<![CDATA[Judith A. Yates: Criminologist &True Crime Author - Blog]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 04:38:10 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Revealing the mystery cover guest - True Crime: Case Files eZine Anniversary Issue]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 17:28:37 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/revealing-the-mystery-cover-guest-true-crime-case-files-ezine-anniversary-issuePicture
So who is the person who will be appearing on the cover Anniversary issue of True Crime: Case Files eZine?

I am so excited that True Crime: Case Files eZine is celebrating its one-year anniversary! It is a reminder how time just slips through so quickly… one day I was corresponding with Wayne Sanderson and Kelly Banaski about a professional eZine. The next we are releasing our one year anniversary issue.
For the first time the eZine will feature a full-page cover of someone who is not a criminal, not a crime victim. Our staff is honored and excited about the anniversary issue’s cover. Our past cover stories have varied. 
The premier issue cover features notorious criminals who appear in the eZine. It was also a tribute to Ann Rule. Issue two’s cover features history’s criminals along with “Our Hero.”

For the third issue we changed to a new format. We are the first TC magazine that includes audio, video, and subscriptions. Our cover features persons who have gone missing in the hopes of finding them.  And Summer 2017, the most recent issue, features criminal Bonnie Parker representing the headline story, “Our obsession with crime & criminals.”
So for Fall 2017 we had to have someone who represents investigative journalism, who is victim-oriented and unafraid to report the truth, an individual who has won awards for their integrity and professionalism.  The anniversary cover needs to feature an individual whose work includes covering the court system, human behavior, crime causation, corrections, and keeping our complicated society safe The cover story is an exclusive. So…who is it?

Here are some hints:
The individual’s first big story as an investigative journalist was uncovering corruption in a Sheriff’s department.
Has worked as a National Political Correspondent, investigative reporter, hosted a nightly newscast, and during 9/11 specialized in coverage of the war on terrorism.
One of their books covered a major United States case that made headlines across the world and continues to be debated, even years after the verdict.
Besides working as an investigative reporter and an author, the first year anniversary cover person also does some voice work. But can they sing?

The Fall 2017 issue of True Crime: Case Files eZine will be available HERE on September 1, 2017 and reveals our special guest.  I hope you enjoy it.

