The High Cost of Milwaukee’s Gun Epidemic

Gun violence follows epidemiological trajectories much like an actual virus, according to the research of Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos. Both victims and perpetrators tend to belong to a tightly linked social network where transmission bounces from person to person, a process Stephen Hargarten, a professor and gun violence researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, likens to a “bio-social disease.” As such, it’s easy to fall into the illusion that unless you live in a dangerous neighborhood, you’re inoculated from the problem of gun violence. But no one can escape its economic effects, which ripple societywide and cost the average…

Second Fiddle

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris After a certain robbery in January, two questions were on everyone’s mind. Just who was behind the scheme to pilfer the Lipinski Stradivarius played by Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Frank Almond was question No. 1. But as more details began to emerge about the instrument Almond had been playing on loan since 2008, a new puzzle began to nag. Who was this person who entrusted the musician with an antiquity worth some $5 million? Although we fell short in identifying the woman, known only as “Char,” we did learn that she’s in her 60s and…

Sheboygan- Creative Capital of Wisconsin?

Photos by Joe Hang For decades, the labyrinthine campus of Sheboygan advertising firm Jacobson Rost, one of Wisconsin’s pluckiest and most prosperous, was a destination for Badger State businessmen. Officers from companies such as Kohler, Trek and Kimberly-Clark came for mornings of meetings and afternoons of golf. Founded in 1957 in the garage of Frank “Jake” Jacobson, the firm (originally Jacobson Advertising) later grew to fill an interconnected assemblage of three historic homes and a former Baptist church with about 75 employees who generated some $50 million in annual billings. “There was a charm these big companies found in coming…

The Dark Science

There was something particularly bizarre about the call Christine Lamont received that night in March. Lamont, whose professional name was “Cindy,” ran an escort service she named Beautiful Blondes. Most Johns knew to never mention anything sexual over the phone. Escort services provide “social companions” –  if the escort chooses to have sex with the client, that’s her business. But this caller lacked any discretion whatsoever: He spoke in an odd monotone, slightly flustered, like a nervous robot, ticking off a list of demands. “I would like a girl that enjoys being tied up, whipped, blindfolded…” He went on from…