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Florence Sally Horner Abduction Case Florence Horner (who answered to the name Sally) was the victim of a 1948 case of child abduction. It only merited regional coverage at the time. Had it happened today, it would surely be a national media sensation. In 1948, as part of a club initiation, 11-year-old Sally Horner stole a five-cent notebook from a dime store in Camden, NJ. Frank La Salle, a 50-year-old mechanic who had served a prison term for statutory rape, witnessed the theft and saw a perverted opportunity: He told Horner he was an FBI agent, and threatened to send her to 'a place for girls like you' if she didn't cooperate with him. La Salle abducted Horner and spent 21 months travelling with her from Camden to Atlantic City to Baltimore to Dallas and finally, to San Jose--all the while using Horner as an unwilling sex partner. LaSalle posed as Horner's father on their travels, even going as far as enrolling her in local schools under false names. While attending school in Dallas, Sally confided her situation to a classmate who urged her to contact the police. Shortly after relocating to a San Jose motor court, Sally confided her situation to another resident while Frank was away looking for a job and phoned her brother-in-law and older sister in Camden, asking them to 'send the FBI.' La Salle was arrested when he returned to motor court, but he claimed he was Florence's father. However, an FBI investigation found that Horner's true father had died seven years previously. La Salle was sentenced under the Mann Act to 30 to 35 years in prison. Literary scholars believe the Horner case at least partially inspired Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel Lolita. In fact, there is a reference to the Horner case in Part II, Chapter 33 of the novel. Nabokov also uses the adjective 'Florentine' to describe Lolita--likely an allusion to Florence (Sally) Horner. Like the fictional Lolita, Florence Horner died young: She was killed in a car accident near Woodbine, New York, on August 18, 1952. Two days later the Associated Press reported, 'Florence Sally Horner, a 15-year-old Camden, N.J., girl who spent 21 months as the captive of a middle-aged morals offender a few years ago, was killed in a highway accident when the car in which she was riding plowed into the rear of a parked truck.'
Tags: kidnapping  Lolita  Florence  Sally  Horner 
Added: 11th May 2011
Views: 4850
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Tell It To Groucho - 1962 After hosting the hugely successful You Bet Your Life on TV from 1950 to 1961, 70-year-old Groucho Marx was persuaded to return to the tube with Tell It To Groucho--a short-lived game show that aired for just five months on CBS in 1962 before being axed. The show was similar to YBYL, where the ad-libbed comedic banter between Groucho and the contestants was far more important than the game. This time the game portion was almost an afterthought. To win $500, contestants had to identify celebrities whose pictures were only shown for a split second. The show had a rotten time slot. It was directly pitted against Dr. Kildare on NBC and My Three Sons on ABC. Early in the show's run, Groucho wrote to a friend and described his on-air assistant, Patty Harmon, as "a sprightly young doll with oversized knockers who leaps around the stage with all the abandon of a young doe being pursued by an elderly banker". (Harmon was a onetime runner-up in the Miss Connecticut pageant and had been a contestant on YBYL. She later got some acting gigs as Joy Harmon. Her most famous role was in Cool Hand Luke; she's the busty blonde who provocatively washes her car within eyeshot of the aroused chain-gang prisoners.) Groucho never had another regular TV show after the last episode of Tell It To Groucho aired on May 31, 1962.
