Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Officer Down

Police Officer Charleston V. Hartfield
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada
End of Watch: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Age: 34
Tour: 11 years
Badge # 9008

Police Officer Charles Hartfield was shot and killed while taking off duty action to rescue citizens during the active shooter incident at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Officer Hartfield was attending the concert, with his wife, when a gunman opened fire on the audience from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Hundreds of citizens were struck by gunfire. Officer Hartfield immediately attempted to assist some of the casualties when he was fatally struck by one of the rounds.

The gunman committed suicide as members of the SWAT team made entry into the room he was barricaded in. Fifty-eight people were killed and over 500 were wounded during the incident.

Officer Hartfield was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Don’t see nothing....

You were just wanting quick and easy OT before the holidays...or you’re about to OD or lunch....

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and be safe out there fellow cops!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Officer Down

Corporal Michael Paul Middlebrook
Lafayette Police Department, Louisiana
End of Watch: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Age: 44
Tour: 9 years
Badge # 13780

Corporal Michael Middlebrook was shot and killed while responding to a shooting at a convenience store, near the intersection of Moss Street and Van Buren Street, at approximately 10:00 pm.

The call was originally dispatched as a person with a gun but was upgraded to a shooting. As Corporal Middlebrook arrived on scene a male subject opened fire on him, engaging him in a shootout. Corporal Middlebrook was fatally wounded during the exchange.

The man fled the scene but was later arrested and charged with first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder.

Corporal Middlebrook had served with the Lafayette Police Department for nine years and served with the U.S. Army as a military policeman. He was studying to become a pastor. He is survived by his wife, 3-year-old daughter, and two young stepdaughters.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Mottos and Watchwords....

Every day Bill Bennett, former Education Secretary, sends outs an email of historical events that happened on this date. Today was an interesting one, the words of various branches of the services and their academies. Interesting quick read. Enjoy!
Mottos and Watchwords of Some Who Defend Us

The various branches of the military and many military units have mottos that sum up their missions. The slogans speak volumes about the character of the men and women who serve in uniform. Here are a few of the mottos – some official, some unofficial – of those who defend us.

Army – This We’ll Defend

Navy – Non sibi sed patriae (Not for self, but for country)

Air Force – Above All

Marine Corps – Semper Fidelis (Always Loyal)

Coast Guard – Semper Paratus (Always Prepared)

National Guard – Always ready, always there

U.S. Military Academy (West Point) – Duty, Honor, Country

U.S. Naval Academy – Ex Scientia Tridens (From Knowledge, Sea Power)

U. S. Air Force Academy - Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do

U.S. Coast Guard Academy – Scientiae Cedit Mare (The sea yields to knowledge)

Green Berets – De Oppresso Liber (To liberate the oppressed)

Army Rangers – Sua Sponte (Of Their Own Accord) and Rangers Lead the Way

Army Corps of Engineers – Essayons (Let us try)

Navy Seals – The only easy day was yesterday

Seabees – Construimus, Batuimus (We Build, We Fight) and Can Do!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Issues with vehicle attacks.....

In discussions with people over gun control, a point I've made, and made, and made....and made again. If I want to kill you, I will find a way. I don't need a gun to do it.

A month ago a man a couple dozen rifles murdered 58 people at a concert. A few weeks ago an imported terrorist (Thanks George GW Bush and Chuck Schumer) murdered 8 with a rented pickup. In 1995 a domestic terrorist used another rented truck and a homemade bomb to murder over 100 at a federal office. Last year a domestic terrorist used a rifle to murder 5 cops in Dallas.

What ties all together? They wanted to murder multiple people for various reasons (McVeigh for revenge on the Waco incident, Sayfullo Saipov wanted to get his virgins, Micah Xavier Johnson to avenge black men and we still have no idea why Stephen Paddock committed his murders). Most of the were not on "official radar" like the Boston Bombing suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (and the FBI was nice enough to not advise the local cops....thanks Eric Holder, Robert Muller and James Comey).

Well, a look at why using a car as a weapon is such a challenge to combat.
Why vehicle attacks, ISIS' preferred method of terror, are so hard to prevent

Stopping the kind of vehicular attacks like the one that killed eight people in New York City on Tuesday afternoon has been a top concern for law enforcement agencies worldwide in the wake of deadly attacks in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and now the U.S.

But experts say it's also one of the hardest threats to predict and guard against.

"This kind of attack is very difficult, and probably the most difficult, for law enforcement to protect and prevent," said Steve Gomez, former FBI agent and ABC News contributor.

The main reason why the suspect in the New York attack, 29-year-old New Jersey resident Sayfullo Saipov, wasn't on authorities' radar was because he didn't buy a gun, Gomez said. Instead, he was armed with a pellet gun and paintball gun, so the government would not have been able to monitor any firearm purchases, he said.

Without him purchasing a gun, the only other way investigators would have been able to "truly detect and prevent this" would have been an "aggressive investigation" into his associates, Gomez said.

Here are a few of the reasons why guarding against vehicle attacks can be so difficult:

A general threat from ISIS is always in existence

Ever since ISIS instructed its followers to deploy the use of large vehicles to attack crowds two years ago, the general threat has been almost constant, Gomez said.

Although law enforcement agencies have "great difficulty," in stopping vehicle attacks, authorities have much more ability to intervene if they have "intelligence that indicates that something like this may happen," said Ray Kelly, former NYPD police commissioner and ABC News consultant.

"So, we know the threat exists," Gomez said. "Any kind of venue, where there are crowds, we have to recognize that the vehicular attack is the preferred method based on ISIS' instructions to its followers worldwide, because it's hard to detect."

It's up to law enforcement to take proactive measures to stop the threat, Gomez said.

NYPD Shield and the FBI's Operation Tripwire are two programs that do this by establishing and maintaining contact with private businesses, such as rental car companies. Authorities instruct the companies to be aware of suspicious behavior or red flags that someone may exhibit when renting a vehicle, Gomez said.

"That kind of proactive measure has to be in place ... something that's constantly nurtured," he said.

'If you see something, say something...'

Might be an issue after years of the Obama regime and political correctness. Remember the San Bernadine shooting in 2015? People saw someone but didn't want to say something.

Syed Farook’s Neighbors Didn’t Report ‘Suspicious Activity’ For Fear of Profiling

Several of Syed Farook‘s neighbors told ABC News they noticed “suspicious activity” at the home of the San Bernardino shooter, as well as his mother’s home at another location. No reports were made, however, for fear of being accused of racial profiling...

Oh, joy. Again, we're also having issues with the feds not sharing information state and local officials. See the Boston Bombing.
Know where the crowds are

From a security preparedness standpoint, it's up to law enforcement and private security officials to recognize where the crowds are, Gomez said.

"The crowds are the target," he said. "The attacker is looking to kill as many people as possible."

Then, it's up to authorities to strategically place security barriers -- such as bollards -- based on where the crowds will be, whether on a daily basis or for a specific event, "to ensure that those crowds will not be able to be accessed or targeted by the vehicle," Gomez said...

I could make a sarcastic remake about licensing auto drivers, but seeing I issue tickets regularly for people without licenses, and you can get auto insurance on your car with a license (at least in Texas), I won't go there. In the aftermath of the Vegas shooting, I was speaking with a friend who said venues like that may need to hire police snipers for protection. Looks like we're gonna need someone to over us with barriers also.

