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Hide your kids! Hide your wife! Serial ‘hipster ninja masturbator’ on the loose in Seattle
03.15.2016
09:05 am

Topics:
Amusing
Crime

Tags:

Serial
The Serial “hipster ninja masturbator” of Seattle is on the loose!
 
In an effort to keep things as weird as possible in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle police say they are are trying to identify a man who has been observed masturbating outside of a home in the University District neighborhood on multiple occasions.
 
A night vision photo of the Seattle
Night vision image of the serial “hipster ninja masturbator” currently on the loose in Seattle.
 
Night vision images of the serial
 
Night vision image of the Seattle serial
 
Footage of the man, who was caught on a surveillance camera on the property, shows the perverted perp dressed up like a ninja, clad all in black (the night vision camera make him appear to be dressed in white), from head to foot. According to the police reports filed on the case in January,  the female resident of the home reported hearing “suspicious sounds” outside her home. When she looked out to see what was going on, she saw what the Seattle PI described as a “hipster ninja masturbator” (ahem) hard at work sharpening his pencil right outside her front door.

So far the creepy night vision images of the chronic trespassing masturbator have not led police to a suspect, but I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before this slippery ninja meat-beater gets identified. How hard can it be to locate a guy dressed like a hipster version of a ninja in Seattle you wonder? Apparently it’s quite difficult as the report also says that the depraved ninja has likely pleasured himself at least four times at the same address since November of last year.

Yikes.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Meet the wild child ‘Tiger Woman’ who tried to kill Aleister Crowley
03.04.2016
12:52 pm

Topics:
Books
Crime
Dance
Drugs
History
Occult

Tags:
bohemians

01wildtigerbetty.jpg
 
The other morning here at Dangerous Minds Towers (Scotland), while I sat sifting through the mailbag looking for presents and antique snuff boxes, m’colleague Tara McGinley popped a fascinating article in front of me about a wild “Tiger Woman.”

At first I thought this tabloid tale was perhaps about the woman who had inspired Roy Wood to write his rather wonderful and grimy little number “Wild Tiger Woman” for The Move. As I read on, I realized this story of a rebellious singer, dancer and artist’s model was unlikely to have been the woman Wood had in mind when he wrote his famous song.

No, this particular “Tiger Woman” was one Betty May Golding—a drug addict, a boozer, and a dabbler in the occult. She had a string of lovers, worked as a prostitute, had been a member of a notorious criminal gang, an alleged Satanist, and had once even tried to murder Aleister Crowley. This was the kind of impressive resumé one would expect from the original “wild child.” Not that Ms. Golding would have given two hoots for any of that:

I have not cared what the world thought of me and as a result what it thought has often not been very kind… I have often lived only for pleasure and excitement.

You go girl!

Betty May was born Elizabeth Marlow Golding into a world of poverty and deprivation in Canning Town, London in 1895. The neighborhood was situated at the heart of the city’s docks—an area described by Charles Dickens as:

...already debased below the point of enmity to filth; poorer labourers live there, because they cannot afford to go farther, and there become debased.

To get an idea how deprived and “debased” this district was—Canning Town even today “remains among the 5% [of the] most deprived areas in the UK.”  Plus ca change…
 
01slumlon.jpg
A typical London slum 1909.
 
When Betty was just an infant, her father left the family home, leaving her mother to support four children on a pittance of 10/- a week—roughly the equivalent of $1.50. The family home was a hovel with no furniture and no beds. The family slept on bundles of rags, cuddling together to keep warm.

Her mother was half-French with beautiful olive complexion and almond eyes. The struggle proved too much for her and Betty was sent off to live with her father who was then residing in a brothel. Her father was an engineer by trade but he preferred to spend his time drinking, fighting and thieving. He was eventually arrested and sent to jail.

In her autobiography Tiger Woman, published in 1929, Betty described herself as a “little brown-faced marmoset ... and the only quick thing in this very slow world.” She earned pennies by dancing and singing on the street.  After her father’s arrest, she was passed from relative to relative eventually staying with an aunt who described her as “a regular little savage.”

One of her earliest memories was finding the body of a pregnant neighbor hanging from a hook. The woman had caught her husband having sex with her sister.

Her face was purple and her eyes bulged like a fish’s. It was rather awful.

