Friday, July 31, 2020

Rare Rolex Submariner Watch Like The One Worn By Sean Connery's James Bond That Was Bought Second-Hand For Just £20 In 1970 Is Set To Sell For £150,000 At Auction


 My Rolex Submariner diver’s watch is my prized possession. 

As a teenager in the 1960s I saw actor Sean Connery as Ian Fleming's iconic character James Bond on the movie screen wear a Rolex Submariner and while serving in the Navy in the 1970s, I saw Navy pilots, Navy SEALs and others wear the famous watch.  

As an Ian Fleming and James Bond fan, I of course wanted my own Rolex. A beautiful woman gave me a Rolex Submariner for my 30th birthday.

I married her one month later.   

So I was interested in reading a piece at the Daily Mail on a Rolex Submariner that is set to be auctioned for a very good price (although I would never sell mine).

A rare Rolex watch like the one worn by Sean Connery's James Bond that was bought second hand for just £20 is now set to sell for £150,000.

The stainless-steel Submariner wristwatch belongs to a man whose father was unable to afford a brand new one for diving. 

The original owner, who has not been named, sourced a secondhand model in 1970 and it is now worth 1,500 times more than he paid for it.

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

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8579963/Rare-Rolex-Submariner-watch-like-one-worn-James-Bond-set-sell-150-000-auction.html

Note: The top two photos are of Sean Connery as James Bond and his Rolex Submariner in Goldfinger. 

The above photo is of me and my Rolex Submariner in Jamaica as I opened a bottle of Champagne to celebrate my wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife. The Champagne? Why, Dom Perignon, of course.  

Tinder, Sailor, Hooker, Pimp: The U.S. Navy's Sex Trafficking Scandal In Bahrain


The Military Times, an independent newspaper that cover the U.S. military, offers a four-part series on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s (NCIS) investigation into Americans sailors involved in sex trafficking in Bahrain.  

 

Warning: this report contains explicit language.


It all started on WhatsApp.


The first in a cascade of U.S. Navy investigations into sailors accused of trafficking, housing and pimping female prostitutes in the Middle East can be traced back to June 2017 and a string of sex-charged encrypted text messages between a sailor in Bahrain and a Thai prostitute he met on the island.


“Yo u sexy than a mother fucker with your mean ass,” Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Jihad H. Littlejohn had texted the woman on June 4, 2017, according to Navy court records.


Prosecutors would later allege that Littlejohn, a 29-year-old from New Jersey then assigned to the patrol ship Hurricane, had paid the so-called “working girl” for sex.


"I want to sleep on your titty,” the sailor had texted her.


“Lol you gotta pay,” she replied, according to court records.


But the woman, Lin Raiwest, was more than just another prostitute. Court records show she also was known as a “mamasan,” a pimp who managed her own stable of prostitutes that she trafficked, protected and profited from.


Raiwest’s chats with Littlejohn soon turned to bigger business, prosecutors later alleged.


Court records show she told him she was going to buy “some more girls” from Thailand and would put them to work in Bahrain’s lucrative sex trade ― one often fueled by U.S. military personnel stationed there.


“You want some?” she asked the sailor in a text.


“Hell yea I do,” Littlejohn replied.


“Girls for what?” he asked.


“Work. Make money,” Raiwest answered. “Don’t tell nobody tho.”


Navy prosecutors later cited the text message exchange to allege that the duo had hatched a plan to fly several women in from Thailand, house them in Littlejohn’s off-post apartment and put them to work selling sex, with Littlejohn expected to take a cut of their earnings.


The petty officer would “take their passports, take their freedom,” Navy prosecutor Lt. Ty Christian said at Littlejohn’s trial in August 2019.


To seal the deal, Littlejohn allegedly paid Raiwest 1,000 Bahraini dinar (about $2,650 at the time) to front the cost of getting the prostitutes from Thailand to Bahrain, according to court records.


In return, Raiwest gave him her passport as collateral.


Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents raided Littlejohn’s apartment in September 2017 and found Raiwest’s passport hidden in a safe, according to court records and testimony.


For reasons that remain unclear, Raiwest didn’t testify at Littlejohn’s trial and the petty officer was acquitted on all charges last summer.


