Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ship Of Fear: The American Aircraft Carrier

The Navy Times offers a piece on aircraft carriers by Geoffrey Norman.

The sight of an aircraft carrier up close, even at dockside, linked to land by umbilicals, is overwhelming — more than 1,000 feet long, displacing 100,000 tons, 30 stories tall from waterline to the ship’s island. 

The sense of power is undeniable. Each of the 90 planes operating from its deck carries a heavier bomb load than the largest bomber of World War II (not counting nuclear bombs).

It takes no imagination to appreciate the sense of impotence a carrier can instill in a hostile power. Nobody wants a piece of this monster.

The carrier is the ultimate refinement of a weapon evolving from oar-powered galleys to wooden vessels that carried acres of sail and three decks of iron cannons to steel-hulled dreadnoughts that fired guns at ranges requiring corrections for the curvature of the earth.

No other warship can launch supersonic aircraft against targets hundreds of miles away, recover them and launch them again, over and over. Capable of making 800 miles a day, it can quickly project power across the globe.

And the carrier is a particularly American man-of-war. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Note: The top photo is of the USS Ronald Reagan. The above photo is of my old ship, the USS Kitty Hawk, circa 1971. 

On This Day In History Notorious Chicago Gangster Al Capone Went To Prison

As notes, on this day in 1931 Chicago gangster Al Capone went to prison.

On October 17, 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Get Capone via the below link:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Take No Prisoners: My Washington Times Piece On Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez Wanting To Abolish Prisons

The Washington Times published my piece on Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to abolish prisons.

The FBI recently confirmed that Samuel Little, 79, is the most prolific serial killer in American history. Little has confessed thus far to strangling 93 women between 1970 and 2005.

Crime analysts at the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) confirmed that Little has been matched to 50 cases, with many more cases pending final confirmation.

I thought of Samuel Little as I was reading about the tweets on prison abolition put out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who previously called for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery,” the congresswoman tweeted to her many followers “To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country.”

Decarceration? Prison abolition? Really?

“People tend to say, “what do you do with all the violent people?” as a defense for incarcerating millions,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted later. “A cage is a cage. And humans don’t belong in them.”

Well, yes, Congresswoman. What would we do with Samuel Little and the other violent prisoners, as well as the many thieves and cheats who are thankfully locked up where they can’t victimize more innocent people, if we were to abolish prisons? 

… So Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on prison abolition made me think of Mark Twain. 

“Suppose you were an idiot,” Mark Twain said famously in 1891. “And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

My Washington Times Review Of 'Facing The Bear: Scotland And The Cold War'

The Washington Times published my review of Facing the Bear: Scotland and the Cold War.

After serving two years on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War, I went from serving on one of the largest ships in the world to one of the smallest, as I was assigned to a 100-foot Navy harbor tugboat at the American nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland.

The two tugboats at the floating naval base in the middle of the loch were the workhorses of Submarine Squadron 14. In addition to towing submarines and barges in the loch, the tugboats were also sent out to rendezvous with submarines at sea. The tugboats engaged in naval exercises with the submarines and performed medical evacuations and intelligence missions.

I recall the American, British and Soviet submarines playing dangerous cat and mouse games in the Irish Sea and the North Atlantic, and had the Cold War turned hot, as Trevor Royle states in his book “Facing the Bear: Scotland and the Cold War,” Scotland would have been a prime target for destruction by the Soviets.

The Cold War, which lasted roughly from the end of World War II in 1945 to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, saw the US and NATO allies poised and ready for war with nuclear-armed missiles aimed at the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc nations. 

“For much of the period Scotland was on the front line, mainly due to its position on NATO’s “northern flank” — the waters of the north-east Atlantic and the Norwegian and Barents Seas with the vital Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gap through which Soviet nuclear-armed submarines and strategic bombers would have attacked in the event of an outbreak of hostilities,” Trevor Royle writes. “That made Scotland the first major obstacle: it would have been in these northern seas and over Scottish skies that the first battles would have been fought. That accounted for the build-up of sophisticated antisubmarine warfare facilities and air defenses in Scotland and it was from the American and British bases on the Clyde that the strategic submarines would have launched the response by way of Polaris and Poseidon missiles, each of them capable of destroying Hiroshima several times over.”

