Friday, October 24, 2014

Killer Cops Part 3

It's amazing that even in the 1800 there were Cops who were killers! So you see there are bad cops and good cops, but who would have thought back in the 1800 a cop could be a killer.
Being a police officer was ranked a high honor and something to be very proud of.  But I guess even back then some of those officers figured they could cheat the system.

Charles Becker who was a Lieutenant in New York City police department in 1890 to 1910 was best known for being tried, convicted and executed for the murder of a Manhattan gambler.

Mr. Becker was born July 26, 1870 and died in Sing, Sing Prison in July 1915.
His Career as a NYPD was from 1893 to 1912 and he had become a Lieutenant with the police.

Becker was born to a German-American family from Bavaria in the village of Calicoon Center, Sullivan County New York. He arrived in New York City in 1890 and went to work as a bouncer in a German beer hall just off the bowery before he joined the police department in November 1893. Becker received national attention in the fall of 1896 when he arrested a known prostitute name Ruby Young (her alias was Dora Clark) on Broadway.

The Notoriety of the case was due to one of Young's companions, the writer Stephen Crane, the author of The Red Badge of Courage. The word of the then highly popular Stephen Crane weighed heavily on the sentencing of Young, resulting in the Magistrate Cornell who dismissed the case. Afterwards Stephen Crane told reporters "If the girl will have the officer prosecuted for perjury, I will gladly support her."

Three weeks following the trial Ruby pressed formal charges against Becker. Becker knew he was in a precarious situation and prepared in three ways. Becker gathered evidence, hired the experienced lawyer and rallied the support of his colleagues. This allowed Becker to make a powerful entrance to his trial on October 15 1896. When he entered surrounded by a phalanx of policemen.

Commissioner Frederick Grant, son of Ulysses S. Grant headed the proceeding and after almost five hours of examination Becker was acquitted. The trial taught Becker the poser of the badge and how he could call on his colleagues for help.

In 1902 and 1903 Becker was one of the leaders of a patrolman's reform movement agitating for the introduction of the Three Platoon System which would significantly reduced the number of hours the beat police officer was expected to work. He was a very respected Police Officer.

Becker allegedly used his position to extort substantial sums, later shown to total in excess of $100,000, from Manhattan brothels and illegal gambling casino's in exchange for immunity from the police and to keep them from interfering with their operations. Percentages of the take were regularly delivered to politicians and other policemen. In July Herman Rosenthal who was a small time bookmaker had complained to the press that his illegal casinos had been badly damaged by the greed of Becker and his associates. Two days after the story appeared Rosenthal walked out of the Hotel Metropole at 147 W 43rd Street just off Times Square. Rosenthal was gunned down by a crew of Jewish gangsters from the Lower East Side, Manhattan. In the aftermath, Manhattan District Attorney Charles Whitman, who had made an appointment with Rosenthal before his death made no secret of his belief that the gangsters had committed the murder at Becker's behest. Amid a major public outcry, Becker was transferred to the Bronx and assigned to desk duty.

July 29, 1912 Becker was approached at the precinct's closing hour by special detectives from the District Attorney's office and placed him under arrest. He was tried and convicted of first degree murder that fall. The verdict was overturned on appeal on the grounds that the presiding judge, John Goff, had been biased against the defendant. However a retrial in 1914 affirmed his conviction.

Although contemporary newspapers were unanimous in asserting his guilt, Becker went to the electric chair in Sing, Sing prison on July 30, 1915, still professing his innocence. Becker was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx on August 2, 1915.

Becker only had one son, Howard P Becker, who became a Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He also had a daughter Charlotte who was conceived shortly before his arrest and she died in 1913 less than a day after her birth. She s buried alongside her father.

Friday, October 17, 2014

KILLER COPS PART 2

Next on the list of "Killer Cops" is John Connolly who was a former FBI agent and former private security.

