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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ten Laws of Stupidity

By Nicholas Stix

Over at Ex-Army Libertarian Nationalist.

Fort Lauderdale Hate Crime Video: Obama Attack at Dirty Blondes Bar; Racist Black Bouncers Sucker-Punch White Victims; Cops Arrest Victims, Do Nothing to Attackers

 
Sucker Punch by Bouncers at Dirty Blondes (AKA Blondies) in Ft. Lauderdale


Thanks to Alba Tube IV for the upload.


Re-posted with running translation by Nicholas Stix

Thanks to reader Stan for the sendalong.

I tried to find freeze frames at Google Images, but a media accessory after the fact had blurred the perps’ faces, so as to make them unidentifiable. I don’t believe that the First Amendment covers aiding and abetting criminals.


Posted on Tuesday, 07.30.13
Posted on Wednesday, 07.31.13
Fort Lauderdale
Video captures brawl outside Fort Lauderdale Beach bar
By Lance Dixon
The Miami Herald

Fight erupts [Obama sucker-punch attack] at Dirty Blondes bar in Fort Lauderdale
This video of a bar brawl that was initially posted on Instagram on Sunday went viral and on Tuesday captured the attention of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Instagram user Keelan Dumont

Fight erupts [Obama sucker-punch attack] at Dirty Blondes bar in Fort Lauderdale
This video of a bar brawl [hate crime] that was initially posted on Instagram on Sunday went viral and on Tuesday captured the attention of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Instagram user Keelan Dumont
Fight erupts at Dirty Blondes bar in Fort Lauderdale
Photos

By Lance Dixon
ldixon@miamiherald.com

The video, only 15 seconds, shows a violent fight erupting outside a Fort Lauderdale Beach bar Sunday evening. [Translation: The video, only 15 seconds, shows a violent, attack by two black bouncers against two white victims outside a Fort Lauderdale Beach bar Sunday evening.]

And after it was posted on Instagram, it went viral, receiving over 500 “Likes” and 600 comments. It even captured the attention of Fort Lauderdale police.

It starts with a large [huge black] man wearing a black T-shirt labeled “Security” [without provocation] grabbing one of the patrons [around the neck in a chokehold from behind] outside the Dirty Blondes Bar, dragging him and then slamming him to the ground. Other bouncers then punch and shove another patron, knocking over tables and chairs in the process, and kick him repeatedly in the head. Off to the side, a blonde woman throws a punch. Eventually, one of the injured men gets up, clutches his wounds, and runs off. The bouncer exclaims, “Have a good day, go home!” and the video ends shortly after.

But the skirmish didn’t end there, according to police.

After the video ended, the two injured patrons [wounded victims] came back to the bar, located at 229 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., and challenged the bouncers to a fight.

By that time, Fort Lauderdale police were on the scene. They asked the two men to calm down and explain what had happened earlier.

But the men, identified as Alexander Coelho, 29, of Pembroke Pines and David Parker, 28, of Sunrise, were too heated.

Coelho and Parker were arrested and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said. Coelho was also charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

The two have since been released on bond, and have hired attorneys, who declined to talk about the case Tuesday.

But detectives from Fort Lauderdale’s Violent Crimes Unit also want to talk to the men, to see if they want to press charges against the bouncers.

“This incident will remain an open case and charges are pending the victims’ official police report and desire to prosecute,” said Fort Lauderdale Detective DeAnna Greenlaw.

Dirty Blondes initially posted an apology for the incident on its Facebook page, but the bar has since deleted its page.

Bar representatives did not return calls or emails from the Miami Herald.
Another Facebook page, this one called “Boycott Dirty Blondes,” went up Monday. The page attempted to identify the bouncers, and claimed that some of them have criminal records.

As of Tuesday, the “Boycott” page had 4,000 “likes.”

Police are asking anyone with additional information or video of the incident to contact the Fort Lauderdale Police Department at 954-828-5700.


Baloo: Paranoia Phunnies

 

Visit the cartoon page of the incomparable Baloo here, and his gift page here.
 

My Name was Antonio West

 
War crime victim Antonio West
 

Mug shot of war crime suspect De’Marquise Elkins
 

My name was Antonio West. I was the 13-month old child who was shot in the face at point blank range by two black teens, who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also shot.

