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Archive for July 19th, 2013

Weekend Series on Crime History: Al Capone

Witness in ‘Whitey’ Bulger Case Found Dead under Suspicious Circumstances

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Stephen “Stippo” Rakes waited decades to testify against accused mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. 

Rakes will never get the chance because he was found dead in what is being described as a suspicious death, the Boston Globe reports.

Rakes, who had accused Bulger of stealing ownership of his South Boston liquor store, was found dead near a popular walking trail in Lincoln.

But authorities believe Rakes’ body may have been dumped there, the Globe reported.

An autopsy is underway to determine the because of death.

“I can assure you my ex-husband did not commit suicide,” Rakes’s former wife, Julie Dammers, told the Globe.

NSA Takes Steps to Strengthen Security of Sensitive Information Following Leak

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Hoping to strengthen its security to avoid another leak, the NSA is examining how former contractor Edward Snowden was able to access and remove sensitive information, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“This failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at a security forum at the Aspen Institute.

“In an effort for those in the intelligence community to be able to share with each other, there was an enormous amount of information concentrated in one place,” he said. “That’s a mistake. Loading everything onto a server creates a security risk.”

The second problem, he said, “You had an individual who was given very substantial authority to access that information and move that information.… We’re acting to reverse both of those things.”

Carter said the NSA was converting to a system that would have prevented a single person from accessing the information, The LA Times reported.

FBI Advises Local Police to Keep George Zimmerman’s Gun, Evidence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Sanford Police won’t return to George Zimmerman his gun and other evidence used at his murder trial after the FBI urged against giving back the weapon, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

It’s a sign that the Justice Department is moving forward with an investigation into whether Zimmerman violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin, a black, unarmed 17-year-old who was shot dead, The Orlando Sentinel wrote.

The request comes less than a week after a six-member jury acquitted Zimmerman following 16 hours of deliberations.

“The evidence is just in a hold status, pending their DOJ investigation,”  Sanford police spokesman Capt. Jim McAuliffe told the Sentinel.

Transgender Woman Wins Discrimination Suit Against ATF

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman who was denied a job after ATF officials discovered she was transgender won a lawsuit this week in which she claimed she was the victim of unlawful discrimination, the Transgender Law Center reports.

Mia Macy, an experienced police detective who has worked with the ATF on ballistics, said she was denied the job because she was transgender.

Macy identified as a male at the beginning of the application process, but by the time of the hiring decision, she changed her name to Macy.

Under the decision, the ATF must offer Macy the position and provide back pay and benefits with interest.

“It’s a victory for all transgender people to know that we have a voice, that we have recourse, and that when it comes to workplace protections we deserve to make a living,” said Macy in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Senate Committee Approves Comey As Next FBI Director; Full Senate Vote Next

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Comey is closer to being the next FBI director.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved Comey, Obama’s choice to replace Robert Mueller, the USA Today reports.

Now the Senate must approve the nomination of the former senior Justice Department official.

The USA Today wrote that Comey is almost guaranteed to be approved by the Senate.

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