Eventually Betty was sent to another aunt who stayed out in the country in Somerset. Here she attended school but soon the teenager was in trouble after having an affair with one of her teachers.

I can hardly say, in the light of what I have learnt since, that we were in love. At least perhaps he was. Certainly I was fond of him.

When their illicit relationship was discovered, Betty was given an ultimatum.

There was a great deal of fuss and it was made clear to me that unless the ­friendship came to an end it would be the schoolmaster who would be made to suffer.

After a rather tearful scene with my aunt I was packed off with a few pounds.

 
01gybetps.jpg
Betty in her gypsy dress.
 
Arriving in London in 1910 Betty could only afford one outfit:

...but every item of it was a different colour. Neither red nor green nor blue nor yellow nor purple was forgotten, for I loved them all equally, and if I was not rich enough to wear them separately ... I would wear them, like Joseph in the Bible, all at once! Colours to me are like children to a loving mother.

With her exotic looks and green eyes, Betty looked every part the gypsy and was later known for her song “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy.” The novelist Anthony Powell described her as looking like a seaside fortune teller. Betty also delighted in her costermonger background:

I am a true coster in my flamboyance and my love of colour, in my violence of feeling and its immediate response in speech and action. Even now I am often caught with a sudden longing regret for the streets of Limehouse as I knew them, for the girls with their gaudy shawls and heads of ostrich feathers, like clouds in a wind, and the men in their caps, silk neckerchiefs and bright yellow pointed boots in which they took such pride. I adored the swagger and the showiness of it all.

 
001cafer.jpg
The Café Royal in 1912 as painted by artist William Orpen.
 
At first, Betty worked as a prostitute before becoming a model, dancer and entertainer at the hip Café Royal.

The lights, the mirrors, the red plush seats, the eccentrically dressed people, the coffee served in glasses, the pale cloudy absinthe ... I felt as if I had strayed by accident into some miraculous Arabian palace… No duck ever took to water, no man to drink, as I to the Café Royal.

The venue was the haunt of Bohemians and artists—Augustus John, Jacob Epstein, the “Queen of Bohemia” Nina Hamnett, heiress Nancy Cunard, William Orpen, Anna Wickham, Iris Tree and Ezra Pound.

Betty’s flamboyance and gypsy attire attracted their interest and she had affairs with many of the regulars. She modelled for Augustus John and Jacob Epstein. Being an artist’s model was a grey area that often crossed into prostitution. Many of May’s contemporaries in “modelling” died in tragic circumstances—either by their own hand or at the hands of a jealous lover.
 
01augjoboat.jpg
The artist Augustus John looking rather pleased with himself.
 
Betty’s life then took the first a many surprising turns when she became involved with a notorious criminal gang.

In 1914, she met a man she nicknamed “Cherub” at a bar who took her to France. Their relationship was platonic but after a night of drinking absinthe Cherub attacked her:

He clasped me round the waist, pinning my arms… I struggled with all the strength fear and hate could give me.

With a supreme effort I succeeded in half-freeing my right arm so that I was enabled to dig my scissors into the fleshy part of his neck.

Betty escaped to Paris where she met up with a man known as the “White Panther” who introduced her into the one of the ciy’s L’Apache gangs. She later claimed it was this gang who nicknamed her “Tiger Woman” after she became involved in a fight with one of the gangster’s girlfriends. When separated by the gang leader she bit into his wrist like a wild animal.

Now part of gang, Betty became involved in various robberies and acts of violence—in one occasion branding a possible informer with a red hot knife. This experience led her to quit Paris.
 
01whitepant.jpg
Apache gang members or hooligans fighting the police in 1904.
 
To be honest, Betty’s autobiography reads at times like a thrilling pulp novel and without corroborative evidence seems more like fiction than fact.

Returning to London, Betty resumed work as a singer and dancer. She sought a husband and found two suitors: the first died after a mysterious boating accident; the second blew his brains out one fine summer’s day. Betty eventually married a trainee doctor Miles L. Atkinson, who introduced her to the joys of cocaine.

I learnt one thing on my ­honeymoon—to take drugs.

