Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

8 Things Sean Payton Should Do While He’s Suspended

Starting April 1, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will be suspended for a year without pay for his role in an "active bounty program" funded by Saints players and defensive coach Greg Williams during the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. The under-the-table program rewarded players for injuring opposing team players and knocking them out of a game. Vikings fans suspected something was going on during the January 24, 2010 Vikings-Saints game, a game that would determine who would go to the Super Bowl that year. Quarterback Brett Favre took several brutal hits, including a controversial combination hit by Saints Bobby McCray and Remi Ayodele. Although he hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing, Payton did concede, "As the head coach, anything that happens within the framework of your team and your program you’re responsible for … that’s a lesson I’ve learned." So what are some things Payton could do during the 2012 season as penance for his and his team’s mistakes?

  1. Learn to play the trumpet

    Music is integral to daily life in New Orleans, and nearly everyone you meet there plays an instrument. Before New Orleans-born Louis Armstrong, there was the mysterious Buddy Bolden, a trumpet player who, at the turn of the century, introduced the instrument, a military instrument no less, to the world of the dance bands, and set the course for a style of improvised music that would come to be known as "jazz." The trumpet is a harsh mistress, requiring hours of practice before one can play anything sounding remotely musical. But if he puts in the time, Payton just might have his trumpet chops ready for next year’s Mardi Gras.

  2. Start sewing a Mardi Gras Indian costume

    Speaking of Mardi Gras, the elaborate, colorful costumes worn by members of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indian tribes, some weighing more than 100 pounds, take an entire year to create. The bead work alone demands several hours of sewing by hand. Payton might not be all that handy with a needle and thread, but helping to sew an Indian’s costume would be an opportunity for him to develop that skill and give something back to the community. So long as the traditionally secretive tribes don’t mind welcoming a suspended football coach into their fold.

  3. Read Confederacy of Dunces

    Payton should read John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Confederacy of Dunces not so much as penance, but because if he hasn’t read it, and come to know the book’s obese, slovenly, flatulent hero Ignatius J. Reilly, then he really has no business coaching a New Orleans football team. Maybe Payton would take some comfort reading about a character as delusional as Reilly who throughout the book remains convinced that "the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Payton could grow a mustache, show up at his next press conference wearing a green hunting cap with ear flaps, scream about how the Goddess Fortuna has "spun him downwards" on her wheel of fortune and see if anyone gets the joke.

  4. Pray

    There’s a reason why you see Saints fans in the Superdome dressed up as bishops. Although well known for its hedonism, parties, and parades, the city of New Orleans is deeply spiritual. During the 2010 season, one Catholic bishop at St. Louis Cathedral reportedly told the congregation, "St. Paul reminded us in the second reading that we are part of the body of Christ. Today we are also reminded that we are all part of the Who Dat Nation." St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Catholic Church, a church founded by free people of color who purchased pews so that slaves could participate in services, are just two New Orleans churches where Payton, a good Irish Catholic, could take some time to ruminate over the events of the past few seasons.

  5. Learn to make a roux

    We mentioned music, but food, glorious food, is not only integral, but crucial to daily life in New Orleans. There are several nationalities representing in New Orleans’ culinary culture, but Cajun and Creole cooking dominate its award-winning restaurants. Maybe we’re presuming too much, but our guess is that spending some time slaving over a hot stove would do Payton some good, especially if he’s given the task of stirring a combination of flour and oil every 15 seconds over the course of an hour to create a roux for traditional homemade gumbo. Like praying, cooking can be a contemplative experience.

  6. DJ a late-night show on WWOZ

    New Orleans radio station WWOZ is one of the few radio stations left in the U.S. that plays, well, music. Traditional jazz, brass band music, and blues are all represented along with Irish folk music, novelty records from the ’50s, and even deep wax and classic soul. But in spite of the fact that New Orleans is well known for its own unique style of hip-hop, WWOZ programming stays away from that genre. To remedy this, why not give Payton a DJ slot from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. where he plays nothing but classic tracks from the No Limit and Cash Money labels? Up and coming New Orleans rappers can join him in the studio to profess their love for The Saints and promote their latest tracks. We’re surprised no one had already thought of this! Football and hip-hop go together like red beans and rice.

  7. Be on call at New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village

    Created by New Orleans natives musicians Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis in collaboration with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Musicians’ Village provides housing for several generations of musicians who were displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Why not give Payton a toolbox, brushes, and a few cans of paint, and have him be the on-call handyman of Musicians’ Village during the 2012 season? Imagine the look of surprise on a resident’s face when, after requesting help in repairing a roof or repainting the trim on their house, the coach of the New Orleans Saints shows up to take care of the job.

  8. Serve hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s

    When it comes to penance, working as a waiter at French Quarter institution Pat O’Brien’s, serving booze to barely legal college students and disoriented tourists after dark on a Friday or Saturday night more than qualifies. Pat O’Brien’s notorious "specialty drinks" menu was born out of a shortage of grains and sugars during the Second World War, necessitating the use of rum in any alcoholic cocktail you wanted to mix and serve. Payton would be expected to work weekends, 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., with no break, and donate all of his tips to the New Orleans Musicians’ Health Clinic.

9 Most Frequently Broken Laws

You’ve never left the scene of a crime; you’ve never murdered anyone. You don’t drink and drive. You vote and begrudgingly pay your taxes. You’re just the pinnacle of a law abiding citizen, aren’t you? Answer: you’re not. Believe it or not, we’ve all broken laws, and chances are it’s a few more than you might think. Check out this list of the nine most frequently broken laws in America, and prepare to realize that you’re more of a criminal than you ever thought.

