Horror Movie: Kids for Cash

Kids For Cash Movie, Luzerne County PA Judges

Illustration by James Heimer

In high school, odds are you knew (or were) a merry prankster like Hillary Transue. The one who was whip-smart, quick with a quip and hostile to authority. In July 2006, when Transue made a mock MySpace page tweaking her school’s assistant principal, she expected to be sent to his superior’s office. If she was lucky, she’d get detention; if not, maybe suspension for a day.

Instead, the 14-year-old with dancing blue eyes was sent to Luzerne County’s juvenile court, where Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. found her guilty of “harassment.” She was sentenced to three months at a juvenile detention facility. After a one-minute hearing, she was handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom while her mother watched, dazed. Before the hearing, Mrs. Transue was advised that bringing a lawyer would be perceived as adversarial, and seemed unnecessary for such a minor crime.

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Two Films For Philly Movie Fans at This Year’s Sundance Festival

This year’s Sundance Festival is in full swing out in Park City, Utah, where two Philly-centric films are enjoying some much-hyped screen time.

gods pocket philip seymour hoffman

Mad Men star John Slattery makes his directorial debut in the film version of former Philadelphia Daily News columnist’s Pete Dexter’s 1983 novel God’s Pocket. The black comedy takes place in a fictional South Philly neighborhood called God’s Pocket, where a construction worker named Leon is killed in a tiff when a co-worker conks him on the head. Leon has such a miserable reputation around town that everyone involved swears it was an accident. His mother — played by Slattery’s delicious Mad Men booty call Christina Hendricks — is suspicious, so she sends her husband Mickey, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, out to search for clues.

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