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Imprisoned Over Huge Scam, He Insists It Was All Legal

'The Walrus' tells the story of Patrice Runner, who pitched psychic services to believers

(Newser) - As a teen, Canadian Patrice Runner was so intrigued by the power of persuasive copywriting that he set out to become one. Eventually, he was running a booming direct marketing business selling numerous schemes and self-help publications—and the abilities of a psychic, Maria Duval . As Rachel Browne writes for...

Online Challenge Ends With 11-Year-Old Arrested

Florida youth sent police on a 90-minute goose chase, say deputies

(Newser) - An 11-year-old Florida girl has been arrested over a false kidnapping report—and she told officers it was part of a YouTube challenge. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says the girl texted 911 at 9:45am Wednesday and claimed that a friend had been snatched by an armed...

Cops: Woman Mouths 'Help Me' at Police Stop, Is Rescued
Cops: Woman Mouths 'Help Me'
at Police Stop, Is Rescued
in case you missed it

Cops: Woman Mouths 'Help Me' at Police Stop, Is Rescued

Passenger allegedly forced her at gunpoint to drive him away from a shooting

(Newser) - Thanks to a traffic stop made by an observant officer, police say a South Carolina woman is safe and her passenger, a suspect in an attempted murder, is under arrest. Citing a Facebook post from the Myrtle Beach Police Department, USA Today reports that officer Kayla Wallace pulled over a...

Cops: Alleged Robber Used 'Gun' Many Will Recognize

Officials say David Joseph Dalesandro held up convenience store with Nintendo 'Duck Hunt' pistol

(Newser) - An armed robbery this week at a South Carolina convenience store apparently wasn't as "armed" as the clerk thought. CNN reports on the Tuesday incident at a Kwik Stop in the small town of Sharon, where a man donning a hoodie, wig, and mask entered the store around...

Trial Begins in Deadliest Antisemitic Attack in US History

Robert Bowers is on trial for the 11 deaths at the Tree of Life Synagogue

(Newser) - Prosecutors on Tuesday described how a heavily armed suspect barged into a Pittsburgh synagogue and shot every worshipper he could find in the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history, per the AP . Robert Bowers' federal trial got underway more than four years after the shooting deaths of 11 worshippers at...

Airbnb: Call the Police On Loud Rental Home Parties

The short-term rental giant expects 300 million bookings this year

(Newser) - Airbnb is trying to crack down on disruptive parties this summer, especially over the Memorial Day and July 4th weekends, reports Quartz . And one big part of the strategy is having neighbors snitch on partying renters, per CBS News . In a blog post, Airbnb announced a “party prevention system,...

Major Gang Takedown Snags Drill Rapper Sheff G

He was among 32 people indicted by the Brooklyn DA

(Newser) - Rappers Sheff G—born Michael Williams—and Sleepy Hallow, AKA Tegan Chambers, are well-known in the popular New York drill music scene, having racked up more than 100 million views and plays on YouTube and Spotify. On Tuesday, they racked up something else—charges. The New York Times reports the...

Preschool Teacher Arrested During Naptime in Murder

Diana Ornelas was picked up on Stanford campus in relation to an April killing

(Newser) - A preschool teacher in California has been arrested on suspicion of murder—and the arrest came during the children's naptime, reports SFGate . Diane Ornelas, 22, worked at a preschool used by Stanford University's faculty, students, and staff. Ornelas and Dennis Novoa, 27, were arrested in connection with...

Mom: Kidnap Scam Used AI Clone of Daughter's Voice

Jennifer DeStefano is spreading the word after terrifying phone call

(Newser) - Jennifer DeStefano got a call from an unknown number while her 15-year-old daughter Brianna was at an athletic event. Fearing an emergency, she answered, reports CNN . DeStefano heard a girl's voice identical to Brianna's. She screamed that she'd "messed up," then the terrified mom heard...

Cops: Florida Man Killed, Dismembered Uber Eats Driver

'This was demonic,' sheriff says

(Newser) - A Florida man is charged with murder and other offenses in the slaying and dismemberment of an Uber Eats driver who had brought food to the assailant's house, authorities said Tuesday. Oscar Solis Jr., 30, is charged with killing the driver during a delivery Wednesday, April 19, at a...

