American Experience: Gilded Age

 DATELINE: 1%ers Around 1900!

photog meets Morgan dollar Silver Dollar J.P. Morgan

Once again, the PBS series gives us an education. It’s rather painless and extremely informative with a political edge. “The Gilded Age” may not be what you think, or it may not be what PBS thinks. According to this two-hour documentary (with no re-enactors, thankfully) details the world of business and society from 1880 to the early 20th century.

That means a healthy dollop of Vanderbilts, Carnegie, and J.P.Morgan and their money-first philosophy of America’s business being business.

Gilded means there is a patina over the rot.

And, you can say that the urban blight and immigrant climb started with the Gilded Age. They wanted to have a good life, but found out it mostly came with wages, however high, or however low.

Though Americans wanted to be proud of their trade or profession, they learned through their socialist and unionist leaders that they were mere pawns for the 1% of super-rich.  And, this age is when those folks started amassing power and wealth.

Andrew Carnegie tried to save his reputation with charitable works, but it was a patina over rot. And, banker and heartless monster John Pierpoint Morgan never pretended to be anything but a creep with a huge purple nose who hated the press and media. His face should be on the Morgan silver dollar.

1% wealth is with us today in spades, as billionaires think they own the world. And, perhaps they do.

You may find the injustices against hard-workers hard to take, but even by today’s standards of enlightenment, you have an army of people who hate Bernie Sanders and his message. He would have been at home during “The Gilded Age,” and that may be a sad commentary after all.

 

Stonewall Uprising, 50 Years Later!

DATELINE: American Experience’s Documentary

stonewall Pioneer Gay Fighters!

Was it ten years ago that American Experience produced its historical film, Stonewall Uprising, on the fortieth anniversary of the so-called gay riots in that gay mecca of the 60s, Greenwich Village?

This year some said five or six million marched in those streets for twelve hours of parading. Forty years ago, three drag queens walking down the street would constitute a riot.

Ten years ago some witnesses were aging, both as cops and gay patrons of one of those blue-collar, sleazy, unpleasant gay bars of the times. Yes, folks, those places were dubious if you had more professionalism and dignity.

Yet, it was those people who first stood up to undue harassment. The first 45 minutes of the PBS documentary recounts the hideous conditions of the 1960s when homosexuals were considered one step short of psychopathia.

Perhaps the interviews with “experts” trying to terrorize children that gay predators lurked on every street corner were the worst dregs of the era, yet these were the cornerstones of civilization. It is infuriating to see these people treat gay men and women with such cruelty. On the plus side, most of those creeps are now dead.

They were about to be shocked by the three days of rioting against a half-dozen belligerent cops who started a movement. They were barricaded in the bar in abject terror when thousands attacked in return.

The gay bars were the purview of the Mafia who ran them to rake profits off the benighted gay men and women on the outskirts of society. They gave gays a place to congregate but would soon lose their upper-hand to political awareness.

This documentary shows how the anti-war and civil rights movement simply transferred to gay rights overnight. Fifty years later, it is intriguing to see the roots of this powerhouse of politics. Millions of young marchers were not even born when the uprising started.

Those who still decry it may be better advised to watch out and watch this little film.

 

Brooklyn Bridge Revisited

 DATELINE: Ken Burns Classic

great art Amazing!

In 1982 Ken Burns made a name for himself with this small, unassuming and brilliant documentary about the fifteen-year process to build the iconic, magical Brooklyn Bridge.

The film made his reputation and sent him on a career as a ground-breaking documentarian. What’s left nearly forty years later is the masterpiece of film on the masterpiece of engineering.

To take it in again after so many decades and find it as fresh and charming as when first seen is like the chance to walk across the East River like one of those who saw it like the first man to walk on the Moon.

John Roebling came from Germany as Hegel’s favorite student and a brilliant bridge maker. He designed the way to cross the river between New York and Brooklyn in three months. Then, fate intervened, giving him tetanus and killing him. It left the job then to his 30-year old son and Civil War hero Col. Washington Roebling.

