The ENGINE OF CAPITALISM - GREED Backing Up To Run Over Freedom Again.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019


White Democrats will desert their party in droves the minute it becomes a black party.”
Kevin Phillips, The Emerging Republican Majority, 1969
Having climbed through a basement window, the 35 year old black intruder explored the home for over an hour, pilfering drawers and ransacking closets. But the thrill of the violation fell short this time, and after carrying an answering machine and a coffee maker to the basement the trespasser returned to the kitchen. He stole a knife from the kitchen drawer and a beer from the refrigerator and went upstairs. In the bedroom he found a handgun. And twenty minutes after seven he heard the front door open. William Horton pulled his ski mask down and slipped behind the bedroom door.
It was Friday, 3 July, 1987, in the suburb of Oxon Hill, Maryland, 2 miles south of the District of Colombia. The 35,000 residents were mostly middle class apartments dwellers but lately included a growing number of Young Upwardly Mobile couples in “starter” homes. A generation later the process would be described as “Gentrification”.
Clifford Barnes locked the front door behind him and removed his tie and shirt while climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor bathroom. The 28 year old white male was undressing to shower, when he heard movement in the hall. He called out, “Angi?” In response the door exploded inward, and a 6'3” tall man burst into the bathroom, screaming. Horton knocked Clifford down and pistol whipped him with his own gun.
The social changes in Oxon Hill, mirrored the 20 year old predictions of Republican strategist Kevin Price Phillips. Early excerpts from his first book, “The Emerging Republican Majority” were shared within the 1968 Richard Nixon Presidential campaign. As Phillips later explained his “Southern Strategy” to the New York Times, “The more Negroes who register as Democrats... the sooner the “Negrophobe” whites will...become Republicans. That's where the votes are.” He offered only one caveat: Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened the new Voting Rights Act. 
Ignoring that warning Nixon's Chief of Staff Harry Robinson (H.R.) Halderman (above, left)  enunciated the policy in his own way. “The whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognized this while not appearing to".
Binding Clifford's hands behind his back, Horton dragged the dazed man to the basement, where he strung him up to a floor brace. Then Horton jammed the gun into his victim's eyes and dragged a kitchen knife across his stomach 19 times, drawing blood. He spent 6 hours torturing Clifford Barnes, until he heard the front door open again.
The Southern Strategy was targeted at “Dixiecrats” like South Carolina's James Strom Thermond (above, center).   In 1948, when fellow Democrat Harry Truman ordered the integration of the U.S. military, Thurmond ran against him for President as a States Rights Democrat, telling one crowd, “... there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra' race into our theaters...our swimming pools...our homes, and into our churches.” Thermond won 4 states and 39 electoral votes. In 1954, as a U.S. Senator, he staged a solitary 24 hour filibuster against Republican President Eisenhower's 1957 Civil Rights Act.
Angela Miller, Clifford's fiance, came home at 2:30 on the morning of Saturday, 4 July. She had been attending a girlfriend's birthday party and assumed that Clifford would be asleep. But when she walked into the 2nd floor bedroom she noticed a broken beer bottle and Clifford's eyeglasses lying on the floor. She retreated into the hallway, where William Horton shoved the gun into her face. He dragged her by the throat back into the bedroom, and threw her onto the bed. After tying her hands behind her back and blindfolding her, he ripped her shirt off and then using the knife sliced off her jeans. Then he beat and raped her.
Arizona Senator Barry Morris Goldwater  (above) won the contested Republican nomination in 1964, in large part because he had argued against Lyndon Johnson's 1964 Voting Rights Act. Goldwater did not endorse racism but rationalized supporting it in order to court the racist Strom Thurmond, who sited Democratic support for the new law to justify switching to the Republican Party. 

That November, while Johnson won a landslide victory nationwide, Goldwater carried only his home state and the segregated deep south – Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Strom Thurmond's South Carolina.
