Wednesday, February 27, 2013

To Die 10,000 Miles From Home

The Legacy of Sgt. Robert Alvin French
by Robert A. Waters

My father, John Waters, was born and raised near Ocklawaha, Florida.  He attended East Marion High School with his best friend, Robert Alvin French.  In 1942, French, a gunner in the USAAF, was killed in action.  Here is the story of my namesake, as best as I can piece it together through scattered military records and memoirs.
Robert Alvin French was born August 23, 1922, in Elmore County, Alabama. His father, Thomas G. French, and mother, Leona, moved to Ocklawaha, Florida where French attended East Marion High School.  Fourteen students graduated with the class of 1940.  These included Robert French and my father.  French, the class secretary, was voted “Best Sport.”  The class motto read: “It is the Set of the Sail, and Not the Gale, that Determines the Way We Go.”

French’s carefree school-boy days ended on January 5, 1941, when he enlisted in the army.  Five days later, he began basic training, likely at the Southeast Army Air Corps Training Center at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama.

Assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, French received training as a gunner in a B-17 Flying  Fortress.  Within months of his enlistment, he obtained the rank of sergeant. 

On December 7, 1941, Japanese Zeros bombed Pearl Harbor. 

Even before that “day of infamy,” 21 B-17s flew 10,000 miles across the vast ocean to their base at Batchelor Airfield in Australia.  Robert French may have been in this group.  Or he may have arrived with an earlier group of 14 Flying Fortresses that was sent to defend the Philippines.  On March 11, 1942, waves of Japanese Zeros attacked the islands, destroying the entire U. S. Army Air Force there except for a small group from the 93rd BS which happened to be on patrol.  This remnant escaped to Australia.  Two planes from the squadron flew back to Mindanao and rescued General Douglas McArthur, who had fled the carnage in the Philippines.  Before leaving, the general held a news conference and famously stated: “I came through and I will return.”

By now the Ocklawaha country boy, Sgt. R. A. French, a gunner in USAAF, found himself in the middle of some of the most savage aerial combat ever seen.

The B-17 Flying Fortress in which he was a crew member had been nicknamed “Red ‘A’ Baby.”  Captain Weldon Smith, from California, piloted the plane until its final crash. 

The American bombers were vastly out-numbered by the Japanese Zeros.  By June, 1942, most of the B-17s had pretty much been used up.  They were kept in the air only by the dedication and ingenuity of crew members who jury-rigged repairs on a daily basis.  Few new parts made their way across the Pacific.  All new B-17s produced were shipped to Europe – no reinforcements came to relieve the beleaguered 93rd BS.

Robert Alvin French died on June 30, 1942.

The following description of the dogfight and crash that killed him comes from Fortress Against the Sun, by Gene Eric Salecker:

On June 30 two Fortresses from the 28th BS and three from the 93rd BS flew “in the longest combat mission ever flown by the group with a return to the same base.”  Taking off from Batchelor Field near Darwin, at 1:45 p.m., the B-17s bombed Kendari airfield on Celebes just before sunset from 8,000 feet through a heavy cloud cover.  “Hit the field good,” Capt. [ John A. ] Rouse put in his diary.  “Looked like about 150-200 Zeros and bombers on the ground.  Figure we damaged or destroyed about 40 of them…”  Turning from the attack, the three 93rd BS planes were suddenly jumped by a lone Zero.  “He made six separate passes,” wrote Lt. [Edward C.] Teats.  The crews from the three Fortresses concentrated their firepower and eventually shot the persistent fighter down but not before he had caused some damage himself.  “Evidently,” Teats reasoned, “the pilot was killed or badly hurt and ‘froze’ to the gun triggers, but his last pass got one of Smitty’s [Capt. Weldon Smith]  engines.”  Throughout the flight, Smith had been losing oil on his No. 3 engine and had planned to feather the propeller after the bomb run.  Now, hit in the No. 4 engine, Smith checked his gauges, found that No. 4 was still operating properly and shut down his No. 3 engine.

