SFPD to arrest serviceresistant homeless residents

first_img Tags: homeless • homelessness • Mission Police Station • police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% Mission Station will be working with the District Attorney on issuing warrants to arrest homeless people who have been repeatedly cited for nuisance activities and who refuse services, said Captain Gaetano Caltagirone at a community meeting at Mission Station on Tuesday.He said that while there are fewer tent encampments, there are still individuals who are not accepting services.“It gets tiresome for the officers who get on scene and they tell the individual to move and they say, ‘No, we’re not moving,’” Caltagirone said.center_img Caltagirone said the police and the District Attorney will be building cases against repeat offenders by using quality-of-life citations, such as obstructing sidewalks, urinating and defecating in public, and sleeping in illegal structures.With a warrant, officers can arrest homeless people who have accrued enough citations. Before, he said, those citations were handed out with little effect.“We’re going to be taking these (citations) and we’re going to be working cases on each individual case by case to see if we can create a warrant for the individual,” Caltagirone said.The Captain said that once a person is arrested and in jail, it will be easier to find them services.It’s unclear, however, what kinds of services — if any — jails can offer. And homeless advocates are balking at the plan.“What he’s proposing is jailing people for becoming poor,” said Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, which has been working to reduce law enforcement’s role in solving the city’s homeless crisis.Friedenbach said that issuing warrants and arresting the homeless might get them off the street for several days, but they’ll likely end up back on the street — though without the possessions they need to survive.“There will never be a ticket that leads to housing,” she said. “Housing leads to housing.”Friedenbach said that the individuals who are most resistant to services are often the most vulnerable — often, they suffer from mental illness.Those people, she said, are in need of more resource-intensive services like intensive care in a hospital and extended residential mental health treatment.But, she said, “All of these options are off the table because the system is overflowing.”Caltagirone’s plan was at odds with another homeless program discussed at the monthly meeting.Representatives from the city’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, program spoke about a project that seeks to keep homeless people out of jail.The program is aimed at diverting repeat low-level drug offenders away from jail and into social services such as shelters, medical services, and education and employment opportunities, explained Robin Candler, a LEAD program manager with the Department of Public Health.“The idea is to engage them in treatment instead of sending them to jail,” Candler said.The program is being piloted in the Mission and Tenderloin police districts, with five LEAD outreach workers operating within the Mission. San Francisco received a $5.9 million grant from the Board of State and Community Corrections for the project.If an officer catches an individual committing a low-level drug offense or prostitution, the officer can refer the individual to a LEAD outreach worker, who would then connect the individual with services.The law enforcement agencies currently allowed to make a referral are the San Francisco Police Department, BART Police, and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.Jared Walker, a LEAD caseworker, said that since late October, when the program began, his team has helped about four chronically homeless people into the city’s new coordinated entry system, which triages individuals into city services.“Because of their high-priority status, they will be moving into housing most likely within six months to a year,” Walker said.Wanted postersIn December, Mission Local reported that Captain Caltagirone’s crime strategies are decidedly old-school — and he has reinforced that notion yet again.In an effort to fight car break-ins, Caltagirone is bringing back the “wanted” poster.“It’s important who the public knows who we’re looking for,” he said. “And then you can contact us.”The captain said the posters will be primarily aimed at car break-in suspects. People can expect to see them in store windows, the station’s website, and the newsletter.“We’ve got nothing to lose to try that,” he said. last_img read more

Alert contagious measles patient rode Caltrain visited these city locations

first_imgMonday April 1:6.56 – 8:13 a.m. | Caltrain train 319 northbound. First car of train (car 116).8:45 – 9:15 a.m. | Caltrain train 232 southbound. Last car of train (car 116).8:15 – 9:45 a.m. | SF Muni Bus #478:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Hayes Valley Bakeworks at 525 Golden Gate Avenue8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave Tuesday April 2:8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave8:00 – 9:30 a.m. | Johnny Doughnuts at 392 Fulton St8:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Hayes Valley Bakeworks at 525 Golden Gate Avenue6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Double Decker Restaurant at 465 Grove St The Department of Public Health this morning issued a notification after contagious measles patient visited several spots in San Francisco and rode on Caltrain in the morning of April 1 and afternoon/evening of April 3.There is no so-called “outbreak,” and San Francisco, by and large, benefits from a high level of vaccination. “However, unvaccinated children, unvaccinated adults born in 1957 or later, and those with severely weakened immune systems are advised to review the list of locations below,” reads the notice from the health department.Symptoms may develop between seven and 21 days after exposure.The locations in question: Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Wednesday April 3:8:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Hayes Valley Bakeworks at 525 Golden Gate Avenue8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave3:00 – 4:30 p.m. | Caltrain station, 700 4th Street3:34 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. | Caltrain train 258 southbound. Second car from the back (car 3861).5:32 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Caltrain train 279 northbound. Second car from the front (car 3861).“This single case does not have any known link to any other California cases,” continues the statement from the Department of Public Health. “It is not known how the person, who is a Santa Clara County resident, was infected with measles. San Francisco and Santa Clara public health departments are working together to ensure the safety of the person with measles and residents and visitors of both counties. The individual was not hospitalized and is recovering at home. Further information will not be released to protect medical privacy.” Email Addresslast_img read more

