There’s a new game in town
Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI
Stick’em with the pointy end
Virtual and not so Virtual Space
Be Still my Bleeding Heart …
The Never-ending Privacy Battle
The Many Sides of Bitcoin
Cyber Jihadists
Hacker Gangs
The New Old War
The Sacred Executioner
Scripting Aphrodites
There’s a new game in town My first foray into role playing games (RPGs) wasn’t actually an RPG at all. Rather, it was a computer based word puzzle, “The Colossal Cave” aka “Adventure.” I stumbled upon this game during a computer job back in the late 1970s. The game was written in Basic and ran on a PDP-11. I spent hours […]
Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI I recently purchased the Cirago USB Bluetooth/Wifi combo to use with my raspberry pi. All things considered, I am quite pleased. Being reasonably versed in google-fu, helped, of course. Since I want the freedom to do some mobile tinkering, I need to access the pi sans a lan. That, and my latest wild hair project […]
Stick’em with the pointy end Since I have been spending a great deal of my time playing in the field of 3D design and printing, I have only recently stumbled upon, and had time to read, “Privacy for Me and Not for Thee,” penned by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, a human rights activist whom I first encountered in the virtual world […]
Virtual and not so Virtual Space Not long ago, someone asked if I liked 3D printing better than virtual worlds. The short answer is, equally but differently.
Be Still my Bleeding Heart … “Secure web servers are the equivalent of heavy armored cars. The problem is, they are being used to transfer rolls of coins and checks written in crayon by people on park benches to merchants doing business in cardboard boxes from beneath highway bridges. Further, the roads are subject to random detours, anyone with a screwdriver […]
The Never-ending Privacy Battle This brings me back to the Hundredpercent American. To some extent he is a pet of mine. I have always rather liked him, because he has some promising qualities. For instance, he has enormous hospitality. I used to feel personally complimented by the amazing warm-hearted hospitality showered on me by Americans. […] When I realized […]
The Many Sides of Bitcoin Pariah, darling, or somewhere in between. Bitcoin has continued to linger in the daily media spotlight since the shuttering of darknet’s black-market drug bazaar, Silk Road, and the subsequent announcement of the arrest of its alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht (aka DPR), on October 2, 2013. Media mavens have long cast bitcoin as a sort […]
Cyber Jihadists “We’re facing a very great threat of loosely-coupled, organizational networks that increasingly rely on IT infrastructure to coordinate their movements and recruit young disenfranchised, apathetic guys as suicidal pawns in a sophisticated, dispersed movement. (…)” (AHM, Usenet, September 21, 2001)
Hacker Gangs Meet Jim Script Kiddie (skiddie). He is the guy (usually in his early to mid teens) who comes into a hacker forum, asking inane questions like, “how can I be a hacker?” He also tends to over-indulge in “hacker speak” making him look pretty much like a moron to seasoned (and not so) computer netizens.
The New Old War In 1956, FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover initiated a program, code-named COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) ushering in what would become the mainstay for how intelligence communities dealt with domesitic affairs. The sole directive of this program was “to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of various dissidents and their leaders.
The Sacred Executioner In his book, “The Sacred Executioner,” Hyam Maccoby notes: “A figure in mythology that has received little attention is that of the Sacred Executioner. […] By taking the blame for the slaying, he is performing a great service to society, for not only does he perform the deed, but he takes upon himself the blame […]
Scripting Aphrodites On Wednesday, April 13, 2006, 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin was reported missing by her father. Investigators thought she may have been abducted by someone she met online. Oklahoma law enforcement suspected her abductor might be heading just across the border to Texas and requested Texas issue an Amber alert. Unfortunately, Jamie’s disappearance did not initially […]
image There’s a new game in town
image Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI
image Stick’em with the pointy end
image Virtual and not so Virtual Space
image Be Still my Bleeding Heart …
image The Never-ending Privacy Battle
image The Many Sides of Bitcoin
image Cyber Jihadists
image Hacker Gangs
image The New Old War
image The Sacred Executioner
image Scripting Aphrodites

Scripting Aphrodites

On Wednesday, April 13, 2006, 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin was reported missing by her father. Investigators thought she may have been abducted by someone she met online. Oklahoma law enforcement suspected her abductor might be heading just across the border to Texas and requested Texas issue an Amber alert.

