Tag Archives: Crime

Cuffing Them at the Kristofferson Tribute Show

27 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Bridgestone Arena for a concert honoring Kris Kristofferson. Numerous stars of Country music were there to sing the songs that he had written and showcase his musical legacy. This was a concert that was anticipated by Kristofferson fans and fans of the people who would be performing. However, I did not anticipate that the mixture of people would turn volatile.

Before the show, I noticed that a lot people were not accustomed to attending concerts at Bridgestone. As we walked down the sidewalk, one man stopped at every door and asked if that is where they enter. When we found our seats, the man next to me kept commenting to his wife about the large number of people in the building. In fact, they had the upper deck covered with drapes, which meant this was one of the venues smaller crowds.Kristofferson

Our seats were on the floor, which meant that it was hard to see what was happening on the stage. Floor seats are awesome when you are close to the stage. They are not that awesome when you are further back. However, there is one thing that is constant. Sitting on the floor means that you are going to spend some time standing up. I know that. My wife knows that. However, the people who do not attend many arena concerts apparently do not know that.

For the most part, people stayed in their seats. After all, Kristofferson songs are not the type of songs that get you dancing in the aisles. However, there were a few times when people stood up. That is when the yelling started.

“DOWN IN FRONT!!”

“PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN!!”

“WE CAN’T SEE!!”

For a while, the yellers got what they wanted. Then, Eric Church hit the stage. This is a guy who younger people love. This is also a guy who young people stand up to see. I am sure some of those young people came to the concert just to see him. When he came out, those young people stood up.

It was not long before the yelling started, but the standers did not sit down. In fact, one of the standers yelled back.

“WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU SIT ON THE FLOOR?!?”

I agreed with her, but she did not understand. They did not know to expect it.

The yelling continued back and forth. Then, an usher walked up to the young lady and talked with her. This is when she made a fatal mistake.

Before continuing the story, I should say that the young lady was sitting 6 rows in front of me at a concert. Yet, I could hear her clearly when she yelled at the usher.

“GET OUT OF MY FACE!!”

Actually, she included a derogatory term that means fornicating. It also begins with the letter F.

Within minutes, there were 6 police officers on the scene. Apparently, they did not like her comments because they were attempting to escort her from the building. She did not comply and ended up being held by her hands and her feet. This was to stop her punching and kicking. Eventually, she was leaning over a rail and being handcuffed.

As she was taken past us, her friend was being handcuffed and begin prepared for her own perp walk. As the officers took the ladies out, people cheered more than they had cheered any of the performers. They had hate in their eyes, and I could have sworn that one woman spat at them.

I have already written about people who constantly stand at sporting events. However, this was different. She was right. When you sit on the floor at an arena show, you should expect to stand up. Should she have screamed obscenities at the usher? No, he was just doing his job. However, I do not think people should have been yelling about people standing up.

I expected to stand up. But, I never expected to see someone get arrested at a tribute concert for Kris Kristofferson.

The Martyr of Phenix City

15 Mar

There have been tons of movies about corruption in America’s cities. The list is long, but it includes:

New York

Las Vegas

Los Angeles

Chicago

Boston

Phenix City, Alabama

Have you never heard of Phenix City?

In the 1940s and 1950s, Phenix City was a den of organized crime that included prostitution and gambling. Those enterprises were successful because Fort Benning sat across the border in Georgia. Where there is the military, there are young men with money. Where there are young men with money, there are folks who come up with ways to get that money. Phenix City was where those folks were based.

However, there were also folks who did not want their community to be dominated by corruption and who worked to clean up the town. Albert Patterson, lawyer and politician, was one of these people.Albert Patterson

He served in the Alabama state senate from 1947 to 1951. After that service, he joined the Russell Betterment Association to help eradicate organized crime from Phenix City and Russell County.

This did not sit well with those who profited from vice, which was proven by the resulting violence. As a result, the members of the Russell Betterment Association decided that it had to be fought on the state level. Since Patterson, had held office in the capital, he was for the Democratic nomination for State Attorney General.

