April 5, 2009
Mary Pinchot Meyer
In the two years leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer visited JFK about 30 times in the White House. Within a year of the assassination, the former mistress would be gunned down execution style on a Georgetown towpath.
by Don Fulsom
Less than a year after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, his favorite Washington mistress—Mary Pinchot Meyer—was shot dead, execution-style, just a short distance from her home in the safest part of D.C.'s safest neighborhood.
Meyer was a stunning blonde and a free-spirited Georgetown artist. A pre-hippie hippie, she was a smart Vassar grad, a former reporter for United Press, a socialist/pacifist, and a sexual adventurer who also experimented with mind-altering drugs.
The CIA had been able to keep close tabs on Mary's nearly two-year affair with President Kennedy—partly because the spy agency, it was later revealed, had been bugging her home and telephones ever since her late-'50s divorce from Cord Meyer, a top CIA official.
the Palace of Versailles
It took the French government 14 years to bring American expatriate Barrie Taylor to justice for the 1993 murder of her lover's estranged wife. After three trials and three convictions in France for the murder, Taylor continues her fight to be allowed to live freely in the United States.
Thursday, September 30, 1993. It was going to be a quiet day in Versailles, France's "City of Kings." Or so the cops at the local station house told themselves. The trains pulling in from nearby Paris would not be bringing hordes of day trippers to the chateau of Marie Antoinette, France's last queen, as they do at the height of summer. Not that the tourists brought crime to the town, but their coaches did snarl up traffic, and pickpockets were prone to try their luck in front of the palace. It was also a cool, rainy day and the town's street markets would not attract many shoppers. There would therefore be few rogue street vendors to round up.
Boulevard de la République, a street lined with trees and elegant Belle Époque era townhouses, and only a few blocks from the magnificent chateau, was indeed quiet as a small white police automobile, its siren silent, drove up to Number 20, one of six three-storied brick and stone terraced houses. The automobile had four passengers; three uniformed cops and a young man. For the young man, Marc Pavageau, it was his second visit to the house in as many days.
One of the cops knocked at the house’s front door; in France cops and firefighters know never to ring a doorbell, but always to knock in case there is a gas leak inside the property.
January 16, 1967: Nazi prison-gang associate Robert Holderman was stabbed and then battered to death by Black Guerilla Family gang members at San Quentin.
January 17, 1967: 1,800 black inmates and 1,000 white inmates clashed on the main yard at San Quentin over the death of Robert Holderman. Prison guards broke up the brawl by firing shots into the mass. Five inmates were wounded by the shots. One inmate suffered severe head trauma from the beating he received from opposing gang members. Two other inmates suffered non-fatal heart attacks.
August 27, 1967: Nineteen-year-old Barry Byron Mills was arrested in Ventura, California and held for transfer to Sonoma County, where he had boosted a car. Sonoma had issued an arrest warrant in his name for grand theft auto.
December 12, 1967: Barry Mills requested and was denied probation. Instead he was sentenced to one year in the Sonoma County Jail.
January 29, 1968: Barry Mills and Buddy Coleman escaped from the Sonoma County Honor Farm.
February 17, 1968: Barry Mills was arrested in Windsor, California, and held on a warrant charging escape without force.
March 12, 1968: Barry Mills sentenced to one year and one day in prison for escape without force from the Sonoma County Jail.
March 13, 1969: Barry Mills was released from prison.
January 13, 1970: Soledad State Prison Aryan Brotherhood leader Buzzard Harris, along with fellow Aryan Brotherhood members Smiley Hoyle, Harpo Harper and Chuko Wendekier, and Mexican Mafia members Colorado Joe Ariaz, John Fanene, and Raymond Guerrero battled with Black Guerilla Family gang members on the exercise yard at Soledad prison. Tower guard Opie Miller opened fire with his high-powered rifle, killing Black Guerilla leader W.L. Nolen, Cleveland Edwards and Alvin Miller. Aryan Brotherhood leader Buzzard Harris was wounded in the groin by a rifle bullet.
January 30, 1970: Barry Mills and William Hackworth were arrested after robbing a Stewarts Point convenience store.
February 3, 1970: Barry Mills convicted of first-degree armed robbery after co-defendant William Hackworth testified for the prosecution. Barry Mills sentenced to 5 years to life in prison.
April 21, 1972: Aryan Brotherhood members Fred Mendrin and Donald Hale murdered Fred Castillo by stabbing him to death at the Chino Institute for Men. Castillo was the leader of the Nuestra Familia gang. The Aryan Brotherhood murdered Castillo as part of a contract with the Mexican Mafia.
December 15, 1972: Aryan Brotherhood members Fred Mendrin and Donald Hale sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Fred Castillo.
