Famous assassins: where are they now?

Name: Mark David Chapman
Crime: Video didn't kill this radio star; Mark David Chapman did. On December 8, 1980 he fatally shot John Lennon in front of the singer's New York city apartment building (the Dakota, also famously the location for Roman Polanski's creepfest Rosemary's Baby)
Where are they now? Attica. Yesterday its parole board denied him his freedom a fourth time, noting the "bizarre nature" of his crime. (Also, Chapman is regularly flooded with hate mail in prison, and it's thought that releasing him would essentially constitute a death sentence.)
Mark's lit picks: After the shooting, he calmly seated himself on the sidewalk and began reading The Catcher in the Rye. (He was arrested "without incident.") Echoing Catcher's protagonist, Holden Caulfield, he famously accused Lennon of being a "phoney."

john-hinckley.jpgName: John Hinckley, Jr.
Crime: The near-assassination of then-president Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, outside a Washington hotel.
John's favorite movie: 1976's Taxi Driver, about a man plotting the assassination of a political candidate. But Hinckley claims he wasn't just imitating the film's psycho-killer protagonist, Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro), instead he had developed a serious obsession with co-star Jodie Foster. After creepily stalking her on and off for years, he decided the best way to impress her would be to kill a sitting president, thus making himself an historical figure, and -- to his mind, at least -- her equal.
Where are they now? Hinckley was judged not guilty by reason of insanity, sparking nationwide anger and prompting several states to rewrite the rules of their insanity pleas. He's been chillin' like a villain at St. Elizabeth's Mental Hospital in D.C. for the last 25 years, and recently has been judged safe enough to be allowed supervised trips outside the hospital to visit his elderly parents. He was disciplined after one such trip in 2000, however, after smuggling Foster-related materials back into the hostpial.
Fun facts: Hinckley was reportedly inspired by celebrity-killer Mark David Chapman, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance.

Sirhan_Sirhan.gifName: Sirhan Sirhan
Crime: The murder of Robert F. Kennedy in the kitchen of Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968.
What made him do it? God knows. Though the Palestinian-born Sirhan cited Kennedy's support for Israel's 1967 Six-Day War, he obsessively rants that "Kennedy must die" in diary entries which predate that event. As is seemingly true of most high-profile crimes these days, some believe the CIA was involved, claiming that Sirhan was brainwashed by their top-secret MKULTRA mind-control program, and under hypnosis at the time of the shooting. (Sirhan claims that he has complete memory blackout of the event, and even hypnosis therapy has not been able to elicit any details of the killing from him.)
Where are they now: the Corcoran State Prison in California, along with Charles Manson and serial machete-killer Juan Vellejo Corona.

The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

Bone Collector


More from mental floss studios