Friday, February 27, 2009


"What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn't Mommy and Daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?"

-Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey), Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Well, they say if you're going to steal, steal big. Maybe that's what was going through this guy's mind. Then again, maybe not. I'll let you be the judge.

Cops: Man stole $80,000 excavator, used it on rampage

ALBANY - A man has been charged with grand larceny and resisting arrest for allegedly stealing an $80,000 excavator and driving it across a resident's lawn before scuffling with officers,

Police said 35-year-old Michael Roney climbed onto the machine Wednesday morning near Manning Boulevard and drove it a short distance before motoring over the grass at 14 Manning Blvd. The homeowner called police, and officers Larry Heid and Jason Seward arrived moments later.

To his credit, he quickly figured out that he wasn't going to outrun cop cars with an excavator. After he ditched his "ride," he took off on foot. Of course the foot chase thing didn't work out too well, either.

But why an excavator? Were there no bulldozers? No cranes? And what do you do with a stolen excavator? Take it to a chop shop that specializes in construction equipment? Are there fences that deal in stolen excavators? Enquiring minds want to know©.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Definitely the headline of the day here:

Cop makes arrest in bathroom after smelling crack

Monday, February 23, 2009


This week's babe is actress Eliza Dushku, who's currently starring in, and co-producing, the new TV series Dollhouse. I haven't seen Dollhouse yet, it's on opposite Monk. But Monk just went on hiatus, so I'll be tuning in this Friday. But first I'll have to watch the first two episodes, compliments of Hulu.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


On this date in 1974, unemployed salesman Samuel Byck attempted to hijack a DC-9 at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. His intended destination: Washington DC. His plan: Crash the plane into the White House in order to kill President Richard Nixon. Byck shot and killed an airport security guard before he boarded the plane. Once he was on the plane, he shot the pilot and copilot when they told him they couldn't take off until the wheel blocks were removed. The pilot survived, but the copilot later died from his wounds. Byck was shot and wounded by police. He committed suicide before he could be taken into custody.

IMDB page for the movie The Assassination of Richard Nixon

IMDB page for the movie The Plot to Kill Nixon

Wikipedia article on Samuel Byck

Friday, February 20, 2009


"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue."

-Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges), Airplane (1980)


On this date in 1892, Oliver Curtis Perry pulled of a feat that had only been done once before in crime history--he robbed a train singlehandedly. But Perry had no reason to feel like an also-ran. The previous solo train robbery, a hold up of the same train in the summer of 1891, was Perry's handiwork as well.

By the February 1892, the $5,000 that Perry had made from his heist of a train while it travelled between Albany and Utica, NY had just about run out. Being a practical man, he decided to go with what worked before, and rob the same train he had robbed five months earlier.

On the evening of February 20th, Perry stood on the platform at the Syracuse, NY train station as the American Express Special arrived. Conductor Emil Laas noticed Perry standing on the platform and found it odd that someone would be there, considering that the Express carried no passengers. As the train left the station, Perry jumped onto one of the cars and climbed up to the roof. Once Perry had positioned himself accordingly on top of the express car, he donned a mask and affixed a makeshift rope ladder to the roof rail.

Shortly after the train left Syracuse, messenger Daniel McInerney heard glass break in the messenger car. He looked up to see a masked man holding a large revolver crashing through the window. The man ordered him to put up his hands. McInerney drew his own pistol, and both men exchanged shots. McInerney's missed, while the robber's shot hit McInerney in the gun hand. McInerney reached up and pulled the emergency stop cord, but the robber shot him in the thigh, then shot him again, grazing McInerney's head.

As Perry rumaged through the car looking for valuables, the train came to a halt and crew members descended on the messenger car. Perry pointed his pistol at them and ordered them to get the train moving again. The crew complied, and the train continued on to Port Byron, NY. When the train stopped at the Port Byron station, the crew members, who had armed themselves, returned to the messenger car only to find that the robber was gone. They assumed he had jumped off the train, and continued on to Lyons, NY.

Unbeknownst to the train's crew, Perry had not jumped from the train, but had retreated to the roof. When the train arrived in Lyons, it was met by the local constable and a doctor to treat Daniel McInerney. As they took the wounded messenger from the train, Perry jumped down and made his way to another platform. Conductor Laas saw the bespectacled man in a derby hat, and recognized him as the man who was standing on the platform in Syracuse.

When Perry realized he had been spotted, he jumped onto a locomotive, fired it up, and took off. Two rail employees and a local deputy uncoupled another locomotive and gave chase on a parallel track. Now, unlike a car chase, a train chase doesn't leave you with too many options. You can go forward, you can go in reverse, and you can stop. There are no alleyways or sidestreets to duck into, and there's no room Steve McQueen-style driving. Soon after Perry had exhausted all of his options for evading capture (including exchanging gunfire with his pursuers), his train exhausted its steam outside the village of Newark, NY, leaving the robber to flee on foot.