Strange new world...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Officer Down

Detective Kristen Hearne
Polk County Police Department, Georgia
End of Watch: Friday, September 29, 2017
Age: 29
Tour: 5 years
Badge # 844

Detective Kristen Hearne was shot and killed as she and another officer responded to reports of a stolen vehicle at the intersection of Highway 100 and Santa Claus Road.

As the officers arrived at the location they were ambushed by a male subject. Detective Hearne, who was not wearing a vest, was fatally wounded. The second officer was struck in the vest and was wounded.

A female subject was taken into custody at the scene. The male subject fled the scene but was arrested a short time later after a massive manhunt and charged with murder.

Detective Hearne had served with the Polk County Police Department for five years. She is survived by her husband and 3-year-old child.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

I'm gonna follow you

I've seen the current list of "bad girls" of music, and I have to laugh. Party because I'm getting older and my taste in music has solidified. And yea youngin, your music does suck.
But also some of your "artist" (excuse me, I just spit my coffee) are worthless. There were strong women who broke the mole for their sisters, but they come from the 60s (e.g. Cher, Janice Joplin and Tina Turner), the 70s (Chrissie Hynde, Stephie Nicks, Joan Jett, and the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy) and 80s (Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox). I'll highlight one of the woman of the 1970s and beyond, Patricia Mae Andrzejewski, better known as Pat Benatar.

The women I listed actually had talent, wrote their own music (Not just listed their name as an co-author to get mailbox money), could play various instruments and pushed the envelope in music and sex appeal. Trust me, as a teenager in the 70s, I didn't object when Pat came out with her ballerina tights or leather pants. She was 5-0, 98 pounds and had a voice that would knock you on your ass. Being trained in opera at a young age gives you a range of voice. I finally got to see her back in 2010, and she is still one sexy senior citizen. But her talent is really shown on this cover of Billy Thermal's I'm gonna follow you. Awesome song, great play with blues influences and obsessive dark overtones, it's an incredible video (from back when MTV actually showed music).

From the woman who had the second video every played on MTV, Pat Benatar. Enjoy. And have a great weekend!

The months leading up the Hitler's biggest mistake

Legend has it that Stalin, faced with the German's sacking Moscow in October 1941, contemplated his next move during a staff meeting. And he looked outside the window and saw a snow starting to fall. Then the General Secretary looked at this generals and announced, "Gentlemen, General Winter has arrived..." Knowing the Germans had to succeed quickly before the harsh Russian weather, Stalin knew he could hold on. While Germany had the technology, the Soviet Union had the numbers. And Uncle Joe has no issue with sending his men into a bloodbath.

Late last year I subscribed to Foreign Affairs and enjoy their in depth articles on current issues. I found this interesting, a look at what Hitler should have known was an error. He criticized Napoleon for fighting a war on two fronts. And he did the same, over lines of communication that stretched thousands of miles.

Excerpts from this month's article.
When Stalin Faced Hitler

Who Fooled Whom?

Stephen Kotkin
STEPHEN KOTKIN is John P. Birkelund ‘52 Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. This essay is adapted from his most recent book, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 (Penguin Press, 2017), the second in a three-volume biography of the Soviet leader.
Through the first four decades of his life, Joseph Stalin achieved little. He was born in 1878 to a poor family in Gori, Georgia, then part of the Russian empire. His father was a cobbler; his mother, a cleaning lady and seamstress. Stalin’s childhood, illnesses and mishaps included, was largely normal for the time. He received good marks in school and, as a teenager, got his poems published in well-regarded Georgian periodicals. (“To this day his beautiful, sonorous lyrics echo in my ears,” one reader would later recall.) But he did not sit for his final-year exams at the Tiflis Seminary and failed to graduate. Instead of becoming a priest, he became an underground revolutionary fighting tsarist oppression, spending the next 20 years hiding, organizing, and serving time in prison and internal exile in Siberia.

Stalin’s life was altered forever by the outbreak of total war in 1914, which helped precipitate the Russian tsar’s abdication in February 1917 and, later that year, a putsch by radical leftists led by Vladimir Lenin. Suddenly, the 39-year-old Stalin was a leading member of the new Bolshevik regime.

He played a central role in the Russian Civil War and the creation of the Soviet Union. In 1922, Lenin appointed him head of the Communist Party. A month later, Lenin was incapacitated by a stroke, and Stalin seized his chance to create his own personal dictatorship inside the larger Bolshevik one. Beginning in the late 1920s, he forced through the building of a socialist state, herding 120 million peasants onto collective farms or into the gulag and arresting and murdering immense numbers of loyal people in the officer corps, the secret police, embassies, spy networks, scientific and artistic circles, and party organizations.

The vast shadow of Stalin the despot often hides Stalin the human being. He collected watches. He played skittles and billiards. He loved gardening and Russian steam baths. He liked colored pencils—blue, red, and green. He drank mineral water and wines from his native Georgia. He smoked a pipe, using tobacco from cigarettes, which he would unroll and slide into the pipe—usually two cigarettes’ worth—and then light with matches. He kept his desk in order.

Stalin had a passion for books, which he marked up and filled with placeholders to find particular passages. His personal library would ultimately grow to more than 20,000 volumes. He annotated works by Karl Marx and Lenin, of course, but also Russian translations of Plato and Clausewitz, as well as the writings of Alexander Svechin, a former tsarist officer whom Stalin never trusted but who demonstrated that the only constant in war was an absence of constants. Among Russian authors, Stalin’s favorite was probably Anton Chekhov, who portrayed villains, and not just heroes, with complexity. Still, judging by the references scattered among his writings and speeches, he spent more time reading Soviet-era literature. His jottings in whatever he read were often irreverent: “Rubbish,” “fool,” “scumbag,” “piss off,” “ha-ha!”

Stalin’s manners were coarse, and his sense of humor perverse. But he cultivated a statesmanlike appearance, editing out his jokes and foul language from the transcripts of official gatherings. He appears to have had few mistresses, and definitely no harem. His family life was neither particularly happy nor unhappy. Personal life was subsumed in politics.

Stalin spoke softly, sometimes inaudibly, because of a defect in his vocal cords. He relished being called Koba, after the Georgian folk-hero avenger (and a real-life benefactor who had underwritten Stalin’s education). But one childhood chum had called him Geza, a Gori-dialect term for the unusual gait Stalin had developed after an accident. He had to swing his hip all the way around to walk. A childhood bout with smallpox had left lifelong scars on his nose, lower lip, chin, and cheeks.

It is tempting to find in such deformities the wellsprings of bloody tyranny: torment, self-loathing, inner rage, bluster, a mania for adulation. His pockmarks were airbrushed out of public photographs, and his awkward stride was hidden from public view. (Film of him walking was prohibited.) But people who met him saw the facial disfigurement and odd movement; they also discovered that he had a limp handshake and was not as tall as he appeared in photographs. He stood five feet seven inches, roughly the same as Napoleon and one inch shorter than Adolf Hitler. And yet, despite their initial shock on seeing him for the first time—could this be Stalin?—most people found that they could not take their gaze off him, especially his expressive eyes...

