Friday, May 30, 2003

�Therefore, I say: Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself,
your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle."

-- Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 500bc



I'd like to thank Det. Chris Scandole of the 79 Squad, who sent me a copy of a newspaper article concerning a January 29 arrest of the killer of 2 police officers that dated back to 1957.

The incident, from El Segundo, California, reveals what may be the oldest cases concerning a cold-case-fingerprint match leading to an arrest. An excerpt of the story, written by John M. Broder, follows.

It was one of the coldest cases in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's cold case file, the unsolved murder of two young police officers here after a traffic stop early in the morning of July 22, 1957.

No major break in the investigation had occurred since 1960, when a Manhattan Beach homeowner found two watches and a gun in his backyard and gave them to the police. The watches had been stolen from two teenagers assaulted in the area on the night of the killings. The gun was traced to a Sears in Shreveport, La., but the trail went dead there.

The case remained open but inactive for four decades, until, the police said, a tipster called detectives last September to identify the killer. The tip proved false, but as a result of reopening the case, the police decided to check fingerprints they had had on file since 1957 against a nationwide computerized database set up by the F.B.I. last February.

The prints led to Columbia, S.C., where On January 30, 2003, the police arrested Gerald F. Mason, a 68-year-old retired gas station owner living in a comfortable suburban tract northwest of town. He is being held without bond pending an extradition hearing.

The 1957 case of the Lover's Lane Bandit has haunted and frustrated the El Segundo police, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. Law enforcement officials reserve a special contempt for police killers, particularly the ones who elude capture for years.

Around midnight on July 21, 1957, a man accosted two teenage couples necking in their cars along a well-known lover's lane on Van Ness Avenue in Hawthorne, just east of El Segundo. He tied up the four teenagers, robbed them, forced them to strip and raped a 15-year-old girl. He stole their 1949 Ford and drove off into the night, with the girls' skirts lying on the floor of the back seat.

About an hour and a half later, Officers Richard A. Phillips, 28, and Milton G. Curtis, 25, of the El Segundo police saw a car run a red light at Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard, a quiet, undeveloped area of tall eucalyptus trees near a Standard Oil tank farm. The officers ordered the driver out of the car. Just then, a second El Segundo cruiser pulled up. The arresting officers waved the car on, thinking they had the situation under control.

The driver then pulled out a .22-caliber snub-nosed revolver and shot both officers. Officer Phillips fired several shots at the fleeing car and radioed for help before losing consciousness. Both officers died before reaching the hospital. Officer Phillips had two years on the job, Officer Curtis two months.

The driver abandoned the car four blocks away and ran south into Manhattan Beach through yards and over fences, dropping the watches he had stolen from the teenagers, the police said, and his weapon.

Despite a wide manhunt involving local, state and federal police, no further trace of the killer was found. The case was featured in True Detective magazine in 1958 with a plea for public help to solve the murders.

"We followed literally thousands of leads and tips, but with no success," said Jack Wayt, chief of the El Segundo police. "But we certainly never forgot this case. The officers are long gone, but they never were forgotten."

There was a flurry of activity three years after the shootings, when the watches and the gun were recovered, but it led nowhere. The case drifted into the inactive file.

Early last year, the F.B.I. established a database that for the first time compiled fingerprints from police agencies all over the country. Law enforcement agencies began looking at old cases to see whether this new tool could help. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office reopened 3,000 unsolved homicide cases dating to 1980 with the aid of the new database.

But it did not look back 45 years, until the El Segundo police received the tip in September.

"That's the way these things go sometimes - a fluke, a tip," said Capt. Frank Merriman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Homicide Bureau, who oversaw the handling of the case. "It turned out to be wrong this time, but it caused us to look in the right direction."

The police had several good prints from the stolen car, which matched the prints from the 1956 South Carolina burglary arrest. No good prints were on the gun for comparison, because it had been in the ground for three years, Mr. Merriman said. He added that ballistics tests from the weapon were "consistent" with the bullets that killed the officers, but were not conclusive because of the poor condition of the gun.

The authorities said one of the reasons it took so long to find Mr. Mason, a factor that may complicate any prosecution, was that he had led a spotless life since 1957. They said it is unusual for someone to commit a brutal crime just once.


Lividity is the process by which the blood settles into dependent capillaries and eventually "fixes" in certain areas of the body.

Postmortem Lividity is also known as livor mortis.

Livor mortis is caused by the pooling and settling of blood within the blood vessels from the effect of gravity. It appears as a purple discoloration of the skin. During life, the pumping action of the heart maintains a constant flow of blood through the numerous vessels of the body. Upon death, this pumping action ceases, and the blood pools within the dependent portions of the body (lowest points).

