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  • John 1:26 pm on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: jacob riis, new york city, newsboys   

    The Little People Of Old New York City 

    “That ignorance plays its part, as well as poverty and bad hygienic surroundings, in the sacrifice of life is of course inevitable.”

    –Jacob Riis

    * * * *

    Estimates vary, but in the late 1800s there were anywhere from 20-to-40,000 homeless children making it on their own in New York City. The legends of the newsboys and the girls who sold corn-on-the-cob on street corners demand our attention today.

    One-hundred and twenty-six years ago, when Jacob Riis took his photographer’s lens to the slums and tenements of old New York City, he was embarking on uncharted territory – that of a photojournalist. His actions, by way of his book “How the Other Half Lives”, actually helped to foster change in the slums. He did it with in your face guilt by way of the children and the elderly poor. In reading an engaging story from history, it is not uncommon to have feelings for the subjects. Then, the mind starts to wander and one has to reel themselves back in with something similar to “My goodness, here I am waxing sentimental for someone who’s been dead for eighty or ninety years!”. Then, I find that I have collected enough husks to share, so why not make a blog post.

    Children were to be invisible. Seen and not heard. Older street boys who were not yet old enough to join a real gang, but too old to be playing marbles carried with them the moniker “street arabs”. They made money as bootblacks and some were probably just your local bullies of the block. The younger boys were called of course, newsboys. Such a romantic and affectionate role the newsboys had at the time, there was even a former newsboy who became a crowd-favorite, bare-knuckle prizefighter named “Swipes the newsboy” (real name Simon Besser). He was said to have killed a man in the ring. All of this long before regular and sanctioned bouts and modern rules of the sweet science.

    Young girls would sell items on the street corners, whether food, sweets or trinkets. Girls aged 12 to 18 could waitress and serve booze at any of the hundreds of dives, wearing skimpy outfits. Family ties are what usually indentured a girl or boy to work in a dangerous factory, to help the family with money, etc. When one sees the old photos of child labor – it was not the child’s choice, and a homeless child would rather risk life in the street than succumb to such hell as factory work. Street girls did what they had to do also.

    However small these lads were, it was still a man’s world, so the street arabs and newsboys also had their social time: mini-saloons and watering holes for a game of faro or craps. The street arabs and newsboys alike could get a “three-cent whiskey” or curry favors from the little girls that worked in the backrooms. And these are the more or less homeless children, seen back then as some sort of miniature adults in society. Most poor kids were expected to take care of themselves at a certain age, and whether they left the house voluntarily or were kicked out remains to be seen. Certainly, there were religious ministers and relief agencies aplenty, but the city was just too enormous.

    An adolescent gang of boys who called themselves the “Baxter Street Dudes” even operated their own little theatre in the 1870s – they charged admission, put on “blood and thunder” plays of the era, which are not unlike the lure of “action movies” for boys in the present day. Under their leader, Baby-Faced Willie, the Grand Duke’s Theatre functioned for many years as a hideout and dive for these young people. Constant fighting at the theatre finally led cops to shut the ad hoc playhouse down. But as legend would have it, these kids wrote and starred in their own plays and musicals, something that would be mimicked forty years later on film in Hal Roach’s “The L’il Rascals” television show.

    But back to Jacob Riis’ books (he did a few sequels), of which the saddest case studies are of Katie and Pietro. This is because they spoke to us. And we don’t know what happened to them. Luckily, both kids were with their families, Pietro sitting at the kitchen table of their tenement flat, as he seems eager to learn his letters and school lessons – his proud father, probably tired as hell after a long day at the docks or pushing a cart looks over his son and with his broken English he says “Pietro is a good boy”.

    Father and Pietro

    Father and Pietro

    And across Manhattan, while Katie helps her mother by cleaning and doing chores. When asked by Jacob Riis what the little one does all day, she simply replied “I scrubs”. But she also went to school. Katie took care of the house, as everybody else in the poor family worked.

    Katie

    Katie

    And we sign off today by bringing you, the dear reader, a rare photo of The Short-Tails, or Shirt-Tales, a well known NYC gang during the era. They numbered in the fifties. Most of these gangs were just drunks who loved to fight and steal. It’s also hard to look tough wearing a bowler hat, but they did. At least two of them have what seems like that thousand-yard stare from being in one too many battles.

