Friday, February 16, 2007

“You manage things, you lead people”.


A recent article in FORBES magazine highlighted some of the more recent white-collar crime sentences, contrasting them to some of the more heinous, violent crimes we are more aware of.

You may find this interesting.

Jeffrey Skilling, convicted of conspiracy and fraud in connection with the collapse of Enron – and the loss of many worker’s pension funds – was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison.

Landon Burgin, punched a man and then left him to die, sentenced to 3 years in jail.

Robert Memory, a motorcycle gang member sentenced for stabbing two people in the back during a bar fight that left a third man dead, received a 9 year sentence.

Timothy Rigas, convicted along with his father, of looting family-controlled cable company, Adelphia, received a 20 year sentence.

Joshua Hunter pleaded guilty to setting a fire that killed 2 people, a restaurant owner and his son. He received a 3 year jail sentence.

Melvin Bynum, a North Carolina pastor, received a 7 year sentence after he strangled his wife and left her body to decompose in an abandoned car.

Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years for conspiracy and securities fraud in connection with World-Com’s accounting scandal.

Walter Forbes ran travel conglomerate Cendant during a time it inflated earnings. In addition to paying $3.3 billion in restitution, he was also sentenced to 12 years in jail.


Did you know that 92% of police injuries are caused by edged weapons?

The most common weapon used to inflict these injuries is a screwdriver.

The minimum safe distance from an assailant wielding an edged weapon is 21 feet.


Homicide: The killing / death of a human being by another human being.

Murder: Unlawful homicide.

Practically speaking, all “murder’s” are “Homicides”, but NOT all homicides are murders.

For example, death caused by another under legal means – justifiable homicide – is still a homicide, but is not an “unlawful” homicide – NOT a murder. An MOS shoots and kills another during the proper performance of police duties; “Justifiable” Homicide is ruled; the incident is still a “Homicide” – but NOT a murder.

Get it?


Interested in SEC filing information?

The US Securities & Exchange Commission now offers full text searching at:

Searches filings of publicly traded companies – for free! The database covers the last 4 years.

Another search, Edgarscan, focuses on retrieval of financial information from 10-K and 10-Q reports.

Happy searching!


A nifty little device acts as a Telephone Recorder Pickup-device, allowing you to easily record telephone conversations.

The single-plug device, the TP-7 telephone Recorder Pickup, can be used with all telephones and requires no physical connection to the telephone.

Just plug the TP-7 into the “Mic” jack of any recorder, and put the earphone device into your ear. When speaking on the telephone this device will capture both sides of the conversation – your voice, picked up by the microphone of the recorder you are using, and the other side of the conversation through the earpiece – which you are holding against the telephones earphone as you speak, recording through the Mic-jack of the recorder.

Best of all, it can be used on landline phones as well as any cell phone.

It is manufactured by Olympus, and can be found at the following site:

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."


Reviewing a recent edition of an investigative magazine, I noticed that corporations are reporting their hiring managers have been researching employment applicants on internet “social networking” sites, and uncovering a lot of interesting information on these prospective employees.

“Social Networking” sites are another name for the popular sites such as, etc.

Not sure which are the popular sites in your area? Ask a teenager! They’ll surely know!

How does this apply to the detective?

Recent information also provides information being uncovered on some subjects that reveal another side to him/her that the investigator could find very valuable.

For example, evidence of gang affiliation searching through the MySpace pages of a subject may be uncovered through photographs that are posted, web sites they link to, or comments made on their comments pages.

Perhaps you’ll find photos posted of people in gang-significant clothing demonstrating gang signs? Certainly an interesting fact to be aware of.

A detective had noted one such anecdote.

A detective from Victorville, California ran a query using the term “Victimville”, which was a gang-slang for that town, on MySpace. There were about 350 such links, however, a search by the particular gang-name returned a manageable 3-sites; visiting the links on those sites connected to links of friends of those posted, providing a wealth of background information prior to sitting down and interviewing his subject.

Certainly something worth keeping in mind.

Remember, sometimes the detective doesn’t know what he/she is looking for until he finds it!


Here are 2 pretty interesting web sites, available free access on the internet (may require an initial “Free Registration” for extensive searches). Worth checking out. If nothing else, check out your own residence, and see what information is easily available – free of charge – to anyone who wants it!

Geared to real estate professionals, will include information on the owner, property value and taxes, as well as a recent photograph of the house! Very extensive info on New York locations.

Provides real property valuations and aerial photograph, that looks very close to what you can get on Has many more cities than has.


Document Scanner that Fits in a Pocket:

DocuPen is a handheld color scanner, no bigger than a pen that can fit in your pocket, that help you scan documents for retrieval later on.

Docupen offers a 24-bit color scanning device that is just 8-inches long and less than 1-inch wide, can be easily carried in your pocket, and is USB interfaced in a very simple manner that can download scanned documents to your computer.

Few buttons to worry about, and the scanning is simple to accomplish.

A slow pass across the page with the “pen” will save the document to the scanner. When you get back to your computer, simply plug it into the USB port, and voila! The document is scanned into your computer!

The pen can hold about 100 pages in its internal memory. In addition to the color devices, there is also a black-and-white only device available.

The manufacturers web site can be found at:

The color version runs for around $300; the B&W one for considerably less, at around $100.

It may be a convenience you find worth having.


BULL-OUT-OF-HARNESS: a plain-clothes man.
CALL THE TURN: said of a criminal after a detective has identified him.
ON THE DIP: pickpocketing.
FLY-COP: a detective.
FRONT OFFICE: police headquarters.
GOPHER-MEN: safe-blowers.
MOLL: a girl.
MOLL-BUZZER: a pickpocket who robs only women.
MOUTH-PIECE: a thief paid by the police for information; also a criminal lawyer.
PETER: a safe.
PETERMEN: safe-blowers.
THIMBLE: a watch.