Crowdsourcing Justice

first_imgNever Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. Late on a muggy friday night in July 1993, 25-year-old Edward Ates sat at the kitchen table of his grandmother’s house, talking with her about the dead woman next door. Ed’s brother, Kelvin, was there too, along with a friend. They lived in rural New Chapel Hill, just east of Tyler. That evening had been a terrible one. A few hours earlier, Ed’s grandmother Maggie Dews had discovered the body of a neighbor, Elnora Griffin, in her trailer. Griffin was naked and facedown on the floor, her throat slit to the bone. An investigator would later say that she had almost been beheaded.Ed hadn’t known Griffin very well. She was 47, a dainty, energetic woman who stood four feet four inches tall and barely weighed one hundred pounds. She had recently moved to tiny New Chapel Hill from Dallas; Ed had returned home from Oklahoma a few months earlier. Since then he’d made his living as a handyman and landscaper, taking care of several properties in the neighborhood, including Griffin’s. Sitting at the table, Ed recalled how he’d gone to her trailer the week before to see about clearing out a wasp’s nest in the back and had talked with her again just a day prior about doing some weed-trimming in the yard.Earlier in the evening, the Ates brothers and their grandmother had been questioned by various deputies from the Smith County sheriff’s office, who, after analyzing the crime scene, concluded that Griffin had been killed the night before. The investigators took statements from them, as well as from other neighbors, drawn by the lights and sirens, but nobody seemed to know anything—until a deputy talked with a friend of Griffin’s named Cubia Jackson, who said that she’d called Griffin the previous night, between 9:30 and 10:30, and asked what she was doing.“Well, I’m sitting here talking to Edward,” Griffin had said. Edward who? “Ms. Dews’s grandson.”Now, sitting at the kitchen table, Ed heard a knock on the door. He opened it to find three deputies, led by Detective Dale Hukill, who said they had some more questions for Ed. Would he mind coming down to the sheriff’s office? Ed said he would go, but first he wanted to talk to his mother, Margie Jackson, who lived nearby and had just phoned to say she was headed over. Margie was a boisterous woman; addicted to cocaine, she had plenty of experience with local authorities. When she arrived, she insisted on accompanying her son. Far from home, Ed soon found himself in trouble again. As they had done in Tyler, he and his two roommates would buy stolen Calvin Klein shirts as well as toilet paper and deodorant. One day that October, Ed and one of his roommates were busted for concealing stolen property. Ed was also charged with stealing from a clothing store that had, strangely enough, been set on fire. Ed was charged with arson. He admitted to possessing stolen clothes but denied everything else.The local DA offered Ed’s lawyer a plea bargain: if Ed pleaded guilty to arson, burglary, and concealing stolen property, he would be sentenced to ten years but get out in two if he behaved himself. Ed mistakenly thought he was getting probation and took the deal. He was sent to a succession of reformatories and work camps, then was arrested again for trying to escape from one of them—another felony—though Ed insisted he and his fellow inmates had just gone across the street to play basketball. He finally wound up at a halfway house in Oklahoma City, from which he was released in the spring of 1993. He had spent almost four years in Oklahoma, most of them incarcerated. Now he had four felonies on his record.After interviewing Ed, Detective Hukill returned to the crime scene, where homicide detective Jason Waller and other deputies had been collecting hair, blood, and cigarette butts. It was past 1 a.m., and Hukill briefed Waller on his conversation with Ed. They began piecing together what they believed to be possible clues. There was a Jolly Rancher candy wrapper in Griffin’s bathroom garbage can. A pink bath towel was covering her front door window, and they discovered a large handprint on it, as if a big man had hung it there. Griffin’s white Mercury hatchback was parked closer to the trailer than a neighbor said she usually parked it, as if someone else had left it there. Inside the car, deputies found, the seat had been pushed all the way back, as if it had been driven by a tall man. The radio station was tuned to KZEY, which played rap music; Griffin, a religious woman, listened to gospel.Later that Saturday, Hukill and Waller were joined at the crime scene by a man named David Dobbs, the first assistant in the Smith County district attorney’s office and a rising star there. A boyish 31-year-old with curly, dirty-blond hair and piercing, pale green eyes, he would actively work with the deputies in the investigation, meeting Hukill at Bush’s apartment complex, where they found two men who said they recognized Griffin’s car from a photo and said it had been parked there the night she was killed. Ed, Hukill wrote later, must have driven it there.At least initially, Hukill had another suspect too, a man named Leonard Moseley, who’d been romantically involved with Griffin but lived with a woman, Angela Walker, with whom he’d had a baby. Moseley still saw Griffin for a regular late-night Thursday date, but he told Hukill he’d been at work on the night of the murder, then gone home. Walker backed up his alibi. During an interview with Moseley four days after the body was found, Hukill said he believed him. “I’ve got one particular person who told me where he was, what he was doing, and his story ain’t checking out,” the deputy told Moseley. “I don’t think you did it. I really don’t. Not at this point, especially because this other boy, this other thing is just, like, slapping us in the face right now.”That particular person was Ed, who was arrested on August 26 and charged with murder. A Tyler newspaper noted that Smith County had had seven murders so far in 1993, and arrests had now been made in each of them. Sitting in jail, Ed was confident that he wouldn’t actually be tried for the crime and felt all the more sure when investigators concluded their blood-typing, fingerprinting, and hair analyses. No physical evidence tied him to the scene. By contrast, though the medical examiner found that Griffin had in fact not been sexually assaulted, the second suspect, Moseley, couldn’t be ruled out by blood type as a “possible donor” of a semen stain found on a comforter. One of Ed’s court-appointed lawyers, Clifton Roberson, told him that the state didn’t have a case. Ed rejected a plea bargain of forty years.Judges and DAs in conservative Tyler were elected on promises to wage war on crime. Prosecutors plowed through cases, and they were particularly relentless with murders.It took Ed’s family another eight months to get him out on bond, but once free, he felt like his life might actually be turning around. He enrolled in trucking school—he liked the freedom of the road—and upon graduation got a job with a Tyler waste-management company. He bought himself a new pickup. And in October 1994 he went to a Halloween party and met a pretty young woman from Dallas named Kim Miller. Ed liked her immediately: she was smart and independent, a sociology student at the University of Texas at Tyler. In turn, Kim thought the soft-spoken basketball player looked a lot like Michael Jordan. The day after the party, he called her seven times.She thought he was joking when he said he had been indicted for murder. Ed would forget about it sometimes himself, especially since his trial date kept getting pushed back (both the prosecutors and the defense lawyers, busy with other murder cases, asked for postponements). The couple dated for a few months, and Kim got pregnant. She graduated in May 1995, and in October their daughter, Kyra, was born. Ed loved holding her before heading out to drive his truck. Kim eventually convinced him to move to Dallas, where her parents lived and where there were more opportunities for a college graduate.Ed landed a job driving a garbage truck. Meanwhile he was getting more and more notices to appear in court. He talked to his boss about taking some time off, and in July 1996 Ed went on trial for murder.For years, Smith County had been one of the most stringently law-and-order communities in Texas. Judges and DAs in conservative Tyler were elected on promises to wage war on crime, which meant punishing those they thought were guilty, protecting victims, and keeping the streets safe. Prosecutors plowed through cases, and they were particularly relentless with murders. In one notable example, beginning in 1978, they tried Tyler-area resident Kerry Max Cook three times for the same murder over the course of sixteen years; one attempt ended in a mistrial, the other two in guilty verdicts that were thrown out by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Left:In the long period between Ates’s arrest and his first trial, he met and married his wife, Kim Miller-Ates. Courtesy of Kim Miller-AtesRight:Ates at his wedding, on April 5, 1997, at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church, in Dallas.Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Related Ates at his wedding, on April 5, 1997, at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church, in Dallas. Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly Yet one hundred miles away in Tyler, the DA’s office was working in earnest to try him again. After the mistrial, Gohmert had scheduled a hearing for a second trial, and investigators, hoping to find Ed’s DNA profile at the crime scene, had conducted DNA testing for the first time on some crime scene hairs. None, though, proved to belong to him. Then, two weeks after Ed’s wedding, on a day he was supposed to appear in Gohmert’s courtroom for another pretrial hearing, he was instead waiting in the Dallas County jail, having been mistakenly arrested on a warrant for one of the old Smith County misdemeanor theft cases that had already been disposed of. Gohmert revoked Ed’s bond and had him transferred to Tyler and put behind bars.Sitting in a crowded cell, Ed met a man named Kenneth Snow, an ex-con and professional boxer who was charged with two robberies, including one in which he was accused of beating up a man. Snow had once been a contender for the middleweight crown, and he still had dreams of climbing back into the ring. The two jailmates became friends, playing Spades and sharing the Kools that Ed’s grandmother had bought him. After Ed bonded out, Snow, still in jail, would even call him at home. By then Ed and Kim had purchased a small brick house in a new subdivision in southeast Dallas.When Ed went on trial again, in August 1998, his lawyers still thought the state didn’t have much of a case. Kim, five months pregnant with their second child, initially didn’t even join Ed in Tyler, but when he told her there were no black jurors (Dobbs had struck six African Americans from the jury pool, in a city where one in four people were black), she became worried. She took time off from work, left Kyra with her parents, and drove to the Tyler courthouse. This time prosecutors had a secret weapon: Ed’s new friend Kenny Snow, who was still awaiting trial for the robberies. Ed stared in disbelief as Snow, who had a reputation as a snitch, testified that Ed had tried to get him to lie on the stand and point the finger at someone else. Snow swore that Ed had paid him to tell authorities that he’d overheard another inmate, a man named Frances Johnson (an acquaintance of Ed’s who had dated Griffin), confess to attacking her. Snow said Ed had even written out a script for Snow. “He gave it to me to memorize it,” Snow testified. Instead, Snow sent the script to the DA, and a handwriting expert verified that it was written by Ed. On the witness stand, Snow denied that he’d been promised anything by prosecutors for his testimony.Although the state couldn’t put Ed at the crime scene forensically, Dobbs and a fellow assistant DA presented Ed’s lie about his alibi and investigators’ observations regarding the handprint on the towel, the position of the car seat, and the candy wrappers. The prosecutors hit Ed hardest when it came to the alleged feces. Despite the FBI agent’s conclusion that the smudge on Ed’s shoe was merely “protein of human origin,” Dobbs used the term “human feces” six times in closing arguments alone. “Liar sitting over there with human feces on his shoe and no explanation for it,” he declared. Ed’s lawyers tried to show that Snow was an untrustworthy jailhouse snitch, making him read a letter he had written Dobbs from jail. “I think I could be the best informant that ever come out of Tyler, Texas,” he’d proclaimed. They emphasized that none of the hundred-plus hairs, blood, semen, fingerprints, or cigarette butts tied Ed to the crime scene—they also pointed out that he had no scratches or blood on him or any motive to kill Griffin. Moseley was a much better suspect, they said. Again, the jury took a long time and was deadlocked 10 to 2 after two days, in favor of guilt. Again, Ed was offered a plea bargain, and again he turned it down. But on the morning of the third day, August 13, 1998, the two holdouts changed their minds, and the jury found Ed guilty. According to a local paper, when the verdict was read, “A cry went up” from Ed. He was sentenced to 99 years. Kim, weeping, watched as her husband was handcuffed and taken away.At the H. H. Coffield Unit, near the town of Tennessee Colony, Ed spent much of his free time doing what he did best: playing basketball. One day a friend confronted him. “All you do is play basketball,” he said. “Get your ass up—we’re going to the law library.” His friend showed Ed how to search for his case, and in mid-2000, Ed saw that his appeal had been denied earlier that year. He began spending every day in the library, researching, and after Texas passed a law giving inmates the right to petition for DNA testing