But in 2017, this alleged partnership between Littlejohn and Raiwest — chronicled in the text messages she provided to NCIS — helped spark a web of investigations that revealed how deeply involved some U.S. sailors had become with the commercial sex trade in Bahrain.


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


https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/06/16/tinder-sailor-hooker-pimp-the-us-navys-sex-trafficking-scandal-in-bahrain/

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Babylon Bee: Portland Police Raise Millions By Letting Citizens Throw Tear Gas At Antifa For $5 A Pop


The Babylon Bee offers a satirical piece on the Portland riots.  

PORTLAND, OR—Facing massive budget cuts, the Portland Police Bureau has come up with an exciting new way to fund their department. Upstanding citizens can now pay 5 dollars to throw tear gas at communist protesters. People from across the country are lining up to live their lifelong dreams of blasting dirty commies with tear gas.

"Getting bathed in tear gas is the closest my son Fidel has been to taking a shower in weeks," said a local Portland mom after paying her five bucks and chucking a canister at the crowd. "I'm hoping our basement will smell a little better now. I used to think that all police were evil fascists, but my time gassing commies has opened my eyes. That was the most fun I've had in ages. Thanks, Portland Police!"

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

https://babylonbee.com/news/portland-police-make-millions-after-offering-citizens-a-turn-throwing-tear-gas 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Ralph Cipriano: To Save HIs Own Ass, Mayor Jim Kenney Presided Over A Public Sacrifice Of A Scapegoat Named Dennis Wilson

Veteran reporter Ralph Cipriano offers a rebuke at BigTrial.net of Philadelphia Mayor Kenney for his throwing Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis Wilson and the Philadelphia Police Department under the proverbial bus.

At a June 25th press conference, a masked Mayor Jim Kenney stood silently off to the side of the podium so he wouldn't get any blood splashed on his suit as he watched the ritualistic slaughter of a scapegoat. 

The public sacrifice of Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis Wilson was an ugly but necessary spectacle, however, because it served to absolve Kenney and his hand-picked police commissioner of any personal responsibility for the June 1st teargassing of protesters on the Vine Street Expressway.

After Wilson had been dispatched, Kenney came to the podium, took off his mask and proceeded to throw his entire police department under the bus by lying about what had actually transpired on the Expressway. 

Kenney also raised once again the white flag of surrender to the lawless mob that's been invading his city, with little resistance under Kenney's command, since May 31st. Kenney's handpicked police commissioner finished the job by making an announcement that all but guarantees the city will be defenseless the next time the mob decides to return to inflict more damage. 

Even by Kenney's standards, it was a remarkable display that he presided over on June 25th, one of cowardice, deception, and treachery. And when I called Kenney on it yesterday, the mayor was still hiding under his desk. And no doubt hoping that the rest of the press corps won't awaken from its slumber and finally get around to reporting that Kenney and his handpicked police commissioner had lied to their collective faces about the deployment of tear gas. And, as of this morning, they're still getting away with it.

In the light of recent revelations, it's worthwhile to take a second look at the show Kenney and Outlaw put on for the press and public on June 25th.

Kenney began his performance at the 25-minute press conference at police headquarters by watching Deputy Commissioner Wilson take the fall for the entire Police Department. Wilson did it by claiming that it was he and he alone, and not Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who made the call to deploy tear gas on the Vine Street Expressway. 

Only it wasn't true. As revealed previously by Big Trial, several police sources confided that the story Wilson told at the press conference was total B.S. And that Wilson knows -- and phone records would show -- that even though, according to police department policy, as the highest ranking commander at the scene, he didn't need Outlaw's approval to deploy tear gas, Wilson sought it anyway, and she gave him the green light.

Why did Wilson take the fall, along with a voluntary demotion to chief inspector, and an annual pay cut of $30,000? Because, according to police sources, he'd been threatened with arrest by our corrupt district attorney. And if convicted by a jury during these deeply anti-cop times, under Pennsylvania law, Wilson stood to lose not only his pension, but also a DROP bonus of some $800,000.

