Saturday, July 2, 2022

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

 


NOTABLE CRIMES: THE LINDBERGH KIDNAP

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NOTABLE CRIMES: THE LINDBERGH KIDNAP

This new series was intended to start with a short look at a crime involving one of America's heroes of the time but ended up growing into something more detailed. 
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) was an American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, and activist who, at the age of 25 in 1927, achieved world fame by making the first nonstop flight from New York City to Paris in his plane The Spirit of St Louis. Though the first non-stop transatlantic flight had been completed eight years earlier, this was the first solo transatlantic flight, the first transatlantic flight between two major city hubs, and the longest transatlantic flight by almost 2,000 miles.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Lindbergh (1906 – 2001) was an American writer and aviator, the wife of Charles Lindbergh who she had married in 1929. In 1930 she became the first woman to receive a U.S. glider pilot license and throughout the early 1930s, she served as radio operator and copilot to Charles on multiple exploratory flights and aerial surveys.

Charles Lindbergh Jnr

The first child of Charles and Anne, he was born on Anne's 24th birthday, June 22, 1930. The Lindberghs had five more children.

Mugshot taken of Richard Hauptmann, taken following his arrest.

Bruno Hauptmann (1899 – 1936) was born in Germany and had entered the US by stowing away on an ocean liner. After serving in WW1 and before entry to the US, Hauptmann and a friend robbed two women wheeling baby carriages they were using to transport food. The friend wielded Hauptmann's army pistol during the commission of this crime. Hauptmann's other charges include burglarizing a mayor's house with the use of a ladder. Released after three years in prison, he was arrested three months later on suspicion of additional burglaries. Landing in New York City in 1923, the 24-year-old Hauptmann was taken in by a member of the established German community and worked as a carpenter.

Anna Hauptmann, wife of Bruno Hauptmann

Anna Hauptmann (1898–1994) was the German-born American wife of Bruno Hauptmann. She came to the US in 1923, married Bruno and together they had a son, Manfred. For almost 6 decades after Bruno’s death she fought to clear husband's name in what was called by contemporaries "the crime of the century." By the time of her death, some doubts about his guilt had been raised by a number of well-researched and soberly argued books.

Dr. John F. Condon, aka Jafsie.

Condon was a well-known Bronx personality and retired school teacher.
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THE CRIME:

On March 1, 1932, baby Charles Lindbergh Jnr, then 20 months old, was abducted from the crib in the upper floor of the Lindberghs' home in New Jersey.

At approximately 10.00pm the Lindberghs’ nurse, Betty Gow, found that Charles was not with his mother, who had just come out of the bathtub. Gow then alerted Charles Lindbergh, who immediately went to the child's room, where he found a ransom note, containing bad handwriting and grammar, in an envelope on the windowsill. Taking a gun, Lindbergh went around the house and grounds with family butler, Olly Whateley; they found impressions in the ground under the window of the baby's room, pieces of a wooden ladder, and a baby's blanket. Whateley telephoned the Hopewell police department while Lindbergh contacted his attorney and friend, Henry Breckinridge, and the New Jersey state police.

The house and ladder

The ransom note.

It reads:
Dear Sir!

Have 50.000$ redy 25 000$ in 20$ bills 15000$ in 10$ bills and 10000$ in 5$ bills After 2–4 days we will inform you were to deliver the mony. We warn you for making anyding public or for notify the Police the child is in gut care. Indication for all letters are Singnature and 3 hohls.

At the bottom of the note were two interconnected blue circles surrounding a red circle, with a hole punched through the red circle and two more holes to the left and right.
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INVESTIGATION AND FURTHER EVENTS:

Results and conclusions of police investigations:

No usable fingerprints or footprints were found, leading experts to conclude that the kidnapper(s) wore gloves and had some type of cloth on the soles of their shoes.

Handwriting experts concluded that the ransom note had been written entirely by the same person.

Also that due to the odd English, the writer must have been German and had spent some, but little time in America.

The ladder was not built correctly but was built by someone who knew how to construct with wood and had prior experience in building.

The FBI did not have Federal jurisdiction (that was changed by legislation later) but took over the investigation on May 13, 1932 as a result of the US President’s direction.

Hundreds of civilians converged on the Lindbergh property to assist in investigations, trampling on any footprints. Military leaders offered to assist, as did members of the underworld. Even Al Capone offered to help in getting the baby back in return for being released from prison, but this was refused.

