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While looking at the latest in LJD, I followed a link to a true crime blog, The Dark Side (which Ann Rule plugged in her blog!) and found an interesting site I hadn't seen before: Map Sex Offenders.

It uses the Google Maps API, which shows results significantly faster than the map-based search in the Texas Department of Public Safety Records Database, and gave exactly the information I was expecting for the registered sex offender in my neighborhood. I also found a registered sex offender convicted for sexual assault on a child ten years ago that lives a half-mile closer to the elementary school than we do.

*files mental notes*

Carry on.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
mayna
Oct. 7th, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC)
wow… that is freaky!
lenabud
Oct. 8th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)
Yikes, the sad thing is that they are everywhere, registered or not.
graey42
Oct. 8th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
Is that convicted or accused sex offenders? Most lists I've seen contained everyone who'd been accused of it, regardless of whether they were found guilty, acquitted, or not even taken to trial. If they only listed the ones who actually had done anything wrong, I'd think it as a good idea. But they way they're being used is no better than a modern witch hunt.
oddharmonic
Oct. 10th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
In Texas, it's convicted offenders (ref. Chapter 62 of the state Code of Criminal Procedure).

The Texas DPS Records Database includes some information on the particulars of the convicted offense(s), so I'm not terribly worried that the registered offender in my neighborhood is going to flash young children because the information on his registration notes that he was 19 and the victim was 16 at the time of his offense.
knicole1979
Oct. 8th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
check out familywatchdog.com Somebody sent it to me yesterday. I did it for here, and for my hometown. There are 4 people listed that I went to school with. I freaked. I couldn't beleive it. I found out through my mom that two of the guys had gotten in trouble with sleeping with underage girls at a party, and then the parents found out and they are the ones who pressed charges. Even though it was willing, and they were only 2 years younger than the guys. Unreal!
revme
Oct. 8th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much exactly why I have a problem with this sort of thing; those two guys are lumped in with evil psycho rapist sorts who actually are a threat, rather than a couple 19 year olds who slept with 17 year olds (instead of waiting another year). I can see the desire to be safe and everything, but it's cases like that (and also, this assumes that they're only going with convicted and not just accused, as graey42 brings up) that make me not really get behind this type of thing.

If they were to do one, however, of the people who were most likely (at least statistically or SOMETHING) to re-offend, or go through the lists with a fine-tooth comb and pull out all of the ones like Those Two Guys who merely made a mistake rather than are actual abusers, I'd be more fine with it -- I think in that case, that's a bit more of something people might need to know. (I guess this stuff is all in the Ethical Pile than the Legal pile, since it's all Public Record, and though there are a whole can of worms with Enabling Easier Access To Stuff On The Public Record, which I tend to go back-and-forth on but often do tend on the side where easier access is probably better than the Arthur-Dentian basement-file-cabinet-guarded-by-leopard situation, there's always stuff like the Nuremberg Files to go "ew" at.) But I'm not sure if anyone would, just because that'd be a lot of research and, while it's probably less ethical, it's certainly way easier to just throw up the whole shootin' match and claim the "Marked For Life" idea.
revme
Oct. 8th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
(or if they wanted to do the whole Shootin' Match, if they were to link the offender's names to their files, so you could actually SEE what they were busted for. I suppose not everyone would do this, but, I don't know about other people, but if a molester lived near me, I would so be there finding out what they did and finding out if they just had a Youthful Indiscretion With Their Girlfriend Who Hadn't Yet Reached A Magic Age, or if they were a....less savoury sort.

Although, I suppose if they did that, you might get even more into the Modern Day Witch-Hunt thing, since you could get people going "Well, here, we've got PROOF that this guy's a pedophile! Let's burn down his house!" which I'm not really sure if that's good for our society at large. There was actually a really interesting article in the Believer about this sort of thing. It was in this one, but they don't have the article online, sadly.)
knicole1979
Oct. 8th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
The familywatchdog site does give you an idea of what the offense was. It says between the ages of 13 and 16, 13 and 19, that type of thing. It also has a color coding system. You can actually see if it was a child molestation, a rape, and other things. Its a very simple set up, but it works. Whether its right or not, eh, thats a discussion I don't want to take sides in. I just thought it was funny that oddharmonic and I had both done something similar in a short amount of time.
revme
Oct. 9th, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, fair enough -- I didn't check that one, just the one linked in the main post! That does sound like it's much more on the right track, anyway. The main one doesn't seem to have any info, other than "hey, here's some guy", which seems a little bit dangerous.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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oddharmonic
Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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