Having already feathered his No. 3 engine, Smith was coming in for a landing when the damaged No. 4 engine suddenly quit.  At the same time, the contact cables on the right side of the plane, failed him, causing him to dive nose first into the ground.  Three crewmen were killed in the crash and the other six were badly shaken and injured.  Ignoring his own injuries, bombardier Everett “Stinky” Davis went back into the burning plane to save his fellow crewmen.  Wrote a war correspondent, “While the ship blazed furiously, he fought his way through the confusion of twisted white-hot girders and roaring flames to pull out the tail gunner.  He went back for a side gunner, [and] returned for the other side gunner.  Finally, he even thrust himself into the center of the conflagration and struggled out with the radio operator.”  A week later, his superiors recommended Lt. Davis for the Distinguished Service Cross.

Robert Alvin French suffered massive injuries and was transferred to a nearby Army hospital.  He died there the same day.  A military document sent to his parents after the war stated that he was “cut up badly.” It also called him one of the “heroic dead of WWII.” French was buried in the USAF Cemetery Rookwood, Sydney, Australia, next to Sgt. Burke Glover and Sgt. West Bryson, both of whom died in the crash.

After the war, in 1948, the remains of Sgt. R. A. French were exhumed and transported back to the states.  He is buried in Longwood, Florida.

NOTE:  If anyone has additional information about Robert Alvin French, please contact me.

Hello Mr. Waters,

I came across this interview while working on research about the 19th BG in WWII and thought it would be of interest to you.

Sincerely,

Edward Rogers

Crash of 93rd Squadron B-17E near Hughes Airfield, NT on 30 June 1942

B-17E #41-9014  Red "A" Baby
93rd Squadron / 19th Bomb Group
Capt. Weldon Smith        Pilot                       WIA
Sgt Robert A. French                14025963      DOW
Pvt. Russell C. Thompson     Gunner             WIA

Interview of Pvt. Russell C. Thompson by T/Sgt T.A. McCulloch at Hollandia 13 October 1944 (Walter Edmonds archives - Historical Research Agency - Maxwell Air Force Base -Maxwell, AL
)

"Story of Unlucky Bombing Mission from Australia to Celebes, Which Ended in Crack-Up of Plane, and Deaths of Three Crew Members"

    “That was an unlucky flight, from start to finish.  We flew from Longreach to Batchelor Field, and took off from there 30 June 1942 on a bombing raid over Kendari.  It was the long distance flight record for the Southwest Pacific for a time, until Maj. Felix Hardison, C.O. of the squadron, a short time afterward made an approach flight on Rabaul from the north, besting us by 200 or 300 miles.

     Our flight of B-17E's went on up to Kendari (Celebes).  We made our run all right, but we got a call on the interphone that one plane hadn’t dropped its bombs, so we dropped back to protect it while it made a second pass.

     We were coming over the top on 2nd one when in come the Zeros.  The other guy beat it into a cloud, and there we were, sitting out in the bright sun.

     There were eight or nine Zeros, all over the place.  Maj. Smith, trying to maneuver, discovered our right aileron had been shot off. 
(NB citation says two engines were put out of commission by ack-ack).

     We limped back 800 miles over the open sea to Batchelor Field.  Maj. Smith called to the field to turn on the landing lights.  But the Aussie and the Americans both had a different I-F-F (Identification-Friend-or-Foe) code numbers at the time, and they wouldn’t turn on the lights.

     We were down close to the tree tops, and running out of gas.  Smith called us that he was going to have to make a crash landing.  The tail gunner never did know we were going down.  It had been a 11-hour flight, and he and I were asleep.  They woke me up and told me.

     Three of us got into the radio compartment.  Frenchie and I stood face-to-face hanging on to the bars overhead.

     We were approaching a fighter strip for a belly landing, when our left aileron broke.  We dropped down and hit the tree tops, and the plane broke in half, right in the radio compartment, where we were.  Frenchie was killed [mortally wounded], West and Burke were killed (Cpl. Robert A. French, Cpl Bryson West and Sgt. Glover J. Burke).

     I didn’t know what happened.  I was pinned down under, heard a crash and went ‘out’.  I came to and realized that the plane was afire above me.  Boy did I holler bloody murder.

     Major Smith came back and dragged me out, altho he was hurt so badly that one arm was useless, gashed from shoulder to elbow - - and cut badly on the top of the head.  I don’t remember any more until I woke up in the hospital.