New Jersey officials announced a $25,000 reward for the safe return of "Little Lindy". The Lindbergh family offered an additional $50,000 reward of their own. At this time, the total reward of $75,000 (approximately equivalent to $1,186,000 in 2020) was a tremendous sum of money, because the nation was in the midst of the Great Depression.

On March 6, a new ransom letter arrived by mail at the Lindbergh home. The letter was postmarked March 4 in Brooklyn, and it carried the perforated red and blue marks. The ransom had been raised to $70,000. A third ransom note postmarked from Brooklyn told the Lindberghs that one John Condon should be the intermediary between the Lindberghs and the kidnapper(s), and requested notification in a newspaper that the third note had been received. Instructions specified the size of the box the money should come in, and warned the family not to contact the police.

Condon offered $1,000 if the kidnapper would turn the child over to a Catholic priest. Condon received a letter reportedly written by the kidnappers; it authorized Condon to be their intermediary with Lindbergh. Lindbergh accepted the letter as genuine.

Following the kidnapper's latest instructions, Condon placed a classified ad in the New York American reading: "Money is Ready. Jafsie " Condon then waited for further instructions from the culprits.

A meeting between "Jafsie" and a representative of the group that claimed to be the kidnappers was eventually scheduled for late one evening at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. According to Condon, the man sounded foreign but stayed in the shadows during the conversation, and Condon was thus unable to get a close look at his face. The man said his name was John, and he related his story: He was a "Scandinavian" sailor, part of a gang of three men and two women. The baby was being held on a boat, unharmed, but would be returned only for ransom. When Condon expressed doubt that "John" actually had the baby, he promised some proof: the kidnapper would soon return the baby's sleeping suit. The stranger asked Condon, "... would I 'burn'[a] if the package[b] were dead?" When questioned further, he assured Condon that the baby was alive.

On March 16, Condon received a toddler's sleeping suit by mail, and a seventh ransom note. After Lindbergh identified the sleeping suit, Condon placed a new ad in the Home News: "Money is ready. No cops. No secret service. I come alone, like last time." On April 1 Condon received a letter saying it was time for the ransom to be delivered.
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RANSOM PAYMENT:

The ransom was packaged in a wooden box that was custom-made in the hope that it could later be identified. The ransom money included a number of gold certificates; since gold certificates were about to be withdrawn from circulation, it was hoped greater attention would be drawn to anyone spending them. The bills were not marked but their serial numbers were recorded.

On April 2, Condon was given a note by an intermediary, an unknown cab driver. Condon met "John" and told him that they had been able to raise only $50,000. The man accepted the money and gave Condon a note saying that the child was in the care of two innocent women.
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DISCOVERY OF THE BODY AND EVENTS TO ARREST:

On May 12, delivery truck driver Orville Wilson and his assistant William Allen pulled to the side of a road about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of the Lindbergh home for Allen to urinate. Allen went into a grove of trees and discovered the body of a toddler. The skull was badly fractured and the body decomposed, with evidence of scavenging by animals; there were indications of an attempt at a hasty burial.

The Lindberghs’ nurse Betty Gow identified the baby as the missing infant from the overlapping toes of the right foot and a shirt that she had made. It appeared the child had been killed by a blow to the head. Lindbergh insisted on cremation.

In June 1932, officials began to suspect that the crime had been perpetrated by someone the Lindberghs knew.

Condon was questioned by police and his home searched, but nothing suggestive was found. Charles Lindbergh stood by Condon during this time, even though his actions were sometimes bizarre, such as conducting hios own investigations, foot pursuits of those he deemed suspects and appearance in a vaudeville act regarding the kidnapping.

With investigation of suspects at a standstill, police turned their attention to tracking the ransom payments. A few of the ransom bills. Identified by serial numbers, appeared in scattered locations, some as far away as Chicago and Minneapolis, but those spending the bills were never found.

In late April a man brought $2,980 worth of gold certificates to a Manhattan bank for exchange; it was later realized the bills were from the ransom. He had given his name as J. J. Faulkner of 537 West 149th Street. No one named Faulkner lived at that address, and a Jane Faulkner who had lived there 20 years earlier denied involvement.
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ARREST:

During a thirty-month period, further ransom bills were spent throughout New York City and detectives determined that many of the bills were being spent along the route which connected the Bronx with the east side of Manhattan, including the German-Austrian neighbourhood of Yorkville.