  1. Speeding

    There are 260 million cars in the United States, and that’s 260 million cars that have, at one time or another, broken a speed limit law. Have you ever been on an American highway? Any motorist driving the paltry speed limit will be honked at and whizzed by, and probably soon banished to the outside lane or frontage road. Even if you’re not a speed demon, everyone’s been in a hurry or had an emergency at one time or another. Additionally, it’s common knowledge that driving a few miles over the posted speed won’t net you a ticket, except in the most stringent of speed limited areas (school zones, for one). And you road warriors commonly break other traffic laws, like running red lights and not using proper turn signals.

  2. Underage Drinking

    If your cool uncle ever let you have a beer with him during your high school years, you’ve participated in underage drinking. (And probably gross underage drinking. Your uncle is the last person on the planet who drinks Old Milwaukee, dude.) If you’ve ever gotten sauced enough on Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill to dance on a table at a sorority party in college (oh, so you’re the one … ), you’ve definitely participated in underage drinking. And if you say that you waited until your 21st birthday to try your first sip of booze, you’re lying — or you’ve probably got a fairly free social calendar this weekend, don’t you? Underage drinking is by no means cool, but it’s an extremely common practice among those of high school and college age. According to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), 26.4% of underage kids use alcohol every month, which puts the population of those imbibing at more than 10 million.

  3. Smoking Weed

    If you use marijuana in the United States, you’ve got about 30 million stoner friends. While the substance is classified as a Schedule I narcotic and outlawed on the federal level, many states have decriminalized its use for medical purposes. But those without glaucoma in California still seem to find a way to get blazed: an incredible 52% of all 2010 drug arrests in the United States were marijuana related.

  4. Pirating Music

    You’re reading this list on the Internet, are you? Then you’ve probably downloaded something illegally, even if you’re not certain that you have. Pirating music, videos, and software is illegal and, many argue, immoral — as it’s, functionally, the act of stealing. Piracy has taken its toll on its target industries, too; music purchases have decreased worldwide since piracy became a hard-to-enforce illegal norm.

  5. Jaywalking

    Maybe you didn’t drink when you were young, and maybe you don’t get stoned now, but every ambulatory American has jaywalked at least once in their lifetime, and probably more than once. Jaywalking is the act of illegally crossing the street at a time or place not then designated for pedestrian crossing, and there’s no one who hasn’t done it. Ever walked across in the middle of the street? Or just gone ahead even though the red hand was lit up because there was absolutely no one coming and you were in a sketchy neighborhood where you were pirating music, smoking weed, and underage drinking? Well then, dear reader, you’re a dirty, rotten lawbreaker.

  6. Littering

    Have you ever thrown a cigarette butt or a receipt down on the pavement? That’s littering, and you’ve made an American Indian shed a single tear. How does it feel to make the noble natives of our great land break down and cry, you litterbug? Littering is illegal in the United States, and is often punishable by payment of a fine, which can be extremely hefty in certain areas, such as state parks and preserves. Next time you think about throwing down that gum wrapper, remember that you’re being watched.

  7. Copyright Law

    You probably break copyright law every day, and you probably don’t even know when you’re doing it. Copyright laws in the United States are extremely complex and varied, so much so that you can barely be sure whether your mix tape or mashup is legal or not. Additionally, you may be breaking copyright law by using software at work that you didn’t know wasn’t intended for commercial use, or that may have been illegally obtained (unbeknownst to you and your company, no doubt). Luckily for all of those parodies and playlists of the current remix culture, some of these laws aren’t enforced to the letter, and you may be safe to play another day.

  8. Cheating On Your Taxes

    Tips? What tips?
    Face it: if you work in the service industry, you’re cheating on your taxes. Waitstaff, childcare workers, and the like do a lot of their dealings in cash, which makes it easy to fudge when April 15th rolls around. While most people probably don’t intend to cheat on their taxes, doing so (accidental or otherwise) could net you an audit and possibly jail time. Common methods of cheating on your taxes are: claiming too many dependents (you’re 25 and you have six kids? Really?), false use deductions (do you really have a deductible-friendly, home-based business, or do you call yourself a freelancer as an excuse to play online every evening?), not declaring all income, and not selecting the correct filing status. Lucky for most of us, we don’t mean to break the law — and if we do, and we’re caught, it can usually be cleared up with a small fine.

  9. Gravity

    If you’ve got a hoverboard, you 1) live in the future, and 2) are a lawbreaker. And even if you’re not a futuristic hipster (one assumes that hoverboards will be a toy for the cool kids), you probably know that Newton’s law of universal gravitation (F=Gm1m2/d^2) has been superseded (for all intents and purposes, broken) by the more accurate, complex, and beautifully succinct equation, Einstein’s theory of relativity (e=mc^2).

The 8 Biggest Craigslist Crime Stories

Most people come to Craigslist to find apartments, job openings, and cheap furniture, while others use the popular classified advertising website to do their dirty work. In recent years, Craigslist has become a hotbed for predators and scam artists looking to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. What’s worse is no Craigslist section is safe from criminals. Whether you’re browsing the personals, for sale, or jobs section, you never really know who’s on the other end and what kind of danger you might be in. So before you agree to meet at a seller’s house or send money to a complete stranger, read these eight biggest Craigslist crime stories first.