I have to say I found this section an interesting read. I've never read a bio of Uncle Joe and found the details of his personal life interesting. I can only speculate he was not much of a "lady's man" because he was too busy to be as widespread as say Kennedy or Clinton.
...Stalin personified communism’s lofty vision. A cult would be built around him, singling him out as vozhd, an ancient Slavic word that came to mean something like “supreme leader”—the Russian equivalent of “duce” or “führer.” Stalin resisted the cult, calling himself “shit compared with Lenin.” According to his close associate Anastas Mikoyan, Stalin once rebuked another Soviet official, saying, “Why do you praise me alone, as if one man decides everything?” Whether Stalin’s objections reflected false modesty or genuine embarrassment remains hard to say, but he indulged the prolonged ovations he received in public. “At first,” recalled Vyacheslav Molotov, who served as Stalin’s principal lieutenant for decades, “he resisted the cult of personality, but then he came to like it a bit...”

Very believable, even those who start off "legitimately" uncomfortable to acclamation grow to like it. But to borrow the quote from Patton, "...all glory is fleeting."
...Stalin did what winning leaders do: he articulated and drove toward a consistent goal, in his case a powerful state backed by a unified society that had eradicated capitalism and built industrial socialism. “Murderous” and “mendacious” do not begin to describe him. At the same time, Stalin galvanized millions. His colossal authority was rooted in a dedicated party, a formidable governing apparatus, and Marxist-Leninist ideology. But his power was magnified many times over by ordinary people, who projected onto him their ambitions for social justice, peace, abundance, and national greatness. Dictators who amass great power often retreat into pet pursuits, expounding interminably on their obsessions and paralyzing the state. But Stalin’s obsession was a socialist great power, and he labored day and night to build one. Stalin was a myth, but he proved equal to the myth...

Can't argue that, we was a hard working SOB. And millions are dead thanks to him.
"...Then, in 1933, Hitler was handed the wheel of the great state Stalin admired. The lives of the two dictators had run in parallel, as the historian Alan Bullock wrote. But it was the intersection that would matter: two very different men from the peripheries of their societies who were bloodily reviving and remaking their countries, all while unknowingly (and then knowingly) drawing ever closer. It was not only the German people who turned out to be waiting for Hitler....

...In the summer of 1941, it seemed clear that Hitler had won World War II. He had annexed his native Austria, the Czech lands, much of Poland, and a strip of Lithuania, creating the Greater Germany that in 1871 Otto von Bismarck had deliberately avoided forging during the wars of German unification (deeming Austria-Hungary’s existence vital for the balance of power). Hitler’s troops had occupied the Balkans, Denmark, the Low Countries, Norway, and northern France. Leaders loyal to the führer ruled Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Spain. Hitler essentially controlled all of Europe from the English Channel to the Soviet border; only Sweden and Switzerland remained neutral, and both were cooperating with Nazi Germany economically. True, the defiant British still refused to come to terms, but London could never overturn Berlin’s continental dominance.

Stalin was strictly observing the nonaggression pact that Germany and the Soviet Union had signed in August 1939. At that time, Hitler, who had decided to swallow Poland by force, needed to keep the Soviet Union out of a possible anti-German coalition with France and the United Kingdom. Stalin extracted a highly favorable bargain. As Hitler rampaged across the rest of Europe, Stalin avoided having to face Germany’s military might and, taking advantage of the situation, occupied and soon annexed the Baltic states, eastern Poland, and the eastern European regions of Bukovina and Bessarabia. Moreover, in exchange for Soviet grain and oil, Stalin received advanced machine tools and state-of-the-art weaponry from Germany.

Stalin’s apprenticeship in high-stakes diplomacy had shown him to be cunning but also opportunistic, avaricious, obdurate. His approach had remained the same: prepare for war with a massive armaments buildup, yet do everything to avoid fighting while allowing the British and the Germans to go at each other. This had worked, until Germany—aided by the cornucopia of Soviet raw materials—conquered France in the summer of 1940, and Germany was freed up to turn its troops toward the Soviet Union. The two geopolitical and ideological rivals, as a result of their shared aggrandizement, had acquired a common border.

Now, after half a year of contradictory secret reports about a possible German invasion of the Soviet Union, intelligence warnings of an imminent titanic war were coming from everywhere. In Moscow, German embassy personnel were evacuating, taking with them oil paintings, antique rugs, and silver. The Soviet secret police reported that the Italian embassy, too, had received instructions to evacuate. Earlier in the day, a Soviet agent in Bulgaria had reported that a German emissary had said that “a military confrontation is expected on June 21 or 22.” The Chinese Communist leader Zhou Enlai reported to officials at the Comintern, the international communist organization, that his nationalist rival, Chiang Kai-shek, “is declaring insistently that Germany will attack the USSR, and is even giving a date: June 21, 1941!” This prompted the head of the Comintern to call Molotov. “The situation is unclear,” Molotov told him. “There is a major game under way. Not everything depends on us...”

I gotta stop here, there are limits to fair use on a very long article. However, you get the ides that Stalin was hoping for time, and Hitler didn't give him that time. Fortunately for history (hey, at the time, we needed the deal with the devil to defeat the current pure evil, Hitler) distance and weather made up for Stalin's pact with evil and allowed the Soviets to play a critical role in the outcome of WWII. It could be argued it was decisive, without the Russians on his east flank, Hitler easily would have held at least continental Europe. And the world would be very different today. How two men can have a very large influence over millions of men.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Officer Down

Agent Ángel Lorenzo-González
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Thursday, September 21, 2017
Age: 47
Tour: 21 years

Agent Héctor Matías-Torres
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Thursday, September 21, 2017
Age: 53
Tour: 22 years

Agent Ángel Lorenzo-González and Agent Héctor Matías-Torres drowned when their vehicles were caught in floodwaters during Hurricane Maria.

Both officers were completing a 24-hour shift, at approximately 6:00 am, as part of the hurricane response and rescue efforts. They were attempting to get back to the police station when their vehicles were caught in high water and washed into the Culebrinas River, in Aguada, as they drove along PR-2. Their bodies were recovered the following day.

Agent Lorenzo had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 21 years and was assigned to the Highway Patrol Bureau.

Agent Matías-Torres had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 22 years.
Rest in Peace Gentlemen…We Got The WatchNemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

These tourniquets really work.....

Last year two of my officers had a man bleeding out from a bullet wound in the upper thigh. They applied a toruniquet, got him transported and in the opinion of the ambulance medic and attending ER physician, that saved the man's life. Not a bad return in investment for twenty bucks. I carry two and I hope I never have to do what this trooper had to.
Pa. trooper saves own life with tourniquet
Police said Cpl. Seth J. Kelly will undergo another surgery to remove a bullet

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A Pennsylvania State Police trooper who was shot several times during a traffic stop remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday as authorities released more details of the violent confrontation along a busy highway.

Cpl. Seth Kelly, a 13-year veteran, likely saved his own life by applying a tourniquet after he was hit by gunfire Tuesday morning in Plainfield Township, north of Philadelphia, state police Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio said at a news conference.

Kelly, 39, suffered wounds to his neck and shoulder area and to his leg in the close-quarters gunfight, and was set to undergo another surgery to remove a bullet.

"He's battling. He's certainly not out of the woods by any means, but ... he is a very strong individual and he displayed a will yesterday that he wanted to live and get through this," D'Ambrosio said.

The suspect, 22-year-old Daniel Khalil Clary, of Effort, faces charges that include attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault...