When lividity first develops, if you press your finger firmly against the discolored skin, the pressure will cause "blanching". When pressure is released, the discoloration returns. After four or five hours the discoloration becomes clotted and pressure will NOT cause blanching.


A very HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Det. TOM WHALEN of the 75 Squad who was promoted to DETECTIVE SECOND GRADE.

Well deserved!


Many of you may have seen the article in Friday, May 30th edition of the DAILY NEWS concerning the DNA match in the Seattle murder of 20 years ago.

Let the record reflect that this story was reported HERE a week ago!

Another reason to make sure you check THE SQUAD ROOM regularly!


Multiple Links Listings


Allow me some editorial privilege in reporting the following Lacrosse News.

Congratulations to the Lynbrook High School Men�s Lacrosse Team on capturing the Nassau County Class B Lacrosse title! Best of luck to them in the Long Island Championship game scheduled for Tuesday, June 3 at SUNY Stony Brook Stadium against the Suffolk County Champs (either Comsewogue or Shoram-Wading River; game yet to be played).

Also, congratulations go out to RACHAEL CORNICELLO, a Lynbrook High School freshman who plays varsity lacrosse with the LHS Women�s Lacrosse Team, who was honored with an All-County Honorable Mention!


There was a time when regular bathing was NOT a once-a-day event.

Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions.

When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile."


Send an e-mail to:

Monday, May 26, 2003


As reported recently by the Associated Press, a killer responsible for a 20-year-old murder was arrested and held without bail because of a rather unusual DNA match.

The male licked a letter to Seattle police that provided them with a DNA sample that now ties him to the strangling of a 13-year-old girl in 1982.

Originally, as DNA was not an issue in 1982, there was no DNA lift from any evidence found on the victim's body. Last year, though, forensic techniques and follow-up by Seattle police had advanced to the point that a second attempt at DNA resulted in a sample being lifted.

Having a suspect in mind but no evidence in the original case, detectives then mailed a letter to the suspect with a form that required a signature - under a very good ruse. The suspect signed the letter, then sealed it in the envelope - licking the flap to seal it closed!

DNA evidence was then extracted from the envelope's flap that could now be matched to the DNA recovered from the body, providing detectives with the evidence needed to arrest him for the murder.

Another example of a little originality and detective sense used to put a killer behind bars.


Of all the worlds' legendary characters, few have attracted world-wide fascination like the outlaw, Jesse James.

Some call him America's Robin Hood, while others see him as a cold-blooded killer. Perhaps he was all of these things.

Jesse Woodson James was born in Kearney, Missouri on September 5, 1847.
His father, the Rev. Robert James, was a Baptist minister who helped found William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

Within a year after the Civil War, Frank and Jesse are believe to have pulled off the first daylight bank robbery in peace time. They made off with $60,000 from the Liberty, Mo. bank not far from their home, and one man was killed.

For the next 15 years, the James boys roamed throughout the U.S. robbing trains and banks of their gold, building a legend that was to live more than a century after Jesse's death.

The Pinkerton Detective Agency was called in to help catch the famous desperadoes. Once during a nighttime raid on the family home outside Kearney, Mo., a firebomb was tossed into the log cabin. When it exploded, it tore off the hand of Jesse's mother, and led to the death of his half-brother Archie.

Jesse reached his Waterloo in September, 1876, when his gang, including the Younger brothers, took on the bank at Northfield, Minn. Within minutes the town people returned fire. All except Frank and Jesse were either killed or were wounded and captured.

With a $10,000 reward on his head, Jesse moved to St. Joseph, Mo., with his family in the fall of 1881 to hide out.

On Christmas Eve, Jesse and his wife, who was also his first cousin, moved their family into a small house atop a high hill overlooking St. Joseph. Living under the assumed name of Tom Howard, Jesse rented the house from a city councilman for $14 a month.
He attended church, but did not work for a living. During the winter of 1882, Jesse tried to buy a small farm in Nebraska. But in April, he was short of cash. All of his earlier gang members were either dead or in prison, but Jesse recruited Bob and Charlie Ford to help him rob the Platte City bank.

The Ford brothers posed as cousins of Jesse James, but actually were not related to Jesse at all. The $10,000 reward on Jesse proved too appealing. While Jesse stood on a chair in the family home at 1318 Lafayette Street in St. Joseph to dust and straighten a picture, Bob and Charlie Ford drew their guns. Bob Ford put and end to the James Legend with a single bullet to the back of the head on April 3, 1882.

