Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is Russian-born model Irina Shayk. For more of Irina, check out her official website.



Monday, November 29, 2010

A CYBER MONDAY GIFT SUGGESTION


Hey, kids, today is Cyber Monday, the online equivalent to Black Friday. If you're still looking for gift ideas, and you haven't maxed out your credit cards yet, you may wish to consider buying a copy (or two, or three) of Discount Noir, an anthology of flash fiction crime stories that take place in a certain big-box store. It even includes a story by a member of the Nobody Move! creative team. Discount Noir is available as an e-book in multiple formats from these great retailers:

The Untreed Reads Store (40% off for Cyber Monday)

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

Sony Bookstore

Kobo Books

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

OmniLit

Smashwords

Rumor has it you can also find it in the Apple store and at many other fine e-book retailers.

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 29, 1933


On this date in 1933, the bound and mutilated body of outlaw Verne Miller was found just outside Detroit, MI. Miller, the chief suspect in the Kansas City Massacre, was a decorated World War I veteran and former lawman. After a short stint as sheriff of Beadle County, SD, Miller turned to a life of crime. He started out in bootlegging, then moved on to robbery. Eventually he wound up as a trigger man for organized crime. The list of people with motives to kill him was long, but Miller's murder was never solved.

Further reading:

Wikipedia: Vernon C. Miller

FBI Famous Cases - Kansas City Massacre - Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd

SD Public Broadcasting - Vern Miller History Page

Lawman to Outlaw: Verne Miller and the Kansas City Massacre, by Brad Smith

Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34, by Bryan Burrough

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE - BETTER LATE THAN NEVER EDITION


"I'm my own police."

-Roy Egan (Harvey Keitel), City of Industry (1997)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 27, 1934


On this date in 1934, Lester Gillis, better known as George "Baby Face" Nelson (and don't even think about calling him "Baby Face" to his baby face) died after being shot by FBI agents. Nelson was shot multiple times in a gun battle that also resulted in the deaths of FBI Inspector Samuel Cowley and Special Agent Herman Hollis. Nelson's body was later found in a ditch, wrapped in a blanket.

Further reading:

FBI History - "Baby Face" Nelson

truTV - Baby Face Nelson: Childlike Mug, Psychopathic Soul

Wikipedia - Baby Face Nelson

FBI Hall of Honor - Samuel P. Cowley

FBI Hall of Honor - Herman E. Hollis

Friday, November 26, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 26, 1933


On this date in 1933, the people of San Jose, CA decided to take the law into their own hands. Thomas Thurmond and John Holmes were being held in connection with the kidnapping and murder of 22 year old department store heir Brooke Hart. The townsfolk, already enraged by the nature of the crime, whipped themselves into a frenzy when rumor spread that the two men were going to try an insanity defense. On the night of November 26th, they stormed the jail, broke down the door, and took the two men. The crowd brought them to a nearby park, where they hung each man from a tree. No one was ever prosecuted for the lynching. In fact, California Governor James Rolph, who had refused the Sheriff's request for National Guard troops to hold off the mob, praised the action and promised to pardon anyone charged with the lynching.

Further reading:

Wikipedia: Brooke Hart

truTV: Brooke Hart

San Jose PBA: The Hart Murder and Lynching

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 24, 1971

On this date in 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 airliner. He received $200,000 in ransom and ordered the plane back into the air. He parachuted out somewhere over southwestern Washington state and disappeared. In February of 1980, $5880 of the money was found by 8 year old Brian Ingram near Vancouver, WA. Cooper's true identity and whereabouts, and the whereabouts of the rest of the ransom money, remain unknown to this day.

Further reading:

truTV - D.B. Cooper, the legendary skyjacker

Wikipedia - D.B. Cooper

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 24, 1963


On this date in 1963, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald at Dallas Police headquarters. Ruby was arrested on the spot (one of the hazards of committing a crime at police headquarters). He was tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. His death sentence was overturned on appeal in 1966, and a new trial was ordered. Jack Ruby died in 1967, before he could get a new trial.

Ruby's motive for the murder has been the subject of much speculation over the last 45 years. Was he carrying out a hit for the mafia? The CIA? The monsters living under Oliver Stone's bed? Or was he just trying to rid the world of an undesirable? We'll probably never know.

Further reading:

Wikipedia - Jack Ruby

JFK Online - In Defense of Jack Ruby

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 24, 1917


On this date in 1917, a bomb exploded at the Milwaukee, WI Police headquarters. The bomb, a black powder device, was found outside a Catholic church. The church janitor brought it to the police station, where it exploded while being examined by officers. Nine police officers and a civilian employee were killed in the blast. The case was never solved, but an anarchist group was believed to be responsible.

