Dispatches > Human Race
Jesse Jackson Jr.
Associated Press/Photo by M. Spencer Green
Jesse Jackson Jr.

Human Race

Issue: "2012 Daniels of the Year," Dec. 15, 2012


Two weeks after winning reelection, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. left his U.S. House seat of 17 years amidst a federal investigation into Jackson’s alleged misuse of campaign funds. The Illinois Democrat’s resignation closed five months of speculation about his political future after he took a medical leave of absence from Congress, beginning in June, for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Illinois officials will hold a special election to fill the vacated seat. Jackson is the 47-year-old son of civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson Sr.


After a 14-year hunt, Mexican and U.S. authorities apprehended murder suspect Jose Luis Saenz, a member of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list since 2009, in Guadalajara. Saenz, 37, is believed to have worked as a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel, and was wanted for four Los Angeles–area killings, including those of two rival gang members and Saenz’s own girlfriend. In his effort to evade capture, Saenz gained weight, removed tattoos, tried to alter his fingertips with glue, and used about two dozen aliases and nicknames, including “Peanut Joe Smiley” and “Zapp.”


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According to findings released Nov. 26, One Goh, the former nursing student accused of killing seven people and wounding three at Oikos University in April, is mentally incompetent to stand trial. The paranoid schizophrenia finding will postpone a ruling on holding a trial until a second court-appointed psychiatrist evaluates Goh, a former student of the private Korean Christian university, who pleaded not guilty on all charges.


A war crimes court in The Hague overturned the 2011 convictions of two Croatian generals charged with atrocities against Serbs in the 1990s. Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were sentenced last year to 24 years and 18 years, respectively, as part of a criminal conspiracy in the killing of ethnic Serbs during the Balkans war. But on Nov. 23 the court announced it had “erred in finding that artillery attacks” ordered by Gotovina and Markac on Croatian towns in Krajina “were unlawful.”


Islamic extremists in Somalia killed a Christian on Nov. 16 in Somalia’s port city of Barawa, accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam, Christian and Muslim witnesses said. The Al Shabaab militants beheaded 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose after monitoring his movements for six months, reported Morning Star News. Mose converted to Christianity in 2010 while studying in Kenya. He opened a small cosmetics shop in Barawa in December 2011. 


Two-term Sen. Warren B. Rudman, 82, died Nov. 26 in Washington. Rudman led a groundbreaking effort to balance the federal budget known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act of 1985—and later a federal commission on national security that predicted the likelihood of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil just prior to 9/11. 


Actor Larry Hagman, 81, died Nov. 23 of complications in a battle with cancer. As J.R. Ewing he epitomized the corrupt Texas business cheat and womanizer on television’s long-running Dallas, a role he reprised in a new edition of Dallas this year. Before that, he won attention for his nice-guy role in the 1965-70 TV series, I Dream of Jeannie.


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