Sunday, July 31, 2016
Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez, known as Richard Ramirez, was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar. His highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area, from June 1984 until August 1985. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the "Night Stalker" by the news media. He used a wide variety of weapons, including handguns, knives, a machete, a tire iron, and a hammer. Ramirez, who was an avowed Satanist, never expressed any remorse for his crimes. The judge who upheld his thirteen death sentences remarked that Ramirez's deeds exhibited "cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding". Ramirez died of complications from B-cell lymphoma while awaiting execution on California's death row. Early life and education: Ramirez was born in El Paso, Texas, on February 29, 1960, the youngest of Julian and Mercedes Ramirez's five children. His father, a Mexican national and former Juarez policeman who later became a laborer on the Santa Fe railroad, was a hard-working man prone to fits of anger that often resulted in physical abuse. As a child, Ramirez sustained two serious head injuries. When he was two years old a dresser fell on top of him, causing a forehead laceration requiring thirty stitches to close. When he was five years old he was knocked unconscious by a swing at a park, after which he experienced frequent epileptic seizures that persisted into his early teens. As a twelve-year-old he was strongly influenced by his older cousin, Miguel ("Mike") Ramirez, a decorated U.S. Army Green Beret combat veteran who often boasted of his gruesome exploits during the Vietnam War. He shared Polaroid photos of his victims, including Vietnamese women he had raped. In some of the photos Mike posed with the severed head of a woman he had abused. Ramirez, who had smoked marijuana since the age of ten, bonded with Mike over many joints and gory war stories. Mike taught his young cousin some of his military skills, such as killing with stealth and surety. Around this time, Ramirez began to seek escape from his father's violent temper by sleeping in a local cemetery. "Richie", as he was known to his family, was present when Mike shot his wife, Jessie, in the face with a .38 caliber revolver during a domestic argument on May 4, 1973, killing her. After the shooting Richie became sullen and withdrawn from his family and peers. Later that year, he moved in with his older sister Ruth and her husband, Roberto, an obsessive "peeping Tom" who took Richie along on his nocturnal exploits. He began using LSD and cultivated an interest in Satanism. Mike Ramirez was found not guilty of Jessie's murder by reason of insanity (with his combat record as a mitigating factor), and was released in 1977 after four years of incarceration at the Texas State Mental Hospital. His influence over Richard continued. The adolescent Ramirez began to meld his burgeoning sexual fantasies with violence, including forced bondage and rape. While still in school, he took a job at a local Holiday Inn, where he used his passkey to rob sleeping patrons. His employment ended abruptly after a hotel guest returned to his room to find Ramirez attempting to rape his wife. Though the husband beat Ramirez senseless at the scene, criminal charges were dropped when the couple, who lived out of state, declined to return to testify against him. Ramirez dropped out of Jefferson High School in the ninth grade. At the age of 22 he moved to California, where he settled permanently. Murders: On April 10, 1984, 9-year-old Mei Leung was found murdered in a hotel basement where Ramirez was living in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The girl had been raped, beaten and stabbed to death, and her body was found hanging from a pipe. This, his first known killing, was not initially identified as being connected to the crime spree. In 2009, Ramirez's DNA was matched to DNA obtained at the crime scene. In 2016, officials disclosed evidence of a second suspect, identified through a DNA sample retrieved from the crime scene, who is believed to have been present at Leung's murder. Described as being a juvenile at the time, authorities have not publicly identified the suspect, and have not brought charges due to the lack of sufficient evidence. "Night Stalker" crimes: On June 28, 1984, 79-year-old Jennie Vincow was found brutally murdered in her apartment in Glassell Park. She had been stabbed repeatedly while asleep in her bed, and her throat slashed so deeply that she was nearly decapitated. Ramirez's fingerprint was found on a mesh screen he removed to gain access through an open window. On March 17, 1985, Ramirez attacked 22-year-old Maria Hernandez outside her home in Rosemead, shooting her in the face with a .22 caliber handgun after she pulled into her garage. She survived when the bullet ricocheted off the keys she held in her hands as she lifted them to protect herself. Inside the house was her roommate, Dayle Okazaki, 34, who heard the gunshot and ducked behind a counter when she saw Ramirez enter the kitchen. When she raised her head he shot her once in the forehead, killing her. Within an hour of the Rosemead home invasion Ramirez pulled 30-year-old Tsai-Lian "Veronica" Yu out of her car in Monterey Park, shot her twice with a .22 caliber handgun, and fled. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The two murders (and third attempt) in a single day attracted extensive coverage from news media, who dubbed the curly-haired attacker with bulging eyes and wide-spaced, rotting teeth "The Walk-in Killer" and "The Valley Intruder". On March 27, 1985, Ramirez entered a home that he had burgled a year earlier in Whittier at approximately 2 a.m. and killed the sleeping Vincent Zazzara, age 64, with a gunshot to his head from a .22 caliber handgun. Zazzara's wife Maxine, age 44, was awakened by her husband's murder, and Ramirez beat her and bound her hands while demanding to know where her valuables were. While he ransacked the room, Maxine escaped her bonds and retrieved a shotgun from under the bed, which was not loaded. An infuriated Ramirez shot her three times with the .22, then fetched a large carving knife from the kitchen. Her body was mutilated with multiple stab wounds, and her eyes were gouged out and placed in a jewelry box, which Ramirez left with. The autopsy determined that the mutilations were post-mortem. Ramirez left footprints from a pair of Avia sneakers in the flower beds, which the police photographed and cast. This was virtually the only evidence that the police had at the time. Bullets found at the scene were matched to those found at previous attacks, and the police realized a serial killer was at large. Vincent and Maxine's bodies were discovered by their son, Peter. On May 14, 1985, Ramirez returned to Monterey Park in search of another random victim and entered the home of Bill Doi, 66, and his disabled wife Lillian, 56. Surprising Doi in his bedroom, he shot him in the face with a .22 semi-automatic pistol as Doi went for his own handgun. After beating the mortally wounded man into unconsciousness, Ramirez entered Lillian's bedroom, bound her with thumbcuffs, then raped her after he had ransacked the home for valuables. Bill Doi died of his injuries while in the hospital. On the night of May 29, 1985, Ramirez drove a stolen Mercedes-Benz to Monrovia and stopped at the house of Mabel "Ma" Bell, 83, and her sister Florence "Nettie" Lang, 81. Finding a hammer in the kitchen, he bludgeoned and bound the invalid Lang in her bedroom, then bound and bludgeoned Bell before using an electrical cord to electrically shock the woman. After raping Lang, he used Mabel Bell's lipstick to draw a pentagram on her thigh, as well as one on the wall of both bedrooms. Discovered two days later, both women were found alive but comatose; Bell later died of her injuries. The next day, he drove the same car to Burbank and sneaked into the home of Carol Kyle, 42. At gunpoint, he bound Kyle and her 11-year-old son with handcuffs and ransacked the house. He released Kyle to direct him to where the family's valuables were; he then sodomized her repeatedly. He repeatedly ordered her not to look at him, telling her at one point that he would "cut her eyes out". He fled the scene after retrieving the child from the closet and binding the two together again with the handcuffs. On the night of July 2, 1985, he drove a stolen Toyota to Arcadia, randomly selecting the house of Mary Louise Cannon, 75. After quietly entering the widowed grandmother's home, he found her asleep in her bedroom. He bludgeoned her into unconsciousness with a lamp and then repeatedly stabbed her using a 10-inch butcher knife from her kitchen. She was found dead at the crime scene. On July 5, 1985, Ramirez broke into a home in Sierra Madre and bludgeoned sixteen-year-old Whitney Bennett with a tire iron as she slept in her bedroom. After searching in vain for a knife in the kitchen, Ramirez attempted to strangle the girl with a telephone cord. He was startled to see sparks emanate from the cord, and when his victim began to breathe, he fled the house believing that Jesus Christ had intervened and saved her. She survived the savage beating, which required 478 stitches to close the lacerations to her scalp. On July 7, 1985, Ramirez burglarized the home of Joyce Lucille Nelson, 61, again in Monterey Park. Finding her asleep on her living room couch, he beat her to death using his fists and kicking her head. A shoe print from an Avia sneaker was left imprinted on her face. After cruising two other neighborhoods, he returned to Monterey Park and chose the home of Sophie Dickman, 63. Ramirez assaulted and handcuffed Dickman at gunpoint, attempted to rape her, and stole her jewelry; when she swore to him that he had taken everything of value, he told her to "swear on Satan". On July 20, 1985, Ramirez purchased a machete before driving a stolen Toyota to Glendale. He chose the home of Lela Kneiding, 66 and her husband Maxon, 68. He burst into the sleeping couple's bedroom and hacked them with the machete, then killed them with shots to the head from a .22 caliber handgun. He further mutilated their bodies with the machete before robbing the house of valuables. After quickly fencing the stolen items from the Kneidling residence, he drove to Sun Valley. At approximately 4:15 am, he broke into the home of the Khovananth family. He murdered Chainarong Khovananth, by shooting the sleeping man in the head with a .25 caliber handgun, killing him instantly. He then repeatedly raped Somkid Khovananth, beating and sodomizing her. He bound the couple's terrified eight-year-old son before dragging Somkid around the house to reveal the location of any valuable items, which he stole. During his assault he demanded that she "swear to Satan" that she was not hiding any money from him. On August 6, 1985, Ramirez drove to Northridge and broke into the home of Chris and Virginia Peterson. Ramirez crept into the bedroom and startled Virginia, 27; he shot her in the face with a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun. He shot Chris Peterson in the temple and attempted to flee, but Peterson fought back and avoided being hit by two more shots during the struggle before Ramirez escaped. The couple survived their injuries. On August 8, 1985, Ramirez drove a stolen car to Diamond Bar and chose the home of Sakina Abowath, 27, and her husband Elyas Abowath, 31. Sometime after 2:30 am he entered the house and went into the master bedroom. He instantly killed the sleeping Elyas with a shot to the head from a .25 caliber handgun. He handcuffed and beat Sakina while forcing her to reveal the locations of the family's jewelry, and then brutally raped and sodomized her. He repeatedly demanded that she "swore on Satan" that she would not scream during his assaults. When the couple's three-year-old son entered the bedroom, Ramirez tied the child up and then continued to rape Sakina. After Ramirez left the home, Sakina untied her son and sent him