David McCollough lends his narrative presence, but familiar voices dot the film: Julie Harris, Kurt Vonnegut, and others.

The dangerous caissons gave Roebling the bends, and he recovered but never fully. He managed to oversee the bridge construction from his third-floor bedroom with binoculars. His wife supervised and learned engineering to carry out on-site work.

Great Lewis Mumford lends his presence here to the cultural viewpoint with a poetic expression of his walk across the bridge as a young man. There are clips of Frank Sinatra in a movie in love with the Bridge, and even Bugs Bunny puts in an appearance.

The Bridge is monumental, inspirational, beautiful, and a cathedral of the national pride.

This is definitely American pie.

 

 

 

 

Great White Shark: Fear Uncaged!

DATELINE:  Mermaid & Great White Shark Playtime

Mauricio Hoyos Mauricio Hoyos!

 

The little shark documentary Beyond the Cage of Fear, narrated and directed by Steve Morris, may be a looney gem of entertainment.

At a time when Shark Week is all the rage, we were intrigued by the lack of cage.

The experts here are among that group that insist we have misunderstood the Great White Shark and confused his life and mind with the jaws of death.

It seems every shark documentary demands a scene of the shark exposing his rows of teeth and biting off more than he can chew.

So, a bunch of cowboys of the sea gather together to challenge their fears and show off their courage. Aging danger freak Mike Hoover leads the charge.

These are beautiful young men who have lung capacity that you might find unfathomable. They can hold their breath for many minutes under water and swim like a fish.

Among them are Hannah Frasier, Brandon Whaley and Mark Healy. They are among the bravest young fools you will ever encounter as they try to create a relationship of friendship with a great white shark.

Mauricio Hoyos looked familiar at Guadalupe Island, and we recognized him from a recent show on Unidentified, the UFOs. He is perhaps the foremost, young expert in great white sharks on the planet and hangs around their favorite haunt in Mexico. He knows these hotshots are crazy, but what can he do?

Perhaps the craziest of all is Hannah, who swims in a mermaid suit, so to speak, with tiny pasties to cover her tiny pasties. She too swims without snorkel or tank with Bruce the Shark.

Yeah, they named him Bruce as if that demeaned his danger. The point is that fear drives our lives: yeah, it’s called survival.

We love these beautiful daredevils and admire them, but we doubt they will live long lives.

 

 

 

Haunted Bowdoin College: Ready for a Closeup

DATELINE: No Ghouls Here!

Bowdoin class of 1912 Class of 1912.

With deep interest and fascination, we awaited a chance to read the insider study called Haunted Bowdoin College by David R. Francis, senior techie over in the Brunswick, Maine, area.

We found a general overview of the tours often conducted (over three hours) along the various sites of the campus. Since the College goes back to the start of the 19th century and has maintained its historical integrity, we found the breakdown done by various locations.

Our main intention was to see if graduate Richard Frazar White (who died on his graduation gift—a first-class trip on the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic) might have encountered some of the spirits during his time at the College.

Alas, the book is short on example: often taking the reader off-campus to ancillary paranormal history. There are a few nuggets, such as the Hubbard Stacks, a darkly unchanged library haunt.

Richard White loved libraries: he likely spent much time at the library dedicated to illustrious grads, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book recounts their thematic work but does not indicate they learned first-hand about supernatural at Bowdoin.

Richard White came from a haunted background. He was born and grew up in Winchendon Springs in the family manse that was a house of many gables (and at least one murdered peddler). His family renovated an old tavern along the carriage route where murder was most foul in 1826.

Richard’s great-grandfather, Zadoc Long, wrote a poem in the Longfellow mold about the family’s haunted house. So, Richard had a long background in ghostly encounters—and perhaps was not much impressed with Bowdoin’s resident spirits.

Oddly enough, many of the reported ghosts are women—at an all-male college until the late 20th century. It seems girls of the town couldn’t resist the Bowdoin men—and paid an eternal price for it.

