Affair

Photo of the Day

Betty Gores house

Desperate Housewife

Anyone who lived in North Texas in the early 1980’s remembers the murder of Betty Gore, and the murder trial of Candace Montgomery, the woman who killed her with an axe. The petite, non-descript Wylie housewife was acquitted in 1980. She claimed self-defense. Then, as now, the case enthralled many people. (Adding more fuel to the sensational story’s publicity fire was the fact that the murder took place on Friday the 13th in June of 1980.)

The year is 1979. Lucas, Texas, is still a relatively small town, just being discovered by the wealthier executives of Texas Instruments who were looking to settle outside the booming city limits of Dallas.

Each day as the men head off to their jobs, the women are left behind to tend to the children and the numerous mundane duties which keep the home fires burning.

These women are bored. Play dates, swimming lessons at the Y, and gossip with the other housewives are the highlight of their day.

Most of the residents attend the Lucas Methodist Church and staying active in church activities gives them one more thing to do. The yearly Vacation Bible School serves as a break to their ordinary lives and the children something to do indoors during the hot Texas summers while their mothers chatter about potty training, their husband’s latest promotions and the upcoming presidential election.

Yes, indeed, they are bored. And one of them is about to break free of it all. In ways, they could never imagine.

Candy Wheeler was quite the prima donna as a child. She knew what she wanted and did whatever it took to get it.

Much didn’t change when Candy grew up. Always the independent spirit, Candy moved out on her own just after high school. And although she worked, she dreamed of being a full-time Mother and wife – she just hadn’t found the right man.

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Photo of the Day

Mary Pinchot Meyer.

Mary Pinchot Meyer

Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer

Conspiracy theorists who question President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 have, over the years, become obsessed with another murder. On Oct. 12, 1964, socialite and artist Mary Pinchot Meyer, a longtime Kennedy mistress, was shot execution-style in broad daylight while walking along the Georgetown canal towpath.

Within hours, police charged day labourer Ray Crump Jr. with murder. They never found the gun, however, and a jury acquitted Crump after an eye-witness described the killer as much bigger than the diminutive defendant. In the ensuing years, the case has become one of Washington’s most infamous unresolved murder cases.

Mary Pinchot Meyer never received the last letter John F. Kennedy wrote to her. In October 1963, the 35th U.S. President penned a love letter to his alleged mistress, Mary Pinchot Meyer, begging her to come and visit him later that month, but he never mailed it. JFK was assassinated the following month, and Mary Pinchot Meyer was found murdered one year later. Her murder remains unsolved.

“Why don’t you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand, you may not – and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don’t you just say yes?”

JFK’s letter to Mary Pinchot Meyer was written on White House stationery, although the tops of the official letterhead were cut off. But when the letter is held up to the light, the faded presidential seal watermarks are visible. The note was never mailed, but it was saved by Kennedy’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln.
Mary Pinchot Meyer began her affair with President Kennedy sometime in the early 1960s. Mary’s name was all over White House gate logs, showing she signed in to see the President on at least 15 occasions between October, 1961, and August, 1963. JFK’s confidant, Kenny O’Donnell, said the President told him that he “was deeply in love with Mary, that after he left the White House he envisioned a future with her and would divorce Jackie.”
Charles Bartlett, another close friend of the president, confirmed that “Jack was in love with Mary Meyer. He was certainly smitten by her, he was heavily smitten … It was a dangerous relationship.”

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Photo of the Day

Carole Tregoff puts her head on her manacled wrist and breaks into tears after her arraingment.

Carole Tregoff puts her head on her manacled wrist and breaks into tears after her arraignment.

The Fascinating Finch Affair

Rampant greed, sex, and a considerable dose of comedy ensured that this trial of a wealthy doctor and his mistress as joint defendants on charges of murder dominated newspaper headlines for months.

Here’s one that takes you back to, when automobile tailfins were at their height, Ike was still in the White House, and newspapers were full of stories about the doctor, his girl friend, and his murdered wife.

Dr. Bernard Finch was a middle-aged Los Angles–area surgeon who was having a torrid romance with his shapely young receptionist, Carole Tregoff. The only problem was that Finch was already married, and his wealthy and socially prominent wife would clean him out financially in the event of a divorce.

What to do? Murder seemed like the most profitable solution, but a hired assassin failed to get the job done. So the determined lovers were left to do it themselves.

