The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday that two U.S.-based law firms were among the victims of a “complex transnational organized cyber-crime network” that has been taken down, thanks to a law enforcement effort involving cooperation between U.S. and European officials.
The DOJ’s statement did not specify the names of the entities, only that one was a law firm in Washington, D.C., and another was a law office in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
The hackers were using the GozNym malware, which is designed to capture online banking login credentials. The hackers then gain access to bank accounts and steal money from victims by laundering those funds through U.S. and foreign beneficiary bank accounts controlled by the hackers. All in all, the group was hoping to make out with more than $100 million, the DOJ said.
This isn’t the first time that law firms have been the targets of cyberattacks—and it likely won’t be the last. The American Lawyer reported in January that an unnamed U.S. firm had been hacked by the Chinese government-sponsored group called APT10 between November 2017 and September 2018.
A study conducted by IBM in 2018 found that it takes about six months to discover that a breach has occurred, and then an average of 69 days to contain the breach. Law firms, because of the sensitive information they possess regarding their various clients, are a very attractive target for those looking to obtain data to sell or expose. By hacking one system, attackers can get information on potentially hundreds of companies and individuals.
According to the indictment, Alexander Konovolov, aka “NoNe” and “none_1,” of Tbilisi, Georgia, was the organizer and leader of the GozNym network that controlled about 41,000 victim computers infected with the malware.
U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania made the announcement of the indictments at Europol in The Hague, Netherlands.
“International law enforcement has recognized that the only way to truly disrupt and defeat transnational, anonymized networks is to do so in partnership,” Brady said. “The collaborative and simultaneous prosecution of the members of the GozNym criminal conspiracy in four countries represents a paradigm shift in how we investigate and prosecute cybercrime. Cybercrime victimizes people all over the world. This prosecution represents an international cooperative effort to bring cybercriminals to justice.”
The defendants reside in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria. Without the hope of extradition to the United States, five of the hackers who reside in Russia remain at large.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles A. “Tod” Eberle, the chief of national security and cybercrime for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Since Roe v. Wade declared in 1973 that abortion was legal in the US, anti-abortion activists have worked to chip away at abortion access.
Over the years, states have imposed measures like Targeted Restriction on Abortion Providers (TRAP) Laws, fetal heartbeat limits, and required waiting periods to make it more difficult to seek the procedure.
Alabama’s legislature recently passed a near-total ban on abortions, one of several extreme abortion laws passed nationwide — all of which appear to be part of a larger effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The US Supreme Court declared abortion was legal and that women had a constitutional right to the procedure with the landmark case Roe v. Wade in 1973.
But the reality of that right today varies considerably across the states.
Since then, anti-abortion activists and lawmakers have found ways around Roe to make it as difficult as possible for women to get the procedure in most states. In 2018, for instance, 15 states adopted 27 new restrictions on abortion and family planning. The year before, states added 63 new abortion restrictions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a leading research and policy organization on reproductive health.
The most recent win for anti-abortion activists occurred in May when Alabama’s Republican-controlled state legislature passed a near-total ban on abortions in the state. The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by the state’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could face up to 99 years in prison. The law also makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and only allows the woman to have the procedure if her life is at serious risk.
The Alabama ban is just one of several extreme abortion laws recently passed — all of which appear to be part of a larger effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion lawmakers hope Alabama’s bill will be challenged in court and ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court, which has swung increasingly conservative since President Donald Trump took office.
Here’s a look at some of the major state laws that are restricting access to abortion across the country:
Nine states specify the size of the procedure rooms, eight specify the width of the clinic corridors, and 10 require physicians to have either admission privileges at a nearby hospital, or an alternative arrangement like an agreement with a physician who has admitting privileges, in case complications arise — even though less than 0.5% of abortions result in complications that require a hospital visit.
An Alabama law mandated that abortion clinics cannot be within 2,000 yards from a school before a judge struck it down.
The most famous law, Texas’s HB2, went all the way to the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In June 2016, the high court struck it down in a 5-3 decision.
The justices concluded that the law “provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”
Though SCOTUS deemed Texas’s TRAP law unconstitutional, 24 states still have laws on the books that “regulate abortion providers and go beyond what is necessary to ensure patients’ safety,” according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Specific week bans
One of the most common ways to restrict abortions is to set limits on when women can get them. Specific week bans, the most popular of which is the 20-week ban, only allow abortions before 20 weeks into the pregnancy, for example.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court didn’t specify when abortions were legal, deciding at the time to vaguely make it unconstitutional to outlaw them up until the fetus was “viable,” since the science hadn’t (and still hasn’t) determined at the time when that was, medically speaking.
States have seized on this ambiguity and passed specific week bans. A whopping 43 states have passed some type of gestational limit, usually only allowing exceptions to if the mother’s life is in danger.
According to 2014 data, 89% of elective abortions occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. The vast majority of the 10% that occur after are for medical reasons.
In December 2016, the Ohio legislature passed a bill that would ban abortion after the fetus’ heartbeat can be detected.
Gov. John Kasich vetoed the so-called heartbeat bill, saying it was “clearly contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion,” and that signing it into law would ensure the “State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars” in a losing lawsuit. (He also signed a 20-week ban into law that same day).
In recent months, the governors of Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky and Georgia have signed bills banning abortion after a heartbeat can be detected. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Kentucky’s bill, and similar laws have been struck down in Iowa and North Dakota.
Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in May, and will become enforceable in 2020 (unless it is challenged in court before then), is considered one of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the country. The law includes provisions that would establish fetuses as full people under the law — meaning the doctors who perform the procedure, or the women who seek it, could be criminalized.
In March of 2016, Utah passed a law requiring patients undergoing an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy to be put under anesthesia or given pain killers, based off the medically unsubstantiated claim that fetuses are able to feel physical pain.
A 2005 study on the issue of fetal pain found that the nerve and perception systems are not developed enough for a fetus to feel pain until 29 or 30 weeks of pregnancy, a point at which practically zero abortions occur.
Thirteen states currently require abortion providers to counsel women undergoing the procedure on the unproven fetal pain claim.
Personhood initatives seek to define unborn embryos and fetuses as people under the law, affording them all the same rights and thus effectively classifying abortion as murder. For instance, Republican State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart said in an interview with Fox & Friends that Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” establishes “personhood at the point that the human heartbeat is detected.”