I think my murder and my mommy’s wounding made the news for maybe a day, and then disappeared.

A Grand Jury of my mommy's peers from Brunswick, Georgia ruled the black teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty... too bad it was me who got the death sentence from my killers instead, because Mommy didn’t have the money they demanded.

See, my family made the mistake of being white in a 73% non-white neighborhood, but my murder wasn’t ruled a “hate crime.”

Oh, and President Obama didn’t take a single moment to acknowledge my murder. He couldn’t have any children who could possibly look like me - so why should he care?

I’m one of the youngest murder victims in our great nation's history, but the media didn’t care to cover the story of my being killed in cold blood.

There isn’t a white equivalent of Al Sharpton, because if there was he would be branded a “racist.” So no one’s rushing to Brunswick, Georgia to demonstrate and demand “justice” for me. There’s no “White Panther” party, either, to put a bounty on the lives of the two black teens who murdered me.

I have no voice, I have no representation, and unlike those who shot me in the face while I sat innocently in my stroller - I no longer have my life.

Isn’t this a great country?

So while you’re out seeking “justice for Trayvon,” please remember to seek justice for me. Tell your friends about me, tell your families, get tee-shirts with my face on them, and make the world pay attention, just like you did for Trayvon.

I won’t hold my breath. I don’t have one anymore.

Jeff Sessions: How the GOP Can Do the Right Thing on Immigration — and Win

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

I poached this memo from the Countenance Blogmeister, who entitled it, “So Saith the 45th President of the United States.”


Memo: How the GOP Can Do the Right Thing on Immigration — and Win
July 29, 2013
To: Republican Colleagues
From: Ranking Member Jeff Sessions

The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head.

The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration.

This is nonsense.

The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party. Of course, such a clear and honest message would require saying “no” to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.

In Senator Schumer’s failed drive to acquire 70 votes, he convinced every single Democrat in his conference to support a bill that adds four times more guest workers than the rejected 2007 immigration plan while dramatically boosting the number of low-skill workers admitted to the country each year on a permanent basis. All this at a time when wages are lower than in 1999, when only 58 percent of U.S. adults are working, and when 47 million residents are on food stamps. Even CBO confirms that the proposal will reduce wages and increase unemployment. Low-income Americans will be hardest hit.

Ordinarily, this would be an act of political suicide for Democrats. How can they possibly succeed with a plan that will so badly injure American workers? Perhaps Senator Schumer, the White House, and their congressional allies believe the GOP lacks the insight to seize this important issue, push away certain financial interests, and make an unapologetic defense of working Americans. They seem, in fact, to expect the GOP House to drag their bill across the finish line. Indeed, more than a few in our party will argue that immigration reform must “serve the needs of businesses.” What about the needs of workers? Since when did we did we accept the idea that the immigration policy for our entire nation—with all its lasting social, economic, and moral implications—should be tailored to suit the financial interests of a few CEOs?

Americans broadly oppose further increases to our current generous immigration levels by a 2-1 margin, but the opposition among those earning less than $30,000 is especially strong: they prefer a reduction to an increase by a 3-1 margin. And no wonder: according to Harvard’s Dr. George Borjas, it’s the working poor whose wages have declined the most as a result of high immigration levels.

The GOP has a choice: it can either deliver President Obama his ultimate legislative triumph—and with it, a crushing hammer blow to working Americans that they will not soon forgive—or it can begin the essential drive to regain the trust of struggling Americans who have turned away. As Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol wrote in a joint op-ed, “the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers… It’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility.”

Like Obamacare, this 1,200-page immigration bill is a legislative monstrosity inimical to the interests of our country and the American people. Polls show again and again that the American people want security accomplished first, that they do not support a large increase in net immigration levels, and that they do not trust the government to deliver on enforcement. The GOP should insist on an approach to immigration that both restores constitutional order and serves the interests of the American worker and taxpayer. But only by refusing any attempt at rescue or reprieve for the Senate bill is there a hope of accomplishing these goals.