<![CDATA[“Not so great” ideas: RVs for book tours]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 01:23:54 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/-not-so-great-ideas-rvs-for-book-tours
I began perusing RVs as a means to travel to my next book tour beginning this May. The initial idea was very exciting because I love buying a car: the haggling, the cat-mouse-cheese. But I did not know buying an RV is like buying a house, and buying a house has a space in hell between dental work and stubbed toes.
My life is simple. I want something small, not grand. I have educated myself on all the classes A-D (privately adding “Class Z” - the RVs you would expect a serial killer behind the wheel). Something I can afford, a sound investment that doesn’t mean I must sell 5.9 billion books to pay for (Those of you who are knowledgeable about RVs are saying, “Ha ha, little one! So thought we…”).
I stop at big, nice RV lots boasting a variety of sleek-looking, shining road warriors begging for exotic adventures. “I want a class C,” I explain to Mr(s). Salesperson. “I would consider a D.” Sounding as if I am talking to an implant clinician, I try not to giggle.
Salesperson asks, “What is your price range?” I don’t want to sound financially challenged, but I don’t want to sound filthy rich - a delicate balance (think “Grey Gardens,” chickens). Salesperson shows me a very cool RV. Wow! Everything I need. Nothing fancy, a warranty, nothing tres la-la, just a bed, a bathroom, a sound motor, and space to chill bottles of Coca-Cola. What a deal! And then I look at the price tag. “Why don’t I just buy a house?”
“Oh, you finance them like a house!” Salesperson says gleefully.
I don’t say what I am really thinking (which is a rarity): “Why don’t I just buy a new house?” or “For this I could buy a second house and just drag it behind my car.” Or my first response: “Why do these things cost so much! See how meth causes grandiose ideations!”
I casually ask for the least expensive RV on the lot. “Well, it’s rough,” says Salesperson, grimacing, like I just asked to drive a Class Z fresh off the trolling fields. But I learn the idea of “rough:” It could use some this-n-that, but nothing expensive. It’s older, but the engine is sound. It needs cosmetic adjustments on the outside, but it has a good heart. I realize I am looking at myself in the form of a Minnie Winnie.
Then I learn RV buying is akin to car buying. There is no way anyone is going to finance a “classic.” So my choices are 1. $7,000 appears in a box on my doorstep surrounded by rainbows and a tag reading “for you,” or 2. I finance a $50,000 hotel on wheels just to use on book tours and weekend retreats (Is it a real weekend of camping if “camping” involves an electric step-down, full length mirrors, and a wet bar?).
If I were going to drive to Zimbabwe or Mt. Everest or Yonkers to do presentations and book tours, I would consider the “investment,” as Salesperson likes to call it. Who wouldn’t like to kick back with a temperature-controlled leather chair with a frosty glass bottle of Coke and homemade s’mores after a day of discussing murder and gore? Who wouldn’t like having your shotgun passenger go make loaded nachos while flying down Route 66?
But I am just an author. I love to write, love to share my work with people who appreciate good books, and to meet these people. I am not a mega rock star or the doctor who cured the common cold. I am a minimalist, not a luxury – seeking diva. I have to travel as I have been: rental cars, hotels, and snacks on the fly.  Sometimes, great ideas are akin to Girl Scouts selling cookies: you pat them on the head, smile widely, say “no, thank you,” and walk away.
I hope to see you on the book tour. I will be the one in the four-cylinder Kia.
“She is Crazy!” Madness and Murder in Memphis will be available on May 18, 2017 through Wild Blue Press.  Judith A. Yates is now booking signings and presentations. You can schedule an appearance by CLICKING HERE
<![CDATA[Why do we fear who we fear?]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:34:29 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/why-do-we-fear-who-we-fearPictureThere are an estimated 5,000-8,000 KKK members in the US today.
The man carefully set the backpack down near the street and then drifted off to become another face in the crowd. Inside the backpack was a radio-controlled pipe bomb, metal shards, a welded blast plate, and rat poison (preventing bloody wounds from clotting) with a blast range of approximately 1,000 feet. Its purpose was to cause multiple casualties and to send a statement. There were no warnings. There were no threats; it was just a timed bomb set to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible.
This was not the Boston marathon bombing of April 2013, but the Spokane bombing attempt in January 2011, set to go off during the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial march. The attempt was not made by Islamic extremists; it was the work of a white man named Kevin William Harpham, a white supremacist organization member, a racial extremist, who believed 9/11 was a government / Jewish conspiracy.
Construction workers discovered Harpham’s backpack, ultimately stopping the disaster. Harpham was arrested. Harpham told the Judge who ultimately sentenced him to 32 years, “the bomb was built as a protest against concepts like multiculturalism and unity … it would be no different than a Christian person protesting gay pride or gay marriage.” (Source)
Kevin Harpham’s attempt is only one of the 94 percent of terroristic acts committed by non-Muslims (Source). The National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) released its 2011 Report on Terrorism, revealing, "In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered 82 - 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years."(p.14) “The number of U.S. citizens dying in terrorist attacks increased by 2 people between 2010 -2011 (p. 17). 
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports, “unstable and unsecured TVs and large pieces of furniture kill a child every two weeks” by tipping over. This means people are more likely to be killed by the refrigerator  falling on them than becoming a casualty of a foreign terrorist. There is another killer to fear in our own homes: people are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or chronic lung disease than dying from a terrorist attack.
Yet despite the statistics, U.S. citizens are inundated with fear about Muslims, international terrorists, jihad, and people emigrating from other countries. The intimidation and fear has a sole intent of keeping us scared, in that “yellow” zone: to ensure we are the “good guys,” and “they” are the “bad guys.” Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are easier to hate than Kevin William Harpham and Frigidaire. 
Picturing death by a falling refrigerator seems so silly. Physical ailments lurk out there; they pounce silently, but there are prerequisites, risk-taking warning signs (smoking, drugs).  The domestic terrorists blend into our society and rarely make or keep headline news. Foreign terrorists groups also lurk out there, ready to pounce, but consistent, multiple studies reveal these terrorists are not half as dangerous as domestic terrorists/racial extremists.
Yet the media and the politicians continue to warn us about Muslims, Jihad, and Middle Eastern terrorism in our own backyards. The media and politicians cloak an agenda in these scare tactics: more viewers, more votes. Never mind the lies, the false fear, the propaganda and prejudice being created.
And there always has to be a bad guy, someone to blame, to help us feel safe and secure in America. As I explain in my book “How to Recognize the Devil,” the real bad guys are just another face in the crowd, blend into our society, and rarely make or keep headline news. The media and the politicians are very good at picking who the “bad guys” will be. Too many in society believe it because they read it, heard about it, or are affiliated with the political party. Failure to educate oneself is a dangerous thing.
“Everything with respiration would be dead by morning. How much sweeter could there be than a big stack of smelly bodies?”
Glendon Crawford, Ku Klux Klan member and industrial mechanic, planning his collaboration in building a radioactive device for large-scale killing of Muslims and government officials. (Source)