To recap, on the day of the press conference, Kenney and Outlaw were under attack, not only for weeks by the local Progressive press corps for the use of tear gas on the allegedly "peaceful" protesters. But just that morning, the bible of the left, the all-powerful New York Times, had terrorized the locals by posting a ten-minute edited video online that as far as left-wing Progressive snowflakes were concerned, made what happened on the Vine Street Expressway the moral equivalent of the My Lai massacre. 

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



Leader And Members Of Luchese Cosa Nostra Organized Crime Family Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder, Racketeering, And Other Crimes


The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York released the below information:

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MATTHEW MADONNA, the Acting Boss of the Luchese Family, CHRISTOPHER LONDONIO, a soldier in the Luchese Family, and TERRENCE CALDWELL, an associate of the Luchese Family, were sentenced today to life in prison following their conviction for the 2013 murder of Michael Meldish, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and other felonies.  A jury convicted MADONNA, LONDONIO, CALDWELL, and Steven L. Crea, the Underboss of the Luchese Family, on November 15, 2019, following a six-week trial before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, who also imposed today’s sentences.  CREA will be sentenced at a later date.[1] 
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Matty Madonna, Christopher Londonio, and Terrence Caldwell – respectively, the Acting Boss, a soldier, and an associate of the Luchese Family – were responsible for the execution-style murder of Michael Meldish seven years ago.  Madonna ordered it, Londonio set it up, and Caldwell pulled the trigger.  Now all three have been sentenced to serve the rest of their lives in federal prison.  Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, we continue our commitment to render La Cosa Nostra a thing of the past.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, and other court documents:
Until his arrest in this case, MADONNA was the Acting Boss of the Luchese Family of La Cosa Nostra, one of the “Five Families” that constitute the Mafia in the New York City area.  In 2013, MADONNA became displeased with Michael Meldish, a longtime organized crime associate who had refused to collect debts owed to MADONNA.  MADONNA ordered Meldish killed.  Acting under the orders of MADONNA and Crea, LONDONIO helped set up Meldish – a personal friend of LONDONIO’s – to be killed, and acted as the getaway driver for the murder.  CALDWELL carried out MADONNA’s and Crea’s orders to kill Meldish.  CALDWELL met Meldish and drove with him to a Bronx neighborhood to meet LONDONIO.  As Meldish got out of his car, CALDWELL shot him once in the head, killing him instantly.  CALDWELL then drove off with LONDONIO.  For their participation in the Meldish murder, MADONNA, LONDONIO, and CALDWELL were each convicted at trial of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, and use of a firearm in furtherance of murder in aid of racketeering.
In addition, MADONNA, 84, of the Bronx, New York, LONDONIO, 45, of Hartsdale, New York, and CALDWELL, 61, of New York, New York, were also convicted of racketeering conspiracy; CALDWELL was convicted of attempted murder in aid of racketeering and discharging a firearm in furtherance of attempted murder in aid of racketeering arising out of his May 29, 2013, ambush of a member of the rival Bonanno Family in Manhattan; and LONDONIO was convicted of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Hagan Scotten, Celia V. Cohen, and Alexandra N. Rothman, were in charge of the trial and sentencings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column On Retired FBI Agent Jerri Williams And Her Book, 'FBI Myths And Misconceptions'


The Washington Times ran my On Crime column about retired FBI agent Jerri Williams and her book about FBI myths and misconceptions.

Legendary FBI agent Joe Pistone once told me that “Donnie Brasco,” the film made about his six years undercover with the Bonanno Cosa Nostra crime family, was about 80% accurate.

“For Hollywood, that’s good,” Mr. Pistone said.

Retired FBI agent Jerri Williams’ book, “FBI Myths and Misconceptions” points out the many errors about the FBI in novels, TV and movies.

I knew Ms. Williams back when she was the spokesperson for the FBI in Philadelphia. Her job then was educating the media and the public about the FBI. I reached out and asked her why she wrote the book.

“In January 2016, I started a podcast “FBI Retired Case File Review,” which features interviews with retired agents. During many of the episodes, my former colleagues and I often made comments regarding cliches and misconceptions we saw and heard about the FBI in books, TV, and movies,” Ms. Williams replied.

“Episodes 50 and 100 focused exclusively on what authors and screenwriters sometimes get wrong. As a crime novelist myself, I know that when writers are crafting their books and scripts, the most important thing is the story. However, I was hoping to show writers how to keep the story as true to life as possible and honor the agents who do the job.