At the time, Alabama was a one-party state, and the Democrats were that party. If you won the primary, then you had won the office. That was not a result that the organized crime figures of Phenix City could tolerate. In 1954, Patterson left his office and was shot while getting into his car. His son, John Patterson, replaced his father on the ballot and won. He would later become governor.

In 1955, Hollywood entered the picture and released The Phenix City Story, which told the tale that I just wrote about. It stars John McIntire as Albert Patterson and fits in the film noir mode.

So, why am I writing about long ago corruption in an Alabama town?

Well, I have heard about Phenix City my entire life. My dad was fascinated with it, and I picked up bits and pieces of it. In later years, I watched the movie and found it interesting. As I learned more about the story, there was always something nagging at the back of my mind. There was some bit of information that I knew was in there, but I kept missing it. Finally, I started digging around and figured it out. I could have heard it before and forgotten it. I could have just suspected it. Now, I know.

Albert Patterson, who fight against organized crime and resulting death was chronicled in a movie, graduated from Cumberland University.

 

Remembering Steve McNair

4 Jul

July 4, 2009 – People throughout Nashville and the Middle Tennessee area were getting ready for a big Fourth of July celebration. The huge fireworks show in downtown was being prepared. Streets were being blocked off for the crowds. People were cooking out in the surrounding counties. I had just shown up at my friend’s house in Rutherford County.

That is when the shocking news began to spread. I got texts. We turned on the television. News vans had descended on a condo in Nashville where Steve McNair was found dead.Steve McNair

I did not know Steve McNair. One night, I saw him shooting pool in a bar, but that does not mean you know someone. However, I was one of thousands of people who walked into a football stadium and watched him play quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

He was more than a quarterback. He was the icon of a city. When the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Titans, a lot of people thought it would never work. Nashville was not big enough to support an NFL team. The first years proved the doubters right as the team struggled in Memphis and at Vanderbilt’s stadium before getting a home of their own. As the team struggled, Steve McNair got much of the blame.

However, when they got into the new stadium, the abilities of McNair and the rest of the team appeared. Imagine not having an NFL team in your city then getting one. Take your imagination further and think about how it would feel if that team went to the Super Bowl in their first year. On top of that, include a miracle play that propelled them on the magical run.

That year was great, and the fans were spoiled. Heck, this must be the way it is going to be every year.

I was in the Georgia Dome when Steve McNair almost completed one of the great comebacks in Super Bowl history. The team fell one yard short, but it epitomized what we would see from him in the years to come.

Steve McNair was a quarterback, but he was also a leader. He showed his toughness by playing hurt and running over defenders. He proved his college nickname of “Air McNair” was true when he won the MVP award. People admired him for his leadership and his ability. It was as if nothing could bring Steve McNair down.

Five years ago, that was proven wrong. As the days passed, the coverage of his death was constantly on television. It was one of the biggest news stories in Nashville’s history. People wondered what happened, and, eventually, the police told us. Steve McNair was the victim of a murder/suicide carried out by a young woman he had a relationship with. Obviously, that young woman was not his wife.

I am not here to judge him on his decisions. I am here to say that those who saw him play will remember those great games, but they will also remember when they heard the news of his death. On July 4, the people of Middle Tennessee celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and cookouts. However, many of them will also think about Steve McNair; the impact he had on this area; and the tragedy that befell him.

The Yard Dog Award – Stealing Signs

21 Jun

It has been a while since we presented someone with the Yard Dog Award. The first one went to a porn king, and the second went to a wonderful gentleman in Cleveland, Ohio. This one is more political in nature.

At some point in the past, I wrote about my issues with politicians and the designs of their yard signs. This time, I take issue with people who steal those yard signs.Stealing

During this election cycle, there has been an epidemic of signs disappearing in the middle of the night. Heck, they have also been disappearing during the day. It is certain that these signs are not pulling themselves out of the ground and walking off. No, it is the work of thieves. Who are these people?

It could be people who support another candidate.

It could be people with nothing better to do.

It could be people who think they are secret agents going on dangerous missions.

It really does not matter why people do it. What matters is that it is stealing.