    Photo taken by NYPD police boat under a pier as the boys shared a pail of beer

    Photo taken by NYPD police boat under a pier as the boys shared a pail of beer

    Sources:

    Low Life by Luc Sante

    The books of Jacob Riis

    Authentic History.com

     
  • John 2:21 pm on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: legs diamond, prohibition   

    Legs Diamond: Cheap Mug & Package Thief 

    In the old news articles, if you were a crook on the business end of crime piece, they were bound to have fun with your odd physiology – if you possessed anything noteworthy. Criminals were often referred to as being short, fat, having a swarthy complexion. If it was a female then maybe she was “a bit on the heavy side” or how the “femme-sneak thief had stunningly beautiful raven hair”. And in the more innocent human interest stories they always maintain that “so-and-so, a smart and pretty girl, won the bake sale”.

    Legs was one of those gangsters who was adored by the public, for whatever reasons.

    Diamond’s ostrich-like limbs seemed to start at his Adam’s apple … he ran like an ostrich … and so he made his getaway by legging it:

    Posthumous article.

    Posthumous article.

     

     
  • John 11:11 am on August 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    A Gallery Of Mob Funerals 

    1932

    A mobster’s family and his friends will spare no expense on his final day above ground. When Joe “the Boss” Masseria was gunned down in 1931, his casket cost $15,000:

    joe-masseria

    In contrast, when Mad Dog Coll was rubbed out the following year in 1932 in a Manhattan phone booth, hardly anyone attended his funeral. Mad Dog was not well liked for he was a kidnapping-for-ransom and extortion thug. He also shot up a sidewalk full of children in 1931 while attempting to kill another gangster. This incident became known as the “Harlem Baby Massacre”. A dozen people showed up in the mud for Mad Dog’s burial. The writer casts it as a spooky scene, almost:

    mad-dog1932

    And here is the promised gallery – many a rogue’s final day on Earth:

     
  • John 10:36 am on August 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: landship recruit   

    The Landship USS Recruit 

    After two years in Manhattan, she was to be dismantled, moved to Coney Island and reassembled, but her fate after this initial docking in Union Square remains unknown.

    USS Recruit, also known as the Landship Recruit, was a wooden mockup of a dreadnought battleship constructed by the United States Navy in Manhattan in New York City, as a recruiting tool and training ship during the First World War. Commissioned as if it were a normal vessel of the U.S. Navy and manned by a crew of trainee sailors, Recruit was located in Union Square from 1917 until the end of the war. In 1920, with the reduced requirements for manning in the post-war Navy, Recruit was decommissioned, dismantled, and moved to Coney Island. The New York Times reported at the time that the “Landship” had helped the U.S. Navy recruit 25,000 men into the service—625 times the size of her own crew, and enough to crew twenty-eight battleships.

     
    • Gayle 11:48 am on August 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is very interesting. That’s a lot of recruitments made from just the site of a ship. Photos of old war submarines or displayed in a museum are cool. It wouldn’t have taken much to recruit me at the site of one of those back then!

    • Gayle 12:08 pm on August 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      …and great photos too!

    • Matthew Wright 12:11 am on August 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing story – it must have been almost surreal, back then, to see a ‘dreadnought’ sitting in the middle of New York!

  • John 4:19 pm on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    True Lies: John Holmes and Scott Thorson 

    Addiction is a medical problem; a brain disease and is lifelong. So says the famous celebrity addiction counselor, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He goes further: “Once the switch to addiction is thrown, then it is a chronic, lifelong condition … addicts tell me that while they are sober, their addiction is doing push-ups, waiting to re-emerge and take over … it’s a brain disorder and it’s waiting and lurking in them.” Dr. Drew also says that when an addict begins to offer you a promise or an explanation, then you should cover your ears because you are about to receive a big load of bullshit.

    John Holmes and Scott Thorson

    So then – what can we say about these two men? Apparently, there is quite a bit because they really had a lot in common.

    Both men were originally from very humble beginnings in the Midwest – John from Ohio and Scott by way of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The pair each lived and worked on the edge of true celebrity and on the fringes of the entertainment world; enough celebrity fire to at least capture the friendship of Eddie Nash. Yet both became immersed in the hardcore world of drugs. Both men shared a love lust for the same drug – freebase rock cocaine – Crack!