to the neighbors for help. Ramirez, who had been following the media coverage of his crimes, left the Los Angeles area and headed to the San Francisco Bay area. On August 18, 1985, Ramirez entered the home of Peter and Barbara Pan. Peter, aged 66, was killed in his sleep with a gunshot to his temple from a .25 caliber handgun. Barbara, aged 62, was beaten and sexually violated before being shot in the head and left for dead. At the crime scene Ramirez used lipstick to scrawl a pentagram and the phrase "Jack the Knife" on the bedroom wall. When it was discovered that the ballistic and shoe print evidence from the Night Stalker crime scenes matched the Pan crime scene, then-mayor of San Francisco Dianne Feinstein divulged the information in a televised press conference. This leak infuriated the detectives in the case, as they knew that the killer would be following media coverage and have an opportunity to destroy crucial forensic evidence. Ramirez, who had indeed been watching the press, dropped his size 11 1/2 Avia sneakers over the side of the Golden Gate Bridge that night. He remained in the area for a few more days before heading back to the L.A. area. On August 24, 1985, Ramirez traveled 76 miles south of Los Angeles in a stolen orange Toyota to Mission Viejo, and broke into the house of Bill Carns, 30, and his fiancée, Inez Erickson, 29, through a back door. Ramirez entered the bedroom of the sleeping couple and awakened Carns when he cocked his .25 caliber handgun. He shot Carns three times in the head before turning his attention to Erickson. Ramirez told the terrified woman that he was "The Night Stalker" and forced her to swear she loved Satan as he beat her with his fists and bound her with neckties from the closet. After stealing what he could find, he dragged Erickson to another room to rape and sodomize her. He then demanded cash and more jewelry, making Erickson "swear on Satan" there was no more. Before leaving the home Ramirez told Erickson, "Tell them the Night Stalker was here." As he left in the Toyota, thirteen-year-old neighbor James Romero III noticed the same "weird-looking guy in black" that he had seen earlier in the night and thought suspicious, and he decided to write down as much of the license plate as he could. Inez Erickson untied herself and went to a neighbor's house to get help for her severely injured fiancé. Surgeons were able to remove two of the bullets from his head, and he survived his injuries. When news of the attack broke, Romero told his parents about the strange man in the orange Toyota, and they immediately contacted the police and provided the partial license plate number. Erickson was able to give a detailed description of the assailant to investigators. The stolen car was found on August 28 in Wilshire, and police were able to obtain a single fingerprint from the rear view mirror despite Ramirez's careful efforts to wipe the car clean of his prints. The print was positively identified as belonging to Richard Muñoz Ramirez, who was described as a 25-year-old drifter from Texas with a long rap sheet that included many arrests for traffic and illegal drug violations. Law enforcement officials decided to release a mug shot of Ramirez from a December 12, 1984, arrest (photo, below right) for car theft to the media, and "The Night Stalker" finally had a face. At the police press conference it was announced: "We know who you are now, and soon everyone else will. There will be no place you can hide." Capture: On August 30, 1985, Ramirez took a bus to Tucson, Arizona, to visit his brother, unaware that he had become the lead story in virtually every major newspaper and television news program across the state of California. After failing to meet his brother, he returned to Los Angeles early on the morning of August 31. He walked past officers who were staking out the bus terminal in hopes of catching the killer should he attempt to flee on an outbound bus. He walked a few blocks to a convenience store in East Los Angeles. After noticing a group of elderly Mexican women fearfully identifying him as "El Matador" (or "The Killer"), Ramirez saw his face on the covers on the newspaper rack and fled the store in a panic. After running across the Santa Ana Freeway, he attempted to carjack a woman, but was chased away by bystanders, who pursued him. After hopping over several fences and attempting two more carjackings, he was eventually subdued by a group of residents, one of whom had struck him over the head with a metal bar in the pursuit. The group held him until police arrived and took Ramirez into custody. Trial and conviction: Jury selection for the case started on July 22, 1988. At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled "Hail Satan". On August 3, 1988, the Los Angeles Times reported that some jail employees overheard Ramirez planning to shoot the prosecutor with a gun, which Ramirez intended to have smuggled into the courtroom. Consequently, a metal detector was installed outside the courtroom and intensive searches were conducted on people entering. On August 14, the trial was interrupted because one of the jurors, Phyllis Singletary, did not arrive at the courtroom. Later that day, she was found shot to death in her apartment. The jury was terrified; they could not help wondering if Ramirez had somehow directed this event from inside his prison cell, and if he could reach other jury members. However, Ramirez was not responsible for Singletary's death; she had been shot and killed by her boyfriend, who later committed suicide with the same weapon in a hotel. The alternate juror who replaced Singletary was too frightened to return to her home. On September 20, 1989, Ramirez was convicted of all charges: 13 counts of murder, 5 attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. During the penalty phase of the trial on November 7, 1989, he was sentenced to die in California's gas chamber. He stated to reporters after the death sentences, "Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland." The trial cost $1.8 million, which at the time made it the most expensive in the history of California, until surpassed by the O. J. Simpson murder case in 1994. Love object: By the time of the trial, Ramirez had fans who were writing him letters and paying him visits. Beginning in 1985, Doreen Lioy wrote him nearly 75 letters during his incarceration. In 1988, he proposed to her, and on October 3, 1996, they were married in California's San Quentin State Prison. For many years before Ramirez's death, Lioy stated that she would commit suicide when Ramirez was executed. However, Lioy and Ramirez eventually separated. By some estimates, he would have been in his early seventies before his execution was carried out, due to the lengthy California appeals process. Appeals: On August 7, 2006, his first round of state appeals ended unsuccessfully when the California Supreme Court upheld his convictions and death sentence. On September 7, 2006, the California Supreme Court denied his request for a rehearing. Ramirez had appeals pending until the time of his death. Death: Ramirez died of complications secondary to B-cell lymphoma at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California, on June 7, 2013. He had also been affected by "chronic substance abuse and chronic hepatitis C viral infection". At 53 years old, he had been on death row for more than 23 years.
"Delta Dawn" is the nickname of an unidentified decedent found in Moss Point, Mississippi in late 1982. The child was a murder victim, as she had both been smothered and drowned shortly before her body was found in the Escatawpa River. Discovery and circumstances: The body was discovered in Moss Point, Jackson County, Mississippi. According to witnesses, a baby was seen near the area with an adult female, possibly her mother, about two days before the discovery, on Mississippi State Highway 63 as well as National Interstate 10, near the border of Alabama. It is believed that this baby might be the victim later found in the river. The woman was carrying the child and walking above a bridge between midnight and one o'clock in the morning two days previously, reportedly distressed but refusing help from passing vehicles. Within two days after these sightings, a man called police to report the discovery of a body in the river, clothed in a blue plaid shirt, lying face-down, at about 7:00 AM on December 5, 1982. This body is now presumed to be that of the adult woman. Authorities responded to the scene, located along interstate 10, but instead came across the child's body. The sheriff who found Delta Dawn initially mistook her for his daughter, who was later found to be alive and well at his residence. Authorities immediately believed that the girl had been thrown from the bridge to the area where her body was found, as it was blocked by weeds and it was unlikely that the girl's body had drifted to the location. The woman's corpse was never found, and she has never been located alive, if the body seen was not hers. At the time of Delta Dawn's discovery, the river bottom in the vicinity where it was seen was dragged in hopes of finding the remains, which was unsuccessful. Searches were also conducted with helicopters and boats. On December 9, the skeletal remains of an African-American man, aged eighteen to twenty-two were found, sixty yards away, by one of the search teams. He also remains unidentified, but is not likely connected to the case. Physical examination: An autopsy performed on the Jane Doe's body concluded that she had been alive when she entered the water and had been intentionally deposited into the river. Evidence in her lungs indicated that she drowned, although someone had attempted to smother her before she entered the river. It was concluded that the official cause of her death was inhaling the water upon impacting its surface. Delta Dawn was a healthy toddler between the ages of one and two years old, most likely eighteen months. Twelve of her teeth had erupted at the time of her death, which influenced the age estimation. The girl was Caucasian with curly strawberry-blond hair. Because of the amount of time she was in the water, approximately thirty-six to forty-eight hours, her eyes had clouded to the point where estimating the exact color was very difficult, but it was believed that they were either blue or brown. Despite the elemental damage to the eyes, her face was described as in a "recognizable" condition. She was around two feet six inches and weighed around twenty-five pounds. The girl wore a pink and white checkered dress or shirt, decorated with three flowers on its front, along with a diaper. Aftermath and investigation: Extensive searches have been conducted to find the body of the woman reported to the police, but these have been fruitless. Several scenarios have been conceived, some asserting that the woman seen with the baby was her mother, who had caused the victim's death and subsequently committed suicide. An earlier report, of a woman who told sheriff's deputies that she had "given away" her child to a group of men, was originally connected to the case by the investigating officers; it was later determined that the subject requesting assistance had a male child. Newspapers later published the stories throughout the country and featured pictures of the child, but were unsuccessful with ascertaining her identity through this technique. The victim was adopted posthumously by a police officer and his wife, who funded the victim's funeral and burial. The officer's wife coined the victim's nickname. She is buried in the Jackson County Cemetery after an hourlong service. The means of paying for the ceremony were donated by local businesses and their employees. In 2007, a graveside memorial service was conducted in memory of the victim. Since her discovery, the girl was reconstructed forensically in efforts to identify her through facial recognition. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has released two illustrations and other artists have produced their own renderings.