Tags: Joy  Patty  Harmon  Groucho  Marx  Tell  It  to  Groucho  game  show 
Added: 5th October 2011
Views: 4249
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Maudie Hopkins - Last Civil War Widow Maudie Hopkins (December 7, 1914 – August 17, 2008) was an American woman believed to be the last known surviving widow of a Civil War veteran. Born Maudie Cecilia Acklin in Baxter County, Arkansas, she married William M. Cantrell (aged 86) on February 2, 1934, when she was 19. Cantrell had enlisted in the Confederate States Army at age 16 in Pikeville, Kentucky, and served in General Samuel G. French's Battalion of the Virginia Infantry. He was captured in 1863 and was later part of a prisoner exchange. He had had a previous wife, who died in 1929. Cantrell supported Maudie with a Confederate pension of $25 every two or three months. She inherited his home upon his death in 1937 but received no further pension benefits. She remarried later in 1937, and twice thereafter, and had three children. It was not especially uncommon for young women in Arkansas to marry Confederate pensioners for purely financial reasons. In fact, it became something akin to a career choice. To curtail these sham marriages, in 1937 the state passed a law stating that women who married Civil War veterans would not be eligible for widows' pensions. (The law was later amended in 1939 to state that only widows born after 1870 were ineligible for pensions.) Hopkins generally kept her first marriage a secret, fearing the resulting gossip from marrying a much older man would damage her reputation. After researching records from Arkansas and United States Census Bureau data, Hopkins was certified as the last Civil War widow by various historical organizations, most notably the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A spokeswoman for the UDC, Martha Boltz, said at the time that there may be two other unverified widows, one in Tennessee and another in North Carolina, but if they were still alive, they had chosen to remain in anonymity. Hopkins, show here in a photo from 2004, died on August 17, 2008 in a nursing home in Lexa, Arkansas, aged 93.
Tags: widow  Civil  War  Maudie  Hopkins 
Added: 23rd November 2011
Views: 3199
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Boxer Ron Lyle 1941-2011 Former heavyweight contender Ron Lyle died on November 26, 2011 as a result of complications from stomach surgery. He was 70. Lyle spent more than seven years in a Colorado prison for his part in a 1961 gang murder. He took up boxing while incarcerated. Lyle, paroled in 1969, did not have his first pro fight until 1971 when he was 30. He compiled an excellent 43-7-1 professional record, but his two most famous fights were losses. Lyle was stopped by Muhammad Ali in a May 16, 1975 world title fight in Las Vegas. Lyle was leading on the judges' scorecards when the fight was stopped, somewhat controversially by the standards of the day, in the 11th round. On January 24, 1976, Lyle engaged in a memorable crossroads fight versus George Foreman, also in Las Vegas. It was a wild, nationally televised brawl that featured both men in trouble several times. Each man was knocked down twice. Foreman eventually prevailed by a fifth-round knockout. Boxing historian Bert Sugar claimed it was "the most two-sided fight" he had hever seen.
Tags: Ron  Lyle  boxing 
Added: 28th November 2011
Views: 1004
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
The Fugitive Finale - 1967 The Fugitive was a highly successful adventure/drama series that aired from on ABC from 1963 to 1967 and starred David Janssen. Here was the premise: A doctor, Richard Kimble, is falsely convicted of his wife's murder and sentenced to death, but then he escapes custody in a train wreck while being transported to prison. With this unexpected turn of events, Kimble roams the country as a wanted man, searching for his wife's true killer. The series concluded with two-part finale that aired on August 22 and 29, 1967. At the time, the second part was the the most watched episode of an American TV drama in history. (It was later surpassed by Dallas' "Who Shot J.R.?" episode in 1980.) In the eagerly awaited climax, Kimble eventually tracks down his wife's murderer (the infamous "one-armed man") but is then caught by the police detective, Lieutenant Gerrard, who has been chasing Kimble throughout the entire series. Kimble convinces the police to let him prove his innocence, which he does via the killer's last-minute confession during a shootout at an abandoned amusement park. Some 25.7 million American households watched Dr. Kimble go free.