The work is slight, but the author has peppered the tales with his research photos—and those who matriculated a century ago may be still there. Each year the classes had their photos taken on the steps of the art museum, but we didn’t find any ghostly takers—except for Richard who has returned to Winchendon Springs.

At least one former exchange student from Bowdoin, now living in Brazil, told me that he traces his own haunted life from his days in Maine and the fatal attraction spirits seem to have for the ivy-halls.

 

Free Agency Strikes America!

DATELINE:  No Free Lunch Anywhere?

581955345.442218

This week we heard a comment that we stopped writing about sports because of “free agency.”  Well, no, not exactly, though it is an appalling condition in society in general.

You have to understand that lack of loyalty and love of money is rampant across America, not just in basketball where Avery Bradley has signed up to re-join Rajon Rondo, and Kyrie Irving left the place he swore he would stay in front of a million fans.

We have seen “free agency” at work everywhere. If there had been DNA tests thirty years ago, we would have exercised free agency and gone to Harvard University to work as a professor: we have learned we are a descendant of Miles Standish and Massasoit (for whom Massachusetts was named). If we knew we had more Native American in us than Elizabeth Warren, we might even be running for President today.

We have seen free agency in the legal profession. The same lawyers who work for Donald Trump also work for Jeffrey Epstein. You go from billionaire to billionaire. Is it more money? Better opportunity? More challenges? It is not loyalty to a brand.

You might switch banks for better interest rates, or switch social media to be with different influencers.

In recent years we have experienced our primary care doctor whom we loved, move to the Sun Belt, where she said in her letter of departure to patients, there were “more opportunities.” To what? Cure cancer? Lower blood pressure? Deal with fewer insurance forms?

This year our dentist, who had a beautiful office and seemed happy, left for “more opportunities.”  That likely means “more cavities to fill,” or “fewer teeth to pull,” or just where weather allows for fewer snow days.

Free agency is everywhere in society today, and it simply means people can go where they want, for whatever dumb reason strikes their limited fancy. We have an endemic pandemic epidemic of movers and shakers in sports, law, medicine, education, and politics.

Heaven help our society. We need a new prayer, and it must be time to move on from the Lord’s Prayer. Hell, no, I won’t go.

Legends of the Living Dead

DATELINE: No, Not Zombies!

burton Battling Burtons!

Another short series on Amazon Prime caught our most morbid sense: there are only four episodes, and we opted to look at the one that had several incidents that we have some knowledge about.

It is a series called Legends of the Living Dead.

Called derisively “Tinseltown,” the episode is a misnomer since most of the people under study here are NOT residents of Hollywood, and only had short ancillary careers there (if at all). Our friends in the industry hate that term “Tinseltown.”

This intriguing show is made up of short vignettes, nothing too in depth. First is an examination of the fight over dead Richard Burton by his wife Sally Burton and his two-time wife Elizabeth Taylor. The one-year marriage left Sally a widow who exercised her rights ruthlessly: she went against Burton’s wishes and his family’s to be buried in Wales. Instead, he is in Switzerland. Taylor was banned from the funeral. The idiot expert called them the Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston of the 60s! Imagine!

Another incident dealt with Sid Vicious and his talentless wife Nancy. Actually, he too was fairly untalented and faked guitar playing. He was arrested for her murder but overdosed shortly thereafter. Sid’s mother, another wack job, dumped his ashes on Nancy’s grave as a means to tie them together. Not a Hollywood story at all, except a movie was made about it.

Another episode in the hour discussed poetic songwriter Jim Morrison who never made a Hollywood movie, but Val Kilmer played him. He died in Paris and is buried there, not Hollywood.

Another tale is Australian Ned Kelly who was the subject of a couple of movies—made in Australia. It seems some backwoods bird keeps Ned’s skull in a box until he receives a pardon for his crimes.