After the rape Angela Miller struggled to hold onto her sanity. She asked her masked attacker for a beer. Horton walked her downstairs to the refrigerator. Then she asked him if they could watch some television, and, again, Horton agreed. As they sat in the living room she made a grab for the gun. Horton beat her again, and raped her again. In the basement Clifford could hear his fiance's screams.
When the 1968 Republican Convention opened in Miami Richard Nixon (above right) was still 11 votes short of 667 needed to secure the nomination. When Strom Thermond (above, left) suggested that Nixon name Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew as his vice President,  Nixon agreed. The 22 votes from South Carolina secured Nixon's victory on the first ballot. From that point forward, Thurmond was the "indispensable man" in the Nixon administration and the poison pill of racism was now baked into Republican ideology.
Having raped and badly beaten Angela twice in a few hours, a rested William Horton felt the need to return his attention to his basement prisoner. But once downstairs he discovered that Barnes had escaped. Suddenly not in control, Horton panicked. Forgetting his female victim he shoved the few stolen appliances through the basement window, and loaded them into Barnes' Camero, He then drove off in the car.
It was the stolen car that was spotted by Prince George County Police Corporal Paul Lopez. He chased the Camero at high speed. When it crashed, a man emerged holding the hand gun. Corporal Lopez ordered the suspect to drop the gun and when he didn't the officer fired, hitting the suspect in the stomach and arm. Shortly thereafter one year veteran Corporal Yusuf Mhuammad  (above) arrested the wounded suspect in the backyard of nearby home.  
He was taken to the hospital for treatment, where he was photographed and eventually identified as William J. Horton. But he would become famous as “Willie Horton”.  And just like Strom Thurmond, he was from South Carolina.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

BLOODY JACK Chapter Twenty - Six

I suppose the greatest problem with the real Jack the Ripper story is that the ending is so unsatisfying.
A poet of the age predicted, "They've captured Leather Apron now, if guilty you'll agree; he'll have to meet a murderer's doom, and hang upon a tree" But the murderer was never identified, never tried, never publicly punished, never danced at the end of a rope. But then, that is the horror of real murder.  The victim cannot be recovered, nor can the victim's loved-ones be made whole. The horror of a real murder usually dies only when the killer, and those who loved the victim, die.
Not so with Jack the Ripper. His horror has so far survived 130 years after his last victim bled out in a dark and dirty corner of the dark and dirty Whitechapel.  Part of the reason for the longevity of his horror is the photo (above) taken in the tiny sad room at 13 Miller's Court, Dorset Street. 
Part of the reason is that the newspapers sold 1 million additional papers a day during the “Autumn of Terror”: - August, September, October and November of 1888. 
And part of the reason is that the historical-fictional Jack the Ripper has proved too profitable to let him die. But the police in 1888 were dealing with a real killer.
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (above, front center), one the smartest officers in Whitechapel,  reminded readers in his memoir what the police knew by middle of September. “The perpetrator,” he wrote, “...was in the habit of using a certain public-house, and of remaining there until closing time...all of the victims were all of the same class... and living within a quarter of a mile of each other; all were murdered within half a mile area; all were killed in the same manner...he (the killer) lived in the district.” So the police - well at least those below the management level - were not fools. They knew who they were looking for. But finding him was not their top priority.
After the Hanbury Street murder of Annie Chapman on 8 September, Whitechapel and Spitafield were flooded with uniformed Constables and plain clothes Detectives, even employing the Whitechapel Vigilantes. As Commissioner Sir Charles Warren had said in his petulant self defense written in September and published in the November Murray’s Magazine, “...the primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime...” And that was what the police concentrated on – preventing the killer from killing again. And they did.
For 14 days – Friday, 15 September, to Friday, 28 September – Kosminski found the police foiling his searches for another victim, until he was forced outside his hunting grounds to Aldegate, where the public/police net was thinner. 
There, in the early hours of Sunday, 30 September,  he murdered Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Square. But even then Warren's plan worked. 