of evidence, Ed did so, asking that everything at the crime scene be tested, not just the hairs.He fell into a routine, getting up at 5 a.m., working on a road crew. Later he served as a cook and a groundskeeper. He learned to keep his emotions in check, to not show any weakness. He avoided trouble and developed a reputation for toughness on the prison basketball courts, living up to his new nickname: Big E.Back in Dallas, Kim was struggling to raise Kyra and the new baby, Zach, by herself. She sold their home and moved in with her parents and would bring Kyra and Zach to visit their dad every two weeks. On the long drive to Tennessee Colony, she would tell them how their dad was in prison for something he didn’t do. When they arrived at the prison, the kids toddled to Ed, who got to hold them for an hour or two. But it crushed him when he had to return to his cell. The kids didn’t understand why their father couldn’t come home with them, and as the years crept by, the visits became harder for all of them. Zach, especially, started getting resentful. Like his father, Zach was passionate about basketball, playing every day. But unlike his friends’ dads, Ed never came to his games or his birthday parties. “When are you coming home?” he would ask over and over. Kim finally stopped talking about Daddy—it was too sensitive a topic—which made her even more depressed.The kids didn’t understand why their father couldn’t come home with them, and as the years crept by, the visits became harder for all of them.Kelvin visited Ed for a while too but couldn’t bear to hear his brother called “convict.” He hated seeing the grimace on Ed’s face when he would head back to his cell after a visit. So Kelvin stopped making the trip.Ed never heard from the attorney assigned to him for his DNA claim, and in 2006 his grandmother hired two Houston lawyers, father and son Randy and Josh Schaffer. Randy had a long history of freeing the wrongly convicted, and to him, Ed’s case had all the earmarks of a bad conviction: an entirely circumstantial case, no DNA, no eyewitnesses, no confession. What had sent Ed to prison, it seemed to the Schaffers, was Snow’s testimony.And now the lawyers had a secret weapon of their own. Snow had been released from jail three months after Ed’s trial, but he eventually fled the state and was arrested for violating his probation and brought back; in 2004 he was sentenced to forty years. While in prison, Snow got a message to Ed’s new lawyers: he had lied on the stand.Snow’s betrayal of Ed, as he swore in an affidavit, was especially treacherous. Snow said that, while in jail, he had overheard a conversation between Ed and Frances Johnson, the man who’d dated Griffin, in which Johnson admitted to being in her trailer the night of her murder. Johnson said he grabbed a knife and “wore her ass out.” Ed asked Snow to help him out, and Snow agreed to recount the conversation to Ed’s lawyers, who then informed the trial judge about the new witness at a pretrial hearing. But two weeks later, Snow claimed in the affidavit, prosecutor Dobbs visited him in jail. “Dobbs told me that if I testified for Ates, the state would not help me with my cases,” Snow said. “They told me that I would never box again unless I helped them convict Ates.”After Ed was convicted, Snow pleaded guilty and was given ten years’ probation—even though with his record he would have likely received 25 years to life in law-and-order Smith County. (Indeed, the judge told him she had never granted probation in a case like his, “where there is violence and kind of an anger that is of some concern to me.”)This, Josh Schaffer thought, was a classic case of a favorable deal with a jailhouse snitch that was hidden from defense lawyers, violating a long-established constitutional rule that the prosecution must disclose everything that is favorable to the defendant, including evidence that demonstrated that a witness might not be credible or honest. In 2010 Josh filed a writ of habeas corpus—an appeal asserting a constitutional violation—with affidavits from Snow and his lawyer. Tyler judge Kerry Russell ordered a hearing. Ed was as optimistic as he had been in years. Kim showed up for the hearing, along with their children and her parents; all of them thought this was the answer to their prayers.At the hearing, lawyers battled over whether prosecutors had promised Snow a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony against Ed. Snow’s attorney testified that there had been just such a deal, even if it wasn’t in writing and hadn’t been called a plea bargain: a violent habitual offender had received probation in Smith County after testifying for the prosecution, so, logically, some kind of agreement had been made. Dobbs maintained that there hadn’t been any kind of deal—not even a gentleman’s agreement—and denied everything else Snow had said.To Ed’s shock, Judge Russell sided with the state, finding “no credible evidence that the State had any agreement, unwritten or otherwise” and turning down his writ.Ed had one more shot. All around him at the Coffield Unit, men were being freed by post-conviction DNA testing. Ed felt certain that if all of the evidence in his case were tested, he would be exonerated. Though he had never received any help when he had asked for it before, he tried again, filing another motion for DNA testing with the court.Once again, he got no response. The months drifted into years, and Ed fell deeper into a pit of despair, angry at everybody. Every single thing that could have gone wrong in his life had gone wrong, he thought. He finally resigned himself to spending the rest of his days in prison. He wrote Kim and told her that maybe it was time she divorced him and moved on with her life. Bring the kids every once in a while, he asked, and make sure they see his mom and grandmother.Big E had shifted into survival mode, cutting off all hope. Only in his cell, behind an iron door, was he still Ed. He’d lie in the darkness and dream of his family: Kim, Kyra, and the son he barely knew.A thousand miles to the north, in rural southwestern Michigan, a tall, bearded fireman named Bob Ruff had troubles of his own. His marriage had fallen apart, and he was fighting for custody of his two kids. In his downtime, Ruff, 32, began listening to a comedy podcast, whose host would eventually recommend a true-crime podcast called Serial, a deep dive into a flawed murder investigation. In the fall of 2014, Serial had become one of the most popular podcasts ever, and Ruff decided to check it out. He loved the show and soon became obsessed with it, listening to episodes over and over, taking notes. He decided to start his own podcast, called The Serial Dynasty, and recorded it in a garden shed behind his house. It was, he would say, like a book club for Serial fanatics. Ruff was fascinated with the whole idea of solving crimes, and he invited listeners to email their theories. He also interviewed a former FBI profiler and a false confessions expert about the case. Ruff, who has a loud, resonant voice, was not a nuanced host; he didn’t use a script, just notes, and the result was emotional and fiery. He began picking up thousands of new listeners drawn by his passionate observations. After episodes, fans would visit his Facebook page and chime in.“I believe you’re an innocent man,” Ruff told him. Finally, Ed began to tell Ruff his story.In October 2015 Ruff renamed his podcast Truth & Justice, set up a GoFundMe account, and raised enough money for an actual studio. Soon he had more than 100,000 subscribers, whom he called the Truth & Justice Army. With a boom in true-crime podcasting, Ruff decided to change careers. He quit his job and became a full-time podcaster, selling ads to pay his salary. By then he had two new tattoos, large ones on his forearms: on his left, “Veritas,” Latin for “truth”; on his right, “Aequitas,” for “justice.” Now he just needed a case to investigate, and one of his listeners emailed about her uncle in Texas, a former boxer whom she said had been falsely convicted of two robberies. His name: Kenneth Snow.Ruff began investigating and thought there might be something to the case, so he traveled to Tyler to get court documents. He also spoke by phone to Snow, who told him he’d been released back in 1998 after he had testified at the trial of a man named Ed Ates. Snow claimed that, earlier that year, Dobbs and an FBI agent had visited him in jail and told him they were going to put him in a cell with Ed. If Snow didn’t get a confession, he’d get 99 years for the robberies; if he helped, he’d get probation. So Snow helped. Snow couldn’t be certain that Ed was innocent, he told Ruff, but he reaffirmed what he’d said in the affidavit: that he’d heard Frances Johnson say that he attacked Griffin.Ruff soon found his enthusiasm for Snow’s case dimming. Some of the things the inmate told him didn’t pan out, others couldn’t be checked, and ultimately there wasn’t a lot Ruff could do for Snow, who had pleaded guilty.But Ed was another matter. In January 2016, Ruff, still searching for a worthy case, sent him a letter. “My name is Bob Ruff,” he wrote. “I have a podcast, and I think I can help you.”By this point Big E was almost completely isolated from the free world. He’d had half his life taken—and all of his family. His father had died early in Ed’s time in prison, his grandmother had followed in 2014, and he hadn’t talked with his mother or his brother in a couple of years. Ever since Ed had urged Kim to divorce him, she had retreated from him as well. She had stopped writing letters and gone ahead and filed divorce papers. She visited only once a year, on Father’s Day, bringing Kyra. Zach, by then a moody adolescent, had ceased coming altogether.Ed had been scammed once before by someone who offered to help get him out of prison, and he didn’t trust anyone on the outside anyway. He threw Ruff’s letter into the trash.Ruff mailed Ed another letter saying he just wanted to talk, and he put money in Ed’s commissary account so the inmate could phone him. Ed called but nervously hung up before Ruff could answer. Then he called back. “I believe you’re an innocent man,” Ruff told him. Finally, Ed began to tell Ruff his story.Ruff liked Ed immediately. He spoke with an East Texas drawl and was laid-back and restrained, carefully keeping his anger in check. The two chatted again a week later, and Ruff recorded the conversation. In the next episode of Ruff’s podcast, titled “Hope,” he played the interview, immediately followed by Adele’s heart-tugging ballad “Hello,” performed by a Zimbabwean singer. Then listeners heard a conversation Ruff had had with Snow. “I would like to tell Mr. Ates that I’m sorry for what happened,” Snow said. “If I can help in any way I can, I will be at peace with myself.” Ruff alternated the soaring, sentimental music with the apology. It was maudlin, over-the-top. Listeners loved it.Soon Ed was calling Ruff every Tuesday morning at ten, giving more details of his life and his time in prison. He began to feel comfortable enough to reveal his festering anger. “Fuck Kenny Snow!” he’d say when Ruff brought him up. “David Dobbs can go to hell!” An energized Ruff contacted Mike Ware, the executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas. Ware said he’d be happy to look into Ed’s case but that he needed trial transcripts. So in April, Ruff returned to Tyler, armed with a portable scanner given to him by a listener. It took him five days to make copies of 27 volumes. He shared many of the documents, as well as crime scene photos, on his website.He made more trips to Texas, learning the basics of the criminal justice system and researching other wrongful conviction cases from Smith County, including that of Kerry Max Cook, the Tyler man tried multiple times for murder, who spent almost twenty years on death row before being freed, in 1997. The more Ruff researched, the more he learned about Ed, this supposedly brutal killer. For example, Chris Scott, a fellow inmate who was later exonerated, told Ruff, “He’s friendly, he don’t want to fight nobody, he don’t want to be a part of nothing physical.”Ruff was basically crowdsourcing an investigation—“Two hundred thousand minds are better than one,” he said in an episode—and doing so in real time, week after week, asking listeners for help. He did this by posting on Twitter and Facebook, where the podcast fan page had 6,500 active users leaving 20,000 comments a week. A serologist examined data from a 1993 report on blood found under Griffin’s fingernails and said she thought there were two different types. Amateur photo enthusiasts tried to discern a footprint in the alleged feces clump in the kitchen. When Ruff needed help figuring out who had a certain unlisted phone number, a listener volunteered to go to the Kilgore city library and pore over old phone directories. Ed explained to Ruff two of his case’s biggest mysteries. Yes, he had lied about how he got to Bush’s apartment: he had taken his grandmother’s car that night to visit his girlfriend, something he wasn’t supposed to do and didn’t want his mother (who was sitting next to him in his interview) to know. Ed wasn’t scared of the deputies or worried what they would think, since he had nothing to do with the murder. He was scared of his mom, a cocaine addict who had shot her two former husbands—and would later, during a drug-fueled argument, shoot Kelvin in both legs. Also, Ed told Ruff that the “script” Snow testified about was actually a page of notes Ed had written to send to his lawyers after his conversation with Johnson. It later vanished from the cell, and he eventually figured out that Snow had taken it.Ruff relentlessly attacked the state’s case. He described how Hukill had homed in on Ed from the start, while failing to follow up on other suspects. In addition to Moseley, Griffin had been dating Johnson and a third man, and neither was ever interviewed. Hukill never checked Moseley for scratches or blood, as he did Ed. Waller and the other investigators never measured the