Crime

NINA SUBIN

Surrounded by mountains and the sea, Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula is extremely isolated; there aren’t even roads or rail lines to the area. In Julia Phillips’ new novel, it’s the site where two young Russian sisters vanish one afternoon after walking along the seashore.

Disappearing Earth is not a mystery or true crime novel. There’s no detective discovering long-held secrets among the townsfolk, no red herrings nor a final reveal. Instead, the novel explores a series of stories about women and girls affected by – and connected to – the panic surrounding the loss.


In Macon, It's Just A Ticket For Some Cannabis

Jul 9, 2019
Julio Cortez / AP

Getting caught with cannabis in Macon-Bibb County just isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be.

Previously, you could pick up a $1,000 fine and serve up to a year in jail. Earlier this year, however, county commissioners voted to reduce the penalty to a $75 ticket for an ounce or less of pot with no possibility of jail time.

Mark Lenihan / AP

An offer by a southwest Georgia police chief to test the purity of street drugs is making waves on social media.


Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets Sen. David Perdue on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, evangelical leaders and GOP politicians are continuing to voice their support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even as the controversy over allegations of sexual assault continue to cloud his confirmation.


Tybee Sea Turtle Project

Four seemingly unconnected homicides in three days have punctuated a seven-month stretch when Savannah's murder rate was down. Connect Savannah editor Jim Morekis joined us to discuss that story and this week's kidnapping and recovery of six rare loggerhead turtle hatchlings. 


Grant Blankenship / GPB

A string of 32 arsons that began in January in Macon-Bibb County has almost doubled the pace of firefighting in the county.

There were 11 arsons in April alone. Macon-Bibb County Fire Chief Marvin Riggins says in a typical month, firefighters here tackle five or six serious, fully involved house fires. 

Why Would Someone Rob A Dollar Store?

Dec 7, 2017
Mike Mozart / Flickr/CC

If you noticed a lot of dollar store robberies over the summer, you were onto something. Here in Macon, there was a string of armed robberies at stores like Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. But why would somebody target a dollar store?

Bryan Cox / ICE

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is supposed to release a new database to the public next week. It’s a collection of information on immigrants and foreign nationals in the state with criminal records.

Georgia Innocence Project

In 2001, a jury in Georgia convicted 20-year-old Joey Watkins to life in prison for a number of charges, including murder. His case caught the eye of the Georgia Innocence Project, which contacted the hosts of the “Undisclosed” podcast. The show looks at criminal convictions where there’s room for doubt and Watkins’ case was perfect for coverage.

Georgia State University Library

In the Jim Crow South, there were some communities that integrated their police departments with African American officers. On one hand, these officers were authority figures who maintained law and order. On the other, they were denied basic human rights by the very communities they swore to protect.

Students across the state are readjusting their sleep schedules as they head back to school after summer vacation. But not all kids spent the past few months sleeping in.

One Savannah program aimed to teach teenagers work skills while making the city safer.

 

Keynote speakers stood on a spotlit stage decorated in green and orange balloons as the crowd cheered the latest graduates of the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Program.

 

flickr.com

A recent report from the Associated Press has revealed that a staggering number of law enforcement agencies across the country have failed to report data concerning hate crimes. 2,700 agencies reported no hate crimes between 2009-2014.  Here in Georgia, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties were missing years’ worth of data. 

We sit down with AP reporter Christina A. Cassidy to talk about her report, how law enforcement handles hate-based incidents and what exactly constitutes a hate crime.

Kent D. Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool, File

Many of the 11 Atlanta Public Schools educators who were convicted of racketeering in a cheating scandal last year can now return to the classroom. We learn more from Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Molly Bloom. 

youtube.com/PBS

The blight problem in Atlanta continues to be a financial concern for the city. Conservative estimates conclude that Atlanta is spending millions of dollars in code enforcement and services on worn down and vacant properties. Recently, these abandoned lots have also been increasingly used as dumping sites for dead bodies. The corpses recovered included several vagrants who overdosed on narcotics and two female murder victims who were allegedly strangled to death at separate times.

Alison Rosa

Georgia native and crime writer Karin Slaughter is the author of several international best-sellers. Her latest book "Pretty Girls" is about two women whose teenage sister vanished without a trace. The paperback edition of the book came out last week. 

  

We speak with Slaughter about the inspiration for the book, what makes a good thriller, and the reason why she sets her novels in Georgia.

flickr.com

Georgia may not be following in the footsteps of Colorado or Washington when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana, but local politicians in the city of Clarkston are hoping to change the way that law enforcement deals with minor possession of the drug. Mayor Ted Terry is supporting legislation that would levy fines instead of arrests when less than an ounce of the drug is involved. 

Hear Mayor Terry's thinking behind the change in Clarkston's policy and how he feels about the "War on Drugs."

flickr.com

Recently, several high profile on-campus crimes in Georgia have created a stir amongst the state’s biggest schools. For example, Georgia State University students have endured a number of disturbing crimes over the past months, including two robberies at gunpoint inside the school’s library. With Governor Deal currently deciding whether to pass new campus-carry legislation, is crime on the rise for Georgia colleges?

UPDATE July 7, 2017: Contrary to reports on social media, Judge Odell did not release Jerry Chambers Jr. after he was charged in the 2016 assault and attempted robbery outside the Savannah Mall.

According to District Attorney Meg Heap, that case was tried in juvenile court, where another judge found Chambers, then 16, not to be a delinquent, allowing his release. Chambers, now 17, faces three counts of felony murder in the July 5, 2017 shooting and fatal car crash in downtown Savannah. 

Original story, April 2016:

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

    

 

The scene in the small courtroom inside the Bibb County Law Enforcement center was a familiar one.

 

On a day scheduled for first court appearance, there was one charge on the docket. A murder.

#OSTinSAV: Live From Savannah, Day 1

Mar 25, 2016
Linda Chen / On Second Thought

On Second Thought takes the show on the road! For two days, we join the thousands of visitors to Savannah for the opening days of the annual Savannah Music Festival.  A live audience was invited to watch the show, which included a debrief about the GPB News series Crime, Cops & Community, which was co-reported by Gabrielle Ware of GPB Savannah.