In Mr. Royle’s history of the Cold War era in Scotland, he notes that not everyone was happy with the American Navy creating a nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch near the Clyde. The 1960 US-UK deal to allow the Polaris-equipped submarines to locate in Scotland became a focal point for anti-nuclear protests. Mr. Royle explains that the movement attracted pacifists, environmentalists, trade unionists and leftist politicians. Yet many Scots welcomed the Yanks and were thankful for the defense partnership, as well as the infusion of dollars into the local economy.

… The book also covers the Scottish regiments that served in the Korean War and in West Germany, as well the Scottish cultural aspects of the Cold War. The book even mentions briefly my old Navy tugboat, the USS Saugus, YTB-780. 

You can read the rest of the review via the below link: 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Washington Times Editorial On Renaming Columbus Day

The Washington Times offers an editorial on the Washington D. C. Council renaming Columbus Day.

In its latest spasm of virtue-signaling last week, the D.C. Council further burnished its far-left credentials by adopting “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” as a legal holiday, replacing Columbus Day, to be observed Monday, Oct. 14.

It was only a matter of time before the District followed the lead of about 130 other towns and cities across the country with liberal mayors and city councils that have jettisoned Christopher Columbus, who they characterize as racist and genocidal.

“Christopher Columbus enslaved, colonized, mutilated, and massacred thousands of indigenous people in the Americas,” asserts the resolution (without any documentation) introduced by D.C. Council member David Grosso. It would be quite a mean feat for a single man to do all that, if it were true. But it’s little more than character assassination and historical revisionism at their worst.

History records that Columbus was a deeply religious man, a devout Catholic often seen wearing the Franciscan habit. As Ben Broussard wrote in an August 2012 article for a Catholic group, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property about Columbus’ missionary zeal: “Upon his first encounter with the natives of San Salvador [an island now part of the Bahamas, where he first landed], Columbus concludes, ‘I recognized that they were people who would be better converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force.’” Columbus’ records also show he characterized the natives as “sweet and gentle.”

As to the claim the explorer “enslaved” the indigenous peoples he met, Mr. Broussard first notes that “slavery was already widespread among the native Indians when Columbus arrived.”

You can read the rest of the editorial via the below link: 

On Columbus Day 2019: Stop Scapegoating Christopher Columbus

Aileen Riotto Sirey and Angelo Vivolo offer their take on Christopher Columbus in a piece at the New York Post
Why are we so eager to search out scapegoats for the injustices of history? Whatever the reason, Christopher Columbus is now the fall guy for the sins of slavery, the exploitation of indigenous peoples, the rape of natural resources and most of the legal, financial and territorial abuses that followed the first European steps in the New World. His accusers want to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day.
Columbus is a 15th-century man in a 21st-century court, and the jury is stacked with self-righteous, injured parties who have 20-20 hindsight. Vilifying him won’t change the unfairness of history, but it will delegitimize the outright and undeniable contributions of Western civilization. Tearing down statues to him won’t undo the damage from two worlds colliding, but it will mask the progress and achievements that emerged from two worlds converging.
Columbus Day exists for two reasons. The first: Columbus was the explorer who completed four recorded voyages across the Atlantic, showing great courage, determination and skill. His audacity and vision revolutionized worldwide human migration. Hundreds of millions of immigrants have followed his brave example over the course of more than five centuries. Today, his legacy endures in every immigrant who seeks opportunity and a better life.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

A Little Humor: Ole Pa Goes To The Doctor

A man in his eighties got up from his rocking chair and put on his coat.

“Pa, where are you going?” his wife asked.

“I’m going to the doctor,” he replied. 

"Why? Are you sick? 

"No," he said. "I'm going to get me some of those new Viagra pills."  

His wife then got up out of her rocking chair and was put on her sweater.

“Ma, where are you going?” he asked.

“I’m going to the doctor too,” she replied.

“Why?” he asked.

“If you’re going to start using that rusty old thing again,” she said. “I’m going to get a tetanus shot.”

