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Chad Childers, "Decapitated Members Arrested on Alleged Kidnapping Charges", Loudwire 9/10/2017. But will they be tried separately?


  1. AntC said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 5:48 pm


    It's cheating to crop the picture — that's not how it shows in the O.P. Anyway, I'd figured that 'Decapitated' would be a band name. (Their rivals are called 'Obituary'. Their genre is "death metal", apparently.)

  2. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 6:15 pm

    The phrase "alleged kidnapping charges" is interesting, too. Is it "{alleged kidnapping} charges", or "alleged {kidnapping charges}"?

  3. Mae said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 8:39 pm

    "Congress added new funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs" — no abstinence allowed after marriage? I saw this headline and thought of this discussion.

  4. Stephen Hart said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 8:56 pm

    Ran Ari-Gur said,
    "The phrase "alleged kidnapping charges" is interesting, too."

    I'm always puzzled by the press sticking "alleged" in where it seems not to belong.

  5. chris said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 9:11 pm

    In this case "alleged kidnapping" makes perfect sense — the band's lawyer claimed that "We have witnesses that can testify to the fact that the accuser came to visit the band of her own free will and left on good terms." So it's quite possible that no kidnapping occurred at all (unless the attorney is lying, or suborning perjury).

    It's just too bad the band wasn't named Severed. Decapitated is too specific and actually interferes with the potential ambiguity.

  6. Roscoe said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 9:50 pm

    A worthy successor to this one:

  7. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    September 10, 2017 @ 10:42 pm

    @chris: But whether or not they're actually guilty of kidnapping, we normally just say "kidnapping charges": to say they're arrested on kidnapping charges just means that they're accused of kidnapping. Taken literally, "arrested on alleged kidnapping charges" should mean "arrested for being the subject of a kidnapping allegation" (whereas presumably it's intended to mean "arrested for allegedly committing kidnapping").

  8. George said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 2:12 am

    As there is no offence of 'alleged kidnapping', there can be no charge of 'alleged kidnapping'. So if I were being picky, I could argue that the only possible meaning of "arrested on alleged kidnapping charges" is that they have been arrested, that we don't know 100% what they've been arrested for but that it is alleged that the charge is kidnapping.

  9. Bev Rowe said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 6:14 am

    I don't know about the US, but in the UK the sub judice laws are very strict and journalists shove in the word "alleged" quite liberally in order to protect their backs.

  10. J.W. Brewer said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 9:44 am

    Elsewhere in even more serious crime news, the N.Y. Post today has "Dallas Cowboys watch party turns deadly." I guess that the use of "turns" rather than "turn" mildly disambiguates the meaning for a careful reader (at least assuming "watch party turns" couldn't be headlinese for "watch as party turns" …), and thus renders it merely a garden path problem rather than a true crash blossom?

  11. Jerry Friedman said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 9:56 am

    Bev Rowe: US laws on this aren't as strict as British laws (and we don't use the phrase sub judice), but we do have them—journalists can't say A kidnapped B unless B has been convicted of it. Thus our journalists do say "allegedly" a lot. But I agree with George: "alleged" is unnecessary here because the charges are allegations. It's a fact that Decapitated members have been charged with kidnapping (assuming the article is accurate), so the fact doesn't need to be hedged with "alleged".

  12. J.W. Brewer said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 10:51 am

    FWIW "sub judice" remains in common usage in at least some AmEng dialects of lawyer jargon, although definitely not with the implication of any particular restrictions on the press or other third parties — just a jargonish way of saying that a particular dispute or issue is the subject of active but not-yet-resolved litigation (sometimes more narrowly focused on the point in the timeline where an issue has been fully briefed and argued and there's nothing left to do but wait however many weeks or months it takes for the court to decide).

  13. Jerry Friedman said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 12:11 pm

    Thanks, J. W. Brewer. After I hit the "start second thoughts" button, I wondered whether my sentence was too broad.

  14. Jerry Friedman said,

    September 11, 2017 @ 12:13 pm

    (I also meant "unless A has been convicted".)

  15. Rodger C said,

    September 12, 2017 @ 7:30 am

    Didn't some of the Decapitated members previously perform for the Headless Relatives?

  16. ajay said,

    September 13, 2017 @ 4:25 am

    A decapitated member would be an arm whose head has been removed. But its luck could be in; apparently there's an Iraqi head out there seeking arms.

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