large handprint on the towel. No one ever photographed the position of the car seat. Though the car radio was tuned to KZEY, which played hip-hop, the station also played gospel music.Ruff became increasingly incensed about the Smith County criminal justice system. He recorded several episodes on Cook’s case and implied that Dobbs (who had also prosecuted Cook) was a psychopath. “I will not rest until you are behind bars for your crimes against humanity,” Ruff intoned. He suggested that Hukill and Waller weren’t just incompetent—they had framed Ed. “The Smith County justice system has destroyed countless lives,” he thundered.In May 2016 the Innocence Project of Texas agreed to take the case, and Ed got a new lawyer, Allison Clayton, who began visiting and writing him. Usually the lawyers at IPTX have to spend hundreds of hours doing tedious legwork—getting transcripts, doing interviews, asking experts how a test works, checking out possible leads—but Ruff and his army had already done much of it. IPTX also typically has to scrape together funding for its investigations, but the army helped there too. When Ruff put out a request for help to pay for possible DNA testing, listeners ponied up $7,000. So many of IPTX’s clients were lost in the prison system. Though Ed had once been forgotten himself, he was now one of the lucky few.From left to right: Ed’s children, Zach and Kyra Ates; his attorney with the Innocence Project of Texas, Allison Clayton; his wife, Kim Miller-Ates; and Truth & Justice podcast host Bob Ruff.Courtesy of Bob RuffWhile Ruff was investigating Ed’s case, he also got in touch with Kim, who by then hadn’t seen or spoken with her husband in a year. Like Ed, she was initially skeptical. She had no idea what a podcast was, but when Ruff told her, “I believe your husband is innocent,” she burst into tears. This was the first time she’d heard anyone outside her family and Ed’s lawyers say that.For years Kim had been imprisoned in her own dark place, raising two kids while working full-time. She never thought her husband was guilty; he was a gentle giant, she’d say. She wished he would smile more, but he was no killer. In some ways she loved him now more than ever—he was the father of her children, and her whole life was built around Kyra and Zach. But she also thought he was never coming home. Kim, who smiles easily, rarely told anyone of her inner struggles. Sometimes the despair would get so heavy that she would steal away to the restroom at work to cry in one of the stalls.Kim felt terrible about not visiting, even though he had urged her to stay away. Her first question to her husband was “Can you forgive me?” Of course, Ed replied.She had tried to move on, and even though she had filed divorce papers, because of an error, she hadn’t received a notice to appear in court. She could have followed through to nail down a court date, but she never did.Now she thought God had been guiding her hand all along. A week after Ruff called, she went to visit Ed and found a different man. He was no longer alone in his fight; besides talking with Ruff every week, he had been getting letters from the podcast’s listeners, sometimes as many as ten a day. And he was really happy to see her. She felt terrible about not visiting, even though he had urged her to stay away. Her first question to her husband was “Can you forgive me?” Of course, Ed replied. He wanted his family back.They began talking more, and they broached the concept of his actually coming home one day, which until then they hadn’t allowed themselves to even imagine. “What do you want to do?” Kim asked. “I just want to go to work, come home, sit on the couch, and be with my family,” Ed answered. He started making lists of resolutions, just in case he ever got out:Stop using cuss words.Smile.Get my driver’s license.Take care of my wife and kids.Have a conversation with my son and daughter, make sure they aren’t upset at me.Tell my family I love them.At night Ed would pull out his lists and go over them, memorizing and planning. After a summer visit from Kim, Ed told Ruff he hadn’t felt so good in years. Though deep down he was still angry—sometimes he would gripe to Kim when she said, “I know what you’re going through”—he was tired of being that way. He wanted to change.Ed had gone up for parole twice but was denied both times. To be released, an inmate must usually show remorse for his crime and take responsibility for it, but Ed wouldn’t cop to something he didn’t do. He became eligible again in March 2018, and Ruff and Clayton set out to make sure this time would be different.Ruff asked listeners to send letters, and they flooded him with hundreds. He winnowed the stack to fifty and sent them to Clayton, who passed them on to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Ruff sent his own letter about Ed, as did Kim. “After twenty years apart, I still love my husband, and I’ve built a home for him to come home to,” she wrote. “The kids and I want him here, and we will support and encourage him every step of the way.”Ultimately, Ed needed the approval of two out of three commissioners in the parole board office in nearby Palestine. Clayton asked for help from experienced parole lawyer Roger Nichols, who, working pro bono, presented the case to one of the commissioners on March 27. Another commissioner interviewed Ed the next day. Toward the end of that meeting, Ed would later recall, the man said, “What I’m getting is, you didn’t do this.” Usually it takes two to three weeks for the board to make their decision public, but Ed was granted parole the next day. When Clayton heard, she immediately called Kim, who was at work. “Ed made parole,” she said through tears. Kim had to excuse herself and walk outside, where she started crying and hollering, “I knew he was coming home!”On a muggy morning in early September 2018, Kim drove her kids to Huntsville, where Ed had been transferred prior to his release from prison. She wished she could’ve brought Margie too, but Ed’s mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, had killed herself the previous summer. By the time the Ates family arrived, there was a crowd of fifty people standing vigil, waiting for Ed. Many were women from East Texas, though one had traveled from California, another from Arkansas. Most of them were strangers, but they had seen one another’s photos on the Truth & Justice Facebook fan page. They couldn’t believe that Ed was getting out—and that they were going to witness it. A few carried hand-lettered posters that read “We stand with Ed” and “Welcome home, Ed. Love, the T & J Army.”Ruff was there, and he greeted Kim, Kyra, and Zach with hugs and tears. This was a huge day for Ruff, the end of a remarkable campaign. Podcasts had barely existed ten years before, and Ruff knew, as did everyone else in the crowd, that Ed would still be stuck behind bars if Ruff hadn’t started one and found an army of followers. Like a few other podcasts—Serial, Empire on Blood, In the Dark—his had successfully drawn attention to a questionable conviction and actually helped free someone. In addition, Ruff had raised more than $35,000 from listeners to help Ed get back on his feet.Bob Ruff prays with Ed’s family and some of his supporters while waiting for Ed’s release, in Huntsville, on September 5, 2018.Photograph by Michael HallKim looked around at the crowd. “I don’t think he’s ready for this,” she said. More than anything, she was concerned about how her reserved husband would deal with the world—in particular his family. She was desperate for him to feel at home. “You have to communicate with us,” she had told Ed. “Especially me.” She knew she could be pushy, but that was the only way her family had survived for this long. She also knew Ed was still angry and that she would have to help guide him, to find a way to not let his bitterness consume him.Kim watched her kids talk to members of the crowd. Kyra, 23, is like her mother, expressive and quick with a hug, and was laughing with total strangers. Zach, three years younger, is like Ed, reserved and stoic. He stood alone, nervous about reuniting with his father, whom he had never seen outside prison walls.Finally, a little past noon, someone called out, “I think I just heard the gate open,” and everyone stood up and looked across the street. A tall, bald man was walking down the sidewalk. A few people cheered. Ed, wearing a large plaid shirt, baggy pants, and black Crocs, ambled across the street, some yellow envelopes in his right hand, his left arm swinging wildly. His head shone in the sun.He looked nervous, and as he hit the other side, Zach emerged from the crowd and walked toward his father. Ed seemed about to shake his son’s hand, but Zach opened his arms, and the two men fell into each other, son burying his head in his father’s shoulder. The crowd sniffled in the heat. “Don’t leave me again,” whispered Zach. “I won’t,” his dad responded. When Ed unwound himself from Zach, he went to Kim and held her for a long time. Then he hugged Kyra, who was crying openly.After that, Ruff approached. “Hey, brother,” he said, and the two men embraced. He was followed by a succession of pen pals and total strangers. Ed, who wore a half smile, seemed happy but overwhelmed. “I love you, sweetheart,” said one as she hugged him. “I’ve been praying for you,” said another. All Ed could do was say, “Thank you,” occasionally adding, “It means a lot.”Kim drove the family back to Dallas, with Ed in the passenger seat. They held hands most of the way. Ed often turned to look back at Kyra watching TV on her laptop and Zach playing with his smartphone. Now fifty, he had seen modern technology like that only on the prison TV, in shows and commercials where kids sat in backseats glued to their devices while the parents sat up front—and now he was living it. They stopped for gas at a Buc-ee’s, and Ed was dumbfounded at the rows of automatic toilets and faucets in the men’s room.When Ed walked into the Cedar Hill home that Kim had bought in 2006, he couldn’t believe the high ceilings, the luxurious brown couch, the big-screen TV. Kim had assured him that it was his home too, but he was having a hard time accepting it. There were photos of her and the kids everywhere; he was present in only a couple of prints, from their wedding.The first thing he wanted to do was take a shower and put on his own clothes—Kim had recently gone shopping for him—then eat a seafood platter. Since parole restrictions barred him from going to a restaurant, Kyra fried a plate of catfish filets. Other family members and friends began arriving—a cousin from Tyler with her kids, a cousin from Dallas, Kelvin and his son, and Ruff. Ed ate nine filets.The next morning, he woke up at 5:30 and opened Zach’s door. “Zach,” he said, “what are you doing?” Zach, who had been sound asleep, sat up groggily. “Nothing. What are you doing?” His father replied, “I just came to check on you.” Ed checked on Kyra too, waking her up. Soon everyone was in the kitchen making breakfast. Later that day he walked from room to room, as if making sure everything was real.Kim drove him to check in with his parole officer. He had to report every Tuesday morning and submit to a weekly urinalysis (he’s not allowed to drink). He wore a GPS monitor, which went off if he ventured beyond the property lines at an unscheduled time. He had to clear every move in advance, whether it was going to church or going shopping with Kim.Ed and Ruff at Ed’s home on the day of his release.Courtesy of Bob RuffRuff stuck around for a few days. “I ain’t never had a lot of friends,” said Ed. But the two had an easy rapport and sat on the couch talking like old Army buddies, watching TV, discussing football. They stayed up late one night preparing a slab of ribs; the next day they smoked them and had a cookout. Ed found himself touching Kim and the kids all the time. He also kept asking Kim for permission—to get some water, to turn on the TV. “This is your home,” she’d reply. “You don’t have to ask.”When they all went to church for the first time, Kim dressed them in varying shades of purple. Worshipping together was a dream of hers, something she had wanted to do for years. “We are a family,” she said. “We are one.”In Ed’s first weeks home, he established a new routine: rise at 5:30, brew coffee in his new Keurig machine, and putter around the house and backyard. On Saturday mornings he washed the family’s cars, going over every inch. He watched football and walked Charlie, the family’s Yorkshire terrier. If a picture needed hanging, Ed fetched the hammer. “He’d been dying to be a husband and a father for twenty years,” said Ruff, who talked with Ed weekly. “He finally had the chance.” Ed and Kim hosted several get-togethers for family and friends, where Ed did the cooking, as his grandmother did in the old days.