The Ford brothers attempted to collect the reward. Instead, they were charged with murder. They were sentenced to hang, but were pardoned by Governor Tom Crittenden. Two years later Charles Ford committed suicide and Bob Ford, the "dirty little coward who shot Mr. Howard, and laid poor Jesse in his grave," was himself killed in a bar room brawl in Creede, Colorado, in 1892.

Jesse James was a moral paradox. He was a good father and family man, and was religious in his own way. Whether he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, or just kept it all, has never been decided. Jesse James died in 1882, but the legend of Jesse James
continues more than a century beyond his death.

Today Jesse and Frank James are among the best-known Americans in the world.


The NYPD Running Club recently conducted the 2nd Annual Memorial 5K Run this past Sunday, May 18, 2003.

The NYPD Running Club, of which Sgt. Tom Biggers - a former Brooklyn North Detective Ops member - is the Vice President, has a web site which will list news and upcoming events.

The site can be located at:


In 1937, 2-way radio were first installed in department patrol cars.

In 1969 the 911 system was put in place and became operational. Prior to that a citywide number had been tested to call police, 444-1234.

In 1972 the height requirement for new police candidates was eliminated.

The last promotion to Detective Third Grade was made on December 22, 1972, when 32 males and 1 female officers were so designated. After that, the promotions to this rank were to the title "Detective-Investigator" or "Detective-Specialist".

On April 24, 1973, the official titles were changed from Patrolman and Policewoman to the one generic title, Police Officer.


Interested in finding out who owns a particular web site?

You can check out the site at some of these that follow:


For the Antique Police Car exhibit at the NYPD Museum, Saturday June 7.

Some interesting cars should be on display. Some of the cars include a 1971 Plymouth and a 1968 Plymouth in the green, black and white colors, marked for MCY PCT # 2. I understand that they are both beautifully done cars, and the exhibit should be entertaining to most "buffs".

Why not make it a family event?


At the risk of repeating myself, I once again must put in a good word for "THE CIGAR INN" of Manhattan.

Located on First Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets, this is a cigar smokers dream come true.

Comfortable setting, including leather lounge chairs, good music and a TV for your pleasure, is combined with a well stocked humidor and friendly service. They also stock an assortment of mens-accesories: lighters, shaving supplies, hand woven ties - all of the upscale variety at reasonale prices.

It seems that our Manhattan brothers have already found this spot - a "World's Greatest Detectives" poster is ready for display!

Next time you find yourself in Manhattan, stop in and enjoy. I'd like to note that their web site, which I previously published on this site, is still "under construction". Give it some time, but stop in just the same.

The Minister gives this a "Four Havana's" rating. I also recommend, if you stop in, to try one of the Oliva Cigar Family selections. Certainly a top choice.

Friday, May 23, 2003


Rigor is defined as the result of stiffening or contraction of the body muscles related to chemical changes occurring within the muscles after death.

As a general rule, rigor mortis begins two to four hours after death. It starts at the same time throughout the body, however it is first observed in the jaws and neck. It then progresses in a head-to-foot direction and is complete in eight to twelve hours after death.

This complete rigor begins to disappear about 18 to 36 hours after death, and in the average body is completely gone within 48-60 hours.

This factor is the poorest of the gauges used in estimating time of death because of the many variables involved. For example, obese people do not always develop rigor, skinny people develop it fast; heat speeds up the process, while cold retains it; a fight or body shock (i.e. violent death) usually accelerates it; no two bodies develop it at the same time, etc.


One of the greatest basketball players to ever wear a New York uniform died last Wednesday, May 14.

Dave DeBusschere, a catalyst on the Knicks' only two championship teams, and one of basketball's 50 greatest players, died of a heart attack at 62 years young.

If you grew up around the city in the early 70's, you remember what basketball meant back then. You played CYO ball, spent weekends playing two-on-two in someone's driveway, always admiring the hard working team that played in the Garden. Number 22 was the "white-collar" power forward, the man who personified tireless defense and tenacious rebounding. You wore Number 22 because DeBusschere did.

One would go on to become a US Senator, and could have been President. They all would become Hall of Famers.

I met DeBusschere one afternoon outside of City Hall. We were crossing the street together. He was larger than life in person - a towering presence. People that ride the LIRR through Garden City often saw him on the train. A regular guy, just huge. Larger than life perhaps.

At only 62 years old he was way too young to die. It makes you think way too much, perhaps. Thoughts of a teenager shooting hoops, those were good times. Funny how you remember things the way you want to remember them. So long, Dave.


