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November 11, 2008

Germans hunt for serial killer known as "The Woman Without a Face"

Germany's hunt for the murderer known as 'the woman without a face' | Life and style | The Observer

And now, Bad Kreuznach finds itself at the centre of one of the most bizarre, high-profile murder mysteries in the country's history - the search for an apparent serial killer whom police and prosecutors call, simply, 'The Woman Without a Face'. They have no fingerprints to go on. No witnesses. No description. What they do have is a trail of DNA, now stretching back 15 years and across three countries - as well as a grisly new reason to put a face to her double helix. A case that had for years been gnawingly disturbing, yet still fairly obscure, has leapt on to the front pages of German newspapers. For it appears now that the mystery woman may not only be a killer, but a cop-killer.

In April 2007, Michele Kiesewetter, a 22-year-old policewoman from an elite drugs squad, was taking a lunch break with a colleague in their BMW patrol car in Heilbronn, nearly 100 miles from Bad Kreuznach. Two people climbed into the back seat and shot the officers from behind, killing the woman and seriously injuring her 25-year-old partner. The assailants struck so quickly their victims had not even drawn their weapons.

As dozens of green-uniformed officers, carrying a smiling portrait of their murdered colleague, paraded at her funeral, the case shocked and moved the country. It also sparked one of the largest criminal investigations in German history - with results that at first puzzled, then stunned, the investigators.

November 10, 2008

Is Marriage for Same-Sex Couples a “Civil Right”?

rustin-1.jpgNational Black Justice Coalition | Is Marriage for Same-Sex Couples a “Civil Right”?
Some Blacks are offended when LGBT people equate the movement for marriage equality for same-sex couples with the African American civil rights movement. When white LGBT people overshadow the voices of Black LGBT people and discuss the ability to marry as a matter of "civil rights," some Blacks may feel like the comparison diminishes the stain on our nation that resulted from centuries of slavery, lynching, segregation, and discrimination. We should remember, however, that many LGBT people are members of our community, the Black community, and were an integral part of our Black civil rights movement. Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), Deputy Director of the 1963 March on Washington, was an openly gay Black man. In his position as advisor to Dr. King he is credited as the true logistical mastermind of the event. ... Though the FBI pressured March organizers to abandon Rustin, they recognized the essential quality of his leadership and stood behind him. ...
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"When I picketed for Welfare Mother's Rights, and against the enforced sterilization of young Black girls, when I fought institutionalized racism in the New York City schools, I was a Black Lesbian. But you did not know it because we did not identify ourselves, so now you can say that Black Lesbians and Gay men have nothing to do with the struggles of the Black Nation. And I am not alone. When you read the words of Langston Hughes you are reading the words of a Black Gay man. When you read the words of Alice Dunbar-Nelson and Angelina Weld Grimke, poets of the Harlem Renaissance, you are reading the words of Black Lesbians. When you listen to the life-affirming voices of Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, you are hearing Black Lesbian women. When you see the plays and read the words of Lorraine Hansberry, you are reading the words of a woman who loved women deeply." Visionary writer Audre Lorde, from her essay entitled "I Am Your Sister."

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