FBI

Photo of the Day

A newsman wears a rubber mask similar to that worn by bandits who robbed Brink’s armored car firm in Boston Jan, 1950. The reporter points to nameplate on first of six locked doors opened by the gunmen. The Mask was one of several purchased in joke shops by newsmen and police to see if they resembled description given by Brink’s employees. PHOTO: AP Photo

The Great Brinks Robbery

They left few clues. It was almost the perfect crime. Almost…

For a long time, the armed heist known as the Brink’s Holdup was the most successful robbery in United States history. It took place in Boston’s North End on 165 Prince Street at the headquarters of Brink’s Incorporated on January 17, 1950. The job was meticulously planned and brilliantly executed, and the thieves made off with over $2 million. The robbers were local heroes; Boston for some reason has a longstanding love affair with bank robberies.

Tony Pino, a lifelong criminal, was the mastermind behind the audacious theft. Together with Joe McGinnis, he assembled a group that meticulously planned the heist. They staked out the depot for a year and a half to figure out when it was holding the most money. Then, the gang stole the plans for the depot’s alarm system and returned them before anyone noticed that they were missing.

The criminal team held repeated rehearsals, with each man wearing blue coats and Halloween masks. On January 17, they finally put their plan into action. Inside the counting room, the gang surprised the guards and tied up the employees. Multiple canvas bags, weighing more than half a ton, were filled with cash, coins, checks, and money orders. Within 30 minutes, the Brinks robbery team was gone–taking $2.7 million with them.

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Photo of the Day

No Bang in the Drum. A 55-gallon drum of the type reportedly used to transport the body of former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa to New Jersey lies in the 47-acre landfill area in Jersey City where the FBI has obtained a search warrant to dig for a body. The FBI announced it had been told by an informant where to look for a grave on the sprawling site. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Jimmy Hoffa Disappears

One of the most famous American figures to inexplicably disappear was Jimmy Hoffa, the famed president of the Teamsters Union from 1957 until he went to prison in 1967

Wednesday, July 30, 1975, was a hot July afternoon, nearly 92 degrees,  typical muggy mid-summer Detroit weather in other words,  when Teamsters president and labour icon Jimmy Hoffa is said to have opened the rear door of a maroon 1975 Mercury in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and climbed in.

Gerald Ford was president of the United States, the North Vietnamese Army had just rolled into Saigon, the incredible Cincinnati Reds were rolling toward a World Series championship while the sad sack Detroit Tigers were enduring one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Eagles and Olivia Newton-John were topping the charts … and Jimmy Hoffa was about to take the last car ride of his life.

He has never been seen again.

The FBI has expended countless resources in the ensuing decades in the hopes of finally solving this enduring American mystery with no success.

The disappearance of Hoffa in 1975 sparked a public debate that continues to this day. Despite claims to the contrary, no one knows for sure what became of Hoffa or who was responsible.

There was no question that Hoffa had a lot of enemies in his day and perhaps none as powerful as Robert F. Kennedy, the president’s brother and the attorney general from 1961 to 1964. Hoffa’s ties to organised crime landed him in prison but it would not be until those same gangsters turned against him would those ties lead to his disappearance and likely murder. And while Hoffa’s body has never been found, there is little question about whether or not he is dead. One way or another, Hoffa is not coming back…

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Photo of the Day

Melbourne cult ‘The Family’ was started in the mid-1960s by yoga teacher Anne Hamilton-Byrne and is well-known for the haunting similarities forced on the children to make them look like siblings ‘The tentacles of this cult were incredibly wide’: children who were in the cult The Family, at Lake Eildon. Photograph: Scribe Publications

The Family

‘Unseen Unheard and Unknown’

With its identically dressed blonde children and its use of LSD, The Family was one of the stranger outposts of the counter-culture. It’s got the children; it’s got the locations that are kind of dank and sinister but beautiful. It’s sort of like a Grimm fairytale.

Australia, 1987. Police swoop on a forest compound to rescue six abused children from The Family, an apocalyptic sect with the motto — unseen, unheard, unknown. Its guru, Anne Hamilton-Byrne, a beautiful Kim Novak blonde with an obsession for cosmetic surgery, has disappeared.

For 15 years, police received reports of strange home-schooled bleach-blonde children. But it’s only when Detective Lex de Man discovers children as young as 13 are being injected with LSD that police intervene.

For devotees, Anne Hamilton-Byrne is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. They change their names, sign over title deeds and produce children with partners selected by Anne. They even adopt babies stolen from teenage mothers under her direction. At least 28 children are collected to fulfil Anne’s dream of raising a master race to survive the apocalypse.

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Photo of the Day

Authorities don’t believe there was any foul play involved but won’t give a cause until there is more investigation. Peter Branch of the Palisadian-Post provided this image of authorities searching the Pacific Palisades home of Jeffery Lash.

Mystery Man

Space Alien or Secret Agent?

On 17 July 2015, officers from the LA Police Department made the gruesome discovery of a deceased man inside a car parked on Palisades Drive in the Pacific Palisades region of the city. The investigation into the circumstances of the man’s final moments began and it didn’t take too long to establish the identity of the corpse. It was Jeffrey Alan Lash. His fiancee Catherine Nebron and her employee Dawn VadBunker left it outside Nebron’s Pacific Palisades home.

