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Zapruder speaks: Vintage interview with the man who shot the Kennedy assassination
08:24 am


John F. Kennedy
Abraham Zapruder

Abraham Zapruder shot the most famous home movie in history. He was the man whose 26 seconds of film footage captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963.

It is the only known film of the entire assassination.

In an interview with Jay Watson, program director with WFAA, an ABC news affiliate, Zapruder described the events he witnessed.

“As I was shooting, as the President was coming down from Houston Street making his turn, it was about a half-way down there, I heard a shot, and he slumped to the side, like this…

“Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn’t say, it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up, all blood and everything, and I kept on shooting. That’s about all, I’m just sick, I can’t…”

Watson responded by saying that this “pretty well expresses the entire feelings of the whole world.”

The report moves on to videotape of the President’s body arriving at Parklands Hospital, after which a photograph of the Texas School Book Depository is shown and discussed in relation to the shooting. The report ends with news of the arrest of a suspect.

Here, in less than six minutes, is a concise distillation of the events that have obsessed America for 50 years.

H/T ABC News

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Folk singer Roy Harper accused of sexual assault on a child
09:35 am


Roy Harper

British folk singer Roy Harper, 72, has been charged with nine counts of sexual assault perpetrated on a girl from the age of twelve according to published reports.

On Monday, Harper is due at the Hereford Magistrates’ Court to answer the charges. Police in West Mercia have revealed that the alleged offenses were to have been committed between 1975 and 1977.

Harper lives in County Cork, Ireland. The summons was issued on October 16th, but Harper was first questioned about the matter at Heathrow Airport back in February.

Harper has performed with Pink Floyd (that’s his voice on “Have a Cigar”), recorded with Jimmy Page, and Led Zeppelin did a tribute to him, “Hats Off to Roy Harper.” He was having a late in life career resurgence and has just ended a sold-out tour. Harper was awarded MOJO magazine’s “Hero Award” in 2005 and fetted at a 70th birthday celebration at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2011.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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John Lydon reveals Mick Jagger ‘secretly’ paid Sid Vicious’ legal fees
10:15 am


Mick Jagger
Sid Vicious
John Lydon

John Lydon may have said The Rolling Stones looked “silly” performing at Glastonbury earlier this year, but the former Sex Pistol and PiL frontman has only praise for Mick Jagger.

In an interview with the Daily Record, Lydon has revealed that Jagger ‘secretly’ paid Sid Vicious’ legal fees, after the Pistol’s bass player had been charged with the murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen. As Lydon told journalist John Dingwall of the Record:

“Nancy Spungen was a hideous, awful person who killed herself because of the lifestyle and led to the destruction and subsequent death of Sid and the whole fiasco. I tried to help Sid through all of that and feel a certain responsibility because I brought him into the Pistols thinking he could handle the pressure. He couldn’t. The reason people take heroin is because they can’t handle pressure. Poor old Sid.

“Her death is all entangled in mystery. It’s no real mystery, though. If you are going to get yourself involved in drugs and narcotics in that way accidents are going to happen. Sid was a lost case. He was wrapped firmly in Malcolm’s shenanigans. It became ludicrous trying to talk to him through the drug haze because all you would hear was, ‘I’m the real star around here’. Great. Carry on. We all know how that’s going to end. Unfortunately, that is where it ended. I miss him very much. He was a great friend but when you are messing with heroin you’re not a human being. You change and you lose respect for yourself and everybody else.

“The only good news is that I heard Mick Jagger got in there and brought lawyers into it on Sid’s behalf because I don’t think Malcolm lifted a finger. He just didn’t know what to do. For that, I have a good liking of Mick Jagger. There was activity behind the scenes from Mick Jagger so I applaud him. He never used it to advance himself publicity-wise.”

Read the whole interview here.

Below, Sid Vicious near last TV appearance on Efrom Allen’s Underground NY Manhattan Cable show from September 18th, 1978. Vicious appeared alongside Nancy Spungen, Stiv Bators and Cynthia Ross (of The B Girls). Spungen was dead less than a month later.

Via the Daily Record

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Virtual child traps online pedophiles
10:14 am

Current Events

Terre des Hommes

Terre des Hommes—an international charity which concentrates on children’s rights based in the Netherlands—has created a virtual 10-year-old girl “from the Philippines” named “Sweetie.” 

Sweetie was designed to track down—and hopefully convict—online pedophiles who use “webcam child sex tourism.”