The debate around “personhood” also played out in Alabama in May, when the state’s Senate approved a measure that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state, paving the way for the nation’s most restrictive abortion bill. The law makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and doctors who perform the procedure could face up to 99 years in prison. The bill’s supporters said that allowing exceptions would weaken the law’s argument for the personhood of the fetus.
There are other federal and state laws that make provisions to prosecute people who injure fetuses. Several states have laws that prosecute mothers who use illegal drugs while pregnant, and the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act makes it illegal to harm a fetus while killing or injuring the mother in a federal crime.
Bans on “partial birth” abortion
Twenty states currently ban what is termed “partial-birth” abortion, in which the fetus or fetal tissue is removed from the uterus, following a 2007 Supreme Court case that allowed bans on such procedures.
But doctors say the phrase “partial-birth” is misleading and inaccurate. “One can’t be partially born. In obstetrics, you are pregnant or you aren’t, and you are delivered or you are not,” Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OBGYN and abortion provider, explained in the Huffington Post in 2016.
What lawmakers call “partial-birth” abortions are medically defined as dilation and evacuation (D&E), a surgical procedure used in late-term miscarriages and abortions to remove the fetal tissue as safely as possible. They account for less than 0.5% of all abortions.
Trump falsely claimed during the campaign that an OB-GYN can “rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” an assertion that caught fire among abortion opponents.
The bill, however, didn’t make it far. In the 1976 case Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, the US Supreme Court ruled that requiring the permission of the fetus’ father or the spouse of someone seeking an abortion is unconstitutional.
In an interview with The Intercept in February 2017, the bill’s author, state Rep. Justin Humphrey, said he wanted to make sure men were included in women’s decisions to have abortions.
“I understand that [women] feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he said.
Cutting public funding
Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal Medicaid funding from subsidizing abortions except in rare exceptions of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.
Several individual states have since followed suit, with 32 prohibiting the use of state funding for abortions of low-income women on government assistance.
Title X gives grants to clinics so that low-income and uninsured patients can access family planning services they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.
Bans on abortion coverage in private insurance plans
Ten states currently ban private insurance companies from offering plans that include abortion coverage to any resident.
An additional 15 states ban a combination of state and federal employees, those who receive coverage through Medicaid, and/or those who purchase health plans through the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act from purchasing plans that include abortion coverage.
Some of these states do make exceptions for incest, rape, and danger to the pregnant person’s life, and/or allow the purchase of abortion coverage at an additional cost.
Requiring waiting periods
Twenty-seven states require people seeking an abortion to undergo a 24- to 72-hour waiting period between receiving abortion counseling and actually undergoing the procedure.
Fourteen of those states mandate patients make two trips to a facility by requiring the counseling take place in-person before the waiting period begins.
A 2013 study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project found that a third of women reported that the required counseling and multiple clinic visits “negatively affected their emotional well-being.”
The women surveyed traveled an average of 42 miles to get to a clinic, and spent an average of $146 to cover the additional transportation and childcare costs (59% of women who get abortions in the US are mothers already).
While advocates of these periods say they’re necessary for a patient to truly make an informed decision about terminating her pregnancy, research disputes that claim.
A separate study published in 2012 that surveyed 5,100 women who had to undergo a waiting period and multiple trips to a clinic concluded: “In nearly nine out of 10 cases, women expressed high confidence in their abortion decision before they received any counseling; these women would likely not benefit from additional mandated counseling or delay.”
Seventeen states require that for medication abortions — a safe and common method for first-trimester abortions — the doctor who prescribed the medication must be physically present while the patient takes it.
The FDA approved mifepristone for medication abortions in 2000. To terminate the pregnancy, the woman takes one pill, then another pill 24 to 48 hours later.
In states with this requirement, women have to have doctors watch them take both pills in person, adding an additional access barrier for those who live in rural areas.
An additional 12 states let providers refuse to administer contraception, nine states let institutions refuse to provide contraception-related services, and six let pharmacy workers refuse to fill prescriptions related to contraception or abortion.
These laws can impose burdens on people seeking abortion-related services if their state allows anyone to deny them.
Some of these refusal laws came into the spotlight in June 2018, when a pharmacist in Arizona refused to fill a prescription for a drug to expel a fetus prescribed to a woman having an involuntary miscarriage. The pharmacist’s refusal to do so, based off his religious beliefs, is legal under Arizona law.
Thirty-four states require that patients receive counseling and be given certain information before undergoing an abortion procedure.
While most of these states provide largely accurate information about fetal development, gestational age, and potential risks, some require doctors to provide blatantly misleading or inaccurate information.
Thirteen states require doctors to inform patients of medically un-proven claims that fetuses can feel pain, six states mandate that patients be told personhood begins at conception, and four states provide false information that an abortion can be “reversed” with a pill during the procedure.
Blocking physician assistants and advanced practice nurses from administering medication
Thirty-four states require that those who prescribe the drug mifepristone for non-surgical abortions preformed in the first trimester of pregnancy must be licensed physicians, despite the World Health Organization’s guidelines that physician’s assistants and advanced practice nurses can safely administer the drug as well.
These restrictions on who can administer medication abortion limit the ability to access such drugs, and abortion overall.
Eleven US states require abortion providers to conduct ultrasounds on patients before undergoing an abortion, with nine of them mandating that patients be given the option to view the ultrasound image.
Three states — Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin — go as far to require that the provider show and describe the ultrasound image.
Numerous studies have shown that these requirements are largely ineffective, and don’t have much of an impact on patients considering abortion.
A researcher with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, which conducted a 2013 study of 300 women who underwent the mandated ultrasounds and descriptions of the images, concluded that “women reported being equally confident about their decision after seeing the ultrasound and hearing its description.”
A 2014 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology that surveyed over 15,000 women who underwent an abortion found that 98% of those who looked at an ultrasound went on to terminate their pregnancies.
Exempting sex selection or disability
Eight states ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus, Arizona bans abortion based on race, and three states require counseling for perinatal hospice services if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
In 2017, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill to outlaw abortions of fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome.
But a federal judge granted an injunction against the law after the ACLU and other groups challenged it in court, ruling that it was unconstitutional on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment. A court struck down a similar measure passed in Indiana.
North Dakota’s ban on abortions of fetuses diagnosed with Downs syndrome is effectively un-enforceable, since the state’s one abortion clinic does not perform abortions after 16 weeks, according to USA Today.
While sex-based abortions of female fetuses are more commonplace in countries such as China and India, there is not substantial evidence that it occurs on a widespread basis in the United States. The sex of a fetus is not clearly discernible until between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 95% of abortions take place before the 16-week mark, according to 2014 data.