Charlie Chaplin’s graverobbing incident in 1978 from his Swiss grave makes up another story, and the final episode is about the young male child who died on Titanic and is buried in Nova Scotia. Well, they have made a couple of Titanic movies, so that qualifies as a Tinseltown tale.

The little vignettes are treated with a cavalier irreverence, which is bad enough, but they really are misnomers to Tinseltown completely.

We may tackle the other three episodes at some point.

 

Work for Tom Brady! It’s Cheap!

 DATELINE: File Under “Help Wanted!”

tom-teddy Tom Hugs All Employees!

Yes, your golden opportunity is smiling down on you. Well, perhaps not so golden, as the pay is paltry, but TB12 in Patriot Place, Foxboro, is looking for a receptionist. In Tom’s bright world of euphemism, the job is Front Desk Associate.

You don’t need a pesky college degree (Tom barely finished with General Studies), but you do need all your teeth for smiling broadly no matter what happens. And, apparently, much stuff happens.

You will work for a “global company”, according to the description, but you do need to be an American citizen. Tom is a Republican, after all.

It’s a company with health issues, so you had better have super human strength to lift 50-pound bags of mail and answer it too. You should have a diligent work ethic—because you have to do it all part-time, including multi-tasking, fixing the computer, have a knowledge of health terms and bogus health issues, serve a diverse clientele that wants to meet Tom.

You need an iron ability to work with Giselle who probably doesn’t want Tom meeting any women. That likely includes any massage experts recommended by Robert Kraft.

Oh, yes, there are lots of interruptions at the front desk, according to the job description: like fending off crazed fans who want their money back. That’s probably why they’d like you to have a para-military or police background. Kung fu is not on the list of talents, but it may help.

TB12 is rapidly “evolving” as the ad states, because Tom is on the verge of retiring and may drop into the office more frequently. It also helps if you have an interest in transforming global health and botox treatments– and dealing with Julian Edelman and keeping Gronk out of Tom’s hair transplants.

Among the talents required: “Proven working experience” and “Exceptional verbal & written communication skills.” So, that GED will help after all.

If you want Tom’s autograph, it will only come on the paycheck.

 

P.S., YES, THIS IS A REAL JOB POSTED ONLINE!!!!

Mystery Files Presents 13 Cases

DATELINE:  Fake Controversies

mystery files

Well, prepare yourself for undercooked conspiracy theories and the usual suspects. It’s called without much originality, Mystery Files.

Amazon Prime gives us a British series from 2010 with thirteen traditional topics and claims they will solve the mystery behind the story.

We are inclined to give 30 minutes to a documentary series about the usual suspects. We also decided to sample the half-dozen topics for which we have an interest and have done some study. A few of them are actually people on whom we have written a book or two.

Mystery Files looks at Jack the Ripper, Leonardo da Vinci, Billy the Kid, Rasputin, Abe Lincoln, and the Romanovs, and the Man in the iron mask not necessarily in that order. We picked the names randomly to see what problem they intended to solve. We suspected that we would have the pedestrian, traditional mystery, but the series went out of its way to try to debunk something not often considered. The others we did not sample included Cleopatra, King Arthur, Nostradamus, and Joan of Arc.

Though the Leonardo show claimed it would look at his works like Mona Lisa, it actually tried to illustrate that Leonardo’s scientific reputation is largely based on plagiarized ideas from other seers of future technology.

They were going to identify the real Jack the Ripper, hinting that it was not one of the usual candidates, and they wanted to point out that Billy the Kid was not the violent serial killer dime novels claimed. (Yeah, he murdered only 4 people.) And, Rasputin may have been murdered, not by Russian nobles worried about the Czar, but by British secret service agents.

A double episode also looked at what happened to Anastasia and her sisters.

The findings all had a distinct British connection: even the Billy the Kid episode focused on his English friend John Tunstall and that the Kid was hell-bent on vindicating his murdered benefactor (avoiding the sticky issue of their consenting adulthood).

