Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: June 2013


Gang ties will feature in NFL star’s murder investigation

Like O.J. Simpson before him, Aaron Hernandez has joined an elite club of superstar athletes whose fall from grace may be as steep as the rise.

The rising NFL superstar’s arrest this week came in the course of an investigation into the murder of Odin Lloyd, Hernandez’ friend and semi-pro athlete (TNT 6/26). Hernandez’ perp walk, captured on film by a horde of journalists, was reminiscent of another NFL star’s high profile arrest in 1994 (minus the infamous Bronco chase scene). But where The Juice was a retired sports superstar, successful actor and household name, Hernandez, 23,

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NSA “whistleblower” crossed the line

You have to wonder whether he had any idea of what he was doing.

The “he” is former National Security Agency contract analyst Erdward Snowden; the what, of course, is Snowden’s decision to release top secret documents which exposed a controversial NSA program to trap domestic phone calls.

After popping out of a rabbit hole in Hong Kong to take credit for the damaging leaks, Snowden’s self righteous protest against governmental intrusion has become the stuff of international intrigue.

In the hours and days following his initial media appearance, the contract employee’s stance against the clandestine phone-tapping operation split the

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Spokane father took a big risk and got lucky

Question: If someone were sexually preying on your child, what would you do?

A Spokane father faced that question recently, and his answer raised a slew of new questions about vigilante justice. An AP article (TNT 6/19) described the disturbing sexual predation of the man’s 15-year-old daughter and the family’s ruse to lure her abuser and detain him until the police arrived.

After checking up on their daughter’s Facebook account – an eminently justifiable privacy invasion – the girl’s parents realized that their daughter had become sexually involved with a 30-year-old man. One can imagine the swirling, perhaps

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When the devil came to town

“Everyone said I was just making a story…there’s no such thing as the boogeyman. But I was right.”   -Stephen King

In 1985, San Francisco was chaos writ large. Joe Montana and the Superbowl winning ’49ers were carving their legacy, and the boys from Journey were busy glorifying the City by the Bay with thrashing guitar licks and big hair. On the darker side, a legion of drifters, dopers and criminals lurked under the umbrella of Golden Gate Park’s pine trees, while devil signs graffitied on bus shelters announced the arrival of satanic worshippers in a city already overflowing with demented

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Saying hello to social media

In the never-ending race to stay three steps behind the technology curve, Blue Byline will now have its own Facebook and Twitter account. This is cutting edge, folks. Assuming this is 2007.

I told my eldest son I was creating a Facebook page, then waited patiently for him to acknowledge his ultra cool dad. His response, “I haven’t been on Facebook in months – that’s old school.” was somewhat short of my expectation.

Still, the social media animal must be fed. Since its 2004 launch as “”, it has added over a billion accounts and its intertwining global media links

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Murky lessons from Tacoma, Santa Monica shootings

Last Thursday in Tacoma an argument allegedly prompted Michael Dillon to fatally shoot his next door neighbor. On Friday a man now identified as John Zawahri shot his father and brother and torched their Santa Monica home before going on to kill others at a nearby college.

Two armed killers, fueled by rage, writing their grievances in innocent blood – just another 24 hours in America.

There are, however, several differences between these two tragic incidents which may shed a dim light on the phenomenon known as the mass shooting.

It starts with a relative unknown: the killers’ mindset. Neighbors

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Military should stick to war, leave crime to cops

Humble and contrite are two words one would not normally connect with the four star generals and admirals who lead our nation’s military. However, it was an apt description for the military’s power brokers last Tuesday during a congressional hearing on the prevalence of sexual assaults in the U.S. armed forces.

It was a rare dressing down for the Joint Chiefs, but it was deserved. The Pentagon’s unswerving devotion to the old adage, “It’s the way we’ve always done it” is at least partly to blame for the epidemic of rapes and other sexual assaults in the world’s most powerful

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Get that $*#% thing off the road!

In the years before the new Narrows bridge forever changed the commute, rush hour was a daily misery. Worse, when a nasty accident blocked the bridge deck it meant panicked phone calls, grinding teeth and a lot of cursing.

The recipe is the same everywhere – take one traffic chokepoint, add a blocking collision, and the result is miles of backup,  flaring tempers and imploding schedules. This effect can domino into huge financial implications for drivers, their workplace and local businesses.

Such an event occurred last week when thousands of motorists endured an eight hour closure of southbound

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