Parental consent or notification
Thirty-seven states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion, mandating some combination of parental notification, consent, or both 24 to 48 hours before the procedure. Several states allow other relatives or legal guardians to give the consent.
All of these states allow minors to get around the parental involvement requirements if they get a waiver from a judge and meet certain conditions. They also allow for exceptions in cases of medical emergency, incest, assault, or neglect of a minor.
Requiring abortion clinics to bury or cremate the remains of fetuses
In the past few years, at least five states have introduced and passed laws requiring that fetal remains resulting from abortions, miscarriages, or stillbirths be either cremated or buried, regardless of the patient’s wishes and largely at the patient’s expense.
The states that have imposed these laws have claimed they are necessary to preserve the “dignity” of the fetus, but abortion-rights advocates say they are simply another way of shaming and imposing additional burdens on women who choose abortion.
While North Carolina’s requirement is still intact, federal judges struck down both Texas’ and Indiana’s attempts to enact such laws. Indiana has since appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and a similar measure was also passed by Ohio’s Senate in March.
“Regulations to require burial or cremation of fetal tissue further stigmatize abortion services and pregnancy loss, and may contradict the wishes of abortion patients,” Guttmacher said in 2018.
Trigger laws if Roe falls
If the Supreme Court even reverses itself and overturns Roe v. Wade, seven states have trigger laws that would immediately make abortion illegal within their borders. Tennessee most recently signed one of these bills into law.
Nine states have their pre-Roe abortion bans still in effect that currently aren’t enforced, which would go into effect if Roe ever falls. On the flip side, seven states have laws that would keep abortion legal if the court strikes down Roe.
State funding for crisis pregnancy centers
Crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, are centers with the goal to dissuade pregnant women from seeking abortion. They are commonly affiliated with anti-abortion religious groups.
CPCs have come under scrutiny in recent years for masquerading as legitimate medical providers (some are licensed to administer sonograms or pregnancy tests but many are not) to provide false or misleading claims about abortion to unsuspecting patients seeking fact-based information about the practice.
A 2006 Congressional report found 87% of CPCs surveyed disseminated medically discredited claims that abortion is linked to breast cancer, mental illness, uterine damage, and infertility. Others have been reported to intentionally mislead women about abortion laws in their state or even how far along they are in their pregnancies.
Many CPCs even use confusing names and signage to trick patients into believing they are abortion clinics. Several have the word “choice” in their name, and some strategically locate themselves next to abortion clinics or park buses outside of them, offering free ultrasounds to lure women inside.
Partially thanks to about $60 million in federal funding combined with millions more in funding from states, CPCs have become widespread in America, outnumbering actual abortion clinics in many areas. Mississippi, for example, has 38 crisis pregnancy centers, one of which is located across the street from the state’s one remaining abortion clinic.
In 2019, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would be awarding as much as $5.1 million to The Obria Group, a national network of crisis pregnancy clinics opposed to abortion. The group plans to use the grant to fund programs including sexual risk avoidance education and natural family planning.
“Choose Life” license plates
One of the subtle ways states fund CPCs and other anti-abortion efforts are by selling specialized “choose life” license plates through their Department of Motor Vehicles, going for anywhere between $25 and $70.
Seventeen of the 32 states that offer such plates donate part of the proceeds to CPCs or other anti-abortion organizations, and 19 give proceeds to adoption agencies or adoption counseling services.
Ten states prohibit revenue from “choose life” plates from funding any organizations that offer abortion services, counseling, or referrals.
Some organizations have criticized states for the practice, arguing that the government cannot legally use taxpayer money to explicitly endorse certain political views over others. The matter has not yet been challenged in court.
Restrictions on Plan B
Though not technically an abortion restriction because emergency contraception prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg, laws restricting access to Plan B and other forms of emergency contraception can keep women from choosing to get pregnant, too.
Plan B One-Step was approved by the FDA for over-the-counter purchase in 2013, and many states have chosen to expand access to emergency contraception, but others restrict access to the drug, which prevents fertilization when taken shortly after unprotected sex.
Nine states restrict access to emergency contraception, with six permitting pharmacists to refuse to dispense any contraceptives, and three allowing them to deny dispensing only emergency contraception.
Arkansas and North Carolina additionally do not include emergency contraception in their contraceptive coverage mandates, and Texas excludes contraception from its state family planning programs.
Laws around the protection of abortion clinics
In many areas, abortion clinics are frequented by protestors outside who often intimidate and harass patients who try to enter, presenting a significant deterrent to patients as they enter and creating a general safety hazard.
Only 14 states have laws that protect patients and staff at clinics from being harassed and intimidated in this manner.
While 12 states prohibit blocking the entrance to a clinic, only six make it a crime to harass abortion providers or patients, three make vandalism and property damage of clinics illegal, and two prohibit harassing clinics by telephone.
Criminal Mindswon’t air season 15 until midway through the 2019-2020 TV season.
TV Guidereports the final season will likely premiere in late winter or early spring.
The show’s usual time slot on Wednesdays will be taken over by S.W.A.T.
It’s a tough time to be a Criminal Minds fan. First, the series broke our hearts after revealing the show is ending in season 15. Now the procedural is adding salt to the wound by announcing that the final episodes won’t even air this year.
TV Guide first reported the news that the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit was noticeably absent from its usual spot on Wednesday nights. Ironically enough, the time slot will be filled by former Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore’s new show, S.W.A.T. Of course, loyal viewers remember Shemar as the hunky Derek Morgan.
It might be an entire year before the BAU graces our small screens again.
There’s still no word on the exact premiere date for season 15, but according to the publication “it’s likely CBS will run the final 10 episodes in late winter or early spring.” With season 14 finishing up back in February, that means viewers might wait a year—or even longer—for new episodes. As for what those sure-to-be thrilling installments will entail, the cast and crew have been careful not to reveal any spoilers.
Criminal Minds isn’t the only show that’s being held until midseason. Both MacGyverand Man with a Plan are being benched, too. Thenetwork is also introducing three new shows in the middle of the TV season: FBI: Most Wanted,Tommy, and Broke, which stars former NCIS actress Pauley Perrette.
President Trump has indicated that he is considering pardons for several American military members accused or convicted of war crimes, including high-profile cases of murder, attempted murder and desecration of a corpse, according to two United States officials.
The officials said that the Trump administration had made expedited requests this week for paperwork needed to pardon the troops on or around Memorial Day.