     Burke was killed instantly, and they never found anything of West but ashes.  Frenchie and I were given a 50-50 chance at the hospital.  My face was badly cut, I had [a] concussion, crushed ribs and a punctured lung.  I was in the hospital five and a half months.

     Every man on the crew was hurt.
(NB - Sgt. John M. Diehl also listed as receiving Purple Heart)

     Later we learned that both Major Smith and I had been promoted the same day – he to Lt. Col. and I to Corporal.  I was in no shape to be told until a couple days later.”


     

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mass Murder at Sand Creek

Union troops rape, scalp, and murder Native Americans
by Robert A. Waters

During the so-called Civil War, Federal troops weren’t content to commit atrocities only against Southern civilians.  In 1864, they turned their attention to an entirely peaceful group of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians camping near Sand Creek, Colorado. 

A journalist at USHistory.org describes the scene: “Sand Creek was a village of approximately 800 Cheyenne Indians in southeast Colorado.  Black Kettle, the local chief, had approached a United States Army fort seeking protection for his people.  On November 28, 1864, he was assured that his people would not be disturbed at Sand Creek, for the territory had been promised to the Cheyennes (sic) by an 1851 treaty. The next day would reveal that promise as a bald-faced lie.

Union Col. John Chivington
“On the morning of November 29, a group called the Colorado Volunteers surrounded Sand Creek.  In hope of defusing the situation, Black Kettle raised an American flag as a sign of friendship.  The Volunteers' commander, Colonel John Chivington, ignored the gesture.  ‘Kill and scalp all, big and little,’ he told his troops.  With that, the regiment descended upon the village, killing about 400 people, most of whom were women and children.”  (There is some dispute about how many Indians died—the numbers range from 163 to 500.)

As the American flag waved futilely above the encampment, government troops began blasting away with cannons and rifles.  During the chaos, the Indians also raised a white flag, which was ignored.

Few Indians fought back.  Many attempted to flee, but the Union troops had surrounded and killed their horses.  Other Indians ran down to the creek and buried themselves in the sand.  Chivington’s troops, however, dug them out like moles, killing and scalping them.

One soldier, John S. Smith, testified before a Congressional committee about the dreadful scene: “I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces ... With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants up to warriors ... By whom were they mutilated? By the United States troops ...”

Another eye-witness, Stan Hoig, also testified: “Fingers and ears were cut off the bodies for the jewelry they carried. The body of White Antelope, lying solitarily in the creek bed, was a prime target. Besides scalping him the soldiers cut off his nose, ears, and testicles – the last for a tobacco pouch.”

Black Kettle, who escaped the massacre, said: “Although wrongs have been done me, I live in hopes. I have not got two hearts ... I once thought that I was the only man that persevered to be the friend of the white man, but since they have come and cleaned out our lodges, horses, and everything else, it is hard for me to believe white men anymore.”

Still, he made another truce with the U. S. government.  This time it cost him his life.  In part, because of the massacre at Sand Creek, groups of renegade Cheyenne had begun attacking settlers.  Using this as an excuse, none other than two famous Union Civil War generals, Phillip Sheridan and George Armstrong Custer, conspired to once again murder innocent Indians.  On November 27, 1868, Custer attacked yet another peaceful encampment along the Washita River in Oklahoma Territory, killing about 100 Cheyenne.  As usual, most were women and children.  This time Black Kettle wasn’t so lucky—as he and his wife fled across the Washita, Federal troops shot them in the back, killing them.

While Custer met his fate at the Little Big Horn, Chivington lived a long and sordid life.

Because he resigned from the Army, he was never court-martialed.  However, the facts presented about Sand Creek at several state and congressional hearings ruined his reputation. 

In 1865, he traveled to Nebraska after his son, who owned a freighting business, drowned.  Unable to keep his hands off Sarah, his dead son’s wife, he seduced and married her.  After gaining control of his son’s business, he abandoned Sarah, prompting her to sue him.  An editorialist in the Rocky Mountain News wrote: “What [Chivington] will do next to outrage the moral sense and feelings of his day and generation remains to be seen; but be sure it will be something . . .”

The journalist was right.  Accusations of murder, assault, wife-beating, forgery, and extortion were a few of the legal scrapes that kept his name in the news.  At one point, he fled to Canada to avoid charges against him.  Chivington was elected sheriff of Arapahoe County, Colorado, but quickly found himself on the wrong side of the law once more.  Then, while working at the coroner’s office, he stole $800 from a corpse.  After admitting the theft, Chivington escaped jail by agreeing to repay the family.

