Blogs

The Frank Sinatra Jr. Kidnapping - 1963
Dec 10, 2012, - 0 Comments

Sinatra Jr

Frank Sinatra Jr.

by Michael Thomas Barry

On December 10, 1963, Frank Sinatra Jr., (who was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, California, two days earlier) is allowed to talk to his father.  He was abducted at gunpoint from his hotel room at Harrah's Casino on December 8, 1963 and taken to Canoga Park, an area of Southern California's San Fernando Valley. After the brief conversation between father and son, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of $240,000.

Drowning in Neglect
Dec 8, 2012, - 1 Comment

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department 

by Eponymous Rox 

In America, if you’re going to die, especially before your time, it better be by natural causes and not require a whole lot of investigation to support that finding. Because, if your death is the result of foul play but there’s no glaring evidence of blunt force trauma, it’ll probably be through either good luck or powerful connections that it’s ever ruled a homicide.

Why is that? Well, for starters, there are tons of dead bodies piling up out there and a dearth of medical examiners to perform thorough autopsies on them.

It’s also about money.

Expediency in making death determinations is one of the major reasons that the relationship between a local police department and the coroner’s office is so “tight.” Cops are often the first to be called to the scene whenever a corpse is found, and their opinions greatly influence how closely forensic pathologists in turn look at that body once it’s been transported to the morgue and placed on a slab.

If, for instance, a deceased young male is fished out of the river after he vanished from a nearby pub or party, then, unless the lad’s also missing his head or bullet-ridden, his death is almost instantly ruled an “accidental drowning.” This will be true, regardless of how suspicious his initial disappearance might have been, or whether the non-recreational water fatality occurred during a cold-weather month.

Open, shut and certified: “The guy was drunk, went to the water for some fresh air, slipped on a rock, fell in, and died.”

At its best, law enforcement working side by side like this with a medical examiner so to expedite a cause of death is arguably an economical and efficient arrangement which can quickly dispose of those cases where there clearly is “no sign of foul play” involved.

But, at its worst, this coziness presents a situation that’s just rife for corruption and cover ups...

John Lennon is Murdered - 1980
Dec 8, 2012, - 0 Comments

lennon

John Lennon

by Michael Thomas Barry

Former Beatle John Lennon is shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in New York City on December 8, 1980. After committing the murder, Chapman waited calmly outside, reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye.

First Execution by Lethal Injection in United States - 1982
Dec 7, 2012, - 0 Comments

 

Charles Brooks Jr

Charles Brooks Jr.

by Michael Thomas Barry

On December 7, 1982, the first execution by lethal injection takes place at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. On December 14, 1976, Charles Brooks Jr., went to a used car lot and asked to test drive a car. The mechanic, David Gregory, accompanied him in the car. After Brooks picked up his accomplice Woody Loudres, they put the mechanic in the trunk of the car and Brooks and Loudres drove to a motel. There the mechanic was bound to a chair with coat hangers, gagged with tape and then shot once in the head.

Victim of Reno Bros. Gang succumbs to injuries - 1868
Dec 6, 2012, - 0 Comments

Reno Brothers

Reno Bros. Gang

by Michael Thomas Barry

On December 6, 1868, a guard, who had been shot by brothers Frank, William, and Simeon Reno during a train robbery in May, dies of his wounds. His death so infuriated the public that a group of vigilantes yanked the three brothers from their Indiana jail cell five days later and hanged them. Although the Reno gang had a short reign of criminal terror, they are credited with pulling off the first train robbery in American history and are believed to be the inspiration for criminal copycats like Jesse James and others.

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