Which two homicide detectives, and homicide squad commander, chose to take part in the recent Long Beach Polar-Bear swim in sub-20 degree weather?

Question: Is it true the worst part was walking from the beach to the car afterward?
Answer: No, silly; the worst part was being in the water!

Monday, February 05, 2007


The following contribution by Ret. Sgt. Mike Bosak, noted department historian, concerns the origin of policing in New York City.

It has been dogma that Jacob Hayes was the founding father of law enforcement in New York and that the 'City Watch' wasn't established until 1803. Mike considers both these statements to be “fairy tales” that somehow or other became historical facts.

Perhaps, he notes, it just might be because Jacob Hayes’ primary occupation was that of newspaper publisher, editor and reporter, and he liked to write about himself?

For you see, England declared marshal law in New York City on April 19, 1775 just to maintain basic law and order and keep the criminal element in check during the American Revolution.

During those eight years just prior to the city being surrendered to the Americans, the British Army and the city's constables made thousands of arrests for criminal offenses, so that vital commercial activity could continue and the city's inhabitants could maintain some semblance of a normal life.

How could anybody espouse that NYC went without a criminal justice system, i.e. police, courts and jails for 20 years (1783 -1803)?


Mayor Fernando Wood’s speech at the New York Police Legion of Honor Ceremony held at Lafayette Park in 1856, had this to say about the recipient:

Ptl. Franklin C. Doremus – 17th Patrol District – “This officer was called upon on the morning of the 15th of May 1855. to quell a disturbance at a lager bier saloon upon his beat on 1st Avenue.

He entered the saloon for that purpose, and arrested one of the principal rioters.

In attempting to leave with his prisoner an effort was made to rescue him. A melee ensued, in which officer Doremus was dangerously stabbed in the upper part of the chest.

The wound penetrated the surface of the lung, three inches from the above, downward. He acted manly, and evinced courage and devotion to duty of a high order.

His life was in imminent danger for some time, but a sound constitution and a temperate life has enabled him to recover.”

It is noted, that, at the medal day ceremony, Ptl. Doremus was supported by two other officers and was carried up to the podium to receive his medal, “as he has not yet entirely recovered from his wounds.”

Research conducted by Ret. Sgt Mike Bosak documents that Ptl .Franklin Doremus resigned from the department on June 26, 1855 unable to perform his duties due to the injuries he had received. In all probability, he most likely died from his wounds at a later date.


All the bands used by the department that day were brass and drum.

In 1855 the ‘Native Americans’ controlled New York City government and anti-Irish bigotry was common throughout the city.

So despite the department being approximately a quarter to a third Irish, the pipes and drums were not to be heard that day in City Hall Park.

Later most of the commands had their own little ceremonies, dinners and festivities to honor their own. There is no doubt that several of these commands that were predominantly staffed with men of the Irish heritage later proudly paraded through and around their local ward to the wailing of the traditional bag pipes, and partied to traditional Celtic music.


Most have seen, or heard, the department’s motto “Fedelis ad Mortem”. English translation: "Faithful unto Death"

Did you know that it was not always this?

“Fiat justitia ruat coelum. Partum est Merito” was the motto of the 1845 – 1857 NYC Municipal Police Department.

The English translation of that is “Let justice be done, regardless of the consequences. The duty in itself is the reward.”

When the New York City Municipal Police Department was legislated out of existence and the state controlled Metropolitan Police began to police the city in June of 1857, the old motto went the way of the department and became lost to history.

On June 13, 1873, legislation changed the name of the new ‘New York Municipal Police’ (Established April 5, 1870) to the ‘New York Police Department’, and the motto was codified as, “Fedelis ad Mortem”. "Faithful unto Death"



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A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings.

After a few seconds of arguing over which one should go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel that you have on."

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her 800 dollars and leaves.

Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower, "Who was that?" "It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.

"Great!" the husband says, "Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.


February 9, 1963 Det Richard Arundell, DetDiv, LOD Heart attack
February 10, 1926 Ptl Frank White, 35 Pct, Shot-Burglary in progress
February 11, 1966 Ptl Stanley Butch, Harbor, Fell from boat
February 11, 1982 PO James Carragher, PSA1, Shot: Off duty robbery
February 12, 1930 Ptl George Miller, 22 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
February 12, 1936 Ptl James Young, Mounted, Shot-robbery
February 12, 1940 Ptl John Holt, 28 Pct, Off-duty burglary
February 12, 1980 PO Robert Bilodeau, SCU, Shot-investigation
February 13, 1918 Ptl Samuel Rosenfeld, 102 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
February 14, 1921 Ptl John Sheridan, 70 Pct, Line of duty incident
February 14, 1925 Det Chester Hagan, DetDiv, Shot-investigation
February 14, 1963 Ptl Vincent Zichetella, 14 Pct, Shot-robbery
February 14, 1984 PO Thomas Ruotolo, 41 Pct, Shot-Robbery
February 14, 1999 PO Matthew Dziergowski, 123 Pct, Auto accident
February 15, 1917 Ptl Samuel Cunningham, 42 Pct, Shot-GLA Arrest
February 15, 1932 Ptl James Goodwin, 34 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
February 15, 1971 Det Joseph Piciano, 41 Sq, Shot by prisoner


You can e-mail me at:

Question of the day: Who drove Ptl Frank Serpico to the hospital after he was shot during a botched drug operation? What hospital did they go to?

If you know the answer, please drop me a line at my e-mail; I'm still conducting the research to these answers, but I figured I'd ask on the site and perhaps save myself time.

Who is the former Borough Commander that was incorrectly identified as a USMC alumni? (And, no, Jim O'Brian cannot answer that one!)