Tuesday, June 21, 2011


After six and a half years at this address, I've moved on to a new neighborhood. I wasn't really looking to move, but I guess I didn't have much of a choice (you can read more about that here). Anyway, my new blog's address is http://armedrobbery.wordpress.com/. If you have a link to me on your site, you might want to update it. Hope to see you there.

Monday, June 20, 2011


If you've read this post, you're familiar with my battle with Websense. Here's an update on the whole fiasco:

I emailed Websense and explained my situation to them. They got back to me a few days later and told me that they'd be reclassifying my site from adu1t c0ntent to "swimsuit/lingerie." OK, not great, but better than being labeled a pr0nographer, I guess. Well, a week later, the network at the office still blocks my site as A.C. On top of that, I ran across two sites that were also erroneously smeared with this label by Websense: sci-fi author JL Bryan's blog, and crime fiction author Paul Bishop's blog. If you click either one of those links, I promise you, you'll fund no pr0n. Websense strikes again. Both blogs are hosted on Blogger. I can only conclude that there's something seriously wrong with Websense's software. It makes me wonder how many other sites are being blocked for no reason.

My solution to this whole situation is to switch hosts. I've been advised on a number of occasions that I ought to consider using Wordpress. I never really gave it much thought, as I'd always been relatively happy with Blogger. But things being what they are, I guess I don't have a choice. I suppose I could switch to another Blogger address, but Websense seems to have an issue with Blogger, so I'll give Wordpress a try.

Last week, I grabbed a Wordpress address. I've spent the last few days transferring things over. You can find my new blog at http://armedrobbery.wordpress.com/. I'll keep this site up for the time being, but my archives have been moved to the new site. Note that comments at the new site will be moderated for first-time posters. I'm not really happy about that, but I really want to keep out the spammers, so it'll have to do until I figure Wordpress out.


On this date in 1947, Bugsy Siegel got whacked. Iced. Taken out. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel -- who hated that nickname, by the way -- was shot while sitting next to a window in the Beverly Hills house he shared with girlfriend Virginia Hill. According to his death certificate, the cause of death was "cerebral hemmorage" (apparently spelling was not a high priority at the L.A. County Registrar's Office) due to "gunshots of the head" (neither was grammar, I guess). One shot hit Siegel right near his eye. If he saw it coming, he didn't see it for long.

The murder was never solved, but theories abound. Who was behind it? Was it Meyer Lansky? Lucky Luciano? Some investors who were less than happy about the profitability of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino? Author Warren Hull has a theory about the identity of the trigger man. Check out the video below for more info.

Further reading:


Wikipedia - Bugsy Siegel

Family Secret, by Warren Robert Hull

Sunday, June 19, 2011


On this day in 1975, Chicago mob boss Salvatore Giancana, aka "Momo," aka "Mooney," aka "Sam the Cigar," aka "Sam Flood" and aka "Sam Gold," was killed in the basement of his Oak Park, IL home. Giancana was due to testify before a Senate panel later that month. He was shot several times, once in the back of the head, and several times in the face.

Further reading:

Gansters Incorporated: SAM "MOMO" GIANCANA

Find-a-Grave - Sam Giancana (1908-1975)

American Mafia: Sam Giancana

Wikipedia: Sam Giancana

Friday, June 17, 2011


On this date in 1933, outlaw, and former lawman, Verne Miller, along with bank robbers Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd and Adam Richetti, attempted to free Frank "Jelly" Nash from Federal custody in Kansas City. A gunfight ensued, leaving three police officers, an FBI Agent, and Frank Nash dead.

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

Wikipedia: Kansas City Massacre

Movie: The Kansas City Massacre (1975)


"You don't remember me, do you?... When you hang a man, you better look at him."

-Marshal Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood), Hang 'Em High (1968)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


On this date in 1999, middle class St. Paul, MN mom Sara Jane Olson was arrested after being profiled on America's Most Wanted. As it turns out, the socially active mother of three had a secret identity. In a prior life, she was Kathleen Ann Soliah, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist group.

