<i>Blood Business</i>: Excerpt Blood Business: Excerpt Joshua Viola and Mario Acevedo An anthology of noir tales and crime stories from this world and beyond. Review: <i>After the End of the World</i> by Jonathan L. Howard Review: After the End of the World by Jonathan L. Howard Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review! Review: <i>Murder in the Manuscript Room</i> by Con Lehane Review: Murder in the Manuscript Room by Con Lehane Michelle Carpenter Read Michelle Carpenter's review! <i>When the Lonesome Dog Barks</i>: Excerpt When the Lonesome Dog Barks: Excerpt Trey R. Barker The third book in the Jace Salome series.
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Showing posts by: Jennifer Proffitt click to see Jennifer Proffitt's profile
Feb 19 2015 8:45am

The Riddler: Man Solves Puzzle with Only One Letter

Should you ever run up against The Riddler, a sphynx, or any other puzzle-obsessed villains, it might be good to have this Wheel of Fortune contestant, Rufus, at your side to help you piece together the clues. With only one letter, and in less than 10 seconds, Rufus solves it!

Could you beat his time?

Jan 22 2015 8:29am

Fight or Flight: Neither for Woman Who Feels No Fear

Writers, get your pens ready! We've read stories about people who feel no pain, but a woman, known in a recent profile simply as SM, feels no fear. Literally. She's not trying to put on a “brave face,” she simply does not, biologically, “have the parts” that allow her to feel fear. SM suffers from Urbach-Wiethe syndrome, an incredibly rare condition which usually manifests in skin lessions and other skin conditions (if it manifests at all) but also has neurological ramifications—a lack of fear. While this sounds like it makes a woman into a Rambo-esque character, it has had some serious consequences. Without the biological feeling of fear, SM has found herself in some tight spots: most notably being held at knife-point with her three young children in tow. This story ends happily, as SM's lack of fear led her to confront the man in a way he wasn't expecting—“go ahead cut me, but I'll be coming back to hunt your ass” isn't the usual reaction.

Read the full profile here.

Jan 8 2015 8:45am

Follow That House!

Some thieves, steal from a house, and some just take the whole thing. A San Antonio man and his wife were preparing to settle into their new home, when one day, it was stolen. No, it didn't fly away like the house in Up, but was driven away on the trailer it was being kept on—the owner of the house is now fully aware that hitch locks exist, so hopefully this won't happen again. This house could have inspired Little House on the Prairie as it is only 228 sq. ft. Luckily, despite the house's size making it easy to steal, it was just large (and unique) enough that it was easy to find. It was reported as found a few days after the theft on the south side of town.

This certainly gives home invasion a different perspective—what's the strangest home robbery (either items or actual homes) that you've heard of?

Nov 13 2014 8:45am

House Damaged by Sharknado? Not Quite!

The Shark House of HeadingtonThis house, which is now for rent in Headington, a suburb outside of Oxford, can be yours for only $3,500 a month as long as you don't mind living with a shark as one of your housemates!

This shark is actually a sculpture, which was installed in 1986 by the homeowners in typical fashion—by crane and in the middle of the night.

For those with a taste for the absurd, this house can be yours. Do you mind having a giant shark sticking out of your roof? At the very least it might deter burglars!

Oct 3 2014 7:45am

Uh-Oh, Spaghettio: Woman Serves Jail Time...For Spaghettios

Most of the time at Criminal Element we discuss the criminally...inept. This time, however, we're discussing a woman who was innocent of her crimes and it was the police at fault. Granted, it's not the first time that an innocent party has been held for crimes they didn't commit, but we'd guess it's a relatively low number that were held because of Spaghetti-os.

According to a Georgian news station, a woman was held for a month in jail for posession of meth after a spoon with “suspicious residue” was found in her car. Turns out it was Spaghetti-o sauce, after a lab tested the utensil.

Jun 5 2014 7:45am

Power is a Fragile Thing: Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For Trailer and Storyboard Art Released!

The Sin City films have all the attention to detail, grit, and striking art that made the comics so good. What could make the release of Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For trailer even better? Why looking at the storyboard art by comic great and Sin City creator, Frank Miller, of course!

The trailer, featuring some very familiar faces (both from the previous film and from Hollywood) has the noir-meets-comic-book feel that made the first Sin City film so popular. As one blogger commented, if you're going to do a shootout well, you need to plan it all out, and there's no better way to plan it out than with Frank Miller at the helm.

Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For isn't out until August 22, but hopefully these pictures help to whet your appetite! What do you think of them? Are you a fan of the film and comic book?

May 21 2014 7:45am

Killer Fashion: Illinois Designers Provide Fashion for the Firearm-Friendly

The ink is barely dry on the new law in Illinois that allows some degree of concealed weapons before Chicago designers are taking to the streets to provide clothing for the firearms fashionista. One of the designers, Karen Bartuch, is a former Chicago police officer who wanted to provide designs for women who carry guns and offer more knowledge on self-protection. 

"We are girly girls who like fashion, but we like guns too,” Bartuch told the Chicago Tribune.

What do you think of some of the designs featured? Would you ever buy any of it?

Learn more about the fashion and the law, here.

May 15 2014 7:45am

“This is Not a City for Nice Guys”: Official Gotham Trailer

A few months ago Fox announced it would be exploring Gotham city and the Batman origin story, but starting from right after Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. In this first trailer for the fall show, we get a glimpse of the dark police procedural/fledgling superhero suspense series and a young James Gordon.

What do you think of the trailer? Will you be tuning in this fall? What other fall shows are you excited about?

Apr 15 2014 7:45am

Tread Lightly: Walter White, Prom Date

Walter White has been many things. Teacher, husband, father, murderer, and meth cooker. While he won't be adding “Prom date” to that list (though statistically and fictionally-speaking he probably was someone's prom date once), Bryan Cranston recently helped one teen ask his dream girl to prom.

One enterprising teenager found Bryan Cranston at his Broadway play, “All the Way,” and asked the star to record a message to his intended-prom date. Using a quote known from the show, Cranston recited:

“Maddie, if you don't go to the prom with Stefan than maybe your best course of action is to tread lightly...”

The teen let Cranston know, via twitter, that his date had said “yes.”

What celebrity and/or villain do you think would have convinced your prom date to say yes?

Tread lightly gif courtesy of awesomelyluvvie.com

Mar 12 2014 7:45am

Only in Florida: Corrupt Town to be Shut Down?

Super TroopersWe've seen many crazy things come out of Florida, whether they're of the criminal variety or otherwise. However, one Florida town will take the crazy-cake with the corruption story coming out of Hampton after a state audit.

The town has long been thought of as a glorified speed-trap, as 12,698 tickets have been issued just between 2011 and 2012, and the town only has a population of 500. These tickets would have garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they money can't be found. City officials say that paper trail has been “lost in the swamp.” Well, if that isn't the Southern version of “my dog ate my homework,” I don't know what is.

According to a CNN article:

Hampton cops were a fixture out on U.S. 301. They sat on lawn chairs, pointing radar guns at unsuspecting motorists. They hid behind recycling bins. As more and more money came in, they idled in slick SUVs, trolled the median strips in riot gear and toted state-of-the-art firepower. Locals gave one the nickname “Rambo” because he slung an AR-15 rifle across his chest.

According to a New York Times article, if the town doesn't come up with a plan to clean up its act in the next month, it'll be absorbed into Bradford County.

So what do you think Florida Man would have to say about his home state?

Feb 4 2014 8:45am

It’s Good to be Bad: Supervillains Take Over Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl ads are always known for their over-the-top, near-cinematic quality. However, this year, the ads were taken to new heights—of a supervillain proportion. Whether it was the Jaguar British villains adhave you ever noticed that all great villains are British!—or the glimmers of information we got on the villains for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (with an almost unrecognizable Jamie Foxx as Electro) and Captain America's Winter Soldier.

Did you love these ads? What supervillain were you most excited to see? Do you have an even bigger soft spot for supervillains now? I know I do!

Nov 6 2013 8:45am

Twilight’s Chuckesmee

Screengrab of Nikki Reed and Chuckesmee (Summit Entertainment)What could have made Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 worse for some fans? If they had used an animatronic doll in place of actress MacKenzie Foy for Bella and Edward's child, Renesmee. Producers got the hint it would be bad when some of the cast nicknamed baby Renesmee as “Chuckesmee” after the terrifying Child's Play doll, Chucky.

Producer Wyck Godfrey had this to say to justify the original use of the doll:

“You're trying to create something that's otherworldly with Renesmee in the movie that has to be preternaturally intelligent yet still look like a baby but actually look a little bit more mature than one would be at one-day-old,” Wyck explains. “So we ended up pulling the thing out on the day and shooting it. The second you're holding it up you realize this is never going to work. No fake thing is ever going to do the trick.”

