Don’t Bother Running From Italy’s Badass New Alfa Super Police Car

A twin-turbo, six-speed Alfa Romeo manual cruiser for the Carabineri.

twin-turbo, six-speed Alfa Romeo manual cruiser POLICE CAR IMAGE

The Italian Carabinieri know how to do a police car right. Look no further than this Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which was presented to the Carabinieri by Fiat Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne and John Elkann in a ceremony Thursday. Yes, it’s the 503-horsepower version of the Giulia and better still, it’s got a six-speed manual.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio police car

You might be wondering, “why do Italian military police need a twin-turbo super sedan,” noting the lack of Charger Hellcats in most of America’s police fleets. It’s here for the same reason why the Carabinieri has a fleet of Lotus Evoras: They sometimes need something really fast for, you know, police duty. Stuff like delivering organs and blood or escorting important people.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio police car 1

The force will only get two Giulia QVs, but Fiat Chrysler will provide the Carabinieri with 800 cars this year including Giuliettas, Jeep Renegades, and Fiat Panda 4x4s. Also at the presentation ceremony was a gorgeous Alfa Giulia Super police car from the 1970s.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio police car 2

This might not be as ridiculous as some of the cars in Dubai’s police fleet–which includes a Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin One-77, Lamborghini Aventador, and other supercars–but there is something so right about this Giulia in a Carabinieri livery. It’s almost assuredly cooler than whatever your local constabulary drives.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio police car 3


Henry Sapiecha



Police officer reads out the riot traffic act to my Buddy Holly


Pretty blue police car collecting taxes from motorists


So Holly has some input into the alleged traffic breach


My friend Buddy Holly does not get any reprieve for me. But at least the officer gave me options.

So at the end of it all we had to ‘cop’ a fine 4 some infringement

says the tax collector policeman [Nice guy] but still a tax collector


Henry Sapiecha



Figuring out whether someone is guilty of a crime isn’t a straightforward task. Juries are often asked to reach a verdict in the face of unreliable eyewitness testimony and contradicting evidence. That ambiguity can lead to a shocking number of wrongful convictions, as dissections of high-profile trials in the NPR podcast Serial and the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer reveal.

But when someone confesses, a guilty verdict seems justified. No suspect would ever admit to a crime they didn’t commit … right? Guess again. Studies have shown that false confessions contribute to as much as a quarter of known wrongful convictions. Now, the latest work suggests that a good amount of those false confessions may be due to a common interrogation technique: sleep deprivation.

Interrogators sometimes resort to extreme, morally questionable measures to extract criminal confessions, including deafening noise, intense emotional manipulations and withholding food, water and rest.

“Many of these interrogations involve these extreme techniques,” says study coauthor Elizabeth Loftus, a psychology and social behavior professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Given that many people are often interrogated when they are sleepy after long periods of staying up, there is a worry that investigators may be getting bad information from innocent people.”

Around 17 percent of interrogations happen between the normal sleeping hours of midnight and 8:00 a.m. According to previous work, the majority of false confessions pop up after interrogations lasting longer than 12 hours, with many exceeding 24 hours. That suggests plenty of suspects are sleep deprived while they are being questioned.

In the new study, 88 participants were asked to complete a series of trivial computer tasks over the course of three sessions. At the beginning of each session, they were repeatedly warned not to press the “escape” key on the computer keyboard, or all the experimental data would be lost.

“To dissuade participants who may have been tempted to press the forbidden escape key, a member of the research staff watched as participants completed the computer tasks,” the authors write in their paper.

After the second session, half of the participants slept for eight hours while the other half were forced to stay up all night. The following day, all participants were told to sign a written statement in which they were falsely accused of pressing escape during the first visit to the lab. If they refused, they were given a second opportunity to confess to this fabricated crime.

The sleep-deprived subjects were 4.5 times more likely to falsely confess—50 percent of them caved in to the demands of the researchers, while only 18 percent of the well-rested subjects admitted to the wrongdoing, the researchers report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When those strong-willed individuals who refused to sign were prodded a second time, the sleep-deprived subjects were 3.4 times more likely to own up to the crime—their numbers jumped to a total of 68.2 percent, while their rested counterparts rose to just 38.6 percent.

“There are a lot of cognitive tasks that are impaired when people are sleep deprived,” says Loftus. “Reaction times, judgment and problem solving, for example.”

