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.
(This is a five-part 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.)
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
As we mark Veteran’s Day 2017 let’s do more than just thank a military member for their service. Let’s all do our part to erase some of the persistent myths about our returning veterans.
First, military training and exposure to combat does not create the wacko battle-scarred solider so often depicted by Hollywood, nor does it translate into criminal behavior. The idea that returning war veterans are prone to or programmed to commit violent crime is a fairy tale. It just isn’t so.
It’s one of those criminal cases that makes you shake your head in disbelief.
Within a few weeks 42-year-old Tyra Patterson will be released from an Ohio prison after serving 23 years for a murder she is now widely believed not to have committed. She will have spent more than half her life behind bars. It’s a case that makes you wonder how many others have been caught up in the justice system this way.
What do the late Fox CEO Roger Ailes, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, movie producer Harvey Weinstein, President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, comedian Bill Cosby and entertainer Michael Jackson have in common?
Each man arranged to pay out beaucoup bucks to people who accused them of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Each hired lawyers to draw up a secret settlement with the accuser which included a promise that the accuser would never – ever – speak about what had occurred. In other words, these wealthy Americans were allowed to throw money at a problem to make a criminal or civil case disappear. With no complaining witness there cannot be a trial.
Women and children. Two segments of the population we cherish and try to protect. But, sadly, not if the woman is in the prison system.
Now, don’t for a minute think that I’m soft on women who commit crimes because I’m not. But generational incarceration is a real thing and we are doing little as a society to stop it.
It is high time we accept the fact that the Russian government is engaged in a massive propaganda campaign aimed at getting Americans to fight with each other. It’s been going on for a long time.
After Russian attempts to influence our last presidential election were exposed you might have thought they would back off their social media dis-information campaign. But no.
Finally, Washington is taking steps to protect older Americans who have fallen into an exploitation trap set for them by state courts. Federal officials will soon be empowered to go into states to investigate – and prosecute – unscrupulous court-appointed guardians and conservators who prey on their elderly wards.
This is a really big deal in my book and a long overdue first step in curbing the obvious abuses of this mostly secret system.
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.
As we mark Veteran’s Day 2017 let’s do more than just thank a military member ...
It’s one of those criminal cases that makes you shake your head in disbelief. Within a ...
What do the late Fox CEO Roger Ailes, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, movie ...
Women and children. Two segments of the population we cherish and try to protect. But, ...
It is high time we accept the fact that the Russian government is engaged in ...