Tags: TV  finale  The  Fugitive 
Added: 14th June 2012
Views: 3836
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Posted By: Lava1964
Queen of Mean Convicted, 1992 Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the "Queen of Mean" by the press, receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York. For many, Helmsley became the object of loathing and disgust when she quipped that "only the little people pay taxes." Leona's husband, Harry, was one of the world's wealthiest real estate moguls, with an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion in property holdings. The couple lived in a dazzling penthouse overlooking Central Park and also maintained an impressive mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Leona, who operated the Helmsley Palace on Madison Avenue, was severely disliked by her employees. Though they lavishly furnished their homes and hotel, the Helmsleys were curiously diligent about evading the required payments and taxes for their purchases. Much of their personal furniture was written off as a business expense, and there were claims that the Helmsleys extorted free furnishings from their suppliers. Contractors were hardly ever paid on time-if at all-and many filed lawsuits to recover even just a portion of what they were owed. Leona reportedly also purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry in New York City but insisted that empty boxes be sent to Connecticut so that she could avoid the sales tax. Given her offensive personality, many were quite pleased by Leona's legal troubles. Even celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz could not win her immunity from the law. Following her conviction, Federal Judge John Walker publicly reprimanded her, saying, "Your conduct was the product of naked greed [and] the arrogant belief that you were above the law." Leona Helmsley was sent to jail in 1992 and was released in 1994. In 2002, Helmsley, whose husband Harry died in 1997, again found herself in court after being sued by Charles Bell, a former employee who accused Leona of firing him soley because he was homosexual. A jury ordered Helmsley to pay him more than $11 million in damages. Helmsley died in August 2007 at age 87. She famously left $12 million to her dog, Trouble.
Tags: News 
Added: 4th December 2014
Views: 956
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Posted By: WestVirginiaRebel
Scrabble Cheating Scandal - 2012 It's not often that the U.S. National Scrabble Championship tournament prompts a discussion on an ESPN panel show, gets feature coverage on CNN, is reported in numerous overseas newspapers, and has an op-ed piece in the New York Times written about it, but it happened at the 2012 tourney in Orlando. Why? A youthful competitor was disqualified for cheating. It was the first time in the tournament's 35-year history that a player was booted out of the Nationals. The minor, whose identity is being protected by the North American Scrabble Players Association because of his age, was caught 'palming blanks' before his 24th-round match on Tuesday, August 14. At the previous year's tourney in Dallas, suspicions were raised about the same player because he only had six tournaments' worth of experience and did not possess especially strong word knowledge, yet he consistently scored exceptionally well. After the tournament, one suspicious opponent polled the boy's other opponents and discovered the youth had gotten about 90% of the important blank tiles over 31 games--which is statistically improbable. The legitimacy of the boy's 2011 performance was widely debated on Internet Scrabble forums, with the accusers often being denounced as jealous or sore losers. At the 2012 event, the boy's 'lucky tile drawing' again appeared. Before round 24 began, after all 100 tiles were supposed to have been put into the tile bag, the youth's opponent suspected that the boy had palmed the two valuable blank tiles instead of placing them into the bag. He summoned a tournament director (referee) to examine the bag to see if it contained 100 tiles or just 98. Just as the director was about to begin his count, an alert player at a nearby table shouted, 'He just threw two tiles onto the floor!' Sure enough, they were the two blank tiles. The youth was quickly disqualified--and the close-knit tournament Scrabble world knew about it almost immediately through Internet tournament coverage and social media. The I-told-you-so crowd had a field day. The news spread quickly beyond the Scrabble chatrooms. Within 40 minutes the story was on ABC News' website and on CNN's within an hour. Without much delay, the story spread to most of the English-speaking world, garnering print media coverage in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, among other far-flung places. The British enjoy a good scandal, so it was not too surprising that UK newspapers were escpecially interested in the youth's disqualification. A picture of the youth, cleverly Photo-Shopped to show him playing Scrabble behind prison bars with the vertical caption 'BUSTED' (written in Scrabble tiles, of course), circulated in cyberspace. John D. Williams of the National Scrabble Association joked, "We're one step away from drug testing." Nigel Richards, a brilliant New Zealander who lives in Malaysia, won the the tournament and the $10,000 first prize for the third time in four years in a spectacular manner--but Richards' feat was almost completely overshadowed by the juicy cheating scandal.
