Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Crime’

Lady Killers: 1 in 6 serial killers is a woman

May 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Crime, Monsters No Comments →

Aileen Wuornos, who murdered seven men in 1989 and 1990, is sometimes referred to, mistakenly, as America’s first female serial killer.

“She’s likely to be in her twenties or thirties, middle-class, probably married, probably Christian, probably average intelligence,” Harrison said. “I just described, you know, your next-door neighbor.” (Something similar is true of male serial killers, who tend to possess average intelligence and work blue-collar jobs. Very few are legally insane.) Altogether, the women on the list had killed at least three hundred and thirty-one people, an average of six victims each. More than half had murdered children, and a quarter had targeted the elderly and infirm. Female serial killers also appear to have become more common over the years. Harrison’s team identified thirty-eight who were active in the United States between 1965 and 2014, compared with just fifteen during the preceding fifty years. That’s an increase of more than a hundred and fifty per cent, although, Harrison noted, it’s possible that serial killers are simply more likely to be caught in the modern era.

Read Lady Killers in the New Yorker.

The Jinx is the creepiest TV show we’ve seen this year, and it’s a documentary.

April 24, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Crime, Current Events, Monsters, Television No Comments →

A dismembered body is discovered in Galveston, Texas, wrapped in trash bags. It is missing a head. The dead person is identified as Morris Black, resident of a run-down boarding house. Police find clues in the trash bags and blood in the house. They arrest Black’s neighbor, a middle-aged mute woman named Dorothy Ciner. Who, it turns out, is neither mute nor a woman.

Why was Robert Durst, scion of a New York real estate empire, living in a crummy boarding house pretending to be a mute woman? It was not the first time he was in such close proximity to a corpse. Twenty years earlier his young wife Kathie, a medical student, disappeared and was never seen again. Ten years earlier his best friend Susan Berman was shot dead in her house in Beverly Hills. In both cases Durst had not been treated as a suspect.

Read our TV column The Binge at BusinessWorld.

Binge-listening: Serial, the podcast

January 30, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Crime, Current Events 2 Comments →

As soon as we get the episodes. Hurry up, download.

In case of dead body, everybody make coffee.

January 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Crime, Places No Comments →


It’s an old cop trick to mask the smell.

The most insane deaths seen by an NYC medical examiner
by Maureen Callahan

When Judy Melinek was considering where to begin her career as a medical examiner — New York or LA? — she was given great advice.

“If you really want to learn forensic pathology, do a rotation in New York City,” her chief resident said. “All kinds of great ways to die there.”

Including, but not limited to: plummeting down a manhole, attack by egg-roll machine, miscalculating the tensile strength of cable cord and scaffolding collapse.

In Melinek’s first week on the job, the tone became clear. As one novice began describing the case of “a man who was shot by a lady,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Seymour Hirsch corrected him.

“Shot by a woman,” Hirsch said. “Ladies don’t shoot people.”

Keep reading. Thanks to Jackie for this cheery Monday reading.

Hannibal: Artisanal, organic, absolutely not cruelty-free

December 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Crime, Monsters, Television No Comments →

Television is so overpopulated with serial killers, you have to wonder how there’s anyone left to make TV shows, much less watch them. There are misogynistic serial killers (the British series The Fall), Lovecraftian serial killers (True Detective season 1), serial killers coveting other people’s families (Those Who Kill), serial killers seeking revenge (Wallander), and even serial killers of serial killers (Dexter).

What does the audience’s fascination with methodical, murderous psychopaths say about the times we live in? I propose a crossover TV series in which the serial killers compete to be the last one standing, and then I would put all my money on Hannibal Lecter. Not only is he the most famous of the lot, crowned with Oscars, with several books and movies to his name, but in the NBC series created by Bryan Fuller, he is the cleverest, most refined, best-dressed, neatest person alive, not to mention a fabulous cook.

Read The Binge, our TV column at Business World.

How do the corrupt sleep at night?

October 20, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Crime, Current Events No Comments →

The British manufacturer of bespoke beds Savoir Beds, has recently come up with a limited edition series of exquisite Royal beds, each of them costing a mind-boggling $175,000
The world’s most expensive bed. “Php7.7M lang??”

Very soundly, secure in the knowledge that they have way more than they need, and that their children never have to work a day in their lives—unless it is to continue the family business.

Or if they can’t sleep, they can console themselves that in their antique sleigh beds with king-size mattresses, 1,200-thread count sheets and pillows stuffed with the feathers of virgin geese, their insomnia is more comfortable than most people’s sleep.

And they can always take sleeping pills. Yes, research suggests that anti-anxiety medications prescribed to help people sleep cause Alzheimer’s disease, but this might even be to their advantage. When they get hauled in front of a Senate panel to explain how they can buy entire towns on their declared incomes, they can reply that they don’t remember.

Perhaps the investigations into corruption are going about it the wrong way. They assume that the corrupt know the difference between right and wrong.

Read our column at