The police were able to focus oAaron Kosminski, living with his brother just down the block on Goulston Street (above) from where the Eddowes bloody apron was found.  Then, during all of October, the “tails” which Chief Inspector Donald Swanson pinned on Kosminski kept him from claiming another victim - 
...at least until 8 November when Kosminski was able to isolate Mary Kelly in her room – earlier in the evening, before the pubs had closed. And even then he did not kill until closer to dawn, when Kelly's singing, as reported by a neighbor, finally stopped.
The police never had solid evidence to arrest Aaron Kosminski. But Aaron Kosminski was still alive and no longer killing. Why? First there was Abraham, Aaron's older brother. Living with the first paternal role model Aaron had known since his father's death in 1874 would have been a stabilizing influence. 
And second, whoever the Ripper was, he was insane but he wasn't nuts. He did not want to get caught. He had always retained enough control to avoid witnesses and the police, to delay his gratification until the he was certain of his own safety. And by January or February of 1889, with no further killings, the police tails of Aaron Kosminski must have been superseded by more pressing matters.
And third, accepting Special Agent Douglas' profile, the Ripper was extremely passive until the assault. He needed the prostitute to initiate contact. He needed alcohol to lower his own inhibitions. And he needed the victim to be unconscious or dead before he could show the knife and penetrate her with it. This speaks of a man so repressed he might stand in the rain rather than asking to come inside. He was a paranoid schizophrenic but a high functioning one, as was proven by his arrest on a Saturday in December of 1889 for walking an unmuzzled dog in Cheapside.
Charles Dickens called Cheapside (above)  “...the busiest thoroughfare in the world...Here the two great arteries of Oxford Street...the Strand and Fleet Street from the west...Bishopsgate and Leadenhall from the east....Moorgate on the north and King William Street on the south, are all united...” The Cheapside Street market had been in existence for hundreds of years, but during Victorian times, says Dickens, it was “...almost monopolized by men's shops: hosiers and shirt makers, tailors and tobacconists, and above all by jewelers.” 
In fact, says Dickens, “The stranger will be particularly struck with the absence of women...in Cheapside (above)...there is scarcely a woman to be seen to every hundred men.” It would appear an odd place for a homicidal maniac with a particular hatred for women to be walking his dog, muzzled or unmuzzled.
Having been arrested, the 23 year old Aaron Kosminski made a competent presentation in court. He argued that since he did not own the dog he was not responsible for muzzling it. Like arguing a parking ticket in court, logic was of course no help  But when the magistrate found him guilty and assessed a 10 shilling fine, Aaron was quick enough to argue that it was the Jewish sabbath, and his faith forbid him from handling money. He presented a normal enough image that he was allowed to go free, returning on Monday to pay the fine. As Scientific American pointed out in September 2014, “...very few serial killers suffer from any mental illness to such a debilitating extent that they are considered to be insane by the criminal justice system.”
So this was the man who convinced Mary Jane Kelly to open her door to him, convinced Annie Chapman to go to the back yard with him, and convinced Martha Tabram to lead him off the already dark George Yard, through the narrow passage to the courtyard behind the buildings, and then up the unlighted stairs. Her trip to her own death may have been the longest of all the victims, requiring the greatest confidence that the man who was about to murder her, posed no threat whatsoever.
Seven months later, on Saturday, 12 July, 1890, this same man was meekly led by his brother-in-law to the Mile End Workhouse (above), where he was described as having been “insane for the last two years.”  It must have been hard for a Jew to turn their own blood relative over to the charity of Christians, but Arron was hearing voices, had stopped washing and refused food from any person's hand because he feared being poisoned, preferring to eat discards from the gutter. Aaron was granted admission. However 3 days later, either because the doctors suspected he was malingering, or because he fooled them, his brother Abraham took him home again.
