An annual summer staple in the United States — on par with popsicles and unfortunate sunburns — are fireworks. In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, fireworks can often be heard echoing throughout urban neighborhoods around the country. However, in the last few weeks, those echoes have become roars, with fireworks having become an unexpected all-night occurrence, spanning cities from New York to Los Angeles to Chicago, and starting at dusk and going into the early hours of the morning. In a time when tensions are running high, both because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and weeks of protests against systemic racism and police brutality, the proliferation of fireworks has left many people searching the Internet for answers.
Is there a serial killer stalking college-aged men? The FBI insists no one is drowning inebriated college males and leaving behind a painted smiley face where he dumps the bodies. But no matter how many times officials try to squelch the theory, the rumor of the Smiley Face Killer will not die. And the bodies keep cropping up.
Alex Jones and his website InfoWars were ordered to pay more than $100,000 after he was sued by Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
Officer Valerie Cincinelli, 34, was taken into custody by the FBI on Friday and charged in U.S. District Court in New York with conspiracy to commit murder. In the federal criminal complaint filed against Cincinelli, prosecutors allege that the 12-year New York Police Department veteran had been discussing a murder-for-hire plot with an unnamed man since February. A person with knowledge of the case told Reuters under condition of anonymity that the man, referred to in the seven-page complaint only as a “confidential source,” was Cincinelli’s boyfriend.