...Kelly was helping another trooper arrest Clary, whom they suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, when (Suspect Daniel Khalil) Clary began fighting with the troopers, police said. The struggle lasted nearly two minutes, and at one point all three men were "wrestling and rolling around" the right lane of busy Route 33 as cars and trucks whizzed by them on the left, D'Ambrosio said.

Despite being hit with a stun gun, Clary managed to break free, retrieved a semi-automatic pistol from his car and opened fire on Kelly and Trooper Ryan Seiple, authorities said. Both troopers returned fire, hitting Clary several times. Clary then fled, driving himself to a hospital where he was taken into custody...

Why didn't you deescalate, you didn't aha etc shoot him....sorry, I'm being sarcastic.

Trooper, all the best in your recovery and hopefully this piece of trash who shot your never sees the outside of a prison.

I got the Duke boys in my sights!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Officer Down

Trooper Timothy O'Neill
Michigan State Police, Michigan
End of Watch: Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Age: 28
Tour: 3 years, 8 months

Trooper Timothy O'Neill was killed in a motorcycle crash, in Plainfield Township, at approximately 7:45 am.

He was riding his department motorcycle when he was involved in the crash near the intersection of Wolverine Boulevard NE and Belding Road NE.

Trooper O'Neill had served with the Michigan State Police for three years. He is survived by his mother, father, brother, sister, and fiancee. The crash occurred two weeks before his wedding date.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The "tolerant, emphatic and compassionate" left shows itself again.

In the days after the shooting in Sutherland Springs I got into a Facebook debate with a family memeber, who said we needed "stricter gund laws..." I asked her, multiple times, to explain how another law would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and I have yet to get an answer. The simple fact is she has no answer and that is not a knock on her. The simpler fact is there is not another law that will prevent someone from killing another person. If I am motivated, I will find the means and kill you, usless I am stopped.

I found this article later on FB and its says it better than I can. Excerpts, with some comments.
Thoughts and Prayers for Anti-Gun Freaks Grieving Over Death of The Narrative

Kurt Schlichter

The synchronized leftist response to this latest attack on normal Christians was pre-planned, and it didn’t matter that this time it was another militant atheist weirdo instead of an ISIS-loving foreigner. The memes and the lies were all prepped and ready, and the villain was already chosen. No surprise – once again, it was you, the normal American who keeps and bears arms to protect yourself, your family, your community and your Constitution.

But this time it didn’t go the way they wanted. Sure, they were giddy at first – the liberals got to trash people of faith for praying, they got to tell NRA members that there was blood on their hands, and they got to demand some sort of unspecified action. But then their lying narrative took a bunch of rounds and bled out just like that useless little creep.

That’s what they are really mourning – the loss of what they saw as an opportunity to spread their poisonous lies in support of their effort to disarm Americans and change us once and for all from citizens into subjects.

Some still found something to cheer about. One Twitter low-life pointed out, “Sutherland Springs is in rural Texas, these were all likely 45 voters. This is karma in action. Good riddance.” Yes, that’s the kind of person who wants you disarmed, the kind that thinks it’s A-OK to murder little kids because their parents might like a different candidate.

Show of hands. Who is up to give up your ability to protect yourself because the same people who celebrate us being murdered demand it? Anyone? Hello? Bueller?...

Funny, after Dylann Roof murdered nine black people in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, I don't remember white libtards making fun of their faith. Personally I remember a woman who lost a family member saying she forgave Roof because that is what the Bible tells her. Ma'am, your are a much better human than I. If he murdered my child or parent, forgiveness would not be in me.
...Once the news hit, the ghouls rubbed their hands and started with their coordinated demands that we “do something.” But did you notice how no one said exactly what we were supposed to do? That’s their new thing – no specifics, just some sort of ambiguous, amorphous demand that we wave a magic wand and dispel evil from our midst. They’ve been burned before, hard. They always start babbling about background checks and it always turns out that the scumbag got his guns legally or passed the check when he shouldn’t have. This pudgy meat sack was barred from buying a weapon, but he passed the background check because the government – you know, the same entity the gun-grabbers want to be the only people with guns – again screwed up and failed to put his domestic violence conviction into the database. BTW, want to know how many attempted illegal gun buyers Obama’s DoJ prosecuted out of 48,000? 44...

A major issue over the last eight years has been the lack of focus on prosecution of felons and more on prosecuting cops. Hopefully the Session's Justice Department actually puts a focus on, get this, prosecution of criminals.

In a discussion over the last weekend a point I made (over scotch and cigars, solving all the words problems) is the results of aggressive policing, like "stop and frisk." You stop a know gang member or drug dealer, you approach, he's got a gun, you grab him, take him into custody, he's on parole for a felony, and just committed a felony by possessing a firearm. The direct result is he is put away for many, many moons. The unforeseen results is the murder on the other gang banger he was about to commit is stopped, and we don't have another aggravated assault/homicide for the stats.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty confident. I’m sure eventually the government will figure out how to tell if a nut or a felon is a nut or a felon. In the meantime, I don’t need the ability to protect myself or my family. Here, take my guns. Government, you got this.

Libtards, this is what you call sarcasm.
Then, of course, the killing spree got stopped by the very thing that liberals insist doesn’t exist except for all the times it has existed – a good guy with a gun. A Texan exhibiting something liberals are unfamiliar with – manhood – took his rifle and went one-on-one with that walking chamber pot and put a round in him. The tubby terrorist, confronted with an armed American citizen instead of little kids, dropped his rifle and ran, gut shot. Let’s hope he suffered good and hard before he checked himself out like the coward he was.

It gets better, though it’s hard to imagine anything better than him with a bullet in his ample belly. The hero who plugged him was not only one of the normal Americans our fern-fertilizing betters in the coastal cities are so fond of looking down upon, but he was an NRA shooting instructor. You know, the focus of evil in the world – except he actually confronted evil and defeated it...

Enjoy the rest if you want, but it brings up a critical point. Multiple active shooters have been "protected status" people: Democrats/liberals, Muslims, immigrants, mentally ill. If anyone can show me a NRA member who's gone nuts and shot up a church, please do.

I find the tribe from the iditorial page of the Houston Chronicle typical for "intelligence" coming from the left:
...But there was a modest break from the Party line by our own U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who has introduced legislation that could help prevent future massacres. He proposes to strengthen background checks by ensuring that all federal departments and agencies properly transfer criminal records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Under current law, Kelley’s criminal conviction while in the Air Force would have prevented him from buying a gun, but the records never made it into the system. “According to the Department of Justice, the number of these records that are actually uploaded is staggeringly low,” Cornyn said.

Morons, there are multiple laws covering this, and this is (as I type this) apparently a case of a government bureaucracy failing in its mission. Piling another law over 50 already on the books will have no impact on criminal actions. Then again, disarming the criminal has never been the goal of these people. It's to disarm the general public.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Officer Down

Police Officer Elias Martinez, Jr.
Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Age: 56
Tour: 25 years, 9 months
Badge # 2Z5
Incident Date: 9/8/2017

Police Officer Elias "Sonny" Martinez succumbed to injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash one week earlier while escorting permitted loads on Gulf Freeway, in the area of FM 646, in League City, Texas.

He was passing the trucks in the escorted convoy when he laid his motorcycle down in an attempt to avoid a collision. He struck the rear of one of the trucks, causing him to suffer severe injuries. He was flown to Hermann Memorial Hospital where he remained until succumbing to his injuries on September 17th, 2017.