I’m not sure where Terre des Hommes got these numbers, but they state at any given moment there are least 750,000 pedophiles online. That’s a staggering number of nonces with webcams, IMO.

Warning: This video may be upsetting to some viewers.

Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Interviews Before Execution’: Fascinating, disturbing Chinese talk show
03:13 pm


Interviews Before Execution

Interviews Before Execution
China and the United States are both among the countries that execute the most prisoners annually—but only one of them has ever had a TV talk show dedicated to presenting the death row inmates in a personal way. (According to Amnesty International, China executes the most people by more than an order of magnitude over its #2 competition, Pakistan. The United States is #6 on the list.)

From 2006 to 2012, the Henan Legal Channel in China’s landlocked Henan province ran a weekly TV show called Interviews Before Execution, with an appealing host named Ding Yu, who became something of a star because of the show. She has interviewed more than 200 inmates on the show. In March 2012, BBC Two, on its This World series, aired an hour-long documentary on Interviews Before Execution; with its typical light touch, the Chinese authorities, fearful of embarrassment in the international arena, quickly moved to cancel the show.

In China, citizens can be executed for any one 55 offenses, including endagering public security and “economic crimes” such as embezzlement, but Interviews Before Execution focuses almost entirely on brutal murder cases. Most of the prisoners are glumly contrite, resigned to their fate, inarticulate about the motives that led to the crimes. Providing an instructive snapshot into China’s sexual mores was Ding Yu’s extended interview with Bao Rongting, a homosexual man who was convicted of murdering his mother. In China, homosexuality was a criminal offense as late as 1999. The Bao Rongting episodes of Interviews Before Execution were a huge ratings success. Since 2007 a new safeguard has been introduced: all capital cases must be sent to the Supreme Court for review—it does happen that they occasionally return cases to the lower courts for further investigation.
Interviews Before Execution
Interviews Before Execution is a fascinating mixture of good, old-fashioned reporting, TV sensationalism, and an undefinable quality that is uniquely poignant and human. In its tone, the show feels like a cross between America’s Most Wanted and a Barbara Walters special. Regardless of one’s feelings about the death penalty—count me against—it’s difficult not to think that the show’s positive effects outweight its negative ones. As none other than Albert Camus pointed out (in “Reflections on the Guillotine”), if you argue for the death penalty because of its deterrent effects, it’s a contradiction to conduct the executions and everything surrounding them far from public view, as is done in the United States. Whatever your position, the show has featured some incredibly compelling television, and even if the viewers’ reactions may feel comparable to rubber-necking, the show does permit the audience to get to know convicted murders not as statistics but as complex members of the human race.

The BBC2 documentary is linked below; it’s one of the most interesting and powerful hours of TV I can remember watching.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Mug shots of female criminals from early 20th century Australia
07:02 am


Mug Shots

Alice Adeline Cooke was convicted of bigamy. Aged 24, Alice had several aliases and at least two husbands.

Intriguing mug shots of female criminals, taken directly after they were arrested and charged at a police station in New South Wales, Australia, from around the turn of the twentieth century.

The photographs come from the Sydney Justice and Police Museum.
Alice Clarke, April 3rd, 1916, arrested and convicted for selling liquor without a license.
Amy Lee. January 30th, 1930, arrested for being a “victim to the foul practice” of taking cocaine.
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy gets 3 years probation, community service for meth possession and hit and run
11:23 am


Peter Murphy

Bela Lugosi plead…

You probably recall the trouble Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy got into back in March when he was arrested in Glendale, California for driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run and possessing crystal meth. Police reports said he appeared confused and even had difficulty recalling what day it was.

Although the goth legend initially pleaded not guilty to all three charges, he changed his tune when he was sentenced on October 10 in a Los Angeles court. Murphy plead no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving and guilty to the methamphetamine possession charge, as reported by Glendale News.

The singer must also attend 45 days of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, perform ten days of community service and submit to random drug tests.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Sex workers of Montreal’s WWII era Red Light District, a collection of mugshots
07:32 am



mug shot
My favorite, because of that grin. Ruby Taylor, arrested in 1942 in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution.
The romantic idea of American prohibition hinges on the myth of an accessible, safe speakeasy for every soul in need of a booze-enhanced nightlife. In actuality, raids on speakeasies were incredibly common, and although owners often bribed police and city officials, actually finding and patronizing a speakeasy could be a real risk for your average Joe. Lesser known were the vacation drinkers, who would migrate up to Montreal on holiday, as it quickly became known as a friendly city of vice for rambunctious Americans. But Montreal had more than an opportunistic liquor economy to boast of.