Previous research also suggests that sleep deprivation impairs our ability to anticipate the consequences of our actions, to resist suggestive influences that might produce false and distorted memories and to inhibit impulsive behaviors. A subsequent analysis by the same team revealed that subjects who were naturally impulsive were more likely to falsely confess when sleep deprived.

For this study, the consequences were less severe than prison time—just the shame of potentially compromising the study-within-a-study. But Loftus believes the results still apply to crime fighting.

“We were interested in how the different variables affect the likelihood of confession,” says Loftus. “And I don’t have any reason to believe that sleep deprivation is going to affect behavior differently in this kind of a setting as compared to a real-world setting.”

So what motivates people facing more serious charges to confess to something they didn’t do?

“There are two types of false confessions that come about from police interrogation,” says Saul Kassin, a professor of psychology at Williams College who reviewed the study before publication. The first is a compliant false confession.

“These are situations in which people who know they are innocent reach their breaking point,” he says. “They are under stress and will do whatever it takes to escape the immediate short-term punishing situation—even if it involves a possible negative consequence later.”

The second is an internalized false confession, in which the innocent person not only confesses but actually starts to believe their own guilt.

“The police are allowed to lie to people,” says Loftus.They tell them that their fingerprints were at the scene when they weren’t, that they flunked a polygraph when they didn’t, that an eye witness saw them do it when there is no such person. And these are powerful ways of getting people to believe what they are confessing to.”

Both these types of false confession are influenced by sleep deprivation, adds Kassin: “When people are mentally and physically fatigued, which is what happens in a sleep deprivation situation, they are more likely to do whatever it takes to end a punishing current situation than someone who has more mental energy to fight,” he says. “They are also more suggestible to misleading or false information about evidence that doesn’t really exist.”

People also sometimes falsely confess because they want the attention associated with a a high-profile crime. “That’s how you get 200 people confessing to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby,” says Loftus, referring to the infamous 1932 abduction and murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh‘s son. “But that’s obviously not going on in this experiment.”

Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that law enforcement officials evaluate suspects for their degree of sleepiness before an interrogation. The team also urged that all interrogations be videotaped so that judges, lawyers and juries can assess the value of the confession.

Still, law enforcement officials are unlikely to alter their tactics anytime soon, says Loftus: “There is obviously a belief that sleep-deprived interrogations help capture the guilty better. Otherwise this wouldn’t be used so frequently.”

Future work might investigate how sleep deprivation affects true versus false confessions, and how education, age and other demographics may influence the likelihood of a false confession from a sleepy suspect. The hope is that innocent people will get better protection, and investigators won’t waste any time finding the real criminals.

“Interrogation is a great process when everyone you interrogate is the criminal,” says Kassin. “The problem is, law enforcement doesn’t know in advance whether they are interrogating the perpetrator or an innocent person. They always think they are interrogating the perpetrator, but they may not be. And this is what makes it so important to protect against that worst-case scenario


Henry Sapiecha


Ronald Jackson has been found not guilty of property theft after confiscating a phone from his teenage daughter and refusing to return it image

Ronald Jackson has been found not guilty of property theft after confiscating a phone from his teenage daughter and refusing to return it. Photo: CBS-DFW

She was 12 and, her mother said, she was not fitting in with her father’s new family. She grabbed her camouflage-patterned iPhone 4s and shot a text to a friend – roughly: “I don’t like his ratchet girlfriend or her kids.”

It was 2013. That word – “ratchet” –  was running through rap songs and teens’ text messages, thought to mean a low-class and clueless diva. When Ronald Jackson saw it, he took away his daughter’s cellphone.

“I was being a parent,” Mr Jackson told broadcaster CBS-DFW. “A child does something wrong, you teach them what’s right.”

Mr Jackson, 36, from Dallas, Texas, was ultimately arrested and charged with property theft, because he had taken his daughter’s iPhone and refused to give it back.

Following a long legal battle, a Dallas County Criminal Court judge last week ruled the state did not have enough evidence to continue the case and ordered a jury to find him not guilty.

It was Mr Jackson’s visitation time that Saturday in late September 2013. He and his former partner, Michelle Steppe, were no longer a couple but shared custody of their daughter. Both had started new families.
The mobile phone at the centre of the court case.

The mobile phone at the centre of the court case. Photo: CBS-DFW

Ms Steppe, 40, and her fiance bought the phone for her daughter, but it was on Mr Jackson’s mobile data plan.