He was born August 1, 1940 in Boston Massachusetts. He was convicted of Racketeering and Second degree murder. In a Federal facility for 10 years and State prison for 40 years.
He was convicted for the Federal crime in 2002 and the State crime November 6, 2008.

The State police and other Federal officers had been trying to imprison Whitey Bulger for years, but Bulger evaded capture until 2011. As the FBI handler for Bulger and Flemmi, Connolly (who had grown up in the Old Harbor Housing Project with Bulger) had been protecting them from prosecution by feeding Bulger information about possible attempts to catch them.

Connolly was indicted on December 22, 1999 on alerting Bulger and Flemmi to investigation, also falsifying FBI reports to cover their crimes and accepting bribes. In 2000 Connolly was charged with additional racketeering and related offenses. He was convicted on those racketeering charges and give 10 years in a federal prison.

He first met FBI informants Stephen Flemmi and James J. Bulger at a coffee shop in Newton Massachusetts. He occasionally lectured FBI agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia on informant development tactics and techniques. He was a member of the Boston FBI's Organized Crime Squad. Retired FBI Special Agent Joseph D Piston wrote a book, The Ceremony, "The reign of the Patriarc crime family is ended. A substantial amount of the credit for the demise of that mob family must be given to one man, Special Agent John Connolly." Louis Litif, one of the top bookmakers and Winter Hill Gang mob associate was one of Connolly's handball partners at the Boston Athletic Club. Connolly retired from the FBI honorably in 1990 and accepted the position of Director of Security/Public affairs for Boston Edison, from former Boston FBI Special Agent John Kehoe.

In 2005, Connolly was indicted on murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges in the 1982 slaying of Arthur Andersen certified public accountant to John B. Callahan and the 1981 murder of Roger Wheeler, owner of the World Jai Alai sporting corporation. Connolly stood trial in 2008 in Miami, Florida. Callahan was murdered by John Martorano who shot Callahan and left his body in the trunk of his Cadillac in the parking lot at Miami International Airport. Prosecutors alleged that Callahan was killed on the orders of Whitey Bulger and Stephen Flemmi after Connolly told them that the FBI was investigating his ties to the Winter Hill Gang in their ongoing investigation into Wheeler's death. Wheeler had been killed by Martorano in Tulsa, Oklahoma in May of 1981. During the trial, Bulger associates Stephen Flemmi, Kevin Weeks and John Martorano testified for the prosecution detailing Connolly's ties to Bulger and Flemmi. Long time Bulger girlfriend Teresa testified for the defense about her travels with Bulger,. Flemmi testified that Connolly warned them that the FBI wanted to question Callahan in the death of Wheeler, telling them that Callahan "wouldn't hold up" and would probably implicate them.

Also testifying against Connolly was his former FBI boss John Morris, who admitted that he accepted $7,000 in bribes from Bulger and Flemmi. He stated he began leaking information to them after Connolly delivered a case of wine and an envelope stuffed with $1000 cash from the pair.

On November 6, 2008  a jury convicted Connolly of second-degree murder. Connolly faced a possible sentence of 30 years to life in prison. Connolly was due to be sentenced on December 4, 2008 but sentencing was postponed until January while the judge in the case considered a motion by the defense to dismiss the case. The defense argued that in Florida the statutes of limitations had expired for second degree murder when Connolly was convicted.

January 15, 2009 the judge sentenced Connolly to 40 years in prison, saying that Connolly "Crossed over to the dark side." The judge agreed with the defense's argument involving the statue of limitations, but noted that their motion was past the deadline for such motion. He accepted prosecutors' argument that Connolly abused his badge and deserved more that the 30 year minimum. The 40 year state sentence will run consecutively with the 10 year federal sentence, all but assuring that Connolly will die in prison.

The kicker to this story is on May 28, 2014, Connolly's murder conviction was overturned by the Florida Third District Court of Appeal by a vote of 2 to 1.

Next week we have a New York Policeman on the New York City police department convicted of first degree murder. Be sure to look for the next blog.....

