Summary of “Unholy Act”

Detectives followed up on hundreds of leads, including the boasts of a tourist at the Highway Grill, in nearby Edinburg, who told a waitress that he had killed Irene, warning, “You are next.” Then came what seemed to be a break in the case; a woman identifying herself as Irene called home and pleaded for help, claiming she had been kidnapped and was being held in a motel room in the neighboring town of Hidalgo.
Had Irene hailed from Southtown, where most of McAllen’s Hispanic population lived, the investigation into her murder might not have been so dogged.
On the night that Irene disappeared, Father Feit had assisted the clergy at Sacred Heart, hearing confessions and taking part in midnight mass.
Father Feit’s account of what took place that night shifted in the weeks after Irene’s murder.
In a later telling, the priest said that he had heard her confession in the rectory-viewed by the other priests as highly inappropriate-after Irene had expressed a fear of being overheard.
“The priest at Our Lady of Sorrows said he knew that rumors were going around about a priest being involved in Irene’s murder,” she said.
“We pursued numerous suspects: Irene’s friends, ex-boyfriends, family members, other priests,” says Jaramillo’s lieutenant, Tony Leal.
The first hint that a jury would not hear the case came in July 2002, when the Brownsville Herald ran a front-page story on Irene’s murder and the suspicion that continued to surround John Feit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Coronavirus: How worried should we be?”

More than 80 people are known to have died from the virus, which appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
Eighty-one people are known to have died from the virus – but while the ratio of deaths to known cases appears low, the figures are unreliable.
At the beginning of the outbreak, the Chinese authorities said the virus was not spreading between people – but now, such cases have been identified.
Scientists have now revealed each infected person is passing the virus on to between 1.4 and 2.5 people.
What is not known is how infectious people are during the incubation period.
The only option is to prevent people who have become infected from spreading the virus to others.
A massive feat of detective work will also be needed to identify people whom patients have come into contact with to see if they have the virus.
“Prof Ball says:”We should be worried about any virus that explores humans for the first time, because it’s overcome the first major barrier.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Beyond ‘Blurred Lines’: How Forensic Musicology Is Altering Pop’s Future”

After the “Blurred Lines” verdict was upheld, artists and forensic musicologists speak out on how the decision has changed the pop landscape.
According to some industry insiders, the “Blurred Lines” verdict – which was upheld by an appeals court in March 2018 – might mean an even bigger windfall for those working in the little-known field of forensic musicology.
The “Blurred Lines” verdict has also generated a great deal of uncertainty in the music industry over where the line between inspiration and imitation now lies – and, for copyright attorneys and forensic musicologists alike, that can translate to a lot of new business.
“Since the ‘Blurred Lines’ case, there has been an increase in calls to lawyers from clients along the lines of, ‘This sounds a little like this [other song]. What do you think?'” says Kenneth Freundlich, an entertainment lawyer based in Los Angeles who has represented the likes of Danger Mouse and Public Enemy’s Chuck D in copyright cases.
“It’s fairly scientific and takes many years of music theory training,” says Judith Finell, who has run a musicology consulting business since the 1980s and served as a forensic musicologist for the Gaye family on the “Blurred Lines” case.
Given the scientific rigor with which forensic musicologists approach their work, you would think that most cases of alleged copyright infringement would be clear-cut – and in fact, they usually are.
Some cases do go to trial – and when that happens, the testimony of a savvy forensic musicologist can influence a jury in unpredictable ways.
It’s difficult to cite specific examples of songs that have been altered, either in how their were recorded or how they were credited, by the “Blurred Lines” verdict.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Every Media Company Fears Richard Liebowitz”

Chevrestt had two attorneys in the case, one of whom was Richard Liebowitz of the Liebowitz Law Firm PLLC, a brand-new practice out of Valley Stream, Long Island.
Richard Liebowitz of the Liebowitz Law Firm PLLC has become the scourge of the media industry, the shame of many in the copyright bar, and the salvation of the underpaid photographer.
So is Liebowitz gaming the system by filing hundreds of “Strike suits” to compel quick settlements? Or is he an avenging angel for photographers who have seen their livelihoods fade in the internet age? “They can call Richard Liebowitz a troll,” said Kim.
Soon after Liebowitz appeared on the scene, attorney Robert Penchina, who has represented several media companies sued by Liebowitz, had a ministroke.
As of early May, according to the PACER electronic records system, Liebowitz has represented Sands in federal court 42 times, in cases against such media companies as Time Inc., Vox Media, Viacom International, and the Graham Media Group.
In October 2017, for example, Liebowitz filed suit on behalf of a photographer named Paul Steeger, whose photograph of a leaf on water had allegedly been used without permission on the website of a small New York cleaning company called JMS Cleaning Services.
Few copyright attorneys have ever burned so bright so quickly, and even if the Liebowitz Law Firm eventually flames out-the firm’s current approach seems unsustainable, if only because the federal courts may well keep criticizing and sanctioning Liebowitz into compliance or oblivion-others will surely follow the path it has lighted, borrowing the lucrative aspects of Liebowitz’s model while avoiding the ones that have made him notorious.
Like the villain in a very boring horror movie featuring content management systems and starring bloggers, his unrelenting litigiousness has inspired great frustration amongst editors and media lawyers fearful that they will be the next to fall victim to the aggravating time-suck known as a Richard Liebowitz lawsuit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Brain Gain: A Person Can Instantly Blossom into a Savant-and No One Knows Why”

