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Selasa, 21 Disember 2010


Penulis Smart Generation membawakan kepada anda semua mengenai 10 Cerita Jenayah Paling Popular bagi Tahun 2010 daripada Majalah TIMES.

1. Curtains for Joran van der Sloot?


When police in Lima arrested Joran van der Sloot in May 2010 for the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez, another mysterious saga appeared to be at an end. The young Dutchman had been at the center of the investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, a young American who went missing in Aruba in 2005 after leaving a bar late at night with van der Sloot and two of his friends. Her body has yet to be found, and van der Sloot's many retracted versions of what happened made prosecution difficult. But the Flores murder may have sealed his fate. According to Peruvian police, he was furious that Flores was snooping into his laptop and asking questions about Holloway. "It was an invasion of my privacy. She had no right," he allegedly told the investigating officers. He said that he and Flores fought and that he beat her repeatedly, breaking her neck. Van der Sloot, who says he was tricked into signing a confession in the Flores killing, is awaiting trial in Peru. Meanwhile, Holloway's mother spoke out about an attempt by van der Sloot to extort money in exchange for information about her daughter. The case in Aruba has not moved forward.

2. Borderline Killings: When Murder Becomes Politics

Politics intruded almost immediately after searchers finally found the body of Robert Krentz on March 27, next to the carcass of his slain dog. Krentz was a rancher living practically on Arizona's border with Mexico — and the suspicion was that he was killed by illegal immigrants. No one has yet been arrested in his murder, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming the focus of a rallying cry for activists and politicians calling for a tougher crackdown on border security and illegal immigrants. Like Krentz's murder, the disappearance of David Hartley in the Texas-Mexico border area quickly became a cudgel for Texas Governor Rick Perry in his re-election campaign. On Sept. 30, Hartley and his wife Tiffany, 29, were taking a jet-ski tour in Mexican waters around the submerged village of Guerrero when, Tiffany told Texas law officials, her husband was shot and killed by armed men, so-called pirates, in three fishing boats. His body has yet to be recovered; about two weeks later, the lead Mexican investigator in the case was found beheaded, his body stuffed in a suitcase that was left in front of a military base. 

3. The Broadway Bomber's Rough Opening

If the bomb pulled together by Faisal Shahzad had gone off, the explosion, lasting only a few seconds, would have created a thermal ball wide enough to swallow up most of the Times Square intersection where he had parked his car on May 1. A blast wave would have rocketed out in all directions, and anyone standing within five city blocks of the explosion would have been at risk of being hit by shrapnel and millions of shards of flying glass. No one knows how many would have died. Fortunately, Shahzad was an inept bombmaker; though it ignited, the mixture he used failed to ignite the series of explosive devices he had stuffed into his Nissan Pathfinder, which was suspiciously parked in a no-parking zone. Street vendors saw the smoke from the car and alerted a mounted police officer. Shahzad was tracked down and arrested after the flight to Dubai he had boarded was ordered to taxi back to the airport. The Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, who said he had been to a terrorist training camp in his native country's volatile Waziristan region, pleaded guilty to several charges and was sentenced to life in prison. His case, however, raised questions about the susceptibility of young Muslims to radicalization by way of the preachings of the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

4. Belgium's Skydiving-Murderess Trial

The case had everything: secret trysts, subterfuge and a sabotaged parachute. The victim, Els Van Doren, 38, perished after leaping from a Cessna to perform a routine with her skydiving club — only to find that her chute ropes had been cut. The investigation brought a bizarre love triangle to light: the married Van Doren was also sleeping with a Dutch member of the skydiving club, Marcel "Mars" Somers. And Somers was sleeping with another club member as well, Els "Babs" Clottemans, 26, a schoolteacher with a history of psychological problems. In a four-week trial in October that mesmerized Belgium, Clottemans — despite a lack of confession, fingerprints or even a telltale pair of scissors — was found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to a 30-year jail term.