Soliah had been in hiding since 1976, when she was indicted for her role in planting pipe bombs that were targeted at police officers in Los Angeles.

Olson eventually pled guilty to the explosives charges and to her role in a robbery that resulted in the death of a woman. She was sentenced to 14 years in prison, but her sentence was eventually reduced by a judge.

In 2008, Olson was erroneously released from prison due to a miscalculation by prison officials. She was rearrested and returned to prison. She was paroled in March of 2009 and was allowed to return to Minnesota to serve out her sentence.

Further reading:

truTV - Hearst, Soliah, and the SLA

Wikipedia - Sara Jane Olson

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I can't let Wednesday end without our weekly dose of Wicked Weasel.


On this date in 1933, William Hamm Jr., heir to the Hamm's Brewery, was kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis gang in St. Paul, MN. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of $100,000, which they received. After the ransom was paid, Hamm was released near Wyoming, MN.

The Barker-Karpis gang's crime spree would continue as the government arrested and unsuccessfully prosecuted Chicago bootlegger Roger Touhy and members of his gang (thanks to informants working for Touhy's rival, Al Capone). The true culprits were eventually located and prosecuted thanks, in large part to the emerging forensic science of latent fingerprint examination.

Further reading:

truTV - Alvin Karpis: Pursuit of the Last Public Enemy

FBI - Latent Prints in the 1933 Hamm Kidnapping

Placeography - Hamm Brewery, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This week's babe is Indian actress Sherlyn Chopra. For more of Sherlyn, check out her official website.


On this date in 1962, Anna E. Slesers was found dead. She was believed to be the first victim of the notorious serial killer known as the Boston Strangler, who may, or may not, have been Albert DeSalvo (pictured above). In fact, the murders may have been committed by more than one person. DeSalvo's confession was the only significant piece of evidence that linked him to the crimes. He died in 1973, while serving time in prison on unrelated offenses.


Albert DeSalvo - The Boston Strangler?

Wikipedia: Boston Strangler

The Boston Strangler (1968)

Monday, June 13, 2011


On this date in 1966, the US Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona. This decision would result in the warning given to criminal suspects that cops, crooks, and fans of police procedurals know by heart.

Further reading:

Opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court, June 13, 1966

Wikipedia - Miranda v. Arizona

For those who miss the pre-Miranda days, here's a little taste of how it was done old school by Sergeant Joe Friday in the 1954 big-screen version of Dragnet.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


On this date in 1978, David Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences for the "Son of Sam" murders. According to the NY State Department of Corrections, he became eligible for parole on August 5, 2002. He's due for his next parole hearing in May of 2012.

TruTV Crime Library: SON OF SAM

About.com: David Berkowitz - The Son of Sam

Wikipedia: David Berkowitz

Saturday, June 11, 2011


On this date in 1962, Frank Morris, and brothers John and Clarence Anglin escaped from the federal prison on Alcatraz Island. The escape took over two years to plan and execute. The escapees used stolen materials to make a raft to escape on and dummies to place in their bunks. They tunneled from their cells into the prison ventilation shaft, through which they climbed up to the roof of the prison. They climbed down from the roof, made it to the water, and paddled away on their homemade raft. Their escape was not discovered until the next morning. The men were never found and were presumed drowned in San Francisco Bay.

Further reading:

"The Great Escape from Alcatraz"

FBI Files: Alcatraz Escape

IMDb: Escape from Alcatraz

Friday, June 10, 2011


On this date in 1977, James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, escaped from the maximum security Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee.

The escape happened after dinner. A disturbance began in the recreation yard of the prison. As the corrections staff was distracted, Ray and six other inmates scaled the wall on the opposite side of the yard using a makeshift ladder.

One of the inmates, who had injured himself in the escape, was captured just outside the prison wall. The remainder were captured over the course of the next two days. Ray was tracked down by bloodhounds. He was found hiding in a pile of leaves five miles from the prison.