Tags: Scrabble  scandal  cheating 
Added: 5th September 2012
Views: 1428
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Brien Taylor - Pitching Bust Brien Taylor was one of the most hyped amateur pitching prospects ever. Born in Beaufort, North Carolina, Taylor attended East Carteret High School. In his senior season, Taylor threw 88 innings, striking out 213 hitters while walking 28. His fastball often hit 98 and 99 mph. In 2006, agent Scott Boras claimed Taylor was the best high school pitcher he had ever seen. The New York Yankees selected Taylor with the first overall selection in the 1991 MLB draft and offered him $300,000 to sign a minor league contract, the typical amount given to the first overall draft choice at that time. However, Boras, acting as an advisor, told the Taylor family the previous year's top-rated high school pitcher, Todd Van Poppel, had gotten than $1.2 million to sign with the Oakland Athletics. Taylor held out for a three-year $1.2-million deal. He eventually signed for $1.55 million the day before he was to begin classes at a local junior college. The Yankees hoped Taylor would be the next Dwight Gooden and pitch in the majors at age 19. However Taylor needed to improve his pickoff move to first base, so he was assigned to the team's farm system. In 1992 Taylor was 6-8 for the Class A Fort Lauderdale Yankees, with a 2.57 earned run average and 187 strikeouts in 161 innings. The next year, as a 21-year-old with the Double-A Albany-Colonie Yankees, Taylor went 13-7 with a 3.48 ERA and had 150 strikeouts in 163 innings. Baseball America named him the game's best prospect and he was expected to pitch for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers of the International League in 1994 and start for the Yankees in 1995. On December 18, 1993 Taylor suffered a dislocated left shoulder and torn labrum while defending his brother in a fistfight. In the scuffle, Taylor fell on his pitching shoulder. Dr. Frank Jobe, a well-known orthopedic surgeon, called Taylor's injury one of the worst he'd seen. Taylor was never the same pitcher again. When he returned to baseball after surgery, his fastball was noticeably slower and he was unable to throw a curveball for a strike. Taylor spent the bulk of the remainder of his professional baseball career struggling at the Single-A level. Taylor bounced around different MLB farm teams until retiring in 2000. After baseball, Taylor moved to Raleigh and worked as a UPS package handler and later as a beer distributor. He fathered five daughters. By 2006, he was working as a bricklayer with his father. In January 2005, police charged Taylor with misdemeanor child abuse for allegedly leaving four of his children--none over 11--alone for more than eight hours. He didn't show up for his court date, and at one point there were four outstanding warrants for his arrest. According to financial records, he was earning $909 per month. In March 2012, Taylor was charged with cocaine trafficking after undercover narcotics agents purchased a large quantity of cocaine and crack cocaine from him over a period of several months. He was federally indicted on cocaine trafficking charges in June 2012. Taylor pled guilty in August 2012 and was sentenced to 38 months in prison, followed by three years' supervised release.