Richard Donnell Ross, known as "Freeway" Rick Ross, is an American author and convicted drug trafficker best known for the drug empire he established in Los Angeles, California, in the early to mid 1980s. Biography: Ross attended school at Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. He played for the tennis team but was unable to get a college scholarship because he was illiterate. Ross has said that when he first saw crack-cocaine as a teenager in 1979, he did not immediately believe it was a drug because it looked different from other drugs he had seen. The nickname Freeway came from Ross' owning properties along the Los Angeles Harbor Freeway and living next to the 110. According to an October 2013 Esquire magazine article, "Between 1982 and 1989, federal prosecutors estimated, Ross bought and resold several metric tons of cocaine. In 1980 Ross' gross earnings were said to be in excess of $900 million – with a profit of nearly $300 million. Converted roughly to present-day dollars: 2.5 billion gross, and $850 million in profit, respectively.” During the height of his drug dealing, Ross was said to have sold "$3 million in one day." According to the Oakland Tribune, "In the course of his rise, prosecutors estimate that Ross exported several tons of cocaine to New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and made more than $600 million between 1983 and 1984." In 1996, Ross was sentenced to life imprisonment under the three-strikes law after being convicted for purchasing more than 100 kilograms of cocaine from a federal agent in a sting operation. Later that year, a series of articles by journalist Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News revealed a connection between one of Ross's cocaine sources, Danilo Blandón, and the CIA as part of the Iran-Contra scandal. Ross's case was brought to a federal court of appeals which found that the three-strikes law had been erroneously applied and reduced his sentence to 20 years. He was released from custody on September 29, 2009. Cocaine use and business- Cocaine introduction: Ross began selling cocaine after failing to get a college sports scholarship to play tennis because of his illiteracy. He began spending time with an upholstery teacher at his school who revealed he dealt cocaine and offered Ross some to sell. Ross eventually began to ask for quantities to sell that exceeded what the teacher was willing to procure, so he turned to find a new dealer. Through a friend, Ross was introduced to a connection of two Nicaraguan exiles, Oscar Danilo Blandón and Norwin Meneses Cantarero, to purchase cheaper Nicaraguan cocaine. Ross began distributing cocaine at $10,000 less per kilo than the average street price, distributing it to the Bloods and Crips street gangs. Ross eventually purchased his cocaine directly from Blandón and Meneses instead of going through the connection. By 1982, Ross had received his moniker of "Freeway Ricky" and claimed to have sold up to US$3 million worth of cocaine per day, purchasing 455 kilos of cocaine a week. He initially invested most of his profits in houses and businesses, because he feared his mother would catch on to what he was doing if he started spending lavishly on himself. In a jailhouse interview with reporter Gary Webb, Ross said, "We were hiding our money from our mothers." Drug empire: With thousands of employees, Ross has said he operated drug sales not only in Los Angeles but in places across the country including St. Louis, New Orleans, Texas, Kansas City, Oklahoma, Indiana, Cincinnati, North Carolina, South Carolina, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Seattle. He has said that his most lucrative sales came from the Ohio area. He made similar claims in a 1996 PBS interview. According to the Oakland Tribune, "In the course of his rise, prosecutors estimate that Ross exported several tons of cocaine to New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and made more than $600 million in the process." Adjusting for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, this becomes more than a billion dollars. Much of his success at evading law enforcement was due to his ring's possession of police scanners and voice scramblers. Following one drug bust, an L.A. sheriff remarked that Ross's men had "better equipment than we have." According to the October 2013 Esquire article, “Between 1982 and 1989, federal prosecutors estimated, Ross bought and resold several metric tons of cocaine. In 1980 dollars, his gross earnings were said to be in excess of $900 million – with a profit of nearly $300 million. Converted roughly to present-day dollars: 2.5 billion gross, and $850 million in profit, respectively. As his distribution empire grew to include forty-two cities, the price he paid per kilo of powder cocaine dropped from as much as $60,000 to as low as $10,000. ” Iran-Contra involvement: Ross's capture was facilitated by his main source, drug lord Oscar Danilo Blandón, who set up Ross. Blandón had close ties with the Contras, and had met with Contra leader Enrique Bermúdez on several occasions. Blandón was the link between the CIA and Contras during the Iran-Contra affair. Gary Webb interviewed Ross several times before breaking the story in 1996. Ross claims that the reason he was unfairly tried initially was because of his involvement in the scandal. Blandón received a 24-month sentence for his drug trafficking charges, and following his release, was hired by the Drug Enforcement Administration where he was salaried at US$42,000. The INS was ordered to grant Blandón a green card, despite the criminal convictions, to allow him to work for the DEA. The DEA has claimed they no longer employ Blandón, and his whereabouts are unknown. Lawsuit against rapper Rick Ross: On June 18, 2010, Ross sued rapper Rick Ross (real name William Leonard Roberts II) for using his name, filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against Ross in a California Federal Court. Jay-Z had been called to testify in the lawsuit, as he was CEO of Def Jam when Ross was signed to the label. The reformed drug kingpin was looking for $10 million in compensation in the lawsuit. After the lawsuit was dismissed on July 3, 2010, the album Teflon Don was released as scheduled on July 20, 2010. A federal judge ruled that the case should be refiled in California state court because it fell under California state law. Ross refiled the case with the State of California and the federal case is on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The federal case was appealed to higher court, state case was filed in 2011 in California. Freeway Ross has refiled in Los Angeles Superior Court with publicity rights claims. Depositions have been ongoing. Trial was set for early May 2012. The case was dismissed by a judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The California State case was updated with a motion in Freeway Rick Ross's favor as to Warner Brothers Records and their use of the name and image Rick Ross in July 2012. The New York Post reported that a trial was set for August 27, 2013 in Freeway Rick Ross versus Rick Ross and Warner Music Group. On December 30, 2013, the court ruled in favor of the rapper Rick Ross, allowing him to keep the name based on a First Amendment ruling. Book: In 2013, The Huffington Post reported that journalist and author Cathy Scott was co-writing Ross's autobiography with him, scheduled for release in 2014. The memoir, Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography, was released at a book launch at the Eso Won Bookstore in Los Angeles on June 17, 2014 to a standing-room only crowd. KCET TV wrote in a review, "(The book) is fascinating for its unsentimental, inside look at his career on the streets of South Central, which started for Ross with car theft and quickly shifted to drugs and the big time." The autobiography was nominated for ForeWord Review's IndiFab Best Book of the Year Award 2014 for true crime. In popular culture: Ross was a key figure in filmmaker Kevin Booth's documentary American Drug War: The Last White Hope. The second episode of the first season of BET's American Gangster documentary series was focused on the story of Ricky Ross and his connection to the Iran-Contra scandal. Ross was a guest interview on VH1's Planet Rock History of Crack and Hip Hop Documentary. Ross is featured in the 2015 documentary Freeway: Crack in the System, which details various levels of the drug trade, the Iran Contra scandal, and mass incarceration. Since 2013, Ross has been a regular guest on The Joe Rogan Experience. In the 2014 film Kill the Messenger, Ross is portrayed by Michael K. Williams.