<![CDATA[A questionnaire for Oklahoma Rep. John Bennett]]>Sun, 05 Mar 2017 21:05:59 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/-a-questionnaire-for-oklahoma-rep-john-bennettPicture
​A mantra I use, instill in students, and share: “If you don’t stand up to something, then you are accepting it.” Republican Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett makes me  stand up … and stay standing. So I have a questionnaire for him.
According to the Associate Press (March 4, 2017), “(Bennett) once likened Islam to cancer required Muslims to answer several written questions… before (Bennett would) agree to meet with them.” The questionnaire was handed out during Muslim Day at the Capitol, a day “created to encourage Muslim members to meet with elected officials” (Snopes.com)
This questionnaire included:
"Do you beat your wife?"
In the United States, a woman is battered every 15 seconds by an intimate partner. One in five have been victimized by rape or attempted rape. At least one in four U.S. women  experience some form of abuse in their lifetime.
"Mohammed was a killer of pagans, Christians and Jews that did not agree with him. Do you agree with his example?"
Crime appears in all religious texts, because crime is a part of society. It is part of our history. We are surrounded by crime every day of our lives. The majority of people reading this have been personally touched by murder. In the New American Bible, for example: “Everyone who would not seek the Lord was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)
I have heard that, according to accepted Islamic sources, Mohammed, at the age of 49, married a 6-year-old girl, and that he had sex with her when he was 52 and she was only 9 years old. Is that really true?
The majority of sexual assault victims in the U.S. are between 11-17 years old. 62,939 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in 2012. An estimated 70% of sexual assaults against children are not reported to authorities. Persons the child knew committed 75% of those crimes. (Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Criminal Victimization Survey).

Domestic violence, murder, and child abuse occurs in households identifying as Catholic, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, Islamic, Native American... you get it. 76% of Americans identify as “Christian.” Less than 1% of the U.S. population identify as Islamic (source).
So here is a questionnaire for Rep. Bennett before I agree to ever meet with him:
  1. You identify as Christian, the largest religious group in the U.S. To what disease would you compare that?
  2. Have you ever assaulted your wife? If you did, would you report it?
  3. Have you ever had sexual thoughts of any of your 4 children? If you did, would you report it?
  4. On your website, you state, “I had the great responsibility for defending the freedom of this country.” Is that freedom for all, or freedom of a select few? Explain.
  5. You told Tulsa World,  “According to the Qur’an … (women) may indeed have physical harm done to her … (for disobedience).” You have said the Bible is the guidelines for life (source). 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 reads: "Wives, be subject to your husbands … the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church." Your response?
  6. Re. the question "I have heard that...is that true?" As an elected official, do you not check resources?
If you have any questions for Rep. Bennett, you can send them HERE. He has stated he is all about “being there for people.”