Soon his home burned down, and it was widely assumed that he’d done it to collect on insurance.

An unrepentant John Chivington, Abolitionist, soldier, mass murderer, and all-around scoundrel, died in 1894.  

Comanche Chief Black Kettle
 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Notorious Killer "Escapes" the Needle

Multiple Murderer Tommy Wyatt

Tommy Wyatt dies of natural causes in Raiford
by Robert A. Waters

On February 8, a stone-cold killer met his maker. Thomas Anthony Wyatt, who fled a work crew while serving a 15 year sentence for kidnapping and assault, spear-headed one of Florida's most notorious murder sprees.

Florida Supreme Court documents describe the Vero Beach Domino’s Pizza murders: "On May 13, 1988, Wyatt and his codefendant, Michael Lovette, escaped from a North Carolina prison road gang and fled to Florida, engaging in a spree of crimes along the way, including the murders of three Domino's Pizza employees in Vero Beach and the murder of Cathy Nydegger near Tampa…

"The evidence presented at Wyatt's trial on the Domino's murder counts revealed the following. On May 16, 1988, Wyatt and Lovette stole a 1983 Cadillac Seville with a red-burgundy body and white canvas top in Jacksonville, Florida, and then drove down the east coast of Florida to the Vero Beach/Yeehaw Junction area near State Road 60.

"At some time between 11:00 and 11:45 p.m. on May 17, both men entered a Vero Beach Domino's Pizza restaurant armed with handguns. While Lovette held William Edwards, the store manager, at gunpoint in the office until the time lock on the store's safe opened, Wyatt took Frances Edwards, who was William Edwards' wife, and Matthew Bornoosh, a deliveryman, to the restroom in the back of the restaurant. Wyatt forced Bornoosh to remove his Domino's shirt, and Lovette put it on.

"During the course of the robbery, Wyatt raped Frances Edwards. After the safe opened, the men retrieved money from inside the safe, and Wyatt shot all three victims to death: William Edwards was shot in the head and chest; Frances Edwards was shot in the head; and Matthew Bornoosh was shot in the left ear and head…"

The take in the robbery was $1,153.00, less than $400 for each life.

Wyatt and Lovette traveled across the state to Tampa where they met Nydegger in a bar.  They kidnapped her, and drove her to Indian County where Wyatt shot her in the head, killing her.

Overwhelming evidence, including semen inside Frances Edwards and bullets matching the gun used to murder Nydegger, linked Wyatt to the crimes.  He received a death sentence, while Lovette got ten life sentences.

Before the crime spree, Wyatt had 26 arrests and convictions.

He died at Union Correctional Institution, near Raiford.  Wyatt was 49, and a Florida Department of Corrections press release stated that his death was due to “natural causes.”

A predator in the true sense of the word, he brought misery to almost everyone he met.

On January 17, Florida Death Row inmate William Van Poyck wrote that “my old friend Tom—just 4 months ago had a hale and hardy soul, now a mere envelope of cancer-gnawed flesh and bones —was removed from his cell by wheelchair, too weak to offer anything but meager protest, and transferred to the one place he dreaded going to, our notoriously filthy, blood spattered clinic holding cell.”

Sounds a lot worse than merely going to sleep on a gurney.

What goes around comes around.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Perfect Murders

Anne Rubenstein
Getting away...
by Robert A. Waters

One-third of all murders in America are never solved.  Even with today’s technological advances (DNA, computers, video-camera surveillance, the ability to trace cell phones, better forensics, and automated fingerprint systems), the unsolved rate is the same as it has been for decades.  This means that about 4,000 killers walk free every year.  Do the math: at any given time, a couple hundred thousand murderers walk the streets.
Below, I’ve described three unsolved cases that occurred in 1965.  If the killers are still alive, they will certainly be in their seventies and it's unlikely they'll be brought to justice. 

