Saturday, January 30, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 30, 1835

On this date in 1835, Richard Lawrence became the first person in history to attempt to assassinate a United States President. Lawrence, who fancied himself King George III of England, blamed President Andrew Jackson for a host of things, including the death of his father. Lawrence purchased two pistols, and then, in true "deranged gunman" fashion, he tracked Jackson's movements for some time before making his move (he must have seen Taxi Driver). On January 30th, he attempted an ambush as the President was leaving a funeral service. He aimed one of his pistols at Jackson's back and pulled the trigger. Misfire. Then he aimed the second pistol and pulled the trigger. Same deal. And since he didn't have the foresight to arrange for a backup shooter in the grassy knoll, Lawrence's assassination attempt fell flat. And so did Lawrence, after the crowd, which included Congressman (and King of the Wild Frontier) Davy Crockett, tackled him. Rumor has it that even the President got in on the act, whacking the wannabe shooter with his cane for good measure. Lawrence was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He spent the remainder of his life in an insane asylum that would later house future wannabe assassin John Hinckley. For years, there was speculation that Lawrence was put up to the assassination attempt by enemies of President Jackson, but there was never any evidence to support the charge. A conspiracy? No evidence to prove its existence? I'm thinking we have Oliver Stone's next movie here.

Further reading:

Wikipedia - Richard Lawrence

AmericanHeritage.com - Trying to Assassinate President Jackson

Friday, January 29, 2010

APPLE UNVEILS THE iPad

And der F├╝hrer is not amused.

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE

"If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him."

-Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: DECEMBER 28, 1982

On this date in 1982, US Army Brigadier General James Dozier was rescued by Italian police. Dozier, who had been kidnapped by Italian Red Brigades terrorists 42 days earlier, was being held in an apartment in the northern Italian city of Padua. After determining the General's location, the Italian police sent in the NOCS, a special operations unit trained in hostage rescue. A bulldozer was started near the building to cover the noise of the rescuers as they moved into position. A 12-man NOCS team stormed the apartment and overpowered the terrorists without firing a shot, rescuing the General, and taking five of his captors into custody.

Further reading:

Wikipedia - James L. Dozier

Wikipedia - Red Brigades

NY Times - General Dozier Freed in Major Red Brigades Defeat

Air & Space Power Journal - The Dozier Kidnapping: Confronting the Red Brigades

SpecWarNet - NOCS

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PICK-ME-UP

The last couple of weeks have been stressful and busy. Blogging, as is usually the case, has taken a back seat to life's demands. Maybe I'll blog about it all in a few days if I get the urge (and time) to rant and/or whine. In the meantime, here's something that ought to raise my spirits. Rocker-babes on giant bungee cords - does it get any better than that?

Monday, January 25, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is model-actress Ivana Bozilovic, who played Naomi ("That's 'I moan', backwards") in Van Wilder. For the latest Ivana news, check out her official website.

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 25, 1947

On this date in 1947, former Chicago Outfit boss Al Capone, who had been in declining health since his release from federal prison,  died on his estate on Palm Island, FL. 

Further reading:

Mario Gomes - My Al Capone Museum

FBI - Al Capone

truTV - Al Capone

Sunday, January 24, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 24, 1989




On this date in 1989, serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison. His last words: "I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends."





Further reading:

truTV: Ted Bundy

FBI: Theodore Robert Bundy

Famous Last Words--Ted Bundy

Wikipedia: Ted Bundy

Friday, January 22, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE


"Lie to no one. If they're somebody close to you, you're gonna ruin it with a lie. And if they're a stranger, who the fuck are they you gotta lie to them?"

-Okla (Willie Nelson), Thief (1981)

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 22, 1957

On this day in 1957, George Metesky was arrested at his home in Waterbury, CT. Metesky was suspected of being the "Mad Bomber" that had terrorized New York during the 1940s and 50s. In all, he had planted thirty-three bombs. Twenty-two of the bombs exploded, injuring fifteen people. His motive: denial of a worker's compensation claim against Consolidated Edison in 1931. Metesky's arrest was the result of an early use of profiling techniques by police. Metesky was found legally insane and committed to a mental institution in 1957. He was released in 1973, and died in 1994 at the age of 90.

