Motel owner spent 30 years spying on his guests' sex lives, considered himself a "researcher"

I was just going to say “if you think this guy is disturbing just wait until you meet his mother.”


There’s a weird irony here in that his “data” seems to be actually anonymized. They can’t even find the dead woman.

(That’s assuming this is 100% true, which even GT casts some convenient doubt on.)

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If this is true, what of Talese’s part in this? He’s allowed to enable the guy and is excused for keeping his mouth shut, because he writes for the New Yorker? Take away that credential and you have a voyeur by proxy, and something of an accessory to the motel guy’s shenanigans.


My thoughts exactly.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but statutes of limitation come into force once injury is detected.

Hmmmm… That seems to depend on the crime and/or the jurisdiction, but as far as I can tell by some quick googling, the date of the crime is more often the relevant date. Any people in the legal professions care to comment?

ETA: Of course, that’s probably because the majority of crimes are detected immediately, so perhaps the date of detection is the important date.

Well we better get started on the rape trial of Thomas Jefferson, lest we miss our chance.


Then read the original article. Among other things, it states clearly that the motel in question was razed a while back.

I don’t think that the statute of limitations is the problem there…

I was trying to point out the consequences if statutes of limitation started counting only after the discovery of injury.

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But (according to his own claims) he caused a murder, and there’s no statute of limitations on that.

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Not really. That would be a feature, not a bug. The point of statutes of limitation is to make sure that legal action or the threat of legal action doesn’t drag out to the detriment of the defendant’s ability to defend himself. That presupposes that there is a threat of legal action to defend against, and that threat doesn’t exist until the discovery of injury.

So, assuming we’re talking about manslaughter, was it reckless or criminally negligent to flush the drugs rather than immediately contact the authorities? If he had kept the drugs and contacted the authorities and the dealer still shot his girlfriend, should he still be held culpable?

I don’t have the answers for that, but if he goes to trial over any of this stuff, the aforementioned event should be the focus of the trial.


Well, he isn’t healthy enough to climb a ladder, so what would we be protecting society from should this man have penalties levied against him?

I think the legal argument could be made to fine or imprison him, but should it be called justice?

Another ‘researcher’ for the “And this is why we have IRBs” pile…

Hard to say, really. If this guy still had the oomph, he would still be transgressing, but the point of justice should be redress and rehabilitation rather than (as it seems to be currently) retribution. The problem here is that this guy appears to have been harmful, and he’s apparently an unrepentant loose thread. If I were a judge dealing with his case, I’d give serious thought to the redress side of the equation, to the fullest extent possible.

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I think the New Yorker is having a bad week…

##White Poets Want Chinese Culture Without Chinese People

It’s become a routine feature of the Asian American poet’s life: waking up to your inbox full of messages asking, “Have you seen this?” And it’s never good. A few months ago, it was the news that a white poet had published a poem in The Best American Poetry while masquerading under the name “Yi-Fen Chou.” This week, it was a poem in The New Yorker by Calvin Trillin titled “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?”, a bit of light verse ostensibly poking fun at foodies chasing the latest Chinese regional cuisine. But when I read the poem, I got a sick feeling—the feeling you get when you are the butt of a joke. Trillin’s poem comes out of a long tradition of white writers praising Chinese culture while ignoring Chinese people.


If a motel owner had found the drugs by some means unrelated to voyeurism and flushed them down the toilet, then if the man who discovered the drugs missing blamed the woman and killed her, could the motel owner really be charged with having any part in the murder in that case, assuming he would have had no reasonable expectation that flushing the drugs would lead to this? It seems unlikely to me the legal system would work that way, and I don’t see why the fact that he discovered the drugs through voyeurism would change his culpability for murder in this case. The motel owner might however be charged with failing to intervene when he actually saw the woman in the midst of being strangled, although he claimed that he thought she was still alive when the man stopped…but I’d guess that there is most likely a statute of limitations on failing to intervene in a murder since it’s a much lesser crime.

I’m sure you’re correct. IANAL, just someone cracking wise on the internet.