Crime Waves: Foundation Myths

The owner and two employees of Testwell, the city’s leading concrete testing lab, are on trial for falsifying safety results and weaving what an assistant D.A. calls “an intricate web of deceit.”

Owner V. Reddy Kancharla’s defense has a number of explanations for why Testwell issued bad results but wove no web of deceit, suggesting such quotidien contributing factors as typographical errors and employee shortcuts. According to The Times:

“Their sins were not his sins simply because Testwell is his company,” [lawyer Paul] Shechtman said. “Ask yourself, ‘What did Mr. Kancharla know? What, if anything, did he do?’ ”

However, lawyers for his lower-ranking codefendants apply the opposite logic:

Curtis J. Farber, who is representing [steel inspector Wilfred] Sanchez, said his client was blindly lumped in with others at Testwell accused of crimes. Mr. Sanchez was merely a salaried employee, Mr. Farber said, without executive authority.

“Time and time again, you will find yourself asking, throughout the duration of this trial, ‘What does this have to do with Wilfred Sanchez?’ ” Mr. Farber said.

Testwell worked on “virtually every major project in the city,” reports the Daily News, but the trial will focus on a handful that includes the Freedom Tower, Yankee Stadium and the new Jet Blue Terminal at JFK.

Meanwhile, in crimes of faith rather than cement (gesture toward a segue–Christ in Concrete by Pietro DiDonato), a “Satan-loving arsonist” burned the Glory of Christ Church in the Bronx early yesterday morning. According to the Daily News:

The pyscho firestarter even defaced the walls with signs of devil worship.

A pentagram, “666” and “Hail to Satan” were spray-painted on the walls, along with, “We hate Jews and Christians” and “GET OFF OUR BLOCK.”

And five of the six Orthodox Jews on trial for fighting at an Eastern Parkway yeshiva have been acquitted; the sixth received only a misdemeanor. The Daily News explains that the case began with a dispute over an dorm bed, and “revealed divides in the community over whether the late Rabbi Menachem Schneerson is the messiah.” The men originally faced charges including felony gang assault.

Crime Waves: Foundation Myths