Note: The above photo is from the comedy film Ma and Pa Kettle Go To Town. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

On This Day In History The USS Cole Was Attacked by Terrorists

As notes, on this day in 2000 the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists.

At 12:15 p.m. local time, a motorized rubber dinghy loaded with explosives blows a 40-by-40-foot hole in the port side of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer that was refueling at Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded in the attack, which was carried out by two suicide terrorists alleged to be members of Saudi exile Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine Q&A with the Cole's Commanding Officer, Kirk Lippold, via the below link: 

My Crime Beat Column: A Look Back At Pre-Bond Sean Connery In 'The Frightened City'

I first saw actor Sean Connery on the big screen back in 1963 when I was 11-years-old. The 32-year- old Scot actor was portraying Ian Fleming’s iconic character James Bond in Dr No.

The James Bond films in the 1960s lead me to read all of Ian Fleming’s novels, which I was happy to discover were darker and more complicated than the films, and I been an Ian Fleming aficionado ever since. 

The early Bond films also made Sean Connery one of my favorite actors. 

After watching Sean Connery as James Bond, I tried to see all the films he made prior to his portraying Bond, such as Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure and Darby O’Gill and the Little People, both of which came out in 1959.

But there was on film that I was unable to see, which was 1961’s The Frightened City. 

But now, thanks to the Internet, I was able to finally see ole Sean appear in a movie that came out only two years before he appeared as James Bond. 

The Frightened City is a crime thriller set in the West End of London, where the “villains,” the Brit cop’s slang for criminals, ran protection rackets. (I liked the use of slang in the film, such as “she “shopped” you,” meaning she turned you into the police for favors, and “he won’t “grass” on you,” meaning he won’t become an informer for the police). 

Herbert Lom, who was outstanding as a crooked wrestling promotor in The Night and the City with Richard Widmark, is equally outstanding here as Waldo Zhernikov, an urbane, successful accountant and businessman who decides to turn to crime and form an alliance of the six West End extortion mobs into one syndicate.

Although Zhernikov became the head of the syndicate, he decided to stay in the shadows and used one of the local mob bosses, nightclub owner and crook Harry Foulcher, portrayed by Alfred Marks, as a surrogate syndicate boss. The syndicate divided the West End up and the six mobs no longer had to fight over territory. The syndicate also expanded, making more money for the greedy London criminals. 

Sean Connery portrayed Paddy Damion, a professional cat burglar who is sidelined due to his partner’s crippling accident on a job. The handsome, athletic and tough criminal is recruited to join the extortion syndicate and he accepts due to his need to help his partner and to bring in money for himself.

Damion also signs up as he was friends with one of the mob bosses, Alf Peters, an old, tough and crafty villain, portrayed by David Davies. Damion and Peters shared a prison cell together and the experience made them fast friends. 

Although Damion has an attractive and faithful girlfriend, Damion falls for a French singer at Foulcher’s night club named Anya, portrayed by Yvonne Roman. Anya is a girlfriend of Zhernikov’s, but they have an open relationship. Mostly, Anya wants her patron to get her a working permit so she can stay in London.     

Investigating the extortion racket is Detective Inspector Sayers of Scotland Yard, portrayed by John Gregson, who is frustrated as the victims of the extortion refuse to talk to the police out of fear. He later pulls in Damion.           
Although Damion is a criminal, he is not a ruthless killer, like Zhernikov and Foulcher. When Zhernikov orders Foulcher to kill one of the syndicate bosses, Foulcher said, “I thought you were against violence?”

“I am against smallpox,” Zhernikov replied coldly. “That doesn’t mean I’m against a vaccination.” 

Damion later turns against the syndicate bosses.  

One can see a bit of Bond in Sean Connery’s tough guy Damion. When Anya tells Damion that she doesn’t want to make unnecessary enemies, Damion offers a quip, “How many necessary enemies do you have?” 

I enjoyed finally watching Sean Connery in The Frightened City. 