A man hit by a car in New York in 1977 got up uninjured, but lay back down in front of the car when a bystander told him to pretend he was hurt so he could collect insurance money. The car rolled forward and crushed and killed him.
Source: FBI: White Collar Crime in America - Insurance Fraud


If you find yourself on the south shore of Nassau County, take the time and stop in to MOM�S CIGARS in Valley Stream

They recently moved from the Sunrise Highway location they�ve been at for years (next to Dunkin' Donuts) and now have a much larger, more comfortable, and better stocked location about three blocks east � also on Sunrise Highway.

The new location, which is west of Rockaway Avenue (McDonald's) and east of Dunkin� Donuts, features large and comfortable seating, television, and music for your smoking pleasure. Coffee, espresso and tea are also available.

They have an extremely well stocked selection, and excellent prices. They also feature periodic cigar specials, like cigar rolling and "Smokers Events".

Mention to the staff that you heard about their new location on the "Detective Web Site".

Mom's Cigars
50 East Sunrise Highway
Valley Stream, NY 11581


May 19, 1931 Ptl William O�Connor, Mtd Unit, Shot
May 19, 1997 PO Anthony Sanchez, 13 Pct, Shot-Robbery
May 20, 1920 Ptl John Fitzpatrick, Det Div, Shot-GLA Arrest
May 21, 1968 Det Richard Rolanz, 103 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
May 21, 1971 Ptl Joseph Piagentini, #8788, 32 Pct & Ptl. Waverly Jones, #4381, 32 Pct
May 21, 1996 PO Vincent Guidice, 50 Pct, Cut by glass during arrest
May 23, 1919 Ptl Emil Carbonell, Mcy Dist, Auto accident
May 23, 1927 Ptl Walter Wahl, 7 Pct, Fire rescue
May 23, 1939 Ptl Nicholas Moreno, 87 Pct, Shot-investigation
May 25, 1970 Ptl Miguel Sirvent, 71 Pct, Shot-robbery

Monday, May 19, 2003


The below are some of the most infamous and best known serial murderers.

Ted Bundy: Convicted of three homicides in 1979 and 1980 in Florida, and who is believed to have killed at least twenty-eight women between 1974 and 1978.

The "Hillside Stranglers", Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who killed at least nine women in the Los Angeles area in 1977 and 1978, after which Bianchi killed two women on his own in Bellingham, Washington, and was then caught.

John Wayne Gacy, who killed thirty-three young men in the Chicago area between 1972 and 1978.

Arthur Shawcross, who killed eleven women in 1988 and 1989 in and around Rochester, New York, shortly after he was paroled from prison. He had been serving a sentence for killing an eight year old girl in 1972, and at that time was also suspected of killing a ten year old boy.

Wayne Williams, who was found guilty in 1982 of the killing of two young men following the "Atlanta Child Murders" investigation.

Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker", who was found guilty in 1989 of thirteen murders, five attempted murders, eleven sexual assaults, and fourteen burglaries in California.

Henry Lee Lucas, convicted of eleven murders in Texas, West Virginia, and Michigan and still suspected by law enforcement agencies in twenty-seven states of having killed another 162 people.

Aileen Wuornos, who killed seven men in Central Florida in 1990 before she was arrested.

Donald Harvey�s co-workers called him the "Angel of Death". It seemed that whenever he was working as a nurse, someone dioed in the hospital. Harvey was charged with killing hospital patients in Ohio and Kentucky and was convicted of thirty-seven murders, seven aggravated murders, and one felonious assault. He pled guilty to avoid the death penalty. He claims to have killed eighty-seven people.

And, of course, David Berkowitz - the "Son of Sam" - who needs no introduction to any of us. Over a thirteen month period in 1976 and 1977 the "Son of Sam" shot thirteen young men and women in eight different incidents. Six of these victims died.


Apr 12 1929 Ptl. Andrew McLean-Wood, 15th Pct:

At about 11.55 pm, April 11, 1929 while on patrol and investigating a collision at 135th St. & Riverside Drive Ptl. McLean-Wood was struck by an unidentified northbound automobile. After being thrown to the ground he was run over by a northbound taxicab.

He was taken to Knickerbocker Hospital, suffering from a fracture of the scull and internal injuries, where he died on Apr. 12, 1929.


If you venture over the bridge into the "Big Apple", take my suggestion and be advised that you cannot find a better steak than what is served at MARK JOSEPH STEAKHOUSE.

Located near the South Street Seaport at 261 Water Street (off Peck Slip), the food surpasses, and the d�cor and ambiance are head and shoulders above, the better-known Peter Luger�s.