Further reading:

Milwaukee's Finest - 1917 Bombing

Wikipedia - Milwaukee Police Department

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is Spanish hottie Nereida Gallardo. ¡Ella está muy buena!



Monday, November 22, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 22, 1963


On this date in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX.



Further reading:

The Kennedy Assassination

No Conspiracy Behind JFK Assassination: A Technological Conclusion

Saturday, November 20, 2010

BACK


I'm finally home from my week-long excursion into long hours and bad food. I rolled in at 11:30 last night. Sadly, I did not get as much sleep as I had hoped. Maybe I'll sleep in tomorrow. Then again, maybe not.

Friday, November 19, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE

"There was a time when we'd take a guy like you in the back and beat you with a hose. Now you've got your God-damned unions." 

-Captain O'Hagan (Brian Cox), Super Troopers (2001)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

THE END IS NEAR

The week from Hell is almost over.  One more day, then I have that long drive home.  I'm sleeping in on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SKIMPY

Due to some serious time constraints, blogging is going to be a little light around here.  Hopefully we'll be back up to speed by the end of the week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 12, 1941

On this date in 1941, Murder Inc. associate-turned stool pigeon Abe "Kid Twist" Reles went on a flight. Out the window of room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island. It was a one-way trip. And no frequent flier miles for old Abe. Reles, who had flipped on his former Murder, Inc. associates, was under police protection at the time. Did he jump, or was he pushed? Did the cops look the other way, or did they take a more "active" role? Did Reles's fellow snitches occupying the "Squealers Suite" at the Half Moon have a hand in it? Thanks to a thoroughly shoddy investigation by the police and the Brooklyn D.A., we'll probably never know for sure. But one thing we do know is that "Kid Twist" traded in his nickname for a new one: "The canary who sang, but couldn't fly."

Further Reading:

Wikipedia - Abe Reles

The American Mafia - Abe Reles

FBI Files on Abe Reles

The Canary Sang but Couldn't Fly, by Edmund Elmaleh

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE


"Presumably I'm the condemned man, and obviously you're the hearty breakfast."

-James Bond (Sean Connery), Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

HAPPY VETERANS DAY



Thank you to all who've served, and all those who continue to serve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 10, 1924

On this date in 1924, Chicago North Side gang boss Dean O'Banion was shot and killed in the back of the Schofield flower shop (pictured above), which served as his headquarters. Apparently, the Chicago Outfit, which ran the South Side, decided it didn't like the competition. They sent some of the boys to visit O'Banion in his shop. They gunned him down as he was working on a floral arrangement for mob luminary Mike Merlo's funeral. The hit touched off a gang war between the two factions that would last five years, and would come to an end in the wake of the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Dean O'Banion Online

Wikipedia - Dion O'Banion

Graveyards of Chicago - Dion "Deany" O'Banion

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is actress Lacey Chabert. I don't think I've seen any of her movies. I guess I'm going to have to remedy that situation at some point.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

THE WALKING DEAD


Two episodes in, I am totally hooked on the AMC series The Walking Dead. If you're not familiar with the show, it tells the story of zombie apocalypse survivors. And while a show about life in a world overrun by zombies could easily degenerate into an endless series of jump scenes and gross-outs, TWD has done a good job of building suspense and creating believable characters. Not that there isn't plenty of gore, but it's not used as a substitute for an actual story.

I read some good news about TWD earlier today. Wyatt, at Support Your Local Gunfighter (another TWD fan), linked a story that said that The Walking Dead has been picked up for a second season already. Yee-frickin'-ha!

But don't just take my word for it, check out the first episode in the embedded video below.

Monday, November 08, 2010

AMERICAN SCARY

I've blogged before about the movie American Scary.  The 2006 documentary examines TV horror movie hosts over the years.  I was hoping it would show up on cable some night while I was channel-surfing, but it never did.  Last weekend I was scanning Hulu in search of a good movie to watch when I ran across American Scary.  It's available here if you want to check it out.  If you're a fan of TV horror hosts, it makes for an entertaining hour and a half.

Friday, November 05, 2010

FRIDAY MOVIE QUOTE


"It's all in the grind, Sizemore. Can't be too fine, can't be too coarse. This, my friend, is a science. I mean, you're looking at the guy that believed all the commercials. You know, about 'Be all you can be.' I made coffee through Desert Storm. I made coffee through Panama, while everyone else got to fight, got to be a Ranger. Now it's 'Grimesy, black, one sugar' or 'Grimesy, got a powdered anywhere?'"