James Earl Ray died in prison in 1998 at the age of seventy. Brushy Mountain State Prison was closed in 2009.

Further reading:

truTV - James Earl Ray: The Man Who Killed Dr. Martin Luther King

Time - ASSASSINS: Capture in the Cumberlands

James Earl Ray couldn’t outsmart Brushy Mountain’s warden


"Oh you sexy bitch. I'd even go out with you myself."

-Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

Thursday, June 09, 2011


On this date in 1930, Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle was murdered in the Illinois Central Train Station underpass. Lingle, a "leg man" who gathered the information and phoned it in to news writers, covered stories from Chicago's underworld. It was first thought that Lingle's murder was related to the news stories he covered. It soon emerged that Lingle was on the payroll of local mobsters.

A hoodlum named Leo Brothers was arrested for the crime. He was tried and convicted of Lingle's murder and sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He was paroled in eight. The light sentence was due to the belief that Brothers was taking the fall for someone else.

A popular theory of the motive for the murder is that Lingle was attempting to blackmail Al Capone in order to get money to pay off large gambling debts. If that was the case, Lingle learned the hard way what most people in the Windy City already knew: You don't cross Big Al.

Further reading:

American Mafia - The Lingle Killing

Chicago Tribune - The shooting of Jake Lingle

Time - The Press: Martyr Into Racketeer


Do men still duel over the honor of a lady? You bet they do. And all this time I thought chivalry was dead:

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Michael Chernoff of Albany said, ''When I was watching I kept thinking, was this really happening?''

New World Bistro Bar in Albany is missing part of its front wall after a car crashed into it Tuesday night. Sitting just a few feet away, Michael Chernoff says he first saw 25-year-old Jason Lopez sprinting down Delaware Avenue.

Chernoff said, ''I thought when I saw the runner, I thought someone would chase him out of the sidewalk, but I didn't expect a car to come out and try to run him over.''

Police said driving that car was 26-year-old Dashawn Currie. They tell us around 8:30 p.m. Lopez and Currie got into a fight at the KFC on Delaware (Avenue). They were arguing about Currie's girlfriend, who Lopez used to date.

Albany Police Spokesman James Miller said, ''The ex-boyfriend pulled a knife, tried to stab the current boyfriend, was unsuccessful. Current boyfriend then tries to run down ex-boyfriend as he runs down Delaware Avenue.''

After hitting the restaurant, police said Currie chased after Lopez again before hitting a parked car. The crash caused considerable damage to New World Bistro Bar and slightly (injured) two people eating inside.

Mr. Currie is now facing attempted assault and reckless endangerment charges. Mr. Lopez is facing a weapons possession and a menacing charge. I don't know who the lady in question is, but I hope she's worth it.

On a related note, years ago I was in a restaurant when it was hit by a car. This was when I was a soldier stationed in Germany. The building was very old and made of stone. Aside from a few minor chips to the exterior, it was unscathed. The car was a different story. It's front end was mashed in. It hit the building so hard its ass-end swung around so that the car was facing almost 180 degrees from the direction of travel. It must have been traveling at a pretty high rate of speed. How the driver managed to hop the curb, cross the sidewalk, and hit this (really large) building I'll never know. Maybe he was trying to create a drive-through window. What's the German word for dumbass? If there isn't one, there ought to be.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


It came to my attention recently that my blog has been designated "adult content" by the security software Websense. As a result, any network that uses Websense, including my employer's network, will block access to my blog.

Adult content? Seriously? Websense defines adult content as:
Sites that display full or partial nudity in a sexual context, but not sexual activity; erotica; sexual paraphernalia; sex-oriented businesses as clubs, nightclubs, escort services; and sites supporting the online purchase of such goods and services.
I know there are loads of pics of beautiful women in bikinis posted here, but it's not like there's anything that could remotely qualify as pr0n. If my blog were a movie, it would easily get a PG-13 rating, no editing required. You won't see anything here you wouldn't see on a typical episode of Baywatch.

