Five Innocent People Convicted of Murder

Eric Glisson released after 17 years in prison for crime he didn’t commit.

We all have heard prisoners say they didn’t do the crime, that they are imprisoned for, but in the case of Eric Glisson he was telling the truth. It took 17 years before his innocence was proved, but he is a free man today after being imprisoned in Sing Sing Prison.

A livery cab driver Baithe Diop had been killed on August 19,1995, and a few weeks later a lady Miriam Tavares told the police she knew who did it. She claimed to have seen the crime from her bathroom window. Then she proceeded to name the killers, and claimed to hear their conversation, even though her bathroom window was 100 yards from the crime scene.

Sister Joanna Chan who helped Glisson procure a lawyer to prove his innocence.

Glisson and three men and a woman were sent to prison for the crime. Glisson exhausted his appeals eleven years later in 2006. Sister Joanna Chan, a Catholic nun was doing volunteer work at Sing Sing, and took an interest in Glisson’s case. She contacted Peter Cross, who was a corporate lawyer and told him about Glisson’s case. Cross took the case, even though he was not a criminal lawyer, and agreed to not charge Glisson.

Attorney Peter Cross and Eric Glisson

Cross went to the bathroom window, that the lady claimed to have seen the crime from, and there was no way she could have seen the crime scene from that window, since it was not in the line of sight. The detectives working the case had never taken the trouble, to see what they could see from that window.

Glisson mentioned on the Dateline broadcast, that this particular lady didn’t like him, so that is probably why his name was mentioned by her to the detectives. She died of a drug overdose in 2002, so she couldn’t be re-questioned about the murder.

2012 would bring Glisson the documents he had been requesting for years, due to the Freedom of Information Act. He received cell phone records which showed, that Jose Rodriguez and Jose Vega of the Bronx Sex, Money, Murder gang had placed phone calls from the cab driver’s cell phone minutes after the murder.

Then Glisson wrote a letter to the U.S. Attorney telling him he had information that proved, that he had not killed the cab driver. John O’Malley who had known that Rodriguez and Vega had confessed to the murder of the cab driver 10 years earlier traveled to Sing Sing to talk personally to Glisson.

After getting the letter, O’Malley went to Sing Sing and told Glisson he knew who really killed the Diop.

“Immediately John O’Malley just stood up and he asked me, ‘Did you write this letter?’ And I said, ‘Yes,’” Glisson told Dateline. “He shook my hand. And he said, ‘I– I’m sorry.’ And I said, ‘Sorry for what?’ He says, you know, ‘I know you’re innocent.’“

“When he said that, I said, ‘You — what are you talkin’ about, sir?’ He said, ‘Listen, I know the guys who committed this crime.’

He asked Glisson if he was the one who wrote the letter, then when Glisson said yes he told Glisson, that he was innocent, and that he knew who had committed the murders. O’Malley signed an affidavit stating that Glisson was innocent.

The wheels of justice still turned slow and it was four months before the prosecutors agreed, to request the judge to set Glisson and Cathy Watkins free. Glisson was 18 when sent to prison and his daughter was a week old. Glisson was 37 when released from prison. The rest of the five prisoners wrongly arrested and imprisoned had their convictions overturned, in January of 2013 ending a nightmare for the five, who spent so many years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.

Glisson returned to college and received his degree, then opened a fresh juice store named Fresh Take, which was derived from him having a fresh take on life, after being released from prison.

His story makes me wonder how many prisoners were wrongly convicted of murder, and are resigned to dying in prison. The prison system probably have a lot of Eric Glissons in prison, that are hoping that someone like Sister Joanna Chan takes an interest in their case, and contacts a lawyer that can help prove the prisoner is innocent.

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Bernie Madoff – The Man Who Had No Shame

 

Charles Ponzi 1882-1949

Charles Ponzi, who originated the Ponzi scheme stepped off a boat, as an Italian immigrant with $2.50 in his pocket in 1903. He moved to Canada in 1907 and was arrested, for writing himself a $423.58 check, from a checkbook he had found. He didn’t want his mother to know he was in prison, so wrote her telling her he was a special assistant to the warden.

Without going into the details, Ponzi’s investors lost $20 billion in 1920 dollars, but $225 million in 2011 dollars. This is just a little background, on how Ponzi schemes started about 60 or 70 years, before Bernie Madoff set new records for bilking investors out of their money.

Bernie Madoff took Ponzi scheme to a whole new level.

Bernie Madoff was born in Queens, New York on April 29, 1938. His Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities company was started in 1960. He was influenced by his father Ralph Madoff, who had been a plumber/stock broker and Bernie decided to enter the investment securities business.

Bernie Madoff in high school

It was only a matter of time, before Madoff saw that he could make huge sums of money, by investing funds of his investors in his own account. He promised investors high interest rates, in return for their investments. Once a Ponzi scheme starts there has to be a steady stream of new investors, so the money of the new investors can be used, to make regular payments to the early investors.

Investors thought Madoff was reliable, since he was one of the first brokers, to join Nasdaq and even became a Nasdaq official. Madoff was secretive, about his “investment” and using the word investment in the loosest sense of the word. His 17th floor office in the Lipstick Building had signs telling people Do Not Enter and Do Not Clean. He knew the papers in that office could end his Ponzi scheme. His own secretary for 8 years didn’t even know he was running an investment firm.

SEC Warned About Madoff

Harry Markopolos a hedge fund manager got his hands on some of Madoff’s paperwork and it only took him four hours, to figure out that Madoff’s investments were a fraud. Another red flag for Markopolos was that Madoff’s investments were only down 3 months in a 87 month span, while Standard and Poor’s results showed 28 months of being down in that same 87 month span.

