February 2014

PTSD – Homegrown Cases on the Rise

Think about the least desirable neighborhoods around you. You know the places I’m talking about – the areas you think twice about going to in the daytime and deliberately avoid at night. Those zones where police officers are most often called to respond to reports of shootings, stabbings and murders.

Now, think about the people who live in those crime infested neighborhoods. Think of the young people who grow up watching the violence all around them and fearing it will come for them.

A recent article by journalists at ProPublica.org quoted a growing list of studies that have compared what happens to people who live in dangerous neighborhoods here at home with what happens to soldiers serving in war zones. The unanimous conclusion is that residents of violent neighborhoods can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder just as so many of our soldiers do. Just like veterans, civilians can experience flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, and social withdrawal. [click to continue…]

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Remembering The Dick Tracy of Wichita

by Diane Dimond on February 17, 2014

Ken Landwehr circa 1978

This is a story about a cop’s cop. A hometown kid who devoted his life to keeping his community safe, a man who took on the duty no one should have to do – to minister to the murdered and help seek justice for their families.

This column is dedicated to the late Lt. Ken Landwehr, Commander of the homicide unit of the Wichita, Kansas Police Department because he epitomizes the determination, integrity and ingenuity that all great detectives possess. His deeds will live on in the annuals of America’s crime and justice history.

Landwehr was the son of an aircraft worker and a homemaker. He was an Eagle Scout as a boy and devoured books about the investigations of the legendary Sherlock Holmes. He attended Bishop Carroll Catholic High School where he played tricks on the nuns and was no stranger to occasional bouts of brawling and drinking. [click to continue…]

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Heroin Makes a Comeback

by Diane Dimond on February 10, 2014

U.S. Heroin Use at Crisis Levels

Heroin is back – with a vengeance.

It never really disappeared from the drug-culture landscape, of course, but its popularity center has definitely widened these days. It’s no longer the drug of choice for only the down-and-out habitual street druggie. Today, heroin has become a favorite of many middle and upper-class folks who have lost their way in the search to find pain relief.

This is not a column about the tragic recent passing of acclaimed actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, 46, who was found dead in his New York apartment, reportedly, surrounded by as many as 70 glassine bags of heroin. Nor last year’s passing of the popular star of the TV show “Glee”, Corey Montieth, 31, who succumbed to a heroin overdose in a Vancouver hotel room.

Those celebrity stories make for a lot of headlines but the much bigger story is about the rest of us. [click to continue…]

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Who is Killing Whom in America?

by Diane Dimond on February 1, 2014

We’re Fascinated By Murder

We have a fascination in America about murder.

Serial killers, mass murders, thrill kills, the so-called “mission murderers” who think it’s their duty to rid the world of certain groups like prostitutes, drug users or the homeless. That all those prime time TV shows, replete with mysterious murders and the resulting criminal trials are so popular speaks volumes.

But what is the reality? How many murders are there in America? Who are the victims and their killers? What parts of the country are most dangerous?

The FBI’s latest figures tell us there were 14,168 killings in the U.S. in 2012. That’s slightly higher than the rate in 2011. [click to continue…]

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