Richard E. Kiefer was an American murderer and the last person to be executed in Indiana before the national moratorium on executions in 1972 with the case of Furman v. Georgia. Crime and surrender: In 1957, Kiefer, a Fort Wayne mechanic who claimed that he was sick of his wife criticizing his fishing and drinking habits, murdered his wife, Pearl. He bludgeoned her to death with a hammer before turning that hammer on his five-year-old daughter, Dorothy, when Dorothy approached him to try to break up the fight between her parents. After murdering them, Kiefer hacked their bodies with a knife and then left for Chicago with $3 from his wife's purse and some change from his daughter's piggy bank. Two days later, he returned to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and went to police headquarters to surrender. Trial and proceedings: Kiefer did not appear to show remorse for the murders of his wife and his daughter. He was charged with both the murders, but he only went to trial for his wife's murder. He was convicted in 1958 and sentenced to death. However, in 1958, the conviction was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court, which noted that at his first trial, the jury was shown photographs of the slashed victims' bodies, and the jury was emotionally fueled by the photos to sentence Kiefer to death. Kiefer was sent to trial a second time and again sentenced to death. Execution: Kiefer's first death warrant decreed that he would be executed on January 31, 1961, but eight hours before that execution took place, the Indiana Supreme Court stayed the execution. His attorney filed an appeal, but the rest of the Supreme Court declined to consider it, and the then-Governor of Indiana, Matthew E. Welsh, signed Kiefer's second death warrant for an execution to take place on June 14, 1961. On June 14, 1961, at 12:04 AM, Richard Kiefer began the walk, unassisted, to Indiana's electric chair. The warden of the Indiana State Prison in which Kiefer was executed, Ward Lane, described Kiefer as having been emotionless at the execution. The voltage began at 12:11, and Kiefer was pronounced dead at 12:15 after receiving six jolts of electricity. He was 40 years old. Kiefer was the first person to be executed in Indiana's electric chair since murderer Robert Watts in 1951, and he was the last until Steven Timothy Judy was executed in 1981.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the ruling council of Jehovah's Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York. The body formulates doctrines, oversees the production of written material for publications and conventions, and administers the group's worldwide operations. Official publications refer to members of the Governing Body as followers of Christ rather than religious leaders. Its size has varied, from seven (2014–present) to eighteen (1974–1980) members. New members of the Governing Body are selected by existing members. History: Since its incorporation in 1884, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has been directed by a president and board of directors. Until January 1976, the president exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activities of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected—the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses. When the Society's second president, J. F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them. In 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society's editorial committee when it opposed publication of an article about disputed doctrines regarding the year 1914. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved. In 1943 The Watchtower described the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as the "legal governing body" of anointed Jehovah's Witnesses. A year later, in an article opposing the democratic election of congregation elders, the magazine said the appointment of such ones was the duty of "a visible governing body under Jehovah God and his Christ." For several years, the role and specific identity of the governing body remained otherwise undefined. A 1955 organizational handbook stated that "the visible governing body has been closely identified with the board of directors of this corporation." Referring to events related to their 1957 convention, a 1959 publication said "the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments then the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society acted." The 1970 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses noted that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was the organization used to plan the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses and provide them with "spiritual food", then declared: "So really the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania." On October 1, 1971, Watch Tower Society vice-president Frederick Franz addressed the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, stating that the legal corporation of the Watch Tower Society was an "agency" or "temporary instrument" used by the Governing Body on behalf of the "faithful and discreet slave". Three weeks later, on October 20, four additional men joined the seven members of the Society's board of directors on what became known as a separate, expanded Governing Body. The board of directors had until then met only sporadically, usually to discuss the purchase of property or new equipment, leaving decisions about Watch Tower Society literature to the president and vice-president, Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz. The Watchtower of December 15, 1971 was the first to unambiguously capitalize the term "Governing Body of Jehovah's witnesses" as the defined group leading the religion, with a series of articles explaining its role and its relationship with the Watch Tower Society. The focus on the new concept of "theocratic" leadership was accompanied by statements that the structure was not actually new: The Watch Tower declared that "a governing body made its appearance" some time after the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Society in 1884, though it had not been referred to as such at the time. The article stated that Watch Tower Society president Charles Taze Russell had been a member of the governing body. The 1972 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses stated that following Rutherford's death in 1942 "one of the first things that the governing body decided upon was the inauguration of the Theocratic Ministry School" and added that the "governing body" had published millions of books and Bibles in the previous thirty years. Former member of the Governing Body, Raymond Franz, stated that the actions of presidents Russell, Rutherford and Knorr in overriding and failing to consult with directors proved the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses had been under a monarchical rule until 1976, leaving no decisions to any "governing body". In 1972, a Question From Readers article in The Watchtower further reinforced the concept of the "Governing Body"; the magazine said the term referred to an agency that administers policy and provides organizational direction, guidance and regulation and was therefore "appropriate, fitting and Scriptural." Organizational changes at the highest levels of the Watch Tower Society in 1976 significantly increased the powers and authority of the Governing Body. The body has never had a legal corporate existence and operates through the Watch Tower Society and its board of directors. Reorganization: After its formal establishment in 1971, the Governing Body met regularly but, according to Raymond Franz, only briefly; Franz claims meetings were sometimes as short as seven minutes, to make decisions about branch appointments and conduct that should be considered disfellowshipping offenses. Franz claims that in 1971 and again in 1975, the Governing Body debated the extent of the authority it should be given. The Governing Body voted in December 1975 to establish six operating committees to oversee the various administrative requirement of the organization's worldwide activities that formerly had been under the direction of the president; furthermore, each branch overseer was to be replaced by a branch committee of at least three members. The change, which took effect on January 1, 1976, was described in the Watch Tower Society's 1993 history book, Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, as "one of the most significant organizational readjustments in the modern-day history of Jehovah's Witnesses." Headquarters purge: In 1980, dissent arose among members of the Governing Body regarding the significance of 1914 in Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrines. According to former Witnesses James Penton and Heather and Gary Botting, internal dissatisfaction with official doctrines continued to grow, leading to a series of secret investigations and judicial hearings. Consequently, dissenting members were expelled from the Brooklyn headquarters staff in the same year. Raymond Franz claimed he was forced to resign from the Governing Body, and he was later disfellowshipped from the religion. The Watch Tower Society responded to the dissent with a more severe attitude regarding the treatment of expelled Witnesses. In his 1997 study of the religion, Penton concluded that since Raymond Franz's expulsion in 1980, the Governing Body displayed an increased level of conservatism, sturdy resistance to changes of policy and doctrines, and an increased tendency to isolate dissidents within the organization by means of disfellowshipping. Helpers: The April 15, 1992 issue of The Watchtower carried an article entitled Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones” which drew a parallel between ancient non-Israelites who had been assigned temple duties (the "Nethinim" and "sons of the servants of Solomon") and Witness elders in positions of responsibility immediately under the oversight of the Governing Body who did not profess to be "anointed". Both that issue of The Watchtower and the 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses carried the same announcement: In view of the tremendous increase worldwide, it seems appropriate at this time to provide the Governing Body with some additional assistance. Therefore it has been decided to invite several helpers, mainly from among the great crowd, to share in the meetings of each of the Governing Body Committees, that is, the Personnel, Publishing, Service, Teaching, and Writing Committees. Thus, the number attending the meetings of each of these committees will be increased to seven or eight. Under the direction of the Governing Body committee members, these assistants will take part in discussions and will carry out various assignments given them by the committee. This new arrangement goes into effect May 1, 1992. For many years now, the number of the remnant of anointed Witnesses has been decreasing, while the number of the great crowd has increased beyond our grandest expectations. Each of the current Governing Body members served as a committee "helper" before being appointed to the Governing Body itself. The appointment of helpers to the Governing Body committees was described in 2006 as "still another refinement." 2000 and beyond: Until 2000, the directors and officers of the Watch Tower Society were members of the Governing Body. Since then, members of the ecclesiastical Governing Body have not served as directors of any of the various corporations used by Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Governing Body has delegated such administrative responsibilities to other members of the religion. Committees: The Governing Body functions by means of its six committees, which carry out various administrative functions. Each committee is assisted by "helpers," who do not necessarily profess to be of the "anointed". Governing Body meetings are held weekly in closed session. According to Raymond Franz, decisions of the body were required to be unanimous until 1975, after which a two-thirds majority of the full body was required, regardless of the number present. -The Personnel Committee arranges for volunteers to serve in the organization's headquarters and worldwide branch offices, which are each referred to as Bethel. It oversees arrangements for the personal and spiritual assistance of Bethel staff, as well as the selection and invitation of new Bethel members. -The Publishing Committee supervises the printing, publishing and shipping of literature, as well as legal matters involved in printing, such as obtaining property for printing facilities. It is responsible for overseeing factories, properties, and financial operations of corporations used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. -The Service Committee supervises the evangelical activity of Jehovah's Witnesses, which includes traveling overseers, pioneers, and the activities of congregation publishers. It oversees communication between the international headquarters, branch offices, and the congregations. It examines annual reports of preaching activity from the branches. It is responsible for inviting members to attend the Gilead school, the Bible School for Single Brothers, and the Traveling Overseers’ School, and for assigning graduates of these schools to their places of service. -The Teaching Committee arranges congregation meetings, circuit assemblies, and regional and international conventions as well as various schools for elders, ministerial servants, pioneers and missionaries, such as Gilead school. It supervises preparation of material to be used in teaching, and oversees the development of new audio and video programs. -The Writing Committee supervises the writing and translation of all material published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, including scripts for dramas and talk outlines. It responds to questions about scriptural, doctrinal, and moral issues, specific problems in the congregations, and the standing of members in congregations. -The Coordinator's Committee deals with emergencies, disaster relief and other matters, such as investigations. It comprises the coordinators, or a representative, from each of the other Governing Body committees and a secretary who is also a member of the Governing Body. It is responsible for the efficient operation of the other committees. Representatives: Initially, the Governing Body directly appointed all congregation elders. By 1975, the appointment of elders and ministerial servants was said to be "made directly by a governing body of spirit-anointed elders or by them through other elders representing this body." In 2001, The Watchtower, stated that recommendations for such appointments were submitted to branch offices. As of September 2014, circuit overseers appoint elders and ministerial servants after discussion with congregation elders, without consulting with the branch office. The Governing Body continues to directly appoint branch office committee members and traveling overseers, and only such direct appointees are described as "representatives of the Governing Body." Relationship with "faithful and discreet slave": The Governing Body is said to provide "spiritual food" for Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide. Until late 2012, the Governing Body described itself as the representative and "spokesman" for God's "faithful and discreet slave class" (approximately 11,800 Witnesses who profess to be anointed) who are collectively said to be God's "prophet" and "channel for new spiritual light". The Governing Body does not consult with the other anointed Witnesses whom it was said to represent when formulating policy and doctrines or approving material for publications and conventions; the authority of the Governing Body was presumed to be analogous to that of the older men of Jerusalem in cases such as the first-century circumcision issue. The majority of Witnesses who profess to be anointed have no authority to contribute to the development or change of doctrines. Anointed Witnesses are instructed to remain modest and avoid "wildly speculating about things that are still unclear," instead waiting for God to reveal his purposes in The Watchtower. In 2009, The Watchtower indicated that the dissemination of "new spiritual light" is the responsibility of only "a limited number" of the "slave class", asking: "Are all these anointed ones throughout the earth part of a global network that is somehow involved in revealing new spiritual truths? No." In 2010 the society said that "deep truths" were discerned by "responsible representatives" of the "faithful and discreet slave class" at the religion's headquarters, and then considered by the entire Governing Body before making doctrinal decisions. In August 2011, the Governing Body cast doubt on other members' claims of being anointed, stating that "A number of factors—including past religious beliefs or even mental or emotional imbalance—might cause some to assume mistakenly that they have the heavenly calling." The Governing Body also stated that "we have no way of knowing the exact number of anointed ones on earth; nor do we need to know", and that it "does not maintain a global network of anointed ones." At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Watch Tower Society, the "faithful and discreet slave" was redefined as referring to the Governing Body only and the terms are now synonymous. Governing Body members- Current: The following people are members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses (year appointed in parentheses): -Samuel Herd (1999) -Geoffrey Jackson (2005) -M. Stephen Lett (1999) -Gerrit Lösch (1994) -Anthony Morris III (2005) -Mark Sanderson (2012) -David H. Splane (1999) Former: Prior to 1971, various Watch Tower Society directors were informally identified as members of the "governing body". Jehovah's Witnesses publications began capitalizing Governing Body as a proper noun in 1971; The Watchtower that year announced "The present Governing Body comprises eleven anointed witnesses of Jehovah." These eleven members are indicated in italics in the list below. Years active are shown in parentheses. All members served until their deaths unless specified. -Thomas J. Sullivan (1932–1974) -Grant Suiter (1938–1983) -Nathan Homer Knorr (1940–1977)—4th President of Watch Tower Society -Frederick William Franz (1944–1992)—5th President of Watch Tower Society -Lyman Alexander Swingle (1945–2001) -Milton George Henschel (1947–2003)—6th President of Watch Tower Society -John O. Groh (1965–1975) -Raymond Franz (1971–1980) – Resigned -George D. Gangas (1971–1994) -Leo K. Greenlees (1971–1984) – Resigned -William K. Jackson (1971–1981) -William Lloyd Barry (1974–1999) -John C. Booth (1974–1996) -Ewart C. Chitty (1974–1979) – Resigned -Charles J. Fekel (1974–1977) -Theodore Jaracz (1974–2010) -Karl F. Klein (1974–2001) -Albert D. Schroeder (1974–2006) -Daniel Sydlik (1974–2006) -Carey W. Barber (1977–2007) -John E. Barr (1977–2010) -Martin Pötzinger (1977–1988) -Guy Hollis Pierce (1999–2014)
my former speech teacher (for speech class not speech therapy) asked if shopping was my "job" when i mentioned going to a thrift store and bought clothes for my brother. no that was something nice i did for him and my "job" or role in the family is finding out things and scoping out hotels we stay in (if were staying in a higher end one not a motel).