This development is definitely a serious inconvenience. When lunchtime rolls around, I like to check the blog for new comments. I also like to check out the blogs in my blogroll. Thanks to Websense, these activities are no longer an option. Also, anyone who checks my blog from their work won't be able to if there network uses Websense.

Beyond the inconvenience, there's another issue at play here. My name, my real name, is attached to this blog. If someone Googles my name from a Websense-using network, and they find this blog, they're going to get the dreaded adult content blockage. In essence, Websense has branded me a pornographer. Not a good label to bear if you're applying for a job.

So I'm going to have to find a solution to this situation. I've given serious consideration to switching to Wordpress. But that still leaves the question of what to do about this blog and it's unearned scarlet letter. I'm probably going to email Websense to see if they can will help me. I'll keep you posted.

Update: Comments have been closed for this post because dirtbag spammers have already started showing up here. That didn't take long, did it?


And no, I'm not referring to a slot machine:

Albany police seek one-handed bank robbery suspect

ALBANY -- City police on Tuesday were searching for a man who single-handedly robbed SEFCU at 16 New Scotland Ave.

Police say that a 5' 9'' white male walked into the credit union branch just after noon Tuesday and demanded money. The man did not show any weapon, nor imply that he had one, police said. A teller gave him an undisclosed amount of money, which the suspect placed in a black plastic bag, according to police.

No one was injured in the incident. Police described the suspect as missing his left arm from the elbow down, wearing a white baseball cap, oversized white T-shirt and denim shorts.

Single-handedly, get it? Those reporters are so witty. No word yet on whether Dr. Richard Kimble has been brought in as a consultant on the case.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Sad news from the world of entertainment:
Andrew Gold, Singer and Songwriter, Dies at 59

Andrew Gold, a pop wunderkind who had barely finished high school when Linda Ronstadt enlisted him to play in her backup band, and who later had a successful recording career of his own with hits like “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You for Being a Friend,” died on Friday at his home in Encino, Calif. He was 59.

His family said that he had renal cancer and had been responding well to treatment but that the cause of death might have been a heart attack.

Mr. Gold’s combination of instrumental versatility and songwriting skill gave him a prominent if sometimes invisible role in shaping the Los Angeles-dominated pop-rock style of the 1970s. In addition to his instrumental and arranging work for Ms. Ronstadt’s breakout 1974 album, “Heart Like a Wheel,” Mr. Gold was a much sought after musician whose guitar and piano work (he also played bass and drums) helped define the seamless texture of recordings by artists like James Taylor, Carly Simon, Maria Muldaur, Jackson Browne and Loudon Wainwright III.

As prolific as he was, there's one song that always comes to mind when I think of Andrew Gold: "Lonely Boy." I don't know if this is because it came out during my (musically) formative years, or that I just plain like it. Maybe a little of both.


The TV landscape improves tonight with the season premiere of White Collar on USA.

Monday, June 06, 2011


This week's babe is Dominican-born actress Dania Ramirez. For more of Dania, check out her official website.

Friday, June 03, 2011


"They're coming to get you, Barbra."

-Johnny (Russell Streiner), Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Thursday, June 02, 2011


On this date in 1919, eight bombs exploded in seven different US cities. The bombs, thought to have been the work of followers of Italian anarchist Luigi Galleani, were targeted at people perceived as outspoken critics of the anarchists. The targets, which included the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (pictured above) were located in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Patterson, NJ. None of the intended targets was killed, but two innocent people died in the explosions.

The June 2nd attacks were part of a campaign of violence that began two months earlier. The Bureau of Investigation (precursor to the FBI) conducted an exhaustive investigation, but were unable to solve the crimes. Later that year, the Justice Department conducted a series of raids and deportations of immigrants believed to be a threat to national security.

Further reading:

FBI Famous Cases: 1919 Bombings

Wikipedia - 1919 United States anarchist bombings

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


This week's edition of Wicked Weasel Wednesday is dedicated to WW aficionado, and ace crime fiction author, Charlie Stella.