Instead of aiding the President and Senator Schumer in salvaging a bill that would devastate working Americans, Republicans should refocus all of our efforts on a united push to defend these Americans from the Administration’s continued onslaught. His health care policies, tax policies, energy policies, and welfare policies all have one thing in common: they enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people. Our goal: higher wages, more and better jobs, smaller household bills, and a solemn determination to aid those struggling towards the goal of achieving financial independence.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Obama’s Secret Bailout of Detroit: He’ll Pickpocket White Federal Taxpayers

Obama's Secret Bailout of Detroit: He'll Pickpocket White Federal Taxpayers Through Obamacare, and Send Their $ to Motown

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix 

 

Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs

By Monica Davey and Abby Goodnough

Published: July 28, 2013 636 Comments

New York Times

 

As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.

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Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

Detroit wants insurance exchanges to cover retirees like Thomas Berry, a former police officer.

 

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Nathan Weber for The New York Times

"There's fear and panic," said Michael Underwood, an ailing Chicago Police Department retiree.

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Officials say the plan would be part of a broader effort to save Detroit tens of millions of dollars in health costs each year, a major element in a restructuring package that must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. It is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.

Similar proposals that could shift public sector retirees into the new insurance markets, called exchanges, are already being planned or contemplated in places like Chicago; Sheboygan County, Wis.; and Stockton, Calif. While large employers that eliminate health benefits for full-time workers can be penalized under the health care law, retirees are a different matter.

"There's fear and panic about what this means," said Michael Underwood, 62, who retired from the Chicago Police Department after 30 years and has diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Mr. Underwood, who says he began working for the city when employees did not pay into future Medicare coverage, is part of a group suing Chicago over its plan to phase many retirees out of city coverage during the next three and a half years. "I was promised health care for myself and my wife for life," he said.

Unfunded retiree health care costs loom larger than ever for localities across the country, and the health law's guarantee of federal subsidies to help people with modest incomes afford coverage has made the new insurance markets tantalizing for local governments. A study issued this year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found 61 of the nation's major cities wrestling with $126 billion in retiree health costs, all but 6 percent of that unfunded.

"The Affordable Care Act does change the possibilities here dramatically," said Neil Bomberg, a program director at the National League of Cities. "It offers a very high-quality, potentially very affordable way to get people into health care without the burden falling back onto the city and town."

But if large numbers of localities follow that course, it could amount to a significant cost shift to the federal government. Authors of the health care law expected at least some shifting of retirees into the new insurance exchanges, said Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely follows the law. "But if a lot of them do, especially big state and local programs," he said, "that's going to be a huge cost for the United States government, and it's mandatory spending."

Many cities are also wrestling with unfunded pension programs for retirees. But health care has become an easier target for cuts, in part because of generally stronger legal protections for pensions. Still, changes to retiree health care are playing out in courtrooms. The suit Mr. Underwood joined, filed last week in Chicago, claims that the health care benefits were also protected.

The Chicago plan, announced in May, would phase some of the city's 11,800 retirees and their family members not eligible for Medicare out of city coverage by 2017. While some may seek insurance through new employers or through their spouses' workplaces, others will probably be shifted to the insurance exchanges. Much of the plan for the next few years is in flux, but the changes are expected to contribute to a larger effort to save Chicago $155 million to $175 million a year in retiree health care costs by 2017.

"With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, our retirees will have more options to meet their health care needs," said Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, adding that most of the city's retirees over 65 were already covered by Medicare. "We will ensure that they have all the information needed to navigate the options available going forward, while saving vital taxpayer dollars."

Under the health care law, starting in October every state will have an online insurance market where people can shop for private plans. These policies will have to include 10 broad categories of benefits, including emergency services, hospitalization and prescription drugs.

People earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level can get federal subsidies to help with the cost of premiums, but only for policies bought through the new markets. The premiums will vary, depending on how much coverage a plan offers.

This year, 400 percent of the poverty level is $45,960 for an individual and $62,040 for two-person households.

Cities may also provide moderate monthly stipends to help retirees with the cost of health insurance bought through an exchange. Detroit, for instance, has proposed doing that.

But retirees say they worry about what the costs would actually amount to and whether the coverage would be as generous as some have received through city plans.

A 60-year-old single man with an income of $45,000 might have to pay $4,275 a year, or about 52 percent of his total annual premium, for a midpriced plan bought through an exchange, with the balance covered by the federal subsidies, according to an estimate by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research group. A couple who are both 55 with a combined income of $60,000 might have to pay $5,700 a year, or 42 percent of their total premium. In both examples, additional out-of-pocket costs of up to $6,350 per person could apply, depending on how much medical care they needed.

