Okay, on Monday it got so warm in my house, I needed to turn on the AC. By Tuesday night it was snowing. Snowing! This morning, I had to brush snow and scrape ice from my car. Enough already. I’ve had it with this wintery bullshit.
On this date in 1920, an armed robbery in South Braintree, MA resulted in the deaths of a paymaster and a security guard. On May 5th, two men were arrested for the crime: Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. The two men, both Italian-born anarchists, were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. They were executed in the Massachusetts electric chair on August 23, 1927. Controversy still rages to this day as to the guilt of the men, but their conviction has yet to be overturned. Oh yeah, and they’re still dead. I guess it’s all academic at this point, isn’t it?
Wikipedia – Sacco and Vanzetti
April is National Poetry Month. To mark the occasion, writer, poet and editor Gerald So has organized a blog tour called 30 Days of The 5-2. Gerald is the creator and editor of The 5-2, an online crime poetry weekly. Each day, a different blogger will post about crime poetry and/or the 5-2.
A couple months back, Gerald invited me to participate in the tour again, which I am happy to do. Today — tax day, as it turns out — Nobody Move is host to the tour.
There are some really great poems posted at the 5-2. I highly recommend checking it out. One poem that really caught my attention was “In Memoriam: Ex-KGB Agent Complains of Mysterious Toxin in His Veins,” by Elizabeth Lash. It appears to have been inspired by the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. I thought this particular work was topical due to current events in the Ukraine. Here’s a video of Gerald So reading it:
To see the other stops on the 30 Days of the 5-2 Blog Tour, check out the tour’s page here.
On this date in 1943, four inmates tried to escape from the Alcatraz federal prison. The men, James Boarman, Harold Brest, Floyd Hamilton, and Fred Hunter, overpowered two guards in the industries area of the prison and tied them up. They climbed out the window and made their way to the water’s edge.
While the would-be escapees were entering the water, one of the guards they had tied up managed to alert others of the escape attempt. The alarm was sounded, alerting the tower guards, who opened fire on the men. Boarman was hit. His body sank and was never recovered. Hunter and Brest were rounded up by guards. Hamilton, who was assumed to have died in the escape attempt, hid in a cave on the island until the search was over. Cold and hungry, he was caught three days later hiding in a store room in the prison.
Alcatraz History – Escape Attempts
BoP – Alcatraz
Wikipedia – Alcatraz escape attempts
On this day in 1934, outlaws John Dillinger and Homer Van Meter went shopping for guns in Warsaw, Indiana. Their shopping expedition began in the early morning hours of April 13th, when they assaulted Warsaw Police Officer Judd Pittenger while he walked his nightly beat. The two outlaws forced Pittenger to accompany them to the police station, where they stole two pistols and some bullet-proof vests. No background check was performed when the two bank robbers acquired their guns. This was due to the fact that in 1934, there was no law requiring criminals to pass a background check before stealing guns. To this day, no such law exists.
FBI – John Dillinger
“Woodward, Bernstein, you’re both on the story. Now don’t fuck it up.”
-Harry Rosenfeld (Jack Warden), All the President’s Men (1976)
On this date in 1936, former union head Thomas Maloney unwittingly detonated a mail bomb that had been sent to him. The bomb was hidden inside a cigar box, and Maloney, a former union official, opened it on his kitchen table. His sixteen year old daughter and four year old son were with him when the bomb exploded. Maloney and his son eventually died from their wounds. The daughter was seriously injured and required lengthy hospitalization.
Maloney was not the only target of the bomber. Local school director Michael Gallagher was killed when he opened a similar package he had received in the mail. Former Sheriff Luther Kniffen, another intended victim of the bomber was spared when the bomb sent to him failed to detonate when he opened it. Three more bombs were intercepted before being opened. The press began referring to the incident as the Good Friday bombings.
By July 1st, the police had arrested coal miner Michael Fugmann for the bombings. His motive was believed to be revenge for the actions of his victims during recent labor conflicts. Fugmann was tried the following September. He denied guilt, but was convicted after a two week trial and sentenced to death. He was executed in the electric chair at Rockview State prison on July 17, 1938.
Citensvoice.com – Mail bomb spree by disgruntled coal miner marks 75th anniversary
timesleader.com – Good Friday bombings of 1936 terrorized area