It was not to last. On 4 February of 1891 the police brought him back to the Workhouse. The same issues were mentioned – not working, not washing and eating from the gutter – but this time the police said he had threatened his sister Martha with a knife. His family did not challenge his admission, and 3 days later, on 7 February, 1891 he was transferred to the Jewish wing of the infamous long corridors of the Colony Hatch Asylum for the “pauper insane” in Barnet, North London (above). The paperwork justification for transfer has not survived the century, but we do know Aaron Kosminski arrived with both hands tied behind his back.
Colony Hatch adhered to the Victorian belief that all problems are better with organization – from morning calisthenics to regimented meals. The 2,000 patients were also expected to work, in the tailor shop, the garden or just washing floors. Since most of the patients came from the East End the asylum had a kosher kitchen and a Yiddish interpreter. The records at Colony Hatch have survived and they detail Aaron's 3 year transgression from “apathetic” to "Incoherent, at times excited and violent." The staff noted, “He declares that he is guided and...controlled by an instinct that informs his mind, he says that he knows the movements of all mankind, he refuses food from others because he is told to do so, and he eats out of the gutter for the same reason”
Eventually the violence became predominant, and Aaron's last stop was the complex of buildings at the Levesden Asylum For Imbeciles in Abbots Langley, 20 miles northwest of London (above). 
Aaron survived here for a quarter of a century, having spent most of his life institutionalized. The staff noted, "Patient does not know his age or how long he has been here." 
Aaron Kosminski died of a gangrene infection at the age of 54 years, on Monday, 24 March, 1919. At the time of his death he weighed just 96 pounds. But he lived longer than any of  his victims.
Kosminski did not out-live his would-be nemesis, Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (above). After retiring from the Metropolitan Police in 1896, with over 50 awards and commendations, including being named a Druid of Distinction, Reid moved to Hampton-on-Sea, atop the chalk cliffs of England's east coast. Here he became an English eccentric.
He renamed his home “Reid's Ranch”, and painted the outside walls with castle battlements and cannon aimed at the ocean. He opened a stand in his garden shed (above), from which he sold postcards – mostly featuring himself - and lemon-aide and wrote crank letters to the local newspaper. He died at the age of 61, on 5 December, 1917, the same year he finally married.
Thus I end my version of the story of Jack the Ripper – just another human being,  more unhappy and violent than most, but just another human being.
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Monday, January 21, 2019

BLOODY JACK Chapter Twenty - Five

I consider it one of the most gruesome crime scene photographs ever made, and it was one of the first. Taken inside Mary Kelly's sad little room at 13 Miller's Court on the cold Friday morning of  9 November, 1888,  it is grainy, blurry and more than a century after it was taken, it still chills the soul.  It is the only photo of a “Jack the Ripper” victim “in situ”. It is invaluable, because a mere description of the horror which had escaped this killer's mind may disturb you intellectually, but only when you look closely at this photo do you comprehend the emotional violence unleashed. And it would never have been made if Sir Charles Warren's Metropolitan Police had been the well oiled machine he kept telling the public they were. 
Inspectors Beck and Dew had arrived in Miller's Court (above) a little after 11:00 a.m.  By 11:30 police surgeon Dr. George Bagster Phillips had arrived, along with most of the Whitechapel brass, and even a few officers from the City of London police. But still no one had entered the room. There were standing orders from now ex-Commissioner Sir Charles Warren not to disturb the crime scene at the next Ripper murder until the bloodhounds – Burgho and Barnaby – had arrived to collect the killer's scent. And just peaking in the window, nobody had any doubt that this was another Ripper murder.
However, the accountants at Scotland Yard and the accountants at the Home Office could not agree on who was going to pay for the dogs, and eventually their owner, Mr Edwin Brough, had grown so disgusted that Burgho was now in Brighton, competing in a dog show, and Barnaby had been returned to his home kennel, where he was, in all probability at that moment licking his own private parts and dreaming of chasing down Irish politicians seeking self rule.