  1. Med student kills masseuse from Craigslist

    Boston University medical student, Philip Markoff, also known as the "Craigslist Killer," was charged with murdering a New York City masseuse on April 14, 2009. Markoff found 26-year-old Julissa Brisman on Craigslist and contacted her for her erotic massage services. The two met in a luxury hotel in Boston, where Markoff lured her into a room and shot her to death. Police found Brisman’s underwear and a semiautomatic weapon inside of Markoff’s apartment, as well as ammunition and other materials that matched those used in another kidnapping-armed robbery on a Boston masseuse. Markoff was charged with the armed robbery and murder of Brisman, as well as two other armed robberies. While awaiting trial, Markoff committed suicide in prison.

  2. Ohio Craigslist murders

    A bogus Craigslist ad led to the death of one man and the attempted murder of a second man who were seeking work as a caretaker for a ranch in Ohio. Richard Beasley, 52, and Brogan Rafferty, 17, have been charged with murdering and attempting to murder the victims. Rafferty was 16 at the time of the crime, but is being charged as an adult. The date of the trial has yet to be determined, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Beasley.

  3. Teen slays Craigslist nanny

    Michael John Anderson, 19, said he wanted to know what it felt like to kill when he brutally murdered 24-year-old Katherine Ann Olson, who responded to a phony ad the teenage boy had posted on Craigslist. In the ad, Anderson pretended to be a married woman named "Amy," who was looking for a nanny. After exchanging e-mails back and forth, Olson agreed to meet for an interview at Anderson’s house, where he shot her in the back and put her body in the trunk of her car. He left the car abandoned in a park five blocks away from his parent’s house. Police found her blood and the gun he used to shoot Olson inside the home. Anderson was arrested and found guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

  4. Woman killed friend, cut baby from womb

    Korena Roberts and Heather Snively had a lot in common; both were young, soon-to-be mothers, or at least that’s what Roberts had told people for months. The 27-year-old met Snively after placing an ad on Craigslist looking for baby clothes. The two women became quick friends, but Roberts never disclosed her secret — she was not actually pregnant. About a week later, Roberts beat Snively with a police baton and used a straight razor to cut open her abdomen and take out the unborn baby to pass it off as her own child. Snively and her infant died. Roberts pleaded guilty to the murders and has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

  5. Craigslist minister steals couple’s wedding presents

    In 2007, a Portland couple hired a minister they found on Craigslist to officiate their marriage and discovered he wasn’t the trustworthy person they thought he was. The couple had been asking for Home Depot gift cards in lieu of gifts or cash to help them fund their kitchen renovation, but was surprised to see that all they had were three gift cards at the end of the wedding. As it turns out, the minister stole the gift cards and surveillance cameras at Home Depot caught him buying tools and detergent with them.

  6. Man rapes maid found on Craigslist

    In 2011, a California man was arrested and taken into custody for allegedly raping a housekeeper he found on Craigslist under the "maid" section. When the woman arrived at Michael Delgado’s apartment, he locked the doors and allegedly raped and sexually assaulted her with a foreign object for over an hour. Delgado walked the victim out and she asked a passerby to call police. He was arrested on suspicion of rape, rape with a foreign object, false imprisonment, and assault.

  7. Teen killed, found in burned car

    Sarah Weyrick was new to Houston and was in need of some cash to pay her bills. The 19-year-old posted a Craigslist ad in the "personals and casual encounters" section, saying "Need help with a couple of bills — just two bills. Tough times call for drastic measures." Sometime after posting the ad, her body was discovered in a burning car in an apartment complex on June 2, 2010. An autopsy showed that Weyrick had been stabbed multiple times around her neck and was put in the backseat of her car before someone set it ablaze to cover the evidence. One month after the incident, police arrested and charged Phillip E. Boldon, 31, with murdering Weyrick.

  8. Florida Craigslist car scam

    Tina Morris fell victim to an unfortunate Craigslist scam when she was shopping online for a car for her daughter. Morris came across a seemingly promising Craigslist ad for a 2007 Honda Accord listed for $2,900. The woman selling the car as part of a divorce claimed to live in Lake City, Fla., but said the vehicle was located in a New Jersey shipping yard. Morris was told that the sale was being handled by an agent from eBay motors, but when the seller asked for an additional $1,000 for insurance, Morris got suspicious and called eBay motors. She found out that it was all a scam and her money was long gone.

8 Things Mike Daisey Could Learn From Other Liars

In our country, we don’t mind liars. In fact, we respect them for their audacity. So long as everyone is in on the joke, winking at each other conspiratorially, telling a lie is no big deal. It’s the liars who get caught that we despise. But we despise them more for getting caught then for bending the truth. A week or two from now, will anyone still be upset that actor Mike Daisey made up several details in what was represented as a journalistic exposé of human rights violations in factories in China contracted to build products for Apple? We’ll go out on a limb and say "no," the main reason being Daisey is a rank amateur when it comes to lying. However, given the fact that the man is only 36, there is time for him to step up his lying game and make a new career or two for himself. Consider the following eight things Daisey could stand to learn from other liars.

  1. Deny everything!

    Even a sweaty, scheming, neurotic slob like 37th U.S. President Richard Nixon knew that when you get caught lying, first thing to do is deny that you lied. After the Watergate scandal broke, Nixon famously declared at a November 1973 press conference that he welcomed the scrutiny he and his administration were under. "I welcome this kind of examination," he righteously stated. "Because people have gotta know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got!" Ultimately, Nixon resigned when it became clear that his impeachment was imminent. But he never admitted to any wrongdoing, not even in his resignation speech.