On February 26, 1961, Carole Tregoff received a letter from Dr. Bernard Finch.  In it, he told her of his undying love, of his thoughts about their future together, of how, from the beginning, he had considered her the most wonderful girl he had ever known.  It was an anniversary letter, he said, for it celebrated the very first time they had lunched téte-a-téte four years before.  Under ordinary circumstances the letter would have been no more remarkable than any of the billions of exchanges between men and their women since the first cave man chiseled a valentine to his chick.  But the circumstances weren’t ordinary.  Both Dr. Finch and Carole Tregoff were serving life sentences in California penitentiaries: he for obtaining an “instant divorce: with the help of a .38-caliber bullet; she for conspiring with him to commit the crime.

Carole had been introduced to Finch three weeks after she was hired as a receptionist at the West Covina Medical Center in Los Angeles.  Finch and his brother-in-law were partners in the Center and had borrowed a quarter of a million dollars to set it up.  When the doctor and the ravishing redhead met he said, “Hello, and that was that for about seven months.  Carole soon heard gossip at the Center about the doctor’s marriage — not good — and that he was, in fact, dating a couple of the Center’s pretty employees.  Since she was having marital problems of her own at the time, the gossip made little impression on her.  But, from a distance, the handsome doctor did.

Carole, eighteen when the employment agency sent her to be interviewed at the Center, was tall, red-headed, extremely pretty, with an outstanding figure — if you know what I mean.  She was married to a chap named Jimmy Pappa, whom she had first dated during high school.  The marriage wasn’t working.  Not at all.  They shared an apartment and little else.

Dr. Finch at forty had a lucrative surgical practice, was a ranking tennis amateur, and had a winning way with the ladies.  He was, in short, notably successful both as surgeon and operator.  The home in which he and his wife lived, with their small son and her young daughter by a previous marriage, was quite elegant.  They each had a car, he a Cadillac, she a Chrysler.  They had a dog.  And they had a lovely young Swedish girl, a part-time college student, to take care of the two children and help around the house.  In the end, it was this girl more than anyone who cooked the doctor’s goose.

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Photo Of The Day

During the 1960s, Campbell was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She was well connected among other stars, politicians, and socialites, and her relationship with Giancana put her on the FBI's radar. J. Edgar Hoover quickly learned about Campbell's relationship with Kennedy, and set up surveillance on her home. Additionally, Campbell was relentlessly harassed and questioned by the FBI, and when she became concerned about the whole ordeal, Kennedy assured her it was nothing to worry about. However, it was all too much for Campbell and after one last visit to the White House, she broke things off with Kennedy.

During the 1960s, Campbell was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She was well connected among other stars, politicians, and socialites, and her relationship with Giancana put her on the FBI’s radar. J. Edgar Hoover quickly learned about Campbell’s relationship with Kennedy, and set up surveillance on her home. Additionally, Campbell was relentlessly harassed and questioned by the FBI, and when she became concerned about the whole ordeal, Kennedy assured her it was nothing to worry about. However, it was all too much for Campbell and after one last visit to the White House, she broke things off with Kennedy.

 The Exner Files

Judith Campbell Exner, JFK and the Mob

For many years, rumours circulated that Judith Campbell had  been involved in a plot hatched between her two lovers, John F. Kennedy and Sam Giancana, to kill the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. In 1991 she came forward and described how she had sat on the edge of the bathtub in a Chicago hotel while the president and the Mafia don talked in the bedroom.

Kennedy’s involvement with the Mob in a plot to kill the Cuban president has often been put forward as one of the reasons for his own assassination in Dallas in November1963.

The three gunshots fired in Dallas 53 years ago meant a Presidential legacy unfulfilled — and a personal life unresolved.

The sorry mess of sexual exploits that President John F. Kennedy left behind took years to emerge. The supporting cast was vast, and one of them, a woman who was, next to Marilyn Monroe, the most famous one, though not by her choice.

Judith Campbell Exner was the first of JFK’s lovers to be publicly identified, and so she was pilloried by a public furious at learning that at least one wing of Camelot had more in common with the Playboy Club.

A beautiful woman is introduced to a handsome, charismatic Senator running for President by an Academy Award winning movie star. They fall into an affair. Meanwhile, the beautiful woman is also introduced to the head of the Chicago mob by the same man. The beautiful woman carries messages and arranges meetings between the now President of the United States and the Chicago mobster. Sounds like the plot of a thriller, or a conspiracy theorists wet dream doesn’t it? However in this case, it happens to be true. Allegedly.

