Can Criminals Be Genetically Determined?

Just Five Percent of Families Commit Half of All U.S. Crimes. Is It Bad Genes, Bad Family Values, or Both?

When veteran New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield first met the Bogle family, he believed that nurture mattered more than nature in influencing people to commit violent crimes.

But how, then, does one explain the Bogles, a Texas-Tennessee clan that has been running afoul of the law across multiple generations going back to the Civil War? This one single family, Butterfield discovered, had been responsible for stealing cars and brewing moonshine, burglaries and bombings, manslaughters and murders. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles all had taken part …

Closed-Circuit TV Is Revolutionizing Our Understanding of Human Behavior

While Researchers Used to Rely on Interviews and Experiments, Raw Video Reveals Subtle, Previously Hidden Reactions

In a 2012 YouTube video of an attempted robbery in California, a strange scene unfolds.

Two robbers enter the Circle T Market in Riverbank. One carries a large assault rifle, an …

The 1992 Horror Film That Made a Monster Out of a Chicago Housing Project

In Candyman, the Notorious Cabrini-Green Complex Is Haunted by Urban Myths and Racial Paranoia

In the 1992 horror film Candyman, Helen, a white graduate student researching urban legends, is looking into the myth of a hook-handed apparition who is said to appear when his …

Why Hawai‘i Has America’s Lowest Rates of Gun Violence

It's a Combination of Relative Prosperity, Isolation, Unique Culture—and Tough Laws

Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 33,000 Americans die from violence linked to guns. Massacres like the February shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have become …

It’s Hard to Be an American Traitor, Even If You Try

Legal Scholars Tell Warren Olney Why Treason Is So Difficult to Commit in the United States

Why is it so hard to commit treason in the United States?

The short answer—offered at the debut of a Zócalo/KCRW event series, “Critical Thinking with Warren Olney”—amounted to this: America …

In California, Big Data Is Getting the Wrong People Arrested

Blame the Software—and a Lack of Incentives to Check for Errors

Managing information is central to the criminal justice system, and so it’s inevitable that mistakes happen. Names get confused, files lost. When these errors occur, the police can mistakenly arrest …