S. Epatha Merkerson’s first appearance on Law and Order!

So I bought Apple TV and among my indulgences is going through Law and Order in chronological order.

S. Epatha Merkerson makes her first appearance in episode 17 of season one – “Mushrooms.” She’s not Lieutenant Anita Van Buren, but the hardworking mother of children killed in a minor-on-minor killing in service of – get this – an illiterate kid misreading the street address.

News of the Euphemistic Understatement.

PITTSBURGH — A 17-year-old Pittsburgh boy has been charged after police said he shot at his grandmother near a Homewood funeral home where his great grandfather was being viewed.
. . .
Marvin Anderson, of Spriggs and Watson Funeral Home, explained what he saw.
“Her grandson was being very disrespectful,” Anderson said. “She asked him to leave and upon leaving when they got to parking lot, he said a few choice words to her and started shooting at her.”
The suspect’s father said his son does not have a good relationship with his grandmother.
Richard said the boy “got a little bit distraught and made a bad choice.” He’s charged with aggravated assault, a weapons charge and other crimes.

Disrespectful. Choice words. Bad choices. Really?

Amanda Knox, waiting for another verdict

Poor Amanda Knox, the American student accused and convicted of murdering her British roommate while they were both studying in Italy. My general opinion of the Italian justice system is not very high — and in this case it is even lower.
The whole system is highly politicized and incredibly prosecutor-driven, and like the usual Continental system, there is no assumption of innocence until proven guilty. Knox was certainly tried and found guilty in the Italian press. I have very little confidence this appeal will free her.
The strangest thing I’ve read about the case is the epilogue to a true-crime book, The Monster of Florence, by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi.
Il Mostro di Firenze is the Son of Sam of Italy — a serial killer who, between 1968 and 1985, stalked lovers’ lanes around Florence and shot smoochers in the head. Preston got interested in the case when he moved to Florence to write a novel set in the Renaissance; he met Spezi, an Italian journalist who had covered the Mostro case from the beginning. As they re-interviewed old contacts of Spezi and began pushing further suddenly Spezi came under investigation by the Mostro prosecutor (if I could find my copy I’d find his name!) and Spezi is jailed for obstruction of justice and perhaps being an original accomplice of il Mostro (Italian society and judicial procedures are rife with conspiracy theory). Preston leaves Italy on the advice of friends that he is next on the arrest list.
In the epilogue to the 2008 The Monster of Florence, Preston explains that the prosecutor who lit into Spezi and was on his trail was from Perugia — where he was prosecuting Amanda Knox.
This particular prosecutor seems (according to Preston) to suffer from the conspiracy theory subspecies “it’s Satanists!” He was always finding Satanic connections for il Mostro, and he started off his prosecution of Knox with dope and Satanism. Honest.
So, I’m not too sanguine.
Oh – I found Preston’s short version of the whole book in an Atlantic article — you have to get to page 5 to find the prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini. It’s well-worth reading if you’re interested in Italian justice.
Looks like she’s acquitted. I hope it sticks!

News of the Ick!

There’s no end of ick here.
City inspectors pass a pool that was so murky they didn’t spot the dead body in the deep end!
And the body was found by a couple who jumped the fence for a romantic late night swim!
And the newspaper interviews people who must have gone swimming in the pool while the body was there — and they’re still showering repeatedly!
File this one under “Future Law and Order Stories.”