Prince Yousoupoof had an Oxford friend who worked for British intelligence and used the Czar’s relation as an excuse to stop Rasputin from convincing the Czar from brokering peace with Germany (to the detriment of England).

And, they wanted to prove that Abe Lincoln used mercury-laced pills to control his chronic depression and was poisoning himself. As for the Voltaire story, there seemed to be a prisoner in a velvet mask, not an iron one, in their assessment.

For the most part, their plans are grandiose, and not fully proven in half-an-hour, or worse they back down from the outrageous claims in nearly every case.

Yet, we give them credit for cram packing the episodes and trying to give us a different perspective.

Penultimate Gold from Civil War Curse

DATELINE: No Greed Too Low?

teenage captain Capt. Luke

Gold fever means unreasonable behavior. You can certainly see it in the more frantic activities as Curse of Civil War Gold comes roaring into the close of the second season.

Kevin Dykstra has never been one to respect weather, however bad Lake Michigan can get. They reluctantly find Mike Nelson, a young hotshot who is not bothered by freezing water or crashing waves.

We were more amazed that he went down 40 feet in 35-degree water without any gloves in his dry suit. He found it nippy. With the crew out in a small boat being assaulted by waves, Dykstra tells their teenage captain Luke Springstead to hold the boat steady. Easy for him to say. When Dykstra calls him “Captain Luke,” it almost sounds like an insult.

A second lonely dive for Nelson brings them the news that two seasons of shows has insisted will pay off. He has video of gold bars—which is sent to Alex and Marty Lagina, warm and comfortable back at their estate and too smart to go out diving.

Lagina has never been shy about his greed, and he mirrors Dykstra’s attitude that safety and human concern be damned. What’s more they show an uncanny lack of loyalty. The first reaction is to bring in more professional divers—like the notorious point killer, John Chatterton.

On two separate occasions he nearly wiped out the Curse of Oak Island with his negativity. So, Marty Lagina orders them to bring him aboard. Nelson is sent packing out of the room to spare him the humiliation of being fired on camera.

We almost can hear him say in the finale: nope, nope, nope, you dope.

Tune in next time for the second season point killer.

 

X-Files History & Piltdown-Man Fraud

DATELINE:  German View of England’s Finest!

dupes & dopes

Dupes & Dopes with Piltdown Man

You know this miniseries will be confused with the old crypto-investigators series with David Duchovny, but this German import felt no compunction about using the title and adding the word “X-Files History”. This is a German documentary that has only four episodes, and the one we sampled was juicy enough to stand alone.

One of the longest frauds perpetrated was by a gang of British scientists from 1912. Back then, methods were loose and discipline was nearly negligible. You could salt a dig site and no one would be the wiser.

A decade before Howard Carter in Egypt, there was Charles Dawson in England. He was no academic, no researcher, not a scholar, and only made his money through dubious means. He was born middle-class in Hastings.

Like many Brits of the era, he was offended that everyone rival to England was finding archaeolological gold. The United Kingdom was offended by being left in the dust of antiquity.

A couple of patriotic Englishmen may have started a cottage industry to find relics of the past. They, in fact, faked them brilliantly. The most brilliant and dubious was the Missing Link, corroborating Darwin’s theory of Ape Man descendants.

Dawson was a reprobate who lived in a fake castle, artificially aged and with a fantasy dungeon. He climbed the social ladder and married well, but his real hobby was aging bones to look like they were thousands of years old.

His greatest hoax was the find the Missing Link in England, not Africa, or China. As improbable as it seems, he had allies like Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote the Lost World the same year Dawson found the Missing Link.

The Dyle fans went bonkers when it was suggested that Sherlock’s creator might have a part in the fraud.

Even if he didn’t conspire with John Bull and the bull crap, Doyle was a prime dupe. He was into everything, including the paranormal. So, it was not a far jump for him to buy into the Piltdown Man and give him credibility.

