I admit it. I can't help myself. I must be stopped. I apparently am now magnetically attracting assignments about serial killers.
Just outside Seattle a crooning guitar-playing cowboy finally reached the end of his string of killings and rapes. Known for his snake skin boats, a favorite cocktail named the "snake bite", and a penchant for strangling his victims with his bare hands, Michael Braae (known as Cowboy Mike) was a slick character who serenaded his victims before doing them in. Story here
For the past 13 years, a mysterious lone killer that the cops have nicknamed "The Grim Sleeper" has been preying on young black prostitutes. What is additionally disturbing, beyond the 13 known victims, is that the task force assigned to the case AND the existence of the killer were kept secret from the public. One doubts that the string of killings would have been kept a secret if it was young college-age white women. Story here
And for the cover of The Village Voice, this last image doesn't involve a serial killing, but it does reveal the US Military's apparent serialized method of hiding the true circumstances of accidental deaths of its' soldiers. No, I'm not talking about Pat Tillman, this is the story of PVT Michael Fremer who was accidentally crushed between two vehicles during a training exercise in the U.S.
The story opens with a full-brass military burial service with a 21 gun salute. The soldiers father describes it all as an elaborate smoke screen put on to distract them from the reality that the military would not release any official word on his son's cause of death. Story here
And finally, a recent string of child pornography busts in St. Louis provided this cover opportunity for the River Front Times. This one was too icky to talk about, but let me just suggest that if you have children, as I do, go hold them tight and give them a protective hug and a kiss.