Questions tagged [criminology]

The study of criminal behavior in both the individual and within a given society.

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6
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1answer
782 views

Does a video show Michael Brown robbing a store in Ferguson the day he was shot?

The Inquisitr reports that there is a conspiracy theory regarding the alleged robbery by shooting victim Michael Brown. The theory claims that the video, claimed by the police to prove Brown robbed a ...
23
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2answers
3k views

Are “burglar codes” used to target homes for crime?

There is a common trope which has been going round for years that there are a series of chalk-marks used by burglars to indicate possible targets. There have been multiple news stories about this ...
16
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1answer
650 views

Has Jack the Ripper been identified?

British newspaper The Daily Mail published an article claiming that Russell Edwards was able to identify murderer Jack the Ripper thanks to DNA evidence retrieved from a shawl found at one of the ...
2
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0answers
371 views

Was Elizabeth Báthory a serial killer? [closed]

I've read in countless magazines that Countess Elizabeth Báthory (1560-1640) was the most prolific serial killer and it is taken as accepted. But it might also be possible that Bathory was framed! ...
51
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2answers
7k views

There isn't "a single case - not one - in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit.”

While reading about recent evidence that casts strong doubt on whether Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004, was actually guilty I ran across the following statement in the ...
6
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2answers
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Did “Max the Hacker” manipulate autocues and traffic lights?

There is a man who calls himself Max the Hacker. He appears in many Dutch videos filmed in the Netherlands, such as this one in which he shows himself purporting to manipulate news readers' autocues ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Does China have the death penalty for spammers?

Does China have the death penalty for spammers? Example claim: Welcome to the United States of Canada. Chinese law, for example, permits executions for sending spam, and harvesting of the guilty ...
24
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1answer
4k views

Were US crime rates significantly lower in 2011 than in 1992?

While watching this video, it makes the claim at about the 12 minute mark that US crime rates are lower across the board. It then shows a graph that lists various violent crimes with numbers in ...
25
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2answers
5k views

Are white people more likely to commit mass murder in the United States?

There have been several claims in the media that white men are more likely to commit mass murders. I've seen rather strong evidence that the vast majority of these crimes are committed by men, so I ...
39
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3answers
5k views

Are 1 in 5 college women raped?

In this article, it is claimed that 1 in 5 college women are raped (at least around the 2013-2014 time period). I have heard the claim repeated from other sources (such as the BBC, which was ...
13
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1answer
37k views

Is the novel “Sleepers” a true account?

Note: this question contains spoilers about the novel and movie. Sleepers is a novel about four boys who are sexually abused at a school for boys, and later exact revenge on their tormentors. It was ...
5
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1answer
447 views

Were thousands of people executed by “Breaking On the Wheel” for copying fabrics in pre-revolution France?

An article by Rick Falkvinge best categorized as political opinion / commentary on copyright enforcement claims that: A few centuries ago, the penalty for unauthorized copying was breaking on the ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Did a soldier fight off 40 train robbers?

The Art of Manliness website reports Bishnu Shrestha, who had just retired from the Indian army where he served as a Gorkha soldier, held off a horde of robbers that tried to rob a train in India. ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Does an average criminal with a gun hit a running human target only with 4% probability?

The Live Well Naturally website says in an article entitled "9 crucial tips written by a cop. This might save someone's life.": If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ...
4
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1answer
275 views

Will a warming climate cause more crime?

The Register reports, somewhat skeptically, that an american consultant has produced an analysis claiming that climate change will lead to an increase in crime. The paper, published in the Journal ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Does Islam lead to higher crime rates? [closed]

I live in a mostly atheistic country. I have often heard the claim that Muslim people commit more crimes than others, especially that they are thieves due to their religion. Is there is any truth to ...
6
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0answers
404 views

Does lengthening prison sentences reduce crime rates?