On September 18, 1934, a Manhattan bank teller noticed a gold certificate from the ransom; a New York license plate number (4U-13-41-N.Y) pencilled in the bill's margin allowed it to be traced to a nearby gas station. The station manager had written down the license number because his customer was acting "suspicious" and was "possibly a counterfeiter". The license plate belonged to a sedan owned by Richard Hauptmann. (Hauptmann never used his name “Bruno” but all documents and reporting proceeded under that name).

When Hauptmann was arrested, he was carrying a single 20-dollar gold certificate and over $14,000 of the ransom money was found in his garage.

Hauptmann was arrested, interrogated, and beaten at least once throughout the following day and night. Hauptmann stated that the money and other items had been left with him by his friend and former business partner Isidor Fisch. Fisch had died on March 29, 1934, shortly after returning to Germany. Hauptmann stated he learned only after Fisch's death that the shoebox that was left with him contained a considerable sum of money. He kept the money because he claimed that it was owed to him from a business deal that he and Fisch had made. Hauptmann consistently denied any connection to the crime or knowledge that the money in his house was from the ransom.

When the police searched Hauptmann's home, they found a considerable amount of additional evidence that linked him to the crime. One item was a notebook that contained a sketch of the construction of a ladder similar to that which was found at the Lindbergh home in March 1932. John Condon's telephone number, along with his address, were discovered written on a closet wall in the house. A key piece of evidence, a section of wood, was discovered in the attic of the home. After being examined by an expert, it was determined to be an exact match to the wood used in the construction of the ladder found at the scene of the crime.

Hauptmann was indicted in the Bronx on September 24, 1934, for extorting the $50,000 ransom from Charles Lindbergh. Two weeks later, on October 8, Hauptmann was indicted in New Jersey for the murder of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr.
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TRIAL:

Hauptmann was charged with capital murder. The trial was held at the Hunterdon County Courthouse in Flemington, New Jersey, and was soon dubbed the "Trial of the Century". Reporters swarmed the town, and every hotel room was booked. Judge Thomas Whitaker Trenchard presided over the trial.

In exchange for rights to publish Hauptmann's story in their newspaper, Edward J. Reilly was hired by the New York Daily Mirror to serve as Hauptmann's attorney. David T. Wilentz, Attorney General of New Jersey, led the prosecution.

Evidence against Hauptmann included $20,000 of the ransom money found in his garage and testimony alleging that his handwriting and spelling were similar to those of the ransom notes. Eight handwriting experts pointed out similarities between the ransom notes and Hauptmann's writing specimens. The defence called an expert to rebut this evidence, while two others declined to testify; the latter two demanded $500 before looking at the notes and were dismissed when Lloyd Fisher, a member of Hauptmann's legal team, declined. Other experts retained by the defence were never called to testify.

On the basis of the work of Arthur Koehler at the Forest Products Laboratory, the State introduced photographs demonstrating that part of the wood from the ladder matched a plank from the floor of Hauptmann's attic: the type of wood, the direction of tree growth, the milling pattern, the inside and outside surface of the wood, and the grain on both sides were identical, and four oddly placed nail holes lined up with nail holes in joists in Hauptmann's attic. Condon's address and telephone number were written in pencil on a closet door in Hauptmann's home, and Hauptmann told police that he had written Condon's address:
I must have read it in the paper about the story. I was a little bit interested and keep a little bit record of it, and maybe I was just on the closet, and was reading the paper and put it down the address ... I can't give you any explanation about the telephone number.
A sketch that Wilentz suggested represented a ladder was found in one of Hauptmann's notebooks. Hauptmann said this picture and other sketches therein were the work of a child.

Despite not having an obvious source of earned income, Hauptmann had bought a $400 radio (approximately equivalent $8,100 in 2021) and sent his wife on a trip to Germany.

Hauptmann was identified as the man to whom the ransom money was delivered. Other witnesses testified that it was Hauptmann who had spent some of the Lindbergh gold certificates; that he had been seen in the area of the estate, in East Amwell, New Jersey, near Hopewell, on the day of the kidnapping; and that he had been absent from work on the day of the ransom payment and had quit his job two days later. Hauptmann never sought another job afterward, yet continued to live comfortably.