  2. Deny everything again!

    Like Nixon, our 42nd president Bill Clinton also understood the art of denial. During the deposition for a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones while Clinton was in the White House, he famously denied having "sexual relations" with intern Monica Lewinsky, who had submitted an affidavit in the Jones suit stating that she and Clinton had never engaged in a physical relationship. Of course, this wasn’t entirely true. Interestingly, years later, Clinton’s pathological philandering and base treatment of women seems to have been forgiven by the general public, thanks in part to his philanthropic work and the fact that his wife Hillary continues to stand by him. So hang in there, Mike. Maybe one day your hometown will rename the local airport after you like Clinton’s did for him.

  3. Do NOT mess with Oprah!

    Disgraced author and screenwriter James Frey should have the following words tattooed on his forehead, "Do NOT mess with Oprah!" Former talk show queen and über-business woman Oprah Winfrey was not happy to learn that Frey’s recovery memoir A Million Little Pieces, a gripping book she had selected for her popular book club, contained several significant exaggerations and fabrications. At the time, Frey said in his defense, "Most writers of memoirs do what I did." But most writers who lie in their memoirs and get caught aren’t stupid enough to go toe-to-toe with the Empress of Empathy on her own damn talk show. Winfrey also faced off with Frey’s publishers on the same show, and took them down like a cheetah on a gazelle. Frey eventually parlayed his career into blogging, and scripting video games and cable television shows. His books continue to sell.

  4. Remember, bad artists copy. Good artists steal!

    This is a quote often attributed to the great artist Pablo Picasso, who recognized no boundaries when it came to creating and promoting his work. It is ironic given the outrage over Daisey’s misrepresentation of the truth that Steve Jobs, the co-founder and now-deceased anti-Christ of Apple, once said of his company, "We’ve been shameless about stealing great ideas." Remember, Mike, you didn’t do anything that had not been done before, and just like Picasso, need not concern yourself with originality or integrity.

  1. The bigger the lie, the bigger the bailout!

    In spite of the fact that Bank of America helped create our current economic crisis by taking risky home loans and illegally repackaging them as high-yield securities, then selling the now popularly described "toxic loans" to unsuspecting unions, retirement funds, and foreign banks, the president with support from Congress saw fit to save them from collapse with a $45 billion bailout. Since then, has Bank of America changed its nefarious practices? Hell, no. So long as grossly wealthy people control our political future, not to mention your retirement savings, there will be no oversight and no accountability. The lesson here is the bigger the lie, the bigger the bailout.

  2. Never apologize!

    Bernie Madoff, mastermind behind a Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars and is considered the largest financial fraud in U.S. History, offered what he considered to be a sincere apology to a courtroom of his victims just before sentencing. It didn’t do him any good, since he received what amounts to a life sentence for his crimes. Later in prison, Madoff famously told a gathered group of inmates, "F— my victims. I carried them for 20 years, and now I’m doing 150 years." Perhaps not surprisingly, many inmates admire Madoff for being a cold-blooded, still selfish, and once extremely wealthy a—hole.

  3. Never stop lying!

    Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen, known in popular culture as Baron Münchausen, was a real 18th century German baron who served with the Russian military and was known for telling exaggerated, fantastic tales based on his experiences in campaigns against the Ottoman Turks. His countless crazy stories inspired many books and films, including Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Münchausen. The psychological disorder Münchausen Syndrome, where a person fakes illness to get attention, is named after the baron. Perhaps, if you tell enough tall tales, you too may one day be celebrated for your creative imagination.

  4. It’s never too late to go on tour!

    Heavily inspired by The Beatles, The Monkees were a prefabricated rock band created to star in their own television show while other musicians provided the actual songs and recorded instrumental performances. From 1966 to 1968, the band was extremely popular, releasing several hit songs including "Daydream Believer" with lead vocals by the late, great Davy Jones. At the height of the show’s popularity, the individual members of The Monkees fought for creative control of their music. In the years after the show’s cancellation, three of the original members toured the world, singing their popular hits as well as deeper, post-TV show compositions. Happily, there is life after a career as a glorified karaoke singer. The Monkees last tour before Davy Jones passed drew enthusiastic audiences and received positive reviews.

10 Common Illegal Alterations Made to Cars

illegalIt’s a fact, we love cars. But we love them even more when they look and sound nice too. If you want to have the sharpest-looking car or meanest-sounding truck on the block, you may have to make some alterations to get these desired results. What many drivers don’t know is that some of the coolest and most popular car modifications are actually illegal. The rules and regulations on vehicle alterations tend to vary from state to state, but these 10 illegal alterations are some of the most common ones out there.

  1. Window tinting

    Dark window tinting is one of the most common illegal alterations made to cars. Every state has different laws regarding window tinting and regulations, including light transmittance and location of tinting. Some states are stricter about tinting the driver’s side window and the windshield. For the most part, a light tint is the best way to go and will keep you out of trouble with law enforcement.

  2. License plate frames

    Customizing license plates and the frames that keep them in place is very popular. It may seem harmless to have a customized frame that advertises a dealership or your favorite sports team, but you can actually get pulled over and ticketed if the frame covers up the state name or numbers in any way. Tinted and reflective-plate covers are also illegal in many states.

  3. Exhaust

    Adding a performance exhaust to your vehicle can make it more powerful, faster, and louder than before. Drivers who install a new exhaust system may have a noisier and meaner sounding vehicle, but you’ll also run the risk of being ticketed if it’s too loud and causes any noise complaints.

  4. HID headlamps

    Drivers who want a customized look for their car might be tempted to get a HID headlamps kit to install, but this popular alteration is illegal in all 50 states. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that no HID headlamps meet the federal photometric standards, so if you install these you may end up with a pricey ticket.