Unfortunately, Jamie’s disappearance did not initially meet requirements and the Oklahoma alert was not issued until the following evening while no alert was issued for Texas. In the meantime, Oklahoma law enforcement continued to investigate the girls disappearance. Sadly, Jamie was found in the apartment of a downstairs neighbor, . Jamie had been murdered and from news reports as of Friday evening, the time of her death had yet to be established.

Steve Huff writes about this case on his crimeblog here. Jules Hammer of the Duncan Crime Blog found Mr. Underwoods rather expansive web presence and posted the information to Steves discussion forum. Optymyst of Look Whos Tattling Now took the baton, so to speak, and cached Mr. Underwoods (presently inaccessible) MySpace pages and also wrote a corresponding article here. Within minutes of Jules posting, visitors, both anonymous and named were posting invectives under the comments sections of Mr. Underwoods blogs. Understandably so. After all, a 26 year-old man had not only kidnapped and murdered Jamie, but from news reports, may have tortured her as well. For up-to-date details of this most horrible crime, please refer to the aforementioned blogs, as the remainder of this article will focus upon criminal psychology considerations that came to mind while reading Mr. Underwoods primary blog.

In the book, “Criminal Shadows,” David Canter, PhD lays the ground work for what he terms, Investigative Psychology, by identifying discrete crime scene indicators for solving serial crimes. Canter touches upon a variety of theories that have been put forth in an attempt to explain crime specific behavior involving everything from , to , , and s psychological theories, to social theories using Mary Shelleys as an analogy, and finally settling upon a theory that seems to neatly fit within the framework of s Ecological Systems Theory of development. Dr. Canter believes that “statistical techniques of psychology to group together types of offender behaviors, is the only way to develop scientifically defensible descriptions and classifications of offenders.” ( Winerman, 2004), an area he explores in detail in his book. Within Canters criminal investigation repertoire there is one area that fits well with these new technologies and is therefore worthy of further exploration–narratives. ( Canter, 2000, p 191-266)

The concept of narratives is fairly straight forward. Canter proposes that all humans define narratives (I prefer the term scripts) for themselves. There are teacher scripts, parent scripts, goofing off scripts, and scripts that people use to identify exactly who they are. Each of these scripts carry with them the authors interpretations and introjections of their own personality traits resulting in the rich differences we call individualism. Canter further proposes, and I agree, that criminals have specific scripts that may be honed over time, which in turn provides important clues with regard to the perps age, location, background, victim preference, and in some instances, that which I refer to as the §hadoΨraith§.

For most cases, criminal narratives (or scripts) are gleaned through a combination of investigative experience and psychological interviews. The result involving an attempt to categorize and describe the ever elusive §hadoΨraith§–to correlate them to something more concrete. Although the psychological interview may provide some insight, the one challenge all profilers face is the criminals honesty or lack thereof. To defend against the latter, the profiler will extensively review the case in order to educate and prepare themselves for deceit detection. Although much can be learned from such interviews, I would argue that by the time the profiler meets the criminal, the interview will only superficially touch upon the criminals psyche. In cases such as Underwoods however, new technologies and their uses may very well change this…

Kevin Ray Underwood was born on December 19, 1979. From his primary blog, he appears to perceive intimate relationships with women as something beyond his grasp, characterizing himself as an intensely shy individual who struggles with weight problems, social phobias, and depression. It is not easy to determine the origin of his perceptions, outside of noting that he mentions his mother–not to be confused with a professional psychologist or psychiatrist–had raised the issue of his “social phobia” on several occasions. Nonetheless, Underwood moved out of his parents home in February of 2003, moving back in May of that same year. Then, after apparently watching an ad, his mother urged him to give Zoloft a try in August–once again citing his alleged “social phobia.” He made an appointment for a prescription sometime in September, ended up having problems with medication side effects throughout October, and switched to Lexapro in November of 2003.

He moved out of his parents home on April 9, 2004, allegedly went off of his antidepressants sometime in May, was ordained by the Universal Life Church in June, and by September of 2004 he began taking Lexapro again–even though he claimed his doctor had discontinued that particular antidepressant, he apparently had left over refills. In June of 2005, Underwood ends the month with this remark: “The little picture I have up there in my little profile thing? It could be interpreted as meaning something sexual, and, in fact, the sexual meaning is what I had in mind when I chose that picture to represent myself. It represents something I really like to do.” In his final “real” posts, one in October of 2005 and two more nearly four months later, on February 3rd and 4th, he seems retrostpectively engulfed in a cloud of despair. Remaining posts are not only far and few between but contain nothing more than links and snippets from various news articles.

