Wednesday, March 30, 2011
It's time once again for your weekly dose of Wicked Weasel.
On this date in 1981, a pathetic loser named John Hinckley, Jr. made a play for the attention of actress Jodie Foster by attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan and three others were wounded in the attempt. Hinckley, who wound up buried under a mountain of Secret Service agents and cops, was arrested at the scene. He was later found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC, and is now allowed out to visit his mommy a dozen times a year. Still no date with Jodie Foster, though. Keep the faith, Johnny, she'll be stopping by any day now.
The Trial of John Hinckley
Wikipedia - Reagan assassination attempt
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the fire in the New York State Capitol. The fire, which began before dawn, started in the Assembly Library before spreading to the New York State Library.
It took more than half an hour before the first alarm was sounded at the Albany Fire Department. Even with over 150 firefighters fighting the blaze, it was hours before the fire was under control. The fire resulted in the death of one person, Samuel Abbott, a 78 year old Civil War veteran who was working as a night watchman in the Capitol. The fire also caused the destruction of hundreds of thousands of documents and books.
The Capitol fire came four days after the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City. The two fires led to legislation requiring improved fire safety standards.
Legend has it that the ghost of Samuel Abbott haunts the Capitol.
NY marks 100th anniversary of 1911 Capitol fire
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Happy Birthday to actor, director, author, and photographer Leonard Nimoy, who boldly goes where William Shatner went earlier this week: the big 8-0. If you're interested, You can check out Mr. Nimoy's photography at this site.
Friday, March 25, 2011
"We do not train to be merciful here. Mercy is for the weak. Here, on the street, in competition; a man confronts you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy."
-John Kreese (Martin Kove), The Karate Kid (1984)
Thursday, March 24, 2011
On this date in 1934, Harry Pierpont and Charles Makley were sentenced to die in the electric chair for the murder of Allen County, OH Sheriff Jesse Sarber. Sheriff Sarber was shot and killed when the outlaws broke their friend John Dillinger out of the Allen County jail in Lima, OH. Two days after Pierpont and Makley were sentenced, their accomplice Russell Clark was sentenced to life in prison for the murder.
truTV - John Dillinger
Auburn Citizen - Dillinger Gang Member Gets Life
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
On this date in 1963, the prison they called "The Rock" was closed by the Department of Justice. The federal penitentiary at Alcatraz opened in 1934. At its peak, it held over 200 inmates. Some of its more famous residents include Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, and Robert "Birdman" Stroud.
For more info, check out these sites:
National Park Service Alcatraz website
Ghosts of Alcatraz
Sunday, March 20, 2011
On this date in 1933, would be presidential assassin Giuseppe Zangara was executed in the Florida electric chair. Forty-five days prior to his execution, Zangara had tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. He missed Roosevelt, but managed to shoot several other people, including Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Cermak later died of his wounds.
The general consensus among historians is that Roosevelt was the intended target, and that Cermak was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But there is another school of thought: Cermak was the real target. As the story goes, Cermak was behind the attemtped assassination of Chicago Outfit boss Frank Nitti. The designated hitters for that job were officers of the Chicago PD, who claimed that they shot Nitti in self defense. Nitti survived the shooting and stood trial for his supposed assault on the officers. The jury didn't buy it, and Nitti was acquitted. The officers, on the other hand, were eventually charged with assault. One flipped on the other, and they were both convicted and fined $100 each.
As payback for the attempt on his life, the Outfit supposedly contracted Sicilian immigrant Giuseppe Zangara to kill Cermak. The hit went down as planned, and Zanagara took the fall as a "crazed gunman." Of course, there's not much proof to support this theory, which is fairly standard for conspiracy theories. But it makes for an interesting story. Maybe Oliver Stone will make a movie about it someday.