When the prosecution rested its case, the defence opened with a lengthy examination of Hauptmann. In his testimony, Hauptmann denied being guilty, insisting that the box of gold certificates had been left in his garage by a friend, Isidor Fisch, who had returned to Germany in December 1933 and died there in March 1934. Hauptmann said that he had one day found a shoe box left behind by Fisch, which Hauptmann had stored on the top shelf of his kitchen broom closet, later discovering the money, which he later found to be almost $40,000 (approximately equivalent to $617,000 in 2020). Hauptmann said that, because Fisch had owed him about $7,500 in business funds, Hauptmann had kept the money for himself and had lived on it since January 1934.

The defence called Hauptmann's wife, Anna, to corroborate the Fisch story. On cross-examination, she admitted that while she hung her apron every day on a hook higher than the top shelf, she could not remember seeing any shoe box there. Later, rebuttal witnesses testified that Fisch could not have been at the scene of the crime, and that he had no money for medical treatments when he died of tuberculosis. Fisch's landlady testified that he could barely afford the $3.50 weekly rent of his room.

In his closing summation, Reilly argued that the evidence against Hauptmann was entirely circumstantial, because no reliable witness had placed Hauptmann at the scene of the crime, nor were his fingerprints found on the ladder, on the ransom notes, or anywhere in the nursery.
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VERDICT AND APPEALS:

Hauptmann was convicted and immediately sentenced to death.

His attorneys appealed to the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, which at the time was the state's highest court; the appeal was argued on June 29, 1935.

New Jersey Governor Harold G. Hoffman secretly visited Hauptmann in his cell on the evening of October 16, accompanied by a stenographer who spoke German fluently. Hoffman urged members of the Court of Errors and Appeals to visit Hauptmann.

In late January 1936, while declaring that he held no position on the guilt or innocence of Hauptmann, Hoffman cited evidence that the crime was not a "one person" job and directed to continue a thorough and impartial investigation in an effort to bring all parties involved to justice.

It became known among the press that on March 27, Hoffman was considering a second reprieve of Hauptmann's death sentence and was seeking opinions about whether the governor had the right to issue a second reprieve.

On March 30, 1936, Hauptmann's second and final appeal asking for clemency from the New Jersey Board of Pardons was denied.
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EXECUTION:

Hauptmann turned down a large offer from a Hearst newspaper for a confession and refused a last-minute offer to commute his sentence from the death penalty to life without parole in exchange for a confession.

He was electrocuted on April 3, 1936.
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POST TRIAL:

After his death, some reporters and independent investigators came up with numerous questions about the way in which the investigation had been run and the fairness of the trial, including witness tampering and planted evidence. 

Twice in the 1980s, Anna Hauptmann sued the state of New Jersey for the unjust execution of her husband. The suits were dismissed due to prosecutorial immunity and because the statute of limitations had run out. She continued fighting to clear his name until her death, at age 95, in 1994.
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ALTERNATIVE THEORIES:

A number of books have asserted Hauptmann's innocence, generally highlighting inadequate police work at the crime scene, Lindbergh's interference in the investigation, the ineffectiveness of Hauptmann's counsel, and weaknesses in the witnesses and physical evidence. Ludovic Kennedy, in particular, questioned much of the evidence, such as the origin of the ladder and the testimony of many of the witnesses.

According to author Lloyd Gardner, a fingerprint expert, Erastus Mead Hudson, applied the then-rare silver nitrate fingerprint process to the ladder and did not find Hauptmann's fingerprints, even in places that the maker of the ladder must have touched. According to Gardner, officials refused to consider this expert's findings, and the ladder was then washed of all fingerprints.

Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent and professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, has written two books, The Lindbergh Case (1987) and The Ghosts of Hopewell (1999), addressing what he calls a "revision movement" regarding the case. He summarises:
Today, the Lindbergh phenomena [sic] is a giant hoax perpetrated by people who are taking advantage of an uninformed and cynical public. Notwithstanding all of the books, TV programs, and legal suits, Hauptmann is as guilty today as he was in 1932 when he kidnapped and killed the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lindbergh.
Another book, Hauptmann's Ladder: A step-by-step analysis of the Lindbergh kidnapping by Richard T. Cahill Jr., concludes that Hauptmann was guilty but questions whether he should have been executed.

According to John Reisinger in Master Detective, New Jersey detective Ellis Parker conducted an independent investigation in 1936 and obtained a signed confession from former Trenton attorney Paul Wendel, creating a sensation and resulting in a temporary stay of execution for Hauptmann. The case against Wendel collapsed, however, when he insisted his confession had been coerced.

