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Bruce Reynolds, Audacious Mastermind of Great Train Robbery, Is Dead at 81
Sun, 03/03/2013 - 20:42, - 0 Comments

March 3, 2013 NY Times

Bruce Reynolds, the chief architect of one of 20th-century Britain’s most notorious crimes, the caper known as the Great Train Robbery, died on Thursday in England. He was 81.

His son, Nick, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. Sky News in Britain reported that Mr. Reynolds had died at his home in South London, a few months short of the robbery’s 50th anniversary.

In the early morning of Aug. 8, 1963, a gang of 15 men stopped a Glasgow-to-London mail train about 45 miles short of its destination by tampering with a signal. The train, which usually carried large quantities of money in the second car behind the locomotive, was loaded even more heavily than normal because of a just-completed bank holiday in Scotland, and the thieves escaped with about 120 bags of cash, mostly in small bills, totaling about £2.6 million, or about $7 million at the time — the equivalent of about $60.5 million today.

Mr. Reynolds, who was 31 at the time and known to the police as a burglar well-connected in the London underworld, had used insider information from the postal service to plan the heist, which he thought of as a painter would a masterpiece. Indeed, he referred to it in a 1996 interview as “my Sistine Chapel.”

Charles Ponzi was born - 1882
Sun, 03/03/2013 - 09:46, - 0 Comments

Ponzi

Charles Ponzi

by Michael Thomas Barry

On March 3, 1882, Charles Ponzi, was born in Lugo, Italy. He became known in the early 1920s as one of the most infamous swindler’s in American history.

Graverobbers steal the corpse of Charlie Chaplin - 1978
Sat, 03/02/2013 - 08:20, - 0 Comments

chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

by Michael Thomas Barry

On March 2, 1978, two men steal the corpse of the legendary film actor Charlie Chaplin from a cemetery in the Swiss village of Corsier-sur-Vevey. A comic actor who was perhaps most famous for his alter ego, the Little Tramp, Chaplin was also a respected filmmaker whose career spanned Hollywood’s silent film era and the momentous transition to “talkies” in the late 1920s.

Man dragged by South Africa police dies in custody
Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:13, - 0 Comments

Feb. 28, 2013 Reuters

JOHANNESBURG  - South African police were caught on video dragging a man hundreds of meters from the back of a pick-up truck, hours before he died in custody, drawing a storm of protest against a force accused of routine brutality.

The 27-year-old Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, was found dead in detention with signs of head injuries and internal bleeding, according to an initial post mortem report released by the country's police watchdog.

The incident, videotaped on Tuesday and broadcast nationwide on Thursday, was condemned by President Jacob Zuma and opposition politicians.

"The visuals of the incident are horrific, disturbing and unacceptable. No human being should be treated in that manner", said Zuma in a statement that described the incident as "the tragic death of a man in the hands of the police".

Police told media they detained Macia after he parked illegally, creating a traffic jam, and then resisted arrest.

The video clearly shows the man scuffling with police, who subdue him. He is then bound to the back of the pick-up by his arms before the vehicle drives off in front of scores of witnesses in the east Johannesburg area of Daveyton.

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega said she was looking into the "alleged brutal treatment" by officers "in a very serious light and it is strongly condemned".

Governor denies parole to ex-Manson follower
Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:08, - 0 Comments

March 1, 2013 Associated Press

LOS ANGELES  — The enduring mystery of why young people joined Charles Manson's murderous family appeared to be at the heart of Gov. Jerry Brown's decision Friday to reverse a parole board's recommendation and keep Bruce Davis in prison.

Brown said he wants Davis, who has been behind bars for 42 years, to come clean about all the details of his involvement with Manson's cult and the two gruesome killings of a stuntman and a musician.

It was the second time in less than three years that a California governor has rejected a parole board ruling in Davis' case. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused his release in 2010, citing the heinous nature of Davis' crimes and his efforts to minimize his involvement.

Brown repeated those reasons in a six-page decision but added his belief that Davis still has more to disclose about the killings.

"Until Davis can acknowledge and explain why he actively championed the Family's interests and shed more light on the nature of his involvement, I am not prepared to release him," Brown said.

Father, son arrested for triple murder near Forestville
Fri, 03/01/2013 - 12:58, - 0 Comments

March 1, 2013 ABC News

Two more men were arrested Tuesday in connection with a suspected drug-related triple homicide in the Forestville area last month, Sonoma County sheriff's officials said Friday morning.

Francis Dwyer, 65, was arrested at his residence in Truth or Consequences, N.M., and his son, 38-year-old Odin Leonard Dwyer, was arrested just outside Denver, Colo., according to the sheriff's office.

Mark William Cappello, 46, of Central City, Colo., was arrested Feb. 14 in Mobile, Ala. in connection with the fatal shootings. He is expected to be booked into Sonoma County Jail within the next several days, sheriff's officials said.

The Dwyers are expected to be extradited to Sonoma County in the near future, according to the sheriff's office.

The three men face charges for the Feb. 5 murders of Raleigh Butler, 26, a former Sonoma County resident who was living in Truckee, Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y., and Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo.

Their bodies were found by Butler's brother and a woman in the bedroom of a cabin Butler's mother rented at 9707 Ross Station Road in the Forestville area.

Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said the victims were waiting for someone who was going to sell them "a significant amount of marijuana." O'Leary said, "People associated with the victims said it was a pot deal that went bad."

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