  5. Undercarriage lighting

    Undercarriage lighting is a popular, but often illegal alteration made to cars. Adding bright neon or LED lights may be illegal in your state, especially if it interferes with the front and rear lighting. Some states have restricted certain colors and color combinations that might cause confusion or distractions on the road.

  1. Lifts

    Lifting the suspension or frame and body of your vehicle can drastically change the way your car looks and drives. As popular as this alteration is, your state may have a limit on how high you can go. Some states set their height restrictions based on maximum headlight and taillight heights and others measure by maximum bumper heights. Depending on the state you live in or drive through, you could be ticketed for an excessive lift.

  2. Muffler delete

    Drivers who want to increase the horse power and noise level of their vehicle may consider installing muffler delete pipes. But it’s important to know that every state has different laws relating to muffler delete alterations, but for the most part, it’s illegal. Most states require all vehicles have a working muffler to prevent excessively loud or unusual noises, but adding a muffler delete or similar device to your vehicle is illegal.

  3. Studded tires

    Many drivers install studded tires to get better traction on slippery roads during the winter season, but these tires can also destroy pavement. Even though studded tires have been approved by the federal government and received the DOT rating, some states do not allow them on their roads or only at certain times of the year.

  4. Off-road lamps

    High intensity off-road lamps are very bright and very illegal in some states. These 100-watt (or more) lights are often attached to the grille of trucks or mounted on the roof of vehicles. Off-road lamps might help you find your way through the dark wilderness, but they are completely unnecessary for everyday driving. The range, intensity, and light patterns of these lamps are extremely distracting on the road and can cause danger to oncoming traffic.

  5. Cold air intake

    This is a common alteration made to mostly muscle cars and four-cylinder import vehicles. Drivers install cold air intake systems for various reasons, but one of the most common is to produce more power from the engine. But this increase in power can result in an increase in fuel consumption and emissions. Your car may seem like it’s running better, but if you’re exceeding the legal emissions limits, you could be in trouble with the law.

9 Surprising Reasons a Police Officer Might Pull You Over

You’re in the home stretch — just blocks from your apartment after a long day’s work. You’re ready for some cold pizza and a nice, quiet evening of blowing up stuff in Call of Duty. And then, you see them. Flashing red and blue lights, meant just for you. You check your speedometer. Nothing there. You glance at your tags. Nothing’s out of date. Before you start to sweat, make sure you know these nine surprising reasons that you might be getting pulled over. And, please. Just the facts, ma’am.

  1. Your Door Is Open Too Long

    Oregon is quite literally not a fan of the open-door policy. According to section 811.490(b) of Oregon’s state traffic laws, it is a Class D traffic violation to leave a car door open "for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers." What about groceries? What about when you’re cleaning out your car at the gas station? If this law were taken to its logical conclusions, every single Oregonian with a car would at some point be a law-breaker.

  2. You Accidentally Screeched Your Tires

    If you’re trying to avoid some roadkill in Derby, Kan., be sure you don’t get too swerve happy. If your tires screech, you can be pulled over and ticketed. Local officials claim that the law is in place to minimize occurrences of drag racing, but if you catch a cop on a bad day, you might be the lucky motorist to take home a ticket for (literally) burning rubber. Better try and keep quiet on the mean streets of Derby — the fine can be up to $500 or 30 days in jail.

  3. You’re Singing A Rap Song With Your Windows Down

    In Rockville, Maryland, Section 13-53(a) of their municipal ordinance states that, "[a] person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway." If you’re going to cuss, make sure you do it with the windows rolled up, which won’t be a problem if you’re Michael Bolton.

  4. It’s Dark, It’s Late, And You’re Alone

    You’re driving home alone in the middle of the night. It’s dead silent. The streets are deserted. The light is red. You can practically hear the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as a tumbleweed crosses your path. Four hours later, and the light’s still red. No one’s coming. No one’s around. You’re all alone, in an asphalt wilderness. The dark road ahead beckons you. It’s completely safe to go. You’re missing Cougar Town. You’re worried you forgot to DVR Colbert. So, you go for it … and then, of course, you see blinding lights and hear a deafening siren behind you. This is your nightmare.

  5. You’re Driving Near A Bar

    Several states have passed laws allowing "sobriety checkpoints" along roads with a high instance of alcohol-related accidents, as well as "no refusal" weekends in entire urban areas. In these cases, police officers in cities like Austin and Houston, Texas may stop your vehicle without probable cause. Your only crime? Driving on roads on which drunk idiots have also driven. Although these checkpoints are presumably set to encourage motoring safety, their constitutionality is constantly being challenged in the courts — and it’s hard to argue that they’re not eerily reminiscent of Checkpoint Charlie.

  1. You’re Doing A Real-Life Oregon Trail in Wisconsin

    If you’re camping in your wagon while trekking the deadly and perilous Oregon Trail, don’t do it on a highway in Wisconsin. According to Section 86.025 of Wisconsin traffic law, it is "unlawful for any person or persons to camp in wagons [. . .] on the public highways." With a possible fine of 10 whole dollars and a month in jail, you’re better off fording the river and setting up camp in a different state. Word to the wise: the Oregon Trail does not go through Wisconsin.

  2. You Parked In Front of Dunkin Donuts on Main Street West in South Berwick, Maine

    You can burn off a few calories while you’re getting your donut holes and the shop’s infamous cup of coffee, as it is illegal in the township of South Berwick, Maine, to park within 25 feet southward of the Main Street Dunkin Donuts. Don’t be too surprised if you get pulled over for this offense — it’s common knowledge, people: Donuts + Vicinity = Cops.