Harry Markopolos warned SEC about Madoff 8 years before arrest.

Markopolos filed an eight page complaint about Madoff in 2000 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC ostensibly, because of work overload declined to investigate the complaint, which left Madoff with no roadblocks in his way, so he continued to bilk his investors.

I can imagine the way Markopolos felt after the SEC decided not to pursue an investigation. It was in effect giving Madoff a license, to steal for another 8 years, as corporations and individual investors poured millions more into Madoff’s pockets.

Bernie Madoff’s Penthouse apartment bought by Al Kahn (left inset photo) of Time Warner

While Madoff’s investors were watching their investments grow on paper at least he was living, in a $7.4 million penthouse which was very much real. The apartment gave Madoff time to ponder, on how he was bilking thousands of investors out of their life savings, and didn’t even know it was happening. The worst thing is that Madoff didn’t really care. His only concern was that his financial chicanery would be exposed.

Zsa Zsa Gabor lost $10 million after investing with Madoff.

This is a 162 page list of the Madoff clients in PDF format. It only lists the names and not the amount they lost in the Ponzi scheme.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/madoffclientlist020409.pdf

Madoff’s world came crashing down at 8:30 AM on December 11,2008, when he was arrested. He was indicted on March 10,2009, and was sentenced to 150 years in prison on July 29,2009. He will be released on November 14, 2139, if he doesn’t have any bad behavior while in prison. He will be approximately 200 years old, when he is released in 2139.

Aftermath

Madoff is imprisoned in a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.

Bernie Madoff’s new home at federal prison in Butner, North Carolina featuring 3 hots and a cot

He says he is being well treated in prison in this Wikpedia entry:

In his letter to his daughter-in-law, Madoff said that he was being treated in prison like a “Mafia don“.

They call me either Uncle Bernie or Mr. Madoff. I can’t walk anywhere without someone shouting their greetings and encouragement, to keep my spirit up. It’s really quite sweet, how concerned everyone is about my well-being, including the staff … It’s much safer here than walking the streets of New York.

However this entry tells an entire different story of his life in prison:

Madoff’s projected release date is November 14, 2139.[115][114] The release date, described as “academic” in Madoff’s case because he would have to live to the age of 201, reflects a reduction for good behavior.[116] On October 13, 2009, it was reported that Madoff experienced his first prison yard fight with another senior citizen inmate.[117] When he began his sentence, Madoff’s stress levels were so severe that he broke out in hives and other skin maladies soon after.[118]

On December 18, 2009, Madoff was moved to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and was treated for several facial injuries. A former inmate later claimed that the injuries were received during an alleged altercation with another inmate.[119] Other news reports described Madoff’s injuries as more serious and including “facial fractures, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung”.[118][120] The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Madoff signed an affidavit on December 24, 2009, which indicated that he had not been assaulted and that he had been admitted to the hospital for hypertension.[121]

Ironically, his son Mark was found dead in his apartment on December 11, 2010, which was second anniversary of Bernie Madoff being arrested. Coroner ruled it was death by hanging. His other son Andrew died of lymphoma on September 3, 2014. 

Ruth Madoff taking out garbage since Bernie is predisposed

His wife Ruth was ordered to give up $85 million in assets, which left her $2.5 million. 

However, I can’t feel sorry for her knowing, that so many Madoff clients literally lost everything. A lot of wealthy people thinking they were becoming more wealthy, as they looked at the phony financial statements sent by Madoff ended up having to pay any money they received in the Ponzi scheme, above their original investment. The saddest stories were those of investors, who had invested their life savings only to lose everything. 

It was astounding that so many charitable organizations invested with Madoff and lost everything. 

One investor took his life after losing $1.5 billion, by investing in Madoff:

A more extreme loss is the loss of life. Thierry de la Villehuchet, the French aristocrat who refused to believe Casey or Markopolos’ theory that Bernie operated a Ponzi scheme, lost $1.5 billion. This included his personal fortune along with substantial funds from European royalty and aristocrats. On December 22, 2008, unable to pay his 28 employees or office rent, Villehuchet committed suicide in his downtown Manhattan office.

Madoff is not doing well healthwise, with him telling CNBC, that he now has kidney cancer and had a heart attack in December of 2013. 

Sadly, Madoff’s Ponzi scheme will not be the last one. I am sure right now somebody is bilking investors out of their money, but their day will come like all the others, when investors demanded their investments back and the money is long gone.

This article below gives many more details, of how Madoff cheated so many investors, in his elaborate Ponzi scheme:

http://dcollins.faculty.edgewood.edu/pdfdocuments/Madoff%20Case.pdf

Conclusion; Mr. Madoff have you no shame? How could you function as a human being all those years, while knowing that you were using the life savings of your investors, to pad your own bank account, to buy yachts, mansions, $7.4 million apartments and too many other luxuries to list them all?

Book Review – Unsinkable: A Memoir: Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on wedding day in 1955.

Her second autobiography Unsinkable: A Memoir: Debbie Reynolds is a book about her life after her marriage to her third husband Richard Hamlett, who turned out to be a dirty rotten scoundrel, who took her money just like her first husband Harry Karl had done in her previous marriage.

The earlier autobiography Debbie: My Life dealt with her marriage and subsequent divorce from Eddie Fisher. It also tells of her second husband Harry Karl gambling away his money and hers, in an uncontrollable gambling habit. She wound up homeless and living in a car, by the time he was through spending her money.

