Crime

An annual survey that asks Americans about crimes they've experienced showed that the rate at which those surveyed said they had been raped or sexually assaulted nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018.

The 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), released Tuesday, is managed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Justice Department, and asks people if they've been victims of crimes — even if they didn't report them to police.

There were three high-profile shootings across the country in one week: The shooting in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, and then the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

Updated 4 p.m. ET

The shooter behind the grisly mass shooting that left 20 people dead and 26 wounded at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday morning has been identified by officials as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas.

State prosecutors in El Paso announced on Sunday that they will pursue the death penalty against Crusius.

Updated 4 p.m. ET

The shooter behind the grisly mass shooting that left 20 people dead and 26 wounded at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday morning has been identified by officials as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas.

State prosecutors in El Paso announced on Sunday that they will pursue the death penalty against Crusius.

Police have identified the nine people who were killed after a shooter fired dozens of rounds into a busy street in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning.

The people who died range in age from 22 to 57, and they include four women and five men. Police say the attacker, who was killed at the scene, is 24-year-old Connor Betts. They identified one of the victims as his 22-year-old sister, Megan Betts.

photographs of the three murder victims
New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, courtesy

In 1985 and 2000, two barrels containing four bodies were found just outside of Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire. In 2019, the identities of three of those victims were finally revealed. Vermont Edition spoke with Jason Moon, a reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio and host of the podcast Bear Brook, about the latest findings in the gruesome murders and the decades-long effort to identify the victims.

Vermont State Police say officers shot and killed a man Saturday who was holding a hostage in Tunbridge.

The Rutland City Police Department in September 2015.
Nina Keck / VPR

Victims of human trafficking need help not from police but from social workers—which is why the Rutland City Police Department is hiring a case manager to connect victims to the services they need. 

Ronda Randall and her brother Scott Maxwell are amateur investigators featured in the "Bear Brook" podcast who have dedicated themselves to trying to identify the four victims found in two barrels in the woods of New Hampshire.
Courtesy New Hampshire Public Radio

Four victims. Their bodies found in two barrels. No trace of their identities. No suspects in their murders.

That's how the investigation at the heart of New Hampshire Public Radio's recent true crime podcast Bear Brook begins. But over the course of six episodes, and several forthcoming updates, cutting-edge forensic testing and genetic genealogy provides answers to some of those questions—while raising new ones. 

Hackers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their methods for going after your information and money.
Ijubaphoto / iStock

Hackers going after your personal data are getting more and more sophisticated. That means it's no longer enough just to steer clear of suspicious emails that claim to be from wealthy Nigerian princes. We're talking with cybersecurity experts about how to stay a step ahead of phishing, ransomware and other attempts to break down your digital defenses.

The town of Brattleboro has been removing posters that were allegedly put up by a neo-Nazi group based in the South.

States attorneys in Chittenden and Windsor Counties held 'expungement days' to help people with marijuana misdemeanors start petitions to clear their records.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

On Tuesday, more than 30 people in Chittenden County began the process of clearing their records of minor marijuana offenses.

Anako Lumumba was 33 years old when she was allegedly killed by her longtime boyfriend, a case of domestic violence taken to its most extreme consequence — and perhaps one that could have been prevented.

Burlington Free Press reporters Jess Aloe and Liz Murray uncovered news about the circumstances of Lumumba's death that are raising questions about how law enforcement handles domestic violence complaints. 

James Lyall, executive director of the ACLU of Vermont, seated as a desk
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is looking to boost the profile of political contests that often fly under the radar: the race for county prosecutor.

State's attorneys in Windsor and Chittenden County are working with Vermont Law School's Center For Justice Reform on efforts to expunge misdemeanor marijuana offenses from the criminal records of Vermonters.
MmeEmil / iStock

On July 1 Vermont's marijuana laws will allow adults 21 and older to possess and cultivate small quantities of the drug for personal use. But possession under two ounces has been a misdemeanor offense in Vermont, which means thousands of Vermonters will have criminal records for offenses that will soon be considered legal in the state. Now Vermont Law School is working with states attorneys in two counties to facilitate expunging those offenses from Vermonters' criminal records.

A family photo of Suzanne Bombardier, the 14-year-old victim of a 1980 cold case murder.
Antioch Police Department

People around the country have been fascinated by the story of the Golden State Killer, the research by the late true-crime writer Michelle McNamara, and the arrest of a suspect in the decades-long mystery back in April. But one Vermont College of Fine Arts student's writing about a different California cold case generated interest of its own that caught investigator's attention and eventually an arrest.

The exterior of Allen Brothers Market in Westminster, Vermont.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A man suspected of robbing numerous convenience stores now faces federal charges. Mark Triolo, 46, of Texas, remains hospitalized after police shot him in Brattleboro Friday night.

Warden Arnold Magoon, shown here on duty before his death in 1978, will be honored Saturday by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Provided

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Vermont game warden Arnold Magoon, who was killed in the line of duty.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department will honor Magoon on Saturday by placing a memorial on his family's property in Brandon.

Julia Adams, a social studies teacher at Fair Haven Union High School, asked the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday the change the definition of what it means to "attempt" a crime.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As Fair Haven Union High School prepares for the possible release of the teenager who allegedly planned to inflict mass casualties at the school, students from the school are asking lawmakers to update criminal statutes they say should have kept him behind bars.

A wooden gavel on a table with a blurry bookshelf in the background.
vladans / iStock

Last month, police arrested 18-year-old Jack Sawyer, after he was accused of plotting a school shooting at Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont. Among the charges Sawyer is facing: attempted murder. 

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