“One day it hit me. Those two shows were the foundation for a really cool book debunking FBI myths and misconceptions for those who read, watch, and write crime dramas about the FBI or want to become an FBI agent. There’s a lot out there, and the book has led to me starting a new career as a technical consultant for TV.” 

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



Monday, July 27, 2020

10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Making Of Martin Scorsese's 'Mean Streets'


Before Raging Bull, before Goodfellas and before Casino, Martin Scorsese made a great crime film called Mean Streets.

The 1973 film about young Italian American hoodlums in New York starred Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro and many other talented actors. As I’m half-Italian and grew up in South Philly’s “Little Italy” section with the local hoodlum Mean Streets' counterparts, I found the film to be both recognizable and entertaining. Mean Streets is one of my favorite films.

I also love the music from the film. The late film critic Pauline Kael called the music the soundtrack of the character’s lives.    

Jake Dee at Screenrants.com offers 10 behind the scenes facts about Mean Streets.

Despite the poor box-office performance at the time of its release in 1973, Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets has gone to be recognized as one of the greatest gangster movies ever made.

The film currently boasts a 97% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 96/100 Metascore. In 1997, the film was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Mean Streets stars Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel as a pair of low-level street hoods trying to make it big in New York's Little Italy. For a better understanding of the movie that put Scorsese on the map, here are some behind the scenes facts about the making of the film.

10 Conception


Following the poor critical and commercial reception of his previous film, Boxcar Bertha, Scorsese's friend, and fellow filmmaker John Cassavetes urged him to get back to his roots and make a personal film, much as he did with Who's That Knocking at My Door in 1967.


Scorsese agreed and decided to make the semiautobiographical Mean Streets as a result. Scorsese based the story on his own personal experiences coming of age in New York's Little Italy, molding many of the characters on people he knew in real life.


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



As I noted in my Crime Beat column on Martin Scorsese, I’ve been a Scorsese fan since Mean Streets came out in 1973.

I was a young aspiring writer at the time, hanging out at a bar in South Philly that was the same type of bar that Scorsese portrayed in Mean Streets.

The characters in the film, based on people he knew from the Lower East Side of New York, had their counterparts in South Philly. Replace New York’s tenements with South Philly’s row homes, and you had the same type of neighborhood and people.

… I later read The Playboy Interview with Scorsese and he mentioned a story about another crew that had flocked to see Mean Streets. He said that while filming Goodfellas, Henry Hill told him that he and Paul Vario’s son had seen Mean Streets and loved it. They saw Paul Vario, who was a capo in the Lucchese crime family, and urged him to see the film. Vario, who rarely went to the movies, gave in and saw the film.

Vario, who would years later be portrayed by Paul Sorvino in Scorsese’s Goodfellas, called his crew together and instructed them to see Mean Streets. Vario, a man of few words, simply told his astonished crew, "It’s about us."

You can read my column on Martin Scorsese via the below link:



You can also watch clips from Mean Streets via the below link:






Sunday, July 26, 2020

Owners of South Philadelphia Cheesesteak Restaurant Indicted For Tax Evasion Allegedly Concealed $8 Million In Sales And Paid Employees “Off the Books”


The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

A federal grand jury in Philadelphia returned an indictment that was unsealed today, charging the owners of a popular cheesesteak restaurant with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, tax evasion, and aiding and assisting in filing false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

According to the indictment, Anthony Lucidonio Sr., and his son, Nicholas Lucidonio, both of New Jersey, owned and operated Tony Luke, a cheesesteak and sandwich restaurant located in South Philadelphia. From 2006 through 2016, the Lucidonios allegedly hid from the IRS more than $8 million in receipts by depositing only a portion of Tony Luke’s receipts into business bank accounts and filing with the IRS false business and personal tax returns that substantially understated their income. 

The indictment further alleges that the Lucidonios committed employment tax fraud by paying employees a portion of their wages and salaries “on the books” for some hours they worked, but then paying substantial additional wages for the remaining hours worked “off the books” in cash, without withholding and paying to the IRS the required employment taxes. From 2014 through 2015, they also allegedly filed false quarterly employment tax returns with the IRS substantially understating wages paid and taxes due.