    These two men have both had movies made about them, and both have become, by their own actions and mistakes – legendary figures. Both have ghost-written books, with Scott’s coming out the same year John died. Almost star-crossed, they have so much in common that it is almost like they were separated at birth, moved away and then as adults, veered towards the same destiny. The most common trait between these two men however, were the lies. It was that you could not believe a thing that came out of their mouths. They have also lied to themselves, and betrayed their own emotions.

    IMG_0275

    I should be delivering furniture in Ohio

    Everybody lies to get something they want on occasion, but according to the annals of psychiatry, “a pathological liar may be aware they are lying, or may believe they are telling the truth, being unaware that they are relating fantasies”. One origin of this behavior begins with a chaotic home life and generally starts to grow during a person’s teenage years. At this stage, due to insecurities, they begin to lie to cast themselves in a favorable light, as to “decorate their own person”. That says it all right there. Furthermore, the liar does not really believe the lies, and knows which are true if pressed for the truth, but, in cases of rather extreme traumatic events and to save conscience, the liar can easily “lie it away” quite quickly, in other words even lie to themselves to get it off their mental table or conscience – and bury it away as truth.

    The morning of the murders, when John was asked by his estranged wife, Sharon, how he could have been involved in something like that since the victims were his friends, he simply replied “they were dirt.”

    Decorate Their Own Person

    Like any book, writing your autobiography can be quite a difficult task. It is even harder to pen your life story though when you cannot keep your lies straight within the book itself and most damaging, keep the lies straight with things that you say on record that are to the contrary, before and after the book has been published.

    In the Wonderland realm, there have been three key figures who have accomplished this amazing feat: John Holmes, Scott Thorson and Dawn Schiller. Leaving Dawn out of this (for now), Holmes and Thorson could not even keep their lies straight even when it came time to capture, for the entire world to see, their own life story. They had already told different stories before the books were printed, and most damaging, Scott did it afterward as well.

    A person’s autobiography is the holiest of holies when it comes to your legacy, even if you do not have an exciting story to tell. These men did have great stories to tell, but they could not keep the lies from changing long enough to even let themselves die first. When you scan the online reader reviews for these books, even the average person has noticed it, and almost all of them mention it.

    Old things, dead and buried, often get new life breathed into them. Books are no different and due to the success of the 2013 film based on the 1988 book of the same name, Behind the Candelabra has gained some brief popularity and was re-released in electronic form with a few minor additions.

    Thus, I found Scott’s new Afterword. Yes, Scott (aka Jess Marlow) had an opportunity to add an Afterword section to the end of his famous book and he tells us what he has been doing lately. But what does he do with this opportunity? He lies. Scott stretches this short couple of paragraphs so that he can squeeze a lie in there. And here it is (paraphrased): As a person in witness protection because he was a witness against feared L.A. nightclub owner Eddie Nash, an attempt was made on his life by associates of Eddie Nash about a year after the trial. The only problem was, Nash’s first trial was a hung jury, and the second trial ended in acquittal. Nash was acquitted due to Scott’s flimsy testimony, not convicted. It would make no sense to kill him, at all. Unbelievable, yet sadly rather believable if you know Scott’s history of lying. By the way, Scott is trying to put together another book or movie about himself and is looking for investors with this project.

    Indeed, an attempt was made on Jess Marlow’s life, sure. It was at a cheap motel in Jacksonville in November, 1991. That did happen. However, the would-be assassin at the room that night was no pro, but simply a longtime petty thief and crack-head, a twenty-five year old man named Melvin Jerome Owen. He was arrested shortly after the shooting.

    According to police, they may have been smoking crack together in the room before the shooting, due to all of the paraphernalia lying about. The one good thing to come from the shooting though for Scott was that his own body and heart did not betray him. Although shot 3 times in the chest and after spending many weeks on the critical list, the authorities would later say “..it was very serious, nobody thought he would make it. But he just kept living and living and he finally recovered”. In his Afterword, Scott even raises the number of bullets that were pumped into his body by the assassin from three… to five. He lied again, yet he cheated death. After this, he moved in with a nice lady in Maine for about ten years. He lived clean, but later said that that felt like he was living a lie, so he went back to being a shit head.