The WKKK (also known as the Women's Ku Klux Klan or Women of the Ku Klux Klan) was one of a number of auxiliaries of the Ku Klux Klan. While most women focused on the moral, civic, and educational agenda of the Klan, they also had considerable involvement in issues of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and religion (Feldman 2003, p. 25). The women in the WKKK fought for education and social reform like other Progressive reformers but with extreme racism and intolerance. Particularly prominent in the 1920s, the WKKK existed in every state, but their strongest chapters were in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Arkansas. White, native-born, Protestant women over age 16 were allowed to join the Klan. Women of the Klan differed from Klansmen primarily in their political agenda to incorporate racism, nationalism, traditional morality, and religious intolerance in everyday life through mostly non-violent tactics. History- First Wave: The first wave of the WKKK began in the mid-1860s, co-founded by James C.N. Chambers and Rosie Chappell, and extended for about ten years. Although women were not participating members, women were often used as a symbol of racial and sexual supremacy protected by the men of the KKK. Some women assisted with sewing Klansmen's costumes and others even let the men borrow their own clothes to serve as a disguise. One of the stated purposes of the Klan in the first wave was that "females, friends, widows, and their households shall ever be special objects of our regard and protection," which only referred to white women. Black and low-class white women, and white women judged as promiscuous were often the victims of rape and assault as Klansmen deemed them to be "lacking in virtue." (Hodes 1993, pp. 409–410) Second Wave: The second wave began in the early 1920s. In 1923, the Women of the Ku Klux Klan was formed as an auxiliary group to the Ku Klux Klan with its capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas. Like the Klan, they were anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, and anti-black. Although they were not as violent as their male counterpart, the KKK, they did sometimes resort to violent tactics. By the end of the decade, Klan collapsed rapidly as a result of economic depression, internal battles, and financial scandals. During the 1920s, the women helped the Ku Klux Klan expand their efforts throughout the country. The WKKK did function separately from the KKK but would join them in parades, social functions, and occasionally meetings. To qualify for membership, one had to be a native-born, white, Protestant, woman. Third Wave: Women played a minor role during the third wave which appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s. KKK members consisted largely of men of the rural South who had little education and money. Much of their violence was aimed at African Americans. Women no longer played a prominent role as they were integrated into the Ku Klux Klan. Modern Wave: The fourth and "modern" wave emerged in the late 1980s. With women participating as full members of the Klan, they could even serve as leaders and come from a range of social and economic classes. These women could be mothers, employed, and unemployed. The modern wave has been primarily fueled by economic, racial, and religious motives. Recruitment: During the wave of the 1920s, activism was strongest due to the efforts of women's suffrage. Many members were related to Klansmen. Some women joined the WKKK against the wishes of their husbands who felt it out of their partners' "wifely duty" and a rebellious attempt to increase her political power. Women also joined in an effort to preserve their white Protestant rights as they felt violated by the intrusion of immigrant and African-American voters. The WKKK hired "lecturers, organizers, and recruiters to establish new local chapters" where the KKK was especially successful. Some advertisements appealed to women by asking for their help in restoring America. Many women joined the WKKK because they believed it was their duty to their country to protect the threats of the minorities, which included African Americans and immigrants. The women not only wanted to conform to the traditional familial roles of wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters, but also wanted to assist in the white supremacist movement. Some men were also looking for a way to get their wives involved in the movement and pushed for the formation of a Women’s Ku Klux Klan. To educate potential WKKK prospects, the women used pamphlets with information about the Klan’s beliefs to serve as recruiting tools. Currently these pamphlets are used as research tools to see in the minds of the Klan’s women since there is very little information about those involved due to security concerns within the group. Today women are recruited to a much lesser extent than what once existed. Men hold the highest power, strongly limiting the rights of contemporary women in politics and propaganda. Activities: Dissimilar from the KKK, Klanswomen typically worked to strengthen the organization, "led political assaults on non-Klan businesses," and worked to strengthen the base of the Klan. They organized rallies, festivals, and day-long ritual carnivals that involved parading through town, crossburning, and a series of lectures and speeches. They held boycotts against anti-Klan store owners. Klanswomen engaged in a number of rites of passage like Klan wedding services, christening ceremonies, and funeral services. Women of the Klan also worked to reform public schools, doing so by distributing Bibles in schools, working to have Catholic teachers fired, and running for positions on school board seats. In an effort to influence politics, Klanswomen would lobby voters and distribute negative reports on non-Klan member candidates. Conflict amongst Klan members: During the second wave, men and women had similar agendas but often faced conflicts regarding distribution of dues. A few situations regarding financial mismanagement and illegal practices were brought to court in Arkansas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Many men disagreed with allowing women into the clan during the 1920s, as they felt it went against the beliefs of the Klan. Klansmen also disliked the ridicule they received from non-Klan members for allowing women to have a voice in politics and bringing them out of the home where they belonged. During the second wave of the WKKK, conflict arouse when Alice B. Cloud of Dallas, Texas filed a lawsuit with two other Klan members against the head of the WKKK, Robbie Gill Comer, and her husband, claiming that they took funds from the WKKK and used them for personal use. Upon looking into financial records of the WKKK, the court found that they had been squandering almost $70,000 of funds for unnecessary needs of the WKKK headquarters and for personal use as well. Women began to drop out of the WKKK and form other organizations of their own due to problems within the Klan, competing leadership, and corruption financially. Women were also concerned with the increase in the participation of the male Klan violence, which, in turn caused them to leave the Klan. Conflict arose during the modern wave regarding gender equity, as the Klan adheres to rules of "moral conservatism", such as disbelief in divorce and insistence of male authority in politics and in the home. In today's movement, many Klanswomen claim that the organization does not support women in their practices, and they feel constrained by the limitations set before them by Klansmen. Many women of the modern Klan do not wish their daughters to be a part of it, as they feel that women are not well respected.