Perry stopped at a local farm, where he stole a horse. When the horse was exhausted, he went to another farm where he stole another horse. Soon, that horse too was unable to go on. Perry continued on foot, with a posse hot on his trail. He then made his way into a swamp. Exhausted from hours of running, Perry holed up at an old stone wall where he prepared to make his last stand.

The posse eventually located Perry and surrounded him. After a long standoff, Perry called out requesting to speak with one of the lawmen. Deputy Jerry Collins agreed to lay down his gun and speak with Perry. Collins attempted to convince Perry to surrender, but the outlaw was hesitant to give up and face life in prison. During the negotiations, Perry became momentarily distracted by a noise behind him. Collins saw his opportunity. He overpowered Perry, disarmed him, and wrestled him into a pair of handcuffs.

Messenger Daniel McInerney survived his wounds, so Perry was spared facing a murder charge. He was convicted and sentenced to 49 years in prison for the robbery. After mutliple escape attempts, and several long stints in solitary confinement, Perry went mad and was transferred to the state hospital for the criminaly insane in Matteawan, NY. He escaped from Matteawan in 1895, but was captured the next week in New Jersey. He was later transferred to the insane asylum in Dannemora, NY, where he gouged out both of his eyes with pieces of metal, permanently blinding himself. Oliver Curtis Perry died in the mental hospital in Dannemora in 1930. He was 64.

Further reading:

Wanted Man, by Tamsin Spargo

Time magazine - Obituary for Oliver Curtis Perry

Courier-Gazette - "The Great Train Robbery"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


On this date in 1894, notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin was released from a Texas prison after serving 15 years, 5 months for murder. Hardin, who had been given time off for good behavior, had earned a law degree while in prison. The following month, he would be issued a pardon by the governor. After receiving his pardon, Hardin, who claimed to have killed over 40 men, passed the bar exam and set up a law practice in El Paso, TX. I'll leave it to you folks to decide whether being a lawyer was actually a step up from Hardin's previous profession. Hardin was killed in 1895, shot in the back of the head by a man he had argued with earlier in the day.

Further reading:

Wikipedia - John Wesley Hardin

Famous Texans - John Wesley Hardin

Texas Archival Resources Online - A Guide to the John Wesley Hardin Collection

Monday, February 16, 2009


This week's babe is Jenny McCarthy. She's guest-starring in this week's episode of Chuck.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


On this date in 1933, Giuseppe Zangara attempted to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Zangara had originally planned to kill President Herbert Hoover. He blamed Hoover for his medical problems. Unfortunately, Hoover lost the 1932 election before Zangara could carry out his plan. Figuring that one president was just as good as the next, he switched his target to the newly elected Roosevelt. Ya gotta give him an "A" for felxibility.

On February 15, Roosevelt was in Miami to give a speech at Bayfront Park. Zangara, barely five feet tall, had to stand on a chair to see his target. He drew his .32 pistol and fired six shots. He missed Roosevelt, but hit five other people, including Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Cermak later died of complications from the shooting.

Zangara was tried and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to death and was executed on March 20, 1933, forty-five days after his arrest. At his execution, his last words to the judge were:
"You give me electric chair. I no afraid of that chair! You one of capitalists. You is crook man too. Put me in electric chair. I no care! Get to hell out of here, you sonofabitch [spoken to the attending minister]... I go sit down all by myself... Viva Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere!... Lousy capitalists! No picture! Capitalists! No one here to take my picture. All capitalists lousy bunch of crooks. Go ahead. Pusha da button!"

Further reading:

Wikipedia article in Giuseppe Zangara

"Assassinating the US President"

Saturday, February 14, 2009


On this day in 1929, seven of gangster Bugs Moran's men were gunned down by five men impersonating police officers. The probable sender of this grisly Valentine: Al Capone. I guess Big Al didn't think flowers and chocolates would do the trick. The killings became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Check out author/crime historian Pat Downey's interview with Mario Gomes, the man who knows more about Al Capone than anyone. Well, anyone alive, anyway.

Further reading:

Mysterynet: The St. Valentine's Day Massacre With Pictures

Ghosts of the Prairie - Blood, Roses & Valentines: The Haunted History of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Wikipedia - The St. Valentine's Day Massacre


Hey, happy V-Day to all you romantic-types out there. And to all you married guys, I hope you took the time to do something nice for your wife. You know, like buy her flowers, or candy, or something. If you haven't, you'd better get to it. The day's half over already. Come on, guys, show some appreciation for the woman who has done so much for you.

Image found at

Friday, February 13, 2009


"Howdy. I'm gonna separate your head from your shoulders. Hope you don't mind none."