She married her new husband Richard Hamlett on May 25, 1984.

Richard Hamlett was no better, even though Debbie had him sign a pre-nup. He just took her money before the marriage ended, instead of waiting till it was over, so the pre-nup was a non-factor.

Collected Hollywood Memorabilia

Debbie built up a huge collection of Hollywood memorabilia, by going to auctions and buying costumes, props, posters and other movie memorabilia. Eventually, she had bought millions of dollars worth of memorabilia and her dream was to build a museum to house her collection.

Her husband Hamlett was helping her build a museum for the collection, but it is better to read about it in her last book, since it is filled with too many details and machinations, to reveal them all in this article.

The same thing goes for the way Hamlett wasted and stole her money, by taking Debbie’s name off of legal documents and making himself the owner. He even went so far as to have his girlfriend listed as owner of some of Debbie’s properties.

Debbie Reynolds with her third husband Richard Hamlett.

Marriage To Hamlett Ends

Debbie found out that Hamlett was having an affair behind her back and went to confront him about it and his financial dealings. He tried to get her to go out to the balcony and discuss their problems, but Debbie was wary of her being thrown off the balcony and him claiming it had been a terrible accident. So she notifies the landlord to never let him back in the building, since she didn’t feel safe, with him around after the argument.

The 12 year marriage ended in 1996. Debbie has never remarried after her first husband Eddie Fisher left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Her second husband Harry Karl cheated on her and took all her money, while the third husband Richard Hamlett also took her money and cheated on her while doing it.

Eighteen years later Debbie has not remarried. She finally learned an expensive lesson. She is back in control of her finances and Celebrity Net Worth website lists her as being worth $60 million, mostly because of her selling most of her movie memorabilia, when it was evident she would never realize her dream of having a museum to house the memorabilia.

Debbie Reynolds

Rundown of Her Movies

The next part of the book has Debbie giving a rundown of some of the movies she appeared in. She shares anecdotes of her experiences, while filming those movies and has some unkind things, to say about some well-known actors, actresses and directors. She names Walter Brennan, Walter Matthau and Thelma Ritter as expert scene stealers.

One director even slapped her in the face and that would not be allowed today, but he got away with it back then.

Aftermath

Debbie is now 82 years old and  appeared in the TV movie Behind the Candelabra, which was a movie about Liberace that was released in 2013. She may be the movie The Big Finish in 2016, but so far that is only a rumor.

66 years have passed since Debbie was a 16 year-old girl riding her bicycle onto the movie lot, after she won Miss Burbank 1948, which led to her being cast in the movies.

Her daughter, Carrie Fisher will be 58 tomorrow (October 21) and her son Todd is now 56 years old. She was pregnant with two children with Harry Karl, but neither lived.

Debbie apparently has sold even more of her movie memorabilia collection earlier this year:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/debbie-reynolds-set-auction-historical-hollywood-memorabilia-article-1.1794715

Trivia From IMDB.com

She was born Mary Frances Reynolds

Debbie is the ex mother-in-law of Paul Simon, who was once married to her daughter Carrie.

She was awarded a star on Hollywood  Walk of Fame in 1997. Strange that it took them almost 50 years to honor her, since she made her first movie in 1948.

President Reagan Assassination Attempt: 33 Years Later

 

                                                                                                                         President Ronald Reagan pushed by Secret Service agents into the presidential limousine.

 

The United States came very close to having two presidents assassinated in 18 years, when President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr. 33 years ago, who wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster, by shooting President Reagan the 40th president of the United States. President John F. Kennedy the 35th president had been assassinated only 18 years earlier in Dallas, Texas.

President Reagan had been in office only 69 days, when the assassination attempt took place on March 30, 1981.

Rohm RG 14 revolver used by John Hinckley Jr in attempt to kill the president.

 

The day started off as another normal busy day for the president and he entered the Washington Hilton Hotel at 1:45 PM ET. He was delivering a speech to AFL-CIO representatives. The president and his party emerged from the hotel, at 2:27 PM ET and chaos ensued as Hinckley fired six shots at the party, which took only 1.7 seconds to fire the six shots. The bullets were the Detonator type, that were supposed to explode on impact, but only the bullet hitting Brady exploded. Hospital staff had to wear bullet proof vests, when removing the bullet from Officer Delahanty’s neck, because the bullets still could explode at any time.

1st bullet – Hit White House Press Secretary James Brady in the head.

2nd bullet – Hit District of Columbia Police Officer Thomas Delahanty in back of head, as he tried to protect President Reagan.

3rd bullet – Hit window of building across the street.

4th bullet – Hit Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy in abdomen as he attempted to shield President Reagan.

5th bullet – Hit bullet resistant glass window of door of limousine.

6th bullet – Ricocheted off the armored side of the limousine and hit President Reagan in his left underarm, grazing a rib and lodging in his lung, stopping nearly 1 inch (25mm) from his heart.

                                                                                                                                                          Secret Service Agent Robert Wanko wields Uzi at shooting scene.

Aftermath of Shooting

Chaos ensued after the shooting as onlookers and Secret Service agents brought Hinckley to the ground and relieved him of his gun. Meanwhile, others at the scene were trying to assist the shooting victims.

The presidential limousine left the scene and Secret Service Special Agent in Charge, who had earlier pushed Reagan into the limousine had first thought Reagan was alright. Parr ordered the limousine to return to the White House, after saying Rawhide is OK, with Rawhide being the code name for the president.  However, after seeing that the president was in pain he ordered the limousine, to be driven to George Washington Hospital.