Atkinson had an unlimited supply of cocaine via his work with the hospital. The couple embarked on a mad drug frenzy. They fell in with a den of opium smokers. May’s drug intake escalated to 150 grains of cocaine a day plus several pipes of opium. She became paranoid—on one occasion believing the world was against her after ordering a coffee at a cafe and the waiter served it black. She decided to divorce Atkinson, but he was killed in action in 1917 while serving as a soldier in the First World War.

Betty then met and married an Australian called “Roy”—not believed to be his real name—who weaned her off drugs by threatening to beat her if ever he caught her taking any. However, she divorced Roy after catching him having an affair.

Continuing with her career as an artist’s model, Betty sat for Jacob Epstein and Jacob Kramer, who she claimed painted her as the Sphinx.
 
01betsphin.jpg
Jacob Kramer’s painting ‘The Sphinx’ (1918).
 
Her notoriety grew after the publication of a book Dope Darling by David “Bunny” Garnett, which was based on Betty’s life as a coke addict. The book told the story of a man called Roy who falls in love with a dancer Claire at a bohemian cafe. Claire is a drug addict and prostitute. Roy believes he can save Claire by marrying her. Once married, Roy gradually becomes a drug addict too.

In the book, Garnett described Claire as being :

...always asked to all the parties given in the flashy Bohemian world in which she moved. No dance, gambling party, or secret doping orgy was complete without her. Under the effect of cocaine which she took more and more recklessly, she became inspired by a wild frenzy, and danced like a Bacchante, drank off a bottle of champagne, and played a thousand wild antics

But all of this was by way of a warm-up to her meeting the Great Beast.
 
01dopedbet.jpg
‘Dope Darling’ by David Garnett.
 
In 1922, Betty met and married the poet Frederick Charles Loveday (aka Raoul Loveday). This dear boy (aged about twenty or twenty-one) was an acolyte of Aleister Crowley. With a first class degree from Oxford University and a book of published poems to his name, Loveday was utterly dedicated to Crowley and to his study of the occult.

Crowley first met Loveday at a dive in London called the Harlequin. He liked Loveday—saw his potential and claimed he was his heir apparent—but he said this about many other young man that took his fancy. He was however reticent in his praise for May—describing her as a “charming child, tender and simple of soul” but impaired by an alleged childhood accident he believed had “damaged her brain permanently so that its functions were discontinuous.” This condition was exacerbated by her drug addiction—though he was complimentary in her strength of will in curing herself.

Crowley believed he could save Loveday from the “vagabonds, squalid and obscene, who constituted the court of Queen Betty.”

In his Confessions, Crowley recounted a typical scene of Betty “at work” in the Harlequin:

In a corner was his wife, three parts drunk, on the knees of a dirty-faced loafer, pawed by a swarm of lewd hogs, breathless with lust. She gave herself greedily to their gross and bestial fingerings and was singing in an exquisite voice ... an interminable smutty song, with a ribald chorus in which they all joined.

 
02crowleyshadowpuppet.jpg
Aleister Crowley
 
Crowley moved to Sicily where he established his Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu. He wanted Loveday—and to a lesser extent May—to join him there. However, Loveday had been ill after an operation and several friends including Nina Hamnett warned him off going. But Loveday was determined and the couple traveled to the Abbey.

Arriving there in the fall of 1922, Betty and Loveday were soon party to various sex magic rituals under Crowley’s direction. On one occasion, Betty chanced upon a box filled with blood soaked neckties. When she asked Crowley what these were, he replied that they had belonged to Jack the Ripper and were stained with the blood of his victims.

Crowley may have tut-tutted about Betty’s sexual hi-jinks with other men in the club, but he didn’t seem to mind all the fucking and sucking that went on at the Abbey. Betty was unsure about Crowley. She was intrigued by the occult and her superstition kept her belief from wavering. But she never fully trusted him.

Everything came to a head after a black mass where Crowley commanded Loveday to kill a cat and drink its blood. Crowley claimed the cat was possessed by an evil spirit. Loveday beheaded the cat and greedily drank its blood. Within hours he fell ill and died, on February 16th, 1923.

Betty blamed Crowley for her husband’s death and swore revenge—deciding to kill him.
 