The owners, Charlie and Joe, bring a background from Luger�s and have adapted this restaurant into a friendlier, better atmosphered, yet just as fine steakhouse. Check them out.

MarkJoseph Steakhouse
261 Water Street (off Peck Slip), NYC


What will certainly go down in history as one of the most memorable occasions, the Conference met for its luncheon-meeting recently to honor several retired Squad Commanders.

Taking the cue from some of their current members, the luncheon was hosted at MarkJosephs Steakhouse (see note above) in downtown Manhattan. The absolutely great food was only surpassed by the good time had by all, in taking time to note the fine work and dedication by some notable recent retirees.

Chief Cunneen and Chief Giromonte, along with Inspector Gabriel, were present to award the retirees with a Commemorative SATCOM Brick - a brick taken from the original wall at SATCOM Brooklyn North Headquarters at 179 Wilson Avenue. Built in the 1870�s, this building was originally the 20th Precinct, and then later the 83rd Precinct Station Houses, and now home to the Brooklyn North Borough Offices (Strategic and Tactical Command - SATCOM).

Receiving an award was Lt-CDS Jay Kopp, the former commander of the 90 Squad. Jay is presently enjoying his retirement aboard his yacht, fishing and looking forward to enjoying the coming summer weather.

Another recipient was Lt-CDS Joe Heffernan, the former squad commander of Brooklyn North Homicide. Joe keeps himself busy as a special guest lecturer at many department training programs, and has been honing his golf swing for the upcoming Golf outings. "Oh, baby", Joe is certainly enjoying his well deserved retirement. Well tanned and looking fit, Joe has always been a well respected commander of detectives, and continues to share his knowledge with others.

Sgt-SDS John Stefanowski, who commanded the 94 Squad for many years, looked great, also tanned and rested when he received his commemorative brick. It was noted that John spends more time in the 94 now than when he was working (a pun, for sure). The "Prince of Greenpoint" will long be remembered in the 94 Squad.

There is no one with a better sense of humor than Lt. Robert Gates, who recently retired as Brooklyn North Detective Ops' Admin Lieutenant. Bobby was at his best at the luncheon, leaving no one untouched to his barbs. Bobby is looking forward to taking over the family business, and has been shining up his golf clubs along the way. Every business owner knows the importance of networking via golf; Bobby will be living the legend very soon. It�s just too bad about those Mets, though.

I can easily say that there was no better luncheon than this last Brooklyn North Squad Commanders. How many other Detective Boroughs get together and bond so well? Taking the time to honor our retirees at such a luncheon was only fitting; their knowledge and professionalism can never be replaced.

Congratulations once again to our noted retirees! We hope to see you at our next lunch meeting.


NYPD retirees can get good info at the NYPD "Actively Retired" website.

If you need info on NYPD Pensions, retirement issues or other retiree limitations then go to the New York City Police Pension Fund at:


If you find yourself in Manhattan one afternoon, you may want to consider a stop at The Cigar Inn.

Located on First Avenue between 70 & 71 Streets, it's a well stocked tobacconist as well as haberdasher of fine men's accessories. Shaving needs, men's ties and an array of smoker's accessories, with comfortable seating if you have time to fire-up a cigar and enjoy the ambiance. It's also next door to a nice coffee bar, with outdoor seating if the weather is nice.

Stop by, or check out their web site at:

The Cigar Inn

Note: This web site was under construction when I tried to access it. Perhaps it’s up and running by now.


Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the people. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs and bars who were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns.

Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there". The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and thus, we have the term "gossip".


Although I don�t know how to add actual "Links" on this site, I am listing those sites which I think you�ll find interesting (and would be on a "Links" list if I knew how to do that!). You can utilize "cut & paste" for this purpose, then "bookmark" them for future reference.

Squad Security, Inc.

NYC Police Museum

REMA: Retired Emergency Man�s Association

National Police Support Network Inc

E-Investigator (Info and people-search links)

Organized Crime information

Tom Natoli�s Transit Police Web Site

NYS Shields

NY Cop Online Magazine

John E. Reid & Associates, Investigative support

Retired Guardian�s, Transit Police and NYPD

NY Transit Police Florida Reunion & Info Site

Phones and other searches: (reverse) (reverse) (reverse)

Cell Phone Carrier

Cigar Afficionado

Manhattanville College Mens Lacrosse

Villanova University Women�s Lacrosse

Tuesday, May 13, 2003


Jacob Hays was New York�s High Constable from 1802 to 1844.

Hays was said to have known every criminal in New York. A man of great physical strength, he patrolled armed only with his constable's staff, making arrests and quelling street brawls single-handedly. In Old New York, misbehaving children were warned that "old Hays will be after you."