Professor Jost said that even with subsidies, insurance policies bought through an exchange could be more expensive for retirees than public sector health plans. Most exchange customers are expected to choose plans that cover 60 percent to 70 percent of medical costs for the average person, compared with public sector plans that have sometimes covered much more.

"These are people who stayed in the public sector all their lives because the benefits were more generous," he said.

Some city plans, like those in Detroit, cover 80 percent to 100 percent of costs, officials said.

"The truth is, my health care is very good, with only $20 for prescriptions and $10 co-pays to see a doctor," said Thomas Berry, 60, a Detroit Police Department retiree. "That was part of the promise that was made, and I don't want to lose it."

But some municipal retirees could actually end up spending less on coverage bought through the online markets than they do now. Several states have already approved rates for health plans to be sold through the new markets that are lower than what analysts had expected. But rates have yet to be announced in many other states, including Illinois and Michigan.

In an added wrinkle for Detroit, Michigan is among the states that so far have opted out of expanding Medicaid under the health care law. In such states, people with incomes below the poverty level — $11,490 for an individual and $15,510 for a couple — would not be eligible for the federal subsidies to help buy coverage through an exchange.

The law's authors had intended for such people to become eligible for Medicaid, if they did not have it already. But the Supreme Court ruled last year that the expansion was an option for states, not a requirement. This potentially leaves a group of retirees who would be ineligible for either Medicaid or a subsidy.

In any case, officials in Detroit and elsewhere say the old insurance plans are no longer feasible. Detroit has more than 19,000 retirees — nearly twice as many people as currently work for the city — and 7,500 of them are younger than 65.

"I'm applauding Detroit," said Dan Miller, the controller in Harrisburg, Pa., who added that in the future a similar plan might interest his city, where a state-appointed receiver is seeking to restructure hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. "I'm hoping that Obamacare turns out to be a great solution, and I would love for our city to have the opportunity to do that."

A version of this article appeared in print on July 29, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs.

The “Cable Guy”: Black Rapist-Murderer Anthony Triplett is a Suspected Serial Killer

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

 

 

Janice Ordidge: Convicted rapist-murderer Anthony Triplett will be tried for allegedly raping and murdering her, as well

 

Woman found murdered in Hyde Park high-rise

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

WLS

Ron Magers
More: Bio, Facebook, Twitter, News Team

By Ron Magers

A woman has been murdered inside a high-rise in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. Police discovered the body of 39-year-old Janice Ordidge after she didn't show up for work. She had been strangled. Police are looking for leads in the case as relatives and friends try to cope with their loss.

The woman's body was found Monday in the bathroom of her high rise apartment at 1649 E. 50th St. She worked as a scheduler at Northwestern's Prentiss Women's Hospital. Employees there became worried when she didn't show up for work.

"She was the kind who would call if she was 10 minutes late," said Lara Olmos, co-worker.

Police were asked to check on Ordidge. They went to her apartment Monday afternoon and found her in the bathtub. The medical examiner is calling it a strangulation homicide. There were no signs of forced entry.

There is no video surveillance in the building, but there is security.

"There's security at night, two security guys and in the day you have to be buzzed in," said Papa Ndiaye, doorman.

Some residents say the building management didn't notify them of the killing-- and they are upset.

"There should have been notification. This is very serious, for someone so close to us and we not know about it," said Dashara Wells, neighbor.

"We live here, and if there needs to be security, I don't know but something should have been done," said Marissa Petersen, neighbor.

Ordidge was one of five sisters. They say she was amicably divorced and that her former husband lives in England. They also say she had a new boyfriend but there had been no indication of trouble.

"She's the most beautiful person you ever wanted to meet," said Mary Lambert, victim's sister. "She loved life and enjoyed life, so to know her is to love her."

Police have not said whether they have any leads in the case.

 

 

 

Comcast technician's murder trial begins

By Rummana Hussain

rhussain@suntimes.com

May 1, 2013 6:46 P.M.

Chicago Sun-Times 

 

Urszula Sakowska [N.S.: I was unable to copy and paste the photo that accompanied this story]

 

 

Updated: June 3, 2013 3:43 P.M. 

Rapist-murderer Anthony Triplett

 

 

The couple was doing a favor by checking in on a friend.

Piotr Czechowski went into the Southwest Side house first combing through the rooms with his wife following close behind.