On July 30, 1965, Suellen Evans met her killer as she walked through the Coker Arboretum at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  In broad daylight, an assailant pulled her behind some bushes.  Using a knife, he cut off her blouse while attempting to rape her.  Hearing screams, a female student ran to the scene, breaking up the assault.  But it was too late—Suellen’s throat had been slashed and she’d been stabbed through the heart.  Some witnesses claimed a middle-aged man with red hair fled the scene, others that the attacker was dark-skinned.  Such a brazen assault in a public area should have resulted in a quick arrest, but the perpetrator was never found.  After 48 years, someone got away with murder.

The tragic slayings of Anne Rubenstein and her eleven-year-old daughter, Mae Rubenstein, have likewise never been solved.  On February 13, 1965, Mae was home alone in Highland Park, New Jersey, while her mother went grocery shopping.  An intruder entered the home, stabbed the girl 15 times, then cut her jugular vein.  Mae was already dead when her mother returned home and confronted the attacker.  Using a kitchen knife, the killer stabbed Anne Rubenstein 35 times.  The violent, bloody attacks left the community in shock.  For years, police attempted to develop leads, but came up empty-handed.  Since there seemed to be no sexual assault or robbery, detectives were stymied for lack of a motive.  Although police refuse to give up, and still continue to investigate the case, no viable suspects have ever been found.  The killer would likely be 65 to 75 years old if he’s still alive.

The “Bangor House Strangling” in Bangor, Maine, occurred on the morning of March 18, 1965.  A hard-working chambermaid, Effie MacDonald, went missing during her shift.  Hotel employees found her body in a third-floor room.  Investigators determined that she’d been raped, beaten, and strangled with her own stocking.  According to family members, Effie “never drank once in her life, never smoked, and never swore.”  Even after 48 years, her family remembers her as a kind person who loved knitting.  After a lengthy investigation, Bangor Police Detective Capt. Clifton E. Sloane claimed he knew the name of the murderer but didn’t have enough evidence to convict.  Today, the case is still unsolved.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Paul Augustus Howell Scheduled to Die

Florida State Trooper Jimmy Fulford
Florida to execute cop-killer
by Robert A. Waters

At 6 p.m., on February 26, 2013, Paul Howell is scheduled to die at Florida State Prison in Raiford for the pipe-bomb murder of state trooper Jimmy Fulford.  As he drifts into an endless sleep, Howell’s death will certainly be less painful than that of the law officer.

Court documents describe the details leading up to the slaying:

“In January of 1992, [Paul Augustus] Howell constructed a bomb for the specific purpose of killing Tammie Bailey at her home in Marianna, Florida.  Bailey, Howell, and Howell's brother, Patrick, were part of a drug ring involving a number of other individuals in which drugs were obtained in Fort Lauderdale and then sold in Marianna, Florida. Howell intended to eliminate Bailey as a witness because she had knowledge that could link Howell and his brother to a prior murder.  The bomb was placed inside a microwave oven and then the oven was gift-wrapped.  Howell paid Lester Watson to drive [to Marianna] and deliver the microwave to Bailey.  Although he knew that Howell had often made pipe bombs, Watson testified that he thought the microwave contained drugs. Howell rented a car for Watson to use for the trip. Watson was accompanied on the trip by Curtis Williams.

“While traveling on I-10 toward Marianna, Watson was stopped by Trooper Jimmy Fulford for speeding.  Fulford ran a registration check on the car and a license check on Watson, who gave the trooper a false name and birth date because he did not have a valid driver's license.  The radio dispatcher contacted the car rental company and was informed that Howell had rented the car.  The dispatcher [called] Howell at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to determine whether the rental car had been stolen from him.  Howell told the dispatcher that he had loaned the car to Watson but did not know that Watson would be traveling so far with the vehicle.  Howell was informed by the dispatcher that Watson was going to be taken to the Jefferson County Jail.  Howell did not give any warning to the dispatcher regarding the bomb.

“Deputies Harrell and Blount of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department arrived at the scene and Watson gave them permission to search the vehicle.  Trooper Fulford and the deputies observed the gift-wrapped microwave in the trunk of the car.  Watson was arrested for speeding and driving without a valid driver's license and was transported, along with Williams, to the jail by Deputy Blount.  Deputy Harrell also proceeded to the jail, leaving Trooper Fulford alone with the rental car.  Shortly thereafter, a massive explosion took place at the scene. Testimony presented at Howell's trial by the State's explosives expert indicated that Trooper Fulford had been holding the microwave in his hands when the bomb went off. Trooper Fulford died instantly due to the massive trauma caused by the explosion.”