This much can be proved.

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Photo Of The Day

Angus and Evelyn Jane.

Angus and Evelyn Jane.

My Mother’s Lover

What Happens when Your Mother’s Dying Wish is to Rest in Peace with…Someone You’ve Never Heard of Before?

For years my mother wore a gold locket. When I was a boy, I liked to pull it up from inside her blouse on its chain, tugging it up from between her breasts so I could squeeze the curved button that ran along one edge and make the curlicue gold cover, heavily sprung, pop open to reveal a photograph of my mother’s grandparents.

On an elegant chair sat her grandmother and namesake, Ivy Evelyn Stone, a formidable-looking woman wearing a full skirt, a fuller blouse, and an immensely confident expression. Next to her chair stood her husband, Gene, a railroad engineer in their hometown of Wichita Falls. Especially in Wichita Falls, a railroad town, this was a high-status position then, like that of an airline pilot 50 years later. He is dressed in suit and tie, hair slicked, with his hand on the back of the chair.

I viewed this portrait as a fair representation of the distant world from which my mother came: a stable, solid existence full of aunts and uncles and her mother and father and grandparents all living toughly but carefully in the high bright sun struck towns of north Texas. The picture agreed with the steady, accomplished, morally sturdy person I and many others knew my mother to be. But it hid the fact that she came from a world that moved violently beneath her feet.

The February after my mother died, my brother, Allen, left his New Mexico home and boarded a plane for Honolulu. He carried a backpack that carried a rosewood box that carried our mother’s ashes. The next day, on Maui, he bought six leis and rented a sea kayak. With the leis in a shopping bag and our mother’s ashes in his pack, he paddled into the Pacific.

That day nine years ago was the sort one hopes for in the tropics: warm and balmy, with a breeze that pushed cat’s paws over the water. Beyond the mouth of the bay he could see rising plumes, the spouts of humpback whales gathered to breed. He paddled toward them. When he was closer to the whales than to the shore, he shipped his oar and opened his pack. He pulled out the box and sat with it on his lap, letting the boat drift. He watched the distant spouts. Without any prelude, a whale suddenly but gently surfaced about 30 yards in the distance and released a gush of air. It bobbed, noisily breathed, and dove.

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Photo Of The Day

(FILES) - Picture taken on January 20, 2004 in Toulouse (southwestern France) shows Frenchman Andre Bamberski holding a picture of her daughter Kalinka Bamberski who was allegedly raped and murdered by her German stepfather doctor Dieter Krombach in 1982. Krombach was found on October 18, 2009, wounded and tied up in front of Mulhouse courthouse (eastern France). He has been put under police custody as well as Bamberski who was oddly present in the area. AFP PHOTO / REMY GABALDA (Photo credit should read REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Picture taken on January 20, 2004 in Toulouse (southwestern France) shows Frenchman Andre Bamberski holding a picture of her daughter Kalinka Bamberski who was allegedly raped and murdered by her German stepfather doctor Dieter Krombach in 1982. Krombach was found on October 18, 2009, wounded and tied up in front of Mulhouse courthouse (eastern France). He has been put under police custody as well as Bamberski who was oddly present in the area. AFP PHOTO / REMY GABALDA (Photo credit should read REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kalinka

When 14-year-old Kalinka was found dead in 1982, her father Andre Bamberski, a quietly-spoken man, took the law into his own hands. For three long decades Andre Bamberski waged a tireless campaign to win justice for the daughter he was sure had been murdered. Pretty, sports-mad Kalinka, 14, was found dead in suspicious circumstances.

The abduction of Dr. Dieter Krombach began in the village of Scheidegg, in southern Germany. His three kidnappers punched him in the face, tied him up, gagged him, and threw him in the back of their car. They drove 150 miles, crossing the border into the Alsace region of France, with Krombach stretched out on the floor between the seats. The car stopped in the town of Mulhouse.

An accomplice called the local police and stayed on the line just long enough to deliver a bizarre instruction: “Go to the rue de Tilleul, across from the customs office,” the anonymous caller said. “You’ll find a man tied up.” A few minutes later, two police cars arrived at the scene, their red and blue patrol lights illuminating the street. Behind an iron gate, in a dingy courtyard between two four-story buildings, Krombach lay on the ground. His hands and feet were bound and his mouth was gagged. He was roughed up but very much alive. When the police removed the covering from his mouth, the first thing he said was “Bamberski is behind it.”