The White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are considered the most militant as well as the most violent chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in history. They originated in Mississippi in the early 1960s under the leadership of Samuel Bowers, its first Grand Wizard. The White Knights of Mississippi were formed in 1964, and they included roughly 200 members of the Original Knights of Louisiana. The White Knights were not interested in holding public demonstrations or in letting any information about themselves get out to the masses. Similar to the United Klans of America (UKA), the White Knights of Mississippi were very secretive about their group. Within a year, their membership was up to around six thousand, and they had Klaverns in over half of the counties in Mississippi. But by 1967, the number of active members had shrunk to around four hundred. The Murder of Civil Rights Activists: The White Knights were responsible for many bombings, church burnings, beatings, and murders. In 1964, they murdered three civil rights workers: Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. The victims were members of the Congress Of Racial Equality. White Knight member Samuel Bowers had intentions to kill Schwerner because of his efforts to promote racial equality and to get Blacks to register to vote during Freedom Summer. The Klan saw Schwerner as an enemy because he was a white man helping the cause of black supremacy. In his first attempt to kill Michael Schwerner, Bowers assembled thirty White Knights on the evening of Memorial Day in 1964, and surrounded the Mount Zion Church while a meeting was taking place inside. Bowers thought that Schwerner would be in attendance, but after failing to find him when the meeting let out, the Knights started beating the blacks who were present, then set the church on fire after pouring gasoline inside. Schwerner had been in Ohio at the time working on helping the National Council of Churches find more students to help with the Mississippi Summer Project. When he found out about the burning of the church, he decided to drive back to Mississippi. Along with him went James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man, and Andrew Goodman. They were heading to Longdale in Neshoba County, where the Sheriff, Lawrence Rainey, and deputy Cecil Price, were members of the Klan, although they never publicly announced it. When the three activists got to Neshoba County, Deputy Sherriff Cecil Price saw their car driving down the highway and pulled them over on the premise of possible involvement in the burning of Mount Zion Church. They were locked up, denied their right to make phone calls, and kept there, while Price worked out the details of their murder with a White Knight member, Edgar Ray Killen. Hours later, Price released them, but followed them from behind in his car. They knew they were being followed, and they eventually stopped the car, where Price ordered them into his car. Two cars of Klansmen pulled up, and all three activists were shot at close range. The bodies were placed together in a hollow at the dam site and then covered with tons of dirt by a Caterpillar D-4. It was months before any indictments were made. Lawrence Rainey and Cecil Price were indicted in 1965, but it was not until 1967 when eighteen members of the White Knights who were also involved in the crime were indicted. Six men were convicted, including Sam Bowers and Deputy Cecil Price. Seven men were found not guilty, and one was acquitted of all charges. Bowers and Wayne Roberts (the one who shot the gun) each received the longest prison sentence, ten years. The film Mississippi Burning (1988) is based on these events. Among those indicted was Edgar Ray Killen, who was saved from conviction only because one of the jurors flatly refused to convict a man whom he knew to be a preacher. However, Killen was eventually convicted of the murders in June 2005, 40 years after the fact, and, at seventy-nine years of age, he was sentenced to "three 20-year terms, one for each conviction of manslaughter in connection with the deaths of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner in 1964." The End of the White Knights: In 1989, The White Knights of Mississippi attempted to go national, and appointed professional wrestler Johnny Lee Clary, whose stage name was "Johnny Angel", as its new Imperial Wizard to succeed the retiring Sam Bowers. Clary appeared on many talk shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Morton Downey, Jr. Show., in an effort to build a new modern image for the Ku Klux Klan. It was thought that Clary could build membership in the Klan due to his celebrity status as a professional wrestler. Clary tried to unify the various chapters of the Klan in a meeting held in the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, Pulaski, Tennessee, only to have it fall apart because of infighting which occurred when the Klan's various chapters came together. Clary's girlfriend was revealed to be an F.B.I. informant, which resulted in distrust of Clary among members of the different Klan chapters. Clary resigned from the Klan and later became a born again Christian and a civil rights activist. With the conviction of Killen in 2005, the bloody chapter of the White Knights of Mississippi came to a close. Price died in 2001, and Roberts is also deceased. Today, the MS White Knights are led under Imperial Wizard Richard Green with over 1000 members in Mississippi.
Princess Doe is the name given to an unidentified homicide victim found in Blairstown, New Jersey, United States, in 1982. The body was a young white female between the ages of 15 and 20, although she has also been stated to be as young as 14. Her face had been bludgeoned beyond recognition. The approximate height of the victim was 5'2" and her weight was 110 lbs. The body was discovered at the Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Blairstown early on the morning of 15 July 1982. She was the first unidentified decedent to be entered in the National Crime Information Center. Currently, Princess Doe still remains unidentified. No arrests were ever made in the case, although a married couple have claimed responsibility for the victim's death. The Warren County Prosecutor's Office is the law enforcement agency investigating the case and still considers the case active. The body was buried in the Cedar Ridge Cemetery, not far from where she was discovered, in January 1983. The remains of Princess Doe were exhumed in 1999 so that samples could be collected for DNA testing, which was extracted from her femur in Baltimore, Maryland. The body was reburied in the same grave. Discovery and examination: On the morning of July 15, 1982, gravedigger George Kise discovered the body of Princess Doe in the rear of Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Blairstown, New Jersey. The body was found lying on its back just over a steep bank that leads to a creek below. The victim's face had been beaten beyond recognition with a yet-to-be-determined object. Due to the condition of her body, her eye color could not be discerned. The body was clad in a red short-sleeved shirt. A peasant-style skirt was found lying on top of the victim's legs. No undergarments were found. Despite this, no conclusive evidence of sexual assault was found, but this was difficult to determine because of the exposure of the body. A golden cross necklace was found tangled in the victim's hair. Two earrings were found in her left ear. Red nail polish was found on the right hand only and she had no known surgical scars, distinct birth marks or tattoos. Scars or marks on the head/face area would not be known due to the condition of the body. The front two teeth were slightly darker than the other teeth. The victim's appendix and tonsils were intact. Forensic anthropologists determined that the victim was not pregnant and had never given birth, and was most likely between the ages of 14 and 18 years old at the time of death. Toxicology did not reveal any traces of drugs but was not entirely conclusive because of the time lapse between the death and discovery of the body. It is believed that the body was discovered after 2 to 3 days or possibly weeks of exposure. This was difficult to determine because of the hot and humid weather in the area at the time. Examination indicated that the girl had attempted to fight back or defend from her attacker, as trauma to her hands and arms was observed. Investigation- Diane Genice Dye: For many years, Princess Doe was thought to be Diane Genice Dye, a missing teenager from San Jose, California, who vanished on July 30, 1979. This theory was propagated by several law enforcement officials in the state of New Jersey, who went as far as to hold a press conference identifying Diane Dye as Princess Doe. However, Lt. Eric Kranz, the Princess Doe case's original lead investigator, maintained that Diane Dye was not a viable candidate for Princess Doe's identity. Kranz's feelings were shared by Diane's family and investigators in California, who were particularly incensed by the conduct of New Jersey law enforcement. In 2003, Princess Doe's DNA was compared with a DNA sample from Diane's mother Patricia, and it was conclusively determined that the Princess Doe was not Diane Dye. Arthur and Donna Kinlaw: In 1999 evidence came to light that Arthur and Donna Kinlaw were responsible for Princess Doe's murder. Donna was arrested in California for attempting to commit welfare fraud by using the name "Elaina", which was traced to a Long Island native involved in Arthur's prostitution ring and gave details about two murders he committed, of two other females who remain unidentified today. After Kinlaw was faced with a death sentence, Donna told authorities that Kinlaw had killed another woman, a prostitute, earlier in 1982. She told police that she was with Arthur in the cemetery and witnessed him commit the murder. Another report states that Donna Kinlaw said that in July 1982, her husband brought home a teenage girl, left home and returned without her. He later apparently disposed of his clothing and cleaned his vehicle. Afterward, he threatened his wife, claiming if she did not attend her job, he would "take her life" as he did to the girl he brought home. However, a lack of corroboration meant that Kinlaw was not charged. Speirs stated, "[Kinlaw] claimed responsibility for her death. But I have no physical evidence to confirm that, and without the identity of Princess Doe, I have no way of connecting the dots so to speak, putting her in a place where he could have been or would have been at the same time." Spears also reported that he doubted the confession because the Kinlaws could not provide a name for Princess Doe, even though they had claimed to have been with her for a period of time. Despite that he questions the credibility of their statements, Spears does believe the victim was native to Long Island, New York. However, Donna Kinlaw was interviewed by a forensic artist who created a sketch of the girl she claimed to have met, which does resemble the most recent composite. Arthur remains incarcerated for two counts of second-degree murder. Apart from the Kinlaws, several other suspects have been reconsidered to be involved in the case. Recent developments: One theory was submitted that Princess Doe may have been a runaway and could have been an individual using false names while employed at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. Six people have recently come forward with suspected identities of Princess Doe. In 2012, a sample of her hair and a tooth were examined through isotope analysis and indicated that the victim was most likely born in the United States. The sample of her hair indicated that she had lived at least seven to ten months in the Midwestern or Northeastern United States. The tooth sample indicated she could possibly be from Arizona. It is also believed that the girl had spent a long period of time in Long Island, New York. After seeing images of the girl's clothing on a newspaper, a woman reported to officials that she remembered seeing a girl wearing the same clothing as Princess Doe on July 13, 1982, just two days before her body was found. The woman claimed that she was