Shortly after Lash’s badly decomposing body was found two weeks after his July 4 death, police found more than 1,200 firearms, 6.5 tonnes of ammunition and $230,000 in cash stashed at the home of Catherine Nebron.

At the time of his passing Lash was 60 years old and a local resident of the area. He lived with his long-time partner  Nebron. Further investigation led to some startling revelations about the life of their deceased. The state of the corpse when discovered was a good indicator that Lash had been dead for some time. It turned out that death occurred about two weeks before discovery but was not reported. According to Nebron, Lash collapsed in a Santa Monica parking lot on 4 July and refused to sanction emergency assistance that was clearly required.

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Oh look, it looks like Trump was right about being snooped on by Obama

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8qEkXOC-7U

The media went large on attacking Donald Trump for claiming he was snooped on by Obama’s government.

It is now irrefutable that the Trump organisation was spied on under a FISA warrant. Obama must have been informed about this in his intelligence briefings.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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Photo of the Day

Handouts/03.28.07/RJTECH/email from Charlie Moore/APD’s new recruiting/This picture was placed on 10 billboards across the city. It was part of APD’s new recruiting campaign that used the runaway bride as a way to get recruits. Photo: COURTESY APD Albuquerque Police spokeswoman Trish Hoffman appears in a new recruiting ad for the department.

The Bride Who Faked Her Own Kidnapping

Jennifer Wilbanks became something of a folk anti-hero, inspiring an action figure and a grocery store condiment called “Jennifer’s High Tailin’ Hot Sauce,” and numerous other items, even toast…

John Mason and Jennifer Wilbanks had planned a late April wedding with 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen, but the wedding would get postponed when the bride got cold feet. For nearly a week media attention would focus on Duluth, Georgia, a growing city in the suburbs of Atlanta that the two called home.

32-year-old Jennifer Wilbanks disappeared while out jogging four days before her wedding, it sparked one of the biggest missing persons stories in America in 2005. Then the shocking truth emerged.

At roughly 8.30pm on a chilly April night in the small town of Duluth, Georgia, Jennifer Wilbanks told her fiancé, John Mason that she was popping out for a run. Mason, 32, thought nothing of it. She ran marathons – it was one of the many things they had in common. And with their wedding only 4 days away, Jennifer had a lot on her mind – a run would do her good.

But Jennifer, then 31, didn’t return that night. At 10.15pm, Mason went looking for her around Duluth in his car. “I thought maybe she might have turned her ankle and fallen,” he said. “Or someone could have beaten her up… No idea.” He called the police at around midnight and spent a sleepless night by the phone. He had little idea then, that it would be the first of many.

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Photo of the Day

What could go wrong? This device invented by retired policeman Elmer Carlstrom seemed Dick Tracy-like Carlstrom claimed the device was “effective enough to rout a gang of payroll bandits and small enough to be concealed in a shirt sleeve.”

Kate “Ma” Barker and Her Horrible Children

Eighty years ago, Edward Bremer, Jr., heir to the Schmidt Brewery fortune, was kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis gang.

After Bremer dropped his daughter off at the Summit School in St. Paul, he was ambushed and thrown in a car. He was held for 10 days, until his family paid a $200,000 ransom. Part of this ransom money was used to bribe police who were on the take. When Prohibition was repealed and liquor was legal, they switched from bootlegging to kidnapping. The same corrupt cops that had looked the other way during the bootlegging era were also involved with kidnappings and other more nefarious deeds.

Bremer helped federal investigators find his captors. He memorized every detail about his surroundings.

When the FBI investigated the case, he was able to identify the specific wallpaper in the home where he was kept. That enabled the FBI to break the case and arrest the Barker-Karpis gang.”

The gang was led by two brothers, Doc and Freddy Barker, who are described as “psychopaths,” and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, who was one of the most infamous gangsters of the period.

After weeks of planning at the behest of underworld kingpin Harry Sawyer, for the second time the Barker-Karpis Gang decides to forgo the energy and danger required to rob banks, and instead pursues a big buck payday by kidnapping the thirty-four-year-old president of the Commercial State Bank of St. Paul, Minnesota (and son of the millionaire owner of the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company, a personal friend of President Roosevelt) … Edward G. Bremer.

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Photo of the Day

Theodore Kaczynski lived an austere life — no running water, no indoor plumbing — in this 10-by-12-foot cabin in rural Montana for 20 years. This photo was taken shortly after Kaczynski was arrested. (Courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigation)

The Unabomber

For 17  years, an elusive criminal sent homemade bombs targeting universities, airlines and computer stores, killing three people and injuring 23 others. The FBI branded him “Unabomber” — shorthand for his early targets: universities and airlines..

How do you catch a twisted genius who aspires to be the perfect, anonymous killer—who builds untraceable bombs and delivers them to random targets, who leaves false clues to throw off authorities, who lives like a recluse in the mountains of Montana and tells no one of his secret crimes?