1973: The Aryan Brotherhood was officially formed in the federal prison system.
October 18, 1977: Aryan Brotherhood member Little Joe O’Rourke engaged in a vicious gun battle with campus police at El Camino Community College. The gun battle erupted when the police, as part of a routine check, disrespected Little Joe by asking him for his student I.D. Little Joe was wounded and arrested.
November 25, 1977: Aryan Brotherhood members David Owens and New York Crane robbed the Bank of America in Agoura, California. They got away with $9,000.
December 2, 1977: New York Crane named as the prime suspect in the murder of fellow Aryan Brotherhood member Hogjaw Cochran.
December 29, 1977: Barry Mills released from San Quentin State Prison.
January 11, 1978: Aryan Brotherhood member David Owens arrested and charged with robbing the Bank of America in Agoura, California. Owens had $3,844 on him when arrested.
March 13, 1978: David Owens convicted of bank robbery. He was sentenced to federal prison. His co-defendant “New York” Crane was held over in Orange County Jail and charged with the murder of Hogjaw Cochran.
March 31, 1978: Little Joe O’Rourke, who opened fire on the El Camino Community College campus, sentenced to seven years in prison.
June 1978: Barry Mills sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for planning a bank robbery in Fresno, California. The bank was robbed by the Aryan Brotherhood in June 1976. Barry Mills did not participate in the robbery, but provided the blueprint for it.
June 1, 2009
Saturday, June 11, 1994 was to have been a foretaste of the summer vacation for the children of Gruchet-le-Valasse, a small town (pop. 2,700) in Normandy. Their school was organizing its traditional end-of-term fete and 9-year-old Emilie Tanay was spending the weekend at the house of one of her classmates, Jérome Tocqueville.
Emilie was an only child. Her parents, Denis and Corinne Tanay, had been invited to a christening but, not wishing to deprive their daughter of the pleasure of dressing up for the fete, they gladly accepted the Tocquevilles’ offer to look after her. It was to be the first time she had ever spent the night away from her parents.
Emilie had been suffering from a cold for a couple of days and her mother sent her to the Tocquevilles with a bottle of Josacine ready prepared , but she was not going to let a mere cold spoil her fun. Dressed like the other merry-makers, both young and old, in medieval costume, she spent a happy afternoon with her schoolmates.
On returning to her friend’s home that evening she felt unwell and Jérome’s mother, Sylvie Tocqueville, gave her a spoonful of the prescriptionmedicine. Emilie pulled a face on taking the dose and rinsed out her mouth with water to get rid of the unusually horrid taste.
Within minutes Emilie collapsed. The Tocquevilles immediately summoned medical help. Although she was rushed to hospital, she died at 10:30 p.m. the same evening. The doctors were unable to determine the cause of death.
Richard Nixon detested syndicated reporter Jack Anderson and put right at the top of his “enemies list.” When Nixon-ordered CIA and FBI volunteered surveillance of the muckraker failed to dig up any dirt, the plot to assassinate Anderson took on a life of its own at the White House.
by Don Fulsom
During Richard Nixon’s presidency, Jack Anderson was America’s premier investigative journalist—and Nixon’s most despised. In the most chilling crime contemplated by the President’s men, Anderson was targeted for assassination.
A strict moralist, Anderson’s stated lifetime goal was to keep government honest. A devout Mormon, he viewed his reportorial undertaking as a noble summons from the Almighty.
Former Anderson legman Howard Kurtz recalls that Anderson was gentle, patient and avuncular “with the young and ambitious wannabes who rotated through his small office.” He adds that Anderson’s “ability to persuade people at the highest level of government to share secrets with him was uncanny, especially in an era when most journalists were deferential toward the nation’s leaders and when top political columnists had cozy relationships with the high and mighty.”
Anderson was the last of the old-time muckrakers and, according to his biographer, Mark Feldstein, “an important transitional figure in the evolution of adversarial journalism …” Feldstein conceded, however, that Anderson would sometimes stoop fairly low to get a good story: “He swiped secret documents, used bugging equipment to eavesdrop on conversations, and jubilantly savaged his enemies, unconcerned with such journalistic niceties as fairness and balance,” the author pointed out in a 2004 interview with The Washington Post.
September 19, 2007 Updated June 22, 2009
Nine recent cases of infanticide in France are causing the French to ask what is it in their psyche that makes the nation's mothers kill their newborns.
Infanticide is a crime no one living in France can commit; it is a crime that does not exist. Page through the French Penal Code and you won't even find the word. Yet, mothers killing their newborn babies is a French phenomenon. It is just that in France infanticide is called by another name.