Evidently, Sir Charles had been doing the human equivalent of the same thing - too busy defending himself in magazines and threatening to resign to have taken the time to tell the Constables and Detectives of Whitechapel Division that the dogs were not coming. So the officers were left holding back the crowds outside of the crime scene in Miller's Court for 2 hours, waiting for the dogs which were not coming, while inside number 13, Mary Jane Kelly's corpse was starting to decay.
It was not until 1:30 that afternoon that Whitechapel Division Superintendent Thomas Anderson got fed up with waiting and asked Jack McCarthy for permission to knock the door down. The exasperated McCarthy said yes, do it, for God's sake. But Anderson still dare not disobey Warren, so he quietly asked the London Police, who were on scene, if they wouldn't mind. And they did not. So it was a City of London Police Constable who went at the flimsy door with a sledge hammer, or an ax. 
The blaze was still going in the fireplace.  Mary Jane Kelly's clothing was neatly folded on the room's only chair. Her boots had been placed to dry in front of the fire place. The rest of the room looked like an abattoir.
The London Police justified breaking down the door because they wanted to photograph the scene. Sir Charles Warren had stopped them from photographing the “The Jewes are not the ones...” message just above the bloody apron found on Goulston Street. But Warren was not here. He was finally gone. 
The London Police took two images of the scene, a close up of the lumps of breast and organs left on the table (above)....
...And the second image of the victim's corpse sprawled on the bed (above). Several Whitechapel Detectives ordered their own copies of the photos, and those -   in private hands -  eventually ended up the Scotland Yard files. But it was only because Sir Charles Warren had resigned that morning,  that the photographs were even taken.
On Tuesday, 13 November, 1888 the young and ambitious Robert Gent-Davis, representing the Kennington section of London,  rose in the House of Commons (above) to ask a public question of his party's leader, Home Secretary Henry Matthews. 
Supported by his recently acquired South London Standard newspaper, the 27 year old Conservative had burst upon the political scene in 1885  like a Guy Fawkes sky rocket   Liberals had immediately challenged Robert's election under the new campaign finance law. Gent-Davis had won the case, but the testimony hinted his wealth was all bluff and bluster. This was confirmed in February of 1888 when a court ordered Robert to pay a client 1,500 pounds owed him from an escrow estate Robert had managed. When Robert failed to produce the funds, the judge ordered him jailed for contempt of court. Robert then claimed immunity because of his position in Parliament, but that bluff was sure to fail, and without support from the Conservative Party leadership he was going to jail. So Robert decided to save himself by running yet another bluff.
Robert asked if Mr. Munro (above) had resigned as Assistant Commissioner of Police back in August because the Criminal Intelligence Division had been taken away from him  Of course, Munro had resigned because his boss, Commissioner Sir Charles Warren, had wanted him to give up his command of the super-secret and illegal black ops Section “D”  of the C.I.D. - the Irish Section. And when Matthews brushed the question aside, Robert raised his bet. He now asked that all correspondence between Munro and the government “be laid upon the table”, meaning the opposition Liberal Party could read it. That would blow the whole game up.
Of course Robert Gent-Davis didn't know what the whole game was. He was a “back bencher” and the leadership would never have entrusted him with knowledge of illegal smear campaigns against Irish politicians, or illegal secret payments to London newspapers and Liberal politicians. Because that was all illegal. So Home Secretary Henry Matthews (above)  looked dismissive, promising to release the papers - eventually.  Gent-Davis smirked his reply, “Then I am afraid, Sir, we must get them to-night”.  He then sat to cheers from the Liberal party. 
But he did sit. Because he was bluffing. He had no proof. The brains behind the Conservative Party had judged Gent-Davis as a bluffer.  And Matthews never did lay the papers on the table. And on 27 November, 1888, Robert Gent-Davis went to jail for contempt of court, and was forced to resign his seat. Once again the Conservatives had weathered a storm that threatened to sink their boat, not because of their own strength, but because of their opponents' weaknesses.
It seemed to have very little to do with Jack the Ripper. But the politics is what had made a sad homicidal madman into a legend
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