Christopher Valen's Blog – December 2008 Archive (3)

Favorite Detective Movies

I happened to catch a television rerun the other day of the terrific 1967 movie “In The Heat of the Night” starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. The film won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Steiger). Poitier plays Virgil Tibbs, a black Homicide Detective from Philadelphia who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi. It got me thinking about other outstanding detective movies I’ve seen (as opposed to crime or mystery… Continue

Added by Christopher Valen on December 18, 2008 at 9:36am — 4 Comments


Monday’s indictment charging five Blackwater “security guards” with voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of 14 unarmed Baghdad civilians on September 16, 2007, reminded me of investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill’s excellent exposé of Blackwater USA, the private army of mercenaries hired and funded by the U.S. government.

In his 2007 book, Scahill pointed out that during the Gulf War in 1991, only 10% of people deployed in the war zone were private contractors. However, when George… Continue

Added by Christopher Valen on December 11, 2008 at 11:00am — No Comments

Top Ten Crime Stories of 2008

While a month still remains before 2008 mercifully comes to an end, I’m offering one blogger’s list of this year’s noteworthy crimes and criminals. The list is chronological and certainly not all-inclusive.

On Jan. 19, 2008, Santa Barbara City College student Brianna Denison disappeared from a friend’s home in Reno, Nevada, while on winter break. Her body was found Feb. 15 in a field in south Reno. James Michael Biela has been arrested for her murder.

On March 5, Eve Marie… Continue

Added by Christopher Valen on December 4, 2008 at 12:20am — 2 Comments

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