Under Art. 221-4-1 of the French Penal Code, infanticide is qualified as the "assassination of a minor under the age of 15." It is "assassination" and not "homicide," because French law makes a distinction between slaying someone in a burst of sudden anger, like a crime passionnel when a spouse kills an unfaithful partner, and a premeditated taking of life. When there has been no medical supervision during pregnancy, no preparation for the confinement, and the pregnancy was concealed from everyone, even from the father of the child, then, French law declares the slaying as "premeditated." Thus, the crime becomes an "assassination," or, as it would be called in the United States, "first-degree murder." Until France abolished the death sentence in 1977, as a rule, punishment for first-degree murder was death on the guillotine; that of second-degree murder was life imprisonment, perpéte in French underworld slang, though it, too, could have fetched a sentence of capital punishment.
Sen. Edward Kennedy
Chappaquiddick was a bonanza for the Kennedy-hating Nixon, who tried many tactics to catch Ted Kennedy in an extra-marital affair in order to derail his anticipated 1972 presidential bid.
by Don Fulsom
In the summer of 1969, President Richard Nixon was licking his chops to discover just what had really happened to Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts. He speedily dispatched two undercover White House investigators to the scene of the suspicious watery car crash that took the life of Kopechne, Kennedy’s companion. Nixon told top aide Bob Haldeman he didn’t want Kennedy to get away with anything. Haldeman wrote a diary entry saying the President believed Kennedy “was drunk, escaped from the car, let (Mary Jo) drown, said nothing until police got to him. Shows fatal flaw in his character, cheated at school (Kennedy was expelled from Harvard for cheating), ran from accident”
When the senator went on TV to tell his version of what happened, Nixon privately noted many “gaps and contradictions,” adding: “I could not help thinking if anyone other than a Kennedy had been involved and had given such a patently unacceptable explanation, the media and the public would not have allowed him to survive in public life.”
December 6, 2002 Updated: June 7, 2013
Nancy Smith, center, with her four teenage children.
The ritual abuse hysteria that swept across the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in hundreds of innocent people being wrongfully convicted of committing a bizarre concoction of sexual acts on preschoolers. Most of those convicted were eventually freed from prison on appeal, but some innocent people remain behind bars. One of the most blatant cases of wrongful conviction occurred in Lorain, Ohio. There a politically ambitious prosecutor's office coaxed and manipulated a few Head Start preschoolers into testifying that they had been sexually abused repeatedly over a six-month period by their bus driver and some stranger -- two people who never even knew each other, but were sentenced to life for crimes that never occurred in the first place.
by Lona Manning
Bulletin: For Nancy Smith, her long legal odyssey ended June 4, 2013 in an Elyria courtroom where a judge released her for time already served. Instead of the vindication she had steadfastly fought for since her 1994 conviction on child molestation charges, she surrendered her rights to any further appeals to clear her name of the wrongful conviction she was subjected to at the hands of misguided and overzealous Lorain, Ohio prosecutors.
To avoid the possibility of being sent back to prison, she accepted a deal worked out between her attorneys and Lorain prosecutors that sentenced her to 12 years in prison but gave her credit for the 15 years already served since she and co-defendant Joseph Allen were convicted in the Head Start molestation case.
Judge Virgil Sinclair, a retired Stark Count judge appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to handle Smith’s resentencing, also reduced the rape charges against her to the lesser offense of “gross imposition.”
The resentencing of Allen will take place at a later date. Like Smith, Allen has been free since mid-2009 when Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge acquitted both Smith and Allen when they appeared before him to correct a minor entencing error.
Updated Feb. 23, 2010
Both Nixon and Sinatra had deep ties to the Mafia. It was only natural that after President John Kennedy dumped Sinatra that Ole Blue Eyes hooked up with the biggest politician in the Mob’s pocket. Sinatra hung around with Nixon and Vice President Agnew so much he even acquired a Secret Service code name, “Napoleon.”
by Don Fulsom
John Kennedy banished Frank Sinatra from Camelot when the singer’s Mafia ties clashed with the President’s crackdown on organized crime. But those well-documented ties didn’t keep President Richard Nixon—a big recipient of Mob payoffs—from wooing the popular crooner away from the Democratic Party.
The courtship actually started with Nixon’s unsavory vice president, Spiro Agnew—who first got together with Sinatra during the Thanksgiving holiday in 1970. They enjoyed each other’s company so much that Agnew became a regular houseguest at Frank’s (Palm Springs) place, and made 18 visits in the months that followed.
The two men played golf together, dined out, talked through the night in Frank’s den, and on one occasion watched the porn movie Deep Throat together. Frank’s guest quarters, once remodeled for John F. Kennedy, were eventually renamed “Agnew House,” according to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan in Sinatra: The Life.