Got a phone number and want to connect it to a person, that person's address, and get a map to their house too?

Then jump to Google at

Just type in the phone number in the "search" box (Example: 646-610-5000). The subscriber- in this example NYPD at 1 Police Plaza, is then identified. Click on "map" to see where it is located.

Note that some numbers, especially unlisted numbers, are not listed at Google.

This also works for any state

If you have AOL do not use the Google search featured on the AOL page. You must go to the "" site itself.


On April 10, 1950 Ptl. Louis Balzano, Harbor Pct. died in the line of duty.

Ptl. Balzano was walking to a telephone at the 39th Street Ferry Slip, Brooklyn, to call the Harbor Pct. office, when the flooring of the pier gave way plunging him into the icy river below.

Sgt. Murray Trilling, in charge of the launch "Private Fay" heard the crash and rushed to the stricken officer�s assistance. ESS Truck No. 12 was summoned and its crew administered oxygen and artificial respiration for four hours. However, it was futile, and Dr. Helga Paris, at Norwegian Hospital, pronounced the officer dead. Ptl. Balzano was married and the father of three sons.


From Det Tom McHale, PAPD assigned to the NYPD Major Case Squad. Tom has been working on the Ptl. Foster & Laurie assassination case by the way.

Here�s a little background on CIGAR AFICIONADO, and the aftermath of 9-11.

Shortly after 9/11 they hosted a Cigar Party and invited the NYPD & FDNY people from Ground Zero. As many did, they omitted the PAPD. When inquiries were made they never returned any of the numerous calls made to them, and on top of that they publicized their generosity with a photo in their magazine depicting a Freehold NJ Fire Department Chief smoking a cigar.

American Police Beat newspaper published CIGAR Aficionado's ignorance and arrogance and also questioned "How many Firemen from Freehold, NJ perished at the WTC, and where and for how long was Freehold at the sight"? Of course there was no response.

While I am a reader of Cigar Aficionado, and have quoted and credited them before on this site, I was not aware of this treatment on their part. I�d like to pass it on for your information.


In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.

Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted.

Arms and legs are "limbs"; therefore, painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence, the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."

Thursday, May 08, 2003


The New York State DNA Databank was established in 1999 under the NYS Executive Law. This amendment increased the number of designated offenses that required collection of a DNA specimen for the DNA Databank.

The 1999 amendment also required collection of DNA specimens from 70,000 offenders who were under some form of criminal justice supervision on the effective date of the law. As amended, the law requires any person convicted of a violent felony offense or a specified non-violent felony to provide a DNA sample for inclusion in the DNA Databank.

The NYS DNA Databank became fully operational in April 2000. The Databank is part of a national system called CODIS, a searchable software program with three tiers of the DNA Index System (DIS) - local (LDIS), state (SDIS), and national (NDIS).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation serves as the national connection and links New York State with other participating states. This tiered approach allows individual states and local agencies to operate their respective DNA databases according to applicable state law and local policy.

In New York State there are eight local DNA laboratories. The State Police Forensic Investigation Center (FIC) in Albany serves as both a local site for forensic casework and as the State laboratory for New York State.

All local DNA laboratories maintain a Forensic Index which is comprised of DNA profiles from crime scene evidence submitted by the agencies they serve. These profiles are routinely inter-compared in order to identify and link criminal incidents that may involve the same perpetrator. The State database at the State Police FIC contains forensic DNA profiles uploaded by each of the local laboratories and enables inter-comparisons of crime scene evidence DNA profiles among the participating local laboratories in New York State and across the country.

The State Police FIC also maintains the Convicted Offender Index, which are the DNA profiles from designated offenders. The individual DNA profiles in the Offender Index are periodically compared with the DNA profiles from crime scene evidence contained in the Forensic Index to determine whether an individual can be identified with crime scene evidence from one or more criminal incidents. These inter-comparisons occur within state and between states through the national CODIS system.

All states are participating in the National DNA databank except for the following:
Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.

The following are the eight local DNA laboratories within New York State that link into the State system:

Erie County Department of Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory
Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory
Nassau County Department of Forensic Genetics DNA Laboratory
New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Department of Forensic Biology
New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center
Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences
Suffolk County Crime Laboratory
Westchester County Department of Laboratories & Research, Forensic Science


Detective Larry Eggers was recently used at the ME's Office for show and tell.

Larry had taken a spill outside the 90's parking lot, banging his head pretty bad and scraping his hands and knees. Witnessed by Captain Corbisiero, Larry needed a little ice pack patch-up from EMS. John Corbisiero noted that Larry looked a little disoriented after the fall (how could you tell? I asked).

