Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Lieutenant Michael Pigott shot himself on Thursday, October 2, 2008, his 46th birthday, at a police training center in Brooklyn.

This veteran commander of the department’s Emergency Services Unit had been placed on modified duty after he had ordered another officer to fire a Taser stun gun at an EDP who was thrashing out at other responding ESU cops. After being struck by the Taser, the EDP tumbled 10 feet to the sidewalk, hit his head and died.

The NYPD disciplined Pigott for failing to follow procedure, stripping him of his gun and badge and assigning him to a job with the department's motor vehicle fleet. This is what the department does at times like these - it casts its workers aside, in what can best be described as a "we'll get back to you later" attitude.

At his funeral this past week, Rev. Douglas Madlon revealed during the service that Michael, stripped of his badge and gun, was afraid he wouldn't be a police officer and had said to him, "I'm not a desk person." He feared for the possibility of putting his family through the ordeal of seeing him get arrested. I'm sure the corps of media people camped out in front of his house, waiting to get a picture for their tabloid of Mike coming outside to get the newspaper, or walking to his car, only fueled this feeling he had. This same media that then wondered "how could something like this possibly happen?"

One fellow cop told Newsday (who was among the media frenzy camped out in front of the house), "It's a horrible, horrible thing. He was a great man. He was a cop's cop."

If you did not know Mike, you quickly got a clear picture of him from those who did.

“He was a gentle-hearted person, big heart, friendly, sweet”, is how a neighbor described him. “Everybody loved him”.

“I have known Mike through the job when he worked in the 81 Pct doing late tours. In that time where crack exploded along with violence the 79 and 81 late tour was made up of a special group of guys. Almost regularly arriving to help on each others jobs. Mike was one of those special group of guys. Time and career changes always separates people physically. Seeing Mike as our careers moved forward always brought a warm smile and a hug”, notes another NYPD veteran.

“Mike Pigott woke up and came to work to help strangers in their personal time of chaos. He chose to place himself in that position. He chose to make a difference. We choose to make a difference. This very sad chain of events is a tragedy. I am sad for Mike and all he had to deal with. I saw the pain in his face that day on Tompkins Ave. He said things would not be the same. I can close my eyes and see him saying this as I sit here. We work in a career of second guesses - happens all the time - every day at every level. We are human. We are expected to carry the world and all of it problems. We are human”, very appropriately notes this same friend of Mike’s.

May God and his angels deliver Mike to a place in heaven where he will be at peace. May they bring comfort to his family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pigott family, through this time of sorrow.

A terrible tragedy. Please remember Mike Pigott, and his family, in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This coming week will be the anniversary of three heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice within four years of each other while carrying a badge that was imprinted "New York City Transit Police".

Coincidentally, all three died in plainclothes doing a job we all enjoyed .... there but for the grace of God go any one of us.

So, as the political heckling banters back & forth please take a few moments to remember these brave men & woman, the loved ones they left behind and recall the funerals we attended and why.

God bless them and those they left behind.

P.O. Joseph Hamperian 12/01/80 - 09/22/83

Officer Hamperian was struck and killed by an automobile while he was in plainclothes working a pick-pocket detail at a bus stop in Brooklyn when the incident happened. Officer Hamperian was assigned to the Transit Police Surface Crime Unit (Bus Squad) and was survived by his parents.

P.O. Irma (Fran) Lozada 10/20/81 - 09/21/84

Officer Lozada was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect. She and her partner were in plainclothes patroling the L Line when they witnessed a suspect snatch a piece of jewelry. The officers gave chase but separated while in pursuit. Officer Lozada's body was found three hours later in a vacant lot. She had been shot in the head while attempting to make an arrest. Officer Lozada was the first female officer to be killed in the line of duty in New York City. She was assigned to Transit District 33 and had been with the Transit Police for three years. She was survived by her mother and brother. The murderer is serving a 25 to life sentence.

P.O. Robert Venable 01/06/84 - 09/22/87

Officer Venable was shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest. He and two other officers were transporting several prisoners in Brooklyn when they were alerted of a call involving several men with guns. As they entered the building Officer Venable was shot. He succumbed to his injuries three hours later. The suspects were apprehended. Officer Venable had been with the Transit Police for three years and was survived by his 8-year-old daughter and parents. The assailant is serving a 37 years to life sentence.