The French septuagenarian André Bamberski to whom Krombach referred was, on the face of it, an unlikely kidnapper. Until 1982, he had been a mild-mannered accountant and the adoring father of a lively young girl, Kalinka. That year, Kalinka attended a French-language high school in the small German city of Freiburg, as a boarder, and spent most weekends and summers in nearby Lindau, with Bamberski’s ex-wife and her new husband, Dieter Krombach.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Unknown Source. Susan Travers in North Africa. Travers was an Englishwoman and the only woman to serve officially with the French Foreign Legion.

Photo: Unknown Source.
Susan Travers in North Africa. Travers was an Englishwoman and the only woman to serve officially with the French Foreign Legion.

‘I Think Actually They Thought I was a Man’

She was the Mistress of a French General; she led 4,000 troops to safety; and she was the only Woman to join the Foreign Legion.

As a well-bred Englishwoman educated in the nuances of understatement, Susan Travers seemed unimpressed that she was the only woman ever to join the French Foreign Legion. She had spent World War II as a volunteer driver with Free French legionnaires who were fighting in North Africa and Europe. But in the summer of 1945, she faced demobilization and did not relish the prospect.

”I shall leave all my friends — I shall go back and live with my family, and it will be dull,” she recalled telling the legion’s recruiting officer, who happened to be a friend. He promptly invited her to sign up and passed her an application form. ”I didn’t say I was a woman,” she said, although her nickname was ”La Miss.” ”I didn’t have to pass a medical. I put down that I was a warrant officer in logistics. That was all.”

Indeed, it was pretty straightforward in comparison with her life leading up to that moment. It seemed far more unusual that a free-spirited young woman who spent the 1930’s playing tennis and partying around Europe should end up in the early 1940’s on the front line of the North African campaign carrying on a clandestine love affair with a married man who happened to be the top French military commander in the region.

For this, too, though, Ms. Travers had a simple explanation. ”My family was very dull,” she said of her reason for socializing in Europe. ”England was very dull.” As for becoming a military driver in combat zones, she said, ”I wanted adventure. I wanted more action.” And her romance with Gen. Marie-Pierre Koenig, a man who became such a war hero that a Paris square carries his name? ”It was a relationship between a man and a woman,” she said.

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Face of the day

Len-Brown-thumb

Whaleoil broke the Len Brown Story and even got a Canon Media Award for it. I don’t think I have ever seen a politician with skin as thick as Len Brown. Even A Newspaper called for his resignation and still he clung on shamelessly to power. He has raised the bar for the level of shame required before a Mayor should resign.

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Tagged:

Sex Sells

This is a list of the top 50 posts for the year…there is little doubt as to what was the story of the year.

We have had all manner of media commentators exclaim that the Len Brown story was “too detailed”…but you know what…they all read it.

As a species we are hypocrites.  We pretend to be better than that, but the numbers don’t lie. From Len Brown and Bevan Chuang to Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne…the message is simple to Stephanie Key to Oscar Pistorious…people like to read about dodgy, rooting ratbags, sex and scandal.

But I think it is more dodgy rooting rat bags that sells.

If Len Brown had have just been happy running one up his missus at home there would be no scandal and people could say ‘Ngati Whatua Room’ without laughing hysterically.

Here are the Top 50 posts for the past year.  Read more »

A reader emails about the attention span of the media

A reader emails me about the state of the media and their attention span of a gnat.

I’ve noticed today that yet again the media has managed to get itself off-topic and be distracted by a side show event that is secondary to the main news event.

Back last month we had the Len Brown dodgy sex-gate and within a week the mainstream media had been distracted off topic by a PR spun side show conspiracy that Whale Oil and John Palino had orchestrated a hit job on Len. Sniff. Poor Len.

The real story was Len’s very dodgy behaviour in office. Like references for the girl he was nobbing, using his Council paid PR guys to work him out of trouble and rooting in the office and hallowed rooms of town hall.

Now we have these complete idiots calling themselves Roast Busters (what does that mean anyway?) who have essentially raped a pile of girls under age and bragged about it online. That and the lack of police action is the news.   Read more »