After Mr Jackson confiscated the mobile phone, the girl went to a friend’s house and called her mother. Police were sent to Mr Jackson’s home and tried to get it back, according to television station WFAA.

“At that point,” Mr Jackson said, “I decided the police don’t interfere with my ability to parent my daughter.”

Ms Steppe said she respected Mr Jackson’s parenting moment, but he should have given her the phone.

“I stand behind him taking the phone for punishment; I don’t stand behind him not returning the phone to me when the visit was over,” Ms Steppe told The Post. “Parents have the right to discipline their kids. I’ve taken away phone privileges.

“It had to do with giving back property that did not belong to him.”

When Ms Steppe collected her daughter, she demanded the phone, according to court documents. When Mr Jackson declined to hand it over, Ms Steppe sent him a demand letter.

Months went by. Then, Mr Jackson was mailed a citation for petty theft, a Class C misdemeanour.

Court documents show the city attorney’s office offered him a plea deal in exchange for the phone, according to WFAA. But Mr Jackson got a lawyer and opted for a trial in municipal court, according to the news station.

Court documents state the case was first filed with the city court, but that “due to the lack of co-operation by the defendant”, the prosecutor in the case asked that police file it as a harsher Class B misdemeanour in a county court.

Late one night in April 2015, Mr Jackson was woken by police, placed in handcuffs and taken to jail.

“Why would you arrest someone for something like that?” he told CBS-DFW. “Don’t you have better things to do as a police officer? Aren’t there bigger crimes in the city that you need to take care of?”

Grand Prairie police spokesman Lyle Gensler said police tried to get Mr Jackson to return his daughter’s phone.

“We do not like these kinds of instances to go into the criminal justice system,” he told WFAA. “We prefer to keep it out and the phone be returned and let the parents, the two adults, let them work it out among themselves.”

One concern Mr Jackson had was that Ms Steppe’s fiance is an officer on the police force.

“In the entire investigation, that never came into play,” Mr Gensler said.

Ms Steppe said the relationship between her daughter, now 15, and the girl’s father was ruined.

“She wrote him a letter and knocked on the door and handed it to him,” Ms Steppe said.

“In the letter, she listed the Webster’s definition of a father and said, ‘You have never been any of these things to me.’ She asked him to relinquish his parental rights so she could be adopted by her stepdad.”

Ms Steppe said Mr Jackson had asked to relinquish his rights and that case was pending.

During Mr Jackson’s two-day trial last week, his daughter took the stand.

“She’s heartbroken, she’s devastated,” Ms Steppe said.

“Don’t smear her. Don’t make her look like a sexting teen, an out-of-control teen. Don’t mess with her life.”

Mr Jackson’s attorney, Cameron Gray, said he was planning to file a federal civil rights claim against the Grand Prairie Police Department and the city attorney’s office over the way Mr Jackson was treated.

Washington Post


Henry Sapiecha

Video posted online by passenger leads to reckless driving charge against driver

passenger's video revealed his driver was speeding image

A passenger’s video revealed his driver was speeding.

A man has been charged with reckless driving after his passenger posted a video online showing their car being driven at 180kmh.

Police say that the passenger recorded the video on December 28 as the pair drove from Albany to Perth.Western Australia

Investigators studied the video after it was posted on social media, and identified the driver.

He’ll appear before Albany Magistrates Court next month.


Henry Sapiecha

Woman beats drink-driving charges due to the brewery in her belly

making an alcoholic drink image

Some human bodies produce alcohol of their own accord.

Some people have six-packs and others have kegs, but it appears an unusual few actually have an entire brewery operating in their bellies.

That fact has emerged in the United States, where a woman last month successfully beat a drink-driving charge by arguing that she suffered from “auto-brewery syndrome”.

The woman was arrested in Hamburg, New York state, in October 2014 after she was seen driving with a flat tyre and “weaving all over” the road, according to local police.

brewery & bottles of beer assembly line image

Abnormally high levels yeast can turn a stomach into a brewery. Photo: Jasper Juinen

The 35-year-old schoolteacher was breathalysed and returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.33 – more than four times the state’s legal limit of 0.08

The woman, who has not been named, claimed to have only consumed four drinks over the six hours leading up to the test, according to CNN, which with her size and weight should have resulted in an alcohol reading of between 0.01 and 0.05.

Seeking an explanation, her defence lawyer Joseph Marusak turned to the internet and soon found one: auto-brewery syndrome.