One request is for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs, who is scheduled to stand trial in the coming weeks on charges of shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive with a knife while deployed in Iraq.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said they had not seen a complete list, and did not know if other service members were included in the request for pardon paperwork.
The White House sent requests on Friday to the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney, which alerted the military branches, according to one senior military official. Pardon files include background information and details on criminal charges, and in many cases include letters describing how the person in question has made amends.
The official said while assembling pardon files typically takes months, the Justice Department stressed that all files would have to be complete before Memorial Day weekend, because the President planned to pardon the men then. A second United States official confirmed the request concerning Chief Gallagher.
The military branches referred questions to the Justice Department, which declined to comment on the matter.
Mr. Trump has often bypassed traditional channels in granting pardons and wielded his power freely, sometimes in politically charged cases that resonate with him personally, such as the conviction of the former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. Earlier this month, the president pardoned former Army First Lt. Michael Behenna, who had been convicted of killing an Iraqi during an interrogation in 2008.
While the requests for pardon files are a strong sign of the president’s plans, Mr. Trump has been known to change his mind and it is not clear what the impetus was for the requests. But most of the troops who are positioned for a pardon have been championed by conservative lawmakers and media organizations, such as Fox News, which have portrayed them as being unfairly punished for trying to do their job. Many have pushed for the president to intervene. The White House declined to comment.
Pardoning several accused and convicted war criminals at once, including some who have not yet gone to trial, has not been done in recent history, legal experts said. Some worried that it could erode the legitimacy of military law and undercut good order and discipline in the ranks.
“These are all extremely complicated cases that have gone through a careful system of consideration. A freewheeling pardon undermines that whole system,” said Gary Solis, a retired military judge and armor officer who served in Vietnam. “It raises the prospect in the minds of the troops that says, ‘Whatever we do, if we can get the folks back home behind us, maybe we can get let off.’”
Chief Gallagher’s lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, was surprised by the news that the president could be considering a pardon, and said ideally the chief would be acquitted at trial.
“We want the opportunity to exonerate my client,” Mr. Parlatore said in an interview. “At the same time, there is always a risk in going to trial. My primary objective is to get Chief Gallagher home to his family. To that end, Chief Gallagher would welcome any involvement by the president.”
Other than violating military law, the cases the president is said to be considering defy easy categorization.
Navy SEALs who served with Chief Gallagher told authorities he indiscriminately shot at civilians, gunning down a young woman in a flowered hijab and an unarmed old man. They also said he stabbed a teenage captive, then bragged about it in text messages. His trial is set to start at the end of this month. If convicted, he faces life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty and denies all charges.
Major Golsteyn is charged with killing an Afghan man that he and other soldiers said had bomb-making materials. After an interrogation, the soldiers let the man go. Fearing that the man would return to making improvised explosives, which had already killed two Marines in the area, Major Golsteyn later said he killed the man.
Mr. Trump has singled both men out on Twitter, calling Major Golsteyn a “U.S. Military hero,” and praising Chief Gallagher for his service to the country.
The Blackwater contractor, Nicholas A. Slatten, is one of several Blackwater contractors charged in the killing of 17 Iraqis and the wounding of 20 more on a Baghdad street. After a number of mistrials and other delays, he is the only one who has been convicted.
The Marines charged in urinating on the corpse of a Taliban fighter were caught after a video of the act was found.
The fact that the requests were sent from the White House to the Justice Department, instead of the other way around, is a reversal of long-established practices, said Margaret Love, who served as the United States pardon attorney during the first Bush administration and part of the Clinton administration.
Long ago, presidents wielded clemency power directly, Ms. Love said, but that changed at the end of the Civil War when President Lincoln delegated review of clemency requests to his attorney general. Since then, cases have generally been vetted by Justice Department lawyers before being sent to the president.
President Trump has upended that practice, often issuing pardons with little or no notice to the Justice Department, she said, adding that the fact the department is requesting files on men like Chief Gallagher at all suggests that Attorney General William P. Barr is trying to re-exert some authority over the process.
Process aside, she said that pardoning the men would be an abrupt departure from the past.
“Presidents use pardons to send messages. They recognize when a process wasn’t just or when punishments were too extreme, like for some nonviolent drug cases,” she said. “If this president is planning to pardon a bunch of people charged with war crimes, he will use the pardon power to send a far darker message.”
From Japan’s SoftBank to the Australian sovereign wealth fund, foreign money is pouring into Silicon Valley startups.
While it may be tempting for founders to take large checks from generous investors, attorney Doreen Edelman said that US companies need to consider the risks they take when accepting foreign investments.
Companies in industries like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and robotics may see their foreign investments rejected by the US government on the grounds of national security.
While it’s possible to get some investments through, Edelman said, the more access and control an investor has, the more time, paperwork and money it will take to get approved.
Uber took a $3.5 billion investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund in 2016, and gave a board seat to its managing director.
Databricks took $33.24 million in 2015 in a round with participation from Future Fund, the Australian sovereign wealth fund.
And Zumper took $45.65 million in a 2018 round led by Axel Springer, the German publishing giant (which also happens to own Business Insider).
Yes, the early days of Silicon Valley were so geographically constricted that many of the most high-profile investments were made by people who worked near each other on the legendary Sand Hill Road. But today, the startup investment ecosystem is global, with large checks being written by foreign allies and adversaries alike.
While investors are eager to open their wallets, taking a foreign investment isn’t as simple as cashing a check, said Doreen Edelman, head of Lowenstein Sandler’s Global Trade & Policy Group.
As US startup founders consider to whom they want to sell equity, they must also consider a host of legal issues that could come up with foreign investors, she said.
Depending on the circumstances, investments from foreign investors could create delays, extra paperwork, and result in costly fees. In the most extreme cases, the investment may be blocked entirely. Even if the investment has been completed, though, the US government may force a divestiture afterwards.
Sanctions and tariffs can also create problems for companies down the road.
Before any of that happens, these are the five questions Edelman says every tech founder needs to ask themselves when considering a foreign investment.
Companies outside of those industries can voluntarily file with CFIUS as well just to make sure everything is in good standing.
In theory, regulations against foreign investments are designed to prevent foreign governments from getting access to technology or intellectual property that could harm US national security. You probably don’t want a foreign government to have access to the software used by the National Security Agency, for example.
But the definition of “national security” is up to a continuous, fluctuating interpretation.