Help with escaping domestic abuse: click here

Resources include HERE and HERE
Photo of J. Bennett source

<![CDATA[Shock events, razzle-dazzle, rabbits, and crime]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:26:54 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/shock-events-razzle-dazzle-rabbits-and-crimeThere are certain events that occur in our lives, that rally us together: as a nation, as a special interest group, and/or as an individual sharing specific thoughts and emotions with like-minded souls. This is called a “Shock Event.” It is also a “Razzle-dazzle.”
According to Boston College history professor and Harvard graduate Dr. Heather Richardson, “(A shock event) is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.”
Meanwhile, while society is rallying, protesting, and shouting (IN CAPS) on social media, “those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event.” (Source
Distraction: the age-old, best kept secret of all magicians. Keep everyone’s attention elsewhere while adding a card, releasing a trap door, preparing the rabbit to pop out of the hat.
In “Chicago” one of my favorite performances (and based on a real crime story), smooth talking, slick attorney Billy Flynn tells his worried client prior to stepping into the courtroom, “Relax, kid. It’s all an act.” He sings how the trick is to keep everyone off balance, looking the other way, while the legal team pulls a myriad of distractions to make people say and recall what may not be true. “Razzle-dazzle ‘em,” he croons, “Show 'em the first rate sorcerer you are.” Sure enough, his very guilty client is found “Not Guilty” based on stoic belief in the truth, when the truth is only a puff of smoke.
In the media, in politics, in crime, there is the dynamic of “Shock Event” / “Razzle-Dazzle” that keeps us buying papers, watching the news, arguing and debating, and tuning in tonight for the BIG announcement. Anyone who calls “bluff!” is labeled a whiner, conspirator, un-American, a bleeding heart. “You bleeding heart, whining, liberal Commie hippy, go live in Russia if you don’t like it.”
The Un-American Activities Committee shocked and razzled with the “Red Scare” in the 1940-1950s. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a result of a shock event, “WMD.” The War on Terror creates a national distrust based on the actions of a few. While they all created a “Bad Guy” (because there always has to be a bad guy) and everyone was distracted by pointing the finger at this Bad Guy, the card was turned, the secret trap door sprung open, the rabbit slipped through a hat. Meanwhile, the media sold news, the politicians worked it, and crimes were clandestine.
Criminologists know there is always more (to any story) than what meets the eye. As an investigator studies a crime scene, and a researcher keeps digging for information, our society can learn the truth by refusing to be blindsided with “shock and razzle.” Society needs to be investigators and researchers when faced with chaos. While everyone else is gasping at the magic, look for how that rabbit gets into the hat. 
<![CDATA[My writing dates back over 35,000 years]]>Tue, 22 Nov 2016 18:24:15 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/-my-writing-dates-back-over-35000-yearsGeologists have determined the oldest cave paintings in the world are on Sulawesi Island, in Indonesia, in a cave called Leang Timpuseng. The drawings are at least 35,400 years old. This explains why I write true crime.
The drawings in Leang Timpuseng prove that people have always wanted to write, to tell their story, to leave a mark. These ancestors used handmade paint and a smooth wall for jotting it down: ideas, visions, observations, fiction or nonfiction. This includes stories of crime and punishment..
New Archaeology notes, “Archaeology suggests that the first writing emerged around 6,000 years ago.” Writing with pictures evolved to letters. Illustration to word, though it continued to be the same communication.
The first book “written” on the typewriter was Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi  (Twain did not type it himself; he said the typewriter caused him to swear too much; the famous memoir was dictated to a typist, who, presumably, did not cuss).
An article in The New York Times notes “the graffiti movement that took root in New York in the 1970s and ‘80s more powerfully than anywhere else, spawn(ed) a new American art form.” When a pen and paper are not available, we write on walls to voice our thoughts and actions. From the Latin King’s tribute to gang members lost to artists who see the city as one big blank canvas, from the “fuck all ya’ll” to the “impeach Trump,” to the bathroom wall scratching of names and hometowns, humanity has a need to write and draw, to create for the world to see and share.
Authors and storytellers know writing is in our DNA, our history. Everyone has a book in his or her head. Some try to publish; some just “have to get it all out” of their mind.
I came from a generation where we handwrote all of our school composition papers. We were introduced to word processors and then personal computers (screeee …”you’ve got mail”) and now we bang or yap into a machine. When preparing a book, I handwrite all of my notes because there is something I like about the feeling of a pen in hand, of a part of me flowing onto my notepad to tell someone’s story (And, 90% of the time, I can read what I jotted out). Each of my books has several binders stuffed with all of the information that stands behind the actual product: research, court documents, legal papers, et. al. Much of this is handwritten: interview notes, notes to self, to-do lists, contact information, directions, instructions. For the actual product, I use my Mac (a fellow investigator said I was the fastest two-fingered typist he had known). From the notes to the keyboard to the screen, my letters and figures meld into a story.
Writing is just a part of our culture, like crime and love. We integrate it into our expressions: The writing's on the wall, written in stone. Humans share information: Did you read Facebook? The newspaper said… And now, with social media, we return to writing on a wall by posting, tweeting, and emailing. The wall is now electronic; our words are digital letters, pictures, and symbols. People leave legacies for the future, they rant, and they send condolences, and celebrate ... and onto the same screen I write my tales, my books, just like 35,400 years ago when my ancestors wrote in Leang Timpuseng.

