Police / Law


This video was emailed around my UK office yesterday and you could tell when someone watched it because of the audible gasp, even though we had all read the accompanying headline and knew what we were about to see.   That headline?  “Cat owners hunt for woman who put pet in wheelie bin.”  Here’s the video:

The mystery middle-aged white woman in Coventry (quickly identified as Mary Bale after the video appeared all over the web) was captured on a family’s security camera dropping their cat, Lola, into a garbage bin.  Walking by, Bale stops to pet the friendly kitty before looking around for witnesses, gripping the cat by its scruff, and dropping it into the garbage before walking away.  Darryl and Stephanie Andrews-Mann searched for the family pet for 15 hours before finding Lola, and were flummoxed as to how the accident occurred – until they reviewed the tapes from their home security camera, which they had installed two years ago after their car was repeatedly damaged by drivers-by.

Darryl, 26, said: “I’d like to know how she would feel if she was stuck in a bin for 15 hours without food or drink.

“It was really hot day outside. I searched nearby alleyways [for Lola] but suddenly heard a tiny meowing coming from the bin. I looked inside and I found her in the bin. She was terrified and covered in her own mess.”

Unsurprisingly, a large crowd was reported to gather outside Bale’s home and death threats were received as the video spread.  The Metro reports that Bale is under investigation by the RSPCA, and her mother was in the unenviable position of defending her daughter’s actions: (more…)

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Very, very thankfully, I have had only two stalkerish episodes in my life, outside of the usual bad-breakup scenarios in which one party has a more difficult time moving on; in that scheme of things, I have been guilty of my own share of unwanted phone calls or emails for the subsequent week after The Bad Talk.  Fortunately, I can take take a hint, and believe that the one or two boyfriends I’ve had who have ended things against my wishes still regard me fondly (I base that on friendly, occasional Facebook hellos that indicate we are in good stead and happy with our mutually infrequent communication).  I wish them well, they wish me well, and there is no drama or involvement.

Yeah, so.  While I have pursued a few guys beyond the point where they displayed disinterest, I can say with honesty that I’ve never harassed anyone or caused them fear (to my knowledge; I am sort of paranoid about that now, but given the “Ice Queen” accusations more commonly thrown my way and my general unwillingness to destroy someone’s car or call their mother to tell them what shits they are, I’m pretty sure I haven’t crossed that obvious, glaring line).  Which is a good thing, as I just spent about four hours of my afternoon reading the entire contents of Psychotic Letters From Men, as fixated on this blog as I was watching the final seasons of The Wire.

I was glued to this site to the point that my live-in Boy Person was annoyed that I would not go out into the rare London sunshine for a walk or a drink, so obsessed was I with reading about Terrible Men and The Women Who Despise Them.  Why is this site so good?  A few reasons. (more…)

Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic is reporting on Al Qaeda’s first English-language magazine.  It’s based out of the Arabian Peninsula, called “Inspire,” and is aimed at the millions of Muslims who speak English as a first or second language.  A U.S. official has confirmed that it appears to be authentic.  And we all thought publishing was dead! (more…)

A few months ago, I was scared out of my wits when a heavy hand thudded on the door of my apartment.  I live in an apartment block with four top-to-bottom flats, accessible only via a secured entrance from the street, so my first thought was that it was a neighbor coming to complain about something, or possibly my landlord conducting a random spot-check.  Either way, it is an unusual enough occurrence (actually, no one had ever knocked on my door before – we are not casual, drinks-party neighbors, but the type who actively avoid each other in the stairwell) that my heart immediately started jackhammering in my chest.  The second rapid-fire thought, naturally, was that it was someone announcing their intention to rob and kill me.

My third thought would probably have been of the gas meter man, had it not been 8:00 at night and a gruff, muffled voice then announced, “Police.”

I can’t think of a single good reason that police would be calling at your home.  They don’t send police to tell you you’ve won the lottery.  They don’t sell cookies.  They’re only there to question you, arrest you, or give you bad news.

Or, someone pretending to be police is there to rob and kill you, possibly after they robbed and killed whatever idiot neighbor buzzed them into the building.  In any case, one opens the door with great reluctance, sometimes hiding a kitchen knife behind one’s back.  This is embarrassing when they are, in fact, real police, and one makes them hold their badges to the peephole and stand five feet back on the landing before one will crack the door two inches to eyeball them, sweaty fingers clutching the most lethal-looking implement from the butcher’s block. (more…)