Traditionally such laws only impacted technologies in the defense sector. But today the US government takes a broader scope, Edelman said.
“It could be anything, if you look at it through the lens of, what could an anti-US government or group do with it?” she said.
Could that change in the future?
Whether or not a technology is used by the defense sector today, Edelman said, it’s important that founders consider whether they could eventually grow into the niche.
“Could you be in the defense sector? Be aware of what that will mean going forward,” she said. “To some companies, it just means we have to plan ahead, just like any other government filings. We may have to make additional filings. And that just takes time and money.”
Under certain circumstance, she said, the government could force the foreign investor to divest from the startup, or the company may be forced to avoid certain natural growth opportunities involving their product development, so as to not rock the boat.
“If Chinese money is going to invest in a potential defense product, even a commercial product that may work in the defense sector in the future, you need to be prepared that it’s going to affect what you can do down the road,” Edelman said, adding that the same concern applies to investors from other countries.
“You’re going to be limited because the US government is not going to allow you to have that technology or those patents or that software that can be contracted away to the Chinese, or just for the Chinese to have access to that technology,” she said.
Who is the investor?
While CFIUS has more-or-less put a pause on all acquisitions and investments between the US and China, founders need to pay attention to foreign investors whether they are based in a country that is a friend or a foe to the US.
“It can be Canada. It can be Israel. It can be Germany,” said Edelman.
Ultimately, whether or not an investment is an issue will come down to the specifics of the investment, Edelman added.
If Mubadala, a state-owned investment firm in the United Arab Emirates, was a limited partner in a funding round without any control over the company, it would most likely not cause a stir.
“If it’s truly an LP just investing for money,” she said, “it can invest in whatever it wants.”
That said, founders will want to be mindful of the shifting geopolitical landscape since the Trump Administration mixes politics and trade differently than in the past, she said.
“This president is using the tools in his tool box differently,” Edelman said.
A Japanese company that does business with North Korea or Iran will be viewed differently than a Japanese company that doesn’t, for example.
“It’s very possible that the political situation would allow this administration to use these trade tools to either punish or enforce the political positions that the president is taking. That’s why ‘national security’ is flexible in how the government defines these terms,” said Edelman.
Will they have access to the “secret sauce?”
Another question founders should ask before taking a foreign investment is how much information they would be required to share with the investor.
Foreign access to “any control technology or the secret sauce or the IP or personal data” could all create issues for the company, Edelman said.
Early stage investors are often deeply involved in the business process, and access intellectual property and customer data as part of day-to-day business. The US government sometimes requires permits to share technology between countries.
Companies in industries highlighted by FIRRMA are required to file with CFIUS if investors will have access to their technology.
Founders must also consider whether there are any export controls on their product.
While a tech company may not necessarily export products via ships at sea, some cloud based software is still controlled for export and may face restrictions on who can use it or buy it abroad.
“A tech company that doesn’t export but is going to take foreign investment needs to understand if any of its product is controlled for export,” Edelman said.
Will they have a board seat?
Giving up a board seat to a foreign investor further complicates the process.
Japan’s SoftBank has made tons of investments in US tech startups, but even it failed to get approval for two seats on Uber’s board.
“If you want to give them the board seat, you need to know that would require you to go through the CIFIUS process,” Edelman said regarding companies under the FIRRMA pilot program guidelines.
Even companies which are not mandated to file may be inclined to file because of the board seat, she said.
Criminal Minds stars Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, and Daniel Henney.
The 15th and final season of Criminal Minds was announced in January, with CBS’ EVP current programs Amy Reisenbach saying, “It is the quintessential CBS hit. We are so proud to have aired it. It speaks to everything we do best, which is air quality television. It’s been successful not only on air but online, in syndication, internationally for ABC (Studios).”
Erica Messer, Criminal Minds’ executive producer and showrunner, spoke to Deadline about the end of the show, saying, “In some ways, the series has always felt like the little engine that could,” then going on to thank CBS for being “a great home for a very long time.”
“What’s so bittersweet about it, is that we are going out still with stories to tell, and we’re not on life support,” she then added. “We’re not a show that got moved from night, to night, to night. I’m not talking ill of any of those shows, but all those signs that you usually see before a show is gone, we didn’t have any of that.”
The network wanted to honor the legacy of the show and give it one final season, despite a decline in ratings over the past few seasons.
“We wanted to make sure Erica had the time and ability to write a season (14) finale that honors the characters and the fans,” Reisenbach said. “We discussed wanting to keep the show in continuous production so 10 felt like the right number for us to roll straight into and give Erica enough episodes to end the series the way she wanted to.”
The court-martial of a highly decorated Navy SEAL platoon leader on war crimes charges has been thrown into turmoil by, of all things, a harmless-looking image of a bald eagle perched on the scales of justice.
The bit of digital artwork, embedded in an email message, contained hidden software that could track if anyone read or forwarded the email, and may have also been able to allow access to all communications and files on the recipients’ computers, defense lawyers argue in court filings.
The email was sent last week to defense lawyers representing Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher by the lead Navy prosecutor in the murder case against the chief, apparently with the judge’s approval. The tracking software was also included in emails sent to lawyers for the chief’s commanding officer — Lt. Jacob Portier, who is charged in a related case — and to a journalist for Navy Times covering both cases.
Furious at what they see as an improper attempt to spy on them, the defense lawyers are demanding an investigation, and the suspension of proceedings against both men while it is conducted. Chief Gallagher’s trial is currently scheduled to begin May 28.
“This was a cyberwarfare attack, this is not just some software you get at Walmart,” said Jeremiah J. Sullivan III, who represents Lieutenant Portier. “It has violated my client’s constitutional rights, and it created a conflict of interest that calls into question whether prosecutor and the judge can stay on the case.”
The prosecution of Chief Gallagher has been highly contentious. He is accused of gunning down civilians and knifing a captive ISIS fighter to death while leading a platoon of SEALs in Iraq in 2017. Lieutenant Portier is charged with failing to report the killings. Both men have pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.
The Gallagher case in particular has been the subject of a steady stream of leaks in recent months. Even after the Navy judge in the case, Capt. Aaron Rugh, imposed a gag order, important information has sometimes reached reporters before some of the lawyers involved the case have seen it.
According to a court motion filed by the defense, the clandestine tracking software was sent in an attempt to catch the leakers and sanction them for contempt of court. Judge Rugh and the lead prosecutor, Cmdr. Christopher W. Czaplak, worked with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the United States attorney’s office in San Diego to deploy the software, and met three times to discuss the action without defense lawyers present, according to the motion.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service acknowledged in a statement it used “an audit capability” in the course of its investigation into the leaks, but said, “It is not malware, not a virus, and does not reside on computer systems. There is no risk that systems are corrupted or compromised.”
