Daily Archives: December 10, 2017

Make Me a Perfect Columbo: the 5 key steps to crafting a Columbo mystery

The Columbophile

In August, Columbophile posted initial details for a July 2018 ColumboCon in Ossining, New York. These plans included a “Columbo mystery-writing competition.”

What that entails exactly, we do not know. But it suggests that Columbo fans will be solicited to submit their own Columbo stories and scripts – a very enticing prospect.

If so, how do you go about writing a Columbo? This is a subject to which I have given considerable thought. Here are the five key steps I think you need if you want to craft the perfect Columbo.

Step 1 – The perfect villain

Catch 1 Abigail Mitchell has many of the qualities we seek for in a ‘perfect’ Columbo killer

We are all familiar with the typical Columbo villain: accomplished in a respected field, supremely self-confident, and quick-witted. Some are rich, all are successful. Some are arrogant, none suffer fools lightly. Some are smart, others…

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For the first time this year, BBC reports Gaza rocket attacks on Israeli civilians

BBC Watch

As regular readers know, the BBC’s English language services did not report any of the fourteen separate incidents of missile attacks by terrorist groups located either in the Gaza Strip or the Sinai Peninsula that took place between January and November 2017. Multiple mortar attacks on an IDF position that were launched from the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad on November 30th were mentioned in a BBC report on another topic.

On December 7th three missiles were launched from the Gaza Strip.

“Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip fell inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and did not reach Israeli territory, but set off rocket sirens in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar HaNegev regional councils, as well as the city of Sdreot. 

A Jihadist Salafi group in Gaza called the Al-Tawheed Brigades […] claimed responsibility for the first two launches. […]

A third rocket, of…

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The Doppelgänger Defense: Kansas City Man Released After 17 Years When His Virtual Twin Is Found In Prison


lookalike-prisonersWe often joke about the “evil twin defense” and have seen a few actual cases (here and here and here and here). However, I just came across a case from earlier this year where Richard Anthony Jones (left) had an apparent twin who was no relation but a dead ringer for the man.  So similar that the Kansas man spent 17 years in prison for a 1999 robbery that he may not have committed.

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Section 44: Is elected local government office an “office of profit under the Crown”?

Boilermaker Bill's Rum Hospital

The section 44 juggernaut just keeps rolling. The next question likely to come before the court as a consequence of Jacqui Lambie’s disqualification on dual citizenship grounds is whether her likely replacement, Devonport mayor, Steve Martin, is himself disqualified, for holding an “office of profit under the Crown”, with respect to his office in local government. Martin maintains that he is on solid ground, citing advice given by the then Clerk of the Senate ahead of the 2016 election.

Indeed, history suggests he has a strong case.

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Eco-Ferry That Needs Fuel Shipped In From Middle East


By Paul Homewood

From the Scottish Daily Mail on Nov 27th:

IT was announced with great fanfare as a new dawn in eco-friendly transport to and from Scotland’s islands.

But it has emerged the ‘cleaner’ fuel which will power the passenger ferries will have to be shipped in from a refinery thousands of miles away in Qatar.

Officially launched last week by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the first of two vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) was heralded as a key weapon in achieving ‘Scotland’s world-leading climate change goals’.

Now transport chiefs have admitted the fuel to power the craft must make a journey of 8,141 miles from Qatar to a port in Kent before being driven a further 464 miles to the ferry terminal in Ardrossan, Ayrshire.

The ferries will need up to four tanker-loads of LNG a week, which means lorries will have to drive 3,712 miles…

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