Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"A girl accused her dad of rape (Fifty Shades of Grey)"/ "Social media and celebs"

Aug. 18, 2016 A girl accused her dad of rape. Then, his attorney noticed echoes of Fifty Shades of Grey in her testimony:
The girl's favourite book is British writer E.L. James's best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
WILL OLIVER/AFP/Getty ImagesThe girl's favourite book is British writer E.L. James's best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

    A father from the United Kingdom had only one defence against his daughter’s accusation that he had raped her for six years: He didn’t do it.

    Cathy McCulloch, who became the man’s attorney a week before his trial, noticed something odd about the girl’s statements to police: She used words and phrases that seemed too mature for her age. She described not only what her father did, but also how she felt.

    The barrister also found out, after talking to her client for the first time on the first day of the trial, that his daughter’s favourite book is British writer E.L. James’s best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

    So McCulloch got a copy of the book, read it quickly and noticed many similarities between it and the daughter’s statement to police. After the second day of the trial, which ended early, McCulloch spent several hours analyzing the similarities to prepare for her cross-examination of the accuser.

    McCulloch identified 17 incidents from the girl’s story that appeared to have been lifted from the book, according to the barrister’s website.

    The next day, after seven minutes of cross-examination, the accuser, according to McCulloch, wavered.

    “She suddenly broke and said I was absolutely right. She had made the whole thing up because she was angry with her father and wanted to teach him a lesson,” McCulloch said.

    McCulloch summarized the case in a blog post posted on her office’s website last week.

    She said the accuser said her father is strict and was “ruining her life,” according to the blog, so she leveled false allegations based on Fifty Shades of Grey and other books.

    The jury acquitted McCulloch’s client of all charges. The judge, according to the barrister’s account of what happened, said the case was unlike anything he had seen in his entire legal career.

    McCulloch, citing privacy issues, declined to share more details about the case, including her client’s name, the court where the case originated or when her client went to trial.

    In an email to The Washington Post, McCulloch said she did not release those pieces of information because “the complainant should be subject to an order against the press publishing anything which may identify her.” The barrister also said that the order prohibits her from releasing the accuser’s age.

    McCulloch said criminal cases can be reported in the national press unless a court order bans releasing any information about the case or if an alleged victim of a sex crime is under 18.  She added that it’s unlikely for members of the foreign press to be able to get more details about a criminal case unless they know someone in the U.K. who’s willing to share them.

    A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service, which is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in England and Wales, said in a statement that in the rape case, “as with all cases brought to us by the police, the CPS made a charging decision in accordance to the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”

    “Such decisions are made after an objective assessment of the evidence which is presented to us. As a matter of course, unsuccessful prosecutions for sexual offences are looked at in order to establish whether lessons can be learned,” according to the statement.

    McCulloch, whose practice is mainly focused on fraud and sex and violent crimes, was a police officer before she pursued a law degree. She attended the Inns Court School of Law in London, according to her LinkedIn page. Her office, St. Edmund Chambers, is located in Bury St. Edmunds, about 128 kilometres northeast of London.

    McCulloch said she tries to give her all in every case she handles, whether as a defense attorney or a prosecutor. In the U.K., she said, most independent members of the bar both defend and prosecute.

    In another sexual assault case in which her client maintained his innocence, McCulloch said, she instructed her solicitors — legal professionals who provide advice and support to clients — to track down a girl whom police did not pursue for her statement. The girl’s testimony later helped clear McCulloch’s client of charges.

    Fifty Shades of Grey, which became a blockbuster Universal Pictures movie last year, is the first in James’s Fifty Shades trilogy about a sensual affair between a college senior and Christian Grey, a young and rich entrepreneur with controlling tendencies.

    The erotica series sold more than 100 million copies worldwide in 2014, 45 million of them in the United States. The book, originally published in 2011, was on The Washington Post’s bestseller list for 50 weeks.

    McCulloch’s client thought the book was about a millionaire who took a young woman under his wing and taught her about art, she wrote in her blog.

    Oct. 13, 2016 "Social media fuel attacks on celebrities": Today I found this article by Michael S. Rosenwald in the Edmonton Journal:

    Social media have altered the motives and targets of those who set out to kill public figures, spreading the threat beyond politicians to music stars, athletes and other pop-culture icons, according to a new study by a senior FBI official and a prominent forensic psychologist.

    The study, published online Wednesday in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law, aims to update a landmark U.S. Secret Service report that examined attacks on public figures between 1949 and 1995, ending with “Unabomber” Ted Kaczysnki.

    That report, which looked at 83 attackers, found that 68 per cent of targets were government or judicial figures, while 19 per cent were celebrities. The new study is narrower — 58 attackers from 1995 to 2015 — but it found that 38 per cent targeted government or judicial figures while 34 per cent focused on movie, sports and media celebrities.