We have a feeling if Bella (played by Kristen Stewart) had actually had to carry around Chuckesmee, she would have gone running for the hills, yelling: “Kill it! Kill it with fire!”

Hat tip to Yahoo! for the original article.

Oct 15 2013 7:45am

Eye-Popping Cake Pops

And the eyes have it! At least for this fun Halloween treat. Make your guests' stomachs squirm with this finger food! Hat tip to Party City for creating these lovely favors and giving us many more ideas of how to have a ghoulish Halloween.

Sep 20 2013 7:45am

The Science of Deduction: First Official Season 3 Sherlock Photos

Martin Freeman as John Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes smile over the scriptThe Season 3 premiere date is still a few months off, slated for a January 2014 airing, but Sherlock fans have something to ogle while they wait with the first official Sherlock Season 3 set photos. The photos don't give much away outside of the fact that our sleuth is indeed alive and John Watson is once again at his side at 221B Baker Street. Click here to view the rest of the revealed set photos.

In addition, we have the first two episode titles to speculate on. The first, obviously, is “The Empty Hearse” which will explain how Sherlock survived his fall, although there are already many theories out there. Like last season the creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis, released three words to sum up the season: Rat, Wedding, Bow. While some bloggers have speculated that “Wedding” refers to the story, “The Noble Bacherlor,” others think it may refer to the Watson's marriage to Mary Morstan. It has also been revealed that the episode two title is “The Sign of Three,” which is similar to the story where we met Morstan in “The Sign of Four.”

Where do you see Season 3 going? What do you think of the new photos? Do you see an HEA for the serial-dater Watson?

Aug 19 2013 7:45am

Sherlock: A Love Story

In a total misreading of the BBC hit...or not...a South Korean channel, OCN ran trailers for Sherlock, with a little editing.

For those of you who are Sherlock and Watson shippers, you might want to tune into the OCN run of the show because who knows where else the editors will take the plot line—will Moriarty be the interloper that breaks these two apart? Is Mycroft actually an interfering, matchmaking brother? The trailers were shared late last week on Buzzfeed and I absolutley fell in love with it, right along with John and Sherlock! See the above video for two season 1 trailers with some perfect Watlock moments and a reimagining of season 2!

Apr 25 2013 7:45am

Jason Segel to Write Children’s Adventure Book Series

Get ready for the pats on the back, Jason Segel!

Many people have heard the name Jason Segel attached to movies and Television, especially after his original song for The Muppets movie won an Oscar. However, Segel is about to become a triple threat as he turns his skill as a screenwriter to a different sort of writing—children’s books. 

Segel will be writing a series of children's adventure books, published through Random Kids. The series, Nightmares!, will be focus on a group of children trying to save their neighborhood from fear. While Segel has traditionally taken more adult tone in his writing of such movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Five Year Engagement, in recent years he’s started penning more kid-friendly ideas such as The Muppets

Will you try this new middle-grade adventure series or leave it for the kids?

Read more about Jason Segel’s series in the New York Times article.

Mar 30 2013 12:00pm

Thandie Newton Goes Rogue

In her first turn on television, Thandie Newton joins DirectTV’s first attempt at an original series with Rogue. The show is about an undercover cop and single mother whose pursuit for justice takes a bloody turn as she gets involved with one of the gangsters in her case.

What do you think? Will you tune in or take a pass?

Mar 24 2013 12:00pm

Identity Theft and Other Nefarious Deeds of a Stock Image

Do you know this face?The stock image used in the reveal of the new New York State License might seem a little...familiar...to people. We're thinking when New York picked “Brenna Murphy”, they should have done a more thorough background check on her. According to her very own Tumblr (maintained by Jason Feifer), she's held several careers (outside of random stock image lady)—she's been a doctor, a real estate agent, an insurance agent...she models for book covers and she's not too proud to admit to having had some cosmetic surgery! But obviously she can't have licenses in all of these places and careers, looking exactly the same, taking on different identities. We're very suspicious...

Much like the Newspaper Woman featured in several Hollywood props, the New York State License Lady has gained some infamy for how much she gets around. But it got us to wondering, would she make a good match for Florida Man, or is she just another face in the crowd?