When Czechowski went upstairs, he glimpsed a "leg" from the bathroom, went into "shock" and shoved his spouse away from the gruesome scene.

"His face was very scared," an emotional Arleta Szpak-Czechowska said Wednesday of her husband's discovery of Urzula Sakowska's dead body on Dec. 8, 2006.

"He started to push me and said, 'Get out. Get out.'"

Hours before, Sakowska, 23, inadvertantlywelcomed her killer — Comcast worker Anthony Triplett — into her home, in the 6100 block of South McVicker, Cook County prosecutors said.

But instead of installing her high-speed Internet, Triplett viciously beat and choked Sakowska and forced her to perform oral sex on him, assistant state's attorney Ashley Romito said at the opening of Triplett's murder trial.

The last thing Sakowska saw was the duct tape Triplett allegedly wrapped around her head before he threw her in her bathtub filled with water.

Triplett is also suspected of killing 39-year-old Hyde Park resident Janice Ordidge in a similar manner seven weeks earlier.

Although Triplett, 32, isn't on trial for Ordidge's murder, prosecutors plan to outline details of that slaying to bolster their case in Sakowska's slaying.

Defense attorney Allan Sincox questioned why Triplett would kill Sakowska when he under a watchful eye of the authorities after they questioned him three times following Ordidge's strangulation.

But Romito insisted to jurors that Triplett killed both women who made the innocent mistake of allowing him into their homes for Comcast service.

The prosecutor also pointed out the "powerful and overwhelming" physical evidence tying Triplett to Sakowska's murder: her blonde hair found in his Comcast van and her blood on his jacket.

Also damning evidence was Sakowska's fiance's Seiko watch authorities found on Triplett, Romito said.

"He is not just about the sex and murder. Be it greed, be it trophy hunting — he takes something," Romito said.

Sakowska's fiancé Grzegorz Magiera, a truck driver, was en route to New Jersey at the time of the slaying. He called his friends, Piotr Czechowski and Arleta Szpak-Czechowska, to check on Sakowska. Magiera testified in court Wednesday that he drove all the way from the East Coast when he learned the young woman he had met in his native Poland was brutally killed.

Not only was Sakowska's money, credit cards and two rings, including her engagement ring, missing. Also gone was a change jar and the birthday gift the on-time nanny had given him months before, Magiera, 35, testified.

"She gave it to me," he said of the watch.

Triplett's trial will continue Thursday before Cook County Judge Kevin Sheehan.

 

Cable TV repairman Anthony Triplett found guilty in 2006 murder case

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

 

By Ben Bradley
More: Bio, Facebook, Twitter, News Team

A jury has found double murder suspect Anthony Triplett guilty of first degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault and robbery in the murder of 23-year-old Urszula Sakowska.

There were tears of joy and sighs of relief in court from the family of Urszula Sakowska.

The 23-year-old was sexual assaulted, then strangled to death inside her home by a Comcast-contracted workman named Anthony Triplett. He was there to work on her high speed internet connection.

The murder happened on the southwest side in December of 2006.

Unbeknownst to the victim: Triplett was already being looked at for a murder a month and a half earlier in this Hyde Park high rise.

Thirty-nine-year-old Janice Ordidge was also strangled to death, and also left in her bathtub after calling Comcast for cable TV service.

Police say they informed Comcast that Triplett was interviewed as a "witness." Detectives were waiting for DNA results before making an arrest. While they waited, Triplett continued making house calls for Comcast, and that's when he murdered Urszula Sakowska.

Comcast issued the following statement on Monday: "We remain saddened by these tragic events, and our hearts go out to the families who've lost their loved ones. We have fully cooperated with law enforcement authorities in their investigations."

Her family was joined in court for the verdict on Monday by Janice Ordidge's loved one. Both families declined to comment.

Triplett's attorney argued in court his client would have been foolish to commit both crimes.

"The theory being why would he have possibly done this knowing police were hot on his tail? He was under close scrutiny at the time," said Jack Rimland, Triplett's defense attorney.

"We are extremely pleased with the guilty verdict rendered this evening by the jury against Anthony Triplett in the tragic sexual assault and murder of Urszula Sakowska. In many ways this case represents the alarming and unexpected way that sexual violence can impact the life of any woman and it is our hope that this guilty verdict finally brings justice for Urszula, who was doing what any woman should be able to do with a sense of safety and security in her own home," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a statement on Monday.