Fulford’s injuries were beyond belief.  He suffered massive trauma to the head, chest, pelvis, arms, and legs.  His right leg was missing, and his left leg was nearly severed.  Several fingers had been blown away, and, according to the medical examiner, “the frames of his eyeglasses had been driven into the bones of his face and head by the force of the blast.”

In 1992, Howell was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Jimmy Fulford. 

Married, with two children, Fulford spent 13 years as a state trooper.  His twin brother, Timmy, told reporters that “we grew up on the farm, raising tobacco.  Had some cattle, [too].  We worked hard, but we had some fun, too, hunting and fishing.   And every Sunday we were dressed up in our black pants and white shirts and black bow ties, exactly the same. We’d walk the railroad tracks to church, picking dewberries along the way.”

Jimmy graduated from Florida State University with a degree in criminology, but at heart, he was a country boy.  “We were really brought up in the church,” said Timmy. “That’s where we got our values.  You didn’t cuss [because you’d] have your mouth washed out with soap.  You helped people when they needed you.   I think that was part of why Jimmy became a trooper.  He lived to help people.  I think Jimmy thought of it as a calling.”

Not everyone is in favor of executing the killer.

Mary Hamer, M.D., sent the following press release to Florida Governor Rick Scott:

Please Abolish the Death Penalty.

*Dedication: I Mary Hamer MD dedicate my Anti-Death Penalty essays (1-4)  to Mr. Paul Howell who is scheduled to be Executed by Florida Governor Rick Scott & the Florida Taxpayers on February 26th, 2013 at 6 PM EST.  While Mr. Howell will be lying on the Death gurney in Raiford, Florida having a lethal cocktail of a Barbiturate, a Paralytic & Potassium solution (5) injected into his veins -- Most Floridians are going to be leisurely eating their dinners & watching the evening news in their comfortable homes with their children & pets.  Bon Appetite & Cheers Florida.  For the record, I Mary Hamer Apologize to humanity for Florida’s revengeful, cruel & barbaric act committed against Paul Howell & all the other Death Row inmates awaiting execution or who have already been murdered in Florida.  I Mary Hamer also officially withdraw my name from the Human race, because I will not participate in or condone this legalized, savage & expensive crime perpetrated by the Florida Governor, the Florida Judges, State Attorneys & Florida citizens.  Two Wrongs do Not make a Right.

*PETITION to Forida Governor Scott:  I hereby petition Florida Governor Scott to Please Stop your Execution order of Paul Howell.  Please show the world you are an Enlightened person who is willing to show Mercy on people. Show the world you are a Leader in the New Smart on Crime ethic -- which Heals the community including the Victims & the Offenders -vs- the Hard/Tough/Macho on Crime ethic which divides & hardens the community.  Show the world you have the courage to Abolish the Death Penalty -- as an irrational & expensive historical act.

Thank you.  Respectfully,  Mary Hamer, MD. 
Florida, A Death Penalty State.
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And the Ravens Grew Fat

Walter Duranty
Walter Duranty, Stalin’s Propagandist
by Robert A. Waters

“One death,” Josef Stalin is said to have quipped, “is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”  Researchers estimate that between 1931 and 1933, the Soviet dictator purposefully starved to death at least six to ten million Ukrainians.  The final number of deaths is unknown—as Nikita Kruschev said, “No one was keeping count.” 
New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, stationed in Moscow, won fame, fortune, and a Pulitzer Prize for ignoring the slaughter.  As the bodies, too numerous to be buried, were stripped clean by ravens, Duranty hung out with Uncle Joe.  While freezing trains hauled thousands upon thousands of dissidents to the gulags, the journalist claimed it was their choice—they could have got with the program and handed their property over to the state. 

Anyway, it was all for the best, he claimed.  Once in place, the “collective farm system” (i.e., communism) would benefit everyone.  As for the millions who died: “You can’t make an omelet without cracking an egg,” Duranty said.

After it was too late for the world to intervene, Duranty privately conceded that ten million Ukrainians died of starvation.  Whatever the final tally, it was a massacre that even surpassed Hitler’s genocide.