Now, except for the British TV programs he appeared in prior to portraying Bond, I believe I’ve seen all of Sean Connery’s films. After he quit James Bond, he went on to make some very good films, such as John Huston’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King with Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer as Kipling, and Richard Lester’s Robin and Marion. 

Sean Connery portrayed an older Robin Hood who returned from the Crusades and did battle with the Sheriff of Nottingham, portrayed by actor Robert Shaw. 

Shaw was terrific as Red Grant, the psychopath killer who went up against James Bond in From Russia With Love. Connery and Shaw’s fight in the train compartment aboard the Orient Express is one of the best cinematic fistfights in my view. In Robin and Marion, Connery and Shaw once again offer a great fight scene, but this time it is with broad swords. 

Sean Connery also appeared in other films I like, such as The Hill, The Offense, The Anderson Tapes, The Molly Maguires, Marnie, Woman of Straw, The Wind and the Lion, and Zardoz. Of course, Sean Connery also made a couple of stinkers as well. 

He appeared in an awful film, The Next Man, rather than portray Blackthorne, the British sailor who traveled to 12th century feudal Japan in the TV mini-series Shogun. James Clavell, the author of the historical novel the miniseries is based on, said he wrote the character Blackthorne with Sean Connery in mind and wanted him for the role. 

Although Richard Chamberlain was very good as Blackthorne, Sean Connery would have been great in the role. Although Sean Connery was great as a Chicago cop in The Untouchables, and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, I didn't care for the film.  

Sean Connery is now retired from making films and the 89-year-old is relaxing with his wife at his home in the Bahamas, but his fine films are still entertaining people of all ages. 

You can watch The Frightened City via the below links:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Little Humor: Email From A Hotel Computer

A man checked into a hotel and as there was a computer in his room, he decided to send an email to his wife. 

While typing in her email address, he accidentally typed an extra letter, and without realizing, sent the email to a widow who had just returned from her husband’s funeral.

The widow decided to check her email, expecting condolence messages from friends and relatives. After reading the first email she promptly fainted.

Her son rushed in to check on his mother and saw the computer screen with the message:

“To my loving wife. I know you are surprised to hear from me. They have computers here and we are allowed to email our loved ones. I’ve just been checked in. How are you and the kids? The place is really nice, but I feel lonely without you. I have made necessary arrangements for your arrival tomorrow. I am excited and can’t wait to see you.” 

Mob Talk 34: 'Operation New Connection' Takes Down Sicilian Cosa Nostra Members

Veteran organized crime reporters George Anastasia and Dave Schratwieser discuss the South Philly/New York connections to Operation New Direction, in which American and Italian law enforcement took down Sicilian Cosa Nostra criminals last July.

The reporters also discuss other organized crime news in Mob Talk 34.  

You can watch the video via the below link:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Defense Intelligence Agency Employee Arrested For Leaking Classified Information To Journalists