“I’m never going to get those years back. I’m going to live for today, make every day count.”Kim had told him he could relax and take his time finding a job, but Ed didn’t want to sit around. Three weeks after his release, he was loading trucks at a UPS warehouse, and in November he was hired by the City of Dallas water department. By early 2019 he was part of a three-man crew inspecting sewer lines all over the city. He loved the work: driving the truck, maneuvering a robot, watching the monitor, reporting the results.In the months since, he has grown a light beard, which came in salt-and-pepper, and started wearing two square diamond earrings that Kim bought him. The family created a new photo wall in the house, adding pictures of all four of them—at church, at Christmas.Sometimes, though, Ed still finds himself eaten up by anger—that he didn’t get to see his grandmother and mother before they died, that he didn’t get to see his kids grow up. There were times in prison when he had trouble remembering the faces of his kids. It was terrifying and infuriating then—and is still. He knows that some freed prisoners have a hard time letting go of their bitterness. “I don’t want to live like that,” he says. “I’ve been mad enough.” He’s learning firsthand that freedom isn’t going to solve all of his problems.Ed had worried about bonding with his kids, mostly Zach. While Kyra sings in the church choir and is planning on going to medical school, Zach is very much his father’s son. He rarely smiles, and one of Ed’s hardest tasks since getting out has been establishing a rapport with him. It started off well: in September Zach took Ed to his driver’s test and, after he passed, asked whether he wanted to drive home. “I don’t know,” said Ed. “You can do it,” replied his son, and threw him the keys. When Ed mowed the grass, Zach, who never did yard work, brought out the Weed eater and joined him.But Zach, like many other twenty-year-old men, is still trying to figure out his relationship with his father, and the two sometimes butt heads. Ed is anxious that his son, who is so much like him, might make some of the same mistakes he did—or even get in some terrible trouble that isn’t his fault. In March Zach moved out and got a place with a cousin. Ed worried, but Kelvin reassured his brother. “He was raised right,” said Kelvin. “All you can do is let him go.” To Ed’s relief, six weeks later Zach moved back in. Ed with Kim, Kyra, and Zach at their Cedar Hill home on June 1, 2019.Photograph by Matt Rainwaters They arrived at the sheriff’s office in Tyler around 11 p.m. Ed had been questioned by law enforcement before; indeed, he had spent time behind bars. He was by nature a calm person, and that evening he’d also had a few beers. Now he told the deputies he didn’t think he needed a lawyer, even after Hukill told him what Cubia had said. Ed denied being in Griffin’s trailer that night.The deputies asked Ed to take off his shirt, and they checked him for scratches or blood; they checked his fingernails too, then asked him to take off his shoes. They found no blood, but when Hukill examined the sole of the left shoe, he noticed a trace of something stuck in its tread; he smelled it, then scraped it off and put it in a baggie. He told Ed he was doing this because deputies had found what they thought was feces in Griffin’s trailer, including a clump in the kitchen that appeared to have been stepped in. They believed she had probably been sexually assaulted or strangled, either of which could have led to her losing control of her bowels.At some point Ed went to the restroom. He often carried a few Jolly Rancher candies in his pockets, and now he ate one and threw the wrapper in the garbage can. Back in the interrogation room, he again denied having been in Griffin’s trailer that night and said he’d been at the apartment of his girlfriend, Monica Bush. She had come by to pick him up between 9:30 and 10 p.m., he said, and they’d sat around talking for a few hours. Hukill dispatched a deputy to call Bush and check out the alibi, but Bush contradicted Ed, saying he’d shown up on his own. Armed with this, Hukill confronted Ed again, certain that almost everything coming out of his mouth was a lie. What he’d wanted to do was play basketball. Ed was a muscular six feet seven inches tall, and with his size and strength, he had dominated games at Chapel Hill High School and the outdoor courts where he and his friends played. “He was a beast,” remembered Kelvin. Ed idolized Michael Jordan—his grace as well as his confidence on the court—and even resembled him. He wore only Air Jordans and dreamed of getting a scholarship to Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, then joining the NBA.Ed, left, with his mom, Margie, and his brother, Kelvin, around 1975.Courtesy of the Ates familyEd’s parents had split up when he was young, and at first, he and Kelvin, two years younger, lived with their mom, who worked a variety of jobs in Tyler, including as a seamstress and solderer. But then she married a jealous and violent man who regularly beat her (Margie would later shoot him after he broke her jaw; he survived). He didn’t want Ed and Kelvin around, so they moved in with their father, Emerson, a reserved man who ran a nightclub (Margie had shot him once too).While still in elementary school, the boys began spending more and more time in New Chapel Hill with Dews, Margie’s mom. Eventually they moved in, and Ed became close to her, helping her take care of her garden and cook large dinners for family gatherings. He and Kelvin loved living in the country, where the pine trees hugged the roads and the land sloped down into the brush and creek bottoms. They fished often in those creeks, and they started working at a young age for a nearby rancher who had a couple hundred cattle. By age fourteen, Ed was baling hay, grooming horses, and riding four-wheelers through the meadows looking for stray calves. He was a hands-on kid, stoic like his father; if there was a job that needed to be done, he could do it.School, though, was another story. Ed wasn’t a good student and often got in trouble; he was suspended twice, once for fighting a white kid who called him a racial slur. He dropped out his senior year and joined the Gary Job Corps, a government job training program that took him to San Marcos. He returned to New Chapel Hill, got his GED, and played basketball in city leagues, entering tournaments and traveling to Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Sometimes he and his friends engaged in petty thievery—of candy or gasoline—and other times they bought new Nikes and Guess jeans from hustlers on the street.It was past 1 a.m., and Hukill briefed Waller on his conversation with Ed. They began piecing together what they believed to be possible clues.One afternoon at the courts, Ed’s old high school coach saw him and said that he could probably get a basketball scholarship at Western Oklahoma State College, in Altus, a small town in the southwestern part of that state. So in the fall of 1989 he drove to Oklahoma with two friends from Chapel Hill High who became his roommates. First Name Ed Ates Wants His Name BackSep 4, 2018 Even without any physical evidence tying Ed to the scene, prosecutors felt they had a good case, especially with the charismatic Dobbs at the helm. One of Ed’s lawyers, Tom McClain, had worked in the DA’s office with Dobbs and knew what he was up against. “Dobbs tried a case as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said McClain. “And he’s really smart.”At trial, Dobbs theorized that Ed killed Griffin, stepped in her feces, drove her car to his girlfriend’s, and returned home after midnight. The state offered no motive and indeed no proof that the debris on the bottom of Ed’s shoe or the clumps in her trailer were human feces. An FBI expert could determine only that the smudge on Ed’s shoe was “protein of human origin,” which could have been anything from sweat to spit. Although Ed had been in trouble with the law—besides his trouble in Oklahoma, he’d also been busted several times in Tyler for misdemeanor theft as well as for forging a check—he had no history of violence. The jury, which included two African Americans, couldn’t reach a unanimous decision and after two days was deadlocked at 8 to 4 for guilt. Finally, on the third day, Judge Louis Gohmert declared a mistrial.Ed thought that he had finally put his troubles in Smith County behind him. He asked Kim to marry him on Christmas Day. At their wedding the following April, Ed, a towering figure in a white tuxedo, danced with Kim to “For You I Will,” a soaring love ballad. “I will stand beside you,” sang R&B star Monica, “right or wrong.” Enter your email address This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly In the long period between Ates’s arrest and his first trial, he met and married his wife, Kim Miller-Ates. Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Recently Ed pulled out some of his prison lists and read them over. He’s been able to check off most of his goals. Some, such as getting a driver’s license, were easy. Others, like smiling, he’s had to work at. The thing Ed wants the most, though, isn’t on any of his lists. “I want my name back,” he had said in 2018, while still behind bars. “I want this mark off me, this stripe off me. I want to be able to talk to people without them saying, ‘That’s the guy in prison for killing that lady.’ ”Exonerations take a long time, even when backed by an army of Innocence Project lawyers and well-intentioned podcast listeners. Clayton began the process in 2016 and eventually convinced the Smith County DA’s office to join her in filing a motion in 2017 for DNA testing of twenty crime scene items, including scrapings from underneath Griffin’s fingernails, rape kit swabs, and the substance from Ed’s shoe. Unfortunately for Ed, most of the biological samples were so old and degraded that they revealed only one full profile: Griffin’s. The exception was the semen stain, which unquestionably came from Moseley.And the shoe debris—the substance that 26 years ago led investigators to believe Ed had been inside the trailer the night of the murder? DNA testing revealed that it belonged to an unidentified male. Not only was the tiny trace never proven to have been human feces, it had nothing to do with Elnora Griffin.Clayton is now trying to track down the crime scene fingerprints so they can be analyzed using modern software and then plugged into a current database. She is also planning to challenge Ed’s conviction under a 2013 state law that allows a court to grant relief in cases based on faulty forensic science. Clayton would like to debunk the state’s feces theory once and for all—and exonerate Ed while doing so.She’s had offers of assistance from an unlikely source: David Dobbs. In 2016 Dobbs received an email from Ruff laying out his reasons for believing Ed is innocent and asking for an interview. Dobbs responded, “Is this the Bob Ruff who called me a psychopath?”Dobbs, who left the DA’s office in 2000 and now has his own personal injury practice, told Ruff to give him some time to look into the case. If Ed was innocent, he said, he wanted to help, possibly by assisting the current DA in tracking down and questioning Moseley, Walker, and Johnson.“I’m open to the possibility that he may be innocent,” Dobbs said in June. “Anytime you have a circumstantial case without any conclusive forensic evidence, there’s that possibility. But this is not a clear case of ‘He’s innocent.’ We have work to do to investigate that. I feel a responsibility to do what I can.”Ed is skeptical of Dobbs’s intentions. He knows there are many reasons that people get sent to prison for something they didn’t do. In his case, as in most wrongful convictions, it began with a deeply flawed investigation, with deputies focusing on one suspect to the exclusion of others. (Neither Hukill nor Waller responded to multiple interview requests.) But Ed thinks that the main reason he spent twenty years in prison is the prosecutor who sent him there. “Once Dobbs saw that none of the evidence pointed to me, he should have left it alone. Then he came over to the jail and talked to Kenny Snow, who was a known snitch. And they believed what he said!”Ed’s not the only one who thinks Dobbs was trying to win his case at all costs. During Ed’s second trial, Victor Sirls, an old friend of Ed’s who had also been in the jail cell with Snow, was subpoenaed by Ed’s team to testify. The day before his scheduled testimony, Sirls said that Dobbs summoned him to a vacant jury room. “He said if I testified for Ates, they’d get me,” Sirls recalled. “Dobbs said if I fucked this case up, he’d fuck my case up—those were his exact words.” (Dobbs denied this.)Many others have complained about Tyler prosecutors over the years. In 2000 the Houston Chronicle ran a front-page story on the Smith County justice system, in which defense attorneys claimed that the DA’s office would do anything to win a case. “It’s simply a pattern of lying, cheating and violations of the law by Smith County prosecutors that wouldn’t be tolerated in Harris or Dallas County or any of the other, larger offices in the state,” said Houston attorney Paul Nugent, who represented Kerry Max Cook. A principal tactic, critics charged, was making secret or implicit deals with jailhouse informants like Snow, which are required by law to be revealed to the defense. Dobbs, quoted in the story, denied all allegations.Dobbs recently contended that you can’t look at Ed’s case—or any other from that era—in isolation. In a conservative, pro-law-enforcement community, he said, he was doing the job voters expected of him. “It was the nineties, the war on crime. We were doing cases on the fly.” That decade saw Texas send more people to prison than any other state—and Smith County contributed its fair share. In the months before Ed’s second trial, Dobbs was juggling three other murder cases. In his twelve years, he would try at least fifteen death penalty cases and win all but one. “As a DA,” he said, “you’re like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, swinging your sword all the time. You can’t stop and look closely at a tree. You’re always under siege.”It wasn’t a war to Ed, at least not at first. To Ed, it was a bunch of men with badges who seemed determined to prove he was a brutal killer. “They didn’t care about anything,” he said recently, “as long as there was a conviction.”He spoke on a Sunday in late May, as he and his family were preparing to go to a Memorial Day crawfish boil at a cousin’s house.“They had their minds made up as soon as they heard I had been in prison in Oklahoma. All they had to do was look at it a little closer, do a little more investigation, and it would’ve made a big difference.”He paused. “I’m never going to get those years back. I’m going to live for today, make every day count.” At the party, he would see family members he hadn’t seen in decades, and he was eager to get going. “I’ll never get those years back,” he said again, “and I’m not going to even try.”This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Crowdsourcing Justice.” Subscribe today. If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Last Namelast_img read more