In congenital savant syndrome the extraordinary savant ability surfaces in early childhood.
In acquired savant syndrome astonishing new abilities, typically in music, art or mathematics, appear unexpectedly in ordinary persons after a head injury, stroke or other central nervous system incident where no such abilities or interests were present pre-incident.
In sudden savant syndrome an ordinary person with no such prior interest or ability and no precipitating injury or other CNS incident has an unanticipated, spontaneous epiphanylike moment where the rules and intricacies of music, art or mathematics, for example, are experienced and revealed, producing almost instantaneous giftedness and ability in the affected area of skill sets.
Because there is no underlying disability such as that which occurs in congenital or acquired savant syndromes, technically sudden savant syndrome would be better termed sudden genius.
The new skill is automatically coupled with a detailed, epiphany-type knowledge of the underlying rules of music, art or math, for example-none of which the person has studied.
In a documentary filmed at the Milwaukee Art Museum he states: “The line between profound talent and profound disability seems to be really a surprisingly thin one. Who knows there may be abilities hidden within everyone that can be tapped in some way.”
The acquired savant particularly, and now the sudden savant, reinforce the idea that not only is the line between savant and genius a very narrow one but also underscores the possibility such savant abilities may be dormant, to one degree or another, in all of us.
Darold A. Treffert, a psychiatrist, met his first savant in 1962 and continues research on savant syndrome at the Treffert Center in Fond du Lac, Wis. He was a consultant for the 1988 movie Rain Man and maintains a Web page with information about savant syndrome.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Psychic Zoe and the $740,000 Curse”

The prosecution had recommended a five-to-15-year prison sentence for Thompson, unless something close to full restitution was paid, but it seemed like the judge was considering a more lenient option.
Eventually, Justice Carro offered a sentence of one to three years in prison if Thompson paid $200,000 in restitution before the official sentencing date.
What kind of message would it send to other psychics watching the case, not to mention victims out there trying to muster up the courage to come forward?
Although Nygaard believes the case is the largest of its kind in New York’s history, based on the number of victims, Thompson is now out of jail while her sentence is pending.
Going through her belongings, the family had learned that the woman had been in contact with a psychic over many years, sending her large sums of money and even leaving her money in her will.
Nygaard sees the psychic industry as a constant revolving door, its momentum uninterrupted by the occasional criminal case or bad review.
If a psychic runs into trouble with the police, they often just pick up and move to a new state; if a psychic is jailed, someone else will take over their shop.
Pushing through the throngs of commuters, I noticed a white sign out front advertising psychic readings.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Music Copyright Lawsuits Are Scaring Away New Hits”

In the five years since a court ruled that “Blurred Lines” infringed on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 “Got to Give It Up,” demanding that Thicke and Williams fork over $5 million to the Gaye estate for straying too close to the older song’s “Vibe,” the once-sleepy realm of music law has turned into a minefield.
Across genres, artists are putting out new music with the same question in the backs of their minds: Will this song get me sued?
Because cases are decided by “The average listener, who is not an educated musicologist or musician,” she notes, “Labels are very afraid.” Since that game-changing ruling in 2015, Wilbur says, she’s received triple the number of requests from music companies to double-check new songs before they are even considered for release.
Sure enough, a jury in 2019 ruled that Katy Perry owed millions for ostensibly copying the beat of her hit “Dark Horse” from a little-known song by Christian rapper Flame, stunning both the music business and the legal community.
“They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone,” Perry’s lawyer Christine Lepera warned in the case’s closing arguments.
Lucas Keller – the founder of music management company Milk and Honey, which represents writers and producers who’ve worked with everyone from Alessia Cara and Carrie Underwood to 5 Seconds of Summer and Muse – recently began encouraging all his songwriter clients to purchase errors-and-omissions insurance, which protects creative professionals from legal challenges to their intellectual property.
Joe Charles, senior vice president at insurance provider Alliant Insurance Services, says that as many as half of his personal A-list music clients – a roster of stars who already pay for tour insurance and other standard entertainment-industry policies – have recently shown interest in E&O coverage.
Will the latest ruling clarify the scope of music copyright – or muddy it even further? “At what point is an element of creative expression protectable?” says media intellectual-property attorney Wesley Lewis.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Vic Feazell, Director Robert Kenner Talk Henry Lee Lucas”