-Severen (Bill Paxton), Near Dark (1987)


Be careful out there today folks. Don't walk under any ladders. Don't break any mirrors. Watch out for those black cats. And, most importantly, steer clear of guys with machetes. Especially if they're wearing goalie masks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I just read some great news over at Victor Gischler's blog. His novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse has been optioned by a Hollywood producer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be seeing it on the big screen soon. GGGOTA was the best book I read in 2008, and I read some damned good books last year. If you haven't read it, you really ought to check it out. Action, adventure, guns, booze, and strippers; who could ask for anything more? - Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse 

Monday, February 09, 2009


This week's babe , Elin Nordegren, just gave birth to a son. This event makes her husband, golf sensation Tiger Woods, about the only athlete in the news this week who's not on steroids. Congrats to the Woods family on the birth of their son, Charlie Axel Woods.


On this date in 1960, Adolph Coors III, heir to the beer company, was kidnapped after leaving for work. Evidence eventually pointed to a Fulbright scholar-turned-crook named Joseph Corbett, Jr. A nationwide manhunt was launched, with the FBI releasing over 1.5 million wanted posters.

By September 1960, the remains of Adolph Coors were found near Pike's Peak. Apparently, he had been shot during the abduction. In October 1960, Corbett was arrested by Canadian police in Vancouver, BC. He was convicted in 1961 and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in 1978.

Further reading:

This Day In History - Coors brewery heir is kidnapped

Wikipedia - Adolph Coors III

Wikipedia - Joseph Corbett, Jr.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


On this date in 1932, bootlegger, kidnapper, and hitman Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll was gunned down (this would constitute "death by natural causes" in Coll's line of work). Coll had worked for Dutch Schultz, and was hired by Salvatore Maranzano to kill Lucky Luciano. Luciano, living up to his nickname, got wind of the hit and sent his own trigger-men to the scheduled meeting with Maranzano. By the time Coll showed up to do the job, Maranzano was already dead. Having no idea he was Maranzano's designated hitter, the trigger men let Mad Dog go. Luciano wasn't the only one that got lucky that day. To sweeten the deal, Coll had been paid 25K of his 50 grand fee in advance. Not bad for a day of non-work.

Coll's luck ran out seven months later. He was in a drug store phone booth. Legend has it that he was on the phone with Hell's Kitchen mob boss Owney Madden, and that Madden kept Coll on the phone until the shooter--probably working for Dutch Schultz--could get in place. The shooter put enough lead into Coll to kill a whole pack of mad dogs. Fifteen bullets were recovered from Coll's body. A bunch more went right through him. "Can you here me now?"

Wikipedia article on Coll

Vincent Mad Dog Coll's grave

Gangster City website - Photo of the phone booth where Coll was gunned down

Gangster City, by Patrick Downey (Paperback edition, coming to a bookstore near you in March 2009)

Friday, February 06, 2009


"Baravelli, you've got the brain of a four-year old boy, and I'll bet he was glad to get rid of it."

-Professor Qunicy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), Horse Feathers (1932)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


On this date in 1974, 19 year old heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkley, CA apartment by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. By the following April, she was photographed holding a weapon during a San Francisco bank robbery. She was eventually arrested in September of 1975. She would later claim she was brainwashed by the SLA. The jury at her trial didn't buy it, and she was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Her sentence was eventually commuted to 7 years, and she was granted a pardon in 2001.

Further reading:


Wikipedia - Patty Hearst


Meet Sheyla Hershey, the woman who sports what may be the largest breasts on the planet. They're 38KKK. And no, they're not natural. Unless you consider putting over a gallon of silicone into the human body "homeopathic."


Tuesday, February 03, 2009


On this date in 1959, a small plane crashed in Iowa, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson. The day would be come to know as "The Day the Music Died." Singer Don McLean recorded a tribute to the day in 1971. Here's a video of him performing the song.

Here's one of Buddy Holly performing his hit "Peggy Sue."

This one is of The Big Bopper, performing "Chantilly Lace" on American Bandstand.

I couldn't find one with video of Ritchie Valens performing "La Bamba," but this one has the audio.

Monday, February 02, 2009


This week's babe is model/actress Famke Janssen, a product of the Netherlands. Just like Heineken. Except without the green bottle.


Not being a football fan, I had to find a way to pass the time yesterday while the Superbowl was on. I figured it was a good bet that the restaurants wouldn't be too busy as kickoff time neared, so I went out to eat with the wife. Most of the restaurants we passed looked pretty quiet. Naturally, the one we had a gift card for - Red Lobster - was busy. Still, it wasn't too bad. We grabbed one of the tables by the bar, so we didn't have to wait to be seated. We got served pretty quickly, which is always good. I ate so much shrimp and pasta (not to mention those biscuits), that I just about had to be rolled out the door. The Yuengling was pretty tasty too.

Once we were back at the old hacienda, I had to come up with some sort of entertainment plan. I dug deep into the recesses of my VHS collection, and came up with Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool, which I watched back to back. Kind of like a double header. Harry Callahan won both games, but I don't recall the score. You lose count of the bodies after a while.


Looks like the oversize rat saw his shadow. So I guess it's six more weeks of frickin' winter. Dammit.