's Dead

Former cop Anthony Orban killed himself following conviction

(Newser) - A former police detective was convicted of kidnapping and rape last year—but before he could be sentenced, he committed suicide. But he's not off the hook: A California judge could still sentence Anthony Orban despite his death. "The only reason he is not here is because he... More »

Mom Packs Books, Lunch, Pistol for 6-Year-Old

Retired detective leaves gun in school bag

(Newser) - One 6-year-old girl surprised her classmates at a New York school this week by opening her bag and brandishing a .25-caliber handgun—left courtesy of her mom, a retired NYPD detective. "No one was hurt—but maybe she don't know it's a real gun and bang, bang,... More »

Rachel Uchitel Now a Private Dick

Tiger Woods' former mistress goes undercover in gumshoe biz

(Newser) - Watch out. Tiger Woods' former mistress is going to start packing some serious heat. Rachel Uchitel has traded in her former work as a "VIP nightclub manager" in exchange for a gig as a private detective, and is already hard at work on her first case: tracking down a... More »

Angelina Jolie to Play Sleuth Kay Scarpetta

Patricia Cornwell character finally making it to the movies

(Newser) - Fans of Kay Scarpetta—the sleuthing medical examiner at the heart of 17 best-sellers by Patricia Cornwell—will finally get to see their heroine on the big screen. And she'll be played by Angelina Jolie, no less. Shooting is expected to begin in the fall, with two twists: the story... More »

Video Bares Snowball-Gun Near Tragedy

Pistol-brandishing detective on desk duty

(Newser) - A video has emerged revealing how tense a standoff became between a pistol-brandishing cop and several snowballers on a DC street. The angry off-duty detective, who has been rebuked by his superiors, is seen waving his gun after his Hummer was pelted by snowballs, and taunting the crowd, "Go... More »

Wife to Remain in Charge of Falk: Judge

But ailing 'Columbo' assured visits from adopted daughter

(Newser) - Peter Falk's wife will remain in charge of the former actor's care and affairs, but must allow bimonthly visits with his adopted daughter under a new conservatorship established by a Los Angeles court. The former Columbo star, 81, suffers from severe dementia and no longer remembers his trademark detective role.... More »

How to Retrieve a Stolen Laptop

(Newser) - When a burglar stole Joshua Alston’s laptop, there wasn’t much the police could do. But the Newsweek writer realized there was something he could do. Alston had installed a program on the laptop that allowed him to access it remotely. He had never used it all that much... More »

In China, These Detectives Aren't for Hire

Millions of vigilantes rile Beijing by solving mysteries online

(Newser) - If you do a bad thing in China, just hope it doesn't go online. The nation's so-called "human flesh engine"—millions of web-surfers who like hunting for facts—have already gotten a Communist Party secretary fired and identified a woman who stomped a cat to death. Despite an... More »

Police-Officer Hit Men for Mob Heading for Jail

Judge reinstates convictions for pair who assisted in 8 murders

(Newser) - A pair of retired New York City detectives who led double lives as mob hit men, helping commit at least 8 murders, had their convictions for racketeering conspiracy reinstated by a federal appeals court yesterday. A judge had initially reversed the convictions, despite "overwhelming evidence" of "the most... More »

16 Stories