    In his own book, Porn King, John Holmes tells a great story. But that is just it, a story. It was public knowledge via court testimony and news articles that John’s whereabouts on the night of the Wonderland murders was inside the house, with the killers. He was made to watch what they did to his friends. His attorneys admitted this much in court. Holmes admitted this to cops as well, albeit “off the record”. But when his long awaited book was published posthumously, the story had changed again. This time, he was not at the house, but kept at gunpoint at another house while his friends were brutally killed. He states that when they released him, he did go back to the Wonderland house, acting bravely, to check on them – only to discover the carnage that awaited him – “Their heads had been pulverized” and other such nonsense. Sharon Holmes statements about certain events even show that he couldn’t even keep his employment history straight – not remembering that his term as ambulance driver was “while” they were married, and not before they hooked up.

    John feared for the members of his family. All of this had been his fault and he knew it. This lie – even though it subverted justice and harmed many other people, does have a hint of real purpose behind it. In his eyes, it saved the lives of his family from the revenge of Eddie Nash. He could have come clean in his posthumous book, but there we are again, with his family exposed to danger. Even a liar loves his mother.

    For love or lust, there is nothing wrong with being emotionally or physically involved in a homosexual relationship. Next to Adam and Eve, it may even be the oldest hook-up known to mankind. Gay sex. The ancients were famous for it. But if you do it merely and solely for financial gain, then like any hetero tryst for hire, society has a word for that:  whore. Whether gay or bisexual or not at all, both John and Scott explored homosexuality in a grand public fashion, yet in a false way; because it was for their own individual financial gain. John did it in a video. Scott did it as Liberace’s always present boy-toy. And Scott told Larry King he was not gay.

    Neither man was gay or bisexual. John hinted at it, but only did one film and maybe a few old loops. Scott says he was solely with Liberace. But both men compromised their sexuality and emotions just for money and drugs. Scott did it on the long term, while John on the short, and both of their little escapades would end up in death and disaster, physically and legally.

    After John Holmes’ murder trial in 1982 and not too long after he had just been freed from jail, a morally and financially bankrupt Holmes starred in one gay porn film (The Private Pleasures of John C. Holmes) and in it, he had unprotected sex with a man named Joey Yale. Joey died of AIDS a few years later. AIDS was pretty much an unknown then, besides this was just for some quick cash.

    When Scott lied to Tom Lange and authorities about being at Nash’s house the night Holmes was brought in by the collar, it was to save his ass from going to jail for up to ten years from an aggravated assault and burglary during a home invasion. That’s three home invasions in this story so far, four if you count the robbery of the man in the Valley by Lind, Billy and Ronnie pre-Nash. That’s the one where Ronnie wanted to kill the maid, but Dave and Billy would not allow it.

    Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox.

     
    • localarts 9:28 am on August 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      When you are so full of shit that you don’t even know who you are and you’re life is built on a pack of lies, the result is an endless stream of contradictions. That would be the case with Holmes. Many of his fans blame his behavior and shortcomings on drug addiction and to a degree, that’s true. What defined John Holmes as a man is the same thing that defines all of us… that is our character. And in that department he was sorley lacking. Big time!

    • Jill Nelson 8:32 am on August 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great read, John. I can’t disagree with anything you’ve put forth except to concur that memoirs (and particularly memoirs penned or ghost-penned by the famous and infamous) are easy to pick apart for holes if you have familiarity to, or even an inkling of the (real) story. Mostly, I agree with your comments as well, localarts. The only thing I would like to add is my belief that despite genetics playing a major role in forming our characters, our characters are also largely subject to and shaped by our home environments. And yes, our characters are definitely what defines us. From the get go, Holmes, and most likely Thorson as well, was groomed to survive at all costs. This is evident throughout John’s life beginning when he was a child, and in that regard, only the surface has been scratched.
      As I’ve maintained for many years, excuse making and comprehension are perhaps different sides of the same coin. Lies, deception and hustle are necessary tools to perpetuate the con game to the point where truth becomes fiction. Self-loathing factors in big time.
      Thanks. I enjoy popping in whenever I get a chance.🙂

    • criticextraordinaire 6:22 pm on August 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      John C. Holmes was not on the edge of celebrity. He was a huge celebrity in the 1970’s. I remember the local newspaper running full page ads, pitching the latest Johnny Wadd film. “Come see the Johnny Wadd Film Festival… free coffee and donuts at dawn!” ran one ad.