5. The Trial of Elizabeth Smart's Abductor

Elizabeth Smart, the 14-year-old daughter of devout Mormons, was kidnapped in the early hours of June 5, 2002; she would not be found until nine months later, the captive of a wandering street prophet with heretical Latter-day Saints beliefs named Brian David Mitchell. However, because of long debates over Mitchell's mental fitness to stand trial, justice did not begin to be delivered until November 2010 — with Smart, now 23, taking the stand over two days to describe in harrowing detail the physical and sexual abuse and sense of abandonment she allegedly suffered. The defense argued that Mitchell should be found not guilty by reason of insanity, but Mitchell's accomplice through those nine months, his wife Wanda Barzee, testified that he was a master at manipulating people through their religious beliefs. (In 2009, Barzee pleaded guilty to her role in the Smart abduction and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.) Mitchell could spend the rest of his life in jail if found guilty on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and transporting a minor across state lines. 
6. Tyler Clementi and the Uproar Over Bullying
On Sept. 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, threw himself from the George Washington Bridge in New York City after his roommate secretly recorded a video of Clementi kissing another man — and allegedly put the news out on Twitter. The most publicized of a spate of suicides by teenagers who allegedly suffered from bullying — among them, Seth Walsh, 16, of Tehachapi, Calif., who died on Sept. 28; Asher Brown, 13, of Houston, who shot himself on Sept. 23; Billy Lucas, 15, of Greensberg, Ind., who hanged himself on Sept. 9 — the Clementi case put a spotlight on what many were calling a full-fledged crisis; it also highlighted the way bullying has spread exponentially with the growth of the Internet and social networks. His roommate Dharun Ravi and a friend, Molly Wei, have been charged with invasion of privacy. Their lawyers deny that their clients posted the video on the Internet.

7. China's Epidemic of School Knifings

In a harrowing span of eight weeks, China saw six different attacks on schoolchildren that left at least 17 dead. There were no direct links between the attacks in April and May, but the cases had similarities. The assaults were all carried out by middle-aged men who acted alone, and at least three of the attackers had known mental-health problems. The number of attacks in such close succession suggested that some of the assailants may have been copycats. Yet the lack of access to mental health care may be the most important factor. A study of four Chinese provinces found that among individuals with a diagnosable mental illness, just 5% had seen a mental-health professional.

8. The Kamikaze Attack in Austin

On Feb. 18, Joe Stack posted a rant against intrusive Big Brother government, corrupt corporate giants, irrational taxes and the "puppet" George Bush. Then, after setting fire to his house, he got into a Piper Cherokee PA-28 at about 9:40 a.m. at an airport in suburban Austin and flew the plane into a commercial building housing an IRS office, killing himself, seriously injuring two people on the ground and starting a conflagration that lasted several hours. The White House was quick to say that the incident was not a plot by overseas terrorists, and many conservatives took pains to argue that Stack was not a terrorist. But that struck many as an absurd double standard that reeked of xenophobia. Stack seemed to be as emboldened as any suicide bomber. In his 3,000-word Web note, he wrote, "I ... know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change." 
9. Tenure Terror: The Case of Amy Bishop

The Feb. 12 incident was tragic and bizarre enough: three professors were killed and several others wounded at a University of Alabama faculty meeting after another professor allegedly opened fire with a handgun. But the suspect, Amy Bishop, who had a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard and taught biology at the Huntsville branch of the university, had a background that was even more startling. In 1986, she killed her brother Seth in a Massachusetts shotgun incident that was ruled an accident. In 1993, she was questioned after Dr. Paul Rosenberg, who had been her supervisor when she worked at the neurobiology lab at Children's Hospital Boston, received two pipe bombs. Rosenberg had reportedly given her a negative work evaluation. Bishop denied the allegations, and in the end was not charged. The University of Alabama apparently knew nothing of the previous charges when it hired Bishop, but it did decide to deny her tenure in March 2009. After the Huntsville shooting, Bishop was charged with one count of capital murder and three of attempted murder. Four months later, Massachusetts authorities reopened her brother's case and indicted her for his murder.

10. The Murder of Yeardley Love

Suspect and victim were both stars at the University of Virginia. George Huguely V was a fearsome attacker on the school's top-ranked men's lacrosse team. Yeardley Love was the emotional core of the up-and-coming women's lacrosse squad. They dated; they fought; they broke up. And then, on May 3, Love's roommate phoned 911 to report that Love was unconscious. Police found her face down on the floor, unresponsive, and she was soon pronounced dead. The next day, Huguely, who lived in a nearby building on campus, was charged with her murder. He had apparently waived his Miranda rights and told the police that, according to an affidavit, he had kicked open Love's locked bedroom door and "shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall." He claimed her death was an accident, but the incident cast light on the issue of domestic violence on university campuses. A preliminary hearing in the case is planned for early 2011. 
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