  3. You’re Having Sex In The Front Seat of Your Taxi During Your Shift

    Although you might get tapped for public indecency if you’re off the clock, it is straight up illegal for Massachusetts cab drivers to have a nooner in the front of their cabs if they’re on the clock. Instead of wondering precisely how or why this law got on the books, maybe just avoid the front seat of Massachusetts cabs.

  4. You’re A Child, And You’re Driving A Big Wheels Tonka Truck

    If you live in Ohio, are under the age of 10, and/or if you can (awkwardly) fit in a Power Wheels car, you’re hosed. In Canton, Ohio, it’s against municipal ordinance to "go upon any roadway" if you’re on "roller skates or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, skateboard or similar device."

The 10 Largest Prostitution Rings in American History

Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. It’s also one of the world’s most lucrative. But since prostitution is illegal in most parts of the civilized world, people have had to get creative with how they run a prostitution business. That creativity has led to some remarkably profitable and influential businesses that you may have never known about. Here are the top 10 prostitution rings in American history. 

  1. Heidi Fleiss’ Hollywood prostitution ring

    The glitz and glamour of Hollywood might not seem like a profitable place to form a prostitution ring, but Heidi Fleiss proved otherwise when she put together one of the most powerful "madame" services in U.S. history. The especially provocative thing about her prostitution ring was her clientele: rich, famous, successful movie stars and celebrities. Ms. Fleiss was once quoted as saying, "I took the oldest profession on Earth and did it better than anyone on Earth."

  2. The Dumas Brothel

    The Dumas Brothel was America’s longest running house of prostitution, doing big business from 1890 to 1982 when it closed down to become a museum. Located in Uptown Butte, Mont., the brothel is so well known in the region that it has been listed as a National historical landmark. The girls at the Dumas Brothel were well known for working hard, partying hard, and often dying hard. Many report that the Dumas Brothel is haunted by its former patrons and working girls.

  3. The Mustang Ranch

    The Mustang Ranch made prostitution so acceptable and profitable, that a majority of the rest of the counties in the state soon legalized prostitution after the Mustang Ranch opened. Located in Storey County, Nev., just outside Reno, the Mustang Ranch thrived in the 1970s as one of the largest live-in brothels in the world. After its owner was convicted of federal sex charges, the brothel was forfeited to the federal government and auctioned off. It has since reopened and continues to thrive under new management.

  4. Houston’s high-priced prostitution ring

    A well-organized prostitution ring catering to the Houston elite was run like any other business by a husband and wife pair. With two websites and a huge list of contacts, the couple were entrepreneurs in every sense of the word: only the product they were selling was illegal. The couple even hired administrative staff to run their website call system — a feat many legitimate businesses can’t match today. The working girls were said to be intelligent, driven, and well-trained.

  5. Pamela Martin & Associates

    Known as the "D.C. Madame," Deborah Jeane Palfrey established a well known "sex fantasy" service that went under the moniker "Pamela Martin & Associates." When federal authorities caught wind of her operation, they charged her with various prostitution-related crimes. Palfrey was the ultimate businesswoman, requiring her "gals" to sign contracts stipulating that no sex would be involved in an appointment, requiring a dress code, and insisting on punctuality. All working girls had to have college degrees and day jobs in order to work for the agency. Palfrey lost her court battle, and ultimately took her own life — a tragic end to a story straight out of Hollywood.

  6. Texas Chicken Ranch

    Any ZZ Top fan will know of the town of La Grange where the Texas Chicken Ranch is located. Broadway fans might know it better as "the best little whorehouse in Texas." Yes, it’s a real place, and an old one at that. Prostitution was legal, and even institutionalized in the mid 1840s, and the Texas Chicken Ranch was the preeminent brothel of its time. It continued to operate until the early 1970s when concerns about the Chicken Ranch’s ties to organized crime led to its shutdown. However, the circumstances of the shutdown and the alleged link to organized crime are controversial, and many believe that the Chicken Ranch should never have been shut down at all.

  7. Wall Street prostitution ring

    Few prostitution rings can boast the high-rolling prices charged by High Class NY, a prostitution ring catering to the elite Wall Street traders of New York City. The operation charged up to $10,000 per hour for appointments, and also provided customers with cocaine and other narcotics. It was organized through a series of websites that contained codes for use in setting up appointments and phone calls. The ring was eventually infiltrated by federal authorities and shut down. Talk about high society excess in the Big Apple!

  8. East Bay Area prostitution ring

    The East Bay prostitution ring was geographically enormous, spanning six cities and half of the third largest state in America. It was also one of the most notorious exploiters of immigrant women in recent memory. Asian immigrants were frequently brought in specifically to serve as prostitutes in the ring and cycled through the areas dozen or so brothels. It took a massive effort from California and federal authorities to infiltrate and shut down the sophisticated ring, with the eight proprietors eventually being charged with human trafficking violations in addition to the prostitution charges.

  9. Moonlite Bunny Ranch

    The Bunny Ranch has been the subject of an HBO documentary that thrust it into mainstream American discourse. Famously situated in Reno, Nev., the Bunny Ranch features some of the most famous characters in pornography and prostitution. It is so successful, even at a time when Nevada is in a debilitating economic recession, that state senators have proposed taxing the establishment as a means of raising funds to offset a massive state budget shortfall. Few brothels can say that they were an essential part of the solution to an economic downturn!