The limousine arrived at hospital only four minutes later and the president attempted to walk on his own, but his knees buckled and he had to be assisted, as he entered the emergency room.

President Reagan was upset that his suit was cut off of him, since it was a $1,000 suit and had been a gift from his wife Nancy. His systolic blood pressure was only 60, while it was normally 140. It helped the president by being shot  with a 22 caliber bullet, rather than a 38 caliber, which may have lessened his chance of survival.

The president’s wife Nancy had learned of his shooting and arrived at  the hospital in time for the president to tell her “Honey, I forgot to duck”.  He later would tell the operating room staff “I hope you are all Republicans”.

Benjamin L. Aaron the surgeon performed a thoracotomy which lasted 105 minutes. The president lost half of his blood volume during the surgery.

President Reagan was the first president to survive after an assassination attempt.

Vice President George Bush was in Fort Worth, Texas and when told the president was alright went on to Austin to make a speech. After learning the seriousness, of the president’s injuries Bush flew to Washington immediately.

Meanwhile back at the White House, Secretary of State Alexander Haig announced that he was in charge at the White House, despite being fourth in line of succession, when House speaker Tip O’Neill should have been next in line, since President Reagan was unable to govern and Vice President Bush was in Texas at the time.

President Reagan left the hospital on April 11 after 13 days in the hospital. He didn’t return to the Oval Office, until April 25 which was about 27 days after the shooting.

John Hinckley Jr. mug shot on day of assassination attempt.

Background of John Hinckley Jr.

John Hinckley Jr. was born May 29, 1955 in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He will be 59 years old next month and was 25 on the day, that he shot President Reagan 33 years ago.

Hinckley moved with his family to Evergreen, Colorado when his father moved his Hinckley Oil company headquarters from Dallas.  He graduated from high school, but seemed to have little ambition. He attended Texas Tech University from 1974-1980.

The movie Taxi Driver released in 1976 had a character played by Robert DeNiro, who was planning to assassinate the president. Hinckley saw this movie many times and the movie also starred Jodie Foster. He would become obsessed with Foster and went so far as to enroll in college at Yale, when he heard she was attending there and stalked her with notes and telephone calls.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                  Jodie Foster stalked by John Hinckley Jr.

John Hinckley Jr.’s obsession with Jodie Foster led him to also stalk President Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential campaign. He was in shooting distance of President Carter once, but had left his guns at the hotel that day. He posed for a photograph in front of Ford Theatre, where President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. Incidentally, President Reagan had visited Ford Theatre only 9 days, before the assassination attempt and mentioned, that if anyone really wanted to assassinate a president, that they would be successful.

This poem written by Hinckley shows how troubled of a mind he possessed:

Guns Are Fun

See that living legend over there?
With one little squeeze of this trigger
I can put that person at my feet
moaning and groaning and pleading with God.

This gun gives me pornographic power.
If I wish, the president will fall
and the world will look at me in disbelief,

all because I own an inexpensive gun.
Guns are lovable, Guns are fun
Are you lucky enough to own one?

Back to Hinckley and Foster, he called her and wrote notes and letters to her many times. This is the letter that Hinckley wrote to Foster on the day of his assassination attempt, but it was never mailed:

3/30/81

12:45 P.M.

Dear Jodie,

     There is a definite possibility that I will be killed in my attempt to get Reagan.  It is for this very reason that I am writing you this letter now.
     As you well know by now I love you very much.  Over the past seven months I've left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me.  Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself.  Besides my shyness, I honestly did not wish to bother you with my constant presence.  I know the many messages left at your door and in your mailbox were a nuisance, but I felt that it was the most painless way for me to express my love for you.
     I feel very good about the fact that you at least know my name and know how I feel about you.  And by hanging around your dormitory, I've come to realize that I'm the topic of more than a little conversation, however full of ridicule it may be.  At least you know that I'll always love you.
     Jodie, I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever. 
     I will admit to you that the reason I'm going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait any longer to impress you.  I've got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I am doing all of this for your sake!  By sacrificing my freedom and possibly my life, I hope to change your mind about me.  This letter is being written only an hour before I leave for the Hilton Hotel.  Jodie, I'm asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance, with this historical deed, to gain your respect and love.

I love you forever,

John Hinckley

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hinckley/hinckleytrial.html is a website with much more information about John Hinckley Jr. and excellent source of trial information.

 

 

The above letter shows just how deranged of a mind Hinckley had, at the time of the assassination attempt. This letter was written less than two hours, before his assassination attempt to kill President Reagan. The timing of the assassination attempt may have been influenced by the ultimatum by his parents, to move out of their home by the end of March.

This is strictly my opinion, but I think if John Hinckley Jr. had not seen Taxi Driver he would not have had the motivation, to attempt to kill President Reagan and his obsession with and stalking of Jodie Foster would never have happened.

 

The Trial

John Hinckley Jr. went on trial in 1982 and the trial ended on June 21, 1982, when the jury rendered a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. If he had been found to be sane, then he would have probably would have been sentenced to life without parole, but instead he was sent to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC, where he still resides 33 years later.

The prosecution insisted that Hinckley was legally sane, while the defense said he was insane. Jodie Foster was distraught to know that Hinckley had been found not guilty. She may have not been shot on March 30, 1981, but her life was forever changed, by Hinckley stalking her on the Yale campus and then finding out, that John Hinckley Jr. had attempted to kill President Reagan to impress her.

