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.
(This is a five-part Albuquerque Journal series that printed from Nov. 26 - Dec. 1, 2016. Please read the sidebar stories found to the left of the main article under the legend: MORE INFO.)
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
Serial killers, guns and the death penalty. Whenever I write about one of those topics my mailbox blows up.
Last week’s column about convicted murderer Dylann Roof and America’s policy of capital punishment — public support for it, the costs associated with it and its usefulness in deterring others – definitely stirred passions.
Upon the birth of a new year let’s talk about death, shall we? The death penalty, to be precise.
The topic loomed over a courtroom in Charleston, South Carolina last week where the self-proclaimed white supremacist, Dylann Roof, undertook a fool’s errand.
As my father would have said about the year 2016, “So long, and don’t let the door hit you in the rump on the way out!” Although Dad surely would have used more colorful language.
It was a confusing, divisive and extremely frustrating year, wasn’t it?
All crime reporters have a story from their past they cannot shake, a case that either touched them on a profound personal level or remains mysteriously unsolved. This time of year, I think of a story I covered 20 years ago this week, which remains with me for both reasons: the Christmastime death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado. As the mother of a daughter, I can’t help it. Every year, visions of Jon Benet’s beautiful face and her obvious potential come flooding back to me.
Here comes another one of those things branded as an imminent threat to public safety, something evil lurking out there which is poised to infiltrate our minds and poison the republic. It is described it in two words: Fake News.
Now some are clamoring to legislate, regulate or eliminate this thing called Fake News.
Today’s headlines seem full of horrible crimes. Teenagers committing gruesome and senseless murders; a young California mother kidnapped off the street as she jogged, then branded by her captors and tortured for weeks; a young father in Georgia convicted of deliberately leaving his toddler son in a hot car to die.
Sometimes I just can’t stand to read the stories. But then came news of another crime – this one in Cincinnati, Ohio – and my attention was riveted. A hate crime with a heartwarming ending.
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.
Serial killers, guns and the death penalty. Whenever I write about one of those topics ...
Upon the birth of a new year let’s talk about death, shall we? The death ...
As my father would have said about the year 2016, “So long, and don’t let ...
All crime reporters have a story from their past they cannot shake, a case that ...
Here comes another one of those things branded as an imminent threat to public safety, ...