Several people have suggested that Charles Lindbergh was responsible for the kidnapping. In 2010, Jim Bahm's Beneath the Winter Sycamores implied that the baby was physically disabled and Lindbergh arranged the kidnapping as a way of secretly moving the baby to be raised in Germany.

Another theory is Lindbergh accidentally killed his son in a prank gone wrong. In Crime of the Century: The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax, criminal defence attorney Gregory Ahlgren posits Lindbergh climbed a ladder and brought his son out of a window, but dropped the child, killing him, so hid the body in the woods, then covered up the crime by blaming Hauptmann.

Robert Zorn's 2012 book Cemetery John proposes that Hauptmann was part of a conspiracy with two other German-born men, John and Walter Knoll. Zorn's father, economist Eugene Zorn, believed that as a teenager he had witnessed the conspiracy being discussed.



Friday, July 1, 2022

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 

Alternative version:



FUNNY FRIDAY

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Q: How far can you go into a forest?
A: Halfway, then you're going out of it.

We're halfway through the year today, readers, on the approach to Christmas and 2023.

Enjoy EOFY end and Funny Friday.

Caution, as usual: risque content ahead.

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SOME HUMOUR:
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What are the magic words you say to get what you want?

I'm offended
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Size of matter in descending order.
Molecule
Atom
Proton
Quark
x on a mobile ad
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I was at the bar last night and the waitress screamed... "Anyone know CPR?"

I said hell, I know the entire alphabet.

Everyone laughed... Well everyone except this one guy.
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One night a wife found her husband standing over their baby's crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism. Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, with eyes glistening she slipped her arm around her husband. "A penny for your thoughts," she said. "It's amazing! " he replied. "I just can't see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $146.50. "
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Two clowns are eating a cannibal...

One turns to the other and says, "I think we got this joke wrong."
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Dave and Jim were a couple of drinking buddies who worked as aircraft mechanics in Melbourne, Australia. One day the airport was fogged in and they were stuck in the hangar with nothing to do. Dave said, 'Man, I wish we had something to drink!' Jim says, 'Me too. Y'know, I've heard you can drink jet fuel and get a buzz. You wanna try it?'

So they pour themselves a couple of glasses of high octane booze and get completely smashed.

The next morning Dave wakes up and is surprised at how good he feels. In fact he feels GREAT! NO hangover! NO bad side effects. Nothing!

Then the phone rings. It's Jim. Jim says, 'Hey, how do you feel this morning?' Dave says, 'I feel great, how about you?' Jim says, 'I feel great, too. You don't have a hangover?' Dave says, 'No that jet fuel is great stuff, no hangover, nothing. We ought to do this more often..'

'Yeah, well there's just one thing.'

'What's that?'

'Have you farted yet?'

'No.'

'Well, DON'T - cause I'm in New Zealand '
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A wife sent a message to her husband: “Don’t forget to buy vegetables on your way back from the office, and Priscilla says hi to you.”

Husband: Who is Priscilla?

Wife: Nobody, I was just making sure you read my message.

Husband: But I’m with Priscilla right now, so which Priscilla are you talking about?

Wife: Where are you??

Husband: Near the vegetable market.

Wife: Wait I’m coming there right now...

After 10 minutes she texts her husband, “Where are you?”

Husband: I’m at the office. Now that you are at the market, buy whatever vegetables you need.

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(Reposted for Tom C, who quoted the punchline back at me in a text message conversation to make a point) . . .

Sophia just got married, and being a traditional Italian was still a virgin. On her wedding night, staying at her mother's house, she was nervous. But mother reassured her. "Don't worry, Sophia. Luigi's a good man. Go upstairs, and he'll take care of you."

So up she went. When she got upstairs, Luigi took off his shirt and exposed his hairy chest. Sophia ran downstairs to her mother and says, "Mama, Mama, Luigi's got a big hairy chest."

"Don't worry, Sophia", says the mother, "All good men have hairy chests. Go upstairs. He'll take good care of you."

So, up she went again. When she got up in the bedroom, Luigi took off his pants exposing his hairy legs. Again Sophia ran downstairs to her mother. "Mama, Mama, Luigi took off his pants, and he's got hairy legs!"

"Don't worry. All good men have hairy legs. Luigi's a good man. Go upstairs, and he'll take good care of you."

So, up she went again. When she got up there, Luigi took off his socks, and on his left foot he was missing three toes. When Sophia saw this, she ran downstairs. "Mama, Mama, Luigi's got a foot and a half!"

