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Caren Firouz/Reuters

In Pakistan, the lynching of a journalism student by classmates over alleged blasphemy offenses has caused national soul-searching. 

At the start of this year, Mashal Khan was a 23-year-old with his whole future ahead of him. He was known for having a liberal outlook, including relatively secular views on religion and society. Those views had already made him unpopular on the campus of the Abdul Wali Khan University, in the city of Mardan, where he studied journalism, according to other students the BBC interviewed.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found hanged in his prison cell early Wednesday.

"Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window," Christopher M. Fallon of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said in a statement obtained by NPR member station WBUR. "Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items."

You wouldn't expect a 73-year-old to be on the crime beat, but Maximino Rodriguez Palacios couldn't help himself, says Cuauhtemoc Morgan, editor of the Baja California news blog Colectivo Pericu.

"It was totally by chance," he tells NPR. "In November 2014, Max called me about a shooting near his home in La Paz. And then he sent me a story and photos about what happened. From that moment, he was our crime reporter."

Courtesy of Bond Huberman

Several families in Edmonds woke up to find swastikas spray painted on their cars Monday morning.

The Edmonds Police Department and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office responded to about 13 incidents of vandalism on at least two blocks.

One car had the word "Trump" spray painted on it.

A manhunt is under way for a suspect whom Cleveland police say filmed his fatal shooting of an elderly man, in a video that he posted to Facebook.

In a later video, also posted to Facebook on Sunday afternoon, a man purporting to be Steve Stephens, the accused shooter, says he has killed more than a dozen other people. Police have not verified that claim.

Cleveland police have identified the homicide victim from the video as 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr.

Faith leaders meet with U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell at the Jewish Federation of Seattle on Friday to discuss recent hate crimes.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

Seattle police are investigating after a Capitol Hill synagogue was vandalized with anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying graffiti.

In a message posted on the Facebook of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Rabbi Daniel Weiner said the graffiti was spray-painted on the facade of the temple's Old Sanctuary and discovered Friday morning.

Sketch of a possible suspect in the shooting of a Sikh man in Kent.
Courtesy of Kent Police

The FBI and the Kent police department are asking the public for help.

They continue to investigate the non-fatal shooting of a Sikh man in Kent on the evening of March 3.

Now they’re calling on the community to help them identify a suspect and report any suspicious behavior.

Flickr Photo/J/(CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dp1mt6

Bill Radke talks to A.C. Thompson, investigative reporter at ProPublica, about how hate crimes are tracked in the country.

James Gregory, history professor at the University of Washington.
KUOW/Kara McDermott

Recent hate crimes prompted President Donald Trump to condemn such acts in a speech to Congress. Some of those incidents have been in the Pacific Northwest, and now the shooting of a Sikh man in Kent is being investigated as a possible federal civil rights violation. 

UW history professor James Gregory told KUOW's Kim Malcolm about the prevalence of hate crimes in the Pacific Northwest. 


The front page of the Seattle Times - Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sunday edition on Dec. 9, 1984.
Seattle Public Library archives

Behold the bloody story of The Order, which ended in fire and death on Whidbey Island.


‘We want youth out of the criminal justice system’

Feb 16, 2017
KUOW Photo / Natalie Newcomb

“April, do you think youth easily get away with committing crimes?

“In certain cases, yes, because adults think that we’re still learning right from wrong. What do you think, Melissa?”

“To be honest, I don’t think so. I always hear about young people getting into trouble on nationwide news or at school.”

In the RadioActive podcast, hosts Melissa Takai and April Reyes share their thoughts and experiences about the criminal justice system. 


Crimes against LGBTQ people are among the most reported hate-crimes in Seattle. In the second half of 2016, 22 crimes were reported against gay, lesbian, or transgender people.

With the support of police, a gay man who was recently targeted is speaking out. His story is having a broader impact than he anticipated.

A bipartisan proposal to repeal the death penalty in Washington state will get a hearing Wednesday morning. But the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee said there’s no plan to hold a vote on the measure.

A jury in New York City has found Pedro Hernandez guilty of murder in the kidnapping and death of Etan Patz, who was 6 years old when he went missing in 1979. The verdict follows a mistrial nearly two years ago, after a jury became deadlocked.

Patz was never again seen by his family after he left home to walk to the school bus stop nearby. His body has never been found.

One of the sons of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces child sexual abuse charges in Centre County, Pa.

NPR's Jeff Brady reported that the charges against 41-year-old Jeffrey Sandusky come more than four years after his father was convicted of child sexual abuse.