shopping with her daughter at a store across from the cemetery and observed the victim's unique clothing. The shirt and skirt themselves were traced to a manufacturer in the Midwestern United States, although the brand labels were missing. Three people reported that they bought similar clothes, after viewing photos, at a Long Island store, which is now closed. It is unknown if the store was specifically located in Long Island or possibly in other locations. The 2012 composite of the victim also generated new tips, as it resembled several missing girls from the country. Media appearances- MISSING (HBO Documentary): After extensive print media coverage in 1982, Lt. Eric Kranz, the original lead investigator from the Blairstown Police Department, was contacted by HBO regarding the Princess Doe case, and asked if the channel could chronicle the case in an upcoming documentary, entitled "MISSING". Kranz agreed, and the segment was filmed over the course of several weeks. Kranz was shown following leads as they came in, and the documentary was notable for containing actual footage of the recovery of Princess Doe's body, along with footage shot by HBO of Princess Doe's 1983 funeral. The documentary also contained a segment following the Johnny Gosch disappearance. Lt. Kranz (now retired) coined the name, "Princess Doe" early in the investigation and also managed to get the case covered extensively in the media. The case was used as the impetus for recording unidentified crime victims in the NCIC database at the national level. Princess Doe became the first such case entered by the FBI director. MTV's Fear: A season one episode of MTV's Fear, a paranormal reality television show, featured a completely fictionalized account of the Princess Doe murder. In the episode, airing in 2000, Princess Doe was portrayed as the victim of a cult sacrifice. Viewers were told that Princess Doe was found decapitated and missing her hands on the grounds of "Camp Spirit Lake", a fictionalized version of Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, which is located in Hardwick Township, New Jersey. Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco is notable for having been the filming location of the first Friday the 13th film, which Lt. Eric Kranz appeared in two years before the discovery of Princess Doe's body. The "Princess Doe" portrayed in this episode bears no resemblance to the actual murder victim. The episode's version of the Princess Doe case resembles the unsolved murder of Rosa DeGaldo, who was found missing her head and hands in Warren County, New Jersey in November 1997. The occult aspects presented in this episode appear to be based on notable supposed cult killings in New Jersey, such as the 1972 death of Jeannette DePalma, a teenaged resident of suburban Springfield whose body was found allegedly surrounded by "occult symbols". Miscellaneous: The case was featured on America's Most Wanted in 2012 in hopes to generate new information in the case. The same year, the most recent reconstruction was broadcast on CNN. Burial and memorials: Princess Doe was buried on January 22, 1983 after she had remained unidentified for over five months. Funds were donated for a coffin and headstone for the victim. On July 15, 2012, a memorial service was held for the 30th anniversary of Princess Doe being discovered, at the top of the ravine where her remains were found. Over 100 citizens attended as well as several reporters and cameras. The victim's clothing as well as her reconstructions were displayed for public viewing. On October 12, 2014, Princess Doe was honored at a missing person's rally in the area. Other information: -NCIC Case Number: U-630870962 -Porchlight for the Missing Case Number: NJF820715
Friday, July 29, 2016
The September Six were six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) who were excommunicated or disfellowshipped by the church in September 1993, for allegedly publishing scholarly work against Mormon doctrine or criticizing church doctrine or leadership. The term "September Six" was coined by The Salt Lake Tribune and the term was used in the media and subsequent discussion. The LDS Church's action was referred to by some as evidence of an anti-intellectual posture on the part of church leadership. LDS Church measures against the September Six: Except for Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, all of the September Six were excommunicated; Whitesides was disfellowshipped, a lesser sanction that does not formally expel one from church membership. To date, three of the September Six have retained or regained church membership: Avraham Gileadi and Maxine Hanks, who were rebaptized, and Lynne Whitesides, who remains a disfellowshipped member. While the LDS Church sometimes announces when a prominent member has been excommunicated, the default policy is to refuse to publicly discuss details about the reasons for any excommunication, even if details of the proceedings are made public by that person. Such disciplinary proceedings are typically undertaken locally, initiated by leaders at the ward or stake level, but at least one of the September Six has suggested his excommunication was orchestrated by higher-ranking LDS Church leaders. Procedures pertaining to the organization of these disciplinary councils is found in the LDS Church's scriptural Doctrine and Covenants section 102, as well as in the church's administrative Handbook 1; when a member is summoned to these councils they are notified beforehand by their local church leaders. The LDS Church later excommunicated sisters Janice Merrill Allred in 1995 and Margaret Merrill Toscano in 2000, writers who had collaborated with several of the September Six and were also involved in disciplinary actions during 1993. Other than the summons sent to each of the six (specifying that their behavior was "contrary to the laws and order of the church"), the LDS Church's point of view is missing as to why each of the September Six was disciplined. Based on their own comments and other sources, the following brief bios offer some perspective regarding the six individuals' discipline and their current relationship to Mormonism. Short biographies of the six individuals- Lynne Kanavel Whitesides: Lynne Kanavel Whitesides is a Mormon feminist noted for speaking on the Mother in Heaven. Whitesides was the first of the group to experience church discipline. She was disfellowshipped September 14, 1993. Though technically still a member, Whitesides claims that she "burst" out of the church and her marriage in 1993, and now considers herself a practitioner of Native American philosophies. Avraham Gileadi: Avraham Gileadi is a Hebrew scholar and literary analyst who is considered theologically conservative. Following his 1981 Ph.D. in Ancient Studies from Brigham Young University, he published a new interpretive translation of the Book of Isaiah in 1988, and a study of its eschatological prophesies in 1991. Mormon scholars including Hugh Nibley, Truman G. Madsen and Ellis Rasmussen praised his work, but his argument that the Isaiah prophesies pointed to a human "Davidic king" who would emerge in the last days, apart from Jesus Christ, was controversial, and his second book was pulled from the shelves by its publisher, LDS Church-owned Deseret Book. The reasons for his excommunication on September 15 are unclear. According to Margaret Toscano (whose husband was among the September Six and who would also later be excommunicated), Gileadi's "books interpreting Mormon scripture challenged the exclusive right of leaders to define doctrine", a characterization that Gileadi himself disputes. The church afterwards reversed its disciplinary action against him and expunged it from the church's records, meaning it was to be officially regarded as having never happened. Gileadi is currently an active member of the church. He has continued to write books on Isaiah, including The Literary Message of Isaiah (2002) and Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven (2002). Paul Toscano: Paul Toscano is a Salt Lake City attorney who co-authored, with Margaret Merrill Toscano, a controversial book, Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology (1990), and, in 1992, co-founded The Mormon Alliance; he later wrote the book The Sanctity of Dissent (1994) and its sequel The Sacrament of Doubt (2007). He was excommunicated from the church on September 19, 1993; the reasons for his excommunication, as reportedly given by church leaders, were apostasy and false teaching. According to Toscano, the actual reason was insubordination in refusing to curb his sharp criticism of LDS Church leaders' preference for legalism, ecclesiastical tyranny, white-washed Mormon history, and hierarchical authoritarianism that privilege the image of the corporate LDS Church above its commitment to its members, to the teachings and revelations of founder Joseph Smith, and to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 2007, Toscano wrote that he lost his faith "like losing your eyesight after an accident"; he regrets that LDS Church leaders have disregarded his criticisms of what he considers the church's growing anti-intellectualism, homophobia, misogyny, and elitism. Toscano's wife Margaret faced her own disciplinary council for her doctrinal and feminist views and was excommunicated on November 30, 2000. Some view her excommunication as constituting a "seventh" member of the September Six, as she was summoned in 1993, but ecclesiastical focus shifted to her husband; Margaret's discipline was delayed until 2000. Margaret later wrote "The Missing Rib: The Forgotten Place of Queens and Priestesses in the Establishment of Zion", as well as the tenth chapter of Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women who Changed American Religion (2004), edited by Ann Braude. Maxine Hanks: Maxine Hanks is a Mormon feminist theologian who compiled and edited the book Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism (1992). She was excommunicated on September 19 (along with fellow contributor D. Michael Quinn). In February 2012, Hanks was re-baptized as a member of the church. Lavina Fielding Anderson: Lavina Fielding Anderson is a Mormon feminist writer who edited the books Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective (1992), and Lucy's Book, the definitive edition of the Lucy Mack Smith narrative. She is a former editor for the Ensign and served as editor for the Journal of Mormon History from 1991 until May 2009. She was excommunicated September 23. Anderson continues to attend LDS Church services as a non-member. She writes on Mormon issues, including editing the multi-volume Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, an ongoing collection of interviews with Mormons who believe they were unfairly disciplined by the church. D. Michael Quinn: D. Michael Quinn is a Mormon historian. Among other studies, he documented LDS Church-sanctioned polygamy from 1890 until 1904, after the 1890 Manifesto when the church officially abandoned the practice. He also authored the 1987 book, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, which argues that early Mormon leaders were greatly influenced by folk magic and superstitious beliefs including stone looking, charms, and divining rods. He was excommunicated September 26. Quinn had been summoned to a disciplinary council to answer charges of "conduct unbecoming a member of the Church and apostasy", including "'very sensitive and highly confidential' matters that were not related to Michael's historical writings". Anderson has suggested that the "allusion to Michael's sexual orientation, which Michael had not yet made public, was unmistakable." Quinn has since published several critical studies of Mormon hierarchy, including his two-volume work of The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power and The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power. He also authored the 1996 book Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example, which argues that homosexuality was not uncommon among early Mormons, and was not seen as a serious sin or transgression. Despite his excommunication and critical writings, Quinn, who is now openly gay, still considers himself to be a Latter-day Saint.