Officer Martinez had served with the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department for 25 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Officer Down

Agent Roberto Medina-Mariani
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Monday, September 11, 2017
Age: 35
Tour: 6 years
Badge # 35921

Agent Roberto Medina-Mariani was shot and killed while attempting to take action during a robbery while off duty at approximately 10:30 pm.

He was inside a restaurant in the Magüeyes neighborhood in Ponce, Puerto Rico, when three subjects committed an armed robbery of four victims in front of the building. The subjects then entered the restaurant in an attempt to rob more people. Agent Medina-Mariani observed the robbery and identified himself.

The subjects opened fire and shot him. Despite being mortally wounded, he was able to return fire and wounded one of the men. The wounded suspect was taken into custody at a local hospital. The other two men were arrested a short time later.

Agent Medina-Mariani was a U.S. Army veteran. He was a second generation police officer and had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for six years and was assigned to the 258th Precinct at Playa de Ponce Precinct. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Officer Down

Sergeant Joseph Ossman
Florida Department of Corrections, Florida
End of Watch: Sunday, September 10, 2017
Age: 53
Tour: 21 years

Deputy Sheriff Julie Bridges
Hardee County Sheriff's Office, Florida
End of Watch: Sunday, September 10, 2017
Age: 42
Tour: 13 years
Badge # 111

Deputy Sheriff Julie Bridges and Sergeant Joseph Ossman, of the Florida Department of Corrections, were killed in a vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 66 and Old Crewsville Road, in Zolfo Springs, at approximately 6:45 am.

Both officers had been required to stay in the county despite mandatory evacuations due to Hurricane Irma. Deputy Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol car collided head-on with Sergeant Ossman's vehicle. Sergeant Ossman was reporting for his shift at the Hardee Correctional Institution, which remained opened despite the evacuation.

Deputy Bridges had served with the Hardee County Sheriff's Office for 13 years. She is survived by her 8-year-old son and parents.

Sergeant Ossman had served with the Florida Department of Corrections for 21 years.
Rest in Peace…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Talk about a marriage...

Anyone who works patrol knows being partners is like a marriage. You must be compatible, and it's good if one partners talents complement the other's. One parter knows how to approach people, start the conversation. The other one knows how to look at people, knows the ways people dodge things, hide weapons, etc.

And patrol partnership only last for so many years. One partner moves on to another shift, different station, or investigative branch. Well, LAPD are seeing something extraordinary, a partnership that has lasted longer than many marriages. Two men who've worked together twenty eight year on the street.

Harold Marinelli, left, and J.C. Duarte 
After nearly 30 years patrolling together, these two LAPD officers end an epic partnership

The cops have patrolled together for more than 28 years, one behind the wheel, the other riding shotgun, scanning the streets of northeast Los Angeles for signs of trouble.

Both are bald with mustaches, as set in their ways as a married couple. Duarte, the smoother talker, is first to approach a suspect or defuse a tense situation. Marinelli, whose “aw shucks” demeanor masks a sly wit, hangs back to stand guard.

They are friendly or fearsome, depending on what they think you deserve. Homeless people and street vendors get a pass. Car thieves do not. Their adversaries call them Los Dobermans, the Doublemint Twins, Heckle and Jeckle.

In the Los Angeles Police Department, partners typically last a year or two in the same car. Sometimes, working styles clash. More often, someone gets transferred or promoted. A decade together is long, three unheard of.

Patrolling in Cypress Park on a late afternoon last fall, they recall the tragedy and mayhem they have seen on these streets. They point to the alley where Marinelli fatally shot an armed man in 1993. Around the corner on Bank Street two years later, a 3-year-old girl was killed by gang members.

This is one of the last days Harold Marinelli and J.C. Duarte will work together. Marinelli is leaving for knee surgery, then retirement.

“I’m always right, and he’s always wrong,” Marinelli says.

“I always let him think he’s right — just like my wife,” Duarte responds.

In June 1988, when the two young police officers climbed into a black-and-white for the first time, their chemistry was immediate. They were the same kind of cop, itching for a caper, obsessed with catching car thieves. No need for promotions or to check out other stations. All they wanted was to work Northeast Division together.

Supervisors tried to break them up. They resisted. Once, they joined a vice squad to avoid being paired with novice cops. When they returned to patrol, they took a demotion, losing two stripes and 5% of their pay to stay together.

Spending all day, every day cooped up in a car with the wrong person can be hellish. One officer wants to run after a suspect while the other insists on summoning reinforcements. One may power through a whole shift without a break, while the other gets cranky without his customary burger stop. In a dangerous situation, partners move in an improvised choreography, wordlessly reading each other’s intentions.

“If you don’t gel, you can hardly wait for that day to get done,” says Jack Richter, a sergeant in media relations, whose longest pairing lasted two years.

Like a good marriage, a good police partnership can thrive off differences. Duarte, 53, speaks Spanish and is better at writing reports. Marinelli, 58, is the quiet one who notices the detail others miss — the one that leads to the bad guy.

Duarte is a meticulous record-keeper, jotting down every hour of overtime the partners have worked. A black binder holds mug shots of every person they have arrested — page after page of scowling photographs, a rogues’ gallery of northeast Los Angeles.

There was the suspected robber who led them on a car chase in 1998; the woman they arrested almost a dozen times for drug offenses in the early 2000s before she turned her life around; the boxer known as “Eddie the Animal,” whose freedom ended when the partners spotted him in Highland Park on Jan. 3, 2006, and arrested him on a burglary and robbery warrant.

At the station, they are the Baldies, who pepper roll calls with jokes and are admired for their old-fashioned “obs skills” — the ability to size up a situation at a glance.

A few years ago, the partners were driving around Cypress Park, looking to pick up some overtime, when they spotted a man molesting his niece in a parked car. They later took the girl to Disneyland.

Before their second-to-last shift together, Duarte produces a worn, folded paper from his shirt pocket — a list of suspects wanted for crimes ranging from drinking in public to carjacking. They hardly need the list. They know the career criminals, and the criminals know them. Through a combination of cajoling, joking and toughness, they have forged wary but friendly ties.

“We have a decent relationship with everyone on that list,” Duarte says.

They chased Alan Ferguson for years. Now, Alan Jr. is on the list. Same goes for Nick Placentia Sr. and Jr. One of their most-wanted has been homeless for nearly 30 years.

They know who the suspects are dating, where they buy their beer — where they are likely to be...

...In their patrol SUV, papers containing details on suspects and stolen cars are jammed into the passenger side sun visor. An automatic license plate reader pings like ice cubes clinking in a glass.

...On his right hip, Duarte’s gun flashes in a gleam of silver. It is a six-shot revolver, a relic from generations ago...

...They used to reward themselves with a cinnamon roll for each stolen car arrest, until they racked up 14.

“We stopped that destructive tradition,” Duarte says.

But a treat is still in order, Marinelli says. “Ice cream?”

“Italian doughnuts,” Duarte suggests.

“Let’s change the subject. You’re killing me,” Marinelli responds.

They have stuck to the same routine for over two decades.

Tuesdays: their favorite taco truck in Eagle Rock. Wednesdays: split pea soup at Astro. Thursdays: pizza at Palermo’s.

Their home lives are as stable as their work partnership.