      Can you imagine any porn star today getting that sort of coverage? Bob Vosse was right… Johnny Wadd was the Elvis Presley of his day.

      As for John’s performance in “Private Pleasures” it was certainly a mercenary act. Anything for a buck and Johnny “Cash” Holmes was up for working that equation. Well, not really “up” for that until they brought in Sharon Kane as a stunt butt. You could clearly see that John’s mind was not into the performance, he was probably thinking about how he was going to rotate the tires on Amerson’s car while he was doing the action scenes for this flick.

      I don’t see John as having “exploited homosexuality” as much as I see him simply doing a film with a simulated homosexual act (albeit with Ms. Kane) for a buck. Heck he would have corn holed a rhesus monkey if they had paid him; to him it was simply getting a paycheck by impaling anything that was even remotely available. Thorson, on the other hand, seems to link every thing that happens to him as somehow related to his gayness.

  • John 4:51 pm on August 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: peter ottati   

    Peter Ottati Gets His Comeuppance In 1916 

    Peter Ottati was an Italian interpreter at one of the marriage license bureaus in Brooklyn during the 1910’s. He was appointed to the job by Tammany hoodlums back in 1908. The job paid about $100 per month and was a political appointment which made the newspapers. $1,200 salary per year in 1908 was a nice piece of change in today’s money. Ottati also owned a garage on Humboldt St. in Brooklyn that had a bad reputation. Ottati was some type of wise-guy back in 1908 – exactly what kind remains unknown. But he liked taking young girls for rides in his car… and sometimes back to the garage.

    The following two photos were given to detectives to help track down Peter Ottati, who was wanted for molesting the young girls of the neighborhood. The garage was about one mile from the victim’s home in Brooklyn. I have no idea what the courtroom photo below is all about: but two ladies are crying, one girl is smiling like she doesn’t give a shit, and the matron in the middle is smiling like the field trip to the courthouse went smoothly. I have no clue as to what Peter was doing there or if this court scene was his own. He may have fled the state of New York, as Peter drops off the map after this ~

    The girl mentioned in the article… Lillian Masem: The above incidents occurred in and around 1916. By 1920, Lillian Masem was eighteen years-old and working as a machine operator at an envelope factory, her father was a builder at an orchard and her older sister was a clerk in an office. She lost a brother in France in 1918 (WW1) and her mother died when she was a toddler. She lost her father in the 1940s and a few other siblings around that time. Lillian lived to be 67 years-old and died in May, 1969.
    RIP, honey.

     
  • John 4:19 pm on August 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clarksdale, coahoma, john bell hood, orphans   

    The Ghost of Matagorda Plantation 

    This post is about the grandson of the famous Confederate General, John Bell Hood.

    Matagorda in winter.

    Matagorda in winter.

    Farmer and former Confederate, David M. Russell, was a wealthy planter who owned a large plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi. In 1879, he adopted one of John Bell Hood’s orphans after both parents died in New Orleans of yellow fever. A call was put out by friends and this boy, John Jr., and nine other siblings (including three sets of twins) were adopted by families across the southern and northeastern United States.

    John Bell Hood, Jr. was raised on Matagorda Plantation during the late 1800s by Colonel Russell. When the aging “Colonel” David Russell passed away in the late 1910s, John, Jr. married Russell’s second and much younger wife, Maggie. After John took over the plantation, it continued to prosper into the 1920s. For John and his once-stepmother/now-wife, they were living the American dream.

    Maggie, Robin, John Jr and John III

    Maggie, Robin, John Jr and John III

    By the mid-1920s, the couple had two young boys, John Bell Hood III, and James – affectionately known as Robin (Hood). But tragedy struck the family during the 1930s. While playing near some farming equipment, the older boy John III, was mangled to death. He was less than ten years old. The family was devastated.

    The boy’s mother, Maggie, was originally from Boston. She married Mr. Russell after first becoming his nurse, as he was suffering from an illness at the time. He died a few years later and left everything to John, Jr., who promptly married his adoptive father’s widow.

    Maggie was a very religious woman – a devout Catholic, and she had one room in the Matagorda mansion made into a chapel. At this chapel, she encouraged young Robin to pray for his older brother for an hour each day.