Grace Mae Brown was an American skirt factory worker whose murder caused a nationwide sensation, and whose life inspired the fictional character Roberta Alden in the Theodore Dreiser novel, An American Tragedy, as well as the Jennifer Donnelly novel, A Northern Light. Shelley Winters was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance inspired by Grace Brown, with the name changed to 'Alice Tripp' in the film A Place in the Sun. The facts of the real murder are laid out in the two non-fiction books: Adirondack Tragedy: The Gillette Murder Case of 1906, written by Joseph W. Brownell and Patricia A. Wawrzaszek, and Murder in the Adirondacks: An American Tragedy Revisited, by Craig Brandon. Childhood: Brown grew up in South Otselic, New York, the daughter of a successful Chenango County farmer. She was reportedly given the nickname "Billy" because of her love of the contemporary hit song Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey; Brown often signed her love letters "The Kid," after the Western outlaw Billy the Kid. She attended grammar school in the village, and became close friends with the teacher, Maud Kenyon Crumb, and her husband. In 1904, she moved to nearby Cortland to live with a married sister, and went to work at the Gillette Skirt Company. Romance: Chester Gillette, the owner's nephew, moved to Cortland in 1905 and began a romantic and eventually sexual relationship with Brown. In the spring of 1906, Brown realized she was pregnant and she returned to her parents in South Otselic. Gillette agreed to take her away to the Adirondacks, apparently promising marriage—but because Brown packed her entire wardrobe for the trip while Gillette packed just a small suitcase, some 21st-century historians conjecture that Gillette had merely promised to take Brown to a home for unwed mothers in upstate New York. Gillette and Brown went by train and coach to Big Moose Lake in Herkimer County, New York. Murder: On July 11, the couple were seen rowing out on the lake near Covewood Lodge. Gillette had entered the pseudonym "Carl Grahm" in the hotel register (Gillette's suitcase was monogrammed "C.E.G." and he was careful to choose a name with the same initials). Gillette is believed to have struck Brown over the head with a tennis racket, as the result of which she fell out of the boat and drowned. Gillette returned alone and gave varying explanations for what had occurred. Brown's body was found the next day, and Gillette was arrested in the nearby town of Inlet. The defense at trial attempted to explain that Grace was perplexed and at a point just jumped out of the boat and into the water. Gillette testified, "We talked a little more, then she got up and jumped in the water, just jumped in." Love letters: In Gillette's rented room, authorities confiscated Brown's love letters to Gillette as evidence. District attorney George Ward read the letters aloud to the court during the trial in the fall of 1906, and Brown's letters gave the trial national attention. Brown pleaded with Gillette in the letters to accept responsibility for her condition. In her final letter, written July 5, Brown looked forward to her impending Adirondack trip with Gillette, and she said farewell to her childhood home of South Otselic, wishing she could confess her pregnancy to her mother: "I know I shall never see any of them again. And mamma! Great heavens, how I do love Mamma! I don’t know what I shall do without her (...) Sometimes I think if I could tell mamma, but I can't. She has trouble enough as it is, and I couldn't break her heart like that. If I come back dead, perhaps if she does not know, she won't be angry with me." Copies of Brown's love letters were published in booklet form and even sold outside the Herkimer, New York, courtroom during the trial. Theodore Dreiser paraphrased many of the actual letters in An American Tragedy, quoting the final letter almost verbatim; however, neither movie version (the 1931 film nor the 1951 film adaptation A Place in the Sun) incorporated the letters. Jennifer Donnelly would use many of the actual letters in A Northern Light. Letters written between the two, as well as the diary of Gillette, have been donated to Hamilton College. The trial: The trial lasted three weeks and resulted in a guilty verdict. The New York Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment, and Governor Charles Evans Hughes refused to grant clemency. Gillette was executed March 30, 1908, in Auburn Correctional Facility by electrocution. Ghost: Websites and Unsolved Mysteries described widespread belief that the ghost of Grace Brown still haunts the lake where she drowned. Many witnesses claim to have seen her ghost. It is a tourist attraction.
The Bridge Murder case, also known as the Bridge Table Murder case was the trial of Myrtle Adkins Bennett (born March 20, 1895, in Tillar, Arkansas), a Kansas City housewife, for the murder of her husband John G. Bennett over a game of contract bridge in September 1929. Murder: Myrtle and John spent much of Sunday, September 29, 1929, with their upstairs neighbors, Charles and Myrna Hofman. The husbands played a round of golf at the Indian Hills Country Club that morning, and then went back to the links that afternoon with their wives joining them. At dusk, they returned to the Bennett apartment at 902 Ward Parkway in the Country Club District of Kansas City. After sharing dinner, they sat down to a game of bridge in the Bennett living room, the couples playing as partners, the Hofmans versus the Bennetts. After midnight, as the Hofmans began to pull ahead, the Bennetts began to bicker. In the ultimate hand, John failed to make his four spades contract and Myrtle, frustrated by the failure, called him “a bum bridge player.” He stood and slapped her in the face several times, and announced he was leaving. He said he would spend the night in a motel in Saint Joseph, Missouri. As he packed his bag, and moved from room to room, he mocked his wife. Myrtle told the Hofmans, "Only a cur would strike a woman in front of guests." After an ongoing argument, John Bennett went to pack a suitcase as he told Myrtle to retrieve the handgun he typically carried on the road for protection. Myrtle walked down the hall to the bedroom of her mother, Alice Adkins. Still sobbing, Myrtle reached into a drawer with linens and pulled out his .32 Colt automatic, and walked into the den. There, she brushed past Charles Hofman and in a moment, and shot at John's back twice in the bathroom of the apartment. John escaped into the hallway, but fell to the ground in their living room. Trial: Myrtle Bennett’s murder trial, in the court of Judge Ralph S. Latshaw, began on February 23, 1931 and lasted eleven days. She was defended by attorney James A. Reed, former three-term U.S. Senator and onetime Democratic presidential candidate. Raised by Boss Tom Pendergast’s political machine in Kansas City (same as the judge and prosecutor in the Bennett trial), Reed was a riveting public speaker and trial attorney who put on a dramatic courtroom performance for the widow Bennett. Among other things, Reed showed jurors that John Bennett had struck his wife before. High society women in Kansas City, many of them bridge players, turned out in their furs and boas to hear Myrtle Bennett’s story and to watch what was believed to be Reed’s final criminal trial. Throughout the trial, Jackson County prosecutor James A. Page objected to Reed’s tactics, once during the defense lawyer’s tearful opening statement. Seeing Reed and Myrtle Bennett weep, Page cynically asked Latshaw to pause the trial long enough to give “counsel for the defense and his client a chance to finish their cry.” Reed lashed back, “I wish I could be as cold-blooded about it as some in this courtroom.” Reed constructed an elaborate defense. He set up separate defenses for Myrtle Bennett: accidental, emotional insanity, self-defense and also qualified self-defense, which meant too much force was used by the defendant to repel an assault. Reed told jurors that John Bennett sought to take the gun from his wife and they scuffled for possession of it, and that he was shot twice, once in the back and once beneath his left armpit, during the scuffle. Reed and his fellow defense attorney, J. Francis O'Sullivan, even pantomimed the shooting three times before the jury box, with Reed portraying Myrtle and O’Sullivan playing John. During the trial, the prosecutor, James R. Page, had sharp exchanges with the judge, Ralph S. Latshaw; became angry at Charles Hofman when his testimony differed from that given to police the night of the killing and two weeks later in a preliminary hearing; and was also angry at Myrna Hofman for her memory lapses. Defense attorney Reed broke into tears at one point. Page and Reed sparred often, prompting the judge to send the jury from the courtroom over and over. The judge ruled against the introduction of the prosecution's star witness, one of John Bennett's relatives, because the prosecution had called him as a rebuttal witness, instead of a witness offering direct testimony. Page had wanted to surprise Reed by introducing Byrd Rice, John Bennett's nephew, during rebuttal, but Judge Latshaw excoriated the prosecutor for failing to place Rice on his original list of witnesses, which denied the defense its right to hear Rice’s testimony before the trial. Latshaw was adamant that Rice could not testify at trial. Later, Rice told reporters what he had intended to testify that his aunt Myrtle Bennett had walked him through her apartment six weeks after the killing and narrated how she had chased John through the rooms of the apartment with a pistol in her hand. She told Rice that she had fired at him twice from the den and twice more in the living room, the last bullet striking him in the back as he reached for the front door. But the jury never heard this account. On March 6, after eight hours of deliberations, the jury's verdict was that Myrtle Bennett was not guilty of murder. Reed wondered only why jurors took so long. Page's assistant, John Hill, said, “It looks like an open season on husbands.” Press: The case caught the public imagination, and was subject to press attention by the New York Journal, not for the trial itself, but for the bridge game. The case was a media sensation and a flashpoint in the bridge craze sweeping the nation. The Journal invited speculation from bridge experts, including Sidney Lenz, on the game, what hands had been played, and whether different play, or alternative hands, would have prevented the murder. This speculation was no more than speculation, however. None of the people present in the apartment at the time later recalled exactly what the hands were. When the case came to trial, Myrtle Bennett was defended by former U.S. Senator James A. Reed. Ely Culbertson, the Barnum of the bridge movement, watched the trial closely from New York. Culbertson used the Bennett tragedy to his advantage. He sold bridge and himself, telling housewives that the game was a great way to defuse the marital tensions pent-up in daily life. He told housewives that, at the bridge table, they could be their husbands’ equal, and more. Culbertson wrote about the killing and trial in his new magazine, The Bridge World. In packed halls on the lecture circuit, he analyzed the so-called “Fatal Hand” – even as he knew the details were fabricated. In lectures, Culbertson suggested that if only the Bennetts had been playing the Culbertson System of bidding, then 36-year-old John Bennett might still be alive. Life after the trial: Only 35 years old at the time of her acquittal, Myrtle Bennett lived for another 61 years, dying at the age of 96 in Miami, Fla. in January 1992. She had moved into obscurity soon after the trial, her name fading from headlines. She never remarried, nor did she have children. After World War II and throughout the 1950s, Myrtle Bennett worked as executive head of housekeeping at the elegant Hotel Carlyle in New York City, living alone there in an apartment. At the Carlyle, she developed friendships with the rich and famous, including actors Mary Pickford and her husband Buddy Rogers, and also Henry Ford II. The widow Bennett later traveled the world, working for a hotel chain, and played bridge until nearly the end of her life. In an interview with author Pomerantz, Myrtle Bennett’s cousin, Carolyn Scruggs of Arkansas, said Mrs. Bennett never spoke with her about the shooting. Once, though, Ms. Scruggs told Mrs. Bennett, “I sometimes think of your life –“ But Myrtle Bennett interrupted, and said, “Well, my dear, it was a great tragedy and a great mistake.” Scruggs stammered to say, “I guess I want you to know that I understand it.” But Myrtle Bennett said, “No, my dear, you don’t understand it.” At the time of her 1992 death, Myrtle Bennett’s estate was valued at more than $1 million. With no direct descendants, she left the lion’s share of her money to family members of John Bennett, the husband she had killed more than six decades before.