Tags: baseball  pitcher  Brien  Taylor 
Added: 4th March 2013
Views: 2648
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
1927 Snyder-Judd Murder Case It is barely known today, but in 1927 the public was fascinated with the Snyder-Judd murder case. It was unsurpassed in media coverage until the 1936 trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping and murder. In 1925, Ruth Snyder, an unhappy housewife from Queens Village in New York City, began an affair with Henry Judd Gray, a married corset salesman. Stuck in a loveless marriage, Snyder began to plan the murder of her husband, Albert, enlisting the help of her new lover, though he appeared to be very reluctant. (Ruth's distaste for her husband apparently began two days after their marriage when he insisted on hanging a picture of his late fiancée, Jessie Guishard, on the wall of their first home. He also named his boat after her!) Ruth Snyder persuaded her husband to purchase an insurance policy that paid double indemnity if an unexpected act of violence killed him. According to Judd Gray, Ruth had earlier made at least seven attempts to kill her husband, all of which he survived. The culprits were not exactly criminal masterminds. On March 20, 1927, the couple garrotted Albert Snyder in his bed and stuffed his nose full of chloroform-soaked rags, then clumsily staged his death as part of a burglary. Detectives at the scene noted that the burglar left little evidence of breaking into the house. The behavior of Mrs. Snyder was wholly inconsistent with her story of a terrorized wife witnessing her husband being killed. Police quickly found the property Ruth claimed had been stolen hidden under the mattress of her own bed. A breakthrough came when a detective found a paper with the letters "J.G." on it. (It was a memento Albert Snyder had kept from former love Jessie Guishard.) They asked Ruth about it. Flustered, Ruth's mind immediately turned to her own lover, whose initials were also "J.G.," and asked the detective what "Judd Gray had to do with this." It was the first time Gray had been mentioned, and the police were instantly suspicious. Gray was located in Syracuse, NY. He claimed he had been there all night, but eventually it turned out a friend of his had created an alibi, setting up Gray's room at a hotel. Gray proved far more forthcoming than Ruth about his actions. He was arrested because his railroad ticket stub was found in his hotel wastebasket! Furthermore, Gray had escaped the murder scene by taking a taxi from Manhattan to Long Island. The cabbie easily remembered Gray because he had only tipped the driver a nickel on a $3.50 fare. He was charged with first-degree murder along with Ruth Snyder. Snyder and Gray blamed each other for plotting the murder. Both were convicted and died in Sing Sing prison's electric chair on January 12, 1928. Snyder was the first woman executed in New York state since 1899. This photo, illegally snapped by a New York Daily News photographer with a hidden camera, was taken at the moment when Snyder was jolted by the electric charge. The Snyder-Judd murder case inspired at least one play and two Hollywood movies: The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity.
Tags: murder  Snyder-Judd  case 
Added: 26th November 2013
Views: 2121
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Theodore Roosevelt - Near Fatal Carriage Accident On September 3, 1902, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and several other prominent politicians came within inches of being killed by a speeding trolley car in Pittsfield, MA. The president, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, was on his way to deliver a speech when the accident occurred. The carriage was knocked about 40 feet upon impact. Secret Service agent William Craig was fatally injured, becoming the first Secret Service agent killed in the line of duty. Roosevelt was knocked from the carriage and landed face first upon the street. He suffered superficial wounds to his face and leg. (The seriousness of Roosevelt's injuries was probably understated. Roosevelt's leg wound became infected and abscessed. He required surgery and was confined to a wheelchair for a short time. Although the leg wound healed completely, Roosevelt was bothered by the aftereffects of his injury for the rest of his life.) David J. Pratt, the driver of the carriage containing the president, was severely injured. George B. Cortelyou, Secretary to the President, was severely bruised. Winthrop Murray Crane, Governor of Massachusetts, and George P. Lawrence, Representative in Congress from the First Massachusetts district, escaped with only a few bruises. All were in the carriage with Mr. Roosevelt. A newspaper account said, "Under the sunniest of September skies the distinguished party was driving through the Berkshire Hills in a landau drawn by four white horses, the reins handled by Pratt, the President and his companions going from Dalton to Lenox. The carriage was struck squarely just behind the box on which Pratt and Craig were sitting. The vehicle was hurled 40 feet across the road. Craig was instantly killed and ground under the heavy machinery of the car into an unrecognizable mass. The President was thrown into the air and landed on the right side of his face in the roadway. Mr. Cortelyou was thrown out and almost rendered unconscious. Gov. Crane, who, next to Craig, was the nearest to the immediate danger line, was thrown out, but...escaped with only slight bruises." No one on the trolley was injured. According to reports, the trolley was speeding in an attempt to get to its destination ahead of Roosevelt's carriage. Euclid Madden was the trolley car's motorman. He received a six-month prison term for his role in the accident. James Kelley was the trolley car's conductor. In 2002, on the hundredth anniversary of the accident, the Secret Service held a special ceremony at agent Craig's grave where a marker was placed.
Tags: Theodore  Roosevelt  1902  accident  carriage  trolley 
Added: 16th September 2014
Views: 4955
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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