crime

Investigate West/Mike Kane

When Roel Williams was 18, he couldn’t wait to leave foster care.

“I went to a foster home in the Central District, which was run by a reverend,” he recalled. “He told me I had to fight one of the other foster children to stay in that placement. That’s when reality hit me.”

It's the moment many victims of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have been waiting decades for: In federal court in Boston, relatives of those killed by Bulger will face the former gangster and describe their pain.

Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise for decades. There is little suspense around Bulger's sentencing — even the minimum would be enough to send the 84-year-old away for the rest of his life.

To many victims, Wednesday's sentencing hearing is less about Bulger than it is about them.

Library of Virginia Photo

Shadows loom at night, and you may watch your back more. But is there actually more crime under the cover of darkness? A new report says yes.

Two men convicted in the grisly slaying of an elderly couple when they were teens could get parole if the state Supreme Court rules in their favor.

Officials at a school district in north Idaho say a plan to arm teachers is off. The proposal has been generating controversy in the Sandpoint area.

Tom Hillier, Who Defended Millennium Bomber, To Retire After 32 Years

Oct 30, 2013
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Tom Hillier is a lanky man with a full head of silver hair and deep-set eyes that can appear vaguely haunted by what he’s seen during his 32 years as a federal public defender in Seattle.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A Skagit County couple convicted of beating their adopted Ethiopian daughter and leaving her to die in the cold outside were sentenced Tuesday to decades in prison.

AP Photo/Royal Canadian Mounted Police

UPDATE 10/23/13, 6:20 p.m. PT: According to Dan Donohue, spokesman for the King County prosecutor office, the assault claim against Michael Sean Stanley remains under investigation and has not yet been referred to prosecutors.

Original Post

A man described by Canadian police as a sexually violent predator pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday morning to the misdemeanor charge of harassment after being arrested on Tuesday in West Seattle. 

Michael Landsberry, the 45-year-old middle school math teacher and Afghan War veteran who was killed Monday trying to talk down a student shooter at a Nevada middle school, is being remembered as a hero.

Witnesses at Sparks Middle School in the city of Sparks, near Reno, described how Landsberry approached the armed 13-year-old boy and tried to get him to surrender a semi-automatic pistol he had used to shoot two fellow students. The boy then turned the weapon on Landsberry, fatally shooting him, before using the pistol to take his own life.

AP Photo/Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Update: Michael Sean Stanley has registered as a sex offender in Washington state. 

A man described by Seattle police as a “sexually violent predator” has been located in downtown Seattle but will not be arrested.

Just a few blocks away from Washington’s Capitol campus in Olympia you can find a street culture where young adults and teenagers live by their own rules – sometimes with tragic consequences.

An eco-saboteur charged in a fire-bombing spree that spanned the American West changed her plea in federal court on Thursday.  Rebecca Rubin pled guilty to conspiracy and multiple counts of arson. 

Rubin is now 40 years old. When she was in her twenties, she joined a cell of radical environmentalists loosely affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front.

Federal investigators blame the shadowy cell for around 20 arsons spanning five Western states. The attacks happened between 1996 and 2001.

U.S. guitar makers are under scrutiny these days because of the rare woods they sometimes use. One of those prized woods is found only in the Pacific Northwest.

The case before the high court involved Seattle doctor Louis Chen. Chen is accused of murdering his partner and their young son two years ago in their apartment on First Hill.

Attorneys for Chen had argued that their client’s mental competency review be kept secret under a state statute that limits who can see the information.

The high court disagreed.

Michelle Hubbard, a media law attorney at Allied Law Group, says in its ruling the court wrote that the constitutional presumption of openness trumps state law. “What this does is make clear that the same rules apply to court proceedings as to court records. Courts are open. Court records are open," Hubbard said. 

The high court, Hubbard said, was clear about why it’s important that the public have access to this type of information. Defendants who are deemed not competent could be committed for an indeterminate amount of time Hubbard said.

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled Chen competent to stand trial. He’s been charged with two counts of aggravated first degree murder. Prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty.

The trial is expected to start this spring. If he’s found guilty, Chen faces life in prison without parole.

The FBI is hoping a more detailed timeline and newly released video will revive a stalled investigation into a serial killer suspected of 11 murders -- four of them in Washington state. Israel Keyes committed suicide last year in an Alaska jail cell before agents could identify all his victims.

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