Hinckley was able to book several flights in various places, during October of 1980. He was in New Haven, Connecticut at least three times in that October, and he flew there at least twice that month. Just my opinion, but I don’t think an insane person is capable of  booking flights and being on the plane in time for takeoff.  That brings to the mind, that Hinckley was not working, yet was able to fly around the country many times, while being bankrolled by the wealth of his parents.

The not guilty by reason of insanity verdict for Hinckley has brought about changes in some states. Those changes have made it more difficult in those states, to receive a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict.

Addenda

It was ironic that all four shooting victims were Irish with surnames of Reagan, Delahanty, McCarthy and Brady.

John Hinckley, Jr. is now permitted to spend 17 days a month, which is 204 days a year at home in Virginia with his mother Jo Ann who is now 86. Hinckley is now 58 and is even allowed to drive a car and likes to buy cheeseburgers at Wendy’s. James Brady will be in a wheel chair the rest of his life, while Hinckley can drive his Toyota Camry around and walk wherever he wants.

Hinckley still was obsessed with Jodie Foster as late as 1987, when he still had a collection of Jodie Foster photographs.

It is being requested by Hinckley to have 24 days of freedom a month, but so far that request has been denied. That would give him 288 days of freedom a year, if allowed in the coming months or years.

George Bush I would have been president 7 years sooner, if President Reagan had died on that day in 1981.

The Daily Mail from Great Britain has an article in today’s edition about John Hinckley and shows several photographs of him today at 58 and a photo of his 86-year-old mom Jo Ann.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Stringbean: Murdered After Grand Ole Opry Appearance In 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

David “Stringbean” Akeman was born July 4, 1916 in Annville, Kentucky and died in Ridgetop, Tennessee on November 10, 1973.  His friend and co-star of Hee Haw Grandpa Jones found him and Stringbean’s wife Estelle murdered the next morning. Stringbean had been shot and killed inside the house, while his wife was found dead outside.

Stringbean acquired his nickname when the star of a show he was in introduced him as Stringbean and he has been known as Stringbean ever since.

He made a homemade banjo as a child out of a shoebox and thread. Then later he would barter two chickens, for a real banjo and then really began to learn how to play the banjo in the old style.

The Depression would cause Stringbean to find work, with the Civilian Conservation Corps and he built roads and planted trees, as part of that work.

 

Signs With Bill Monroe’s Band

Bill Monroe signed Stringbean as one of the Bluegrass Boys. Monroe had discovered Stringbean when he was playing semi-pro baseball. Earl Scruggs would later replace Stringbean as the banjo picker in the Bluegrass Boys band.

He married Estelle Stanfill in 1945.

Even though he had been playing music and singing since the 1930’s he didn’t record his first album till the 1960’s.

 

Started Sagging Britches Fad

Stringbean might have been an inspiration for the sagging britches fad, as can be seen in the photo on the right. The only difference was that Springbean wouldn’t wear that outfit once he stepped off the stage. That outlandish outfit by itself was enough to draw laughs from the audience.

He never did learn to drive a car so his wife Estelle did all the driving. Grandpa Jones had to clean his guns for him, since he didn’t know how.

 

First Television Appearance

His first television appearance was when he appeared on the Porter Wagoner Show in 1963 and was on another show in 1970. He made one appearance on the Johnny Cash Show in 1971. His big break came when he started appearing on Hee Haw and would be seen in 92 episodes from 1969-1974. The 1974 shows had been filmed previously, before his tragic death in November of 1973.

There were rumors that Stringbean didn’t believe in keeping his money in banks, since he grew up in depressions and saw how many had lost their life savings, when the banks failed. He was known to flash his cash around and apparently John and Marvin Brown, who were 23 year old cousins decided to try finding that money, while Stringbean and his wife were at the Opry.

 

Stringbean Surprised Burglars

Apparently, they didn’t time it right and the Akemans returned from the Opry, on the night of November 10, 1973, before they thought they would or perhaps they were laying in wait for them, so they could rob them of more cash and both Stringbean and his wife Estelle were shot by the intruders. Ironically, they found only $250 and also stole only a chain saw and some firearms. Stringbean probably drew his gun, but was shot before he could shoot the intruders. By shooting him they didn’t have a chance to question Akeman, about where the money was being hid.

They didn’t notice the $3,000 in his overalls pocket or the $20,000 hidden in a chimney. The $20,000 wouldn’t be found till 23 years later. The money had deteriorated so badly, that it was unusable.

Grandpa Jones would find Stringbean’s wife outside and he found Stringbean also dead inside the house. Stringbean was only 57 at the time of his death. Archie Campbell another co-star, from Hee Haw said that he never heard Stringbean say an unkind word about anyone.

To make things worse for Grandpa Jones the tabloids insinuated that Jones had been having an affair with Stringbean’s wife.

 

Murderers Sentenced To 198 Years

John and Marvin Brown, who committed the murders of Stringbean and his wife were each sentenced to 198 years in prison. Marvin Brown died in Brushy State Prison in Petros, Tennessee in 2003, which was 30 years after the murders. John Brown has served 41 years of his sentence. He applied for parole in 2011 and won’t be able to apply again till 2017.

This is what John Brown had to say about the murders: He has a devoted wife who had married him shortly before he was arrested, and she says, “John says that he hopes David and Estelle are in heaven, looking on his life and saying that something good did come of this.”

 

Senseless Tragedy

Country music fans have lost an icon in Stringbean. He grew up dirt poor during the Depression and had to struggle to make it in the world of country music. Then when he finally makes the big money he can’t help but show it off. He had come a long way from having nothing in the 30’s to living comfortably in the 70’s, but his life came to a tragic halt on November 10, 1973. He died at 57 which is young for country music performers, who sometime perform into their 80’s like the great Ray Price who recently died.