"Stay here and stir the pasta", says the mother. "This is a job for Mama!"

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LIMERICK OF THE WEEK:

My good lady does not appreciate the quality and mirth inherent in a bawdy limerick, although she does smile at the witty and clever ones.

I was going to include the limerick below in a previous Funny Friday but fell foul of Kate’s disapproval, so if you see my wife, don’t recite the limerick to her or tell her that I posted it. . . 

When Lady Penelope swoons,
Her tits pop out like balloons.
Parker stands by,
With a gleam in his eye,
And pops them back in with warm spoons.
 
Kate’s particular objection was to the vulgarism for breasts, but that segues into a posting of another limerick, a well-known classic . . .

On a maiden a man once begat
Triplets named Nat, Tat and Pat.
'Twas fun in the breeding
But hell in the feeding.
She hadn't a spare tit for Tat.

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GALLERY:




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CORN CORNER:
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The above Vault joke gives rise to another . . .

A woman goes into see her doctor and says to him “Ever since my husband had an accident and lost all of his toes on his left foot I feel sick when I am around him ". “Ahh,” said the doctor, “I know what the problem is, you are lack toes intolerant.”
__________

Getting a sex change isn't that complicated.
Little bit of snipping.
Little bit of stitching.
And Bob's your aunt.
__________

A blonde walks into a library and says to the librarian, "The book I borrowed last week was just awful. It had absolutely no plot, and the vocabulary was too complex!"

The librarian calls into the back room, "Hey, we found the lady who took our dictionary!"
__________

One night I had a vision that I was on stage with REM performing “Losing My Religion”

But that was just a dream. Just a dream…

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Thursday, June 30, 2022

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 


SOME OLD NAZI STORIES . . .

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Two items came to my attention within the last couple of days concerning the Nazis and persons aged 101 years.

Now an anvil does not need to fall on my head to draw my attention to something that is somewhat unusual. I don’t know what the significance is or why two such stories within a couple of days of each other happened but it is worthy of a Bytes post . . .
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#1

The first is a story from the Smithsonian Magazine, the link to that article being:

An article about the story can also be found in the Daily Mail at:

The following is the Daily Mail article:

101-year-old former Dutch resistance fighter is reunited with £50,000 painting... 78 years after it was looted from her father by the Nazis in WWII

A 101-year-old woman has been reunited with a painting that was looted from her father by the Nazis during the Second World War – but is now selling it so her family can benefit. Charlotte Bischoff van Heemskerck, who was a member of the Dutch resistance during the war, had given up hope of ever seeing the 1683 painting again.

By Dutch master Caspar Netscher, it depicts seated man Steven Wolters and had hung in Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck's home in Arnhem in the Netherlands.

Her father, Joan Hendrik Smidt van Gelder, a doctor who was in charge of the city's children's hospital, went into hiding after refusing to follow the orders of the Nazis.He stored the painting, along with 13 others, in a bank vault in Arnhem, believing it would be safe from the Nazis' clutches. The paintings remained hidden for four years after the Nazis' invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. But in 1944, after the failed Operation Market Garden attempt by Britain and Allied forces to re-take Arnhem, the Nazis looted the city and stole the paintings.

Detective work by the London-based Commission for Looted Art in Europe tracked the Netscher painting down at the end of last year and returned it to Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck. She is now selling the painting so her 'heirs' can enjoy the proceeds. It has been given an upper estimate of £50,000 by auction house Sotheby's, with whom it is being sold on July 7.

Ms Charlotte Bischoff van Heemskerck points to the art work in her home.

By Dutch master Caspar Netscher, the painting depicts seated man Steven Wolters and had hung in Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck's home in Arnhem in the Netherlands

The Commission for Looted Art found that the painting had surfaced at a Düsseldorf gallery in the mid-1950s. It was then auctioned in Amsterdam in 1969 and bought by a private Germany-based collector. The collector agreed to return the painting to Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck last year. Her father died in 1969 with no knowledge of what had happened to the painting. Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck was reunited with the painting last November and, after six months with the painting back in her hands, she is selling it. Speaking on BBC Radio 4 about the rediscovery, Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck said: 'I was flabbergasted to have it back, you can understand.' She added: 'I really felt moved because it was such a beautiful painting… I was very happy when I saw it back.

Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck on her wedding day

The painting was returned to Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck last year. Above: The moment she saw the painting for the first time in more than 80 years

Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck joined the Dutch resistance after the family's paintings had been taken, whilst her father went into hiding. The family's other paintings were also sold off. Previous detective work by Anne Webber, the founder of the Commission for Looted Art, discovered one – Jacob Oschtervelt's The Oyster Meal – in 2017. It had ended up in the collection of the lord mayor of London at Mansion House. It was returned to Ms Bischoff van Heemskerck in 2017.
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#2

The other item is from news.com at:

101-year-old ex-Nazi guard sentenced for aiding 3,500 murders
June 28, 2022

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard was convicted in Germany Tuesday of more than 3,500 counts of accessory to murder — becoming the oldest person to date to be held accountable for crimes related to the Holocaust. The Neuruppin Regional Court sentenced Josef Schütz to five years in prison, although he is unlikely to serve any time behind bars because of his poor health, advanced age and a lengthy appeals process.



Schütz had denied working as a Schutzstaffel guard at the Sachsenhausen camp and aiding and abetting the murder of 3,518 prisoners. In the trial, which opened in October, the centenarian said that he had worked as a farm laborer near Pasewalk in northeastern Germany during the period in question and never wore a German uniform. However, the court considered it proven that starting at age 21, he worked at the camp on the outskirts of Berlin between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing, the German news agency dpa reported.

“The court has come to the conclusion that, contrary to what you claim, you worked in the concentration camp as a guard for about three years,” presiding Judge Udo Lechtermann said, according to dpa. He added that, in doing so, the defendant had assisted in the Nazis’ terror and murder mechanism. “You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity,” Lechtermann said. “You watched deported people being cruelly tortured and murdered there every day for three years.”

And it’s a very important thing because it gives closure to the relatives of the victims,” Zuroff added. “The fact that these people all of a sudden feel that their loss is being addressed and the suffering of their family who they lost in the camps is being addressed … is a very important thing.”

Sachsenhausen was established in 1936 just north of Berlin as the first new site after Adolf Hitler gave the SS full control of the Nazi concentration camp system. More than 200,000 people were held there between 1936 and 1945. Tens of thousands of inmates died of starvation, disease, forced labor and other causes, as well as through medical experiments and systematic SS extermination operations including shootings, hangings and gassing with Zyklon-B. Exact numbers on those killed vary, with upper estimates of some 100,000, though scholars suggest figures of 40,000 to 50,000 are likely more accurate.

In its early years, most inmates were either political prisoners or criminal convicts, but they also included some Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals. The first large group of Jewish prisoners was brought there in 1938 after the so-called Night of Broken Glass, or Kristallnacht, an anti-Semitic pogrom. During the war, Sachsenhausen was expanded to include Soviet prisoners of war — who were shot by the thousands — as well as others. As in other camps, Jewish prisoners were singled out at Sachsenhausen for particularly harsh treatment, and most who remained alive by 1942 were sent to the Auschwitz death camp.

Former Nazi concentration camp guard Josef Schütz, 101, hides his face behind a folder in a German court Tuesday, before he was convicted of more than 3,500 counts of accessory to murder.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

FACTS & TRIVIA #1

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Some interesting facts and trivia, facts from QII and extra comment from myself . . .
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Fact:

In the 1600s, a gay brothel may have occupied the location where Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Elizabeth 11, now stands, according to some historians.

Notes:

Historian Norton Rictor wrote in 2013 that gay cruising spots and brothels may have started operating in London around the start of the 17th century. His essay notes that Clement Walker, an English politician, wrote in 1649 about brothels and gay male sex workers that there were “new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James’s.”

“Sodoms referred to the brothels and “sprintries” to the gay sex workers, according to the outlet.

The Mulberry Garden is now the northwest corner of Buckingham Palace.

Source:
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Fact:

The Louvre has a naked version of the Mona Lisa painted by Da Vinci or perhaps by one of Da Vinci’s pupils.

Notes:


Art experts may have solved a riddle that has been baffling them for years: whether a drawing of a nude woman, bearing a striking resemblance to the Mona Lisa, is a Leonardo da Vinci original.

Following extensive testing, investigators from the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France (C2RMF) say the charcoal drawing, known as the "Monna Vanna" or "Nude Mona Lisa," was completed in da Vinci's studio and may have been the work of the master himself.

The drawing was previously thought to have been completed by da Vinci's students.

Experts at the centre found that much of the work was completed by a left-handed artist, supporting theories that da Vinci was the creator.

