Archive for the ‘Obits’ Category

Obit watch: May 29, 2017.

Monday, May 29th, 2017

A Navy parachutist performing an aerial demonstration for Fleet Week died on Sunday after his chute did not open properly and he plunged into the Hudson River as hundreds of people watched from Liberty State Park.

No snark here, but I was totally unaware that the Navy had a parachute demonstration team. I’ve heard of the Army’s Golden Knights, of course, but not the Leap Frogs.

Leap Frogs Twitter. As I post this, their feed hasn’t been updated since before yesterday’s demonstration: I’m sure they have more important things to do right now and will be updating it when they can, so I would watch there for additional information.

Obit watch: May 28, 2017.

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Gregg Allman, of the Allman Brothers Band and “married to Cher” fame.

In 1977, Mr. Allman and the singer Cher, to whom he was married at the time, released the album “Two the Hard Way.” (They were billed on the cover as Allman and Woman.) The project was poorly received by critics and the record-buying public alike.

Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame baseball player, perfect game pitcher, and later a congressional rep and a senator frim Kentucky.

He was the second pitcher, after Cy Young, to win at least 100 games, record at least 1,000 strikeouts and throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues. When he retired after the 1971 season, his 2,855 strikeouts were second only to Walter Johnson’s 3,509.

And, of course, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor and soccer theorist.

Obit watch: May 23, 2017.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Anne Dick, Philip K. Dick’s third wife. (Hattip: Lawrence.)

Roger Moore.

(Edited to add: NYT obit, which was not up when I posted earlier.)

Followup: apparently, and contrary to the NYT report which I relied on, G.I. Joe had two daddies.

Small updates and notes.

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. Noted here because:

1) His conviction was for lying to investigators. What did someone once say? Trying to remember, on the tip of my tongue…Oh, yeah:

Really, seriously, just shut the fuck up.

2) This is more fallout from the “Fat Leonard” scandal, covered both here and on Battleswarm.

For the record, I don’t have a damn thing to say about Roger Ailes: I don’t watch the news, on any network, unless I’m someplace where I don’t control the means of video reproduction.

In case you haven’t had enough of the Moors Murders, the NYT has chosen to publish a nice historical retrospective. I say that with only a small amount of sarcasm: it’s probably useful if you are a true crime buff who doesn’t have children and won’t lose sleep over the details. For the rest of you, well, content warning.

After a tense nine hours of deliberations, a jury acquitted Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby of a first-degree manslaughter charge in the death of Terence Crutcher.

Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection.

Obit watch: May 16, 2017.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

(Content warning: be careful about following links.)

Ian Brady descended into Hell yesterday.

Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley were the infamous “Moors Murderers”. Between 1963 and 1965, they killed five children. Four of them were buried on Saddleworth Moor: the body of the fifth has never been found. Brady and Hindley were convicted of three murders in 1966.

Moors murders from Wikipedia. There is more to the crime than I’m discussing here, because nobody needs to read that shit first thing in the morning. Both the obituary linked above and the Wikipedia entry give those details, but I strongly suggest you think carefully before following those links.

By the way, Hindley died in 2002.

Edited to add: NYT obit. This gives a longer and more comprehensive summary for a non-UK audience, in my opinion. Same content warning applies.

Obit watch: May 15, 2017.

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Powers Boothe, noted knock-around actor.

He attended Southwest Texas State University — he said he was the first one in his family to go to college — and then received a master’s degree in drama from Southern Methodist University.

(Apologies for not posting this earlier, but it took a while for the NYT to post their obit, and none of the other sites that had obits posted were ones I wanted to link to.)

Obit watch: May 12, 2017.

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Stan Weston passed away May 1st.

In a letter to Mr. Levine that confirmed his ideas, Mr. Weston said that a “complete military package” could be developed around “rugged-looking scale dolls for boys complete with military wardrobes to scale, military headgear to scale, military weapons to scale,” and armed service insignia, combat medals, sharpshooting awards and flags of the United States and the world.

That became G.I. Joe. The good original one, not the lame “Cobra Commander” bushwa.