The true detective that he is, Larry remained on duty to continue his work.

Later that day Larry found himself at the ME's Office with Det's John Grosse and John Kristoffersen regarding an Investigate-DOA case. A male had fallen in his apartment, striking his head, causing his death. The ME had some questions concerning the injuries, and a hairline fracture of the skull. Would this be a CUPPI? She needed some answers.

John Grosse decided to use Larry as a model. See those scratches on the victim's hands, and the bruises on his face? Looks a lot like what Larry Eggers has from his fall, doesn�t it Doc? You're right, John. It certainly does. CUPPI avoided; accidental pending toxicology.

Another case solved by the team of Eggers, Grosse & Kristoffersen.


Recent promotions bestowed on some of Brooklyn North�s own include the following.

Promoted to Detective First Grade was Steve Stemmler of the 73 Squad.

Detective Second Grade promotions went to Jay Genna of the 77 Squad and Rodrigo Fonteboa of the 90 Squad.

A Brooklyn North alumnus, Kevin Perham, was promoted to Inspector. Kevin is now assigned to the Intelligence Division.

Anyone who is "former-Transit" will recognize the name Louis Croce. Louis was promoted to Deputy Chief, and is now the XO of PBQS. I have very fond memories of Louis, as anyone who ever worked with him does. "Work should be fun" he always said. Amen! Best wishes, Louis.

Congratulations go out to James Buddenhagen of District 32, promoted to Deputy Inspector. We consider Jimmy to be a Brooklyn North "Associate Member", as his command spans the North and South. (In our hearts we know Jimmy is a North guy, though!).

With mixed emotions, it�s noted that Robert Soloff was granted three-quarters. Bobby was the Squad Commander of the 70 Squad who had taken over Brooklyn South Homicide after Al King left, but suffered a heart attack shortly into his homicide-tenure. The good news is he's doing well, but you never want to get out like that. We all offer our best wishes to you, Bobby. A true professional, still with a heart of gold. Best of luck, Bobby.

PO Heather Stechman of BNDO is on her way in the career path, now assigned to Detective Ops. How she keeps things running so well is still an enigma to many, as she makes a difficult job seem easy. We all look forward to your gold-shield day. May I just suggest not parking so close to the bus stop with your new VW Bug.

Robert Gates, the Admin Lt at BNDO, has put his papers in and is retiring. He�ll surely be missed by many. Another true professional (golfer, cigar smoker, Mets fan, and oh-yes, cop) who did his job with ease and a positive attitude. I first worked with Bobby as Sergeant's together in the Transit Robbery Squad's Decoy Unit. We all wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor, and look forward to seeing you at the monthly squad commander�s lunch meetings - and on the golf courses. Note, though, that retiree's still pay for lunch.

With Bobby Gates' departure brings Marty Stein�s arrival. Anyone who has ever worked with Marty knows what that means. Good luck, Marty.

It seems the office at BNDO has been quite busy recently. Det Donna Stout has taken up the slack in the office as well, and is doing her job in fine Brooklyn North fashion. That 79 Squad background will come in handy over there, Donna. (See above).

Det Jimmy Rizzitello is out on military leave with the Coast Guard, guarding the shores of New Jersey. And I hear he's doing quite a job of that as well. We miss you, too, Jimmy. When do the blues start running off the coast of Jersey?

Did anyone notice the day that none of the phones were working on the third floor at Wilson Avenue? That was just Marty fixing the phone lines. They were working fine before, you say? Apparently not. Paul Molloy was wondering why it was so quiet at the Boro that afternoon. Don�t worry, Paul, everything that was working well before is now fixed. Keep up the good work.


For DNA Databank Information or questions, contact the:

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
Office of Forensic Services
4 Tower Place
Albany, New York 12203-3764
Phone: 518-457-1901
Fax: 518-457-9384


Apr 14 1907 Ptl. George M. Sechler, #2075, 16th Pct (6th): Shot
Apr 16 1907 Ptl. Alfred A. Selleck, 16th Pct (6th); Shot

Both officers were working in plain clothes and standing on Third St. near Sullivan St., when they heard shots from the direction of Thompson St. They ran to Thompson St. and saw two men running toward them, being pursued by two other police officers.

The two fleeing men, who were brothers, had just shot a man and were trying to escape. The two men attempted to enter an apartment house at 230 Thompson Street. Finding the front door locked and unable to make their escape, one of the gunmen turned and fired two shots at the officers. Selleck was shot in the left chest near the heart. Sechler was shot in the abdomen.