Defense lawyers grew suspicious when the bald-eagle image did not load correctly on some email accounts, and instead appeared as a hyperlink to a nonmilitary server. They confronted prosecutors about it in a conference with the judge.
In communications with defense lawyers, Commander Czaplak characterized the software hidden in his office’s emails with the defense lawyers as an “audit tool.” He said he could neither confirm nor deny that it was part of a contempt investigation, and referred questions about the matter to Fred Sheppard, an assistant United States attorney.
A spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office is San Diego, where Mr. Sheppard works, said the office “is not handling the ongoing court-martial proceedings involving Edward Gallagher and is not involved in the production or dissemination of discovery in that case.”
In response to the defense motions concerning the tracking software, Navy prosecutors said in a court filing this week that information about it was privileged, and that they were not required to share anything more about it.
Prosecutors also sent the tracking software in an email message directly to Carl Prine, a reporter for Navy Times who has been the recipientof many leaks concerning the Gallagher case.
The executive editor of Navy Times, Andrew Tilghman, said in a statement Thursday that the targeting of a reporter was “a troubling assault on journalists and the work we do.”
“These are not classified documents that we’re talking about, so it’s especially disturbing to find that the military took these extreme measures to secretly surveil the activities of our reporter,” Mr. Tilghman said. “This is potentially unlawful, and should be thoroughly investigated.”
He said that Mr. Prine would not cover any news related to the tracking software hidden in the eagle image.
Bill Marczak, a cybersecurity expert at Citizen Lab, a research institute at the University of Toronto, said the software was linked to a private server, and could record where, when, and potentially who was reading the email. Mr. Marczak said the server has since been shut down.
According to a military email, the software may have been able to do more than that. In that email, military cybersecurity analysts report to an Air Force lawyer who was detailed to help represent Lieutenant Portier that the tracking software might also have been able to “uncover any actionable insights from all your data (email messages, attachments, etc.) you send and receive.”
Air Force cybersecurity experts have taken the lawyer’s computer and phone for inspection.
Seasoned legal observers say the attempt to detect leaks of nonclassified material — a relatively minor civil offense — may upend the Gallagher court-martial, a major criminal case that has the attention of top officials in Washington.
“I can’t believe they did this, it’s so stupid,” said William Glasser, a retired Army and Navy prosecutor. “Even if they caught the leaker, I think the judge and prosecutor will have to be removed, because now they are part of the investigation against the defense. There is an inherent conflict of interest.”
“Plus it violates the sacred attorney-client relationship,” he added.
The defense lawyers said in court filings that the software appeared to have been deployed without the proper search warrant, and may have violated constitutional protections against unwarranted searches and seizures.
Patrick Korody, a former Navy prosecutor who he has worked with Commander Czaplak, said he doubted that the commander would have acted without proper clearance, but he still questioned the wisdom of the move to use the tracking software.
“This may all be authorized, they may have had the proper warrant, but it is so reckless,” he said, “because it still creates all kinds of conflicts.”
Mr. Korody said that at the very least, questions over the attempted snooping could delay both of the SEAL cases for months.
Sending the software to Mr. Prine, the Navy Times reporter, was also a questionable move, according to Susan McGregor, who teaches digital security and ethics at the Columbia University School of Journalism. “It may well violate accepted legal standards for journalists’ privilege, as well as the journalist’s Fourth Amendment rights,” she said.
The revelations about the tracking software further complicate what was already shaping up as a difficult case for prosecutors. Though several members of Chief Gallagher’s SEAL platoon have said they saw the chief shoot civilians or stab the teenage ISIS fighter when he lay wounded and helpless, no formal investigation was begun for nearly a year, and by that time, much of the physical evidence in the case, including victims’ bodies, could not be recovered.
Prosecutors have also accused Chief Gallagher of trying to intimidate witnesses in the case. He denies those accusations as well.
Supporters of the chief, including his wife and brother, have made his case something of a cause célèbre, portraying him repeatedly in media appearances as a hero wrongly prosecuted for doing his job. They say they have raised more than $500,000 in donations for his defense.
Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, announced at a news conference last week that he had video footage that he said would clear Chief Gallagher, but he did not show the footage to reporters. Mr. Hunter said he planned to ask President Trump to pardon the chief if he is convicted.
Chief Gallagher, who is restricted to a Naval facility in San Diego as he awaits trial, recently dismissed his lead attorney, Philip Stackhouse, a San Diego lawyer experienced in military law, and hired Timothy Parlatore, a New York lawyer who says in his business profile that he is skilled at handling “high-profile cases where adept media relations are a necessity.”
“I think this case should be dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct,” Mr. Parlatore said of the Gallagher court-martial in a phone interview this week. “They were caught spying. We need the prosecutor under oath to find out what he did, and we need to hear from the judge.”
After an internal email meant to resurface Google’s data sharing policies sparked concerns from employees last week, an update was sent via the company’s daily newsletter on Tuesday to clarify the tech giant’s position.
The update — which was formatted as a Q&A with Google’s Chief Legal Officer, Kent Walker — reiterated the reason for data access controls and tried putting to rest fears that collaboration across teams would be harmed.
But two current employees who spoke to Business Insider said Walker’s most recent remarks didn’t go far enough to address internal fears that Google will use its broad definitions around data sharing for arbitrary retaliation.
Below is the full note Google distributed internally on Tuesday containing Walker’s comments and clarifications on the rules.
Google spooked employees last week when it sent a company-wide “reminder” that sharing certain kinds of data, even with colleagues within the company, can be a fireable offense.
Some employees that Business Insider spoke with saw the email as part of a push to clamp down on leaks at a time of unrest at the company. And they worried that the reminder email was actually a tightening of data sharing rules that could chill workplace collaboration and that Google could use as a pretext to discipline certain employees.
The note caused enough internal agitation that Google took steps to calm the waters on Tuesday with a follow-up note designed to clarify the rules around sharing “need to know” information.
The update — which was formatted as a Q&A with Google’s Chief Legal Officer, Kent Walker — reiterated the reason for having controls on data access and tried putting to rest fears that collaboration across teams would be harmed.
