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News Scan

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Manson Family Suspected of Committing 12 Unsolved Murders: Samantha Tata and Robert Kovacik of NBC Los Angeles report that LAPD has opened investigations into 12 unsolved murders similar to those committed by Charles Manson and his followers. LAPD detectives are working to gain access to hours of audio recordings from about four decades ago between former Manson Family member and convicted killer Charles Watson and his lawyer. Smith believes the recordings will help detectives solve the cold cases. Watson, of course, opposes access to the content of the tapes. A Texas Bankruptcy Trustee has custody of the tapes until the LAPD can take possession. Watson is currently serving a life sentence in California's Mule Creek State Prison.

RI City Board Will Not Approve Child Killer's Absentee Vote: Abbey Niezgoda of ABC 6 reports that convicted child killer Michael Woodmansee has asked for an absentee vote from the mental hospital he checked in to upon being released from prison 12 years early. Woodmansee had confessed to sexually assaulting and murdering a 5-year-old boy in 1983.
Paul Davis of the Providence Journal has this update reporting that Cranston Board of Canvassers Chairman said Friday he will not approve Woodmansee's request.

Bay Area Officers Considering Unmanned Drones: Stephanie Chuang of NBC Bay Area reports Bay Area law enforcement agencies are considering replacing helicopters with drones in an attempt to cut costs.  Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern tested an Unmanned Aerial System a year ago and is now considering getting the first UAS in California. The drone weighs only four pounds and has a wingspan of four-feet. The birds-eye view the drone would provide, particularly in hostile situations, information unattainable by tactical officers on the ground without endangering their lives. Though drone manufacturers have considered offering police models armed with tasers, rubber bullets, and tear gas, Ahern opposes that option.  

3 Views From CA On Closure and the Death Penalty: Lisa Aliferis of KQED has this article discussing three views on whether the death penalty provides closure. First, Marc Klaas, father of 12-year-old Polly Klaas who was kidnapped and murdered by Richard Allen Davis, opposes repealing the death sentence and argues that the death penalty is the only fair punishment for the most heinous killers. Klaas said he has talked with families of victims who have found closure from seeing the killer of their loved ones executed. Former Warden of San Quentin Jeanne Woodford disagrees saying the desire to have the person who murdered a family member dead is a natural reaction but does not provide closure. Lastly, Gayle Orr, whose 19-year-old daughter was stabbed and killed, supports Prop 34 and argues forgiveness, not execution, is the path to closure.

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