Awesome Stories: Frank Nitti - The Enforcer
Chicago Cubs History - Anton Cermak and Franklin Roosevelt
Executed Today - 1933: Giuseppe Zangara, who is not on Sons of Italy posters
Saturday, March 19, 2011
On this date in 1943, Chicago mob boss Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti committed suicide. Nitti, who rose to prominence as Al Capone's right hand man, was facing a prison sentence for shaking down several Hollywood movie studios. Severe claustrophobia, which had surfaced during a previous eighteen month stint in prison, made the mobster terrified at the thought of being locked up again. On the morning of March 19th, after his wife left for church, Nitti began drinking heavily. Once he had enough liquid courage, Nitti got his gun and went for a walk. He wound up at a rail yard several blocks from his house. He sat down on the ground, put the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger.
My Al Capone Museum - Frank Nitti
Find A Grave - Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti
Wikipedia - Frank Nitti
Friday, March 18, 2011
"You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son."
-Eddie Temple (Michale Gambon), Layer Cake (2004)
On this date in 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA was robbed. It was just after midnight when two men dressed as police officers appeared at the museum's door, claiming they had received a report about a disturbance at the museum. One of the two guards on duty that night let them in. Minutes later the guards were overpowered, bound with duct tape, and stashed in separate parts of the museum's basement. The two bogus cops went to work stealing various items, including works by Rembrandt, Degas, and Manet. The estimated value of their haul: over $300 million. It was the largest art heist in US history. To date, the case remains unsolved, and none of the stolen works of art have been recovered.
FBI - Art Theft program
Boston.com - Secrets behind the largest art theft in history
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Forget corned beef and cabbage, Irish model Claire Tully is my idea of a St. Patrick's Day tradition.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Although I'm half Irish, I won't be doing any celebrating today. Once upon a time, March 17th was a day to party. When I was in college, I made it a point to go out and hoist a few to mark the occasion. On at least one St. Patrick's Day, I started hoisting 'em early in the morning and went all day. I guess I'm too old for that now. Maybe if March 17th fell on a weekend... Oh well, I'll have to be satisfied with just wearing a green shirt to work. And posting a video of one of my favorite Irish bands, Thin Lizzy. Here they are performing their hit "The Boys are Back in Town" in 1983.
All of you fans of the female form might want to check back later for some pics of my favorite Irish hottie.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
It's hump day again. And that means it's time for another Wicked Weasel.
On this date in 1934, Herbert Youngblood, an accused murderer who escaped from the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, IN with John Dillinger, was killed in a shootout with police in Port Huron, MI. Undersheriff Charles Cavanaugh was also killed in the shootout, which left two lawmen and a civilian injured.
Time - "Bad Man at Large"
Dillinger: The Untold Story, by G. Russell Girardin, William J. Helmer, and Rick Mattix
YOUNGBLOOD IS SLAIN IN BATTLE
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Riot a rift in town and gown
ALBANY -- A beer-soaked Saturday morning melee described by residents as the worst in recent memory is forcing the city to again confront the fraught relationship between full-time Pine Hills residents and the college students who often treat the neighborhood as their off-campus playground.
By Monday, the number of college students facing charges had topped 40 as police and prosecutors vowed to use the drunken revelers' own cellphone videos to build cases against them.
"Let me deliver this message to you," Albany County District Attorney David Soares said. "Many of you who felt, or believe now, that you've gotten away with something, the pain is forthcoming. You will be held responsible."
Soares and Police Chief Steven Krokoff recounted the chaotic scene around 7 a.m. Saturday when hundreds of people -- many of them University at Albany students participating in "Kegs and Eggs" pre-St. Patrick's Day parties -- sacked what once was a stable neighborhood, trying to overturn cars, tossing appliances, brawling in the street and hurling epithets at cops trying to quell the riot.
"Some of these kids that thought that they could come to Albany and use it as their playground and thought that they were going to leave with a degree are instead going to leave with a conviction," said Krokoff, himself a UAlbany graduate. Soares vowed to bring about a "collective responsibility" that includes landlords whose properties were launching pads for chaos and beer distributors who helped fuel it.