The first known version of The Code of Ur-Nammu (ca. 2100-2050 BC),the oldest known tablet containing a law code and the basis of today’s laws. (Wikipedia.org for free use)
<![CDATA[Chicago Crime Tour - Mobsters, Tommy guns, and G-Men, oh my!]]>Wed, 16 Nov 2016 18:03:06 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/chicago-crime-tour-mobsters-tommy-guns-and-g-men-oh-my​While in Chicago, I took a “Crime Tour” featuring mobsters and gangsters who ruled during prohibition. I wanted to share some of the highlights.
DO NOT COPY ANY OF THE PHOTOS HERE without a formal request.
The Jewelers Building included a way for employees to drive right in for safety purposes. Al Capone found that handy so he made the top, round dome his speakeasy. The turrets once held huge water barrels in case of another fire (this was after the great Chicago fire); they'd be busted open and drench the area.

​Building across the street from the infamous Biograph Theatre. G-men were holed up in this building waiting to rush across the street to arrest John Dillinger as he exited the Biograph with Madame Anna Sage (true name Ana Cumpănașa, Romanian immigrant threatened with deportation for "low moral character") in 1934. Ana set him up in exchange for the promise of not being deported. “You’ll know me. I’ll wear an orange skirt and white blouse,” she told them. It showed red under marque lights so they almost missed Dillinger. Thus “The Lady in Red.”
​The Biograph still stands and is in use, with few changes since Dillinger’s fateful attendance.