SAINTS would like to wish its fans sponsors frie

first_imgSAINTS would like to wish its fans, sponsors, friends and the rugby league community a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.On behalf of Chairman Eamonn McManus and the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Mike Rush, the Coaching Staff and of course the players, we’d like to thank you all for your support.We’re really looking forward to the new season and have gone out and recruited well, building on the foundations of 2015.We also had our best year off the field since moving to Langtree Park.2016 will be exciting and full of mouthwatering and intriguing matches, including the World Club Series clash with Sydney Roosters at Langtree Park on February 19.Until then, the boys have been working hard in pre-season – and have their own special Christmas singalong for you all at the end of this video!You can find our opening hours over Christmas here.last_img read more

WPD looking for man who pulled gun at Belk in Mayfaire Town

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are looking for a man who they say pulled a gun on an employee in a department store Sunday.According to a WPD spokeswoman, it happened at the Belk in Mayfaire Town Center around 2:50 p.m. Officials say a loss prevention officer with the store approached a man who then pulled a gun on him and reportedly said, “This isn’t worth your life,” and took off.- Advertisement – The suspect is described as a white male, around 5′ 9″ and 225 lbs. He was last seen wearing a Gas Monkey T-shirt and grey sweatpants. He was last seen leaving in a black Toyota sedan.Officials are investigating the incident as an armed robbery.If you know anything, call Wilmington Police or use text-a-tip.last_img

Boliva breakin suspects arrested

first_imgBOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — Two suspects wanted for multiple break-ins around Boliva are now behind bars.Detectives with the Brunswick and Robeson County Sheriff’s Offices arrested Cody Shenny Locklear, 24, of Shannon, NC, and Kameron Jessica Locklear, 24, of Fairmont, NC, on Thursday, November 9. Officials were able to recover several stolen firearms from the reported break-ins.- Advertisement – The two were also served with outstanding charges stemming from previous incidents. Both are currently in the Brunswick County Detention Facility. Cody Locklear is under a $1 million bond and Kameron Locklear is under a $500,000 bond. They are charged with the following:Cody Shenny Locklear:Second Degree Kidnapping2 X First Degree Burglary4 X Possession of Firearm by Felon4 X Possess Stolen Firearm4 X Larceny of a Firearm3 X Breaking and/or Entering BuildingLarceny after Break/Enter Building2X Break or/enter a Motor VehicleAttempted Breaking and/or Entering BuildingKameron Jessica Locklear:3 X Accessory After the Factlast_img read more

ALERT Missing Florida mother possibly spotted in Shallotte

first_imgMaribel Torres, 34, was reported missing by the Miami-Dade Police Department Special Victims Bureau on November 30, 2017.- Advertisement – Maribel Torres 1 of 3 Shallotte Police believe Torres was possibly seen around 2:00 p.m. at the Dollar Tree at Shallotte Crossing Parkway on Wednesday.Investigators say they showed a picture of the missing woman to the Dollar Tree clerk, who believes it could have been Torres. Maribel Torres SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — A Florida woman missing since November may be in Brunswick County. “Torres has no mental or physical disabilities. She has not returned home and has not contacted any friends or family members. Her disappearance exhibits uncharacteristic behavior and is suspicious in nature. She may be in need of services,” Miami-Dade Police said in a statement.Related Article: Caregiver of 85-year-old missing Latta woman charged with lying to policeDet. Sgt. John Holman is currently investigating her possible sighting.If you have any information or if you have seen Maribel Torres in the area, please contact Det. Sgt. John Holman of the Shallotte Police Department (910) 754-6008.last_img read more

Police say Wilmington mom kills child self in shooting

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say a mother killed her child before turning the gun on herself Tuesday in the Andrews Reach community.Officers responded to 5705 Andrews Reach Loop after being flagged down by a family member.- Advertisement – Police say when they entered the home they found, Alissa Frey, 34, and her 2-year-old son dead from gunshot wounds. Investigators says Frey left a note to family expressing her intentions to end her life.Once the officer was flagged down, officials say he arrived at the scene within minutes.“Around 11:18, the officer was flagged down and then we arrived on scene by 11:22,” said Jennifer Dandron, with the Wilmington Police Department.Related Article: Father of slain Lumberton teen denied temporary visa into US for funeralNew Hanover County property records show a couple bought the home in early May.last_img read more

First shipment of pilings delivered to rebuild Carolina Beach pier

first_imgPilings gets delivered to the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier on Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo: Donna Johnston) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Carolina Beach Fishing Pier is one step closer to being back to normal.The pier had extensive damage from the Hurricane Florence and held multiple fundraisers to rebuild, as the cost was substantial.- Advertisement – The pier received their first load of 55 foot pilings.Donna Johnston says they hope to begin the rebuild at the start of the new year.The community is working together to raise money for the estimated $300,000 loss. If you would like to donate, you can through GoFundMe.last_img

From live theatre to eclectic bands the Cape Fear offers lots of

first_img Owner Lisa Harris has operated the venue for the last seven years as a dinner theatre and recently announced plans to lease or sell the venue. Click to read more.“The crowds have really built from where they first started and I think she just wants to do something different,” said StarNews Entertainment Reporter John Staton.This weekend is also your last opportunity to experience the Lumina Festival of the Arts hosted by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.If listening to a live band is more your thing, head to the Palm Room at Wrightsville Beach where two groups, Lauds and Seeking Madras, will be performing.Big Dawg Productions will be presenting “Circle Mirror Transformation.” According to the group’s website, the show is about an acting teacher, Marty, who holds an adult creative drama class at the local community center.Finally, Fourth Friday Gallery Night features a number of galleries and other venues that will be open in downtown Wilmington.You can read more about these entertainment options on StarNewsOnline.com. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — From live theatre to eclectic bands, there’s no short supply of entertainment options in the Cape Fear during this last weekend of July.TheatreNOW will be presenting “Clue, The Musical” which will be the final show at the dinner theatre venue. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights, July 19 – August 24, at 7 p.m.- Advertisement – last_img read more

PN condemns call to trigger Article 7 against Malta

first_imgPartit Nazzjonalista condemned a call made by German Green MEP Sven Giegold to the European Commission to invoke Article 7 of the TFEU procedure against Malta.In a statement the PN said that the country should not suffer because of the Government’s shortcomings. The PN said that the Party is categorically against the triggering of Article 7.Giegold made the call after the Group of States Against Corruption of the Council of Europe sounded a strong warning that the Maltese criminal justice system risks collapse.The Party in its statements said it would be better if the Greens and Giegold worked together with the Nationalist Party to pressure the Labour-led Government and those close to it to take action, saying that with their behaviour they are damaging Malta’s reputation.The PN said that the Government should implement the recommendations put forward by the Venice Commission.READ: GRECO report says Malta’s criminal justice system risks collapseLast September Newsbook.com.mt reported that the German MEP was stopped many times from participating in the MEP delegation that was in Malta on a fact-finding mission. Sources had told Newsbook.com.mt that S&D MEPs had done all that they could to prevent Giegold from attending. A source had said that the MEPs were under undue pressure exerted by the Government.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Foster parents can now ask to adopt after five years

first_img SharePrint DOI – Reuben PiscopoDOI – Reuben Piscopo After many years of waiting, the law regarding Protection of Minors has been put into effect. These changes include the possibility that minors in the foster care for five years can be adopted by their foster carers. In extraordinary cases, foster carers can ask to adopt children even after three years of being in their care, following three positive review reports.This law will be issuing orders on how to best ensure protection of minors and putting into effect alternative procedures and protection guidelines. Details about this law were presented by the Minister for the Rights of Children Michael Falzon during a news conference on Thursday.Falzon explained that in these circumstances, adoption should be accepted with the condition that the children can freely stay in contact with their biological parents and siblings, as long as it is in their best interest.The main consultant in the Ministry stated that the Revision Board of Protection of Minors will be reconstructed and strengthened. He added that a warranted lawyer or similar with experience of at least five years in the field is to be the chairperson of the board.Read: 2018 saw record adoption numbersWhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Over 3 Billion Videos Are Viewed On Facebook Daily