It is also alleged that after a dispute over franchising rights arose between the Lucidonios and another individual in 2015, the Lucidonios, concerned that their tax fraud scheme would be revealed, amended prior year tax returns to increase reported sales, but then falsely offset the increased income by inflating expenses.  

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and each count of tax evasion, and three years in prison for each false return charge. 

Defendants also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney McSwain commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant Chief John Kane of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Gray, who are prosecuting the case.

Ralph Cipriano: Philly P.D. Clueless When It Comes To Managing Protests


Ralph Cipriano offers a piece at www.bigtrial.net on the Philadelphia Police Department’s mismanagement in regards to handling the protests in the city.

When it comes to managing protests, the Philadelphia Police Department appears mired in mismanagement.

When the George Floyd protests first hit the city on May 30th, thousands of protesters showed up, and the cops were totally unprepared and woefully understaffed. The result -- widespread and uncontrolled rioting, looting, and arson fires that left behind hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

Today, the department was totally overstaffed with hundreds of extra cops for two peaceful protests that attracted little more than a hundred protesters.

But under the command of First Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton, who has taken over the handling of protests from recently demoted Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson, the department today brought in 100 bicycle cops, as well as at least 100 other cops who were being redeployed from units that included the Evidence Custodian Unit, the Firearms Training Unit, the Standards and Accountability Division, and the Police Recruit Training Unit. The police department also called in an additional 50 additional cops from the Major Incident Response Team. 

In addition, the department ordered the entire city-wide night work shift, some 200 cops, to come in four hours early. And the department also ordered the entire midnight to 8 a.m. shift, at least 75 to 100 cops, to stay an extra four hours on overtime. 

The total cost of the extra police personnel had to run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. All to babysit a total of some 200 protesters at two peaceful demonstrations. 

The extra cops were assigned to stake out City Hall, Love Park, police headquarters, the Liberty Bell and the Art Museum

But in the morning some 100 protesters showed up at the school district headquarters, mostly teachers, who were there to say they wanted Philly's cops out of the public schools.

In the afternoon, some 100 protesters showed up at the Art Museum. 

The extra police manpower ordered up by First Deputy Commissioner Singleton has since become a running joke in the department that also earned Singleton a new nickname -- First Deputy Commissioner Melvin Simpleton.

Singleton took over protest management from former Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson, who on June 25th, accepted a voluntary demotion to chief inspector as a punishment for ordering the June 1st teargassing of protesters who were trying to shut down traffic on the Vine Street Expressway.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw subsequently apologized for using tear gas on the protesters.

It was the Kenney administration that was responsible for getting rid of former Police Commissioner Richie Ross and Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Sullivan. Under its former leadership, the Philadelphia Police Department earned widespread praise for its handling of the Pope Francis's 2015 visit in 2015, the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the Eagles 2018 Super Bowl parade.

But after the Kenney administration got rid of Ross and Sullivan, they brought in rookie Police Commissioner Outlaw. The department was caught flat-footed by the George Floyd protests. The result was the biggest municipal disaster since former Mayor Wilson Goode dropped a bomb in 1985 on Osage Avenue.   

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



And you can read how the Philadelphia police under the leadership late John Timoney handled the protests during the 2000 Republican convention in my Counterterrorism magazine above and below:




Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Talking To Mike Chitwood, Former Philly Homicide Detective And Retired Top Cop Of Upper Darby, PA Police Department


Today I interviewed Michael Chitwood Sr., the recently retired Superintendent of the Upper Darby, PA Police Department.

Chitwood, whose 55 years in law enforcement was chronicled in Harold Gullan's Tough Cop: Mike Chitwood Vs. the Scumbags (Camino Books), spoke of his being the top cop in Upper Darby for 14 years, his 19 years as a Philadelphia Police narcotics officer and homicide detective, and his time as the top cop in Middletown Township Bucks County, PA and Portland, Maine.

He also offered his take on the recent riots in American cities and what he thinks of the "defund police" anti-police campaign. And he spoke of his memories of the late Frank Rizzo, the legendary former mayor and police commissioner of Philadelphia, and the late legendary Philadelphia Police Captain Clarence Ferguson.