Tuesday’s update states that Google’s internal data controls and classifications have been around since 2007, but that it has “periodically updated the policy language to make it easier to understand and apply.” Some of those updates include adding examples of “need-to-know” information, like project plans and customer data, but that there’s been no change to the “intent of the policies.”
“[The policies] contribute to a culture where people can have candid conversations, collaborate on joint projects, and share post-mortems or design docs with others as useful for their work,” Walker said in the note. “Particularly at our scale, it’s important that we have clear rules and are all on the same page.”
A tool to squash leaks about controversial projects?
Still, two current employees who spoke to Business Insider said Walker’s most recent remarks didn’t go far enough to address internal fears that Google will use its broad definitions around data sharing to retaliate against employees who raise concerns over controversial projects or participate in workplace organizing efforts, like the November Walkout to protest Google’s approach to sexual harassment complaints.
“It mostly ignores the concern about the policy possibly being used to retaliate arbitrarily,” one current employee told us.
Walker’s email last week reminded employees that improperly accessing, copying, or sharing “need-to-know” or “classified” information — whether or not it was labeled as such — could result in disciplinary action and, firing. In Tuesday’s note, Walker said those disciplinary actions were “generally taken” against individuals who intentionally violated its policies, especially in a way that caused serious risk to user privacy or was harmful to co-workers.
A Google spokesperson told Business Insider that a certain level of common sense was used by the company when assessing a violation of its policies and whether or not it warranted disciplinary action.
But another current employee told Business Insider that Google’s response “actually confirms that the intent is to make it explicitly against the rules for Googlers to do research into what the company is working on with the intent of having some say in it.”
Both of the employees who spoke to Business Insider questioned the timing of these update emails — amid heightened fears of retaliation against organizers at Google — and say it is unclear how the policy will be applied.
Here’s the company-wide email sent to Googlers on Tuesday with answers from Chief Legal Officer, Kent Walker:
Subject: [Daily Insider] More on data classifications
Last week, Kent Walker sent Googlers a reminder of our data classification policies. We sat down with Kent to learn a bit more.
What’s the goal of the policies? Our security policies around data are designed to protect the various kinds of sensitive user, partner, and business information we work with. That includes things like user data, partners’ payment information, healthcare records, product plans, device specs, or financial projections, or our own internal sensitive materials. The policies have always had a few purposes. They contribute to a culture where people can have candid conversations, collaborate on joint projects, and share post-mortems or design docs with others as useful for their work. They enable us to meet our commitments to users, and confidently tell partners that Googlers are treating, accessing, and sharing their data appropriately. And there are legal consequences for Google and our employees if we don’t treat user and partner data carefully — especially as we work with partners (ranging from healthcare companies to ad agencies to OEMs) who have serious obligations and an expectation that we’ll access their information only as necessary.
How long have we had these kinds of policies? We’ve had a number of access controls for many years, and have had policies around various categories and classifications of data since 2007. So these polices are longstanding. Particularly at our scale, it’s important that we have clear rules and are all on the same page. We have periodically updated the policy language to make it easier to understand and apply. For example, we added examples of things we’ve always considered Need-to-Know data, like project plans and customer data. But there’s been no change in the intent of the policies.
What if I access Need-to-Know data even if I don’t have a business reason to do so? Even if the data isn’t clearly marked, if you think the content should be labeled Need-to-Know, please let the relevant people or the team at misdirected data know that the file may not have the right access controls. And obviously don’t share the document or its contents with others. I do want to note that we’ve generally taken disciplinary action over intentional violations of these policies, typically involving serious leaks of data, risks to user privacy or harm to co-workers, or actions that jeopardized our business operations or potentially violated our legal obligations. Fortunately, those instances have been rare.
What about documents that aren’t labeled? Good labelling and appropriate access controls reduce the chances of inadvertent access. But while labels are helpful, the nature of the data determines its classification, so if you access something that is unlabeled or you believe is mislabeled, reach out to the owner or team working on the issue. If you want to raise concerns about a project, including about content in a document, please email Security & Privacy, contact Ethics & Compliance, or raise a concern through pages [deleted]
Do I need to go back and examine all my existing data? While we don’t expect people to go back through all of their documents, please do consider any sensitive information you’ve worked on and whether relevant documents are shared only with appropriate audiences (and, ideally, labeled correctly). For existing documents, you can use the Drive Visibility tool to check and correct access settings. And make sure you and your team are following the policies moving forward.
What if I’m not sure whether my data or project is Need-to-Know or Confidential? In the first instance, it’s the responsibility of the data owner to determine whether data is Confidential or Need-to-Know, and to establish appropriate access controls. Documents incorporating data should use markings and access controls appropriate for the data. To determine whether data or a document is Need-to-Know or Confidential you can review the policy guidelines at [deleted]. If you aren’t sure how something you’re working on should be classified, check with your [deleted]
How can I learn more? Email …. if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more refresher trainings to be rolled out across the company.
Do you work at Google? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (209) 730-3387 using a non-work phone, email at email@example.com, Telegram at nickbastone, or Twitter DM at @nickbastone.
Through 14 seasons, Criminal Minds has delivered some of the most twisted and shocking serial killer cases to ever hit television. The show, though, is not just about the FBI solving crimes, catching serial killers, and saving lives. This is a show that remained fully invested in the lives of its characters and the mental stress that working a job like this can place on someone.
From the start with Gideon and Hotchner leading the BAU with Prentice, Spencer, and Derek to the additions of JJ, Rossi, and Ashley, plus the always delightful Penelope Garcia, the character moments are what made the show so popular for so many years. With season 15 promising to mark the end, here is a look at the best episodes from the first 14 seasons of Criminal Minds.
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10 The Replicator (S8E24)
The main villain of the eighth season of Criminal Minds was none other than Mark Hamill who portrayed John Curtis, also known as The Replicator. He was an interesting villain since he was a former FBI special agent with a genius-level IQ who turned into a serial killer. In season 8, he started to create copycat crimes of cases the BAU solved in the past.
There have been few deaths of the main Criminal Minds characters, but that changed in the episode “The Replicator” when Curtis killed BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss as revenge when he was left to take the blame on an older case. This season finale featured a huge loss, a great climactic scene, and it was a perfect goodbye for the season.
9 Minimal Loss (S4E3)
“Minimal Loss” was just the third episode of the fourth season of Criminal Minds, but it ended up being very important, and it even played a big role in arguably one of the best episodes of the entire series with “300” over 10 years later. The episode pulled its inspiration from the 1993 Waco standoff with David Koresh.