first_imgAdvertisement If it’s starting to feel like every visit you make to Facebook these days is full of videos, you are not alone. Facebook today reported in a strong set of Q4 earnings that there are 3 billion videos viewed on its site each day. With the company also reporting daily active users of 890 million, this works out to more than 3 videos per day.Facebook more specifically later noted that over 50% of people in the US who come to Facebook daily watch at least one video per day. It doesn’t break out how many of those are auto-played but did noted that over 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile.CEO Mark Zuckerberg pointed out in the call that while usage of Facebook has shifted over the last ten years, from primarily text through to “primarily photos with some text and video,” he may be understating things a bit. – Advertisement – As a point of comparison, he noted that there are 2 billion photos each day shared across Facebook sites — or, put another way, 1 billion less photos than videos posted to Facebook daily. And as a sign of just how much Facebook is pushing video growth, it was only in June 2014 that the company passed 1 billion video views per day.“One of the big trends will be the growth of video content on our service,” Zuckerberg said in remarks about the how the service would look in three, five and 10 years.Video is key to Facebook on more than one level.On one hand, it’s a medium that helps keep people on the site for longer, by the very nature of the viewing experience. It’s something that Facebook has been doing well. By some estimates, it’s even driving video creators, and video views, away from YouTube, the online video leader.Facebook said that in the last year, the number of video posts per person on Facebook increased 75% globally and 94% in the U.S. (My guess is that it will try to push more of this kind of “native” video in the future — that is, video hosted on Facebook rather than on third-party sites, either by offering more control and a better experience or better exposure in Facebook’s ever-evolving algorithm for what gets seen the most. Hosting the videos, of course, means that Facebook can monetise them better.)On the other hand, with its close affinity with TV, online video is a honeypot for premium advertising and attracting premium brands. This is one of the big reasons why Facebook, and others like Yahoo and Aol and Twitter, have been pushing into the medium.COO Sheryl Sandberg made the direct comparison between consumer video takeup on Facebook and how the social network is building out its video advertising business. “It’s exciting that we’ve gotten to 3 billion video views per day because it shows that consumers like video,” she noted. “That gives us an opportunity to grow our video advertising.”“What really matters is that consumers are using videos on Facebook,” she said later, saying if they weren’t, “video ads would be very jarring.”In the last quarter, Facebook rolled out autoplay video ads worldwide, and noted that “many clients told their stories creatively through video” but didn’t share any metrics on just how well this did.Interestingly, while Facebook is pushing some premium content, including a new NFL feed that it announced today, it’s not putting all its eggs into the high-end basket.“I don’t think it matters what that content is,” Sandberg said in response to a question about whether Facebook would be looking to do more deals to add more premium video content, similar to what YouTube has been doing. “We have an NFL test right now but we are already seeing explosive growth without it. We haven’t figured out what the mix needs to be.”Facebook reported $3.6 billion in advertising sales on overall revenues of $3.85 billion but did not break out how much of that came from video advertising versus other formats.last_img read more

Kenya Proposed ICT Practitioners Bill rejected

first_imgKenya’s Supreme Court judges file into the chamber during the opening of the 11th Parliament in the capital Nairobi April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis (KENYA – Tags: POLITICS) Advertisement The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of ICT has rejected the proposed Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Practitioners Bill 2016, saying it will isolate Kenya from the global stage and participating in ICT innovations.ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru said some proposals in the Bill will kill innovative talent and alienate local youth from lucrative on-line jobs, educational and investment opportunities.According to the Ministry’s Website, the CS said this while addressing members of the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communication and Information. Mucheru said ICT sector was rapidly changing and if enacted, the proposed Bill would hinder growth of innovations and developments in the country. – Advertisement – Observing that the government was not opposed to regulating the ICT sector, the Cabinet Secretary pointed out the country still had progressive laws, policies and institutions that guided the sector.“If enacted, the ICT Protection Bill 2016, will cause duplication in regulation and frustrate individual talents from realizing their potential,” said Mucheru.Credit: MoICT Kenyalast_img read more

Seeta High School and St Marys College Kisubi Dominate in the 2016

first_imgTina Wamala , MultiChoice Uganda PR & Communications Manager (M) poses with Dennis Mitala ( L ) of St Mary’s College Kisubi and Ronald Musinguzi (R) from Seeta High School , the two lucky overall national winners of the Eutelsat Star Awards, at a press conference held at MultiChoice head office, Kololo. The annual competition aims at stimulating interest in science and technology and to inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high school students across the continent. Both winners walked away with Samsung laptops and certificates ,and will representing Uganda in the continental competition. Advertisement The DSTv Eutelsat Start Award a product of a partnership between Eutelsat and MultiChoice Africa, aims to stimulate interest in Science and Technology to inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high schools across the continent in 42 countries.In their sixth annual competition, MultiChoice Uganda today announced the winners of the 2016 DSTv Eutelsat Start Awards competition at a prize giving ceremony held at their head offices in Kololo, where St. Mary’s College, Kisubi and Seeta High School dominated the awards.This year, students from various schools country-wide who participated in the competition were tasked to; – Advertisement – Come up with an Essay Writing and Poster Designing to portray themselves into the future as scientists and come up with a design of a new age satellite that will help improve the lives of Africans and depict the different roles and functions the satellite would play in Africa and it’s futureDennis Mitala and Gordon Brian Alemo from St. Mary’s College, Kisubi emerged as the winner and runner up respectively; in the “Eassy Category“.Seeta High School dominated in the “Poster Category” with Ronald Musinguzi who emerged as the winner, following Edwin Ira; same school as a runner up.2016 DSTv Eutelsat Star Awards1 of 3 (L-R ) : Gordon Brian Olemo 1st runner up of the Essay competition and Dennis Mitala, winner of the Essay competition both from St. Mary’s College Kisubi pose with Edwin Ira 1st runner up of the Poster competition and Ronald Musinguzi winner of the poster competition both from Seeta High School , with their certificates and prizes at the Eutelsat Star Award event held at MultiChoice Uganda Headoffice in Kololo. The 1st runners up for both Essay and Poster competition walked away with Samsung phones while the overall winners walked away with Samsung laptops. (L-R) : Dennis Mitala from St . Mary ‘s College Kisubi , the national winner of the Eutelsat Star awards Essay competition with Ronald Musinguzi from Seeta High School the national winner of the Eutelsat Star Awards Poster competition pose with their Samsung laptops and certificates at the MultiChoice Uganda head office in Kololo. Tina Wamala , MultiChoice Uganda PR & Communications Manager (M) poses with Dennis Mitala ( L ) of St Mary’s College Kisubi and Ronald Musinguzi (R) from Seeta High School , the two lucky overall national winners of the Eutelsat Star Awards, at a press conference held at MultiChoice head office, Kololo. The annual competition aims at stimulating interest in science and technology and to inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high school students across the continent. Both winners walked away with Samsung laptops and certificates ,and will representing Uganda in the continental competition.During the awarding ceremony, Tina Wamala; MultiChoice Uganda’s PR and Communication Manager, said, the DSTv Eutelsat Star Award is a corporate social investment strategy for the company.“We understand that to develop and shape today and future of our generation, science and technology play a vital part and that’s why we invest in this competition,” Tina said.Over 23 schools submitted 165 entries in total, vetted by a carefully selected panel of judges including; Ms. Sarah Agaba; Frequecny Planner at UCC, Mr. Geoffrey Agoi; Principal Broadcating Engineer at MoICT, Dr. Roseline Akol; Lecturer at Makerere University, Ms. Adrine Twinamasiko; Branches Manager Multichoice Uganda, to name a few, where the winning applicants were determined.Winners from different schools pose for a group photo at the MultiChoice 2016 Eutelsat Star Awards at MultiChoice Head Offices in Kololo, on Tuesday 13th December, 2016.Dennis Mitala from St. Mary’s College, Kisubi and Ronald Musinguzi from Seeta High School who won in the Eassy and Poster Category respectively, will enter in the overall Africa Awards to represent Uganda at the continental competition where the best overall in both categories will win a trip to MultiChoice Head Offices in South Africa & South Africa Space Agency at Hartbeesthoek and a trip to Eutelsat Head Offices in France, Paris to witness a rocket launch for the Essay winner and a Satellite construction for the Poster Winner.last_img read more


first_imgBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Sunday 14 January HORSE RACING1.10 KelsoClondaw Castle 13/8 > evens3.05 FairyhouseSaturnas 4/5 > 8/153.35 FairyhouseArt Of Synergy 9/1 > 4/13.55 SouthwellMr Coco Bean 13/8 > evensPREMIER LEAGUEPremier League13:30 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD16/5 AFC Bournemouth 17/20 Arsenal 3/1 DRAWPremier League16:00 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD21/10 Liverpool 13/10 Man City 13/5 DRAWlast_img

