Check out this NY Times article (via BLDBLOG) about a smuggling tunnel under the U.S.–Mexico border.
Three or four feet wide and six feet high, the passageway is illuminated by compact fluorescent bulbs (wired to the Mexican side), supported by carefully placed wooden beams and kept dry by two pumps. The neatly squared walls, carved through solid rock, bear the signs of engineering skill and professional drilling tools.
Shrink-wrapped bundles of marijuana, nearly 14,000 pounds worth $5.6 million in street sales, were found in the shipping container and in a trailer next to it, making clear the tunnel’s purpose: to serve as another major smuggling corridor. Found Monday here in Tecate, it is the latest of 56 cross-border tunnels found in the Southwest since the onset of additional guards and fencing aboveground after Sept. 11, 2001.
Over 50 tunnels? Wow. Like any man-made underground forts this really sparks my interest so I started poking around. Here are some of the fruits of my Googling labor:
Very scary and interesting, now if you’ll excuse me I will be checking my yard for tunnel entrances.
Now playing: Ben Harper – Ground On Down
In October 2002 the region where I live (Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia) was held hostage by two guys with a gun. I was reading this article from my local paper about the sniper shootings and all those old memories of that time period rushed back.
I remember the day the shootings started and the call I got from a cop buddy of mine who was warning all his friends and family to stay inside. That day made having a window office not cool. I pulled down the shades and made sure my head was behind my computer monitor.
As the siege wore on I remember that going to fill up your gas tank was a dangerous job. People crouched behind their cars as theirs tanks filled up. Some even donned bullet-proof vests while running their errands.
I remember driving by the MoCo police headquarters on the way to work and seeing the parking lot full of reporter vans from all over. A police sniper was even stationed on the roof of our building when Chief Moose would do press events pleading for the snipers to stop.
I remember giving all the drivers of white vans the stink eye because of the witness reports that this was what the snipers where driving (later proved false). While I sat in traffic I wondered what the hell I would do if the snipers attacked the hundreds of sitting duck motorists crawling along the highway.
I remember my flag football league shutting down because the city rec department didn’t want to be responsible for some old fat guy getting shot while re-living his glory days. Worst part about this was that I had assembled the best team in the league and I was sure we would have won it all.
I remember the relief we all felt when the snipers where finally caught at a rest stop right up the road from where I live. I also got that icy chill down my spine wondering if Frederick would have been next on their hit list if some heads-up trucker hadn’t called the cops.
I hope we never have another October like that again. They should all be filled with football, spooks, pig races and pumpkin patches.
I actually got my degree in Justice Studies, but somehow ended up working on websites. So whenever I see something that mashes up web geekyness and crime I have to share it.
Go to Oakland Crimespotting and start playing with their very intuitive crime map. It would be interesting to see an application like this for all cities. It would definitely make buying a house easier.
I was driving behind this truck this morning and had to take a picture. It was weird to see it on the back country roads I was driving on . Also, the title of this post may make a good band name.
The LA Times has an awesome story (with video) about the night watchman at Alcatraz. He guards the former prison from 3pm to 9am all by himself.
This is probably what you shouldn’t do when the cops ask you if you broke into someones house and pretended to be a werewolf.
When police found Marsh, he spoke to them in what “sounded like a medieval language,” threatened to change into “his other form” and talked about “the power he had to turn into a werewolf,” according to the complaint. At the time of his arrest, officers found a bag of marijuana on him.
The UK’s Jedi community today expressed concerns that government plans to ban Samurai swords could hinder their freedom to wield lightsabres in public. If that doesn’t float your boat The Register also has a story headlined: Serbian vampire hunters prevent Milosevic come-back.
I’ve always been a fan of a good old fashioned story of thievery. And I know I’m not alone judging by pop culture’s love affair with pilferers. From Robin Hood and his merry band’s redistribution of wealth scheme to De Niro and Pacino’s game of cat and mouse in Heat.
Even rock stars let their inner Jesse James shine sometimes. In fact I thought I would share some of my favorite tunes about robbing banks, jacking fools, and other nefarious deeds. Kind of like my own mini-version of Theme Time Radio minus the radio (or a legitimate host, etc.).
- Bank Job by the Barenaked Ladies sounds so sweet until you get to the part about ski masks and sawed off shotguns. It tells the story of bank robbery gone awry due to a bank full of nuns. You can hear a snippet of Bank Job on LastFM.
- Scooby Snacks by the Fun Lovin’ Criminals samples heavily from Tarintino’s Resvoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction (including the line that serves as the title of this post). They steal police cars, rob banks, and pick up ladies. All while high on scooby snacks. Listen to the tune on FLC’s website or watch the video on YouTube.
- Even the Beastie Boys get in on the act with Paul Revere. This little ditty follows the adventures of three outlaws, whiffle ball bats, beer, and climaxes with the robbing of a saloon. Listen to Paul Revere on the Hype Machine.
- Not every song is about a major heist. Been Caught Stealing by Jane’ Addiction celebrates the everyman’s crime – shoplifting (a.k.a the five finger discount). Watch the video on YouTube.
- I don’t think that The Reason by Hoobstank even has anything to do with criminal activities, but the video for the song pays homage to heist flicks …
I’m sure I omitted some great crime-related songs from my list. So I hope all you junior D.B. Coopers out there will share your favorite larcenistic ballad in the comments.