More on Betty May and her life of sex and drugs and the occult, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bad Girls: Female criminals of the Edwardian era, a gallery of vintage mugshots
02.29.2016
10:59 am

Topics:
Crime
History

Tags:

Kstobnshields
 
Poverty makes for the most desperate of criminals. Their crimes are born of necessity—to feed, to cloth, to nurture—which can make them careless in their actions. Financiers, on the other hand, can sit and carefully discuss their plans to rob and steal with lawyers and bankers over four hour lunches in luxurious surroundings—picking their teeth, savoring wine. They are usually never careless—they have lawyers see to that—and are hardly ever caught. The poor, meanwhile, are far easier to catch.

The women criminals of North Shields in Edwardian England were usually nabbed for “Larceny”—a catchall common law crime that involved “the unlawful taking of the personal property of another person or business.” This covered deeds as diverse as taking clothes from a washing line, stealing food from a table, or pinching personal belongings—jewels, money, etc. Most of the women who were brought into the police station in North Shields were charged with larceny—though some who were habitual were charged as “Thief.”

In certain instances, larceny could also cover keeping a bawdy house, being drunk and disorderly or having no fixed abode.

Most of the mugshots featured below are of women who have committed a crime out of desperation. Others, are habitual. All have the weary look born of grinding poverty and unrelenting misfortune. Their ages range from teens to late thirties. The photographs were taken at the North Shields Police Station between 1902-1905 and are kept by the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums—you can find more here.
 
susanjoinshirled
 

Reg. No. 52, Susan Joice, Larceny, N. Shields 18-8-1903.

The Shields Daily News for 19 August 1903 reports:

“Yesterday at North Shields, Susan Joyce (16), residing at 17 Front Street, Milburn Place, was charged with stealing on the 15th inst, from a gas meter at a house, 18 Front Street, the sum of 6s 5d, the moneys of the Tynemouth Gas Company. Sarah Nicholson, the occupant of the above house stated that she noticed that the lock had been broken off the meter and the money extracted. Ellen Watson, sister of the accused stated that the later went to her house with her apron full of copper. Altogether there was 5s 6d. She afterwards handed the money over to the police. Detective Thornton spoke to arresting the defendant and when charged she admitted taking the money out of the meter. The Bench imposed a fine of 5s and 10s costs”.

 
AandersonlarcNshield
 

Reg. No. 54, Annie Anderson, Larceny, N. Shields 25-8-03.

The newspaper report of 1 September featured in the comments suggests that Annie Anderson may have been involved in prostitution. This is made more explicit in a report of a later arrest in the Shields Daily Gazette for 21 July 1904, ‘disorderly house’ being a euphemism for brothel.

“At North Shields Annie Anderson (34) was charged with keeping a disorderly house in Liddell Street on July 1st. Sergt. G. Scougal proved the case. Chief Constable Huish said that the prisoner was convicted for a similar offence on March 28th of this year, and committed for one month. Immediately she came out of prison she went back to the room and continued to carry on the house in the same manner as before. The complaints received by the police about it were serious. Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, was committed for three months with hard labour”.

 
mabsmithnshield
 

Reg. No. 57, Mabel Smith, Larceny, N. Shields 28-9-03.

 
More mugshots of Edwardian bad girls, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
People in prison painting white collar criminals who should be
02.18.2016
11:06 am

Topics:
Art
Class War
Crime

Tags:


Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, oversees a company engaged in conspiracy and fraud, painted by Mario “A.B.” Beltran (PRISON ID #437846), serving 3.5 years for receiving stolen goods
 
We at Dangerous Minds always admire passionate political art, so how could we pass up a chance to write up the Captured Project, a series of paintings of the criminals of the corporate world, undertaken (in their parlance, “captured”) by those serving time for more workaday crimes like assault and armed robbery?

Or as the Captured Project puts it:

“People in prison painting people who should be.”

Every painting is accompanied by a lengthy account of the subject’s crimes, and if you think that a rabble-rousing project of this type ain’t rigorous on the research, you really need to click through and read this shit. The crimes (and sentences) of the artist are presented as well, often to mordant effect.

The paintings, which mostly are angry by implication, favoring a fairly standard, if unflattering, portrait approach, remind me just a tad of Robbie Conal‘s enraged poster art from the 1980s depicting several evil Republicans as wrinkly zombies.

The book costs $40 and all proceeds go to help elect the only Socialist in the presidential race, Bernie Sanders.
 