The extremely rare condition, also known as gut fermentation syndrome, can occur when abnormally high levels of gastrointestinal yeast turns food carbohydrates into ethanol.

“She can register a blood alcohol content that would have you or I falling down drunk, but she can function,” Mr Marusak told local newspaper The Buffalo News.

He said his client had so much yeast in her gut that it functioned like a “brewery”, resulting in “one of the strangest cases I’ve ever been involved with in more than 30 years as a lawyer.”

Mr Marusak hired two nurses and a professional trained in using breathalysers to monitor his client’s blood alcohol levels on a day when she had not been drinking at all.

Lo and behold, she returned levels similar to those on the day she was arrested.

Mr Marusak presented those and other medical tests in court, which was persuaded by the evidence and dismissed the drink-driving charges on December 9.

Prosecutors, however, are seeking to have the charges reinstated.

In the meantime the woman has successfully treated her condition by removing yeast from her diet and taking anti-fungal medication.


Henry Sapiecha

Victims of Oklahoma ex-police officer said they were forced into sex through fear

Oklahoma police officer found guilty of rape

Former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw cries after being found guilty of sexually assaulting 13 women, as lawyers representing the victims say they’re not pleased about the several counts that weren’t received.

Oklahoma City: Two of the women sexually assaulted by a former Oklahoma City policeman said on Friday they feared for their lives after the officer threatened them with arrest and violence if they did not perform sexual acts on him.

Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was found guilty by a jury on Thursday of 18 of the 36 counts against him that included rape and sexual assaults of 13 women.

He broke down in tears as the verdict was read and said, “I didn’t do it,” as he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He faces life in prison.

Jannie Ligons, left, one of the victims of sexual assault by former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, smiles as attorney Benjamin Crump holds up her arm image

Jannie Ligons, left, one of the victims of sexual assault by former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, smiles as attorney Benjamin Crump holds up her arm during a news conference. Photo: AP

“All I could think of was he was going to shoot me, he was going to kill me,” Janie Liggons, one of the victims, told a news conference. She was pulled over by Holtzclaw and threatened.

“I kept pleading, ‘Don’t make me do this, sir. Are you going to shoot me?’ I was so afraid, so helpless.”

Five of the victims plan to sue the city over the incidents, an attorney told the news conference on Friday.

Daniel Holtzclaw, right, was convicted of raping eight women on his police beat image

Daniel Holtzclaw, right, was convicted of raping eight women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighbourhood. Photo: AP

Liggons was the first to report Holtzclaw to authorities, who then launched an investigation and found a dozen other women, all African-American, who said they were sexually assaulted by Holtzclaw, who is mixed race Asian and white.

Holtzclaw was fired by the police over the accusations in January 2015 after approximately three years on the job.

Liggons said she was different from other victims in that she did not have any outstanding warrants or convictions against her. Prosecutors said Holtzclaw preyed on women who had trouble with the law, thinking that their word would not stand up against his, adding he became more brazen with each attack.

Ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw puts his head on the table and cries as the guilty verdicts are read in his trial in Oklahoma City image

Ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw puts his head on the table and cries as the guilty verdicts are read in his trial in Oklahoma City. Photo: AP

“He just picked the wrong lady to stop that night,” she said.

Another victim, Shardarion Hill, said she went into survival mode with Holtzclaw and was forced into doing what the man with the badge and gun wanted.

The defence attacked the credibility of the women who testified against Holtzclaw, saying they were dishonest.

Supporters of the victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw pray after the verdicts were read for the charges against him at the Oklahoma County Courthouse image

Supporters of the victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw pray after the verdicts were read for the charges against him at the Oklahoma County Courthouse. Photo: AP

“Society tends not to believe black women or value them as other women are,” said Artist for Justice founder Grace Franklin, who stood in support of the 13 women.

The Oklahoma City Police Department backed the detectives who investigated Holtzclaw and the jury that convicted him.

“We are satisfied with the jury’s decision and firmly believe justice was served,” it said in a statement.

Holtzclaw faces a sentencing hearing on January 21.



Henry Sapiecha




The vanishing: What’s happened to them all?

LIKE Daniel Morcombe, 12-year-old Terry Floyd was waiting on the side of the road for a ride. That was in 1975. He hasn’t been seen since. He’s one of thousands of Aussies listed as missing. These are some of their stories.[To come]


Henry Sapiecha