(I would like to thank Ret Sgt Mike Fanning for his contribution in memorializing these three officers. Thanks again, Mike, for all you continue to do.)


September 22, 2008 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Line of Duty death of JOSEPH HAMPERIAN #4461

In memory of Joey’s passing, a memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 28th, 2008 at 11 AM at:

209-15 Horace Harding Blvd.
Bayside, NY 11364-1721

A fellowship hour will follow the church service. All are invited to attend.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Armenian Church in Joey’s honor can mail their check to the above and notate check in Joseph Hamperian’s memory.

For any further information, e-mail Herb Schoen at

Thursday, September 11, 2008


2,751 people killed at the World Trade Center on 9-11-01 from the terrorist attack on our country.

23 NYPD Members of the Service killed in service to others.

37 Port Authority Police Dept MOS killed in service to others

343 FDNY members killed in service to others.

Remember them always.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Thanks to Sgt (Ret) Mike Bosak, a true department historian, the following information is provided concerning the department’s first Medal of Honor Recipient.

The department awarded its first Medal of Honor on May 18, 1912.

It was awarded to Acting Detective Sergeant (today’s rank of Detective) CHARLES S. CARRAO of the Italian Squad, for police action performed on the morning of September 15, 1911.

The Italian Squad worked out of Police Headquarters at 240 Centre Street, working primarily on investigations concerning the “Black Hand”, an organized crime entity that preyed mostly on recently arrived Italian immigrants.

Detective Carrao confronted a “Black Hand” extortionist, who had just lit the fuse on an explosive device in the hallway of a tenement house located at 356 East 13th Street.

Carrao then extinguished the fuse, gave chase and exchanged shots with the fleeing culprit before making the arrest.

This same extortionist had just four hours earlier ignited another bomb at 314 East 12th Street that caused extensive damage.

It was noted by Ret. Det1 John Reilly, now deceased, in a book he published concerning awards by the NYPD, that the first NYPD “Medal of Honor” was designed by Tiffany & Co, and was originally referred to as the “Department Medal”. It was in the NYPD General Orders of April 22, 1915, that the name of the medal was changed from the “Department Medal” to the “Departmental Medal of Honor”.


The first “Medal Day” in New York City was on Saturday, May 26, 1855 in City Hall Park.

It was at this ceremony that the NYC Municipal Police Department awarded seven (7) silver medals.

Chief of Police George Matsell and Mayor Fernando Wood awarded six solid silver medals for heroism and good arrests and one silver medal for “meritorious service”.

The first medal awarded by the NYPD was awarded on August 17, 1871 and was awarded for “meritorious conduct”. It was awarded to Patrolman Bernard Tully of the 19th Precinct (today’s 17th Precinct) for the arrest of a burglar with one shot fired. This was the only medal awarded in 1871.


Department history reflects only three members who have received multiple awards of the Medal of Honor. Only one of these lived to receive his second medal.

Detective Timothy J. Connell was awarded his first Medal of Honor in 1922, after he was wounded foiling a hold up at a cigar store which resulted in a shoot-out with two armed perpetrators of which he mortally wounded one and the second showed up the next day at a local hospital with a bullet wound. Detective Connell was awarded his second Medal of Honor posthumously in 1926 after he was killed in another shootout with four armed adversaries in 1924.

Detective John Cordes was awarded his first Medal of Honor in 1924 after a shootout in which he was wounded five times, and again in 1928 for another shoot out. He lived to be awarded his second Medal of Honor, and completed his career as a Lieutenant – Commander of Detectives, commanding first the Broadway Squad and then the Riverfront Squad, from where he retired.

Police Officer Robert Bilodeau, Street Crime Unit, was awarded his first Medal of Honor for an incident that took place on April 5, 1979, when while making an arrest during a decoy operation his throat was slashed, an injury that required 63 stitches. His second award was posthumously in 1981 for an incident that took place on February 12, 1980, when Officer Bilodeau chased a gunman into an alleyway. The gunman turned and shot Officer Bilodeau three times, but before he died he was able to wound his assailant.

Note: Both Medals of Honor were awarded to his wife & son at the NYPD's 1981 Medal Day award ceremony.


Only Five females have been awarded the NYPD Medal of Honor:

1) P.O. Tanya Braithwaite, 1985

2) P.O. Sharon Fields, 1985

3) Det. Kathleen Burke, 1987

4) P.O. Moira Smith, 2001 (Posthumously)

5) P.O. Judith Hernandez, 2003


I’d like to thank Ret Det. Joe Gannon for his contribution to the following concerning some detective history.