  10. LA’s Russian prostitution ring

    In 2002, police busted one of the biggest prostitution rings Los Angeles has ever seen. The prostitution ring was run by five Russian immigrants, who employed at least 50 Russian women from around LA, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood. The prostitution ring was very lucrative and earned up to $8 million over the course of two years. The ringleaders operated under a business named Russian Fortuna, where they posed as travel agents and provided limo and escort services to its customers.

10 Forensic Myths Spread by TV

If you’ve watched enough reruns of shows like CSI, NCIS, Law and Order, and Bones, you probably think you’re pretty well-versed in the science of forensics and crime-solving. Think again. Sure, you’ve probably picked up a few handy tips for the next time you plan on committing a crime (which we hope is never), but for the most part, these TV shows misrepresent the forensics profession in some major ways. If you’re thinking of a career in forensic science, make sure you know the truth behind these 10 myths spread by TV before you get in too deep.

  1. Forensic scientists only work on murders

    Think of the number of people you know who have died. Now consider how many of those were murdered. The percentage is probably pretty low. So is the percentage of homicide cases that forensic scientists work on in their careers. Even though we only see the CSI team studying evidence from bizarre murders, the real forensics teams deal with far less crime. There are many more accidental deaths or deaths from natural causes than there are homicide investigations, so someone who works in forensics won’t be solving murders every day of his career. In Portland, Ore., for example, medical examiner cases are made up of 60% natural-causes cases and only 2% homicides. Some cities may see more action than others, but it’s still unlikely that the bulk of their cases will be murders.

  2. They’re raking in the cash

    Sure, they deal with dead bodies, fluids, and weapons on a daily basis, but members of a forensics team aren’t compensated nearly as well as you’d think they’d be. The national average for a medical examiner is $45,000. Southern states tend to pay a little less, and salaries get higher as you move west and north. Forensic engineers, who are often called to help in fire investigations and traffic accidents, tend to be paid a little more, making as much as $79,000 a year in some states. None of the pay scales, though, are quite enough to make Horatio Caine’s Hummer in CSI: Miami believable.

  3. They interrogate suspects and make arrests

    In forensic shows on TV, it seems like the CSI unit is the most important team at the murder scene, calling the shots, interviewing the bad guys, and then hauling them off in handcuffs. In reality, most forensic analysts work mostly in the lab, occasionally going out in the field to collect evidence or process a crime scene, depending on what their exact role is. All the interrogating and arrests are left to the police. There are some instances of CSI agents also being sworn police officers who could do both jobs, but those cases are much rarer than you see on TV.

  4. DNA evidence wraps up every case

    You see it in almost every episode of whatever version of CSI you happen to be watching. The team finds DNA evidence, sticks it into a computer program, and minutes later, a suspect appears, along with his complete criminal record and a current address. How are there any unsolved cases out there with magical technology like this? The truth is, while DNA evidence is a great tool for police and lawyers, it’s not fool-proof and it’s not a guarantee that the case will be solved. The system that many shows use to match their DNA is CODIS, a real U.S. DNA profile archive. The number of DNA profiles in CODIS has risen significantly in the past 10 years, but there are still fewer than 9 million offender profiles in the system as of 2010. Considering there are about 313 million people in the U.S., it’s not hard to imagine that not every DNA sample found matches up with someone on file.

  5. Tests are done in a matter of hours

    On TV, we see analysts performing various tests and then rushing to their supervisor with the results minutes later. Often, medical examiners are rattling off the results of the toxicology report before the body’s even been fully autopsied. It certainly makes for quicker paced TV shows, but it’s far from reality. A typical toxicology test involves taking samples of blood, urine, and various body tissues, testing them for drugs and other substances, and often involves the specimens being passed between many different people. A forensics toxicology test actually takes four to six weeks in a normal case.

  1. Forensic analysts never make mistakes

    As the entertainment market has become inundated with forensics shows, the average person becomes more and more familiar with what they think is the real justice process. It seems commonplace that prosecutors would have piles of irrefutable forensic evidence to convince jurors of a suspect’s guilt. This idea, known as the “CSI Effect,” is actually affecting real-life trials. Juries expect to be given a show and hard evidence like they’ve seen on TV, and when they don’t get it, they often don’t think the case is strong enough. On the other end of the “CSI Effect” is the notion that forensic analysts are infallible. Juries believe these analysts’ test results, even though it’s been proven time and time again that many tests can be flawed.

  2. Criminals always make mistakes

    Another detrimental aspect of the “CSI Effect” is the knowledge it gives criminals about what crime scene units do. Many murderers and rapists now know what measures to take to avoid leaving DNA evidence behind, such as burning bodies or using bleach, and how to keep blood out of their cars. This doesn’t mean that they don’t screw up in other areas or have friends who turn them in, but it is certainly making it harder on police to get solid evidence linking someone with a crime. Combine this fact with jurors not convicting as often without high-tech evidence, and forensics shows could really be messing things up for our police and prosecutors.

  3. Forensics labs are high-tech and stocked with all necessary equipment

    Crime shows give the impression that every police department has its own forensics lab. Police, medical examiners, and analysts all seem to be housed in the same building, when in reality, forensics labs often serve hundreds of city and town police departments. New Hampshire, for example, has one lab that serves the whole state. Not only are these labs few and far between, they’re also not as fancy, roomy, and well-equipped as you see on TV. Labs across the nation are underfunded and understaffed, and you won’t find every piece of needed equipment in any of them.

