My Word for August 14, 2001

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So here's a story for the amateur detectives amongst you.

I can't quite figure out what the story is about. It's either about smart cops pushing the envelope, or dumb crooks pushing the envelope.

Here's what happened:

In Santa Ana, Calif., a detective suspected a certain guy of a couple of rapes. The rapist would sneak into women's homes at night through unlocked doors and commit the rape, leaving nothing behind as a clue except his DNA.

So the detective has no way to pin the crime on the guy, but she has opened up a line of conversation with him, and talks him into coming to meet her at a fast food joint for lunch ... to talk about the crimes.

See what's coming?

He shows up. He orders a burger and fries and a soda and sits down to talk with her. He denies and denies, and when he isn't looking, she swipes his soda straw.

She sends it out for DNA testing, and bingo.The straw saliva DNA matches the rape semen DNA. Rapist caught, tried, convicted, and sent away for 52 years.

Now was he entrapped? Here's what his lawyer says:

"He voluntarily had burgers with the cops. They were tricky, but they weren't illegal."

That's the defense lawyer.

At last, the clear light of day ...

And here's a news flash. Tricky is tricky, and it isn't always illegal. Crooks should take this into account when they think they can face their pursuer and slide right by. It turns out crooks aren't always so smart.

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