​This building was purposely green because green was "go" meaning liquor available (this is why many speakeasy had "green" in the name). The top is 14K gold and it was purposely built to look like a champagne bottle! Basically, a big middle finger to prohibition.
​Dillinger ran to avoid arrest but was hit from behind and fell face first to the ground here. He was struck four times: 2 bullets grazing him, and 1causing a superficial wound to the right side and 1 entering the back of his neck, severed the spinal cord, passed into his brain and exited just under the right eye. Later, Ana was deported as the BI (No “F” yet) had no jurisdiction over deportation, but she did get ½ of the $10,000 reward.
Schofield's flower shop is now a boring parking lot. Mobster and anti-Capone Dean “Dion” O’Banion was involved in a violent criminal organization, but his true talent was arranging flowers.  The shop also served as a legitimate front. O’Banion had bought an interest in William Schofield's River North flower shop. The rooms above were the headquarters for the North Side Gang.  Schofield's soon became the florist of choice for all mob funerals... including victims Dion himself had arranged to be whacked. O’Banion was later killed in this shop with what would become the famous “handshake murder.”
Hymie Weiss was murdered by Capone’s men in the street in front of the shop. (photo, left, may be copied)
Below: ​Site of where the garage stood where “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” occurred on February 14, 1929. The victims included five members of George "Bugs" Moran's North Side Gang. Two collaborators were also shot. The sole survivor, Frank Gusenberg, was taken to the hospital, where police attempted to question him. True to gangster code, he told them, "No one shot me." He died three hours later. This was most interesting to me as I did a huge report on the incident in undergrad school (and made an A!). This was the location that I wrote about and researched so carefully.

​Go to Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, River North, Chicago for some wonderful true crime history. The lower stairwell is lined with original newspaper articles about mobsters, mug shots, and photos donated by a private collector (he made a deal: free corned beef sandwiches for life in exchange). On the bottom of the stairwell, get a peek of the original safe and underground tunnel area (originally coal tunnels) where mobsters moved illegal alcohol back and forth through the city. Caray’s restaurant is in a building that once was a huge mobster HQ. 
​If you are interested in a true crime tour of Chicago, click the button for more info. Please tell them you saw tour info on this site… the customer service is impeccable and besides mobster history, you will see the sites of modern –day crime and hear some trivia! 

DO NOT COPY ANY OF THE PHOTOS HERE without a formal request.

Crime Tour click here
<![CDATA[My Pit Bull Story]]>Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:05:43 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/my-pit-bull-story
My family adopted a pit bull pup from “Molly’s Mutts” animal rescue. As a pit bull advocate, I love reading stories of how these dogs enrich people’s lives. Now I have a story of my own.
Bronx was a joy from the moment his paws landed on our floor. He is a happy, gentle dog. One of his favorite games is to let our Guinea hen chase him around the yard. He hangs out with me as I am writing.
Bronx entered obedience as soon as he was old enough; much of the time he would sit and study the other dogs. His expression was of curiosity and understanding. 
My goal is to train Bronx for search & rescue (SAR), specifically for Alzheimer’s patients who wander away, in memory of my grandmother. As time went on I found this goal also helps me process my grandmother’s death, as I still cannot discuss it. Bronx is helping me though this process.
But my proudest moment as a pit bull “mom” happened yesterday. We took Bronx and our English bulldog to Nashville Pet Expo for a “dog day afternoon.” Our Bulldog became sick. He was rushed to the Nashville Pet Emergency Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Bronx sat in the waiting room with all of us, very quietly. He began what we now call his “Grief Counselor duties.” He was never obnoxious, pushy, or jumping ... his tail would wag very slowly and his eyes were full of worry. He took careful steps and eased up to people. Those people understood what he was doing:
A Chihuahua went into the examination room; Bronx worried about that dog. He would duck to look through the examination room door as people came and went. When the Chihuahua’s “parents” would come out for water, or just to breathe, Bronx would approach them with a little wag and soulful eyes. When the Chihuahua came out, legs bandaged, Bronx was very gentle and had to check on him. The parents had to let Bronx see this little dog to ease his worry. Bronx didn’t bite or bark; he just nuzzled and his tail wagged. He was genuinely happy!
It was a difficult place to be; people came in because their animals had to be euthanized. Bronx watched them, paying close attention. He would then walk gently to these bereaved people to "hug" them. When they looked at him, he would sit and offer a paw. People actually smiled through tears to pet him and shake paws. A few gathered him up and hugged him tightly. One of the vet techs said to Bronx, “You are very special.”