City Confidential television show filmed an episode in 2003 about the murders of Stringbean and his wife.

The world of country music lost one of its biggest stars on November 10, 1973, but his memory will live on for years to come among fans of country music.

Netflix Junkie For Three Hours A Day

Our DISH satellite was suspended for nine months recently, so are spending only $5 a month on DISH to keep the account open. We get to watch mostly infomercials for the $5, so we signed up for Netflix, which is much less than DISH was before the suspension. In fact one On Demand movie on DISH costs almost as much as the $7.99 a month charge for unlimited watching on Netflix. Not that we planned on watching any On Demand movies.

However, we can only use Netflix from 2AM to 8AM, because that is only time our DISH internet service allows us, to watch videos or listen to any music. So I now wake up at 5AM and watch Netflix till 8AM. I have found myself drawn to some shows more often than others.

The two shows that really stand out for me are The Rockford Files and Columbo. I will list those two shows, plus others that I have made a habit of watching.

The Rockford Files

I have watched 25 episodes of The Rockford Files. Have already seen all of Season 1 and have watched the first episode of Season 2. Netflix has 123 shows available to watch of the show, which was first seen in 1974.

It amazes me how much punishment James Garner as Rockford sustains in the show. He reportedly did his own stunts for the show, so that makes me respect him even more. One of my favorite parts of the show is when the telephone answering machine can be heard, with the caller leaving a very funny message at the opening.

Another highlight for me is the interplay between Dennis Becker a policeman portrayed by Joe Santos and Rockford. Becker is not a happy camper, when Rockford asks for a favor like running down a license number for Rockford. The show for me is a perfect mix of drama and comedy. This show has a lot of chase scenes, where it is usually Rockford trying to shake the bad guys, who are tailing him and he often maneuvers his way through the traffic, to lose the bad guys.

Imdb.com readers rate The Rockford Files 8.0 on a scale of 10.

Columbo

There are 43 episodes available on Netflix and am already into Season 4 with episode 2 next to be seen, for a total 27 episodes seen. Columbo shared its time slot, with some other shows, so that is why there were only 7 or 8 shows made a season. The first episode aired in 1968 and by the time the show left the air in 2003 Peter Falk had gray hair.

Falk was perfectly cast as Columbo. The crime was shown at the first of the show, so this was no mystery. It was more a case of watching Columbo catch the criminals, who always seemed to think they had committed the perfect crime. Columbo may have looked a little scruffy in his rumpled raincoat, but he was a very intelligent detective, who picked up on any clue in short order. It was fun watching the criminals squirm, whenever Columbo came around and they sometimes became very agitated, because of Columbo popping up unannounced so often.

Columbo may have been portrayed as a buffoon, but when it came down to solving a crime he always got his man or woman, depending on who was the guilty culprit, in a particular episode.

Imdb.com readers gave Columbo a 8.1 rating.

Dragnet 1967

I had preferred watching the 50’s version of Dragnet, but the more I watched this later version the more I liked it. So far, have watched 11 episodes of Dragnet and have come, to appreciate the comedic exchanges between Sgt. Friday played by Jack Webb and Officer Bill Gannon, who is portrayed by Harry Morgan. Sometimes you will see a familiar face on this show, as Friday and Gannon make their investigation. Dragnet 67 pulls down a respectable 7.8 rating at imdb.com.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

This show is another one that draws me back to it, since all of the 16 episodes I have seen have been outstanding. It is rated 8.7 by the readers of imdb.com, which is the best rating I have seen so far. It is amusing to see Hitchcock open and close the shows. Be prepared for a surprise turn of events at the end of the episodes. Just when you think you have it figured out Hitchcock throws his viewers a curve.

Alfred Hitchcock has 74 episodes on Netflix and skips Season 1 and I have watched 16 episodes. The show is in black and white, but that only makes the show more realistic for me.

Adam 12

Some have called Adam 12 the most realistic cop show on television. I have seen nine episodes of the show, with 174 episodes available on Netflix. The first show aired in 1968.

The first episode shows Officer Malloy portrayed by Martin Milner showing rookie Reed played by Kent McCord the ropes and the proper way to do things. The ninth episode in Season 1 features a man who is very upset, because someone stole his front lawn.

Adam 12 receives a 7.3 from imdb.com readers.

Twilight Zone

Netflix has only 65 shows available of Twilight Zone which started in 1959 and is rated an amazing 8.9 at imdb.com. I have watched nine episodes so far. One of my favorite episodes is about a man, who is always being told that he can’t read books by his wife and his boss. When a nuclear catastrophe occurs he is the only man left on earth. He happens to find the ruins of a library and sorts out books in piles to read in different months. However, he breaks his glasses and is unable to read any of the books. This is one of the most popular television shows ever.

Magnum PI, McMillan and Wife

Am having problems being interested in either of these shows. Have nothing against Magnum PI, ….just no interest in it. McMillan and Wife is a good show, but not the kind of show I would want to invest an hour and a half into. Matt McMillan portrayed by Rock Hudson is not realistic as a police commissioner. Seems unrealistic to me, that the commissioner of police is fighting thugs in warehouses, while realistically a real life commissioner is not likely to leave his office, except for a news conference.

Have not watched enough of either show to even count.

Law and Order – Criminal Intent

This show starts with Season 6 on Netflix and it runs through Season 10, with 83 episodes available to watch. The episodes have kept my interest so far. Season 11 for some reason is not available on Netflix, even though the show ended its run in 2011. Law and Order – Criminal Intent received a 7.2 rating from imdb.com readers.