  4. Crimes are solved quickly

    On NCIS, CSI, and Law and Order, murders are solved in an hour — and that’s including the commercials. Even though Law and Order lets you see a time and location for every move its detectives and attorneys make, it can’t begin to show the real time frame of solving most crimes. Let’s put it in perspective: there are more than 300,000 backlogged requests for forensic services in labs across the country, and the longer DNA sits in a lab, the colder a case can get, and the less likely it is the crime will be solved. The average lab has 152 backlogged DNA requests. While we’re not saying that the majority of cases go unsolved, those that are solved will likely take months if not years to figure out.

  5. You have to have a catchy one-liner about every death

    Forensics analysts and CSI agents are used to being around dead bodies, but this doesn’t mean they’re insensitive enough to make puns about a person’s death on a regular basis. CSI: Miami‘s Horatio Caine is known for putting on his signature pair of sunglasses and dropping a corny one-liner about the dead body at hand right before the theme song begins playing. It’s safe to say that a real forensics investigator would have to go through sensitivity training if they acted like this during every case.

8 Businesses Staffed by Ex-Cons

Applying for work after having served time in prison can be incredibly discouraging. Business owners can be quick to judge ex-convicts, and worry that they can’t be trusted. The irony is that this lack of faith on the part of the business community contributes to criminal recidivism. Without gainful employment, ex-convicts are likely to end up committing a crime will send them back to prison. But there are many examples of businesses who proudly employ ex-convicts. These businesses have developed a loyal customer base, managed to prosper in an uncertain economy, and changed the lives of the men and women hired. The federal government offers a substantial credit on income tax on wages paid to each former inmate a business hires, which certainly helps with their bottom line. Here are eight businesses staffed by ex-cons:

  1. Sweet Beginnings

    Frustrated at the lack of job opportunities for former inmates, Brenda Palms Barber, director of the Chicago-based non-profit North Lawndale Employment Network, started the for-profit Sweet Beginnings to temporarily hire and train ex-offenders. Sweet Beginnings produces honey and honey-based skin care products. Workers raise bees and perform sales, manufacturing, and customer service related tasks. Potential employees must complete NLEN’s job-readiness program before being hired and receive job-placement services as their time with Sweet Beginnings, which can last anywhere from 90 days to a year, comes to an end.

  2. I Have a Bean Coffee Store

    Located in Wheaton, Ill., where 20,000 prisoners are released every year, I Have a Bean Coffee Store, formerly Second Chance Coffee Company, was created to "positively impact the lives of post-prison men and women" and the communities in which they live. The company roasts, sells, and ships their brand of premium coffee. In addition to hiring ex-offenders, I Have a Been works closely with post-prison support organizations to provide additional counseling and other support for their employees.

  3. Moovers, Inc.

    Moovers, Inc. was founded in the Bay Area of California by former residents of Delancey Street, a nationally acclaimed residential facility that helps former ex-convicts as well as substance abusers and homeless men and women turn their lives around. Moovers, Inc. has since grown into a cross-country moving company, offering services on both the east and west coast. In addition to offering very competitive moving rates, their staff has a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to customer service.

  4. Felony Franks

    Chicago-based businessman Jim Andrews started the Felony Franks hot dog stand after a positive experience with hiring ex-convicts to work at his paper company. The hot dog stand opened in 2009, and features menu items like the "Misdemeanor Weiner" and "Pardon Polish" (as in Polish sausage). Andrews encourages business owners not to unfairly judge ex-convicts. "The ones that want to stay out of jail and make a better life for themselves just work harder," says Andrews. "They don’t want to go back and sit in prison."

  1. Belay Enterprises

    Belay Enterprises, a faith-based nonprofit located in Denver, Colo., has created businesses to employ ex-convicts, including Bud’s Warehouse, which supplies building materials, and Baby Bud’s, a secondhand children’s clothing store. Executive director James Reiner states on his blog, "Our positions are reserved for people who are shut out of the job market because of significant barriers to (being employable), including addiction, homelessness, and prison."

  2. Virgin Group

    Über-businessman and wanna-be spaceman Sir Richard Branson has publicly encouraged the managing directors of his Virgin Companies to hire ex-convicts. The United Kingdom organization Working Chance has worked with Branson to place ex-convicts in positions at Virgin. "I’ve had people at Virgin who have been caught stealing, and I’ve given them a second chance," says Branson. "One kid was taking albums sent to us by record companies. … [By] giving him a second chance, he became one of the best employees we ever had."

  3. Triple Thread Apparel

    Located in Nashville, Tenn., Triple Thread Apparel was started in 2010 by Vanderbilt University senior Kyle McCollom, who was volunteering at Dismas House, a residential facility housing both college students and former prisoners. McCollom understood there will always be a demand from college campuses for custom T-shirts. That demand helps him to achieve his overriding goal of helping ex-convicts turn around their lives. Triple Thread Apparel’s net profits are invested back into Dismas House.

  4. Dave’s Killer Bread

    Baker Dave Dahl has spent 15 years of his life in at least 10 different prisons for various drug-related offenses. His brother Glenn was hopeful when Dave began to turn around his life, taking medication for depression and enrolling in vocational classes while finishing his time in prison. After Dave’s release, he, Glenn, and Glenn’s son Shobi became partners in the family baking business. Dave surprised everyone with an original recipe for what Glenn immediately called "killer" bread. The name stuck. Dave’s Killer Bread, packaged in a bag with Dave’s story printed on its label, is sold through the brothers’ Healthy Bread Store at Killer Breadquarters in Milwaukie, Ore.

20 Cases Solved By Using Facebook

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