Saturday, October 11, 2014

KILLER COPS!

People have made a the comment that I seem to always pick on the cops, this isn't true. There are good ones and in the middle ones, and just plan bad ones!

The next set of blogs I have prepared are about cops who kill!  The first one is Gerard John Schaefer.
He was a police officer born in Wisconsin on March 25th, 1946. He moved to Florida and was suspected to be a serial killer from Florida.

He was imprisoned in 1973 for murders he committed as a Martin County Florida Sheriff's deputy.
While he was convicted of two murders he was suspected of many more. Schaefer frequently appealed against his conviction, yet privately boasted both verbally and in writing of having murdered over 30 women and girls.

He was hired as a Wilton Manors police officer where he was found to be unfit for duty and release from duty. Then he was hired by another County as a police officer. He found two hitch hikers on 95 where he arrested them and proceeded to handcuff them over a branch of a tree. They would have died but someone found them before they did. He was let go, but a background and investigation into him revealed the most horrible things.

Schaefer was born to Catholic parents in Wisconsin. They moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Marist Academy until 1990. His family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Schaefer did not get along well with his father, who he believed favored his sister. In his teens, Schaefer became obsessed with women's panties and became a peeping tom. He began spying on a neighbor girl named Leigh. He would later admit to killing animals in his youth and cross dressing although at other times he claimed the latter was solely to avoid the draft to the army and the Vietnam War.

July 21, 1972 he was on patrol when he picked up two teenage girls who were hitchhiking. He abducted them and took them to some remote wooded area and tied them to a tree where he threatened to kill them or sell the into prostitution. His police radio, went off and he had to go leaving the girls tied up. He vowed that he would return. The girls ages were 18 and 17. They escaped their bonds and went to the nearest police station which was actually their kidnapper's own station.
When he returned to the woods to the woods and found his victims gone he called his station and claimed that he had done something foolish. He explained that he had pretended to kidnap and threaten to kill two hitchhikers in order to scare them into avoiding such an irresponsible method of travel. Schaefer's boss did not believe him and he ordered Schaefer to the station where he stripped him of his badge and charged him with false imprisonment and assault on the two females.

He posted bail and two months later on September 27, 1972 he abducted and tortured Susan P a girl 17 years old and Georgia J 16 years old and than murdered them on Hutchinson Island.

In December that year he appeared in court in relation to the abduction of the two girls who had escaped his clutches. Due to a plea bargain he was able to plead guilty to just one charge of aggravated assault for which he received a sentence of one year..

April 1973 over six months since they vanished the decomposing butchered remains of Susan P and Georgia J were found. The girls had been tied to a tree at some point and had vanished while hitchhiking and these similarities to Schaefer's treatment of the girls who had gotten away led police to obtain a search warrant for his home he and his wife shared with Schaefer's Mother (now divorced).

In his bedroom they found lurid stories he had written that were full of descriptions of the torture, rape and murder of women, who Schaefer routinely referred to as "Whores" and "Sluts".  More damningly, the authorities found personal possessions such as jewelry, diaries and in one case, teeth from at least eight young women and girls who had gone missing in recent years.

In October 1973 he was found guilty of murder the Susan and Georgia. His sentence was two life sentences. Authorities soon stated that he as linked to around 30 missing women and girls. He also raped and killed two girls and hung them from what is now known as the "Devils Tree" in Port Saint Lucie.

He appealed his conviction, claiming at one point that he had been framed. All of his appeals were rejected. On December 3, 1995 he was found stabbed to death in his cell. He had been killed by fellow inmate Vincent Rivera. Rivera was convicted in 1999 of killing Schaefer and had 53 years and 10 months added to the life plus 20 years sentence he was serving for double murder.
Schaefer had sent a letter to a reporter he boasted of killing  two schoolgirls, one nine and the other eight years old. He claimed in the letter he enjoyed killing them and than cannibalized the two children.

This is the first of our Killer Cops.