An elderly couple came in, crying, to have their cat euthanized; I started crying, listening to them say goodbye. Bronx clung to me. He did not jump up or whine, just leaned against me quietly.
Our English bulldog came out with a bandaged leg. Bronx usually jumps all over him and wrestles; this time, he only walked over and licked his buddy’s face. He stood close to him.

This is a “vicious, evil, killer pit bull.”
I was an Animal Control Warden when the “pit bull scare” was at its hype. My family continues to get lectured on what a dangerous animal we have, and people still react negatively when we talk about him or show pictures. Having a "pit bull" raises our home insurance and he is not allowed in many places. Sometimes I want to scream, “get educated, people!” Because...
There is no such thing as a “pit bull.” It is a common name for a dog type, not breed. The “pit” is usually a cross of Staffordshire Terriers, Bulldogs (American and English), sometimes cross-bred with Shepherds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs and other Molossers, and even Labrador Retrievers. They do not have “locking” jaws or an inborn instinct to fight. Any dog will fight or attack if abused, threatened, or taught. (Think about the practice of dog fighting: a dog is given drugs, taunted, and set in a ring that smells of blood, fear, death, anger, and anxiety. Shouting idiots on drugs and alcohol surround it. This dog has had a life of pain, anxiety, abuse, and mistreatment. It knows the biggest reward is to bite and scratch. It knows biting a human is punishable. There is so much fear welled up --- some call that “aggression” --- and such a reward for hurting another dog … of course it is going to fight.) Overbreeding and lack of care have hurt these dogs emotionally and physically -- as with any breed.
Pit bulls make excellent therapy, obedience, rescue, police, and assistance dogs because they are hypersensitive, loyal, and eager to please. Their bark and stature means they make good “visual” guard dogs (which is most important; I’d rather have the bad person just stay away from, than to enter, my house). 
I am so lucky to have a pit bull in my life. We rescued Bronx, and he rescued us. I will defend him and the “pit” dog until my last breath. If you are scared of them, educate yourself. If you want one to fight or to guard, don’t get a dog, period. And if you still don’t like them or think they are going to slaughter your kid/puppy/chickens/etc., then come visit my house. Just be very careful coming in; you could trip over Bronx when he’s napping.


<![CDATA[I worked for ITT … and not surprised about their closing.]]>Fri, 09 Sep 2016 21:07:56 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/-i-worked-for-itt-and-not-surprised-about-their-closing
Goodbye... (wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons)