I have heard time and again that increasing the length of prison sentences produces little or no improvements in crime rates. It is said that increasing the probability of arrest after a crime has ...
6
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1answer
349 views

Has hypnotism been used to enhance memory?

Has hypnotism been used to enhance memory? For example if I go to my friend's house, I may forget it's details like how many steps does there have or what color was it's door! This is my conscious ...
30
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1answer
16k views

Did violent gun crime rates rise in Australia after the 1996 gun control laws?

In 1996 Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) which greatly restricted the option to legally own some types of guns by private citizens. The activist site, World Public Union claims ...
23
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1answer
4k views

In the USA, are there more African American men in prison than in college?

I read in a book that "as the next millennium begins, there are more young black men in prison than in college." Jury Nullification by Clay S Conrad (Kindle edition, Dec 2013 loc: 343). (First ...
11
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1answer
517 views

Are the innocents in US prison a single digit percentage?

There is controversy on whether there are a few percents of innocent people in US jails or much less. For example according to the Innocent project Q. How many innocent people are there in prison? A. ...
24
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2answers
1k views

Have Iceland's police only ever shot one person dead?

Is it true that Iceland's police force(s) have only shot and killed one person ever? Bloomberg reports (December 3, 2013): Icelandic police shot dead a man who refused to stop firing at them with ...
9
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1answer
830 views

Does the extent of illiteracy in children correlate with future criminality?

Neil Gaiman recently made what has been hailed as one of the best commencement speeches ever at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (reported here, available as a book here). In it he talks about ...
8
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1answer
549 views

Does being abused make someone more likely to be an abuser?

Does being the victim of abuse make someone more likely to commit abuse? This is sometimes called the "Vampire theory", with the analogy that being bitten turns you into a vampire. As an example, ...
14
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1answer
867 views

Has New York City's Stop and Frisk program resulted in a reduction in crime?

On August 12, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg said: Our crime strategies and tools – including Stop-Question-Frisk – have made New York City the safest big city in America. [...] As a result, today we have ...
6
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0answers
528 views

Did the victim of neo-Nazi violence as reported in Pink News die?

From Pink News: The gay teenager who was kidnapped and tortured by Russian neo-Nazis has died from his injuries it has been claimed [by Spectrum Human Rights]. ... PinkNews is unable to verify the ...
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1k views

Do men with no prior exposure to child pornography go on to harm children once exposed?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22726004 UK government advisor John Carr, of the Council on Child Internet Safety, claims in a radio interview: Mr Carr said there was "no question" that some ...
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0answers
139 views

Was the NAACP slow in acting for the rights of Sherman Ware?

In What the NAACP can learn from George Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's brother Robert Zimmerman Jr. claimed that the organization was slow to act on the beating of homeless African-American Sherman ...
4
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2answers
840 views

Can a body be dissolved by a few liters or gallons of Hydrofluoric acid?

In the "Cat's in the Bag..." episode of Season 1 of "Breaking Bad," characters are shown with 4 gallon-jugs of Hydrofluoric Acid that they use to dissolve 2 adult corpses. Chemistry is a major plot ...
19
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1answer
10k views

Do removable faceplates on car stereos deter theft?

Everyone has probably seen a car stereo head unit with a removable face plate; the idea being you can take the faceplate with you to deter theft. The claim is specifically made in this product ...
9
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3answers
12k views

Is the bible the most shoplifted book?

Looking at several 'fun facts' pages, the claim of bible being the most shoplifted book appears on several of them. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3 Example 4 The Bible, the world's best-selling ...
5
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0answers
359 views

Does prison work reduce recidivism?

I'm having difficulty finding statistics comparing the recidivism rates of regular prisoners and the ones that worked while serving the sentence. I can't remember where but I've read that "specialists ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Does the 'Mafia' still exist in Italy?

Here is a claim that says the mafia still exist in Italy: Yes, sadly it does, and will ever does. I'm Italian. and it's not called mob.. or whatever. there are many clans, in several Italian ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Is the immigrant/crime correlation simply explained by lower wealth?

