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News Scan

Oklahoma Execution Tonight:  Oklahoma death row inmate John David Duty is scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. this evening, reports Rachel Peterson of the McAlester News-Capital (OK).  Duty was sentenced to death for murdering 22-year-old Curtis Wise, his cellmate at a state prison where Duty was serving three life sentences for rape and robbery.  Duty strangled Wise with a shoelace, afterwards writing a letter to his victim's mother:  "Well I tied him up hands and feet, then I strangled him.  It's not like the movies, it took awhile."  The U.S. Supreme Court denied his last appeal in early October.

Professional Masks Giving Criminals Extra Protection:  Los Angeles Times writer Sharon Bernstein reports on an increasing trend in the criminal underworld - ultra-realistic masks that instantly transform the appearance of one's race and/or age.  SPFXMasks, one company in the industry, manufactures masks to look and feel like human skin, selling them for between $600 and $1,200.  Last year, a European bank robber used one of SPFXMask's mask to disguise himself as an African American male, which lead to the mistaken arrest and identification of another man.  Investigators also suspect the SoCal "Geezer Bandit" may not actually be an elderly man, given his resemblance to SPFXMask's "Elder" mask.

Escaped Inmate Caught After 19-Hour Crime Spree:  A 20-year-old Iowa inmate who escaped from a university hospital and commenced a 19-hour crime spree was caught last night after he flipped and crashed a stolen vehicle.  Anthony Koehlhoeffer was awaiting trial on 11 charges when he escaped into the 10 degree night wearing only a hospital gown and sandals.  He is suspected of committing several carjackings throughout the state during his flight.  Lee Hermiston of the Iowa City Press-Citizen has this story.

Charles Manson Gets 30 Extra Days: 
IBMTimes reports another 30 days has been added to Charles Manson's life sentence after a cell phone was recently discovered in his prison cell.  Manson was able to make calls and send text messages to people in three states and Canada before the phone was confiscated, but officials have not identified who he contacted.  An official from the California Department of Corrections stated it was "troubling that he (Manson) had a cellphone since he's a person who got other people to murder on his behalf."

Violent Crime Up in California Counties:
  Despite a decline in the crime rate for much of California, the Alameda and Contra Costa Sheriff's Departments are reporting a 24% and 39%, respectively, jump in violent crime for the first half of 2010 from last year.  The increase may be due in part to budget cuts, but academics and officials also point to the spread of gang activity into the unincorporated parts of the counties.  Several unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa, some of which one county official stated are "left to fend for themselves," have experienced gang-related violence over the past year.  Justin Scheck and Bobby White of The Wall Street Journal have this article.

Search for "Grim Sleeper" Victims:  The LAPD has released 180 photos found in the possession of alleged serial killer David Franklin, hoping to determine if any of them are additional victims, reports the LA Times.

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