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  Caught in the Pointless Crossfire
by Jenn Lackey
Exploring the logic of gun violence
  Prime Time Crime
by Tom Byrnes
Committing the three cardinal sins can be murder
  Police Department of GreaterSkrote County, Idaho
by Police Chief: Jimmy "Duster" Dodd
  A National Police Blotter: Bring in the Clowns!
And you thought reality TV was bad...
  Mafia Mad Lib
by Greg Coyle
A letter from prison
  Least Popular Mafia Nicknames
  Things that ought to be a Crime but Aren’t
  Least Known Superheroes

Paranoia is a Crime
by Kent Lewis

I’m a city boy. I grew up in Seattle next to I-5 and commuted into the low-income area known as the Central District throughout high school. In my four years at Garfield High, I witnessed plenty of fights, crack smoking and even a shooting. Whether it was the immortality of youth or general naiveté, I never really felt endangered. As time has passed, I’ve come to realize it wasn’t such a bad way to live.

I now reside in a historic neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Traditionally it’s a nicer neighborhood, but typical to many communities, the area has changed with economic cycles. Ten to fifteen years ago my block was considered a transitional neighborhood where average white folks would be considered suicidal to loiter about after dark. Of course this has changed over the past few years as gentrification continues to push lower income residents to outlying suburbs.

Yet the scars of a paranoid society linger. More than a few of the houses on my block have grates over their windows and doors. As if to confirm their concerns, graffiti covers unattended signs, walls and benches. And many in Portland still consider my neighborhood a dangerous section of town.

Although we hear sporadic gunfire during the hot summer months, we prefer to enjoy our neighborhood, including evening walks in the nearby park. My neighbors are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It could be the length of time they’ve lived in the area, or the need to bond for protection, or it simply could be that there are a solid number of good people in this city. My block has chosen to live life as if we were all still in high school, with a sense of serenity and hope rather than resignation and fear.

In this issue, we explore crime from various perspectives. To kick things off, Jenn Lackey gives us insight into the hopeless feeling of being shot at while in the relative safety of a front porch, and explores the rationality of such occurrences.

Speaking of being rational,Tom Byrnes recalls his first prime time television interview, and how badly it went.  It could have been any of us getting grilled on TV, so long as we’d written a bestseller about OJ Simpson’s murder trial in five days.

While many of us are not friendly with officers of the law, we do have to thank them for Cops, and similar reality-based content to feel better about ourselves. Officer Hooper records the strange and interesting incidents occurring in Firth, Idaho. We’ve also compiled a series of real police reports from around the nation, too good to be fake.

For the Soprano fans out there, we’ve brought back the timeless and popular mafia-related Mad Lib. While we’re on the subject, we’ve also compiled a list of least popular mafia knick names. If that doesn’t bend your nose, then try "Things That Ought to be a Crime but Aren’t" or "Least Known Superheroes" that keep our streets safe. You have nothing to fear.