Prosecute 'em all, I say. Thanks to video, the anonymity of the mob is quickly eroding. If you're not disgusted enough by the story from the Times Union, check out the video below to see some of the little bastards' handiwork.
I hope that the owners of the vandalized cars sue the assholes who are responsible for the damage. And I hope the worst offenders see some jail time. They probably won't, but it'd be nice to see some of these smartass spoiled brats spend a little time behind bars. Even if it's only a few days.
Monday, March 14, 2011
This week's babe is model Tiffany Taylor. Playboy readers might recognize Tiffany as Miss November 1998. For more of Tiffany, check out her official website.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame adds Alice Cooper to Detroit's tally of stars
You already knew it was Detroit Rock City.
But talk about hogging the spotlight: When Alice Cooper is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight, he'll be the 18th Detroit performer to make the cut, joining such greats as Bob Seger, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.
The addition of Cooper means Detroit now claims more than 10% of the entire hall of fame aristocracy -- a formidable share of the glory for a city that knows how to flex its musical muscle.
Cooper, who will accept the honor with surviving members of his original band, is in a 2011 class that includes Neil Diamond, Tom Waits and Dr. John. He'll be introduced by fellow shock rocker Rob Zombie.
A Detroit native whose career was fueled at venues such as the Grande Ballroom, the 63-year-old Cooper relocated years ago to Arizona. But he remains a proud Detroiter -- even a diehard Lions fan -- who adores the city's loud, tough legacy.
I can't believe that it's taken them until now to induct the father of shock-rock into the Hall of Fame. Hell, Madonna made it in 2008, and Alice Cooper was rocking years before Madge donned her first cone-shaped training bra. Better late than never, I guess.
I've always been an Alice Cooper fan. I like his music, and he doesn't seem like he takes himself too seriously. I also enjoy listening to his radio show. Someday I'd like to check out Cooperstown, his restaurant in Phoenix.
Here's a video of my favorite Cooper tune, "No More Mr. Nice Guy."
FBI - Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
Ten Most Wanted Fugitives - FAQ
Friday, March 11, 2011
After multiple delays, Nichols was tried on 54 criminal counts in October 2008. The jury found him guilty on all counts. He received multiple life sentences, with no possibility for parole.
About.com - Brian Nichols: Atlanta Courthouse Killer
Wikipedia - Brian Nichols
The official web page of Ashley Smith Robinson
"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin'... you talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?"
-Travis Bickle (Robert Deniro), Taxi Driver (1976)
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
There's only 2 good things about Wednesdays: Justified on FX and the weekly posting of the Wicked Weasel.
Here's an interesting bit of news related to James "Whitey" Bulger (pictured above), one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted.
Convicted FBI Agent Conolly loses appealCouldn't happen to a nicer guy, as far as I'm concerned. Connolly earned every last day of those prison sentences, and then some. I just wish they could track Bulger down. The thought of him enjoying his twilight years in Europe doesn't exactly give me a warm fuzzy. At the very least, he ought to be sharing a cell with his buddy Connolly.
Disgraced former Boston FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. has lost an appeal of his conviction in a 1982 Florida murder.
Connolly, 70, had sought to overturn his 2008 second-degree murder conviction for leaking information to longtime FBI informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi. That tip prompted the gangsters to orchestrate the slaying of Boston businessman John B. Callahan in Florida.
Florida's Third District Court of Appeal issued an opinion today affirming the conviction in the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. The unsigned opinion did not explain the court's ruling.
Connolly, who retired from the FBI in 1990, was convicted in 2002 on federal racketeering charges in Boston and sentenced to 10 years. That sentence is to end on June 28, according to the US Bureau of Prisons website. Connolly faces a separate 40-year sentence in the Florida case.
"Justice was done. The evidence was clear that Connolly participated in the murder of Callahan," said Fred Wyshak, an assistant US attorney in Boston who was part of the Florida state's attorney team that prosecuted Connolly.