Sepp Blatter, former president of FIFA, oversaw a company engaged in theft and supporting slave labor, painted by Lewis Walters (PRISON ID #38699-007), serving 72 years for assault with intent to commit murder
 

Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, oversees a company engaged in accessory to murder and conspiracy to deceive, painted by John Vercusky (PRISON ID #55341-066), serving 22 years for armed robbery
 
More portraits of white collar criminals ‘captured’ by prisoners after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Psycho’: The darkly insane country music classic that’s not about pickup trucks, beer or football
02.15.2016
02:38 pm

Topics:
Crime
Music

Tags:


 

Can Mary fry some fish, Mama
I’m as hungry as can be
Oh Lordy, how I wish, Mama
That you could stop that baby crying cause my head is killing me…

So begin the lyrics to Leon Payne‘s utterly unhinged country & western classic, “Psycho.” Payne, known as “the Blind Balladeer,” was a country music singer and songwriter who wrote songs that were recorded by the likes of George Jones, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Hank Williams (Payne wrote “Lost Highway”), Johnny Horton, and Merle Haggard.

“Psycho” is the irony-free, point-of-view ramblings of a hillbilly murderer who you can’t even trust with a cute little puppy. To call it “memorable” is an understatement. It’s downright chilling and yet highly amusing at the same time. No mean feat!

There were several persistent rumors about the story behind the song: One, that it was about Charles Whitman, the former Marine mass murderer who killed his mother, wife and 14 more people at the University of Texas, Austin in 1966 after commandeering a bell tower with a sniper’s rifle. It makes sense as Whitman was famously known to have complained of headaches—he was found to have had a brain tumor during his autopsy—and headaches are mentioned in the song. And he was a psycho, obviously. But it wasn’t about him, or at least not directly about Whitman.

Secondly, that the song was written about the Alfred Hitchcock thriller. It wasn’t. An article about Payne’s oddball first person murder ballad on the Nashville Scene website clears this up:

“The movie story came from my mother, and she was known to exaggerate at times,” says Myrtie Le Payne, Leon Payne’s daughter. Since both Payne and his wife were blind, their daughter did accompany them to movies and whisper descriptions of what was happening onscreen, but cinematic horrors were not the direct source for “Psycho.”

After years of people asking her about the song, Myrtie Le recently tracked down the true story. “Jackie White was my daddy’s steel guitar player,” she says. “He started working with him in 1968, and the song came out of a conversation they had one day.”

According to the story related by White, in the spring of 1968, he and Leon Payne were discussing the Richard Speck murders. Speck murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in July 1966 and was convicted and sentenced to death the following year. Being a history buff, Payne was familiar with the cases of many notorious mass killers, and the discussion soon turned to other famous cases — Charles Whitman, Ed Gein, Mary Bell and Albert Fish. That conversation directly inspired the song, and Payne immortalized White’s contribution by naming the boyfriend killed in the first verse after him, along with working in references to some of the murderers they had discussed in lines like, “Can Mary fry some fish, Mama?”

That same article also dispels the third legend around the song, that Leon Payne, not wanting to sully his good name and songwriting career stipulated that it not be recorded until after his death. Well, the song was recorded before his death, by his pal cowboy singer Eddie Noack, for whom the song was probably written, so that’s another legend dashed.
 
More ‘Psycho’ after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Serial ‘foot stomper’ on the loose in Austin, Texas
02.08.2016
08:12 am

Topics:
Crime

Tags:


 
Has anyone seen Dexter Fishpaw recently?

In news from KEYE TV in Austin, Texas, which sounds more like a scene from John Waters’ 1981 film Polyester, it appears that a serial “foot stomper” has been “aggressively” stomping on women’s feet all around Austin. As of this writing, the suspect remains at large.

According to various police reports filed by dozens of women, mostly in the South Austin area, the foot stomper has targeted female victims who were alone waiting for a bus (or in at least one case, on a bus), when the foot stomper (who uses a bicycle to make a quick getaway), goes into action. One victim, who wanted to remain anonymous detailed her bizarre encounter with this mean-ass, Texas foot stomper:

He started touching my foot with his foot and saying “footsie, footsie” and he got more and more aggressive and it startled me. I yelled at him to stop and he again started laughing and then he rode away on his bike.

