Video Games Hold No Answers
by Paul Mones
January 17, 2013
For over 30 years I have represented teens throughout the nation charged with homicide. I have not conducted any laboratory controlled studies on the relationship between violent video games (or for that matter slasher movies or violent music lyrics) and homicidal or aggressive behavior in young people. I have however, come to many understandings about teen homicide and youth violence sitting for hours on end in windowless jail interview rooms with shackled teenagers who have taken the lives of friends, neighbors, family members and strangers. And what I have learned is that the relationship between the killing and what video game the kid plays, what movie he watches or song he listens to is so tenuous as to be irrelevant. If there was any truly meaningful link between homicide and media exposure from any source, then by now one would have seen a whole body of supportive forensic research being used in our courts. If any of this research being trotted out now held even a glimmer of hope for a person accused of murder, attorneys all over the country would be mounting vigorous defenses based upon this connection — but we haven’t. And the reason we haven’t is that the connection between the psychological and behavioral dynamics of youth homicide and violent video games and violent movies is simply not there.
New Respect For The New Centurions; For Paul Mones, Writing About Death And Dna Shattered Long-Held Prejudices About The Police
The Los Angeles Times
By Dennis Romero
July 10, 1995
Dead, mangled and strangled women stared at Paul Mones for three years while he tried to capture their horror in mere words.
He plastered their crime-scene Polaroids around his Santa Monica office and listened to Verdi operas as dark inspiration for his new true-crime book, “Stalking Justice” (Pocket Books). Most of the victims were ornately tied up with rope, string or mini-blind chords. One was badly decomposed. Another stared at Mones, her eyes bulging with the terror that marked her last moments as a living being. They were the strangulation victims of a serial killer who stalked the streets of Virginia during the 1980s.
What makes this story special to readers is that it is a juicy, true-crime page-turner (lock your windows), and in this day of O.J. mania, it recounts the first murder case in America in which DNA testing was used successfully to get a conviction. What makes it special, even unique, to Mones is that, even as death enveloped his office, he became a changed man.
The Spin/Bill Boyarsky: Simpson Case DNA Battle Will Be An Education For Many
By Bill Boyarsky
The Los Angeles Times
February 19, 1995
For both the media and the public, the most difficult part of the O.J. Simpson trial is now beginning — the battle over DNA and whether it links the defendant to the murder of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman.
We are not the only ones who will have trouble fathoming the intricacies of DNA, the abbreviation for a molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid. It is a skinny molecule that contains the genetic information determining eye color, blood type and all the other features that make each individual unique. It is the understanding of DNA that has made possible research into genetic defects and many of the other great scientific advances of the past several years.
The police, too, have had difficulty in dealing with DNA evidence. The old homicide detectives operated on gut instinct. They could sense the killer, and nail him with a few clues and hours of rough questioning. Catching a killer with DNA evidence requires different skills.