The Wages of Amnesty: This is Your Future, America, if Amnesty Passes

 

Anti-Racist Commits Mass Murder over a “Racist Comment”; Media Seek to Unreport

Anti-Racist Commits Mass Murder over a "Racist Comment"; Media Seek to Unreport Story

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

 

A tip 'o the hate to Islam Versus Europe.

 

 

 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

She Criticised Immigration, so an "Anti-Racist" Burned Her Children to Death: Daily Mail Censors Report

09:55 | Posted by Cheradenine Zakalwe | Edit Post

Read this story in the Daily Mail about how four children died in a fire that was started deliberately. What you won't find there is any indication of why it happened. At the party there was a discussion on immigration. When Michelle Smith made a remarked that Dyson Allen judged to be 'racist', he decided to set fire to her children's bedroom to get 'revenge'. All four children died.

Yesterday the Daily Mail reported that the fire had been started "in revenge for racist comment".

Now every reference to that important fact has been removed from the article. Nor does any other British newspaper that I have been able to find report it either. I had to read about it on a Swedish website!

Time for Another Rule 5 Draft Break

 


Thanks to Theo Spark.

In the Rule 5 world, you pick your poison: The knife, or the push-up. I prefer the push-up.

A Season of Darkness: Book about the Marcia Trimble Murder Case Connects Dots

A new book connects the dots on a notorious Nashville murder case

Missed Connections

By Matt Pulle

December 30, 2010

Nashville Scene

Arts and Culture» Books

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·         Comments

 

 

Even after detectives caught up with Marcia Trimble's killer, her 1975 disappearance and death remained as vexing a crime as Nashville has ever seen. Last year, a Davidson County jury convicted Jerome Barrett of the young girl's murder after DNA testing identified his semen on her blouse. The defense couldn't counter that evidence — how could they? — and the judge sentenced Barrett to 44 years. Already serving a life sentence for the murder of Vanderbilt student Sarah Des Prez, Barrett will die inside the walls of prison.

And likely, he'll take his secrets with him. During his trial, the prosecution offered no theory on how the defendant actually got to Trimble. It's hard to imagine how a tall black man managed to seize and kill a 9-year-old Girl Scout in a lily-white Green Hills neighborhood right before the dinner hour while kids played basketball and parents returned home from work and errands. How could no one have seen or heard anything? 

War crime victim Marcia Trimble 1966-1975

 

A Season of Darkness, a new book about the case, can't answer that. But it does largely capture what made her death one of the century's most infamous local crimes. Written by Douglas Jones, a Nashville litigator and lobbyist and Phyllis Gobbell, an English professor at Nashville Tech, A Season offers an exhaustive, often gripping account of an unfathomably sad puzzle of a case full of pieces that don't all fit. Offering fresh, vivid details on how the police finally caught Trimble's killer, the authors don't merely rehash old reports (though there's plenty of that), they get in the minds of the detectives and expose their inner lives.

The book begins with Trimble's disappearance on February 25, 1975. That evening, the young girl left her ranch-style red brick house on Copeland Drive to deliver Girl Scout cookies to a neighbor. Her mom, Virginia, told her to wear a coat, but Trimble said not to worry. "I'll be right back," she said.

Trimble didn't return, and after an intense, if chaotic search that included everyone from the youngest police cadet to Chief Joe Casey himself (and hundreds of volunteers in between), her body was found on Easter Sunday more than a month after she went missing. She turned up in a neighbor's garage tucked behind old tires and a wading pool. To this day, no one knows anything about how she got there.

Jones and Gobbell struggle to recount the search and media frenzy that surrounded it, relying too heavily in early chapters on press accounts (including the Scene's 2001 two-part feature), with little original reporting to drive the narrative. As a result, the first part of the book reads like a Wikipedia entry. Take the sentence introducing a pivotal chapter on the stunning discovery of Trimble's dead body. It doesn't exactly frame the moment: "Easter, a holy day of great significance for Christians, is widely celebrated in Nashville."