Another woman told her tale to KEYE TV:

It happened to Kerry Kovacik around 4:30 one afternoon. She was catching the bus at Riverside and Congress when she says a man on a bicycle, stopped next to her and stomped hard on her foot.

“I immediately pushed him off of me and asked him what the F he was doing and he said this was normal for him and just casually rode off and then looked back and smiled,” says Kovacik.

A reddit thread details many of the attacks, and posts a photo of the alleged Austin foot stomper. I can’t imagine that it will be too long before this guy is caught by authorities.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Dear Internet, please find Terence McKenna’s appearance on LAPD Chief Daryl Gates’ radio show
02.05.2016
09:32 am

Topics:
Crime
Drugs
Thinkers

Tags:


Daryl Gates on the mike at KFI-AM
 
There was a note of delight in arch-psychonaut Terence McKenna’s voice as he read out this question from the audience after a 1993 talk at UC Santa Cruz:

Well, let’s see here… “Recently you appeared on talk radio with L.A. police chief Daryl Gates. What was the inside story, and do you feel you were heard by him?”

Well, yes—I won’t give this too much time—I did appear with Daryl Gates on his radio show. Clearly, they’re desperate to raise ratings—they’ll do almost anything at this point—and Daryl Gates was a pussycat. Very easily intimidated by… I mean, I make no great claims in this area, but intelligence. He completely folded in the presence of, you know, academic calm, big words, citation, that sort of thing.

If you don’t remember Daryl Gates, he was a real nice guy. At a 1990 Senate hearing, the LAPD chief announced that casual drug users—not traffickers, not dealers, but those “who blast some pot on a regular basis”—were guilty of “treason” in the war on drugs and “ought to be taken out and shot.” A few years later, when the program director from KFI, the right-wing talk station that broadcast The Daryl Gates Show, told the ex-chief over breakfast that the station wouldn’t be renewing his contract, Gates “leaned on the table and with his fingers made a gun. He put them in my face and said, ‘I’m going to get you.’” Super nice guy. If you like Ethan Couch, George Zimmerman, Martin Shkreli and Jason Van Dyke, you’ll love Daryl Gates.
 

 
Not a big Germs fan, Daryl Gates. Around 1980, the police chief sent The Decline Of Western Civilization director Penelope Spheeris a letter “requesting that [she] not show the film ever again in Los Angeles.” Nor was music a fan of Daryl. At one end of Gates’ tenure as chief, which extended, roughly, from the punk era to the L.A. riots, Black Flag lampooned him in their local radio ads; at the other, Ice-T gave him a personal shout out in Body Count’s “Cop Killer,” just to say “hi.” (And I always suspected that “hit the gates” in Ice-T’s “Escape from the Killing Fields” had a double meaning.) Race relations? Not Gates’ bag. When he died in 2010, the opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times remembered him as “a tough-talking spokesman for fearful, tradition-bound white Americans” who “found himself locked in bitter combat with the city’s African American community.”

And if some aging hippie tape trader out there would just do the right thing, you could be listening to this fucker discuss Timewave Zero with the apostle of the DMT elves right now.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night’: Bob Dylan’s riveting performance of ‘Hurricane,’ 1975
02.02.2016
03:28 pm

Topics:
Crime
Music
Race

Tags:


 
Yesterday, right after I’d finished reading an article on The Daily Beast about it being the 40th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s 1976 album, Desire, I clicked over to YouTube where I dialed up “Hurricane,” Dylan’s powerful narration of the story of middleweight boxing contender Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, which was the lead single from it. Carter was imprisoned for almost 20 years on flimsy evidence (a random bullet and a shotgun shell found in his car) and sketchy testimony (that the perpetrators had been black, pretty much) for a triple homicide “race killing” in a Paterson, NJ bar in 1966. I still had the Wikipedia page on Carter open on my browser when I saw, in another tab that New York attorney Myron Beldock, who worked for over a decade to free Carter, had died at 86.

