Crimes & Criminals

Salt Lake City Library Bomber Found Guilty of 2006 Incident

The wheels of justice grind slowly.

A federal court jury on Monday convicted an Illinois man of detonating a pipe bomb at the downtown Salt Lake City library four years ago.

Thomas James Zajac, 56, was found guilty in U.S. District Court of six felonies involving the use and possession of an explosive device for purposes of damaging a building.

One of the counts carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 30 years. Sentencing is set for Dec. 16 before Judge Clark Waddoups.

No one was injured when the bomb exploded and damaged a window on the library’s third floor the afternoon of Sept. 15, 2006. But prosecutors claimed the bomb was capable of killing.

Investigators tied Zajac to the explosion through a fingerprint on a scrap of paper found at the scene. The paper came from packaging for a toy rocket motor.

Zajac was placed in Salt Lake City that day through phone and credit card records. He was also identified on library surveillance video.

Assistant U.S. District Attorney Richard McKelvie told jurors that the Salt Lake City bombing was similar to an explosion in Hinsdale, Ill., two weeks earlier.

Former librarian pleads guilty to theft and forgery

A former librarian will spend 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to theft and forgery charges.

Story here.

DVD Thefts Sadden Glen Rock Librarians

The Glen Rock (NJ) Public Library has been hit with a string of thefts from its video collection. More than 25 videos have been removed from their cases and stolen. Librarians say the videos targeted for theft are action-adventure titles.

Since mid-June, the library has lost 29 DVDs to theft, according to Lori Quinn, director of Circulation and Technical Services. The empty DVD cases are being left throughout the library.

"The average price is $22, and it's really adding up," Quinn said. The missing videos are mostly action-adventure titles, such as "Blade," "The Matrix" and "Scarface." This week the library discovered three more titles missing: "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," "Tropic Thunder," and "The Hangover."

"The genre we're finding is mostly action or male-dominated, testosterone-driven movies," Quinn said. Librarians speculated the thefts were likely being perpetrated by a single individual.

"It saddens me that there's a person who is doing this for whatever reason. It could be extreme boredom, mental illness, or adolescent arrogance – and it's adolescent whether or not it's a young person," Pelcyger said. "To steal from a community, from a family, hurts the people this person sees every day."

Was It the Crime Novels? Prison Books Bring Plot Twist to Cheshire Killings

NY Times, Dateline: NEW HAVEN — As the trial approaches for one of the men charged in the triple-homicide home invasion in Cheshire, CT in 2007, all the motions, requests for evidence, and demands that one would expect in a complex capital case have flown back and forth between the defense and prosecutors.

But one stood out, tantalizingly. The defense said it would request that the names of books that one of the accused men, Steven Hayes, checked out of a prison library before the killings not be admitted as evidence. The books, the defense indicated in one motion, included plots that were “criminally malevolent in the extreme.”

Mr. Hayes’s lawyers suggested that prison librarians might have given him what amounted to a literary blueprint for the crime, one that already has what some see as a literary predecessor of sorts: it has been compared with the 1959 Kansas killings described in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

The defense lawyers’ suggestion that prison library books could have shaped the crime — or that knowing Mr. Hayes read them could turn jurors against him — has created a strange kind of guessing game about the literary interests of Mr. Hayes, 46, a career thief and drug abuser whose education topped out at a high school equivalency degree.

How thieves target rare books

How thieves target rare books
A book thief who served a four-year jail sentence should have turned over a new leaf. Instead, he has been sent back to prison after targeting one of Britain's most distinguished libraries. The case highlights a little known, but widespread crime.

"It kills history... damaging books in such a way that you can't see the provenance," he says.

Employee stabbed by burglar at FL library

Employee stabbed by burglar at library
An Orange County librarian is recovering after she was stabbed Monday morning.

It happened around 8:30 a.m. at the South Creek Branch Library on Deerfield Boulevard.

The victim told Orange County Sheriff's deputies she'd just arrived at work when she was approached by a burglar.

ALA President Caught Plagiarizing and Faking Signature

ALA President Camile Alire has been caught plagiarizing and possibly using a fake signature by me, SafeLibraries. Before the usual crowd piles on, you have to see the evidence for yourselves:

ALA Double Standard on Accuracy in Texas State Board of Education Proposal on School Book Content; ALA President Plagiarizes to Promote Matter Outside ALA Purview

More than 1,300 kids' books stolen from library

More than 1,300 children's picture books worth nearly $23,000 have vanished from the Kitsap Regional Library's Port Orchard branch - and now police are investigating.

Article here

Botched copper theft causes Freon leak at Concord library

Botched copper theft causes Freon leak at Concord library
Oh sure, you think you have it bad because people keep stealing your DVDs. Anyone tried to steal your PIPES? A would-be copper thief trying to cut pipes from the Concord library caused a release of a cooling agent that prompted the building's closure over the weekend, authorities said.

Jury Finds Librarians’ Hit-and-Run Driver Guilty of Vehicular Homicide

A Denver jury yesterday found Sandra Jacobson guilty of drunk driving and vehicular homicide in the deaths of Connecticut librarians Kathleen Krasniewicz, 54, and Kate McClelland, 71, on the morning of January 27, 2009.

Both were on their way to the Denver airport, returning from the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting, when Jacobson’s white pick-up truck swerved into their lane at 10:30 a.m., striking the purple and white taxi minivan and throwing both Krasniewicz and McClelland (left) from the vehicle. The two were not wearing seatbelts.

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