Leave It To Beaver

I remember watching Leave It To Beaver at my grandpa’s farm in Missouri in 1959, which was two years after the show debuted in 1957. Interesting sidenote about this show is that Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, who created Leave It To Beaver had been writers for the Amos N’ Andy show earlier in the 50’s.

This show is rated 7.6 by the readers at imdb.com. Netflix has 234 episodes of Leave It To Beaver available for watching. So far have only seen 15 shows, so still have 219 shows left to watch. This show to me is television comedy at its best. It was smart of the producers to make Eddie Haskell a regular in the series after being a guest star. Ken Osmond, who played Eddie later became a Los Angeles policeman and was shot in the line of duty. Jerry Mathers who played the Beaver and Wally Dow and Osmond found little work in movies and television after the show left the air in 1963. It has been 21 years since Osmond has appeared in any production that didn’t have a connection to Leave It To Beaver.

Documentaries

I have watched part or all of several documentaries. Since there are multiple parts to some documentaries have watched a little at a time. Watched Hitler’s Children about children related to Nazi war criminals, who were in Hitler’s inner circle. One relative was shown as he visited Auschwitz many years after the holocaust. He was moved to tears, when a survivor of Auschwitz came up to him and shook hands with him telling him, that he didn’t blame the son for what his father did.

One of my favorites to watch was the 30-30 documentary from ESPN that told the story behind Michael Jordan playing minor league baseball in 1994, because he dad who had been murdered had wanted him to play baseball.

The Ken Burns documentary about World War II is particularly interesting, since I was only alive for the last two years of World War II. The episode I am watching now tells about soldiers from three American towns who joined the Army and about how the war affected the soldiers and those left at home. This is a seven part series, so will be watching this for a long time.

I also watched a documentary about Marilyn Monroe living in New York and another Ken Burns documentary about the history of jazz. Really enjoyed the part about pianist Art Tatum, who was almost blind, but was a piano virtuoso, who added a lot of notes to the basic melody.

Netflix Movies

Netflix also has movies, but I am interested mainly in the television shows and documentaries. I have heard that a lot of good movies never are shown on Netflix. One negative about Netflix is that a movie or television show may be available one day, but then gone the next day. That can be attributed to companies switching to other vendors, after fulfilling their contract with Netflix.

Who Assassinated JFK? LBJ Probably Knows But He’s Not Talking

Lyndon Johnson 1908-1973

Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson was riding in a limousine two cars behind the presidential limousine, in which President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline were riding.

Johnson apparently knew that his limousine was in the killing zone, as he was reportedly ducking down before the first shots were fired.

When the first shots hit President Kennedy at 12:30 on November 22, 1963 and resulted in his death about 30 minutes later, then it changed the life of LBJ forever.

LBJ would be sworn in at 2:38 PM aboard Air Force One, which was only two hours and eight minutes after the first shot was fired an an hour and 38 minutes after the nation learned that President Kennedy had succumbed to the fatal wounds incurred by an assassin or assassins.

If someone asked who would have the most to gain, from the death of JFK the answer would overwhelmingly be LBJ, who went from being a figurehead in the Kennedy administration to being the president of the United States. Another reason LBJ needed to be president on November 22, 1963 was that his name was about to be mentioned,in the Bobby Baker hearings currently going on in Washington that day.

Testimony from those hearings would implicate LBJ and expose the fact that he was getting kickbacks, which would be a felony and he would have risked being sent to prison.

However, by becoming president the hearings were stopped suddenly and President Johnson’s reputation was not sullied, because he was a sympathetic figure having just assumed the presidency, at a time when the nation was in mourning over the death of their president.

President Johnson died 10 years later in 1973 and apparently took his secrets regarding his kickbacks in the Bobby Baker scandal and the Billie Sol Estes scandal and his alleged part in the assassination planning to his grave.

This is my opinion for what it is worth as to who masterminded the assassination of President Kennedy on that November day 50 years ago: Lyndon Baines Johnson was very unhappy being a second banana in the Kennedy administration and he teamed up with the CIA, FBI and the underworld to conspire to kill the president.

The CIA was infuriated with the president, because he abandoned the CIA plot to seize power from Fidel Castro in Cuba. Kennedy called off air support for the invading anti-Castro forces on the Isle of Pines. Then to make matters worse the president stated, that he would like to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. His actual words  reportedly were that he would like to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.”[17] Wikipedia

When President Kennedy fired Allen Dulles the director of the CIA later that year it worsened the relations, between the president and the CIA.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover disliked both President Kennedy and his brother Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. He had secrets about the Kennedy brothers and their womanizing. When Marilyn Monroe threatened to expose their secrets she died a mysterious death in August of 1962. If she had been allowed to tell the media, what she know about the Kennedy brothers, then they both may never have been assassinated, since they would be out of power and cooling their heels at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, instead of being assassinated in 1963 and 1968.

Underworld figures had their own motives to assassinate President Kennedy, since his brother Bobby, in his role as attorney general was waging a war against organized crime, who were the same people, that enabled his brother the president to win the 1960 election, through their dirty politics.