Duarte has been married for 30 years, Marinelli for 28. Each man has two grown daughters. They own dogs from the same litter. Both favor Hawaiian shirts on special occasions.

Marinelli always had a mustache. Duarte eventually grew one. First Duarte shaved his head, then Marinelli followed suit.

“I was going bald anyway. I save so much money on hairspray,” Marinelli says.

They are a dying breed — cops who worked the 1992 L.A. riots, before some rookies were born, who used the now-forbidden chokehold to subdue suspects, who lived by their wits, not by computerized deployment plans.

“I’m still doing the same thing — playing cops and robbers, getting the bad guy. All I ever wanted to do was work the street,” Marinelli says...

...While their peers graduated to desk jobs and higher salaries, the partners stayed put. In their world, the street cop reigns supreme.

“You do this job, you either like it or you don’t,” Duarte says. “The people who don’t like it promote.”

To the end, Duarte and Marinelli remain as hungry as ever. Their technique involves a dose of obsession — a daylong stakeout for a car thief, or driving by a stolen vehicle five or six times to capture a suspect.

“They’re the last of how old-fashioned police work was done — not new technology or gadgets but years of field training and observation,” says Gina Paialii, a senior lead officer in Northeast Division...

At Marinelli’s retirement party in March, Duarte emcees in a “Los Dobermans” baseball jersey.

Harold Marinelli tests out his retirement gift from his partner J.C. Duarte., a walker with a police light.

A cartoon of the partners, titled “The Los Angeles Police Department’s Longest Working Partners ‘Ever,’” lists some of their achievements in recent years: 16 homicide arrests, 76 robbery arrests, 199 grand theft auto arrests. There is no official confirmation that they have been together the longest. But LAPD veterans are hard-pressed to name a partnership that lasted more than a decade or so.

...Duarte will finish his career next year. In the meantime, he has a new partner.

Gentlemen, thank you for your time and please enjoy a long retirement as the Grump Old Men you are.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Officer Down

Police Officer William Mathews
Wayzata Police Department, Minnesota
End of Watch: Friday, September 8, 2017
Age: 47
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 7221

Police Officer William Mathews was struck and killed by a vehicle on Route 12, between Route 101 and Shoreline Drive, at approximately 12:30 pm.

He was in the process of removing debris from the roadway when a vehicle struck him. The driver of the car that struck him was driving on a revoked license and was under the influence of narcotics at the time. She was arrested and charged with criminal vehicular homicide, as well as narcotics and other charges.

Officer Mathews had served with the Wayzata Police Department for 19 years. He is survived by his wife and 7-year-old son.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Family Tradition II

Hank Williams Jr's signature song, Family Tradition, played by his son, Hank Williams III. Hank III look more like his grandfather than his father, IMHO. And his music is more along the lines of of his grandfather's, but I know dad is proud of his son on this cover.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Constable Mark Diebold
Tarrant County Constable's Office - Precinct 5, Texas
End of Watch: Thursday, September 7, 2017
Age: 48
Tour: 23 years

Deputy Constable Mark Diebold suffered a fatal heart attack following qualifications for the agency's tactical team.

Members of the tactical team immediately began CPR when he collapsed following the qualifications. He was transported to Alliance Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Deputy Diebold had served with the Tarrant County Constable's Office - Precinct 5 for nine years and had previously served with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

K9 Down

K9 Will
New York State Police, New York
End of Watch: Monday, October 23, 2017
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Age: 3
Gender: M
Tour: 6 months

K9 Will was accidentally shot and killed by his handler while defending himself against an attack by a Pitbull while assisting with a search warrant in the town of Greig.

As officers approached the home, on Woodcreek Road, the Pitbull emerged from the home and charged at K9 Will and his handler. His handler discharged one round, striking the Pitbull. The round then ricocheted off the gravel driveway and struck K9 Will in the stomach.

His handler transported him to a nearby veterinary clinic where he passed away.

K9 Will had served with the New York State Police for six months. He was named after Trooper William Doyle, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on December 14th, 1967
Rest in Peace Will…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

We put bad guys in jail, right....

I find that this country goes through phases in the way it handles crime, from "harder" to "softer." Or in another way, more "law and order" to more "treatment." Earlier this year I authored a piece in the American Thinker entitled "Cops Going Galt." One of the points I made was effective policing must be proactive. And we are seeing the results where federal "oversight" is strangling effective law enforcement.

Now we have the People's Republic of California and their latest and greatest example of trying to not enforce law. From Police Global, a look at the former Golden State...God help us all.
Three Years Ago, California Decided To Go Easy On Crime. The Results Of Their Experiment Are In.

Three years ago, there were some changes made to lessen California’s overpopulation in jails and prisons.

Voters approved Proposition 47, which would loosen law enforcement standards on crime. At the time, it was believed that taking these measures wouldn’t have much impact on crime.

Now, three years later, local law enforcement officials are pointing to that 2014 proposition approval as the reason for the drastic increase in crime in California.

Fox 11 Los Angeles reports that while arrests are down 30 percent since the new law, violent crime is up 40 percent in Los Angeles since Prop 47 went into effect, with many felony crimes downgraded to misdemeanors. That’s pretty significant.

Estimates show that, specifically, the Inland Empire region in California went from 9th in the nation in vehicle thefts to 5th in just a year, from 2015 to 2016.

Riverside police Sgt. Sean Brown noted: “The punishment is very minimal. If nobody goes to jail for committing a crime, what’s to prevent them from committing more crimes?”

Additionally, Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Higbee noted that the laws mean there is “little to no jail time associated with a single theft.”

California Assemblyman Matt Harper further explained that the rise in crime was correlated to the proposition, telling Fox News: “California is certainly having a significant problem with the increase of crime in our state.”

Harper added, “The only thing that’s really showing a difference in terms of how we approach crime and criminals is this change in our law allowing people to be able to go out on the streets, which previously they would have stayed in prison and not be committing crimes. To play these nonviolent offender games [is] a recipe for disaster.”

Those commenting on Fox 11 Los Angeles’ Facebook post about the story had a lot to say, as you’d expect, with comments such as: “You don’t say. Hmmmm I wonder who could have predicted that releasing a bunch of criminals would cause the crime levels to raise…let me think...”

I say "God help us all" because there is an old saying, "You want to see America in twenty years, look at California now." I pray not. If it wasn't for immigration, mainly illegal, California would be loosing population over the last decade. High taxes, deficits, a state debt that cannot be repaid, Sacramento is pushing out producers and coddling consumers. Texas gets in people from California (as does Colorado, Utah and Nevada) because these people cannot take any more. Hopefully the disease knows as liberalism goes no further, but I know better.

More on The Dishonored Dead

A couple of weeks ago I posted on The Dishonored Dead, a grave site in France of the Army's criminals and other soldiers buried "without honor." Well someone posted another link from a man researching these graves, and his post is quite enlightening. Here from EHT, Finding Shame (my search for Dishonor):
October 22, 2017

If you’re familiar with my blogs then you know that they are always about people that were famous or semi-famous back in their day, although most of them are now forgotten people. This one will be different in that it will be about two infamous people from one sad event.

After my last blog I had planned on doing the next one on the aviator Ed Musick. Although the research was complete, I had postponed the writing of it until I could obtain one last piece of information that I felt was necessary.