Throughout his long career Beldock, who described himself as “a creature of my time, liberal, progressive and idealistic” had a reputation for taking on legal lost causes. One such case was representing George Whitmore Jr., a black teenager who was arrested in Brooklyn in 1964 for the rape and knife-killing of several women. Whitmore claimed he was beaten by NYPD officers until he signed a falsified confession. The outcome of this case would become highly influential in the Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda decision, which required police to advise suspects of their right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney, and in overturning capital punishment in New York State. But Beldock’s most famous client was Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Carter’s case had been boosted by copies of his 1974 autobiography The 16th Round, which proclaimed his innocence, being sent around to notable lefty-types who might want to lend their celebrity to his cause. Esquire magazine’s art director George Lois organized a campaign to support Carter and Muhammad Ali was vocal in proclaiming that Carter was innocent. (Joni Mitchell, however, who was also one of the books’ recipients, passed thinking “This is a bad person. He’s fakin’ it.”)

Her friend Bob Dylan felt differently. Dylan read Carter’s book during a 1975 trip to France, and visited the boxer—who was then incarcerated in a New Jersey penitentiary—in May. The two met for several hours and Dylan agreed to help him.

Having difficulty cracking the lyrics, Dylan enlisted Jacques Levy, a New York-based theatrical director who had worked with Sam Shepard (and who’d staged the nude comedy review Oh! Calcutta! off Broadway) to help. Levy said of the song:

“The first step was putting the song in a total storyteller mode, the beginning of the song is like stage directions, like what you would read in a script: ‘Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night… Here comes the story of the Hurricane.’ Boom! Titles. You now, Bob loves movies, and he can write these movies that take place in eight to ten minutes, yet seem as full or fuller than regular movies.”

 

 
“Hurricane” was premiered to an audience of about 100 people in Chicago on September 10th, 1975 during the taping of Bob Dylan’s performance on the PBS TV series Soundstage. This particular episode was titled “The World of John Hammond,” being a tribute to the retiring Columbia Records executive and civil rights activist who’d signed Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin and Leonard Cohen (among many, many others) during his fabled 45-year-long career in the music industry. The show, broadcast in December would be Dylan’s very first TV appearance since his duet with Johnny Cash in 1969. The 8:33 single was recorded on October 24 and released in November.

Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue was used by the artist as a platform to campaign for Rubin Carter’s release and the first leg of the tour ended at Madison Square Garden on December 8th with a benefit concert dubbed the “Night of The Hurricane.” Roberta Flack and Muhammad Ali, who called Carter in his jail cell from the stage, also participated. A second event, Night of the Hurricane II, took place on January 25th at the Houston Astrodome and featured Stevie Wonder and Stephen Stills.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wu-Tang Clan and Bill Murray plan to steal their album back from Martin Shkreli
12.23.2015
02:03 pm

Topics:
Crime
Hip-hop
Music

Tags:


 
Some quick ‘n’ dirty animation, a few cleverly pinched audio clips from Rushmore and Coffee and Cigarettes and you’ve got a full-blown operation, to perpetrate a heist on the one motherfucker in the world who needs to get boosted.

You know exactly the motherfucker I mean.
 

The Motherfucker
 
This immensely satisfying animated video comes from ProbCause TV.

Enjoy.
 

 
Thanks to Lawrence Daniel Caswell!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Vintage photos of what it was like to spend Christmas in jail
12.22.2015
09:33 am

Topics:
Crime

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The
The “Rock Islanders” prison band of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, 1940s

As full of joy and merriment as the holidays can be, unless you are completely out of touch with reality, Christmas isn’t always a happy time of year for a lot of folks. I mean, all you have to do is look around you to figure that one out. Of course, it probably doesn’t get much worse than spending the holidays in the clink.
 
Christmas morning in the
Christmas morning in the “drunk tank” in Downtown Los Angeles, 1952
 
Some of the images that follow date all the way back to the early 1900s and while a few of them are rather grim, there are many that actually show inmates in a seemingly jovial mood despite their jail-bound circumstances. Such as the one of an inmate at the Orange County Jail playing Santa with a mop on his head and a newspaper hat. Count your blessings, Dangerous Minds readers: It could always be worse.
 
Prisoners at the District Jail Washington, DC in 1909
Prisoners at the District Jail in Washington, D.C., 1909
 
Inmates at the Raymond Street Jail, Brooklyn New York, 1932
Inmates celebrating Christmas at the Raymond Street Jail, Brooklyn New York, 1932
 
More after the jump…

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