Morning Update: “We Have Caught An Evil Man”

Dim hopes for net neutrality, Michigan State University agrees to pay Nassar victims, Zuckerberg to face European Parliament. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, May 17.

The unbelievable story of one of America’s bloodiest hitmen

“You want to know who killed them all? I killed them all.”

For decades, Jose Martinez lived quietly in small California agricultural towns while killing as many as 36 men — always men. Many were murders for hire.

How did he get away with killing so many people? He boasts that he was “so damn good” at killing, and the police are “so stupid."

For their part, police say it was because he was a smart and remorseless sociopath, murdering victims he had little connection to and leaving behind a dearth of evidence.

In California’s Central Valley, where Martinez lived and committed many of his murders, some offered an additional explanation: He was killing people who didn’t count, people who were poor, often undocumented, and with little power. And he carried out many of his killings in towns that didn’t even have police stations.

Martinez’s favored method was a bullet to the head. He would say nothing of the drug barons who hired him, but he happily recounted his murders, remembering the number and caliber of each bullet he fired, the angle and repose of each victim.

After killing, he collected his money and slipped back into his quiet life, taking his children to Disneyland.

“Good parents take their kids camping,” he told police officers.

I was absolutely riveted by this BuzzFeed News investigation into the life and capture of the man they called El Mano Negra — the Black Hand.

Quick brief:

  • Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million to the hundreds of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar.

  • An enraged woman pooped at a Tim Hortons and threw her poop at an employee who wouldn’t let her use the bathroom. I am very sorry to say it is on video.

  • We have a source: The recording that divided the internet actually says “Laurel” and comes from No word yet on why so many of y’all hear “Yanny.”

  • Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to face the European Parliament. It will be his second appearance before legislators there since the Facebook data scandal.

The Senate voted to save net neutrality, but there’s a big chance it will still die

Lawmakers in the Senate voted 52–47 to save the Obama-era net neutrality protections intended to keep the internet competitive and open.

Those protections prohibit internet service providers from slowing websites or charging premiums for “fast lanes” for specific services or higher-quality streaming.

The Senate win is symbolic for technology companies, consumer groups, and lobbyists who pushed hard to save net neutrality. The reality, though, is that the resolution faces a tough future in the House and could be vetoed by President Donald Trump if it reaches his desk.

Two Trump stories you need to know about

The first: President Trump acknowledged repaying his lawyer Michael Cohen for “expenses incurred” by the Stormy Daniels payment. It was a footnote in the president’s latest personal financial disclosure.

The second: Trump says the US will insist on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. His comments came after a North Korean official said the country is not interested in a meeting if the only focus is on nukes.

When asked if he thought if North Korea was bluffing, Trump said, “We'll see what happens.”

PSST: Calm down

I understand that there are so many news stories with such high stakes that it’s hard to tell what stories are par for the course and what stories call for totally freaking out.

Well, we got you. Our deputy world news editor will guide you through what to worry about in a segment called Calm Down With Hayes Brown. It’s on our new podcast, The News, and it’s so good. Have a listen: You can find it on Apple, Google Play, or Spotify.

Terry Crews said men need to hold other men accountable

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor was on our live morning show, AM to DM, and he dropped some wisdom. Talking about the #MeToo movement and toxic masculinity, Crews, who accused a Hollywood agent of groping him last October, said: “What I always tell men is: never, ever speak for women. Women have got this. What we need to do is check other men.”

How does sexism thrive? Crews says, “We're talking about a complicit system. We're talking about guys who look the other way.” The whole interview is stellar.

Fight the good fight,


Enter your email below to sign up for the BuzzFeed News newsletter:

If you can't see the sign-up box above, just go here to sign up!