Drinking, dining, and carousing with Moscow’s elite, the one-legged Duranty became Stalin’s unofficial spokesperson.  Like the Holocaust-deniers, he heard no evil, saw no evil, and reported no evil.  A Satanist, alcoholic, womanizer, pervert, and sycophant to the most brutal dictator in modern history, Duranty was an odious character.

So it makes perfect sense that he would receive the Pulitzer Prize.
The following verbal sketch, from The Ukrainian Museum in New York, describes the crimes perpetrated by Stalin: “The horrific event, known in Ukrainian as the Holodomor (literally, murder by starvation), took place in 1932-1933, less than twenty years after Ukraine was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. Determined to force all Ukrainian farmers onto collective farms, to crush the burgeoning national revival, and to forestall any calls for Ukraine's independence, the brutal Communist regime of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin embarked on a campaign to starve the Ukrainian people into submission.
“The Soviet government confiscated all the grain produced by Ukrainian farmers, withheld other foodstuffs, executed anyone trying to obtain food, and punished those who attempted to flee. As a result, in the land called the Breadbasket of Europe, millions of men, women, and children were starved to death.

“Stalin boasted privately that as many as 10 million people...had perished during the Holodomor. At least 3 million of the victims were children.

“Despite the magnitude of the atrocity, the Soviet regime, behind its Iron Curtain, denied the existence of the Holodomor for decades, denouncing any reports as ‘anti-Soviet propaganda.’ It was not until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent establishment of an independent Ukraine that the contents of many sealed government archives were uncovered, exposing a wealth of gruesome information.”

While history hasn’t been kind to Uncle Joe’s mouthpiece, the Times refuses to return Walter Duranty’s tainted Pulitzer.

Eighty years later, it’s time to right that wrong, and consign this hack to the gulag of Literary Hell.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Great Filling Station Hold-up

Cory Miller

Florida clerk fires back, killing robber
by Robert A. Waters

The Hollywood Police Department has ruled that a clerk who killed an armed robber acted in self-defense.  No charges will be leveled against Leonard Carr, employee of an Exxon gas station that sits near the Seminole Hard Rock CafĂ©.

On January 16, Hasib Kuric saw two suspicious men behind the store.  He rushed into the gas station and yelled, “They’re masking up.”  (The store owner allows Kuric, a homeless man from Bosnia, to sleep in the bed of a U-Haul truck on the property for doing odd jobs around the store.)

As Kuric ran into the gas station to warn the clerk, two robbers allegedly barged in behind him.  The men, wearing gloves and masks, held guns, and began firing at the handyman.  “You’ll never do this again,” one yelled, referring to Kuric warning the clerk.  Ducking behind food shelves, the handyman escaped the gunfire.

The robbers turned on Carr.  The store clerk pulled his own weapon, and a shootout began.  In the gun-battle, Carr shot twenty-three-year-old Cory Miller.  The robber dropped to the floor and died near the entrance of the store.

Hollywood Police Sergeant Pablo Vanegas said, “The clerk was armed, at which point multiple shots were exchanged between [Carr] and the suspect. [Carr] had no choice.  Unfortunately, someone was killed, but no innocent people were hurt.”

Joshua Stuart, 19, whom police identified as the second robber, ran from the store and got into a car.  Police captured him two blocks away.

Cory Miller’s first arrest came when he was only eleven-years-old.  At the time, cops charged him with larceny and obstruction without violence.  Since then, he had many arrests.  He was convicted of grand theft in 2009.

Police believe Miller and Stuart may have robbed a 7-Eleven store on Christmas Eve.  In that robbery, the clerk, Thomas Newsome, suffered a broken hip and split tongue while being beaten.

Stuart now faces charges of second-degree attempted felony murder, second-degree murder, and armed occupied burglary.  (In Florida, if anyone gets killed during a crime, all participants can be charged with murder.)

Several days after the botched robbery, Carr spoke with a reporter.  “I'm no gun-toting person,” he said. “I believe in my safety and I bring my gun from home to work.”  He said he is thinking of changing jobs.

The dangerous streets of south Florida crawl with gangs, thugs, addicts, and other lowlife.  Many of the good people have chosen to arm themselves.  The Second Amendment to the Constitution still lives and breathes in the Sunshine State.