Further reading:

truTV: George Metesky: New York City's Mad Bomber

Wikipedia: George Metesky

Time Magazine: An article from 1957 titled "George Did It"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 21, 1959

On this date in 1959, Carl Switzer, best known for playing Alfalfa in the Our Gang series, was shot and killed by a friend. Switzer, who was drunk at the time, got into an argument with the man over $50 that Switzer thought he was owed. The man shot Switzer after being assaulted and threatened with a knife. He was arrested and charged with murder, but the jury acquitted him.

Further reading:

The Death of Carl Alfalfa Switzer

Wikipedia - Carl Switzer

Here's a video of Alfalfa facing a previous death threat:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is Katee Sackoff, appearing in season 8 of 24 as systems analyst Dana Walsh. She also starred in the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactaca. I think she played a character named Stardoe, or something like that. Check out her official website for the latest Katee news.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 17, 1950


On this date in 1950, the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston, MA was robbed of over $2.5 million in cash, checks and money orders. It took years for cops to solve the crime. The robbery inspired a 1978 movie starring Peter Falk. There was also a sequel--to the robbery, not the movie--when members of the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army robbed a Brinks Armored car in Nanuet, NY in 1981. As usual, the sequel was inferior to the original.

FBI History: The Brinks Robbery

Crime Magazine: The Great Brinks Robbery

Wikipedia: Great Brinks Robbery

The Brinks Job (1978)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 16, 1935


On this date in 1935, Kate "Ma" Barker, matriarch of the infamous family of criminals, died along with her son Fred in a hail of gunfire near Ocala, FL. Far from the Tommy-gun toting outlaw she's been portrayed as in popular culture, Ma Barker's role in the Barker-Karpis gang was probably limited to providing logistical and moral (or is it immoral?) support.

On January 8, 1935, her son Arthur "Doc" Barker was arrested in Chicago. When he was searched, a map of the area where his brother Fred Barker was hiding out with Ma. On the 16th, federal agents surrounded the house and ordered the Barkers to surrender. A gunfight followed. Both Ma and Fred were killed in the battle. When they entered the house, agents found a Tommy gun still in Ma's hands. Or so they claimed.

Further reading:

Wikipedia - Ma Barker

truTV - Alvin Karpis: Pursuit of the Last Public Enemy

Find a Grave - "Ma" Barker

FBI - Barker-Karpis Gang

Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, January 17, 1935 - "Fred Barker and Mother Slain in Florida Hideout"

Friday, January 15, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE


"There's only one thing that gets orders and gives orders, and this is it. That's how I got the south side for you, and that's how I'm gonna get the north side for you. It's a typewriter. I'm gonna write my name all over this town with it, in big letters!"

-Tony Camonte (Paul Muni), Scarface (1932)

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 15, 1947

On this date in 1947, the mutilated remains of a young woman were found in Los Angeles. The woman would soon be identified as Elizabeth Short, an unemployed 22 year old, originally from Massachusetts. The news media would soon dub her the Black Dahlia. The LAPD conducted an exhaustive investigation, but the case remains unsolved.


Further reading:

The Black Dahlia Web Site

truTV - Black Dahlia

Wikipedia - Black Dahlia

Thursday, January 14, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 14, 1979

On this date in 1979, Lucchese crime family associate Thomas "Two-Gun Tommy" DeSimone was reported missing by his wife. Turns out he was whacked, reportedly by members of the Gambino family. DeSimone, who was believed to have killed at least ten people, apparently killed someone he shouldn't have. I guess if you kill enough people, that's bound to happen eventually. Anyway, DeSimone's victims included William "Billy Batts" Devino, a made man with the Gambino family, and Ronald "Foxy" Jerothe, a protege of future Gambino family boss John Gotti. Killing made men without permission is a big no-no in the mob, which Tommy found out the hard way. He was lured to his death by Lucchese family members who told him he was being "made," and that they were taking him to the ceremony. They made him all right; they made him dead. DeSimone's body was never found. His remains were thought to be buried in a "mob graveyard" on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

Tommy DeVito, the character played by Joe Pesci in the movie Goodfellas, was based in large part on Thomas DeSimone.

