The Week in Review
MONDAY, JANUARY 16 This week of unhinged yogurt moguls, criminal hairspray usage, and battles for the future of cyberspace kicks off on Twitter, which today hosted the week's opening volley in the immediately aforementioned future-of-cyberspace battle. The instigator: Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia, who announced that all English versions of the online encyclopedia would go dark from midnight Tuesday till midnight Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act currently under consideration by Congress. As the Washington Post reports, "Wales and other SOPA opponents hope to draw attention to language in SOPA that, according to some, is too broad and could hurt free speech and innovation." Joining Wikipedia in anti-SOPA protest: the Cheezburger network, Reddit, and Craigslist, whose home page carried the message "Stop SOPA and PIPA. [The bills] are threatening Craigslist and the rest of your Internet. Most of the web sites you use strongly oppose these bills." In advance of the 24-hour blackout, Jimmy Wales had this advice for America's Wikipedia-dependent studentry: "Do your homework early."
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17 In much more disturbing news, the week continues in Santa Ana, California, where today Itzcoatl Ocampo, a 23-year-old Iraq war veteran, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the wake of a rash of fatal stabbings. As CNN reports, "Authorities had been searching for a serial killer after three homeless men were stabbed to death over 10 days last month in the Orange County cities of Anaheim, Brea, and Placentia." As Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas charges, Ocampo is their man: "This 23-year-old was a vicious killer... he was a terrible threat, particularly to the homeless people in our county." As the OC DA told CNN, the first victim was stabbed more than 40 times with a seven-inch, heavy-gauge knife that "went through bone without chipping or breaking the blade." Also: "In each of these cases, the violence, the number of stabbing wounds of each victim, increased." All of which is exploding the brain of 50-year-old Refugio Ocampo, the homeless father of the accused killer of homeless men. "The suspect's father... lost his home in 2008 and now lives in the cab of a semi-trailer," reports CNN. "[The elder Ocampo] said it was hard to believe his son could be involved in the killings." As Refugio Ocampo told the Orange County Register, "I saw him so many times giving the last money he had in his pocket... to the homeless." And oh, yeah: "[The suspect's father] told the Register that his son, worried about his father's safety, had recently pointed out an FBI warning about homeless men being killed in the area." The alleged source of the alleged killer's alleged craziness: the horrors of war, with friends and family telling reporters that Itzcoatl Ocampo returned from serving in Iraq a changed man, prone to brooding about the end of the world.
"[The war] killed the person he was," Refugio Ocampo told the Register. "And that's the only possibility I can think of that he would do something like that." Condolences to all, especially the victims: 50-year-old James McGillivray (killed December 20), 42-year-old Lloyd "Jimmy" Middaugh (killed December 27), 57-year-old Paulus "Dutch" Smit (killed December 30), and 64-year-old John Berry (killed January 13).
•• Speaking of brutal violence against people who are homeless, today also brings a story from Los Angeles, where Young Lee, the 47-year-old cofounder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt franchise, stands accused of beating a homeless man with a tire iron. Details come from CNN, which reports the June 2010 attack left the homeless man with a broken arm and several cuts to his head, and has resulted in Lee being charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon. "If found guilty, Lee, who was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and carrying a loaded firearm in 2001, faces up to seven years in prison."
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18 Nothing happened today, unless you count the promised Wikipedia blackout and all attendant hubbub, which will prove to be effective. (The day after tomorrow: Lamar Smith, the chief sponsor of SOPA, will announce that he's pulling the bill "until there is wider agreement on a solution.")
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19 Speaking of internet-related hubbub, the week continues with the busting of Megaupload, the popular file-sharing site that was shut down today as its top executives were indicted in what the US Department of Justice identified as "[one of] the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States." As Wired.com reports, "Visitors to the Megaupload site, which gets about 50 million hits daily and claims 4 percent of all internet traffic, were greeted with a message from the Justice Department. 'This domain name associated with the website Megaupload .com has been seized pursuant to an order issued by a US District Court.' The government said the site facilitated copyright infringement of movies 'often before their theatrical release, music, television programs, electronic books, and business and entertainment software on a massive scale.'" Indicted today were seven people connected to the Hong Kong–based site, who stand charged with criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. By day's end, the internet protest group Anonymous will retaliate against the Department of Justice for shuttering Megaupload by crashing the DOJ website, along with the websites for Universal Music and the Recording Industry Association of America.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 In stupider news, the week continues in South Carolina, where a woman in the city of Rock Hill faces assault charges after allegedly attacking a man with hairspray while shoplifting at a beauty supply store. As WBTV News reports, police officers were called to Cherry Beauty Supply last week and arrived to find a man with blood dripping from his head. "Witnesses told police that Alexis Sade Hayes, 23, attempted to steal several items from the store and place them in her purse," reports WBTV. "When a male employee attempted to stop her and grabbed the purse, she hit him in the head with a can of hairspray, officers say." Following the alleged hairspray bashing, Ms. Hayes fled in her car and was stopped by police, to whom she explained she'd merely been defending herself. She was arrested.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21 Speaking of ridiculous doings in South Carolina, today Newt Gingrich—serial adulterer, incomparable hypocrite, and likely sociopath—won the state's Republican primary. Silver lining: This terrifying turn of events likely burst several million blood vessels in Mitt Romney's brain. Stay tuned.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 Nothing happened today, unless you count dramatic football games and deceased football coaches.
Send hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.