That was the challenge facing the FBI and its investigative partners, who spent nearly two decades hunting down this ultimate lone wolf bomber.

The man that the world would eventually know as Theodore Kaczynski came to the FBI’s  attention in 1978 with the explosion of his first, primitive homemade bomb at a Chicago university. The Unabomber eluded the FBI for 17 years, despite an investigation spanning eight states and involving 500 agents, he mailed or hand delivered a series of increasingly sophisticated bombs that killed three Americans and injured 24 more. Along the way, he sowed fear and panic, even threatening to blow up airliners in flight.

In 1979, an FBI-led task force that included the ATF and U.S. Postal Inspection Service was formed to investigate the “UNABOM” case, code-named for the UNiversity and Airline BOMbing targets involved. The task force would grow to more than 150 full-time investigators, analysts, and others. In search of clues, the team made every possible forensic examination of recovered bomb components and studied the lives of victims in minute detail. These efforts proved of little use in identifying the bomber, who took pains to leave no forensic evidence, building his bombs essentially from “scrap” materials available almost anywhere. And the victims, investigators later learned, were chosen randomly from library research.

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Photo of the Day

This is Christopher Wilder scouting his next victim at the Seventeen Magazine pagent at the very time that he was the subject of a nationwide manhunt. The legs in the foreground were those of Michelle Korfman, who was one of the contestants. She disappeared right after this event and her skeletal remains were found a month later in the mountains near Los Angeles. His M.O. was to approach women wherever they congregated. He approached them in shopping malls, strip-malls, on the street in residential neighborhoods, and in one instance, at a Seventeen Magazine beauty pageant in Las Vegas, where he posed as a photographer.

This is Christopher Wilder scouting his next victim at the Seventeen Magazine pageant at the very time that he was the subject of a nationwide manhunt. The legs in the foreground were those of Michelle Korfman, who was one of the contestants. She disappeared right after this event and her skeletal remains were found a month later in the mountains near Los Angeles. His M.O. was to approach women wherever they congregated. He approached them in shopping malls, strip-malls, on the street in residential neighbourhoods, and in one instance, at a Seventeen Magazine beauty pageant in Las Vegas, where he posed as a photographer.

The Beauty Queen Killer

Christopher Wilder was rich. His friends described him as charming and gallant. He lived a playboy life in South Florida, living well and racing sports cars. He was particularly fond of beautiful young women. In the nineteen eighties he was still in his thirties and living in Boynton Beach in Florida.

Cross-country road trips often conjure images of the wind in your hair as you drive a classic Mustang with the music blaring. Add to this rape, torture and murder and you’d come close to describing Christopher Wilder’s 1984 killing spree across the United States. Also known as The Beauty Queen Killer, Wilder was born in 1945 in Sydney, Australia. Having lived through a rather traumatic childhood where Wilder came close to death not once, but twice, he showed signs of sexual deviance at a young age.

By aged seventeen somewhat innocent window peeking had developed into gang rape. Having plead guilty to this crime, during his year of probation, he received the controversial electroconvulsive therapy. This treatment, thought to correct unwanted mental conditions, involves small electric shocks being passed through the brain to trigger a seizure. Although it was meant to help, this treatment seemed to further fuel Wilder’s disturbing fantasies – especially those about having complete power over a woman.

That apparently stimulated his fantasies, for unlike before this treatment, he now imagined shocking girls while having sex with them. Therapists noted his need to dominate women and his desire to turn them into slaves for his pleasure. He wanted to hold a woman captive against her will.

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Photo of the Day

Machine Gun Kelly being led by United States Marshals to prison following his conviction.

Machine Gun Kelly being led by United States Marshalls to prison following his conviction.

Kathryn and “Machine Gun” Kelly

Kathryn Kelly made a career out of crime. With a lust for danger, she masterminded crimes that took Kathryn, her husband and others, who included her own mother and stepfather, on a spree across Minnesota, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas. Starting off with small crimes including bootlegging and smuggling liquor onto an Oklahoma Indian reservation and other petty crimes, she got her husband, George Barnes aka George Kelly, to move up to more serious criminal activity, eventually escalating into bank robberies, kidnapping and extortion.

Kathryn was given the same birth name as Cleo Epps, queen of the Tulsa bootleggers, she who was pitched into the dank darkness of a west-side cistern after asking why she had to die. Cleo Mae Brooks didn’t like that name and became Kathryn in eighth grade to seem more elegant.

And eventually, it worked.

But she started small in 1904 near Saltillo, Mississippi, eight years before Elvis Presley’s mother was born there. After becoming Kathryn, she married at fifteen, divorced after her daughter Pauline was born and moved with her parents, James and Ora (Coleman) Brooks, from Mississippi to Oklahoma, where she was briefly married again.

Kathryn’s mother Ora divorced Brooks, married Robert G. “Boss” Shannon, and moved with Kathryn and Pauline to his place near Palestine, Texas, north of Fort Worth. He was in the hospitality business, catering to gangsters; his rate was fifty dollars a night.

Kathryn’s ticket out of that stark, weather-beaten farmhouse was her third marriage; this time the groom was Texas bootlegger Charlie Thorne.

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