ITT Technical School students and staff came to school and work after the 2016 Labor Day weekend to find a note on the locked doors: ITT no longer exists. I worked for ITT; I am not surprised.
The Department of Education “banned the school from enrolling students who use federal financial aid ...” (source). ITT stopped enrolling new students; federal financial aid is the school’s life’s blood. I said, “Next will be a shut down. And students and staff will be alerted by an email.”
Now the for-profit school is closed forever. That means 40,000 students and 8,000 employees out of an education, out of a job.  As usual, the people on the bottom of the food chain suffer the misdeeds of those at the top (I discuss this in my book “How to Recognize the Devil;” specifically, Enron).
I worked as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice program. The pay was not great, but like many instructors I taught for the joy of teaching and the ability to help students grow and learn. I was offered the position of Department Chair and accepted.
I rehabilitated the program, working at least 50 hours a week. I observed how the corporation put income over student care, but I also observed students gain self-esteem, obtain a degree, and find jobs. We helped students leave abusive homes and start anew. I knew the student’s debt would be high when they graduated; that is the nature of all colleges. I saw success. I worked with some amazing people. I learned valuable life lessons. I worked hard, but had fun, too.
I disagreed with some of the practices. These schools are a business. The focus is money. Students who could barely read or write were graduating. I felt like we were badgering students who dropped out to return to school, even though I knew criminal justice was not for some. Outstanding instructors were “let go” because their classroom attendance rates did not meet a quota. Potential students were sometimes led to believe they could obtain just any job with their one degree, including criminal profiling and investigator. The commercials were misleading. Sometimes it seemed like madness.
I was there at the beginning of the end, and this beginning was one of the reasons I ended my career with ITT. After ITT received one of several warnings from the Department of Education, Department Chairs were ordered to work 15-hour days, at least 6 days a week. Besides running a program of over 100 students, this meant teaching classes, overseeing a program of outside professionals, scheduling guest speakers, special events, and field trips, overseeing equipment, and putting out fires anywhere they popped up.  Management was breathing fire down our necks: enrollment, retention, and attrition. I came in 10 minutes late one day and management snapped, “You’re late!” I would grab a nap in my car during lunch, then told this would not be tolerated.  I spent hours making class schedules only to have them rewritten. I was told to “avoid” my student’s questions regarding the program changes, and then I was told, “Just lie to them.” I still believed in the program and my students, so this was too much. After I left the job, my physical and mental health improved. I missed teaching, a few coworkers, and my students; I did not miss the grueling, vicious circle.
ITT is now blaming the Education Department, releasing a statement, “(the sanctions) were inappropriate and unconstitutional.” Their declaration does not surprise me. The statement also read, “The damage done to our students and employees, as well as to our shareholders and the American taxpayers, is irrevocable.” At least they got one thing correct. 
<![CDATA[Annonucing birth of a new eZine, True Crime: Case Files]]>Tue, 02 Aug 2016 20:49:04 GMThttp://judithayates.com/blog/annonucing-birth-of-a-new-ezine-true-crime-case-filesPicture
What happens now? Do I know what I am getting into? Is this the right thing to do now?
These are the questions I kept asking myself when I made a big decision last month. It was just an idea – what if … what about …
I opened my email to discover examiner.com was no longer. Defunct. Closed for business. It was now AXS, focusing on entertainment: concerts, festivals, and celebrity events…
I wrote for examiner: Nashville True Crime, Crime & Courts. I was not too happy that my articles on crime prevention, victim support, and law were squished in between articles about movie stars who got fat and what mysterious item cures eye bags, but I had a great following and usually made the Top 10. I like writing fun stuff every now and then, but writing articles on a performer’s sold-out show or which “reality star” had plastic surgery on her foot is not for me.
I announced it all on my Facebook page. I wondered about eZines. A friend, Wayne Sanderson, mentioned an eZine idea. My friend Kelly Banaski emails me: she wants to be part of this, too.
It went from there.
So the idea was born one dark night at my keyboard, slithered into my PC, and burst forth. True Crime: Case Files eZine was born. It does not look like any other True Crime eZine. The content is fresh: Wayne, Kelly, and I want it to educate readers about crime, provide information for criminal justice professionals and students, and support crime victims and law enforcement. We wanted to support established authors and up-and-coming talent. As I held the eZine business plan in my arms, thoughts began racing: What happens now? Do I know what I am getting into? Is this the right thing to do now?
Wayne is retired from corrections and his hobbies include volunteer historian and archival consultant for the NJDOC. He researches and writes about historical law enforcement and criminal events, forgotten crimes, scandals and curious events and mysteries. Wayne is an encyclopedia on crime in history. We can talk for hours on the subject. Kelly Banaski is a true crime author and an inmate liaison; her popular blog, The Woman Condemned, details the lives of women on death row. Kelly uses her insights to aid inmates in restoring some of the good they took from the world, and to understand, and help prevent, crime. She and I can talk for hours. Wayne and Kelly have traits I admire most: creativity, intelligence, and kindness.
Our Premier Issue is about to go into the world. It will be available September 1, 2016. Readers can learn about historical events, strange crimes, insights from popular true crime authors, new books, serial killers, victim support (both victim and perpetrator’s loved ones), available jobs in criminal justice and much more.
Like any new parent, I am elated, proud, and scared. I am no longer asking myself what happens next, and what I am getting into? This is the right thing to do now.

True Crime: Case Files - CLICK HERE