Here is the thing. People can be against a candidate and go around telling people how terrible it would be if they got elected. People can tell a candidate to their face that they would not vote for them in a million years. People can do all kinds of things in elections, and recent years have shown us that elections are not cordial.

However, these candidates have decided to put their name on a ballot because they want to serve the community. It takes guts to be a candidate because the chance of losing is always there. On top of that, they are spending their own money to buy signs to put in yards.

Candidates running for state or federal office have plenty of donors and the party coffers behind them, but local candidates do not have that support. They have a few supporters who give them a little money, and they have their own checkbook. There is no reason to steal something that they have spent hard-earned money on.

The Yard Dog Award goes to those people who think it is a good idea to steal yard signs. It is a ridiculous and childish act that most people think is stupid.

If You Missed the Trial of the Century, Then Wait. There Will Be Another One Soon.

17 Jun

June 17, 1994 – I was at a Bluegrass festival being held at the Ward Ag Center in Lebanon. Porter Wagoner was the emcee, and I have no idea why because he was not a Bluegrass artists. Jim and Jesse performed, but I cannot remember who else was on the docket.

Why remember a long ago Bluegrass festival? Because word filtered through the crowd that O.J. Simpson, whose wife had been brutally murdered with her friend a few days earlier, was leading a low-speed chase through the freeways of Los Angeles. Helicopters were hovering over the white Bronco as O.J. and Al made their way through the city.White Bronco

As millions of people were mesmerized by the chase, I was listening to some of that good old mountain music. Through the years, I have seen the documentaries and the reruns, but the live version went on without me. In those days, you could not even bring it up on your phone. I know that is hard to imagine.

Of course, the events of that week led to a nationwide fascination with the case and the trial that found O.J not guilty. It was known as the Trial of the Century because everyone had an opinion.

This post could be about a lot of things. It could be about collective memory and the notion that everyone can remember where they were when a high event happened. It could be about the verdict and the opinions that followed. However, it is not about those things. It is about the fact that there was more than one Trial of the Century.

Everyone who remembers the O.J. Simpson trial thinks that it is the biggest legal event that ever happened. That know Judge Lance Ito. They know that it was the first time they ever heard the name Kardashian. However, there were earlier trials just as huge and just as fascinating to the general public.

1924 – The Leopold and Loeb Trial

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were students at the University of Chicago School of Law who wanted to commit the perfect crime. Together, they spent months planning the crime and murdered Bobby Franks, a 14 year-old boy. Clarence Darrow was hired to defend them, but his real job was to keep them away from the death penalty.

Loeb was killed in prison, and Leopold was released after serving 33 years.

1925 – The Scopes Monkey Trial

Tennessee outlawed the teaching of Evolution in public schools, and business leaders in Dayton decided to use that to gain some publicity. They “arrested” John Scopes for teaching the theory and sent word that a trial was to be held. It grew into more than they could have imagined with William Jennings Bryan agreed to serve as prosecution and Darrow agreed to be the defense.

The trial was broadcast on radio throughout the nation and became a fight between the forces of religion and the forces of science. Bryan died from the stress of the trial, and Darrow was foiled in his attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court. A technicality overturned the guilty verdict.

1935 – The Lindbergh Baby Trial

Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly a plane non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. This gained him more fame than he could have ever dreamed of. It also brought tragedy. His child, less than 2 years-old, was abducted, and ransom was demanded. There was an attempt to pay the money, but the child’s body was found a few miles from the Lindbergh home.

It seemed that everyone got in on the investigation, and suspicions finally fell on Richard Hauptmann, who was tried, sentenced and executed.

There have been numerous theories about this case. Did Hauptmann do it? Did the real killer get away with it? As the trial was going on, millions of people wanted to know.

Americans are fascinated by crimes. Heck, how many times a week does a crime get solved in an hour on some television show. However, those shows cannot compare to the real thing, and the public latches on to these stories as if they were “made for TV.” I guess those early ones were “made for radio.”

With that curiosity, we can be certain that there will be Trials of This Century just like there were Trials of the Last Century. Actually, we have already had one. I wonder what ever happened to Casey Anthony.

