Showing posts from July, 2010

Stuck in Denial

Mark David Chapman killed the wrong man.
If it wasn't for the profile and status of his victim, Chapman might have a good shot at parole next month. Though we'll never know.
Chapman, of course, is the convicted killer of ex-Beatle John Lennon, who Chapman gunned down on December 8, 1980 in New York City.
Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life for the murder, and he has served 29 years of that sentence. He was last up for parole in 2008. He's been denied five times (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008).
Chapman is 55 and is incarcerated at the Attica Maximum Security facility.
But taking Lennon out of the equation for a moment, Chapman appears to be a pretty good prisoner, one who might be parole material.
He hasn't had an infraction since 1994, said Erik Kriss, spokesman for the Department of Corrections in New York.
"He goes about his business, doing his prison job and without any fanfare," Kriss said.
Chapman spends his time housekeeping and in the library, accord…

Dead End(ing)

The only thing we know for certain about Jimmy Hoffa's fate is that he's dead.
The former Teamsters union leader and jailbird disappeared 35 years ago this Friday, and was probably dead hours later, if that.
You've heard the rumors, the speculation, the jokes, about what became of Hoffa after he pulled into the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant on Telegraph and Maple in Bloomfield Hills on July 30, 1975.
For days and weeks afterward, though, there was still hope that Hoffa would be found.
Likely, though, Hoffa was murdered moments after hopping into a car to go visit mob bosses.
Hoffa was about to take control of the Teamsters once more. At least, that was his hope, after serving jail time for racketeering and other charges.
According to the most reliable accounts, Hoffa thought he was meeting mobsters Tony Provenzano (of New York/New Jersey) and Tony Giacolone (of Detroit) when he went to the Machus Red Fox. Police later found Hoffa's car in the parking lot but n…

How LiLo Can She Go?

The child entertainment star is fresh-faced, adorable, and endearingly precocious.

He or she stays that way, for as long as the window of time the child star spends in our TV or movie consciousness.

It's when you are forced to add the word "former" to the front of "child star" that things often go sideways.

Lindsay Lohan stares at us now in her mug shot, dressed in the requisite orange jumpsuit of the jailed. The eyes are baleful, the facial expression wry.

She's looked better.

Lohan, the actress who not that long ago was a freckle-faced pumpkin of the silver screen, is about to spend the next 90 days behind bars, as terms of the violation of her probation.

She was placed in handcuffs today in a Beverly Hills courtroom and hauled off to jail.

Lohan was "cooperative" as she was booked into the Century Regional Detention Facility about an hour later, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitemore.

Funny how the cooperation often com…

Lethal Weapon?

Who keeps recording Mel Gibson?

Or, why does Gibson keep saying things that you wouldn't want recorded?

Once again, the embattled actor Gibson is in hot water, this time for scathing words directed at Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his 8-month old daughter.

Gibson has previously been in trouble for spewing ethnic slurs, also caught on tape.

In the latest diatribe, posted by Radaronline, Gibson sounds alternately homicidal, bitter, angry, and just plum crazy.

“You’re a f*cking mentally deprived idiot,” Mel screams at one point in the phone call to Grigorieva. “You’re a f*cking using whore…I own you,” he rages. ”You don’t count.”

Gibson also refers to a worker helping Grigorieva with the baby as a "wetback."

On July 9, Radaronline released audio of Mel telling Oksana that she was dressed too provocatively and would be “raped by a pack of n*ggers.”

All this plus that famous drunken driving arrest, during which Gibson let loose with a bunch of anti-Semitic slop.

Mel Gibson: spinnin…

Limit One Per Me

I never met a beer I didn't like after work.

It's probably all in my head, I'm sure, but I don't think malts and hops taste any better than they do at home, moments after coming through the door after another eight hours spent in the minefield.

I don't drink much. Let's get that straight. I sowed my alcohol seeds in college, and a few years after that. Since then, I've been reduced to taking a week to consume what I used to in one evening.

I come home, have my Miller High Life, and that's it. But oh, does it taste good.

Just one bottle does it. After that, I'm ready for a soft drink. Sometimes a nap.

The late great sports columnist Jim Murray once wrote that legendary college basketball coach John Wooden was so square, he was divisible by four.

That's me anymore when it comes to that "p" word---partying.

Time was we'd hit happy hour after classes at Eastern Michigan University, meander to another watering hole, then only stop for a dinner…

Dead Ringers

So that kid from "The Sixth Sense" thinks he sees dead people?


He's got nothing on Jean Stevens.

Stevens is a 91-year-old widow from Wyalusing, Pennsylvania with skeletons in her closet---and corpses on her furniture.

No typo there. No misprint, no hyperbole.

I'll say it again: Corpses. On. Her. Furniture.

Jean Stevens, holding a 1940s photo of her and husband James

Stevens is a sweet old lady who just couldn't bear the idea of her husband and twin sister dying. So when they actually did, Stevens took denial to a whole new level.

The lady had the bodies of her husband, James---who died in 1999---and her twin sister June, who passed away last October, exhumed.

Not only that, she propped them up on different sofas in her home---June in a spare room off the bedroom, James on a couch in the detached garage.

"Death is very hard for me to take," Stevens told the Associated Press in an utterance that is my nomination for Understatement of the Year, 2010.

Well, sweet…

Friday's Favs

(Note: every Friday I'll post a favorite rant from the archives)

from February 10, 2010

They're Baaack!

Sanders is coming back, after all.

No, Lions fans, I don't mean Barry.

Sanders Candy is being reanimated, thanks to the help of Morley Brands.

"Fundraising really took a hit in the 1980s and '90s," Morley Brands President Ron Rapson tells CNNMoney.comabout the fetish schools, Boy Scout troops, and other organizations had for hawking Morley candies to beleaguered friends and relatives. "It got to the point where it wasn't really a money maker. So we decided to go back to what we did best---making chocolates.

"And we hooked up with another great company---Sanders," Rapson adds.

Fred Sanders' company hit the market in Detroit in 1875, offering everything from candy to milk shakes to ice cream. In its heyday---from the 1950s through the '70s, you could hardly drive more than a few miles in metro Detroit without running into a joint that sold …