SIMON NOTT When Algorithms Go Rogue

first_imgAmidst all the bookmaker fall-out of the Frankie four-timer at Ascot, what people didn’t expect was the decision by some firms to refuse some multiples on his mounts on Friday and Saturday.Those included giants Bet365 and SkyBet which raised eyebrows even more. After all it was 23 years ago when Frankie last clobbered the on-course layers with his ‘Magnificent Seven’. If an army of punters had been backing his mounts blindly in multiples on a regular basis ever since – all losses must surely have been got back many times over?Not taking bets on Frankie multiples on Friday was surely the biggest case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted ever in the history of the turf? Common sense would dictate that a minibus was sent around to pick up all Frankie punters to take them to the nearest betting shop to ensure they can all get on if they don’t bet on-line, not bluff them?Worst of all, take away the eternal ‘one big win’ dream of the average recreational punter and they’d all desert the horses to bet on the football instead. Blimey, the game really is gone if the biggest bookies in the land are running scared of taking archetypal mug bets.Well, that’s what a lot of people thought, me included. Then I got wind of what may really have prompted the ban on multiples.Cash-OutAt this point in the blog we have to assume that everyone is aware of ‘Cash Out’, it’s where people that do a multiple can take the money and run after a couple of their selections oblige rather than let it ride for that life-changing win they always dreamed of.Usually it’s set a figure very much in favour of the bookmaker, naturally. All that business is set by algorithms which make the offers to the punters based on their models with no human input which is excellent news when you have 10’s of thousands of customers.That is, unless there’s a flaw in the system hitherto undetected.I must point out that what I’m about to write is based on information received and assumptions based on it, not fact, but here goes.Everything is ticking away nicely at Bookie HQ, it’s Royal Ascot and business has been brisk. The first race is won by 5/1 A’ali with Frankie Dettori up. It’s good news, the 13/8 jolly is beaten, happy days. That’s followed up with 13/2 shot Sangarius which beat the well-backed 7/2 favourite Fox Chairman.Hang on a minute, that’s two for Dettori, but hey this is Royal Ascot no need to worry. That is until Star Catcher winning at 4/1 makes it three, that treble has added up to a nice few quid and there are still three to go. The traders decide it’s time to trim the prices of Frankie’s last three, even though almost everyone would be on BOG. Stradivarius makes it four, bugger, time to slash not trim, some more.Deep in the computer systems the ‘Cash Out’ algorithm robots get to work, but in doing so they are taking into account the artificially reduced prices of the two yet to run. Punters start getting cash-out offers that they can’t refuse. The bet I have been told about, a £2.50 each-way accumulator at morning prices BOG, was offered and bagged an eye-watering cash-out of £37,000. His SP cop for that bet would be worth about £1200.That’s just one bet, imagine the scenes in trading rooms when the out of control technology started firing out similar big money offers at punters who were rolling up. Pandemonium, possibly no way to stop it, panic stations already in gear with the potential roll-up on a five-timer an on-going situation too. It’s like a gambling Sci-Fi nightmare the robots are out of control.Some on the trading floor must have been on the verge of a meltdown. I can’t imagine the scenes when Ian Bartlett screamed that Frankie was two lengths clear on Turgenev before the Gambling Gods intervened allowing 28/1 Biometric to collar him.But it wasn’t over.I can only guess how many punters placed bets and cashed out to inflated big money on wagers that were ultimately losers. If a human dealt with cash-out I reckon most £2.50 each-way accumulator punters would have happily snapped up the offer of a grand with the two hardest races to follow, call me cynical.On Friday the £2.50 each-way punters that copped, punters that are never going to lose that back to the bookie in their lifetime of betting, must have been mad keen to go in again. The trouble was, those algorithms had to be re-written, I’m guessing that sort of thing takes time. The guess is that time wasn’t on the side of the layers. In the unlikely but eminently possible scenario of history repeating itself, well it didn’t bear thinking about. While the boffins got to work rejigging the robots the only way to eliminate the risk was to refuse the bets in the first place. So that’s what they did.Is that how it was? It’s a guess.Just imagine though had Frankie won on Turgenev, it doesn’t bear thinking about, all depending on what side of the cash-out you are on of course. It’s all guess-work.Simon Nott Simon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILSlast_img read more

Gender matters in negative wordofmouth advertising

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.edu Gender matters in negative word-of-mouth advertisingHOUSTON – (Dec. 12, 2013) – Whether shoppers share anecdotes about bad experiences depends on their gender and a couple of other factors, according to a new study from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Texas at San Antonio.“Consumers are almost twice as likely to engage in negative word-of-mouth, and it can be one of the most persuasive forms of communication among a company’s consumer base,” said Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at Rice and a co-author of the study.“Whether or not you engage in this type of behavior depends on whether you are a male or a female, whether the person you are talking to is a close friend or just an acquaintance and whether you are concerned about impairing your image — that is, admitting you are not a smart consumer,” the authors wrote. Their study will be published in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.In their experiments, the researchers asked 415 men and women to recall dissatisfying retail experiences and indicate whether they told others about them. The researchers noted whether consumers relayed the negative word of mouth to close friends or casual acquaintances and measured how concerned the consumers were about what other people thought of them.Results from one study showed that men were sensitive to impairing their image but their complaining behavior did not differ for close friends or acquaintances. If they had high concern about their image among others, men were less likely to complain overall. In contrast, women showed a remarkably different pattern. Only when they had a high concern about their image among others were they less likely to complain to fellow shoppers they didn’t know. Otherwise, women had a higher likelihood of complaining to close friends. In other words, women’s complaints, especially to strangers, are more sensitive and decrease when they are among strangers; among those with whom they have strong ties, women are equally likely to complain regardless of any concern for image impairment.“Prior research has assumed that negative word-of-mouth transmission is largely a function of product performance,” Mittal said. “Our research, in contrast, shows that social factors — particularly those related to a person’s gender and closeness to whom the complaint is made — can crucially affect whether or not people will complain. These results occur because women are more concerned about others’ welfare than males are, especially if the other is a close friend.”The authors concluded: “There may be some product categories (fashion goods, for example) where people may be more concerned about their image and less likely to admit when something went wrong.”“Companies need to understand that when consumers are unhappy with their products and services, they — especially women — are more likely to complain to other customers with whom they have strong ties. Because of their focus on close friends, women may use negative word of mouth as a way to let their close friends and associates know about negative consumption experiences,” Mittal said. “Companies interested in organic sales growth through word of mouth need to ensure that occasions for customer complaining are minimized.”Mittal’s co-authors were Yinlong Zhang, associate professor of marketing at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Lawrence Feick, senior director of international programs, director of the University Center for International Studies and professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh.For a copy of the study, “How Males and Females Differ in Their Likelihood of Transmitting Negative Word of Mouth,” e-mail jfalk@rice.edu.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Mittal bio: http://business.rice.edu/Vikas_Mittal/.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.  AddThislast_img read more

Ajayan named National Academy of Inventors fellow

first_imghttps://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2018/12/1217_AJAYAN-2-WEB-1a9p3ku.jpgRice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. (Credit: Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. ShareNEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduAjayan named National Academy of Inventors fellowHOUSTON – (Dec. 11, 2018) – Rice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Ajayan will be one of 148 people inducted in a ceremony at the organization’s annual meeting April 10-11 at Space Center Houston.Pulickel AjayanFellows are nominated by their peers for their spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society, according to the academy.Ajayan is the founding chair of Rice’s Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry. A pioneer in the field of carbon nanotubes, his lab studies the development of two-dimensional materials with unique optical and electrical properties for use in energy storage, water purification, catalysis and next-generation electronics, as well as their transformation into three-dimensional nano-structured materials for advanced applications.Ajayan is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry and India’s National Academy of Sciences and is a foreign fellow of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. He has more than 900 peer-reviewed publications, more than 80,000 citations and an h-index (a measure of the impact of a scholar’s publications) of 142.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Ajayan Research Group: http://ajayan.rice.eduDepartment of Materials Science and NanoEngineering: https://msne.rice.eduGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering: https://engineering.rice.eduImage for download: Return to article. Long Description Pulickel Ajayan AddThislast_img read more

Pursuing A New York City Economics MBA

first_img One of the most important decisions those that are bound for business school face is whether to go deep or go wide. MBA programs offer a big picture understanding of how an organization’s moving parts work in tandem with one another, offering enough breadth to keep you afloat in most early career situations. Specialized degrees, on the other hand, offer a level of depth that could set you apart in an increasingly competitive job market. It all boils down to what kind of career you want to pursue and what types of skills you might need.MBAs with economics concentrations or MSEs will be well equipped to address quantitative analytical concerns within public policy, as well as the private sector. It’s not uncommon for graduates with Economics MBAs or MSEs to go onto Ph.D.s and ultimately academic research and teaching positions. When it comes to ideal locations to pursue an Economics MBA or MSE, the New York City metro area is a no-brainer. The city that never sleeps remains the financial and cultural capital of the world. There are more networking, internship and professional opportunities than you can fathom and virtually every major player in every major industry is headquartered here.We did the dirty work for you and broke down the bare essentials for four excellent New York City Economics MBA programs.Stern School of Business – NYUNYU-Stern’s MBA program offers a specialization in economics, which “stresses the development of tools, concepts and techniques that prepare students to serve the needs of business and financial communities.” NYU-Stern’s Economics MBA will serve graduates especially well within any of the following careers: Asset Management, Corporate Finance, International Finance, Equity and Fixed Income Research, Government, Public Finance and Real Estate Finance.Zicklin School of Business – Baruch CollegeBaruch’s Zicklin School of Business offers an MBA with an economics major, which equips graduates with the knowledge and skills for careers in business, industry, and government. MBA students in economics pursue academic paths that draw on five broad courses of study: economic analysis and policy; quantitative economics and forecasting; public sector and urban economics; international economics and development and industrial organization and labor economics.Columbia Business SchoolColumbia Business School offers a two-year Master of Science in Financial Economics, whose curriculum overlaps between MBA and Ph.D. courses. The MSFE provides the quantitative and theoretical tools for graduates to pursue successful careers in finance, investment and commercial banking, economic and financial asset management, consulting and policy. MSFE graduates often go on to pursue a Ph.D. in economics.Lehigh College of Business & EconomicsLehigh’s 30-credit Master of Science in Economics touts its small class sizes “that maximize interaction with highly recognized faculty” and prepare graduates to pursue careers in consulting, public policy and economic development. Employers of Lehigh MS ECO graduates include: AT&T, PPL Corp, Towers Perrin, KPMG, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the U.S. Department of Labor, IBM, Geico, Morgan Stanley, Moody’s Analytics, SEI Investments, Veritable and Accenture, among others. regions: New York City About the AuthorJonathan PfefferJonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.View more posts by Jonathan Pfeffer Pursuing A New York City Economics MBAcenter_img Last Updated May 9, 2017 by Jonathan PfefferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail Related5 Most Affordable New York MBA ProgramsTrying to afford an MBA is, unfortunately, an endeavor for many. 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