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
Let’s talk about a police practice known as the perp walk. It’s the walk of shame for a suspected perpetrator of a crime, usually in a case that’s top of the headlines or soon will be. As police move the handcuffed prisoner from place to place both the public and the media are allowed to be on hand to shout accusations, take photos and videos of the suspected criminal and to ask loaded questions.
Perp walks are known as the crime reporter’s red carpet because police make it so easy, alerting reporters in advance about the time and place of the event so cameras can be at the ready. It’s like a preplanned scene out of a movie complete with uniformed officers, hand and sometimes leg cuffs and a suspect that is usually trying to hide their face in some dramatic fashion.
The landscape has now changed on a story I first began reporting some two decades ago and newly released details demand an update to the sad saga.
Two men have come forward to discuss, in graphic detail, what they say was their years-long sexual abuse at the hands of entertainer Michael Jackson. Their claims spill out in a newly screened four-hour documentary just released at the Sundance Film Festival. The biopic entitled, “Leaving Neverland” will be shown on HBO sometime this spring.
Raymond “DJ Freez” Rowe got away with murder for more than two decades. As a popular fixture on the party scene in and around Lancaster, Pennsylvania he was “the” man to call for music at high school dances, restaurants, clubs and weddings. He was the last person his fans would have suspected in the brutal sexual assault and murder of 25-year-old schoolteacher Christy Mirack.
But DJ Freez’s luck ran out when his curious stepsister sought out genealogy information and uploaded her DNA to start searching the family tree.
We talk a lot about sexual abuse and harassment here in the United States. We are a country with a heightened sense of what’s right and wrong when it comes to sex crimes. We are also a nation that preaches to others around the globe about the evils of forced marriage and marriages involving children.
Our State Department has told officials in developing countries that “forced marriage is a human rights abuse and, in the case of minors, a form of child abuse.” So why does our government actually encourage wedlock between girls as young as 13 and men in their 70’s?
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.
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.
Let’s talk about a police practice known as the perp walk. It’s the walk of ...
The landscape has now changed on a story I first began reporting some two decades ...
Raymond “DJ Freez” Rowe got away with murder for more than two decades. As a ...
We talk a lot about sexual abuse and harassment here in the United States. We ...
All this recent talk about walls got me thinking. History books are full of examples ...