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August 6 2015

True Crime Thursday: Ed Flowers, aka The Teddy Bear

To some people, he was known as Ed Flowers, but others knew him as Teddy. Regardless of his moniker, he was a bad man. He robbed banks, escaped prison five times, and took place in shootouts with...
February 22 2015

Fresh Meat: The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes

The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes is the third book starring forensic psychologist Alice Quentin who heads to a psychiatric prison to interview an inmate (available February 24, 2015). It’s...
February 6 2015

Lost Classics of Noir: Felony Tank by Malcolm Braly

Life inside prisons makes for interesting stories. I wouldn’t know where to begin in reeling off some of the more compelling books, movies, and TV shows that have explored this world. But having...
November 20 2014

Wicked Good Brew: Jailhouse Brewery

Wintertime fills the shelves and supermarkets with one of our favorite things since the repeal of the Volstead Ace—seasonal beer. Recently in a list of the 8 Breweries in Awesome Weird Places,...
October 3 2014

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,...
September 13 2014

Bogie and Bacall: Dark Passage (1947)

In tribute to the late Lauren Bacall, we’re looking at the four classic films she made with husband and screen partner Humphrey Bogart between 1944 and 1948: To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep,...
July 9 2014

Kool-Aid Killer Escapes Jail Thanks to Fireworks

An accused murderer escaped from jail because he was allowed to watch fireworks in celebration of the 4th of July. According to the fine folks at KYTV-TV, accused “Kool-Aid” killer...
April 24 2014

On Second Thought, Murder Tattoo Not the Best Idea

We can understand why someone might want a tattoo erased. Perhaps a presumed-permanent lover is no longer so everlasting. Or maybe a night out on the town left a more permanent mark on you than you...
April 23 2014

Fresh Meat: The Poor Boy’s Game by Dennis Tafoya

The Poor Boy's Game by Dennis Tafoya is a standalone thriller about Frannie, a U.S. Marshal whose violent childhood memories come rushing back when her father escapes from prison (available April...
February 11 2013

Bring Him One Extra-Firm To Go

A 50-year-old man in Iceland was fined a total of nearly 40,000 Icelandic kroner for eating the mattress in his jail cell. It all started at a hotel near Keflavík Airport where the fellow...
August 12 2012

Smooth Criminal: Why Does Crime Seem So Cool?

First off, let me be clear: we’re talking about crime in literature, on television, in games, etc. That kind of crime. Not like actually getting your car stolen or reading a blotter note about...
December 12 2011

Twitter: The Get Out of Jail Free Card for a New Age

(From BBC News) I am sure that all of us can sympathize with dealing with jury duty. It’s inconveniencing, it can soak up a whole month with you stuck in a room listening to all manner of experts...
August 3 2011

Georgia’s Crime and Punishment Museum

Originally built in 1906, this brick building in Ashburn, Georgia was used as a prison until 1993.   The sheriff lived with his family on the ground floor with prisoners upstairs, leading to...