Some who read Underwoods blogs may persuasively propose that his so-called sexual ineptness drove him to eventually kidnap, possibly torture, and murder 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin. I would argue however that what occurred goes much deeper than real or perceived sexual dysfunction. For example, throughout his blog, Underwood vacillates between idealizing various women–seemingly to the point of obsession–each taking turns as Aphrodite–the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Although Underwood wrote how this or that woman reminded him of his one true love, the “sacred” position appeared to be filled with one of four primary women( Genie, Alicia, Crystal, and Melissa) which were chosen at any given moment, depending upon both his mood and what was going on for him at the time. As each woman rejected him–one allegedly multiple times and the last one on October 9th, 2005–he appeared to not only rationalize their choices but to also withdraw deeper into a self-imposed isolation where the Internet became his dichotomous social world and prison.

Just who were these Aphrodites that could have such a seemingly profound effect, anyway? In attempting to determine what, if any, web presence they had and/or have–and at least one has a web presence that appears to outdo Mr. Underwood–I stumbled upon the picture of two women: one, a previous co-worker at Carls Jr. who had introduced him to the world of blogging and the other, a failed California rendezvouz. The former seems to bear a rather uncanny resemblance to Jamie Rose Bolin. Were Jamie a few years older, that is.

In seeing the pictures together, I wondered if Underwood spotted Jamie and hatched a plan by finding a way to contact her via the internet? She lived in his building, after all. And he certainly had the technical wherewithal. If he had, over time, gained her trust, is it possible that he told her to meet him at the Library that fateful day? And when she saw her new found Internet friend was not only a grown man, but her neighbor, she balked, so he proceed to the backup plan–to abduct her against her will–yet ignoring the obvious that, whatever he had in mind, would have been against her will regardless of her reaction?

After all, authorities initially believed Jamie had met someone online while using a Purcell Library computer. Furthermore, law enforcement seemed to think her abductor was headed for Texas. Though Underwood may have had no intentions whatsoever of going to Texas, he does have a high school friend who lived just over the border and whom he regularly visited. Nevertheless, while this proposed scenario seems plausible at face value, that I know of, there has been no solid evidence that Jamie initially met Underwood through the Internet. Only reports by her friends that she was chatting with someone and they thought she went to meet them, along with a fairly detailed–though apparently wrong–description of a mysterious vehicle.

Still, I cannot help but to wonder. For in Underwoods world and in light of the Goddess whom he could never possess–she who regularly made plans to get together with him and then backed out–perhaps he decided this one would not get away. Perhaps in Jamie, Underwood saw a Goddess who looked very much like 16-year-old Alicia whom he had met four years ago–one who had long since grown up and moved on. Or was it Melissa, the California woman he had met online–the one who had changed her mind at the last minute in October of 2005? Perhaps he saw in Jamie one more chance. If such was truly the case, I would proffer that he wasnt seeing Jamie for the little girl that she was. The little girl who deserved every bit of a chance at life and living and loving that he so desperately craved. Rather what he saw was the superimposed composite of the Aphrodites he had spent so many years scripting as he sat in front of his monitor writing to an unseen audience–his only seeming true friends.

Whatever the case, having read through Underwoods main blog, it seems clear he spent years attempting to hone his tough guy act, while failing miserably (ala the ridiculing emails he received) and yearning for true love. In the context of Canters theory of narratives, Underwood appeared to rely upon s and s to create his scripts. In a very real sense epitomizing the leveling of the playing field that Internet communication brings–where looks, weight, gender, sexuality, and even social ineptness can be masked and to some degree diluted by the very nature of inanimate electrons zipping through space to an unknown destination. A place where one can engage in various adventure-like battles with online players, write about unrequited love, or even attempt to analyze themselves. This was a place where site visit counts meant potential friends–that at the very least, out there, somewhere, somebody was listening. Tragically, the visits which seemed to have meant so much to Underwood–though averaging less that 50 per day–have since sky rocketed. Though, not to sing praises of his linguistic prowess or intellectual acumen, rather to voice outrage and invectives decrying what he did to that precious little girl.