The ultimate payment for the fraud (which took 40 years to expose) was the chemicals Dawson used to provide an old patina to the bones. The heavy metal fumes killed him and his wife in mid-experiment, like a grotesque Sherlock Holmes story.

Happiness is a Protective Cup

DATELINE: Chernobyl Goes to Dogs

up on the roof Suicide by Radiation?

Young conscripts sent to the Chernobyl disaster are given crude and useless cups for their scrota. It won’t help. They are not told the truth of the dangers of their mission, though it may not be hard to figure out.

The despondent faces of the young men ordered to commit suicide is quite evident.

Yet, critics of this series noted that the Russians in the series use the wrong type of drinking glass for vodka. Yikes! your world is ending! The type of glassware you select seems a minor consideration.

Episode 4 of Chernobyl reaches an apex of appalling. Cheap and homemade lead cups are tied loosely around the underside of young soldiers as they walk around camp.

Soviet bureaucrats begin to rebel against a mentality of their leaders to hide the notion that the Soviet empire can do anything wrong. It may be the last straw that will lead to the fall of the Communist rule.

One group’s job is to go into deserted and evacuated towns and shoot the stray dogs and cats that are dangerously radioactive. It is part of the mental strain that can break men.

In the meantime, Stellan Skarsgard and Jared Harris want to use lunar robots to push graphite off the roof of the power plant. However, the Soviet leadership will not accept American help (only West German)—and they provide false information to the Germans, who make a rover that cannot withstand radiation.

It leads to the most horrific of all concepts: bio-robots. Men will go into the roof area to sweep up the most radioactive debris. They will likely be dead in a short time, especially figuring on the thin lead aprons and headcovers.

If you fall during the job, you are likely to be dead before the sun sets.

A Russian general gives each man his pay at day’s end and wishes them “good health and long life,” knowing full well that neither will be available after their work.

 

 

Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle

DATELINE:   Paranormal Book on Titanic!

new kindle mystery cover Richard White (picture from college yearbook).

When you live in a haunted house and create an enchanted library, you may end up with some paranormal mysteries to explain.

That is the premise of William Russo’s latest book about the spirit of a Titanic victim who shows his host both devotion and protection.

You may question why a college student who died on the Titanic would follow a retired college professor, but the overriding sense of being haunted is not demonic according to a new book about Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle.

Psychics hint that there may be a reincarnation involved, or merely crossed wires of time and space. Whatever the cause, the effect is exhilarating:  messages and orbs fly all over the library. Russo’s path to his spirit guest crossed the lines of attending the same high school, but fifty years apart, and being members of the school chess team.

Whether you can accept DVDs thrown off shelves and other bizarre coincidences as regular daily activity, there is something definitely happening beyond normal. 

Dr. William Russo often contends that where he lives, the normal is paranormal. You may become convinced along with him.

A long-time skeptic of occult and paranormal, Russo cannot fight the barrage of evidence in his own home’s library that he has now turned over to a victim of the Titanic.

Richard Frazar White has taken up residence here and happily accepts his library as a gift. When he was a young man in 1912, he was a budding intellectual who spent time at his Aunt Julia’s library at Waikiki (the largest private library on the Hawaiian Islands in 1900). He is photographed, at the end of his life, two days before Titanic sinks, in the First-Class Reading Room of the grand ship.

And now, he has taken possession of a memorial library dedicated to him. Included in the volume are the weird anecdotes about Richard White’s ties to the art world, how Russo found Richard’s 1912 Bowdoin Bugle Yearbook, and how the orbs and noises of the library respond to his every request.

Other haunted people contact him with their own tales of connections to Richard, including a young lawyer from Brazil who was an exchange student at Bowdoin.

You may not believe it, but you cannot turn away from this page-turner.

Now available in soft-cover and e-book format on Amazon. Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle is the final volume of the Mill Circle series, and the third volume of the continuing tales of the Titanic by the author!