Further reading:

Wikipedia - Thomas DeSimone 

The Free Information Society - DeSimone, Thomas  

truTV - The End of Tommy DeSimone 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 13, 1939

On this date in 1939, five inmates, including Arthur "Doc" Barker of the infamous Karpis-Barker gang, attempted to escape from the federal prison on Alcatraz Island.  The men escaped from the cell house after sawing and bending the bars on a window.  They made their way to the shoreline and attempted to escape on a makeshift raft.  When they were discovered, three of the inmates, William Martin, Henri Young, and Rufus McCain surrendered.  Barker and inmate Dale Stamphill were shot by guards.  Barker died later from his wounds.

 

 

Further reading:

 

Alcatraz Escape Attempts

 

Alcatraz - Escapes

 

Alcatraz - Arthur "Doc" Barker

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is Swedish model/actress Mini Anden, seen recently as smokin' hot CIA operative Carina in Chuck.

Monday, January 11, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 11, 1794

On this date in 1794, Robert Forsyth became the first U.S. Marshal killed in the line of duty.  Forsyth, who was appointed U.S. Marshal in Georgia by President George Washington, was accompanied by two of his deputies as he attempted to serve civil legal papers on brothers Beverly and William Allen.  When Forsyth knocked on the door to the room where Beverly Allen  (a former Methodist minister who probably had a chip on his shoulder over being tagged with an unmanly name) was hiding, Allen shot him in the head, killing him.

 

Beverly Allen was eventually arrested for murdering Forsyth, but he escaped, never to be recaptured.

 

Further reading:

 

U.S. Justice Department - The First Marshal of Georgia:  Robert Forsyth

Friday, January 08, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE


"We're here to preserve democracy, not practice it."

-Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman), Crimson Tide (1995)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

ENOUGH ALREADY!

3D TVs?  Are you kidding me?  I don't even have an HD TV yet!  And I haven't replaced all my VHS movies with DVDs yet, either.  And Blu-ray?  Forgetaboutit!  That's still a pipe dream at this point.  It's time to slow down all this rapid advancement in entertainment technology for a while.  I just can't afford to keep up. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe* is south-of-the-border hottie Paulina Flores. She's enough to make me want to book a flight to sunny Mexico. Well, her and the icy cold weather here in NY.

*Actually, it's been a few weeks since I've posted a babe here. Blogging's been light all the way around here. Chalk it up to holiday exhaustion.

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 5, 1945

On this date in 1945, Albany, NY Police Chief William Fitzpatrick was shot and killed in his office at police headquarters. It all started when the Chief's bodyguard and longtime friend, Detective John McElveney, entered the office at 3:00 PM. The two men began to argue. The argument ended at 3:10 when Detective McElveney drew his pistol and shot Chief Fitzpatrick in the head, killing him.

According to the Albany Police and the D.A.'s office, the argument was part of an "ongoing dispute." Contemporary news reports suggest the dispute was over payment for recent dental work done to correct injuries McElveney suffered after having been struck by Fitzpatrick.

Detective McElveney was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, avoiding the appointment with the electric chair that usually awaited most cop killers back in those days. He was released in 1957, when his sentence was commuted by Governor Averill Harriman. He died of cancer in 1968 at the age of 71.

There are those who believe that Chief Fitzpatrick, back when he was a sergeant, was one of the gunmen who killed gangster Legs Diamond in 1931. But that murder will have to remain a mystery; at least until some enterprising true crime writer unearths the truth.

Further reading:

Albany Police - Chief William J. Fitzpatrick

O Albany!, by William Kennedy

Schenectady Gazette, January 29, 1946 - "Pleads Guilty to 2nd Degree Murder Count"

Sunday, January 03, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: JANUARY 3, 1791

On this date in 1791, a posse in Stephentown, NY attempted to arrest local resident Whiting Sweeting on a warrant for theft. Sweeting resisted, and in the process of arresting him, Albany County Constable Darius Quimby was stabbed. Quimby later died of his wounds. He is commonly believed to be the first law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in U.S. history. Sweeting was charged with Quimby's murder. He was convicted in July of 1791 and was executed the follwoing month.

Fruther reading:

Officer Down Memorial Page - Constable Darius Quimby (Note: This is one of many online sources that incorrectly state that Quimby was shot)

An NYCHS Timeline on Executions by Hanging in New York State

Ancestry Message Boards - Whiting Sweeting, Darius Quimby

Friday, January 01, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE


"The appearance of law must be upheld, especially when it's being broken."

-William "Boss" Tweed (Jim Broadbent), Gangs of New York (2002)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!