A.C. Thompson

Crime Bomb

Police crime labs are churning out tainted evidence — and nobody's doing anything about it.

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Editors note: This story was originally published May 31,  2001.

They found Virginia Lowery lying in the garage of her Excelsior home, an electrical cord around her throat, an ice pick jammed through her skull — in one ear and out the other. For the next 11 years San Francisco homicide detectives made no progress on the case. Promising leads turned into dead ends. Theories collapsed. The cops assigned to the case retired. It looked like Lowery's 1987 slaying would never be solved.Read more »

Crime Bomb

Police crime labs are churning out tainted evidence — and nobody's doing anything about it.

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Editors note: This story was originally published in 2001.

 Read more »

The hardest time

After a decade in lockup, J.J. Tennison still maintains his innocence - and his lawyer is still fighting for him
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Here are the few undisputed facts in the slaying of Roderick "Cooly" Shannon: in the quiet early-morning hours of Aug. 19, 1989, Shannon piloted his mother's green sedan past the modest, boxy houses of their Visitacion Valley neighborhood. As Shannon coasted along, a posse of young men piled into four cars and gave chase, careening after him through the darkened streets. At the intersection of Delta Street and Visitacion Avenue, the hunted 18-year-old plowed up on the sidewalk, crashed into a chain-link fence, and fled on foot. Read more »

Gun crazy

BART cop shoots naked man - why?
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Editors note: This story ran Oct. 17, 2001

Bruce Seward imploded while riding an AC Transit bus.

It was 4 a.m. on May 28, 2001, and Seward was rolling through the darkness on the 82 line, headed south from Oakland toward Hayward. Hands clapped over his ears, Seward, a 42-year-old car salesman, rocked back and forth, vacilutf8g between sobbing and shouting. He was barefoot, according to witnesses.

Bus driver Anthony Ramsey heard Seward ranting, "They trying to kill me, they trying to kill me."

"Shut up!" one passenger screamed. Read more »

Bakery driver still on the lam?

Questions raised over whether 21-year-old with criminal history played role in Chauncey Bailey killing

CLICK HERE FOR MORE UPDATES FROM THE CHAUNCEY BAILEY PROJECT

Since a trio of shotgun blasts killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Aug. 2, police and prosecutors have charged only one man with the crime: 20-year-old Devaunghndre Broussard, a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery, who is expected to be arraigned this morning. Read more »

Behind the Bey empire

Behind the Bey empire: Did real estate fraud help build Your Black Muslim Bakery into an enterprise worth killing for?
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Editor’s Note: The Chauncey Bailey Project, a collaboration of local media outlets including the Guardian, is investigating the circumstances surrounding the Aug. 2 murder of Bailey, an Oakland journalist who was reporting on the financial dealings of the Bey family’s Your Black Muslim Bakery at the time he was killed. Read more »

Behind and beyond bars

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Perhaps the best book written about a wrongly convicted man is Jack Olsen's Last Man Standing, a chronicle of the 27 years Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt spent caged in a California prison thanks to crooked FBI agents and Los Angeles cops. The narrative starts with Pratt's childhood in Louisiana, tracks his involvement in the Black Panther party and the decades he spent dwelling in the American gulag, and concludes with his triumphant release from prison thanks to the tireless lawyering of Stuart Hanlon and the late Johnnie Cochran. Read more »