I am often confronted with statistics that show immigrants are much more involved in crime than the native citizens. This seems to be common in Western countries. Here are some examples, however, ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Was the USA colonized by criminals?

There are some places on the Internet that claim that The American were (at least at the start) colonized by criminals and unwanted populations: Answerbag.com: North America was first colonized ...
11
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1answer
703 views

Can a Bitcoin Exchange manipulate the exchange rate in a way that defrauds its users without consequence? [closed]

Bitcoin is an Internet currency with no centralized bank or agency underpinning it. I only recently heard about it and I've been trying to understand how it works and if it is safe, however this is a ...
8
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3answers
5k views

Did Hugo Chávez have a net worth of 2 billion dollars at the time of his death?

I've seen this now numerious times, Analysts say Leftist leader had 'amassed private fortune of $2 billion' - Dailymail.co.uk And, that's a pretty sly way to say that "someone said". But, is it ...
5
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0answers
292 views

Has a mass murder ever been prevented by a good guy with a firearm? [duplicate]

While the statistical relationship between gun ownership and mass homicides has been discussed on Skeptics.SE, I have not seen any questions or answers on the following claim. The policy of the ...
20
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1answer
2k views

Is kidney theft happening in real life?

From time to time, we heard about spine-chilling stories of kidney theft in various forms. There's some competing views out there, but I don't know which one to believe. One negative point of view is ...
48
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2answers
22k views

Has a programmer ever embezzled money by shaving fractions of a cent from many bank transactions?

There's a popular story that describes a programmer having altered a program at a bank so it diverted fractions of a cent from every transaction to another account (or some variation like multiple ...
6
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0answers
324 views

Was there a recent spate of violence against Indians in Australia?

I recently came across a journal entry, written in December 2012, about racial violence in Australia. The entry mentioned an incident against a woman targeted for singing in French. I assume this ...
49
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1answer
14k views

Do murderers tend to return to the scene of the crime?

It is commonly heard that murderers (or other criminals) "always return to the scene of the crime". Well, that's certainly false for all murderers. However, it is suggested that murderers do have a ...
10
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1answer
11k views

Are there 10 time more home invasions in the UK than the USA?

In this interview (0:35 mark) Ann Coulter argues that: ... home invasions are 10 times higher in Britain than they are in this country [US] Are there any evidence to support this claim?
10
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1answer
1k views

During the decade of the Clinton ban on semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, did crime not go down?

Source: USA Today, Opposing view: Eliminate 'gun-free zone' regulations Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, made a claim: During the decade of the Clinton ban on ...
29
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2answers
4k views

Does increased gun ownership in the US correlate with a reduction in violent crime rates?

This is somewhat of the converse of the question Is Gun Control Effective: A quote of famous musician and gun advocate Ted Nugent has been making the rounds on the Internet again lately: Where you ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Are 1 million people a year date raped?

This article claims: Every year, an estimated 1 million people are date raped, and many of them are victims of date-rape drugs, potent mixtures that disrupt the central nervous system. I ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Can handcuffs be picked with a single hand while handcuffed?

Many movies and series show people wearing handcuffs picking them using a small hidden piece of metal, like a bobby pin, paperclip, broken glasses, tweezers and more. Can this be done in real life, ...
9
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1answer
980 views

Can a trained human eye catch microexpressions?

Microexpressions were validated in this question: Do involuntary "microexpressions" betray liars? But can a human eye (as opposed to a frame by frame analysis of a high-speed video) detect ...
20
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2answers
5k views

Does a dog provide a reasonable deterrent against house theft?

Is there any evidence to suggest that owning a dog or that evidence of a dog (barking alarm, beware of dog sign) reduce the likelihood of your home being broken into? Example 1: Most burglars do ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Have more people been killed in Chicago than U.S. troops in Afghanistan?

A tweet from @LeftSentThis stated that 2,000 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time. There are at ...