Sunday, February 28, 2010


On this date in 1997, LAPD officers patrolling North Hollywood saw two heavily armed masked men enter the Bank of America Branch on Laurel Canyon Blvd. Several minutes later the men left the bank with over $300,000 in cash. By that time, several other police units had arrived on the scene to provide backup. The robbers, Larry Phillips (above left) and Emil Matasareanu (above right) were ready for a confrontation with police; they were each carrying multiple weapons, had thousands of rounds of ammunition, and had taken phenobarbital prior to the robbery to calm their nerves. To make matters worse, they were both wearing body armor.

The robbers opened fire on the officers. In the ensuing gun battle, which lasted over 40 minutes, officers fired over 600 rounds, the robbers over 1000. Overmatched by the robbers' superior firepower, officers went to a local gun store to procure better weapons.

The shootout ended with the death of both suspects. Ten officers and seven civilians were injured.

You can see pictures from my 2008 trip to the scene here.

Here's a National Geographic documentary about the shootout:

Further reading:

Wikipedia - North Hollywood shootout

Friday, February 26, 2010


"I'm a mog: half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend!"

-Barf (John Candy), Spaceballs (1987)


Today's lunch consisted of the worst General Tso's chicken I've ever had.  Dry, tasteless - it was just awful.  And this place is usually so good, too.  Very disappointing.  Guess I should've ordered the chicken with broccoli. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I finished my taxes last night. That's an annual ritual I could do without. I use H&R Block's online service. I've been using it for the last couple of years. As much as I hate doing taxes, Block's site makes it a little more convenient. And this year, thanks to, it was free.

I spent a good portion of today at a funeral. My wife's cousin's husband passed away last week; he had a heart attack. He was only 45, another reminder that we're all on borrowed time.

As if today wasn't hard enough already, we got hit with a snowstorm that started last night and continued through this afternoon. The weather geeks are speculating that we might get another one tomorrow. I'm hoping they're wrong, this week's been tough enough already.

Monday, February 22, 2010


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

Saturday, February 20, 2010


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"

Friday, February 19, 2010


On this date in 1942, Murder, Inc. hitmen Harry "Happy" Maione and Frank "Dasher" Abbandando were executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing prison.  The two men were sentenced to die for the murder of police informer George "Whitey" Rudnick after fellow Murder, Inc. button man Abe "Kid Twist" Reles turned state's evidence to save his own hide from a murder charge.  Happy's last meal was spaghetti and meatballs.  Dasher had lamb chops.

Further reading:

truTV Crime Library - Murder, Inc.

Executed Today: February 19, 1942

Utica, NY Daily Press, February 20, 1942


"I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts. Now that was offside, wasn't it? He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow."

-Stuart Mackenzie (Mike Meyers), So I Married and Axe Murderer (1993)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Tiger Woods will be breaking his 70 day silence tomorrow. Will he apologize? Will he beg the forgiveness of golf fans everywhere, the way he begged the forgiveness of his club-wielding wife? Not being a golf fan, I don't really care either way. But I know millions of people will be tuning in tomorrow, including Tiger's biggest fan:


On this date in 1878, 24 year old John Henry Tunstall, an English-born rancher, was shot and killed in Lincoln County, NM.  Tunstall's men, including a young upstart who came to be known as Billy the Kid, vowed revenge.  And thus began New Mexico's Lincoln County War.

Further reading:

Legends of America - New Mexico's Lincoln County War

The Death of John Tunstall

Wikipedia - John Tunstall 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This week's babe, Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis, is making her second appearance here at Nobody Move! She can definitely make me forget Sarah Marshall.

Monday, February 15, 2010


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.

Further reading:

Wikipedia article in Giuseppe Zangara

"Assassinating the US President"

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, March 11, 1933 - "Zangara Given Death Penalty"

Sunday, February 14, 2010


On this day in 1929, five of gangster Bugs Moran's men, along with two men unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, were gunned down by 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:

Mario Gomes's My Al Capone Museum: The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

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

Friday, February 12, 2010


"Hi there. Are you a large person? Pleasantly plump? A little on the hefty side, perhaps? Well, let's face it: Are you FAT? When you go jogging, do you leave pot-holes? When you make love, do you have to give directions? At the zoo, do the elephants throw YOU peanuts? Do you look at a menu and say 'OK'? Well, now, you can eat all you want, because at Thornton Melon's "Tall & Fat" stores, we've got you covered. That's right. Fine woolen, and woolen-blend suits and sport coats, in all the larger sizes - husky, stout, extra-stout, and the new Hindenburg line. And for you ladies we have caftans, muumuus, and our own exclusive A-frame in all colors and patterns. Yes, we have miles and miles of fabric. So take it from me, Thornton Melon, if you want to look thin, you hang out with fat people."

-Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield), Back to School (1985)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I took my final exam for CJ 601, Proactive Police Management tonight. My stress meter was redlined by the time the test started. I think I did pretty well on it, but I studied my ass off, so I'll be disappointed if I didn't.

I celebrated finishing the course with some leftover pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Do I know how to live it up, or what? I still haven't decompressed yet, but Psych is on in a few minutes, maybe watching that will do the trick.

In the meantime, I think I have enough time for a musical interlude. This tune is called "Man Machine". It's by Robbie Williams. Movie fans might recognize it from the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels soundtrack.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


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. (pictured above). 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.

Monday, February 08, 2010


This week's babe is Canadian-born actress Kristin Kreuk, best known for playing Lana Lang in Smallville. She's currently playing Hannah, the newest (and hottest) member of the Nerd Herd, in Chuck.


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) 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--possibly 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

Friday, February 05, 2010


"I don't have to tell you the story. You all know it. Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die. Now get off your butts. You guys are the Fighting 29th."

-Brigadier General Norman Cota (Robert Mitchum), The Longest Day (1962)

Thursday, February 04, 2010


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

PBS - The Taking of Patty Hearst

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Since it looks like we're stuck with six more weeks of winter - if rodent meteorologists can be believed - this week's babe was selected for her ability to heat up a weather forecast. Sugey Abrego is Mexico's sexiest weather babe.