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
An employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was arrested today on charges related to his alleged disclosure of classified national defense information (NDI) to two journalists in 2018 and 2019.
“As laid out in today’s indictment, Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “Frese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people—a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this country. This is one of six unauthorized disclosure cases the Department has charged in just over two years, and we will continue in our efforts to punish and deter this behavior.”
Henry Kyle Frese, 30, of Alexandria, is a DIA employee and holds a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information U.S. government security clearance. According to court documents, between mid-April and early May 2018, Frese allegedly accessed classified intelligence reports, some of which were unrelated to his job duties, and provided TOP SECRET information regarding a foreign country’s weapons systems to a journalist (Journalist 1).  According to court documents, Frese and Journalist 1 had the same residential address from August 2017 through August 2018 and, based on reviews of Frese’s and Journalist 1’s public social media pages, it appears that they were involved in a romantic relationship for some or all of that period of time.  The unauthorized disclosure of TOP SECRET information could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security of the United States.
According to the indictment, a week after Frese accessed one of the intelligence reports (Intelligence Report 1) for the second time, Journalist 1 wrote to Frese on April 27, 2018, and asked whether he would be willing to speak with another journalist (Journalist 2). Frese stated that he was “down” to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 because he wanted to see Journalist 1 “progress.”
As alleged, in that same communication, Frese and Journalist 1 also discussed a story that Journalist 1 was working on, the subject matter of which was the topic of Intelligence Report 1.  Several days after that communication, Frese searched on a classified United States government computer system for terms related to the topics contained in Intelligence Report 1.  According to the indictment, in the hours after searching for terms related to the topic of Intelligence Report 1, Frese spoke by telephone with both Journalist 1 (twice) and Journalist 2, and within approximately a half hour after Frese’s conversations with the two journalists, Journalist 1 published an article (Article 1) through News Outlet 1, which contained NDI from Intelligence Report 1 classified at the TOP SECRET//SCI level.
In addition, as alleged in the indictment, on Sept. 24, 2019, Frese was captured on court-authorized surveillance of his cell phone orally transmitting classified NDI to Journalist 2. These disclosures contained NDI classified at the SECRET level, meaning that the unauthorized disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to cause serious harm to the national security of the United States.
“Henry Kyle Frese was entrusted with TOP SECRET information related to the national defense of our country,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Frese allegedly violated that trust, the oath he swore to uphold, and is charged with engaging in dastardly and felonious conduct at the expense of our country. This indictment should serve as a clear reminder to all of those similarly entrusted with National Defense Information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic, it is criminal.”
"Mr. Frese allegedly disclosed highly classified national defense information, which puts our country and people at risk," said Alan E. Kohler Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office Counterintelligence Division.  "He violated his oath to serve and protect the United States.  The men and women of the FBI work hard every day to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution - we will not stand by while trusted government employees violate that trust in such an egregious way."
A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging Frese with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danya E. Atiyeh and Trial Attorney Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Edward Snowden's True Permanent Record: My Washington Times Piece On NSA Leaker Edward Snowden

The Washington Times published my piece on NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has published a memoir called “Permanent Record.”

I’ve not read his book and I probably won’t.

I recall the late conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News criticizing Mr. Snowden’s video appearance live from Russia to a conference in America in 2014. He was offended particularly by Mr. Snowden’s several references to the U.S. Constitution.

“I don’t want to be lectured by a traitor who speaks from a land that doesn’t have a constitution,” Krauthammer said. 

Like Krauthammer, I don’t want to be lectured by Mr. Snowden, and I don’t think I would glean any insights from a self-aggrandizing book by this liar, fraud, sneak thief and traitor.

The former CIA employee and NSA contractor stole and subsequently released to journalists in 2013 more than 1.5 million classified documents. The broad and largely unfiltered intel dump endangered American lives worldwide, and he no doubt gave much more damaging material to his hosts and protectors, the Chinese and the Russians.

Rather than reading Mr. Snowden’s suspect memoir, I reread the 2016 House Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan and unclassified report, “Review of the Unauthorized Disclosures of Former National Security Agency Contractor Edward Snowden.”

According to the report’s executive summary, Edward Snowden perpetrated the largest and most damaging public release of classified information in U.S. intelligence history. In August 2014, the chairman and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence directed committee staff to carry out a comprehensive review of the unauthorized disclosures.

The two-year extensive review offered a number of unclassified findings. According to the report, “these findings demonstrate that the public narrative popularized by Snowden and his allies is rife with falsehoods, exaggerations, and crucial omissions, a pattern that began before he stole 1.5 million sensitive documents.

Snowden caused tremendous damage to national security, and the vast majority of the documents he stole have nothing to do with programs impacting individual privacy interests — they instead pertain to military, defense, and intelligence programs of great interest to America’s adversaries,” the report stated.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

FBI Confirms Samuel Little is Most Prolific Serial Killer in U.S. History

The FBI released the below information:

The FBI confirms that Samuel Little, 79, is the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. To date, Little has confessed to 93 murders. The FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) can also confirm that Little has been matched to 50 cases, with many more pending final confirmation.
In 2012, Little was arrested and extradited to California on a narcotics charge. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) obtained DNA that connected Little to three unsolved homicides that occurred in 1987 and 1989. In 2013, the LAPD notified ViCAP, which initiated a full background investigation and found an alarming pattern that linked Little to many more murders. Little was charged with three counts of murder and ultimately convicted and sentenced in 2014 to three consecutive life terms without parole.
In May 2018, the Texas Rangers and the FBI were able to obtain detailed information on additional murders across the country that Little voluntarily provided.
“The FBI is grateful for the Texas Rangers and state and local law enforcement partners who have worked diligently to confirm these cases,” said John Selleck, assistant director of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group. “Strong cooperation and information sharing between the FBI and its partners resulted in successful connections to Little’s crimes, ultimately bringing him to justice and helping victims’ families through the closure process.”
ViCAP continues to work with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Texas Rangers, and dozens of state and local law enforcement agencies as they remain dedicated to searching for cases that match Little’s confessions. ViCAP is committed to identifying the additional victims and providing closure and justice for the victims’ families in the remaining unsolved cases.
To report potential case links to Samuel Little, contact the FBI’s main tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at You can find additional case details at

Most Prolific Serial Killer In U.S. History: FBI Seeking Assistance Connecting Victims To Samuel Little’s Confessions

The FBI released information on Samuel Little, whom the FBI believes is the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

Five years after analysts with the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) began linking cases to convicted murderer Samuel Little—and nearly 18 months after a Texas Ranger began to elicit from him a breathtaking number of confessions—the FBI has confirmed Little to be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

Little has confessed to 93 murders, and FBI crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible. Law enforcement has been able to verify 50 confessions, with many more pending final confirmation.

Little says he strangled his 93 victims between 1970 and 2005. Many of his victims’ deaths, however, were originally ruled overdoses or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes. Some bodies were never found.

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” said ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo. “Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim—to close every case possible.”

The FBI is asking for the public’s help in matching the remaining unconfirmed confessions. 

ViCAP, with the support of the Texas Rangers, has provided additional information and details about five cases in hopes that someone may remember a detail that could further the investigation.

If you have any information linked to Little’s confessions, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit at tip online at

You can read the rest of the piece and watch videos of Samuel Little’s confessions via the below link: 

Crime And Humor In Sicily: My Washington Times Review Of Andrea Camilleri's 'The Other End Of The Line'

The Washington Times published my review of Andrea Camilleri’s The Other End of the Line.

I ventured to Sicily many years ago. I visited Palermo, Corleone (the town depicted in “The Godfather”) and the seaside resort of Mondello. I loved the weather, the Mediterranean Sea, the people, the food and the sense of history. Reading Andrea Camilleri’s great crime stories about Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano always evokes my fond memories of Sicily.   

Although I don’t subscribe to his leftist worldview, I’ve enjoyed the irony, humor and suspense in his crime novels over the years. 

After working in Italian theater and television, Andrea Camilleri wrote his first novel at age 66, but it was his first Inspector Montalbano crime novel, written at age 70, that propelled the Sicilian-born writer to international fame. The Montalbano series has been translated in 32 languages and there was a popular Italian TV series based on the novels. He died this past July at age 93.   

That first crime novel in the series, “The Shape of Water,” published in 1994, featured Inspector Montalbano, an intelligent, honest, unconventional and somewhat dour detective with a dry wit who solved crimes in the fictitious Sicilian town of Vigata.

“The Other End of the Line,” translated by Stephen Sartarelli, like his previous novels in the series, offers a good murder mystery, a strong sense of atmosphere, and vivid descriptions of interesting characters, places and Sicilian food. The novel also offers abundant humor.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link: 