Man Kneeling at Friend's Memorial Killed in Hit and Run

Michael Berry was visiting a memorial that had been erected on State Road 415

(Newser) - A Florida man lost his life at the very spot where a friend had died two years prior—with both having been killed in the same way. Sanford resident Michael Berry, 42, was at the roadside memorial honoring his late friend on April 12 when Berry was struck and...

Lightfoot's Loss Illustrates a Problem for Democrats
Lori Lightfoot's
Successor Has
Been Determined

Lori Lightfoot's Successor Has Been Determined

Brandon Johnson wins runoff election over the more conservative candidate

(Newser) - Union organizer and former teacher Brandon Johnson will be the next mayor of Chicago. Johnson won Tuesday's runoff election over the police union-backed Paul Vallas, in what the AP calls "a major victory for the Democratic Party’s progressive wing" in the city. Johnson will succeed Lori Lightfoot,...

Pandemic Changed the Way Cocaine Moves Around World

Production is at a record high, and smugglers are using parcel services more

(Newser) - In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, production of cocaine has skyrocketed and new distribution hubs have emerged in Africa, reports the BBC . Cocaine production rose by 35% between 2020 and 2021, marking the biggest increase in seven years, per CBS News , which also cites a new report from the...

Biden Says He'd Sign Measure Overriding Changes in DC Laws

House Republicans argue council's overhaul would increase crime

(Newser) - President Biden said Thursday he would sign a Republican-sponsored resolution blocking new District of Columbia laws that overhaul how the nation's capital prosecutes and punishes crime. City officials have spent nearly two decades trying to redo Washington's criminal laws, including redefining crimes, changing criminal justice policies, and reworking...

Cops Say Renowned Music Teacher Was a Serial Rapist

Elliott Higgins, late founder of New Mexico music camp, called 'master manipulator and liar'

(Newser) - Elliott Higgins was 73 when he died in 2014. At the time he was a respected French horn teacher who had run a music camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and even conducted the Albuquerque Philharmonic. But in October 2022, DNA and genetic genealogy linked Higgins—who had never been a...

Her Mom Gave Her Up for Adoption, Helped Find Her Killer
Man Sentenced in 1989
Killing of His Teen Daughter

Man Sentenced in 1989 Killing of His Teen Daughter

Dennis Bowman gets up to 50 years in the death of Aundria Bowman

(Newser) - Update: A man who pleaded no contest last year in the killing of his 14-year-old daughter in 1989 was sentenced to 35 to 50 years in prison for the crime, reports the AP . Dennis Bowman, who was already serving two life sentences for the rape and murder of another woman...

Home Depot Worker Accused of 4-Year 'Funny Money' Scheme

Officials say Ariz. man replaced nearly $400K in real currency with fake cash

(Newser) - Times are tough, but law enforcement officials say one Home Depot employee went too far and allegedly used his job to steal almost $400,000 over a four-year period, per the New York Daily News . Adrian Jean Pineda of Tempe, Ariz., was arrested Jan. 31 for allegedly replacing genuine currency...

2008 'Lane Bryant' Murders Receive New Interest

2 new detectives have been put on the case

(Newser) - A mass murder that took place at a Chicago-area Lane Bryant 14 years ago remains unsolved, but authorities hope a new pair of detectives will change that, FOX 32 reports. Four customers and two employees—all women—were shot at close range during what was likely an attempted robbery at...

Kansas Man Charged With Threats Against Biden

Accused was 'coming for' president, authorities say

(Newser) - A Kansas man has been accused of threatening to visit the White House to kill President Biden, reports the Daily Beast . Scott Ryan Merryman is charged with interstate communication containing a threat to harm and threats against the president of the United States, according to a criminal complaint filed by...

Another Smash and Grab Theft Nets Stash of Tools

LA police are on tactical alert

(Newser) - A group of people went into a Home Depot in California and came out with a pile of tools—without paying. The group, up to 10 people all apparently young adults or teens, grabbed hammers and crowbars, then ran out into at least one waiting car in Lakewood, a city...

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