LBJ allegedly conspired with some of his Texas oilmen friends to bankroll the operation. Spartacus Educational has this to say about a meeting held the eve of the assassination and who was present:

Rumours began to circulate that Murchison might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A friend of Murchison, Madeleine Brown, claimed in an interview on the television show, A Current Affair that on the 21st November, 1963, she was at his home in Dallas. Others at the meeting included Haroldson L. Hunt, J. Edgar Hoover, Clyde Tolson, John J. McCloy and Richard Nixon. At the end of the evening Lyndon B. Johnson arrived. Brown said in this interview: “Tension filled the room upon his arrival. The group immediately went behind closed doors. A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared. I knew how secretly Lyndon operated. Therefore I said nothing… not even that I was happy to see him. Squeezing my hand so hard, it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper, a quiet growl, into my ear, not a love message, but one I’ll always remember: “After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again – that’s no threat – that’s a promise.”

If Madeleine Brown was telling the truth, then this is evidence, that LBJ was heavily involved with the assassination.

Questions About JFK Assassination

That Still Need to Be Answered

The proponents of the Warren Commission Report may think the mystery,of who assassinated President John F. Kennedy was solved with the release of the Warren Report in 1964, but I still have questions, that I would like to know answers to, before making a decision one way or the other.

What part did Lee Harvey Oswald play in the assassination? I am still not sure he was even in the sixth floor sniper’s nest,when the fatal shots were fired. He was seen in the second floor break room 75 seconds,after the shots were fired and was drinking a Coca-Cola. The motorcycle policeman who questioned Oswald said that Oswald was very calm and not out of breath. Not the reaction of someone,who had just shot the president of the United States. I figure that Oswald did bring his rifle to the sixth floor window that day, so naturally had his fingerprints on it and was probably seen by a witness before the shooting. The deal breaker for me was that LBJ’s hitman Mac Wallace had his fingerprint found on a box on the sixth floor. I think Oswald was set up to look like he was the shooter, while Wallace fired the fatal shots, but Wallace was not even on the sixth floor at the time.

Why would the Dallas police department send a lone policeman to stop Oswald, knowing he was a suspect in the assassination of the president, instead of having two or three cars at the scene before accosting Oswald? Officer J.D. Tippit may still be alive if this precaution had been taken.

Why was Jack Ruby allowed into the Dallas Police Station and why did he gain admittance while carrying a firearm? I can’t help but wonder if Ruby had inside help to gain entrance into the police station, without being searched by someone.

Why wasn’t the transfer vehicle already backed into place, which would have likely prevented Ruby from getting an easy shot at Oswald and why wasn’t Oswald moved during the night? Ruby was allegedly told by his crime bosses, to kill Oswald, so their names wouldn’t be mentioned during the interrogation.

Why did the Warren Commission single out Oswald as the lone conspirator, when he had a long history of being involved in double agent work? I believed Oswald, when he stated that he was a patsy. The lone conspirator theory may have satisfied some Americans, but there is still an overwhelming majority, that thinks he was only a small part of a huge conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

Why wasn’t more attention paid to Rose Cherami when she told authorities in Louisiana, that she was traveling with two men on the way to Dallas to assassinate the president two days before the assassination? If someone had taken her seriously it could have affected the way the motorcade was conducted on November 22. The top would not have been lowered, if the Secret Service knew there was a viable threat that the president might be assassinated. Still wonder why LBJ insisted on the top being down that day according to some reports and why he also insisted that Jackie Kennedy ride with him in his vice presidential limousine. The people along the motorcade route didn’t come to see Jackie Kennedy riding with LBJ. They wanted to see her with her husband the president.

Why would a bullet be found on Governor Connally’s stretcher unless it was planted there? The magic bullet theory was crucial to the Warren Commission’s theory that Oswald was the lone gunman. I won’t go into detail, since my knowledge of ballistics is very limited.

Why haven’t there been more assassination records released 50 years later? There probably are very few people involved with the assassination still alive. LBJ died 40 years ago. J. Edgar Hoover died 41 years ago. Carlos Marcello, who has been linked with the assassination died 20 years ago. One of the few people still alive today is James Leavelle, who escorted Lee Harvey Oswald on his rendezvous with death, as Jack Ruby ended his life two days after he assassinated the president.

Why did presidential limousine driver stop the vehicle after the shooting began? The delay allowed the shooter or shooters more time to fire their next shot.

Why was the presidential limousine cleaned before it could be examined, since it was the crime scene of the assassination? Evidently, someone didn’t want to risk an investigator finding evidence, that might not jive with the lone gunman theory.

Why did Lee Harvey Oswald work with both anti-Castro and pro-Castro forces? This tells me he was a double agent working for both sides. I think personally, that Oswald was being groomed by the CIA to look like he was a kook, that hated President Kennedy and was good enough of a marksman to assassinate him.

Why didn’t Earl Warren agree to Jack Ruby testifying in Washington, when Ruby had told him he would talk in Washington, but not in Dallas? This may be Earl Warren’s way of making sure that Ruby’s testimony wouldn’t ruin the lone gunman theory, that was the cornerstone of the Warren Report.

Why did a large number of witnesses or witnesses preparing to testify in JFK assassination die mysterious deaths?The debunkers will say there was nothing unusual about any of the deaths, but a case by case study will show there were many mysterious deaths. The mysterious death of Dorothy Kilgallen came shortly after she said she had information that would blow the JFK assassination case sky-high. She had interviewed Jack Ruby shortly before her death and probably in the process of writing the article about her interview with Ruby.

 

In conclusion….there are many more questions that could be asked about the assassination, but the ones are above are questions that I hope to see answered someday.

Nobody on either the conspiracy side or the non-conspiracy side is going to convince me, what the truth is till I know beyond a doubt. what actually happened that day. My best guess right now is that LBJ was the mastermind behind the JFK assassination.