Pete's Prep: Friday, April 27, 2018

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

The price of pork bellies

A huge payout for ten plaintiffs suing Smithfield Foods over smells and sounds coming from the nearby industrial hog farm. It's expected to open the barn door to "dozens of lawsuits filed by more than 500 neighbors."

From WRAL:

A federal jury on Thursday awarded more than $50 million in damages to neighbors of an industrial hog operation found responsible for intense smells, noise and other disturbances so bad people couldn't enjoy their rural homes. 

Jurors on Thursday awarded the 10 neighbors of a 15,000-head swine operation a total of $750,000 in compensation, plus $50 million in damages designed to punish the corporation that owns the animals.

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North Carolina legislators last year changed state law to make it much more difficult to replicate the string of nuisance lawsuits targeting hog operations like the one decided Thursday.

Smithfield says it will appeal.



Ancestry.com helped crack the California serial rapist case

Brilliant detective work or scary encroachment of Big Brother-y, 1984-esque ThoughtCrime?

Sacramento investigators tracked down East Area Rapist suspect Joseph James DeAngelo using genealogical websites that contained genetic information from a relative, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office confirmed Thursday.

The effort was part of a painstaking process that began by using DNA from one of the crime scenes from years ago and comparing it to genetic profiles available online through various websites that cater to individuals wanting to know more about their family backgrounds by accepting DNA samples, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi.

The investigation was conducted over a long period of time as officials in Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert's office and crime lab explored online family trees that appeared to match DNA samples from the East Area Rapist's crimes, Grippi said. They then followed clues to individuals in the family trees to determine whether they were potential suspects.

I have to imagine police departments all over the country are signing up for Ancestry annual memberships.

More on the story is here.



And some other things...

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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