    The authors attribute that shift to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media, which have fuelled a culture of celebrity and created an illusion of intimacy with stars.

    For some attackers, especially the one-third who are delusional, this digital relationship feels like a personal connection, with a seemingly two-way conversation that amplifies infatuation.

    At the same time, the public figures traditionally stalked by assassins — politicians and other government officials — have lost some of their appeal, the study found. They aren’t seen as powerful symbols whose deaths will provide eternal infamy. Rather, attackers blame them for their troubled lives and are seeking retribution — a motive that puts pop-culture figures at risk as well.

    “These attacks are now angry and personal,” said Reid Meloy, the lead author of the new paper and a professor of forensic psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego. “They don’t want fame. They want revenge for some perceived wrong.”

    Meloy and co-author Molly Amman, program manager in the FBI behavioural analysis unit that studies targeted attacks, coined a term for this new breed of targets: publicly intimate figures. And social media doesn’t just offer attackers this faux connection. It can also tip them off to where a target might soon be.

    In the paper, the authors describe dozens of victims who are public figures: Paris Hilton, attacked outside a courthouse by a stalker; Tom Brokaw, targeted with anthrax, allegedly by a disgruntled researcher wanting more money; and Roanoke, Va., television reporter Alison Parker, killed on live TV by an angry former co-worker.

    Given the timeline of the study, the authors could not include this summer’s fatal shooting of Christina Grimmie, a former singer on The Voice, by a man obsessed with her social-media posts. He lost weight and became a vegan to try to win her heart. But that attack, Meloy said, is an important example of his study’s findings.

    Reaction to the study in threat-assessment and criminology circles was mixed.
    “To those of us involved in threat assessment, this is data that confirms what we have been observing,” said Mario Scalora, who directs the Targeted Violence Research Team at the University of Nebraska.

    Marisa Randazzo, former chief research psychologist at the Secret Service and now managing partner at Sigma Threat Management, said, “The reason why this is such an important study is that it provides a comprehensive view of the wide range of people who have become targets because of their public-figure status.”

    But other experts raised questions about the study’s methodology, arguing that the data wasn’t an apples to-apples comparison with the earlier study and that the tally of attacks could be incomplete because they were identified by Google searches. Also, those arrested weren’t interviewed, limiting insight into motive.

    The authors acknowledged these potential shortcomings in the paper. (The authors of the previous study did not respond to requests for comment.)

    Adam Lankford, a University of Alabama criminal justice professor who studies suicide bombers and mass shooters, questioned some of the methodology but said the trends described seemed plausible, given obvious changes in society. Like the authors, he is curious about the evolution of people seeking fame through violence.

    He pointed to the rise of mass shootings, noting that those attackers are often disturbed fame-seekers, emulating and even competing against previous shooters. “It makes sense that people who grew up in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s who wanted fame were more likely to attempt political assassinations,” Lankford said. “Today they are more apt to commit mass shootings.”

    The authors argue that fame has become a lesser motive in attacks on public figures because social media provides the opportunity for anyone to become a star. “One could observe that it may be less necessary than in the past to engage in assassination in order to become famous,” they write. “The Internet and social media make it possible for anyone with access to technology to achieve fame with little effort.”

    Instead, attackers target public figures out of anger for some slight, real or perceived.

    The study did find numerous aspects of attacks on public figures that have remained constant. The attackers are almost always male. They are often mentally disturbed. They don’t make direct threats before taking action.

    A spokeswoman for the Secret Service said the agency has reviewed attack trends, releasing a report last year. That report looked only at attacks on federal buildings or employees. The primary motive: “Retaliation for a perceived personal slight or wrong.” Fourth on the list: “Seeking fame or attention.”

    My opinion: I follow this actor David Anders (Alias) on Twitter and I feel this kind of connection.  I have never met him.  I tweeted to him once.  He has never tweeted me.

    I follow and tweet back and forth to the Edmonton actor Kyle Mac (Between) and I feel a connection.  There is a connection because we tweet to each other.  However, we never met. 

    Bad 911 operator:

    A former 911 operator faces misdemeanor charges in Texas for hanging up on callers who phoned in during an emergency, according to local news reports.

    Authorities charged Crenshanda Williams, 43, with two counts of interfering with an emergency call. Williams could face a year in jail for each conviction, according to a KPRC 2 report.

    The two charges stem from two incidents when Williams hung up on callers facing life-threatening situations. In one case, she hung up on Buster Pendley after his wife had lost consciousness as a blood clot moved to her lungs, KPRC 2 reported. His wife recovered after Pendley placed another call and an ambulance arrived on the scene. In another case in the report, Hua Li called over an armed robbery in progress at a convenience store. The call was disconnected shortly after it began and one person was shot and killed on the scene.