Monday, October 7, 2019

FBI: October Is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The FBI released the below information:
Internet-enabled crimes and cyber intrusions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and preventing them requires each and every user of a connected device to be aware and on guard.
“It’s no longer enough to be on the lookout for something in your inbox that appears suspicious,” said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Matt Gorham. “As criminals have grown savvier and their efforts more targeted, individuals and organizations need to scrutinize messages and requests that appear legitimate.”
Some of the most common and damaging Internet-enabled crimes begin with an employee clicking a link in an email that appears to be from a colleague, following the instructions in a message that looks like it came from a supervisor, or opening an account link or invoice that seems to be from a trusted vendor.
“These routine actions can be what exposes a computer or an entire network to a ransomware attack, data breach, or another crime,” said Gorham. “As we mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, our hope is to focus attention on the efforts required to safeguard individual computers and accounts and secure and protect critical data and infrastructure.”
Now in its 16th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is hosted every October by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Multiple agencies and organizations, including the FBI, collaborate to raise awareness about cybersecurity and stress the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and online thefts and scams.
“Today’s cyber threat is bigger than any one government agency—frankly, bigger than government itself,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a cybersecurity conference in March. “But I think no agency brings the same combination of scope and scale, experience, tools, and relationships that the FBI has.”
The FBI works in close coordination with the private sector as well as with state, local, and international partners to understand and anticipate cyber threats and pursue cyber criminals.
During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the FBI joins in asking every user of a connected device to Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.
“We look to the public and to organizations to engage by understanding these threats, taking preventive action, and reporting cyber crimes when they occur,” said Gorham.
Cyber Safety Tips
All computer users should keep systems and software up to date and use a good anti-virus program. These programs are not foolproof, however, and computer users themselves often help cybercriminals get through these safeguards. To avoid inadvertently downloading malicious code that can harm your network or giving a criminal money or valuable information, the FBI recommends these tips:
  • Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
  • If an unsolicited text message or email asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Carefully scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
  • Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
  • Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.
Own IT
Understand Your Digital Profile
Internet-based devices are present in every aspect of our lives: at home, school, work, and on the go. Constant connection provides opportunities for innovation and modernization, but also presents opportunities for potential cybersecurity threats that can compromise your most important personal information. Understand the devices and applications you use every day to help keep you and your information safe and secure.
Secure IT
Secure Your Digital Profile
Cybercriminals are very good at getting personal information from unsuspecting victims, and the methods are getting more sophisticated as technology evolves. Protect against cyber threats by learning about security features available on the equipment and software you use. Apply additional layers of security to your devices—like multi-factor authentication—to better protect your personal information.
Protect IT
Maintain Your Digital Profile
Every click, share, send, and post you make creates a digital trail that can be exploited by cybercriminals. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, you must understand, secure, and maintain your digital profile. Be familiar with and routinely check privacy settings to help protect your privacy and limit Internet-enabled crimes.

A Little Humor: The Lawyer's Dog

A lawyer’s dog was running around the neighborhood unleashed and he entered a butcher shop and stole a roast. 

The butcher went to the lawyer’s office and asked the lawyer, “If a dog is running unleashed and steals a piece of meat from my shop, do I have a right to demand payment for the meat from the dog’s owner?”

The lawyer answers, “Absolutely.”

“Then you owe me $8.50,” the butcher said, thinking he was clever and outwitted the lawyer. “Your dog was loose today and stole a roast from me today.”

Without a word, the lawyer wrote the butcher a check for $8.50.

Later that week, the butcher received a letter. He opened the letter and found an invoice from the lawyer. 

The invoice was in the amount of $25 due for a consultation.

Note: The above photo is of the late, great comic Groucho Marx in character as crooked lawyer Waldorf T. Flywheel, of the law firm Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel.  

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Mobsters Are Still Quoting ‘The Godfather,’ Wiretapped Calls Show

Tamar Lapin at the New York Post offers a piece on how modern day mob guys are still quoting The Godfather film after all these years.
Mobsters are still quoting “The Godfather” nearly 50 years after the Mafia masterpiece came out, according to reputed Colombo capo Joseph Amato’s wiretapped phone calls.
Amato, 60, was allegedly giving a soon-to-be associate a heads up about his upcoming induction ceremony into the crime family, and suggested he dress as well as Emilio Barzini, the 1972 film’s antagonist, according to a transcript of the call, included court documents filed Thursday in Brooklyn federal court.
“You should go to bed early. Did you press your clothes?” Amato asked the pal, identified only as “CC1,” during their Dec. 10, 2018 call.
The pal was going to be “made,” or inducted into the crime family, the next day, the feds allege.
 “You’re gonna look like Barzini or what?” Amato asked of the big occasion, referring to Vito Corleone’s sleekly-dressed nemesis in the movie. 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 
You can also read my Washington Times review of The Godfather, 50th Anniversary Edition, via the below link:
Note: The top photo shows Marlon Brando has the Godfather, Vito Corleone, and the below photo shows Richard Conte as Barzini in The Godfather

Friday, October 4, 2019

National Vodka Day: How The Spirit Rose To Popularity, And Why James Bond Might Prefer It In His Martinis

I’ve been a vodka drinker since I was a teenager serving in the U.S. Navy.