 

Finding Out About the Ade Family Mystery

19 Mar

I was hanging out by the magazine stand in Walgreen’s when a title caught my eye. The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of All Time: 50 Baffling Cases from the Files. It struck me that this would fit nicely as the latest edition to the “Listeria” series. It was a grand plan. I would see how many of these mysteries have taken place in my lifetime. Of course, a synopsis of each one would be included.

Then, everything changed. I was glancing through the mysteries when the pages turned to a segment called “Who Wiped Out the Ade Family?” That was new. I had never heard of the Ade family. However, the first sentence got my attention because it said the crime was committed in Nashville. One of the great unsolved mysteries of all time happened a few miles down the road, and I had never heard of it.

Honestly, I thought I knew about most of the infamous crimes that took place around here. I have read as much as possible about the murder of Stringbean, a performer on the Grand Ole Opry, and his wife. For years, people around here wanted to know who killed Marcia Trimble, who was killed while delivering Girl Scout cookies. I even know a little about the Harpe brothers, who some think were a couple of the earliest serial killers in America.

However, I had never heard of the Ade family. I read the article and immediately went to Google to find out more. There was not much. The article had as much information as the other sources. In fact, some of it used the same language. I guess when you cannot find much, then you go with what you can.

The murders took place in Joelton, a community in Davidson County. A neighborhood saw fire in the distance and made his way to the Ade residence. The entire family and a guest were inside and consumed by the fire. When authorities investigated, they realized that the family had been killed, and the fire was set to cover it up.

The mystery of who did it has continues until now. Considering that it took place in 1897, the cold case will remain that way.

There is nothing for me to add to the mystery. I am writing about it because, as far as I know, the family has been forgotten. I understand that the crime will never be solved, but more people who live in this area should know that the crime took place. They should know that one of the great mysteries of the world took place in Nashville, and no one has delved into it enough to fill up a decent Wikipedia page.

The victims were:

Jacob Ade, 60

Pauline Ade, 50

Lizze Ade, 20

Henry Ade, 13

Rosa Moirer, 10

I Could Write

12 Feb

I have a couple of posts rattling around in my mind, but I am not ready to write them. The right words have not appeared to me. Actually, they have appeared, but they have appeared at the wrong time. My best and most creative thoughts always come when I am in bed with my eyes closed. They bounce around and lead me into all kinds of directions. I should write them down, but I always remind myself to remember them when I wake up.

The words of the posts have come to me, but I am still not ready to write them. Instead, I have been looking around for something to inspire a post, and it is not happening.

I could write about the Snow Dome that is covering my area. This winter has been bitterly cold and parts of the South have had major snow and ice storms. We have not had anything. Every place around us has been hit, and we have stayed dry. The temperature and the precipitation have always come at different times. Not that I am complaining. A winter without snow is a wonderful thing. It is just weird.

I could write about how it is colder in the building I work in than it is outside. I know it is a big building, but there should be a little bit of heat. People walk around with coats on and hoodies pulled over their heads.

I could write about the FBI being in town. The entire story has not been released, but, a few days ago, a man opened up a package that exploded and killed him. It also put his wife in critical condition. When I heard about it, the Unabomber immediately jumped into my mind. He sent a package to Nashville that killed someone.

I could write about the porn movie that is was filmed in my neighborhood last year. However, I do not have the complete story – only bits and pieces from various sources who did not take part in the filming. I thought porn movies were filmed in mansions. It turns out they are filmed in regular houses, too.

I could write about cows. That is what I have been teaching about in class. Students have been hearing everything there is to know about cattle drives, cowboys, cattle towns and cattlemen. Before it is over, they will be eating more chicken.Eat More Chicken

I could write about Daisy Dog. She moved in when we got married and is a great pet. She always wants to hang around me because I am her favorite human. She licks a lot, but we all have our faults. Despite that, I am sure that I would be kicked out of the house before she would.Cancun 214

I could write about a lot of things, but my mind is filled with words for other posts. At some point, I have to get those words together and on this screen.