    At fourteen, Robin was sent away to boarding school in Arizona. It was a ranch school for boys where they would learn prep courses and also hands-on ranching ways and sports. At the start of World War II, the family and Robin changed his given name to that of his dead older brother, John Bell Hood III. And so when he volunteered for the draft and also on his Veteran grave marker, the name reads that of his deceased older brother:  John Bell Hood III.

    Yearbook photo, 1930s. Fresnal Ranch School for Boys. Tucson, AZ.

    Robin, 1930s (yearbook photo). Fresnal Ranch School for Boys. Tucson, AZ.

    Robin had served with distinction during World War Two. After the war, the big Matagorda Plantation had prospered for a while, but the family’s fortunes had diminished. Robin’s father, John Jr., had died in 1947 at age 75. His mother, Maggie, was also gone. With just Robin left, the plantation and farm began its decline into the 1960s. And so did Robin’s mind. By the late 1960’s, his mental state had begun to decline. But even during the 1950’s, neighbors warned their boys to stay away from Matagorda because “Robin is crazy”. Rumors like these floated across the countryside of northwestern Mississippi near Clarksdale.

    By Christmas of 1968, Robin had been fully committed to Whitfield State Insane Hospital as it was then called, near Jackson. It was and is a beautiful place. The one-hundred year-old oak trees that line Old Whitfield Road are symbolic of the peace and serenity which one would hope to receive at the equally beautiful hospital on its magnificent grounds with its colonial style buildings and rolling landscapes.

    In 1975-6, Robin whether cured or not, was released by the hospital. He returned to his land, now just a house and about twenty acres – the family was flat broke. What had been sold off by administrators was to help pay taxes and debts.

    Robin was often spotted wandering and shadowing the property into the 1980s. Robin aka John Bell Hood III, the grandson of the famous Confederate general, died at an old folks home in Mississippi in 1987 at age 60.

    RIP Robin.

    RIP Robin.

     
  • John 12:03 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eusebio olmo, henrietta bulte   

    Henrietta Gets The Wanderlust 

    In 1920, a teenage girl from New York City vanished while on an errand to the bank for her father. What was first thought by family in the newspapers to be a kidnapping-for-ransom, later turned out to be something much more simple. Ransom kidnappings were more common during that period, but that is not what happened. And then a random scammer still tried to collect and so her family must have been horrified:

    henrietta-news

    With over $250 to deposit at the bank, Henrietta Bulte instead could not resist her dream and decided to head west to Hollywood, like so many kids have done since. Henrietta wanted to become a famous actress, as her schoolmates would later divulge. And although she enjoyed her trip, even stopping for sightseeing in Philadelphia and Chicago before reaching L.A., it would not be long before she was found. A detective was hot on her trail. Henrietta would later say to reporters, “I left home of my own volition, but I am glad to be back…”. Her tale either warned or tempted other girls with “wanderlust”.

    At the time, Henrietta was living here on 116th street with her family:

    The brown building in the middle. East Harlem.

    The brown building in the middle. East Harlem.

    While in Chicago, the independence-seeking girl even ended up as a “hash slinger” at a restaurant, just for something to do. She was a “Harvey Girl” at the Harvey chain of eateries, like Judy Garland in that movie. When Henrietta was returned home, much of the cash that she hijacked from dad had been spent. This is the photo given to police officers to aid in finding her. They wasted no time in sending the picture, along with a missing persons spec sheet to police departments around the country:

    Everyone had one photo of their self back then.

    Seems like everyone had one photo of their self back then.

    She said that she would have been a success had it not been for the police.

    Untitled

    It seems that no ladies are named Henrietta anymore. Gone are all of these classic and fifty-cent-handle names. Maybe they will make a comeback someday.

    In 1925, Henrietta and her sister were living with their father on 101st St. in Queens. Their father of course was a “Cigarmaker” and the two girls did “Housework”, according to the census.

    In 1930, she was still living in New York at age 24 with her younger sister and brother. She worked as a saleswoman in a “specialty shop” while her siblings toiled away as stenographer for a mail-order house, and the brother was a messenger for the telephone company. None were married. They resided at 8134 Baxter Ave in Elmhurst, Queens. They lived at this apartment building above a shop:

    baxterave

    Also in 1930, Bulte traveled solo aboard a ship to visit relatives in Cuba.