Part of what makes The Confession Killer one of the most gripping products of the true crime media wave is the fact that, while Lucas almost certainly did not commit the vast majority all of the murders attributed to him, he was not an innocent victim.
The confessions began pouring forth after, during his arraignment for the murder of the elderly woman, Lucas stunned the court by asking: “What are we gonna do about these other 100 women I killed?”.
Some provided him with crime scene photographs and other details related to open murder cases, which Lucas then helpfully regurgitated in his confessions.
Vic Feazell was a newly-minted District Attorney in McLennan County, Texas, when he began seeing Lucas on television, flanked by Texas Rangers and pointing out his alleged crimes scenes.
“And then the announcer would be saying, ‘Henry Lucas has solved yet another murder,'” Feazell tells me in an interview.
Feazell became entangled in the Lucas saga after the serial murderer confessed to crimes in his county, including the 1978 rape and murder of Rita Salazar and the murder of her date, Frank “Kevin” Key.
Lucas died in prison of congestive heart failure in 2001.But The Confession Killer is at its most gripping when focusing not directly on Lucas, but on the law enforcement officials who seemed more concerned with having him close their cases than with the possibility that false confessions allowed murders to go free.
Despite the fact that Lucas was no where near the mass murder he claimed to have committed, the myth of his dozens of killings has stuck.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The big house and the picket fence'”

Myles says he heard the shots when he was leaving his friend’s house blocks away, where he’d been hanging out after leaving the club.
The jury found Morris’s testimony convincing, and convicted Myles of attempted armed robbery and murder.
With the help of an investigator, he did successfully get Michael Hooker, one of the men who’d been with Myles at the time of the murder, to sign an affidavit saying he’d seen Myles exit their friend’s house right after the shots were fired elsewhere.
The delay had already hurt the case, though: Walker learned that Ronnie Bracey, the friend whose house Myles had been at, was now dead. The two other witnesses, Hubert and Derrick Floyd, could not be found.
These days, Myles calls Crowder anytime he can get to the prison phone, and Crowder usually visits on Friday afternoons for four hours.
Myles recounted his recent experience talking to investigators from the wrongful conviction TV show Reasonable Doubt.
We ate microwave pizzas, and Crowder and Myles taught me to play rummy as they jokingly made fun of one another.
If Porter had allowed Myles to win a hearing, the appeal says, he would have presented evidence that he could not have had enough time to commit the murder and run back to Bracey’s house because his knee was still injured from the Peoria shooting.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Your Honor, Can I Tell the Whole Story?””

“You can’t tell me what gun was involved in the murder, or is they going to use the gun as evidence,” Hunter wrote.
When Causey introduced still more new information-that she’d seen a gun in Hunter’s hand at the murder scene, that her brother was with her at the time-the defense didn’t ask why her story kept changing.
Stewart Mitchell, the man police claimed had tipped them off to Hunter’s possession of stolen goods, was supposed to undermine the prosecution by stating that it had offered him a deal on a charge he was facing if he testified against Hunter.
As a news article noted, Hunter’s testimony on his own behalf lasted “At most ten minutes.” When the prosecution concluded its cross-examination, Hunter had more he wanted to say in his defense.
An account of the trial, published in the next day’s paper, told the streamlined story that Hunter had endeavored to correct-that Causey had identified Hunter as the killer, which led the police to search Hunter’s home, where they “Found his second problem, the gun.”
“Detective Davis was, at that point, sure that she has solved the murder, notwithstanding Ms. Causey’s previous story about ‘Willie.'” Davis, Aberle continued, “Brought pressure to bear on Ms. Causey to claim, if not believe,” that she’d seen Hunter at the crime scene.
The IPNO investigators talked to Greggie Jones’s brother, who said that Hunter was lying when he said under oath that he’d never met Jones-the pair hung out frequently, he said, and he’d even seen Hunter at his brother’s house.
“There was just a whole combination of factors that led to, I have no doubt, thousands and thousands of people not being served with justice.” Lowenstein put it more succinctly: “Erin Hunter got caught up in a perfect storm of New Orleans bullshit.”

The orginal article.