I was drawn to vodka by my childhood hero, Ian Fleming’s iconic character James Bond, who favored the beverage.

Although I’ll drink an occasional vodka martini, my preferred drink is Stolichnaya vodka on the rocks, with a slice of lime.

As today is National Vodka Day, Emily DeCiccio at offers a piece on vodka.

Experts, like mixologist Miguel Aranda of New York City's Osteria 57, weigh in on where vodka came from, how it gained popularity in the US, and how it is made.

Whether you like your vodka cocktails shaken, stirred, dry, or dirty, there’s a lot to learn about this clear spirit. So in honor of National Vodka Day, Fox News consulted a range of experts to deliver some insights — and recipes — regarding one of America's preferred spirits.

Bob Nolet, the vice president of marketing and the master distiller at Nolet Spirits, the producers of Ketel One, tells Fox News the drink has been "popular in the U.S. for a very long time," but credits the "cocktail mania" of the '80s for inspiring his own mother — among other spirit innovators — to develop their brands suited to new tastes.

After long and careful consideration, he's pretty confident that 007's preferred martini was made with vodka as opposed to gin.

"James Bond's preferred martini is a vodka martini, judging by how often he orders them in his novels," Nolet says. "He orders 19 vodka martinis, 16 gin martinis and one Vesper martini, made with both." (The website VinePair also credits 1962 film adaptation of "Dr. No" with popularizing the notion of a vodka martini, after Bond is provided with one at his request.) 

(Bond also specifically ordered a vodka martini in the film version of "Dr. No.") 

And not only is Bond fond of vodka —so are Americans. In the United States, vodka commands about 33 percent of the market share (by volume) among all spirits categories, and it ranks as the largest spirits category in the U.S., by volume, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: The above photo is of Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No. 

Philadelphia Man Sentenced To 27 Years For Sex Trafficking Of Children And For Training Others to Engage in Sex Trafficking

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania released the below information:
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Collin Cowell, a/k/a “Tyson,” 29, was sentenced to 324 months’ incarceration and 20 years’ supervised release by United States District Court Judge J. Curtis Joyner for his scheme to organize and manage a trafficking venture with ‘employees’ whom he trained to sell young girls into forced sexual conduct.  The defendant is also required to register as a sex offender.
The defendant was convicted in March 2018 of sex trafficking and aiding and abetting the sex trafficking of three minor children, two of whom were only 15 years old, in Philadelphia and elsewhere.  He was also convicted of the distribution of child pornography for posting a sexually explicit image of two of the young girls on, a website Cowell and his co-defendants used to advertise the minors for commercial sex acts with sex buyers, which financially benefited him directly.  The defendant not only led the trafficking operation, he trained those working under him to engage in sex trafficking.
“Cowell’s crimes were devastating to his minor victims,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “Today’s sentence of almost three decades incarceration reflects the seriousness of his crimes and the irrevocable damage he caused, all in pursuit of financial gain. We will continue to work collectively to investigate these destructive crimes against vulnerable children.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Babb Wilmoth.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Little Humor: Religious Burial Service For A Dog

A man lived alone in South Philly with only his dog as a companion.

When the dog died, the man visited his parish priest and asked, “Father, my dog is dead. Could ya’ say a mass for my best friend, the poor creature?”

“I’m afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church,” the Father replied. “But there is a Baptist church a couple of blocks north of here. Who knows what they believe in, so perhaps they’ll perform a service for your dog.”

“OK, thanks Father,” the man said. “Do ya’ think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?”

“Sweet Mary and Jesus!” the Father exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me the dog was baptized Catholic?"

Note: The photo above is of Jimmy Cagney and Patrick O’Brian from Angels With Dirty Faces.