    In 1935, she married Eusebio Olmo in Manhattan.

    Henrietta caught the fame she was after, if only for a moment. She never did set the world on fire though, but she seemed to have lived a happy life in the Big Apple. She was a little firecracker and was probably a lot of fun. Henrietta lived to old age – she died at 103 years old in 2008 and is buried in Catskill, New York. And today she is gone but not forgotten.

    Untitled4

     

    Untitled3

     
    • Gayle 7:06 pm on August 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great story! I like Henrietta, she’s adventurous. Girls want excitement! It’s interesting to know that girls ran away to Hollywood even in those days.

  • John 10:10 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Tomcat Puts Court Out Of Commission 

    W.H. Carlson was a banker on trial for embezzlement, although there were “a number of other charges”. And the tomcat, he “was exempt from contempt proceedings”.

    From 1909 in Los Angeles. “Don’t Butt In”:

    1909-cat-court

     
  • John 4:47 pm on July 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cbs murders, donald nash   

    The Weepy-Faced Hit Man Buys The Farm 

    “There’s nothing quite like a weepy-faced hit man to really pull at your heartstrings”

    -Dominick Dunne

    Donald Nash was a deli-counterman until he set his sights on a higher calling – hit man.

    The Nash has left this world. He died on June 2, 2016 at the ripe old age of 80 in New York’s Green Haven prison facility.

    People v. Nash, 654 N.Y.S.2d 75 

    Irwin Margolies had a problem: he’d committed a 5.7 million-dollar jewelry fraud, and two former employees—Jenny Soo Chin and Margaret Barbera—were critical witnesses in the federal investigation. So he and his lawyer hired a hitman. Donald Nash asked for $8,000 per murder. Donald Nash was once caught utilizing a counterfeit taxi cab. This “fake cab” was so he would not have to pay fees or report income. And he had not yet answered for that crime, when he committed these murders.

    dengrove_2771

    The diminutive Nash in court

    On January 5, 1982, Jenny Soo Chin was abducted in Queens. Two witnesses saw an assailant in a ski mask come up behind Chin and shove her into her own station wagon. He then entered the driver’s side and drove away. Chin’s car was discovered abandoned and bloodstained nine days later. Her body was never found.

    The following April 12, Angelo Sticca was trying to catch up with three of his fellow employees on the roof of a Hudson River garage when he heard snapping sounds. About 50 feet away, he saw a man dragging a woman’s limp body toward a van. Sticca’s peers—Leo Kuranuki, Robert Schulze, and Edward Benford—tried to intervene. The gunman shot them each once in the head. Sticca fled in his car. Margaret Barbera’s body was found in Manhattan the next morning.

    Irwin Margolies at his trial

    Irwin Margolies at his own trial

    When Nash was caught fleeing the state in the midwest and brought back to New York amidst cameras and reporters, he puffed out his lower lip, choking back tears. He knew that the cops had him cold = Shell casings, an eyewitness, etc.

    Nash’s prosecutor brought a grocery cart to court filled with forensic evidence such as hair samples, a bloody bed sheet, and shell casings. It also helped that on the witness stand, Margolies’s attorney disclosed damning evidence about his client. On May 24, 1983, Nash was convicted of four counts of second-degree murder and a single count of conspiracy. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison. Margolies was sentenced to 50 years for ordering the murders and died of a heart attack a few years later.

    The Nash at left

    The Nash at left

    While Nash was in prison, he chalked up another murder. That of a fellow inmate while working in the kitchen. He had fashioned a board with sharp objects and swung it by a rope. While guards tried to break in the door, Nash kept at the man until he was dead.

    New York Prison System file. Discharged due to being Deceased:

    Identifying and Location Information
    As of 07/27/16
    DIN (Department Identification Number) 83A4150
    Inmate Name NASH, DONALD
    Sex MALE
    Date of Birth 12/09/1935
    Race / Ethnicity WHITE
    Custody Status DISCHARGED
    Housing / Releasing Facility GREEN HAVEN
    Date Received (Original) 06/24/1983
    Date Received (Current) 06/24/1983
    Admission Type
    County of Commitment NEW YORK
    Latest Release Date / Type (Released Inmates Only) 06/02/16 DECEASED
     
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