"As a top-notch homicide detective in one of America's largest cities and chief of police in three separate jurisdictions, Mike Chitwood keenly understands the central mission of a police department: to protect the most vulnerable in society," noted the late John Timoney, the former police commissioner of Philadelphia. 

Like me, Mike Chitwood grew up in South Philly, and although I didn't know him then, we know many of the same people (criminals and otherwise).

My Q&A with Mike Chitwood will appear in the upcoming Counterterrorism magazine. I'll post the Q&A here when the magazine comes out.

   

U.S. Attorney McSwain Announces Detention of Alleged Burglar Accused Of Stealing $104,000 During Recent Rioting In Philadelphia


The U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania released the below information:

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Raphael Shaw, 20, of Philadelphia, PA was ordered detained pending trial at a detention hearing today in federal court on charges of burglarizing $104,000 from a Wells Fargo Bank branch in the Parkside section of Philadelphia during the recent riots and looting in the city. The defendant was arrested and taken into federal custody last week and made his initial appearance in court on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Following peaceful protests in the early afternoon of May 30, 2020 in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, civil unrest began to unfold later that afternoon in Philadelphia that resulted in widespread looting, burglary, arson, destruction of property, and other violent acts.
One such burglary occurred on May 31, 2020, when the defendant and his confederates allegedly broke into the Wells Fargo bank located on the 1500 block of north 52nd Street, pointed a rifle at people inside the bank, and removed a cash vault containing $104,000. According to the criminal complaint, the burglars used a forklift stolen from a nearby Lowe’s home improvement store to remove the vault. Surveillance footage from the bank showed a male wearing a blonde wig with distinctive tattoos on his right forearm, and several other individuals, surrounding a large object and moving it through the bank.
Shaw was identified as the individual in the blonde wig after a Philadelphia Police Officer who patrols the Parkside neighborhood, and who has interacted with Shaw multiple times in the last year, recognized the tattoos on his arm. Investigators were also able to further identify Shaw as the suspect based on photos posted to his publicly accessible Instagram account which showed a photo of an individual with the same arm tattoos, displaying large amounts of cash. A separate criminal complaint filed in federal court earlier this month charged Shaw’s alleged associate, Xavier Nolley-Hall, with entering the bank with intent to commit a felony.
“We at the U.S. Attorney’s Office will not allow violent criminal behavior to hijack the First Amendment right of the people to assemble peaceably and to petition their government,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “We accomplish that mission not only by arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators, but also by detaining them with no bail, when appropriate. That was the case here. Shaw will now face the consequences of his alleged actions, and he will do so while sitting in federal prison, where he belongs, prior to his trial. The bottom line is that if you committed a federal crime during the rioting and looting in Philadelphia, we are coming for you.”
“Amid peaceful protests and an outbreak of civil unrest, criminal opportunists sought to take advantage of the chaos,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Numerous banks across the city experienced vandalism and forced entry, but this daylight forklift burglary was the most brazen incident by far. The FBI/Philadelphia Police Violent Crimes Task Force continues to work the case, to identify the others involved. Our message to those folks: we’ll see you soon.”  
If convicted, Shaw faces a maximum possible sentence of twenty years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael R. Miller.
An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Babylon Bee: How To Identify A Peaceful Protester


The Babylon Bee takes a satirical shot at today’s protestors.

You're out and about and you see someone lobbing a brick at you. 

What do you do? How do you know if this is a violent attack on your person or a peaceful protest?

Tell the peaceful protester/violent angry individual to hold on for a second. Then, pull out your phone and look up this infographic from The Babylon Bee. If the perpetrator matches at least a few of these characteristics, then he or she is probably just a peaceful protester. 

You should apologize for assuming he was a criminal as he bashes your brains in with a brick.

Gotta love the Bee. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

William Boyd: The Spies Who Lived Here: How I Found James Bond’s Precise Address


British novelist William Boyd, who wrote the James Bond continuation novel, Solo, tracked down what may been the London addresses of Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent James Bond, as well as the London address of John le Carre’s fictional spymaster George Smiley, in a piece in the London Times Literary Supplement, TLS.