    “Nobody, nobody is going to help you,” Li told KPRC 2 of the 911 phone line. “You’re on your own.”

    Williams could be heard making her most callous remarks in another incident not included in the charges. “Ain’t nobody got time for this,” she said in one of the tapes, according to KPRC 2. “For real.”

    How did this 'woman' even get hired in the first place as a 911 operator???? Smells like a bad case of affirmative action by the state of Texas. That's so sad and unfortunate about the armed robbery call. Some of you ignorant people shrug it off as 'fate' (especially since it had nothing to do with you, but imagine if that person was someone you knew and loved!), but it is possible that a life could've been saved if this incompetent b*tch did her job properly.
    But I believe in karma, and I've got a pretty funny feeling that this Crenshanda Williams person will also be told "Nobody, nobody is going to help you. You're on your own." one 'fateful' day :)
    • Trevor
      Go ahead and look up the piece John Oliver did on the rampant and unknown problems of 911, most of them have been privatized, this is the result.

    • My opinion: This is so bad.  I know people can be bad at their jobs, but if no one died or got hurt, then it's not that big of a deal.  If it was like a retail job and a sales person is coming in late, not meeting the sales goals, giving poor customer service, that's nothing compared to being a 911 operator. 

    This comment stood out to me:
    • Nikki
      I detest fashion. The idea that one piece of clothing "looks" better than another just leads to a never-ending arms race between petty people ceaselessly trying to one-up each other by fielding garments arbitrarily perceived to be of superior make or design. Coincidentally, it also makes clothing designers rich, who get to slap their names on Walmart clothes and (somehow) successfully charge five times Walmart's price for essentially the same thing. A bigger waste of time, money and energy it's hard to imagine.

    • I wish accepted cultural practice had it that bride and groom be fully nude for weddings. Get your mind out of the gutter; that's not a prurient suggestion. It's just practical, as it would do away with the ridiculous custom of deciding which of a sea of virtually identical dresses (and tuxedos) you're going to spend thousands of dollars on, wear once in your life, and then stow in your closet until the Earth is dust.
      Give me a break.

    My week:

    Oct. 17, 2016 Happiness:

    Winter: I can't avoid shoveling snow, unless I move out of Canada.  I will see shoveling snow as good exercise.

    News: I have said this before about not sending me news about teen pregnancy.  I will say you can send me good news like celebrities donating time and money to charity.

    Rogers Place: They have finally opened.  I am indifferent about this place.  I would like it more if there was money spent on homes for homeless people, a hospital or school.   Rogers Place is more of a want than a need.

    There is a low chance I will be going there because I'm not a hockey fan and I don't go to concerts.  I'm sure a lot of people will go there.

    Edmonton Master Blog: I must have read this in the newspaper, because I wrote it down to look it up.  Instead I found this blog:

    Summer TV shows: I found a list of TV shows I watched during the summer of 2015:

    1. Wayward Pines
    2. Between
    3. Rookie Blue
    4. Pretty Little Liars (I watched on M3)
    5. Humans
    6. Zoo
    7. Played (a 2013 TV show I got to watch on M3)

    In summer 2016:

    1. Wayward Pines
    2. Between
    3. Zoo
    4. Containment
    5. Played (I watched the 3 episodes I missed on CTV)

    Rookie Blue ended in 2015.  I only got to watch one episode of Pretty Little Liars because it was on Bravo free preview.

    Oct. 18, 2016 How many people die a day?: I was watching Zoo.

    Logan: People die all the time.  250,000 people die a day.

    I had to look it up.

    World Birth and Death Rates

    Estimated 2011
    Birth RateDeath Rate
    • 19 births/1,000 population• 8 deaths/1,000 population
    • 131.4 million births per year• 55.3 million people die each year
    • 360,000 births per day• 151,600 people die each day
    • 15,000 births each hour• 6,316 people die each hour
    • 250 births each minute• 105 people die each minute
    • Four births each second of every day• Nearly two people die each second
    Average life expectancy at birth is approximately 67 years. Sources: Population Reference Bureau & The World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency)    

    It says 150,000 people die a day.  Then how come there is still like overpopulation?  I look at the birth rate and death rate, and there is more births than deaths.

    This also reminds me of a Heroes episode in season 1.  New York City could be destroyed and it's still millions of people die. 07% of the world's population.

    I don't mean to make light of 9/11 where 3000 people died in one day, but 150,000 people die a day.

    Oct. 22, 2016 "The biggest obstacle I faced in learning to dance?  My brain": I found this article by Corey Mintz in the Globe and Mail on Oct. 21, 2016.  He learned how to dance from Phil Villeneuve who is a YouTube star.  He dances with his headphones in public and only he can hear the music.  The tips were to find your rhythm, and a playlist of music you like and dance to that.

    Oct. 23, 2016 Autumn: Now it's autumn again.


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