William Russo’s other works include: Tales of a Titanic Family, Chess-Mate from Titanic.    Dr. Russo will teach a course on Titanic: a Local History at the CALL Program at Keene State College in the Fall term. He also will give a guest lecture at Monty Tech Continuing Education program in Fitchburg, MA, in October.

Ratings Gold for Civil War Gold Show!

DATELINE: Moneybags Lagina Wins!

in Hackley library In Hackley Library Under His Images!

Somebody up there at History Channel knows how to salt a mine. Tenderfoot types are buying the bullion by the cartload.

The curse of Civil War Gold is the albatross of the Curse of Civil War Gold. It’s too late to change the show’s title, and they’re stuck with it. Kevin Dykstra, the originator, seems more and more bewildered that his pitch has been hijacked and evolves each week into something far afield from his notion of a gold hunt series.

Take the latest episode as the arc of the season nears its end. “Grave Expectations,” throws another ironic title at him. You know he’s out of his element.

Now he leads a team with co-leader Alex Lagina who joins him on the big moments, like meeting a great-grandson of a Michigan man who has gold purportedly from the Jeff Davis arrest. And when the team meets with Marty Moneybags Lagina, the old man had demanded to hold gold in his hand—it is Alex sitting next to him.

As if to add irony to the biting satire of meeting a man who confirms the Confederate Treasury was stolen by Union soldiers and hometown businessmen, the meeting takes place in the Hackley Public Library.

You guessed it: sitting under photos of Charles Hackley, the man Kevin Dykstra maligns at every stage of the series, they meet with a descendant of the conspiracy.

Well, at least, they confirmed this time that the mummy of John Wilkes Booth was a carnival attraction for years—hardly the proper fate of a man in on a plot to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in gold.

And, once again, an attempt to find the escape tunnel Booth used at Garrett’s Farm, is futile and pointless, as they have no permission to excavate to prove anything. An aside throws out the info that unspecified “authorities” have refused to allow Booth’s remains to be exhumed and tested with DNA.

The series has taken on a new life—and will likely be back on History next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Conspire to Kill Ortiz!

DATELINE: Bounty Hunters Come Cheap in DR

ortiz-unleashed Bargain Basement Killers!

The price on David Ortiz’s head was reportedly only $6000 to be divided up by a dozen conspirator killers. Then, the number went up: no, not the bounty, but the number of plotters splitting the ante. The latest count from the Dominican Republic is there are ten co-conspirators. It’s almost like a county fair of killers. A few are still at large.

We are on our way to a baker’s dozen.

Maybe your money goes a lot farther in the Dominican Republic economy. If that cheap lifestyle is driving Americans to move to that crime-ridden country, they are living a cheapskate rich lifestyle.

We thought that assassination of Julius Caesar was a shoddy affair, but 2000 years later the attack on Ortiz is even more carnival-like. Instead of a forum, or even Fenway Park, Ortiz was shot in the back, a la Jesse James, in an outdoor bistro atmosphere.

No motive has been given for the crime. We cringe at the speculation. And none of it enhances Ortiz’s reputation as a moral paragon.

Friends now say that Ortiz counted on the general public to protect him from dangerous gang members or gangsters.

The best laid plans belong to mice, not men. No one could stop the bullet with Big Papi’s name on it.

If you think witness identification is a deterrent to crime, you have only to see killers blithely walk up to the large Ortiz and put the gun at gall bladder height. They did not care who saw them, or if they would be known.

What we have here is the polar opposite of the Aaron Hernandez case.

The motorcycle get-away driver was inept too. He skidded into the crowd, giving a mob the courage to beat him up. He professes to be a Big Papi fan.

Heavens, imagine what might have happened if the motorcycle driver had been a Yankee fan.

We come back to the low-ball price on Ortiz’s head. This was not the work of a head-hunter, but of a world where life is not only cheap, but it is on sale to anyone with a credit card limit under $8000. The killers planned to share the amount at a payoff of $1000 each, but as the number goes up, the slice of the pie drops to crumbs for a murder.