I am in London. In Chelsea to be precise, at the entrance to Wellington Square off the King’s Road, where I am being interviewed for the French radio station RTL – à distance sociale – about James Bond. The reason why we’re at Wellington Square is because this is where James Bond lived. Obviously, James Bond is a fictional character and didn’t actually live anywhere. However, it is strange how in the case of some fictional characters a kind of reality begins to take over their lives, as if they really did live and breathe, had an actual address and a mortgage.

I point out to the interviewer that, a few yards across the King’s Road from where we’re standing, almost directly opposite, is the entrance to Bywater Street. Believe it or not, I tell him, another famous fictional spy, John le Carré’s George Smiley, lived in Bywater Street. This extraordinary coincidence causes some excited consternation and we stop recording and cross the road. In Bywater Street, we start recording again. “George Smiley lived here? Amazing. What number?” the interviewer asks. Number 9, I say. You see what I mean.

I suppose the most famous fictional abode for a character is Sherlock Holmes’s 221b, Baker Street. James Bond’s address and George Smiley’s have yet to achieve the same legendary status, but give them time. When I came to write my James Bond continuation novel, Solo (2013), I set myself the task of re-reading all of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels in chronological order, pen in hand, making notes, with the idea that all the texture and detail in the new novel would be classic Bondiana, sourced in Fleming..

There is another significant reason why Wellington Square might have proposed itself as a suitable address for Bond. In the late 1940s and early 50s Fleming was the Foreign Manager for the Sunday Times, a person of power and influence at the newspaper. During this period, the chief book reviewer for the Sunday Times was Desmond MacCarthy, a central member of the Bloomsbury Group. As it happened, MacCarthy and his wife Molly lived in Wellington Square. They were legendary entertainers and their home became a kind of salon. Cyril Connolly was one of MacCarthy’s young protégés and a regular at the soirées – and, what’s more, Connolly and Fleming were close friends. All three were Old Etonians, incidentally.

The circumstantial evidence is compelling. It is highly probable that Fleming went to one or more of the MacCarthys’ parties in Wellington Square, either through his own connections with MacCarthy via the Sunday Times or as a friend of Connolly. MacCarthy died in 1952, the year before Casino Royale was published, though it wasn’t until Moonraker, three years later, that Bond’s Chelsea flat received its first mention.

…The MacCarthy house is to be found in the eastern corner of Wellington Square. Bond’s flat, according to Fleming, was on the ground floor and was described in From Russia, with Love (1957) as having “a long big-windowed sitting room”. The ground-floor window of the MacCarthy house fits that description perfectly. One other sliver of circumstantial evidence I would offer is that, in the same novel, Bond’s sitting room is described as “book-lined”. Most readers wouldn’t think of James Bond as an intellectual but books would certainly be the most prominent aspect of the MacCarthy house’s decor. In fact, Fleming took pains to stress Bond’s wide reading, despite the fact that Bond (Eton and Fettes) had no tertiary education. Bond makes reference to many books and writers in the novels: Eric Ambler, Lafcadio Hearn, John Milton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Sheridan le Fanu and Rupert Brooke among others. Bond is a very well-read spy.

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




On This Day In History The Late, Great Crime Novelist Raymond Chandler Was Born


On this day in 1888 the late great crime novelist Raymond Chandler was born.

You can read my Crime Beat column on Raymond Chandler below:

Raymond Chandler's Influence on Crime Novels and Films

I have a couple of unread books on my nightstand next to my bed and about a dozen more on a table in my basement office. But instead of reading these new novels and nonfiction books, I’m rereading Raymond Chandler’s classic crime thrillers.

As I recently read a newspaper piece about Robert Altman’s somewhat loose film adaptation of Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, I had the urge to read the novel again for what is perhaps the 12th time since I first read all of his novels as a teenager so long ago. Chandler is that good, in my view.

The first detectives of popular fiction were gifted amateurs who solved murders like a parlor game, often to the dismay of the clueless, bumbling police. Hard-boiled detective fiction took a somewhat more realistic approach when Dashiell Hammett, a former Pinkerton private detective, wrote short stories for Black Mask magazine in the 1930’s. Hammett would go on to write The Maltese FalconThe Thin Man, and other classic crime novels.

“Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare and tropical fish,” Raymond Chandler wrote of his fellow Black Mask contributor.

“He put these people down on paper as they were, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before.”

Chandler, in my view, surpassed Hammett to become the best crime writer America has produced. He has influenced several generations of crime writers and a good case can be made that he is the single most influential crime writer.

I recall a Dick Cavett TV program in the 1970’s that had Ed McBain, Robert Parker, P.D. James and Mickey Spillane as guests. Cavett asked the best-selling crime writers who had been their main influence and all save Spillane immediately answered Chandler. (Spillane named a comic book writer whose name escapes me).

Even on Central Avenue, not the quietest street in the world, he looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food. - from Chandler's novel Farewell, My Lovely.

Chandler admitted that Philip Marlowe, his Los Angeles wisecracking, incorruptible, hard drinking, tough guy private detective was not realistic. He said that a man like Marlowe would no more be a private detective than he would be a university don.

“The private detective of fiction is a fantastic creation who acts and speaks like a real man,” Chandler wrote in an essay. “He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective.”

But Chandler also stated that crime fiction should be realistic in its character, setting and atmosphere. Chandler’s realism also clearly comes through in his observations, descriptions and dialogue.

The corridor which led to it had a smell of old carpet and furniture oil and the drab anonymity of a thousand shabby lives - from Chandler's novel The Little Sister.

Chandler led an unusual life. Born in Chicago and raised in Kansas and Ireland, he was educated in England, France and Germany. He worked as a reporter, poet and essayist before joining the Canadian Army to serve in combat during World War I.

He later became a successful oil executive but his heavy drinking caused him to be fired. He began writing crime stories for Black Mask when he was in his forties and at the age of 50, he published his first Philip Marlowe novel, The Big Sleep.

I was wearing my powdered blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display hankerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaven and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars. - from Chandler's novel The Big Sleep.

Chandler was devoted to his wife Cissy, a one-time beauty who was 18 years his senior. They moved frequently to different locations in Southern California and they rarely socialized.

Chandler was an avid letter writer and he corresponded with friends, other writers, editors and fans. I find his letters to be as brilliant as his novels. An editor working on a collection of his letters asked her publisher — has Chandler ever written a dull line?

Chandler was hired by Hollywood to write the screenplay for the film Double Indemnity. Working with Billie Wilder, whom he disliked, Chandler produced a screenplay that was superior to the Cain novel in my estimation. With his screenplays and the films made from his novels, Chandler was a major film influence.

Tom Hiney, in his book Raymond Chandler: A Biography, quoted the movie journal Sequence, “Just as Chandler has many literary imitators, so has his work exercised a considerable influence on the treatment of crime in film. He helped to bring back to the cinema some of the healthy realism lost so carelessly in the 30’s to the demands of a minority censorship. What is certain, at any rate, is that since 1944 his work has done much to form the basis of a school of film making as indigenously American as the Western, the social comedy, the musical, and the gangster film.”

Chandler wanted Cary Grant to portray Philip Marlowe (think of Grant’s tough guy role in Mr. Lucky), but Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, Robert Montgomery, James Garner, Robert Mitchum, Eliot Gould, Powers Booth and others would take a turn playing Marlowe in films.

Clive Owen is preparing to portray Marlowe in the film Trouble is My Business.

James Garner, who played Chandler’s detective in 1969’s Marlowe, is my personal favorite.

Garner was big, handsome, tough, and he delivered the wisecracks very well. When Garner sat at his desk and pulled out his pipe, I saw the Marlowe that I envisioned from the novels.

Based on the Chandler novel The Little Sister, the film had a contemporary setting (in 1969). Had the film been properly set in the 1940’s, I think it would have been a near perfect adaption.

It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. - from Chandler's novel Farewell, My Lovely.

Chandler never fully recovered from the loss of his wife. He said she was the center of his life for 30 years. During Chandler’s final years, he drank heavily and traveled aimlessly. He died on March 26, 1959 at the age of 70.

But Chandler’s influence lives on in crime novels and films. In his oft-quoted essay, The Simple Art of Murder, Chandler presented his definitive view of the private detective in fiction.

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world."

Note: The above column originally appeared in The Orchard Press Online Mystery Magazine.