Recently though, I stumbled upon an article about the cemetery in the picture above. Actually, that picture is of just one section of the cemetery. The name of the cemetery is the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial. It is an American military cemetery located in northern France and over 6,000 Americans who died in the area during the First World War are buried there.

Later on (some time between 1945 and 1949) American soldiers that had been executed during World War Two for heinous crimes were removed from their various prison graveyards around the world and placed here in a separate section called Plot E. There are currently 94 of these men buried there. These soldiers had all been dishonorably discharged prior to being executed and are now known as the dishonorable dead. Plot E is hidden and not on the official maps and guides for the cemetery. No American flag is allowed to be flown there. More good info on Plot E at the Wiki page for it here.

For my blog subjects, I chose one story at random. It concerned a Corporal Ernest Lee Clark and a Private Augustine M Guerra, both of whom were executed for the rape, strangulation and murder of a 15 year old girl named Betty Dorian Pearl Green in Ashford, Kent, England on 22 August 1944. Here are the newspaper items I found first.
The information was very sparse and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do the research. Most things I saw showed Guerra being 20 years old at the time and from San Antonio, Texas, but nothing else. The military may use the location of place of enlistment as home, or they may use actual birthplace. This meant San Antonio was not definite for my research. As far as Corporal Clark, there was absolutely nothing on him given. I decided to give it a try anyway and began a family tree up on Ancestry...

...Giving up temporarily on Ancestry, I went back to some creative Google searching and discovered a few sites, forums and articles that gave me a small trickle of information. Namely this turned out to be that Clark had been born in Clifton Forge, Virginia and Guerra in Cibolo, Texas. Hopefully I now had enough to get started. I am going to cover Clark first. Considering Guerra’s being Hispanic and the poor records for them during the time-frame involved, I suspected he would be more difficult so I saved him for later. My biggest break came when I found the actual records of the court-martial trials. This also gave me the full story, forensics, testimony and such, including the birth dates and birth places for all three people. I’ll provide a link later in the blog. For now we’ll cover the genealogy.

Ernest Lee Clark was born in Clifton Forge (Alleghany County), Virginia on 10 August 1920, so he had just turned 24 when the crime was committed. His parents were James William Clark and Euna Rosa Pollock. James was born on 22 August 1887 in Virginia, which means the murder was committed on his birthday. Euna was born on 9 April 1894 in Missouri. They had gotten married in Clifton Forge in 1912 and began having their five children. These were Robert Dorman in 1913, Mattie Virginia in 1915, James Jr in 1917, Ernest in 1920, and finally Henry Lewis in 1924.

The first document on Ernest is his appearance with his family in the 1930 Census done on April 22nd. Beginning on line 85, we see James Sr. He’s 41, and he is a plumber with the railroad. Next is Euna, 36 and it shows her parents as being from West Virginia. Their first marriage ages verify their 1912 marriage date. The children are next, with Robert Dorman now 17 and a coner at a rayon plant. Then Mattie, James Jr, Ernest and Henry.

Two years later, on 18 July 1932, Ernest’s mother died from tuberculosis at age 38. Ernest was 11 years old. Less than two years later, on 4 February 1934, Ernest’s father died from acute heart failure at age 46. Ernest was now 13.

The family was all split up after this apparently. By the time of the 1940 Census, the oldest son (Robert) was 26 and living with another family as hired help. I was unable to find Mattie until she got married in 1942. James Jr turned up in the census in one of the local Civilian Conservation Corps camps. Little Henry was just 15 and turned up in the census at the Industrial School and Farm for Homeless Boys and Mountain Children in nearby Covington, Virginia. I wasn’t able to find Ernest in the census.

On 16 Feb 1942 he turned up again when he filled out his WW2 draft card. He is living in Covington with his aunt Nora, who had been married to his father’s brother, Albert before he passed away a few years earlier. It also shows that he is now working at a Naval Ordinance plant in West Virginia. The document also shows he was almost six foot tall and weighed 188 lbs. Draft Card 1 Draft Card 2. A few months later, on 17 September 1942, Ernest enlisted in the Army in Roanoke, Virginia. Eventually he ended up in the Army Air Corps and assigned to the 306th Fighter Control Squadron, based in Ashford, England. This is where we stop for now and cover some odd items about his family and a brief synopsis of his family members’ lives.

Ernest’s mother had five brothers. One of them, William Ernest Pollock, had a wife named Grace Flack. In March of 1937, when she was 34, she suffered an acute heart attack and died. A few months later, in October, William poisoned himself to death with strychnine. Next, James Harry Pollock, worked for the power company in Arlington, Virginia and when he was 51 he was accidentally electrocuted to death there on the job. Another one, Walter Nichols Pollock, at age 29 used a shotgun on himself. His uncle John Hamilton Pollock was killed at age 59 in a homicide with a shotgun. I got into the Clark side also but nothing unusual stood out...

...As I mentioned earlier, I had a hunch Augustine’s tree was going to be more difficult. Unfortunately, I was correct. Unlike Ernest, I was unable to confirm 100% the Army’s info on Augustine’s birth date, birth place, or his date of enlistment. Going by the Army’s records though, Augustine Miranda Guerra was born in Cibolo (Guadalupe County), Texas. His parents appear to have been Demascio Guerra and Vicenta Miranda. Demascio was born in Mexico in about 1882 and Vicenta was born in Texas on 19 Feb 1893. They got married in 1909 and proceeded to add many children to the family, at least 12 by my reckoning, the last two being a set of twins (male and female). These children are Pedro, Pablo, Francisco, Gerarda, Francisca, Pandeta, Demascio Jr, Augustine, Santos, Elisia, Maria and Jose. Although they moved around some, they mainly lived in the San Antonio area for the vast majority of their lives, as did their children. In the 1910 Census Demascio and Vicenta are freshly married with no children. I was unable to locate them in the 1920 Census but found Vicenta and the kids in the 1930 Census in Uvalde, Texas. She is shown as a widow but they are back together for the 1940 Census.

Back to the 1930 Census, she has already borne at least 9 of her children, though not all of them are living. With her are Pedro, Pablo, Gerarda, Pandeta, Demascio Jr, Augustine and Santos. Now here’s the odd one. The following year, on 8 September 1931, Vicenta gave birth to Elisia. Her birth certificate shows that she is illegitimate. No father is listed however. I assume that Vicenta and Demascio were separated for some time (there’s a four year gap between her previous child and Elisia). Regardless, by the time of their 1940 Census they are back together and living in San Antonio. They have Pedro, Demascio Jr, Augustine, Elisia, and Santos with them, too.

This brings us to the synopsis part for Augustine’s family:

I never could find what happened to his father, but his mother died 1 March 1953 in San Antonio from leptomeningitis.
Pablo died in San Antonio in 1973.

Francisco died at age 3 in 1918 from dysentery.

Gerarda married Angel Escamilla and she died in 1981 in San Antonio.

Francisca died at age 18 from some lung ailment in San Antonio.

Demascio Jr married Nora Trinidad and they had at least 7 children. Demascio died in 1970 and Nora just last year, both of them in San Antonio.

Santos died in 1999 in Louisiana.

Maria died in 1935 at the age of 3 months.

Jose died in March of 1990...

...This is it for Augustine until later. Now on to Betty.