"Jeffrey Sandusky was charged with 14 counts that include child sexual abuse and child pornography. His adoptive father, former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, was convicted in 2012 of abusing 10 boys," Jeff reported.

At a roundtable meeting with county sheriffs on Tuesday morning, President Trump repeated a false statistic about the U.S. murder rate that he repeatedly deployed on the campaign trail.

The lobby at the King County juvenile detention center lacks privacy, jail workers say.
KUOW Photo/Natalie Newcomb

Some city and King County leaders are calling for a reappraisal of construction of a new youth jail in Seattle. But they're getting pushback.

County Executive Dow Constantine said there’s still a need to rebuild the current jail, but he says the county should adopt a goal of “zero youth detention.”

"It is the long goal and I’m going to ask the county family, not just the council, but the justice system to adopt that as our goal,” he said.

In Chicago, where the number of shootings last year soared, it's often young people who become both perpetrators and victims.

The Cook County Juvenile Justice Center holds about 200 to 300 young residents awaiting trial at the Temporary Detention Center. Among these residents are Leonard and Nigel, both 17 years old.

Because of the rules of the juvenile court, Nigel and Leonard's full names and specifics about their cases can't be disclosed.

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle Times reporter Claudia Rowe about her new book, "The Spider and the Fly." 

Before Seattle Times reporter Claudia Rowe moved here, she was living in Poughkeepsie, New York where  in 1996 women started to disappear. These women had worked as prostitutes, and they had all all reported a man named Kendall Francois to the police for sexual assault, beating, choking. 

The 26-year-old man accused of opening fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this month pleaded not guilty to 22 counts at his arraignment in a federal court on Monday.

Esteban Santiago Ruiz allegedly traveled from Alaska and started firing in the Florida airport's crowded baggage claim area. Investigators say he continued until he ran out of ammunition, then dropped his weapon and was arrested by law enforcement officers.

It happens thousands of times a year in Washington state: someone who isn’t allowed to own a gun tries to buy one but is denied after a background check. But even though it’s a crime to lie on a background check form, police rarely if ever investigate these cases.

For decades, U.S. authorities have been preparing to prosecute one of the world's most feared drug traffickers, known as El Chapo.

Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman following his extradition from Mexico to the United States. He landed Thursday evening on Long Island, N.Y., and Friday afternoon entered a plea of not guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn.

Mexico has extradited to the United States its most notorious drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, according to statements from officials of both countries.

A statement by the U.S. Justice Department says Guzman landed Thursday evening at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y. The department also says he faces six separate indictments around the country for crimes "in connection with his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel."

The global money service company Western Union has admitted it helped people commit wire fraud, among other criminal violations, and agreed to pay $586 million.

The settlement is the result of an investigation that found Western Union was "willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program," the Justice Department said in a statement.

A fire on Saturday morning burned down a large part of the Islamic Center of the Eastside, a mosque in Bellevue.
Bellevue Fire Department

Updated 8:42 p.m.

A fire burned down most of a mosque in Bellevue early on Saturday morning, just one day after a man was charged with a hate crime for threatening members of that mosque in October.

There were no injuries.

French police have reportedly arrested more than a dozen people during raids linked to the high-profile robbery of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West in Paris last October.

During the robbery, a group of thieves burst into the private residence where Kardashian West was staying, held her at gunpoint, then escaped on bicycles with jewelry worth about $10 million.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announces more resources for immigrant families in the city's public schools.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The City of Seattle plans to boost counseling resources in public schools for immigrant and refugee students, particularly those who are undocumented or Muslim.

A circuit court judge in Baltimore has denied bail to Adnan Syed, the man whose conviction for a 1999 murder was the subject of the podcast Serial. Syed will remain in jail while he awaits a new trial. Syed was convicted in 2000 in the killing of his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee, and sentenced to life in prison. A judge vacated that conviction last June.

Amazon's personal assistant device called Echo was one of the most popular gifts this Christmas. But this week, the device grabbed headlines for another reason: Police in Arkansas are trying to use its data in a murder investigation.

Fourteen-year-old Demarco Webster Jr. was helping his dad move to a new apartment a few months ago, when he was shot and killed.

His stepdad, Juawaun Hester, says they had intentionally waited to start the move until after midnight in order to avoid any trouble.

Hester says Demarco didn't even like going outside if he didn't have to.

"I don't understand man, and you know what's going on now is like the future children, the good children, the smart children, with scholarships and they're the ones who's dying to the gun violence," Hester says.

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