Montreal looked and sounded like Europe, from the architecture to the French language and culture, giving one’s debauchery the feel of an exotic vacation. Of course, the bedfellows of alcohol (gambling, organized crime, radical politics, and prostitution) also flourished, in spite of a burgeoning movement to purge the city of sin. While moralistic committees for social reform began to organize in 1918, it was only a year later that prohibition went into effect in the US, completely steamrolling (and subsequently exacerbating), the growing anti-vice sentiment.

By the time alcohol became legal again in the States, Montreal was already a sort of Euro-Reno, famous for its brothels. With a sudden rise in venereal disease, the public sentiment on working girls became particularly hostile, and perception of prostitution went from pitying to vitriolic: no longer were they considered poor girls down on their luck, but pathological hussies, tearing apart the very moral fiber of fair Montreal!

Eventually a a full-scale investigation was launched to weed out the corruption and sever the mob ties and various illegal economies. (By 1953, the Commission of Investigation On Public Morality had thrown many a cop in prison, and Montreal was starting to clean up.) Regardless, the laws regarding prostitution were pretty forgiving. Of course, there were still arrests, the records of which are fascinating.

The photos below are of madams, prostitutes, and brothel managers arrested in attempts at a crackdown. It’s amazing how French the fashions appear to be, from darkly-colored geometric cupid’s bows to the snug sweaters and Edith Piaf eyebrows. Many of them are listed as “arrested in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution,” which would seem to suggest either a large brothel bust, or the cops hassling an individual prostitute to get information for a larger case. If there’s any emotional theme to these headshots, it’s how unimpressed all the women seem to be with the authority that’s arresting them.
mug shot
Anna Labelle, aka Mme Émile Beauchamp, the most powerful madam in Montreal during the WWII. She would drive to the courthouse in a Cadillac wearing a mink coat. Her clients were often from the same police force that busted her.
mug shot
Annie Parker, arrested in 1941 in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution.
mug shot
FleuretteDubois, arrested in 1942 for keeping a brothel.
mug shot
Irène Lavallée, arrested in 1940 in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution.
mug shot
Liliane Brown, aka Ida Katz, arrested either in 1930 or 1940, high level madam.
mug shot
Mary Shepperd, arrested in 1940 as part of an investigation in connection with prostitution.
Via Archives de la Ville de Montréal

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Alex Jones claims ‘globalist conspiracy’ out to discredit… Alex Jones
01:17 pm


Alex Jones

There needs to be a new classification of mental illness to describe whatever it is that paranoid radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and he alone, seems to suffer from. When Glenn Beck thinks you’re nuts, baby, you’re off your fucking rocker.

On his Infowars show today, the unhinged radio ranter gave his own perfectly plausible explanation of what happened during this morning’s massacre:

“You better believe that even if they’re just pure jihadis that did this, even connected to Al-Qaeda groups out of the Middle East being commanded by the leader of Al-Qaeda last Friday to attack the United States… even if that’s the case, you can believe, like the last three or four cases, they’re going to try to connect it to and yours truly, part of the long-term demonization campaign.”

I like how Jones always makes sure to plug his website. He’s crazy all right, crazy like a fox.

And just plain crazy, too:

“If you want to wonder how big this radio show is, even separate from the website, it’s the fact that they try to pin, I’d say, about half the major crimes, we get brought into it. It’s because we’ve got their number, we know who the globalists are, we know what their program is. And they’re very concerned that we be discredited so that people will not look at what we cover on the radio show, the Infowars nightly news and on the websites.”

Jones believes the Navy Yard shooting was done by a “patsy” as part of a diversionary “false flag” maneuver of some sort.

“This is how you would stage a false flag, and then you go back and enter part of the FBI team,” Jones ranted “They responded minutes after, really, but it took three hours for this to start winding down.”

Via Media Matters

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Old New York crime photographs superimposed on their present day locations
09:31 am


New York

The past inhabits the present in Marc A. Hermann’s composite images of crime scene photographs overlaid on their present day locations.

Above: 497 Dean Street, Brooklyn. A distraught Edna Egbert battles the police on the ledge of her home.
427 1/2 Hicks Street, Brooklyn. Gangster Salvatore Santoro met a violent death on January 31, 1957.
923 44th Street, Brooklyn. Gangster Frankie Yale dead after a car crash, July 1, 1928.
More then and now crime pix, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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