Watch my recent Video Interview: " The American Greed Report: How to control your money, even after you die."
My investigative research has uncovered a major flaw in America’s court system. It has to do with how overburdened and underfunded courts deal with family disputes over what to do with an elderly Mom or Dad. A growing number of families, nationwide, have learned that once a family member turns to the courts for help their parent could be placed under an odious elder guardianship situation managed by total stranger. Families caught up in this system say it turned their aging parent’s final years into a nightmare. These are my findings about the system in one state.
(My Albuquerque Journal series was awarded the Institute for American Studies prestigious Clark Mollenhoff Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Please read the sidebar stories in the left hand column under: More Info.) The series also won two major awards from the New Mexico Press Association including Best Investigative Public Service award.
Check out the cool trailer for my latest book. Just click in the box above.
Thinking Outside The Crime and Justice Box is a compilation of some of my favorite and most thought provoking columns – with updates and new text. The book discusses today’s headline crime cases as well as crime and justice issues readers may not realize even existed. Compelling human stories at the core of crime are often the centerpiece of my columns and reading about stranger’s struggles can help readers better understand the dynamics surrounding crime, law enforcement and justice. Look, there is good and evil in the world and I figure it is my job to point it out.
Welcome to my home base where you’ll find my weekly Creators Syndicate crime and justice newspaper columns re-posted. The paper of my childhood — The Albuquerque Journal — continues to be my column’s showcase spot for as long as they’ll have me.
My writings here are always different. Sometimes I’ll simply tell you a story. Sometimes I’ll share my opinions, praise or criticism. Other times I’ll hold a mirror up to our society and invite you to form your own opinion. I hope the columns will give you something new to think about each time you visit. It’s a complicated world out there, full of situations of good versus evil, right versus wrong. My job is point them out. - Diane
All this recent talk about walls got me thinking. History books are full of examples of the need for and the laborious building of walls around cities, countries and various structures.
The Wall of Jericho was built thousands of years before Christ and kept the city’s population safe. For a while anyway. The City of Troy was protected from Greek invaders by a huge wall. That is, until the Trojan War and the infamous Trojan horse ploy. There is the Great Wall of China, all 13,000 miles of it, that kept out invaders who sought to overthrow several Chinese dynasties. The wall around the Alamo foiled early Indian attackers but later proved to be pretty ineffective. And, then there was the Berlin Wall which divided East and West Germany for 28 years and then destroyed in spectacular, televised fashion in 1991.
If 2019 stays on trend more than 47-thousand Americans will kill themselves this year. Their loved ones will, understandably, be consumed with grief over the suicide. But some of them will then go on to try to affix outside blame for the death. Many of them will hire a lawyer and file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person, company, school or, maybe, even a structure that, in the minds of the family, failed to protect their suicidal loved one.
But is any living person or thing really to blame for someone’s suicide? A judge in New York has just said no.
During this holiest of Christian seasons who could ignore the latest statements of Pope Francis speaking about the festering child sex abuse scandal within his church? In a Christmas address he spoke of priests who “prey like wolves on their flock,” and a clergy “ready to devour innocent souls.”
“To those who abuse minors, I would say this,” the Pope declared. “Convert and hand yourself over to human justice and prepare for divine justice.”
Professor P. M. Forni, 67, died earlier this month in Towson, Maryland. He was born in Bologna, Italy and became a proud U.S. citizen and educator. I didn’t know the man personally, but I am sad to hear that he is gone.
Forni was one of the last clarion voices to advocate for civility among people. You know, the human behavior that comes from a place of respect, politeness and graciousness? Civility is rare to find in these oh-so-discourteous times but Professor Forni’s work lives on for anyone who would like to explore how we might change today’s ugly discourse.
This column is dedicated to issues of crime and justice. But this time of year, it seems out of place to talk about murders, wrongful convictions, child abuse, the scourge of drugs and all the other topics I usually opine about in this space.
Because this is the pre-Christmas season, I’d like this column to be about families with children – all families – even if they don’t look like yours. This is also a column about meaningful journalism.
The Department of Justice has announced it’s sending the last installment – nearly $17 million of a total $20 million – to aid survivors of last October’s deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The toll from that sniper attack was 58 dead and some 600 physically injured* after a lone gunman took up a high position within the Mandalay Hotel and began shooting at a group that had gathered for an outdoor country music concert. It became the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
But wait a minute. What about all the other victims of mass shootings?
I was raised in the great American Southwest by parents who stressed personal responsibility, integrity, compassion for others and the ability to tell a good story. Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico I absorbed the moral and ethical values I would carry with me throughout life and use daily as a journalist.
After a humble beginning in Albuquerque radio (covering the cops and courts beat) I moved east. First, radio in Washington, DC where politics was the name of the game and then to New York where I got my first taste of television. It was to be a long draw at the TV trough, from New York to Hollywood and back again. And always my most fulfilling work was done in the crime and justice genre. My long running syndicated column allows me to deep dive into the human stories behind the headlines on a weekly basis. Writing books about crime and how society reacts to it still fascinates me.
All this recent talk about walls got me thinking. History books are full of examples ...
If 2019 stays on trend more than 47-thousand Americans will kill themselves this year. Their ...
During this holiest of Christian seasons who could ignore the latest statements of Pope Francis ...
Professor P. M. Forni, 67, died earlier this month in Towson, Maryland. He was born ...
This column is dedicated to issues of crime and justice. But this time of year, ...