-Grimes (Ewan McGregor), Black Hawk Down (2001)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 4, 1928


On this date in 1928, notorious gambler Aronold Rothstein lost his biggest bet. When Rothstein, thought to be the brains behind the 1919 World Series fix, showed up at room 349 at the Park Central hotel in Manhattan, he was greeted with a bullet to the abdomen. The shooting was allegedly motivated by an unpaid gambling debt. As the story goes, Rothstein--the ultimate gambling fixer himself--thought that the poker game where he lost three hundred large was rigged. As a result, he balked at paying. Another theory has it that the Rothstein hit was perpetrated by rivals looking to take over his rackets. Either way, Rothstein died a couple days later. He refused to name the shooter, and no one was ever convicted of his murder. The case remains officially unsolved.

Further reading:

American Mafia - Arnold Rothstein

DavidPietrusza.com - Rothstein

Gangster City, by Patrick Downey

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

BABE OF THE WEEK


This week's babe is model and actress Stacy Sanches. Stacy was a Playboy centerfold in 1995, and Playmate of the Year in 1996.


TODAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 3, 1883


On this date in 1883, infamous outlaw Black Bart robbed his last stagecoach. Bart, whose real name was Charles Bolles, began robbing stagecoaches at the ripe old age of 46. He committed his first robbery in 1875 in Calavaras County, CA. The stage from Milton to Sonora was his target. He stopped the stage by pointing a double barrel shotgun at driver John Shine and calling for his accomplices--hidden in the bushes behind him--to open fire if Shine made a move for his gun. Seeing six rifle barrels pointing at him from the bushes, Shine decided that discretion was the better part of valor. He turned over the strong box and mail sack without incident and headed on down the road.

When Shine returned to the scene of the robbery, he saw that the rifle barrels were still protruding from the bushes. When he noticed they weren't moving, he moved in closer. That's when he realized that the rifle barrels were really sticks stuck in the bushes. Black Bart was working alone.

Over the next eight years, Bart committed twenty-seven more robberies. Bart never shot anyone, but he was shot twice. And he never robbed any of the passengers. In fact, during one robbery, a terrified female passenger threw her purse out the window to Bart. Bart picked it up, walked to the stage, handed it back to the lady and said " "Madam, I do not wish your money. In that respect I honor only the good office of Wells Fargo." What a guy!

Bart wasn't just a robber, he was a poet, too. At the scene of his fourth and fifth robberies, he left behind poems he had written signed "Black Bart, the P o 8." Here's a sample of Bart's verse, from the fourth robbery:
I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons-of-bitches.

Pure Shakespeare. Old Bart was a true renaissance man. With a shotgun.

Bart's eight year robbery career came to an end in 1883, when he robbed a stage on Funk Hill, in Calaveras County, the scene of his first heist. Bart got shot and fled the scene. He left a number of personal items behind, including a handkerchief with a laundry mark. Wells Fargo detectives traced the mark to a laundry in San Francisco. Once they found the laundry, it wasn't long before they were on the trail of a "C.E. Bolton," who lived in a local boarding house, and was known to take frequent business trips. Business trips that just happened to coincide with twenty-eight stage coach robberies.

Charles Bolles eventually admitted to being Black Bart, and to committing several of the robberies. Wells Fargo pressed charges on his last robbery, and Bolles was tried and convicted. He wound up doing four years in San Quentin. He disappeared shortly after his release in 1888.


BLACK BART: California's Infamous Stage Robber

Wikipedia article about Charles Bolles/Black Bart

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 2, 1979


On this date in 1979, three members of the Black Liberation Army broke fellow BLA member Assata Shakur (aka Joanne Chesimard) out of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in Union Township, NJ. The escape began when the BLA members, posing as prison visitors, drew .45 pistols and took two guards hostage. They seized a prison van and used it to flee the prison with Shakur. Once outside the prison, they switched cars and made their getaway. The two hostages were released unharmed.

Shakur, step-aunt of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, was serving a life sentence for her role in the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. After escaping prison, she lived as a fugitive in the U.S. She eventually fled to Cuba where she was granted asylum by the government.

Further reading:

FBI - JOANNE DEBORAH CHESIMARD

Wikipedia - Assata Shakur

Monday, November 01, 2010

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: NOVEMBER 1, 1950


On this date in 1950, two assassins made an attempt on the life of President Harry Truman. The attempt was made when Truman was staying in Blair House while structural repairs were being made to the White House.

Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, members of the pro-independence Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, approached Blair House from opposite directions. They planned to mount simultaneous assaults and shoot their way inside the house, where they would kill Truman. The men engaged White House police officers and Secret Service agents in a gun battle that resulted in the wounding off two officers and the death of Officer Leslie Coffelt.

Neither assassin gained entry to Blair House. Torresola was killed by Officer Coffelt before he collapsed and died from his own wounds. Collazo (pictured above) was wounded in the gun battle and arrested. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to life by President Truman. He was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. He returned to Puerto Rico, where he died in 1994 at the age of 80.

Further reading:

Truman Library - Assassination Attempt on President Truman's Life

Wikipedia - Truman assassination attempt