Source:

Btw, here is the real Mona Lisa for comparison:

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Fact:

When Queen Victoria arrived in 1837, there were no bathrooms in Buckingham Palace.

Notes:

Originally commissioned as a large townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham, the house which would become Buckingham Palace was acquired by the crown in 1761 when King George III purchased it as a private residence for Queen Charlotte. The palace then took on a more official role as the London residence of the British monarch when Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837.

The palace Queen Victoria inherited in 1837 was in dire need of repair. The kitchen’s faced floods of sewage, lamp gas had dangerously built up and the building was constantly cold due to poor ventilation, plus there were no bathrooms. The design flaws were soon seen to, however, by a team led by Prince Albert, who also oversaw major additions to the palace such as the iconic balcony.

The palace c. 1837, depicting Marble Arch, a ceremonial entrance. It was moved to make way for the east wing in 1847.

Source:
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Fact:

Whoopi Goldberg got her name from her childhood flatulence.

Notes:

From an article in The Guardian:
Goldberg, born Caryn Elaine Johnson, was nicknamed Whoopi after joke shop fart cushions. She explained: "If you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me: 'You're like a whoopee cushion'".
Source

From an article in the New York Times:
You were born Caryn Johnson. How did you wind up with the name Whoopi?

Here’s the thing. When you’re performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. So if you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, You are like a whoopee cushion. And that’s where the name came from.

If you find it rude to comb your hair in public, as you’ve said on your show, how can you possibly justify public acts of flatulence?

Is it bad manners if you say, I really have to cut this?
Source:







QUOTE FOR THE DAY


 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

 


FROM THE VAULT

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From the Vault:
Bytes
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Laws of the Universe: Murphy's and Other Laws

Murphy’s Law, the adage that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”, became known in those terms about 1950 although similar expressions dated back to the 1800’s. 

The above wording and the name Murphy’s Law are generally attributed to Captain Edward Murphy, an engineer working on Edwards Air Force Base in 1949. Murphy said of one technician “If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.” Shortly afterwards the base MD, Dr Stapp, said at a press conference that the base safety record was due to a firm belief in Murphy's Law and in the need to try and circumvent it. From there it was quoted and became more widely known, eventually worldwide.

Murphy’s Law, and laws like Murphy’s, help to explain and make sense of both minor occurrences and the structure of the universe. More importantly, they do so in practical ways we all understand and relate to. Quote Newton’s Third Law of Motion – “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” – and you will have people scratching their heads and wondering of what practical benefit in any event.

Quote Aigner’s Axiom – “No matter how well you perform your job, a superior will seek to modify the results” – and people will nod knowingly. Not only do they know it’s true, either from experience or because it intuitively feels true, it also a practical tool to deal with expectation and for not becoming discouraged.

These laws of the universe are descriptive and identifying, not causative. Thus we know that as soon as you wash your car, it will rain, but you cannot deliberately make it rain by washing your car.

Today I present to you the original Murphy’s Law and corollaries. Future posts will feature other such laws and their application to specific situations.

Murphy’s Law:
If anything can go wrong, it will

MacGillicuddy's Corollary:
At the most inopportune time

Extension:
It will be all your fault, and everyone will know it.

Extension:
If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.

Extreme versions:
If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong

If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway

If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop

Corollary:
It will be impossible to fix the fifth fault, without breaking the fix on one or more of the others

Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
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Some other examples of laws of the universe . . . 

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Monday, June 27, 2022

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

 


THE REVERSE BUCKET LIST

Sent to me by friend John P . . .
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Things I will NOT do before I die!

NEVER EVER !!!!!
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Extreme skiing in Wyoming.

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Cliff camping.

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Sky walking in the Alps.

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Climbing Redwoods.

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Sitting on the Trolltunga rock in Norway

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Jumping on the Trolltunga rock in Norway

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Ice climbing a frozen waterfall.

And why would you want to do this?

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Extreme picnicking.

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Sky walking on Mount Nimbus in Canada.

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Just having a look around.

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Extreme kayaking at Victoria Falls.

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Diving 30 meters through a rock monolith in Portugal.

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Climbing Mt. Wellington.

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Standing on the Edgewalk in Toronto.

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Cycling in Norway.

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Walking over a crevice.

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Glacier boarding anywhere.

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Biking on the Cliffs of Moher.

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I am ALREADY old.

I didn't get here by being stupid!
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Thanks for sending John.

A couple of more comments and thoughts . . .
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