 

War crime victim Sarah Desprez--Jerome Barrett raped and murdered her

 

It's as if the authors were in a hurry to get to the revelatory raison d'être of the middle section: How a 1975 investigation into a series of sexual assaults and one brutal murder — all occurring just a few miles from Trimble's home — ultimately led to the capture of her killer. In these chapters, a detective named Diane Vaughn emerges as a tough-minded heroine, a woman among boys whose efforts laid the groundwork for Barrett's arrest decades later. In 1994, Vaughn died of cancer, and until now, her essential contributions to the case have been largely overlooked.

When Vaughn joined the department in 1970, male cops largely disparaged their female peers. Sexual harassment was as much a part of the Metro cop shop workday routine as filling out paperwork, with the male officers often referring to their female colleagues as the "pussy patrol." But Vaughn earned the begrudging respect of these good ole boys. She smoked, spoke in a raspy voice and took on the tough cases.

While her peers searched for Trimble, Vaughn spent March of 1975 investigating a murder and string of assaults around the Belmont and Vanderbilt campuses. Through exhaustive interviewing of the victims, she began picking out a few key features of the assailant. That came in handy when, one day, police arrested a tall black man in a dark, tweed overcoat for breaking and entering an apartment in Berry Hill.

 

War criminal Jerome Barrett

When Vaughn recalled that the man matched one of the victim's descriptions of her assailant — right down to the color of the coat — she tracked down his address and convinced the suspect's roommate to let her search the place. There, the detective discovered some of the victims' stolen items. Vaughn arrested Jerome Sydney Barrett, who was charged for the rape and robbery of two women and the assault of another. He would serve 27 years behind bars.

Here, A Season of Darkness morphs into a full-throttled page-turner. Extensively researched details give Vaughn's character a rich personality not often seen in the genre, from her clothing to the precise questions she asked Barrett's victims — even scene-setting minutia, such as the detail that, as Vaughn received a pivotal phone call from a colleague, she gnawed on a piece of toast. In what may be the book's most cinematic moment, the authors describe Vaughn's vantage point when she first walked into Barrett's residence on Jefferson Street, a "musty one-room apartment with a closet."

"Wallpaper peeling off the walls, a naked light bulb hanging from the kitchen ceiling — the place was rough," they write. "It didn't look like anyone lived there. Vaughn noticed that the kitchen sink was full of dishes that had been there for some time."

While she was building a case against Barrett, Vaughn also looked into the rape and murder of Sarah Des Prez, a 19-year-old New York-native and Vanderbilt sophomore. Suspecting Barrett as the assailant here too, she persuaded the DA's office to obtain a court order to retrieve his hair samples. For reasons the book doesn't illuminate, the investigation into Barrett stalled. He was released from prison in 2002.

It would take five more years before detectives Bill Pridemore and Pat Postiglione would re-open Des Prez's murder investigation. Pouring through the case file, they came across Vaughn's mention of Barrett. The victim's bedding helped create a DNA profile, and it matched the profile of another unsolved murder — that of Marcia Trimble.

Pridemore and Postligione tracked down Barrett in Memphis, now living with his father. In another white-knuckle passage, Barrett allowed the detectives to snatch a DNA sample from inside his cheeks. As the detectives headed back to Nashville, Barrett told them, "Well, I won't see you again."

But the reader already knows otherwise: Only Barrett's sample matched that of the assailant in the Des Prez and Trimble murders. Pridemore and Postligione, who'd re-opened the investigation on a little more than a whim, had just cracked two cases in one moment — with the able assist of a long-dead detective.

Should Barrett have been nabbed sooner? The authors seem to think so, rebuking the case's earlier detectives, including Mickey Miller, a bright, warm-hearted veteran of the cop shop who comes off as so fixated on longtime suspect Jeffrey Womack (one of the kids in Trimble's neighborhood) that he and his colleagues missed the connection between the Belmont-Vanderbilt attacks and Trimble — crimes that happened within weeks of each other, just five or so miles a part. Had they put two and two together, perhaps they could have nabbed Barrett 15 years earlier.

You could read A Season of Darkness as a sweeping indictment of Miller and his predecessors for blowing the case. Or that Trimble's murder overwhelmed investigators with such a dearth of evidence that they naturally were going to focus on what little they had — or thought they had. Who knows which point is right? To their credit, Jones and Gobbell so dutifully scrutinize the investigation that you may very well convince yourself of both as you make your way through an engaging book that uncovers a mystery and wraps it up again.

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