"Connolly's appeal was not based upon the merits of the conviction, but a technical issue which obviously the appellate court in Florida determined not to be a fundamental violation of his rights and therefore affirmed the conviction," Wyshak said.
Wyshak added that the rejection of Connolly's appeal marks the end of the criminal cases that resulted from Bulger's corrupt relationship with the FBI, unless Bulger, one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted, is caught and returned to Boston to stand trial on pending racketeering and murder charges.
For more about Whitey Bulger, check out his page on the FBI website. He's also been featured on America's Most Wanted.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Schuster's murder was never solved. Years later, mob turncoat Joe Valachi testified that mob boss Albert Anastasia ordered the murder after seeing Schuster on the TV show I've Got a Secret. Anastasia had no connection to Sutton, he just hated "squealers". Five years later, Anastasia would find himself on the receiving end of a "hit", orchestrated by rival boss Vito Genovese, and Anastasia's underboss Carlo Gambino.
Gambino.com - Arnold Schuster
Find a Grave - Arnold Schuster
Wikipedia - Arnold Schuster
Monday, March 07, 2011
This week's babe is actress, model, and former WWE "Diva" Candice Michelle.
For more of candice, check out her official website.
Friday, March 04, 2011
On this date in 1944, it was the big adiós for Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and two of his henchmen. Lepke Buchalter and Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia ran the stable of killers that the media of the day tagged "Murder, Incorporated." Buchalter, along with Murder, Inc. members Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss and Louis Capone (no relation to big Al), was convicted and sentenced to death for the killing of Brooklyn candy store owner Joseph Rosen. All three men were executed within minutes of each other in the electric chair at Sing Sing prison.
AmericanMafia.com - The Last days of Lepke Buchalter, et al
Crime Magazine - The Last Days of Lepke Buchalter
Wikipedia - Murder, Inc.
"You sit down! That badge pays four hundred sixty-four dollars a month. That's what the job's worth. I knew that when I hired on. Sixty-seven forty comes out for withholding. I give twenty-seven eighty-four for pension and twelve bucks for widows and orphans. That leaves me with three fifty-six seventy-six. That badge is worth a dollar eighty-two an hour, so mister you just better settle back in that chair because I'm about to blow about twenty bucks of it right now."
-Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb), Dragnet (1954)
Thursday, March 03, 2011
On this date in 1934, notorious bank robber John Dillinger escaped from the Lake County jail in Crown Point, IN. Dillinger, who had been arrested in Tucson, AZ in January, was awaiting trial for the murder of a police officer. On the morning of March 3rd, Dillinger pulled what was later reported to be a fake gun on jail guards and convinced them to open his cell. He and another inmate locked up the guards, grabbed some machine guns, and fled the jail with a deputy as a hostage. They made their way to a nearby garage, where they stole Sheriff Lillian Holly's (front row, far left in the above photo) brand new Ford V-8. Dillinger and company fled across the state line into Illinois. This turned out to be John Dillinger's fatal mistake. He had taken a stolen car across state lines, which is a federal crime. He would soon have the full attention of the FBI - the kind of attention he could live without.
truTV - John Dillinger
FBI Files - Famous Cases: John Dillinger
Time Magazine - Whittler's Holiday
Wikipedia - John Dillinger
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
If it's Wednesday, it must be time for our weekly dose of Wicked Weasel.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The investigation went on for two and a half years. In September of 1934, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested after passing some of the gold certificates from the ransom. A search of Hauptmann's home yielded over $13,000 of the ransom money. Hauptmann maintained his innocence, but was convicted of murder. He was executed by electrocution on April 3, 1936.
As a result of the Lindbergh case, the federal Kidnapping Act, also known as the Lindbergh Law, was passed making kidnapping a federal offense, falling under the jurisdiction of the FBI.
FBI Famous Cases - The Lindbergh Kidnapping
truTV - The Lindbergh Kidnapping
Wikipedia - Lindbergh kidnapping