Luke Perry starred in the episode as Benjamin Cyrus, the leader of a cult who goes on the defensive when the FBI comes in to investigate claims of child abuse at the compound. The episode saw Prentiss and Reid captured inside the compound when a gun battle begins between law enforcement and the cult members, and the end is twisted when the victims take the side of Cyrus in the fight.
8 Mayhem (S4E1)
“Mayhem” is the season 4 premiere as the BAU investigate the bombing of an SUV in New York City that was carrying a member of the team. This explosion happened in the season 3 finale, so it had a lot to live up to since fans had to wait till season 4 to learn if someone they loved died. It lived up to expectations, and no more.
This episode was not so much of a search and rescue as it was a nail-biting thriller, with Hotch and NY special agent Kate Joiner forced to keep first responders away after they were injured in the bombing because the attackers targeted first responders. This also started a level of tension between Hotch and Derek that opened the season on a very high note.
7 Penelope (S3E9)
“Penelope” was a hard watch because possibly the most beloved character on Criminal Minds, Garcia, fought for her life after she was the target of the new unsub. It was sad and horrifying since she was the one who sees the good in people, and it was her happiness at going out on a date only to end up shot by a serial killer that hurt her almost as much as the injuries that almost took her life. Everyone who watches Criminal Minds knows the close brother-sister styled relationship between Derek and Garcia, so watching him try to contain his fury as he hunted down the unsub was great.
6 Damaged (S3E14)
“Damaged” is a Rossi-centric episode and follows him as he sets out to finally solve a case that haunted him for 20 years. Someone killed a couple, leaving their three children without parents, and the murder went unsolved for two decades. Through the years, Rossi continued to check in on the kids and made sure they had everything they needed.
It was the regret from this unsolved case that brought Rossi back to the BAU to begin with. In this episode, the team is called in to investigate a similar case, and Rossi eventually gets a lead to his cold case. He then sadly learns his years of assistance has continuously reminded the kids of their parents’ unsolved murder. In a truly touching moment, Rossi finally captures the killer and lets the kids know so they can finally have closure.
5 300 (S14E1)
10 years after the BAU stopped a cult leader named Benjamin Cyrus, his followers returned for revenge in the 300th Criminal Minds episode. They now followed a new cult leader named Benjamin David Merna who restarted it with one of Cyrus’ wives. He was also known as The Strangler—a serial killer with 299 victims.
In this episode, The Believers kidnap Reid and Garcia, and this is made even worse when the cult actually has members within the FBI. The plan was for Reid to be the 300th victim to make a point. As a 300th episode, this had it all, from callbacks to the previous 299 episodes to a mystery that had its origins over 10 years before.
4 Revelations (S2E15)
Spencer Reid is one of the most interesting characters on Criminal Minds, a brilliant young man who has trouble dealing with his own insecurities and whose own mother is institutionalized for paranoid schizophrenia. Much of his neuroses are explored in “Revelations” in season 2 when he is captured by split personality serial killer Tobias Hankel.
The BAU frantically tries to find Reid when a live feed of Hankel abusing the agent airs. Meanwhile, Reid is drugged and is flashing back to his childhood. This episode saw Reid forced to kill his captor, knowing that inside the multiple personalities was someone who needed help and this changed him for a long time.
3 The Fisher King (S2E1)
The Fisher King was a two-part case, the season finale of season 1 and the season premiere of season 2. The case surrounded a man named Randall Garner who was badly burned in a fire that took almost his entire family and ended up institutionalized at the same asylum that housed Reid’s mother Diana. Despite his clear mental illness, he was released and set his sights on Reid and his partners in the BAU. Through season 1, he stalks the BAU members and then starts to torment them. This ends with him shooting Elle as a season-ending cliffhanger. Elle lives, and it is Reid who finally finds Garner, who can only watch as the killer blows himself up.
2 100 (S5E9)
The most demented, dangerous and hated villain in Criminal Minds history is easily The Reaper. Portrayed by C. Thomas Howell, had killed 20 people and was the unsub on the first ever case that Hotch worked as a BAU senior. No leads came, and The Reaper stopped killing. 11 years later, the lead investigator in the case called Hotch and said that he was dying and believed The Reaper would start killing again. It was true.
Through season 4 and 5, The Reaper made Hotch’s life a living hell. This started in “Omnivore” and launched one of the biggest and best cases in Criminal Minds history. It ended in “100” and resulted in one of the most horrifying moments in the show’s history when the team had to answer for Hotch killing The Reaper after he murdered his ex-wife Haley.
1 Masterpiece (S4E8)
Jason Alexander turned in one of the most chilling and despicable villains in Criminal Minds history. He was Henry Grace, a narcissistic serial killer who believed he was born to be a master killer. Rossi captured his brother William, another serial killer, and this ruined Henry’s life, which made Rossi someone he wanted to destroy and “Masterpiece” gave him the chance.
He admits to killing seven missing women the BAU had been hunting and that there were five others, including three children, that would die if they didn’t find them and one would die every two hours if they didn’t. The thrilling conclusion saw Rossi interrogating Henry and hearing in horror that his entire BAU team died in a trap Henry laid. However, the twist was they knew what he was doing and saved everyone with no casualties, and Rossi chillingly tells Henry he will be there when they execute him for the other murders.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The case against two high school students who opened fire inside the Stem School is just beginning.
The first suspect, Devon Erickson, held his head up and revealed his face to the crowd during a hearing Wednesday, a week after the shooting.
The other suspect, 16-year-old Alec McKinney, didn’t have cameras in the courtroom for his appearance, but District Attorney George Brauchler is pushing to try him as an adult.
He explained, “If you are 16 years old, and you are accused of a first or second-class felony, and first-degree murder is a first class felony, you are eligible to direct filed.”
Criminal defense lawyer Jeremy Loew explains that even though we don’t know who pulled the trigger, killing 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, both suspects could end up with hefty jail sentences if they’re found guilty.
“If you were involved in that crime and somebody died, you can be convicted of felony murder, which is essentially murder in the first degree,” Loew said. “You start talking about the evidence and the consequences and what they’re facing as a result of the actions they have taken.”
The reality is both these suspects were students and trying to explain the consequences they face isn’t easy either.
It’s still unclear what happened inside the school and who is ultimately responsible for the plan behind the shooting.
McKinney’s defense has requested a reverse transfer hearing, hoping to take his case back to juvenile court.
Brauchler said documents giving the public a better idea of what happened during the shooting will be released when both suspects are back in court next month.