Deadly Women (with Matt Fullerty)

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Iran arrests 'Agatha Christie' female serial killer!

Robert Tait
Friday May 22 2009
The Guardian
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Police in Iran believe they have caught the country's first female serial killer and are claiming she has disclosed a literary inspiration behind her attempts to evade detection: the crime novels of Agatha Christie.

The 32-year-old suspect, named only as Mahin, stands accused of killing at least six people, including five women, according to officials in the city of Qazvin, about 100 miles north-west of Tehran.

"Mahin in her confessions has said that she has been taking patterns from Agatha Christie books and has been trying not to leave any trace of herself," Mohammad Baqer Olfat, the Qazvin prosecutor, told Iranian journalists.

Mahin, who it is claimed also admitted the earlier murders of her former landlord and an aunt, is said to have carefully chosen her victims, targeting elderly and middle-aged women and offering them lifts home after picking them up at shrines in the city where they had been praying.

Police said she confessed in custody to killing four such women in Qazvin since January, claiming to have been driven by a desperate need for money after chalking up debts of more than ?16,000. After offering her victims a lift, Mahin allegedly gave them fruit juice which she had spiked with an anaesthetic to knock them out. She would then suffocate them before stealing their jewellery and other possessions and dumping the bodies in secluded spots. One victim was beaten to death with an iron bar after regaining consciousness.

Which Christie novels Mahin studied has not yet been revealed, though many of the books describe killers using drugs. Christie's novels, some of which depict unsolved murders, are highly popular among Iranians. The writer, who died in 1976, visited Iran several times and used it as the setting for one of her stories, The House at Shiraz.

Qazvin's police chief, Ali Akbar Hedayati, said Mahin was afflicted by a mental disorder triggered by having been deprived of her mother's love. She would draw her chosen victims into conversation by telling them they reminded her of her mother, the police chief said.

After apparently being so careful to stay ahead of the police, it seems that the most mundane of transgressions, a road traffic offence, alerted detectives and led to her arrest.

Officers first suspected the killer may have been a woman after studying a footprint found near one of the bodies. They were only led to Mahin after a 60-year-old woman, having read about the murders, told them she had escaped from a light-coloured Renault car after becoming suspicious of the female driver.

After checking cars matching that description, their attention was drawn to Mahin by records showing she had been fined following a recent road accident.

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guardian.co.uk Copyright (c) Guardian News and Media Limited. 2009

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

William Marwood - London hangman!

William Marwood on Facebook
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

David Howell wins British Chess Championship - aged 18!

Leonard Barden
Saturday August 8 2009
The Guardian
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David Howell, 18, triumphed with an unbeaten 9/11, seven wins and four draws, in the British Championship at Torquay. The teenager from East Sussex is already the youngest ever UK grandmaster and is now the second youngest British champion after Michael Adams, who won the title at 17.

Howell rode his luck in some games, notably in round two when Mark Hebden missed an instant win, but overall his total was an impressive performance which suggests he can improve to join Adams and Nigel Short at the top of the game.

Howell first hit the headlines at the age of eight when he beat the grandmaster John Nunn in a speed game, a world age record. At nine, he became the youngest to qualify for the British Championship final tournament and three years later, he drew a speed game against the then world champion Vladimir Kramnik. He took his A levels early and has improved rapidly for the past year. In 2008 he was beaten in the final round of the world junior (U20) championship and he will try again for the title at Mar del Plata, Argentina, in October.

Today, Howell joins England's optimum team, led by Adams and Short, for a 10-round match against the Netherlands at Simpsons in the Strand, London. Play is every afternoon until 17 August and spectators can watch for free. The legendary Viktor Korchnoi, 78, competes in an individual event.

Below the game was complex but level until Black blundered by 21...Rd8? (Bb5+ 22 c4 Bc6) and had to resign three moves later faced with heavy material loss.

D Howell v R Palliser

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 d5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 e3 c5 5 dxc5 e6 6 Nd2 Bxc5 7 g3 Nc6 8 Ne2 d4 9 exd4 Qd5 10 dxc5 Qxh1 11 Nc3 Qxh2 12 Nde4 O-O 13 Qd2 Rd8 14 Nxf6+ Kh8 15 Qg5 h6 16 Qg4 Qh1 17 Rd1 Rxd1+ 18 Nxd1 Bd7 19 Ne3 Ne5 20 Qf4 Nf3+ 21 Ke2 Rd8? 22 Bg2 Ng1+ 23 Kf1 Qh2 24 Nfg4 1-0

Lower down the table the rising Durham expert Jonathan Hawkins, 26, scored an IM result as he did in 2008. Here his sharp 12 Kf1 varies from 12 Bd2. Black should have tried 15...Bxd4 16 Nxd4 Nxd4 when the N stops the deadly Qf3. Black's Rd7? fell for mate when 19...Rf8 20 Bh6 Bd7 held out longer.

J Hawkins v S Sen

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 e4 Nxc3 6 bxc3 Bg7 7 Bc4 c5 8 Be3 O-O 9 Ne2 Nc6 10 Rc1 cxd4 11 cxd4 Qa5+ 12 Kf1!? Qa3 13 Rc3 Qd6 14 h4 Rd8 15 h5 Nxd4? 16 Nxd4 Bxd4 17 hxg6 hxg6 18 Rd3 e5 19 Qf3 Rd7? 20 Bg5 Kg7 21 Qh3 1-0

3099 1...Rf4! 2 Rxc7 Qh6! and White resigned due to 3 Rxd7 Rh4 and Rxh2+.

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guardian.co.uk Copyright (c) Guardian News and Media Limited. 2009

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kate Webster - London murderess! - did she do it?

Kate Webster on Facebook
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Monday, August 24, 2009

England wins the Ashes!

Dear England, I'm pleased to say that yesterday your cricket team won the Ashes! What are the Ashes I hear you cry? Well, every year since 1882 England has played Australia at Test cricket. England usually lose - so much, in fact, that between 1989 and 2004 Australia won all the matches - yes, all 16. That was quite a team.

But things are changing now. After Australia won again in 2006/7, it looked for a moment like histroy was repeating her cruel loop. But yesterday at the Oval, England did it again! In a very close Test series that has attracted a lot of televised and emotional attention in the UK (and somewhat less in the US!), cricket might just be coming home.

The name the Ashes tell a curious story. "The Ashes" are thought to be the burned bails from the top of the wickets from the original game, the England-Australia clash of 1882. And if you don't know what bails or wickets are, you might want to check out cricket a little more online! The wickets are the 3 sticks that the bowler has to knock down - and the bails sit on top of them (technically the bails only have to be nudged off, and the wickets can stay upright, and the batsman is still out). There are of course, many ways to get a batsman out...see here!

Howzat!

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