criminal career

Photo of the Day

Wanted posters announced the $15,900 bounty on the brothers. Posters were distributed across the U.S. The three DeAutremont brothers destroyed a mail car and killed four men, including a Railway Post Office clerk, when they tried to rob a Southern Pacific train on October 11, 1923. After botching the robbery, the three fled the scene of the crime in a panic, leaving some items, including a pair of overalls, behind. The items left behind helped authorities learn the identities of the murderers.

The bottom portion of this wanted poster continues information on identifying each brother. Postal inspectors asked chemist Edward Heinrich to inspect the clues left behind by the robbers to see if he could tell them anything about the fugitives. Given a pair of overalls found at the crime scene, Heinrich developed a profile of a likely suspect.

Crime Does Not Always Pay

The D’Autremont Train Robbery

Most?people?think of train robberies as 19th century crimes, complete with Butch and Sundance blowing up a train car, or Jesse James and his gang taking on the evil railroad companies. However, one of the most violent and tragic train robbery attempts was in 1923. On October 11 of that year, three men, twins Roy and Ray DeAutremont and their younger brother Hugh ambushed Southern Pacific train #13 in southern Oregon, just as the train was emerging from a tunnel.

The young DeAutremont brothers and especially Ray felt they were born into a family that had been victimized by a corrupt society. It seemed only fair they follow a course of crime rather than work for a living.?Twins Ray and Roy were just twenty three when they attempted one of the most daring robberies in America. Their brother Hugh, who accompanied them, was a mere nineteen. The crime they committed in 1923 would have been laughable in its ineptitude had they not happened to kill four men during the debacle.

But what of their earlier criminal career? This too proves without doubt that the DeAutremont brothers should have stuck to a more legitimate career ? it seems that they just weren?t cut out to be criminal masterminds.

Read more »

Photo of the Day

The 47 suitcases seized by police in a private residence at Villeneuve at the Seine Assize Court during the trial of French mass murderer Dr Marcel Petiot. The cases contain clothes which were identified by relatives of some of his victims. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The 47 suitcases seized by police in a private residence at Villeneuve at the Seine Assize Court?during the trial of French mass murderer Dr Marcel Petiot. The cases contain clothes which were identified by relatives of some of his victims. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Dangerous Lunatic

The Monster of Rue Le Sueur

Meet the French doctor who promised Jews safe passage from Nazis, only to rob and murder them

To all who knew him, he was the most devoted, benevolent doctor in Nazi-occupied Paris. Dr Marcel Petiot provided free care for the poor and risked his life helping persecuted Jews flee to safety.
Or so everyone thought ? until locals in his affluent neighbourhood reported a foul stench from his home and thick black smoke pouring out of his chimney in March 1944.

Nazi-occupied Paris was a terrible place to be in the waning days of World War Two, with Jews, Resistance fighters and ordinary citizens all hoping to escape. Disappearances became so common they often weren?t followed up.

And one man used the lawlessness for his own terrible purposes, killing perhaps as many as 60 people.

Petiot?s criminal career stretched from his teenage years to his mid-life, and ran parallel to a successful military, political, and medical career. He was a real life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The inherent grisliness of murder makes it hard ? if not impossible ? to describe any murderer as ?better? or ?worse? than another. Still, Marcel Andr? Henri F?lix Petiot was truly superlative in his horror, mainly because of the circumstances and motivations behind his acts: He promised safety and freedom to those leaving Nazi-occupied France, only to strip them of their possessions and lives.

Despite his infamy in France, many elsewhere have never heard his story. As with many serial killers, internal struggle marked much of P?tiot?s early life.

Born on January 17th, 1897, he was the son of a civil servant, and?his uncle, Gaston Petiot, was a professor of philosophy at the College of Auxerre.?From childhood he showed signs of violence, after he strangled a cat after plunging its legs in boiling water.

However, he showed great intelligence, at 5 years old he was reading like a 10-year-old child. He then was found distributing obscene images when he was eight.?Interned at St. Anne for a psychiatric disorder, his mother died when he was 12, he was then subsequently sent to several schools for discipline, but exhibited severe behavioural problems in school and was expelled several times before completing his education.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Alan Young as Lamont Dozier.

Alan Young as Lamont Dozier.

How Sweet It Is…

To Be Scammed By You

Despite his clear charm, he admits he has ?No skills other than being a Con Man.?

His real name is Alan Young, and he’s a former West Oakland garbage man who over the last several decades has made a stunning career of passing himself off as various Motown legends and other music industry professionals in order to get people to invest in his business scams and butter him up with treats like fancy dinners and stays in top-notch hotels. He’s been busted numerous times, but he’s never in jail for long. The alarming thing is, law enforcement says that he is hard to catch.

Young’s criminal career began in the mid-’70s, and he’s been working the music industry angle since at least 1984. At various points in his illustrious career, Young has passed himself off as different members of the Temptations, the Four Tops, and the Bar-Kays, as well as claiming to be jazz bassist Marcus Miller, the bassist for Luther Vandross’ backing band, an arranger for jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson, an associate of Miles Davis, and the son of jazz drummer Lester Young.

He often approaches his victims, usually well-heeled professionals such as architects or art dealers, in their offices or at bars and restaurants. He charms them with his loquaciousness, his ability to sing and play the piano, his facility with Motown trivia, and his uncanny ability to get comped at Yoshi’s and get admitted to private aircraft at the Oakland Airport, despite the fact that he neither owns an airplane, nor has any real musical credentials.

Then he makes his victims an offer they can’t refuse. Sometimes Young says it’s an investment opportunity, say for a new music studio, or real estate, or artwork. Sometimes it’s a charity gig. No matter what the deal, Young invariably “discovers” that his briefcase and wallet are mysteriously missing, and throws himself upon the good graces of his new partner to cover entertainment expenses for him until his credit cards can be retrieved. Eager to please someone they think is a celebrity, Young’s victims have shelled out thousands to put him up at the best hotels in town and buy him clothes, meals, expensive nights on the town, and even drugs and hookers.

While in most cases the point of Young’s con was to have a few wild nights at the expense of another, in a few cases, the end game went much further. He would convince his victim to open up a “joint” bank account with him for their business venture. The victim would deposit his money and Young would promise to have his own funds wired into the account, but instead, he’d actually drain it.

Read more »