The other two police officers were able to effect the arrest of the gunman. Both Sechler and Selleck were taken to St. Vincent�s Hospital, operated on but given little chance for recovery. Ptl. George Sechler died the same day, while Ptl. Alfred Selleck died two days later. Ptl. Sechler was married and had a five weeks old daughter.


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Monday, May 05, 2003


Giuseppe Petrosino, an immigrant from Salerno who became the NYPD's first Italian-American detective, waged a valiant battle against the Black Hand, a loosely-knit criminal organization that extorted money from Italian immigrants.

Petrosino founded the Bomb Squad, the first unit of its kind in the United States, to counter the Black Hand's use of explosives in carrying out its extortion threats. From 1905, Petrosino and the "Italian Branch", an elite corps of Italian-American undercover cops, arrested thousand of members of the Black Hand, deported 500 and reduced crime against Italian-Americans by half. Petrosino was murdered in 1909 in Palermo, Italy, where he had gone to gather intelligence about Black Hand members.

He is the only NYPD officer killed in line of duty outside the U.S.

In 1883, it was Clubber Williams who arranged Joe�s appointment to the force, even though Petrosino was four inches below the required height. His knowledge of the Italian language and culture gave him an advantage over non-Italian detectives. In 1890, he became a detective; in 1895, Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt promoted him to detective sergeant. By the turn of the century, due to careful media management, Petrosino was one of New York�s best-known detectives: he had a way of tipping off reporters whenever he was about to do something newsworthy.

He was as rough as most cops of his time, and as one alderman who was quoted in Reppetto�s book NYPD put it, "he knocked out more teeth than a dentist". While he could dress and act like a typical detective, banging on doors and throwing suspects up against walls, he was more comfortable in disguise. He posed as a tunnel worker, a blind beggar, a gangster or an Italian peasant just off the boat. This allowed him to investigate freely, and also allowed others to talk to him without attracting suspicion. In this way he was able to infiltrate and expose many of the gangs that preyed on Italian immigrants.

In January 1905, Police Commissioner William McAdoo put Petrosino in charge of a five-man Italian squad. McAdoo�s successor, General Theodore Bingham, expanded the squad to 25 men, renaming it the Italian Legion and promoting Petrosino to lieutenant.

In 1907, Congress enacted a law permitting the deportation of any alien found to have concealed a criminal record. Two years later, Gen. Bingham secretly sent Petrosino to Italy with a list of 2000 names. While Petrosino was on the high seas, Bingham leaked news of the mission to the New York Herald, which published it in the Paris edition. This was then picked up by the Italian press, and ran in the Italian media as well. Petrosino�s impending visit and its purpose were known to the very Mafiosi he was investigating before his arrival.

On the night of March 12, Petrosino was sitting on the fence that surrounded the garden around Piazza Marina in the Tribunaria/Castellemare district. He may have been waiting for an informant or a trolley. The gangster Don Vito walked up to him and shot him in the face. Later, the American consul reported two hired gunmen fired the shots. Still others say there were three. In any event, Petrosino was dead. Although Don Vito was taken into custody four days later, he was released when an alibi witness came forward. No arrests were made in this crime.

Today, Petrosino is memorialized by a fenced-in plaza at Lafayette and Kenmare Streets, in downtown Manhattan, only walking distance from the old Police Headquarters Building. A Parks Dept. sign identifies the park as Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Square.

(With credit to an article found in NY PRESS by William Bryk)


To correct a listing in a previous posting to this site, it is noted that the correct spelling for this Ptl. Is Schmelter, and not Schneller.

On April 14 1929 Ptl. William Schmelter, #5893 of the 32nd Pct (68th), died in the line of duty.

While on patrol duty, Ptl. Schmelter commandeered an automobile at 53rd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, and during the pursuit of another automobile he was thrown to the roadway and killed.


Here's some information on credit card number formats:

MasterCard is of length 16 and has a prefix of 51, 52, 53, 54, 55
VISA is of length 13 or 16 and has a prefix of 4
American Express is of length 15 and has a prefix of 34 or 37
Discover is of length 16 and has a prefix of 6011


Reverse Phone Lookup

Reverse telephone directories and more:


Jeffrey J. Pyrcioch, 19, and an alleged accomplice were arrested in West Lafayette, Ind., in May on theft and fraud charges.

It seems that Pyrcioch cashed checks that he had written with disappearing ink, apparently believing the checks would be blank by the time they were presented to the bank for collection.

However, traces of ink remained, and police said Pyrcioch would have a better chance of getting away with it if he had not used checks pre-printed with his name and account number on them!