Before getting started on Betty, keep in mind that British genealogy is a bit different than American. They heavily use indexes instead of the original records. Indexes have limited information so it’s harder to confirm you have the right person. They also use a lot less exact dates, instead preferring dates in quarter-year. For example, look up a birth and it might be listed as Jan-Feb-Mar 1924. Lastly, the British waiting period for censuses is 100 years, so their latest census available is from 1911. In the US it’s a 72 year wait so the latest available is 1940. With all that being said, let’s get started.

Thanks to the Army trial records, I found Betty’s actual birth date. She was born 1 April 1929 in Ashford, Kent, England to William Ernest Green and Sylvia Alice Kate White. William was born in 1895 in Newington, London, England and Sylvia was born 11 Apr 1902 in Willesborough, Kent, England. They got married in Ashford in 1920 and had three children; John William B in 1921, Edward Albert Frank in 1924, and Betty. At the time of the murder, they were living at 180 New Town Road.

Due to the lack of record-finding there isn’t much I can tell about her family overall so I’ll just add it all here briefly. Her father died in Ashford late in 1966. Her mother didn’t pass away until late in 1990 in nearby Maidstone. As far as her brothers, John got married late in 1949 to Annie Adamson. He died in Maidstone 5 November 1992. Edward got married in Ashford on 11 August 1945 to Doreen Lilian Mary Stoker. I don’t know how many children Edward and Doreen had, but they did have a son named John Andrew that was born in 1955 and died in Ashford in 1997. Edward himself passed away in 1977 in Ashford and Doreen passed away there in 1998.

And now for the crime. Betty had returned home from work at Norman’s Cycle Works about 5:45 pm and left again an hour later. She was wearing a silver cross, a brooch and a hair-slide. She walked with a friend from work named Peggy Blaskett and went to a fair in town, where they met two American soldiers. One named George Williams was with Peggy and one named Eddy was with Betty. The girls later departed alone about 9:45 and headed for home. After splitting up near Peggy’s home, Betty headed for hers. She was about 300 yards from the corner of New Town Road and Black Path when she was spotted by a railroad worker that knew her at about 10:20 pm. He stopped and they talked.

About 7:15 the next morning, another railroad worker noticed something in the old cricket field located near the corner of New Town and Black Path. He called to another employee that was closer to the scene. This employee investigated and found her body. He did not touch the body but contacted police, who arrived within a few minutes. The police took photos of the body and surroundings. They found the cross at her side, the brooch about four feet away and the hair-slide about 24 feet away. Betty’s father identified her about 7:45 that morning and again at 3:15 pm. He also identified the cross, brooch and hair-slide.

When the police had arrived they found that her skirt was lifted up to the waist band, her knickers were raised up to her waist, the left seam was torn, and the crotch was torn away in front. The crotch region and adjacent private parts were exposed and bloodstained. Several hairs from various locations on the body were recovered also.

The body was examined at about 8:30 am by a local medical practitioner, who felt she had been dead from six to twelve hours. An autopsy was later performed and she was determined to be a healthy girl and used to sexual intercourse. There was a single bruise to the right side of her neck which could have been from a thumb and four bruises down the left side of the neck. There was bruising behind the voice box. Death was shown to be from asphyxia. There were many other bruises and scratches and a vaginal swab showed evidence of semen.

Her father had been at the Smith Arms Pub the evening of the murder, which was located about 150 yards from where it occurred. He was later able to identify Augustine as one of two American soldiers that had been at the pub together and had left at about 10:15 pm.

During the trial, according to Ernest, he and Guerra had gotten a pass to leave camp and that they did so that afternoon. They went to a movie and from there to several pubs, where they drank considerably. They ended up at the Smith Arms Pub. From there they went through the Black Path and came near the railroad bridge. Augustine had stopped but they saw a girl approaching and Ernest went over and asked where she was going. She told them home. They talked for about 5 minutes and he asked her to go for a walk. He put his arm around her and proceeded with her towards the gate of the cricket field. He picked her up and carried her through the gate, with Augustine following. After Augustine covered her mouth with his hand she struggled, trying to say something. While this was happening Ernest carried her further onto the field and laid her on the field while she was still struggling. Augustine raised her dress and tore her knickers apart. She started to scream so Ernest covered her mouth while Augustine had raped her. After Augustine finished they swapped places and while Ernest was finishing up he suddenly felt her relax her resistance. Ernest went on to say they felt her heart beating but that she was unconscious. He also said that as they were leaving he went back and checked on her again and her heart was still beating. He figured she had fainted and would be fine after a rest.

Augustine’s account during his trial pretty much corroborates Ernest’s account, with some detail differences that could easily be attributed to two drunk men trying to relate one event from their perspectives.

They were both found guilty and hanged together on 8 January 1945 at Shepton Mallet Prison in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England by brothers Thomas and Albert Pierrepoint. They were initially buried in Plot X of Brookwood Cemetery in Sussex, another Dishonored plot. Later they were moved to the one called Plot E in France. Ernest is buried in grave # 68 and Augustine is buried in grave # 44.

As promised earlier, here is the link to the Army records of the trials. It is in PDF format. You’ll find Ernest’s on page 199 and Augustine’s on page 209. The page numbers are at the top of the page. Army Records

In the end, I’m fairly sure they didn’t mean to kill her. Essentially two young men, far from home, with way too much liquor in them and a night that went horribly wrong. Regardless though, Betty didn’t deserve it and justice was at least served for her to some degree. I had hoped to find out more on her, at least her grave-site, but had no luck with it. Maybe someone in England can help.

Thank you EHT for quite a lot of detail on these men. Again, I would like to, in a future life, tour this site as part of a tour of the European theater of operations. Not America's finest, to say the least, but still part of World War II history.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Officer Down

Police Officer Bernie Domagala
Chicago Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Age: 66
Tour: 7 years
Badge # 8996
Incident Date: 7/14/1988

Police Officer Bernie Domagala succumbed to complications of a gunshot wound sustained on July 14th, 1988, while at the scene of a barricade situation at 7237 S. Stony Island Avenue.

Officer Domagala, who was a member of the Hostage, Barricade, and Terrorist Unit, had responded to the home after the homeowner, a former police officer, had shot a mover who was attempting to evict him. Officer Domagala had taken up a position behind the corner of a nearby garage, approximately 100 feet from the home. As he peeked around the garage's corner, the subject fired one round from a replica Civil War-era pistol, and the round struck Officer Domagala in the forehead.

The subject was charged with attempted murder, but in December 1990 he was found incompetent to stand trial and was committed to the state mental hospital.

The wound caused Officer Domagala to suffer a traumatic brain injury that left him disabled in confined to a rehabilitation center for several years. He underwent numerous brain surgeries and continued to experience severe complications. He passed away on September 5th, 2017.

Officer Domagala had served with the Chicago Police Department for seven years and was assigned to the Gang Crimes South Unit. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Officer Down

Corporal Thomas Hannon
Dover Police Department, Delaware
End of Watch: Friday, September 1, 2017
Age: 42
Tour: 12 years
Badge # 3440
Incident Date: 1/1/2012

Corporal Thomas Hannon succumbed to complications of an injury sustained in 2012 while involved in a foot pursuit.

He suffered a knee injury during the chase that required numerous surgeries. He experienced complications following a surgery that resulted in his condition to worsen. He passed away as a result of the complications on September 1st, 2017.

Corporal Hannon had served with the Dover Police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.