I was a big G.I. Joe fan when I was a kid (though Hasbro never quite got the “Kung-Fu Grip” right). I think I still have a couple of retro Joes (Tuskegee Airman and Marine Scout Sniper) around the apartment. I’ll have to look for those…

Obit watch: May 9, 2017.

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Bob Owens of Bearing Arms died yesterday. Tam. Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection. (Hattip: Lawrence.)

The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

Richard Basciano, noted Times Square pornography impresario.

This doesn’t quite qualify as an obit, but I think I’m justified in putting it here.

The photo above was taken by US Army Spc. Hilda I. Clayton on July 2, 2013 in Langham province, Afghanistan. Spc. Clayton was photographing live fire training when a mortar tube exploded. Four Afghan soldiers were killed.

So was Spc. Clayton. This is the last photo she ever took. It was released (with the permission of her family) and published in the current issue of Military Review.

She was 22.

(Hattip: the “On Taking Pictures” podcast.)

Obit watch: May 7, 2017.

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Bruce Hampton, aka “Col. Bruce Hampton”, jam band guy.

The Hampton Grease Band released an album on Columbia — Mr. Hampton liked to claim that it was one of the worst-selling albums in the label’s history — and opened for the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and other nationally known acts. It was also known for its twisted sense of humor, which included playing practical jokes.

I actually remember “Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit”: not any of the songs off of it, but just the title. What can I say, it tickled my fancy.

Peter Flawn, former president of the University of Texas. Among his many other accomplishments, he’s the guy who fired John Mackovic.

Obit watch: May 4, 2017.

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Tony Alamo, crazy cult leader.

At its height, his ministry claimed thousands of members nationwide, drawn to Mr. Alamo’s virulent anti-Catholicism and apocalyptic speech, in which he claimed that God had authorized polygamy, professed that homosexuals were the tools of Satan, and believed that girls were fit for marriage. “Consent is puberty,” he told The Associated Press in 2008.

He was convicted of tax evasion in the 90s and did four years for that. Then, in 2009, he was convicted of sexually abusing young girls (eight year olds, dude) and sentenced to 175 years in prison.

Former followers said Mr. Alamo had grown unhinged after his wife, Susan, died of cancer in 1982. Her body had been kept in a room at the northwest Arkansas compound, and his followers kept a vigil, praying for months for a resurrection. The body was eventually placed in a concrete crypt.

And that’s not even the weird part.

Obit watch: May 1, 2017.

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Dick Contino, noted accordion player and sometime actor.

In the late 1940’s, Mr. Contino was pulling down “up to $4,000 a week”. Then, in 1951, he got drafted into the Army. He didn’t take well to this:

…after reporting to Fort Ord, near Monterey, Calif., bolted before his induction, overwhelmed by persistent neuroses including claustrophobia.

He ended up serving 4 1/2 months in federal prison and paying a $10,000 fine for “refusing to submit to induction”. He was later pardoned, but his career never completely recovered.

He did go on to do a couple of B-movies, including “Daddy-O” (which some of you may remember as a Joel episode of MST3K). And even later on, he was the inspiration for James Ellroy’s “Dick Contino’s Blues”.

Obit watch: April 28, 2017.

Friday, April 28th, 2017

When I was young, there were giants in the earth.

One of them, Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, died this morning.

His characteristic nickname dated back to his days as a running back on the football team at then-Reagan High School in Houston. He never ran straight down the field, but zigzagged in a way his coach described as running like a racehorse. Haynes embraced the nickname. He had business cards made with a horse’s head on it, Tritico said.

He was one of the greatest criminal defense lawyers ever. He represented John Hill in his first and only murder trial. (And the Chron is wrong: the case ended in a mistrial, not a hung jury.)

Later, Haynes represented Cullen Davis, the first billionaire indicted for murder in the U.S., and Pam Fielder, who was accused of killing her abusive husband. Haynes’ defense on the Fielder case is now embodied in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, giving women the right to defend themselves against abusers, said Tritico.

Tribute from Murry Newman.

If you didn’t know who he was when you saw him, you would never guess that you were in the presence of a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima, or Texas’ most famous trial lawyer.