I noted in a prior posting information on the Safe and Loft Squad. Joe Gannon has some more insight of interest.

In 1970, the Safe, Loft and Truck Squad was part of the Burglary Larceny Division. This Division was under the control of the Chief of Detectives, with the Commanding Officer of the Burglary larceny Division reporting directly to the Chief of Detectives.

Some of the other components of the Burglary Larceny Division were such squads as the Pickpocket & Confidence Squad, Property Recovery Squad, Auto Squad, and Forgery Squad. These squads were housed in what was known as the “Headquarters Annex”, at 400 Broome Street.

Prior to the Burglary Larceny Division, these squads fell under the jurisdiction of the Detective Bureau’s Central Office, Bureaus and Squads – known throughout as “COBS”.

It was in the early 1970’s, under Commissioner Patrick Murphy, that these Headquarters Squads were reorganized. Under what became known as the Special Investigations Division, several squads were added – Bank Robbery Squad and the Hotel Squad – under the control of the Chief of Detectives and what was still called, at that time, the Detective Division.

The Special Investigations Division was broken down under 2 Districts – the Fraud and Property Crime Division, and Major Crimes Division. Many of these squads were housed to the Old Slip building, where the Forgery Squad was merged with the Stock and Bond Squad as well. The Bank Squad was absorbed into the Major Case Squad, and eventually the Districts were absorbed into one overall command under Special Investigations Division. The Hotel Squad was one of the last squads to leave the Old Slip building, but it was the Bond and Forgery Squad that were the last department commands to leave the Old Slip Building. (This building has since been renovated, and houses the current Police Museum).

Eventually the Property recovery Squad was merged into the Bond and Forgery Squad, and ultimately by 1980 the Pickpocket Squad disappeared, as did the Forgery Squad followed by Safe & Loft.

The Detective Division had a Central Investigation Bureau, located in a clandestine building at 432 Park Avenue South where the building directory listed it as CIB, Inc.

There were a number of components to the Central Investigation Bureau, including the Organized Crime Wire Unit, a Labor Unit, and the Abortion Squad. It eventually was disbanded and their duties taken over by the Intelligence Division, which was taken out of the control of the Chief of Detectives and established as a separate command structure.

While under the command of the Chief of Detectives, much of the intelligence work came under the command of the Bureau of Special Services and Investigations – known throughout the job as BOSSI.


In addition to hosting the finest memorial site for NYPD Police Officer’s who have given their lives in the performance of their police duties; the web site also has a very interesting breakdown on NYPD Precinct numbering history.

For example, did you know that the only precinct in New York City that has never changed its designation is the 1st Precinct?

Today’s 17th Precinct has some notable history as well.

The station house we now know as the 17th Precinct has seen the following changes over the years.

On 09/07/1877, the 19th Precinct was established at 163 East 51st Street. Ten years later, on 01/01/1887, the designation changed to the 23rd Precinct. It remained as such for the next 11 years, then on 05/01/1898 it was redesignated the 24th Precinct. Ten years later, on 01/01/1908, it became the 29th Precinct. It remained as such for the next 16 years, then on 07/18/1924 it was again changed, this time to the 10th Precinct. Finally, on 07/03/1929, it was changed to the 17th Precinct, as it has remained since.


September 9, 1979 PO Edwin Fogel, Hwy1, Shot-car stop
September 10, 1951 Det James Daggett, Safe,Loft&Truck Sqd, Explosion
September 10, 1964 Ptl Anthony Esposito, 66 Pct, LOD Hear attack
September 10, 2004 Det Robert Parker & Det Patrick Rafferty, 67 Sqd, DV Arrest
September 11, 1976 PO Brian Murray, Bomb Sq, Explosion investigation

WTC Victims of Attack:
Sgt John Coughlin #3751, ESS4
Sgt Michael Curtin #3256, Ess2
Sgt Rodney Gillis, #1889, ESS8
Sgt Timothy Roy #2926, STED
Det Claude Richards #244, Bomb Squad
Det Joseph Vigiano #4511, ESS3
PO John Dallara #4011, ESS2
PO Vincent Danz #2166, ESS3
PO Jerome Dominguez #10003, ESS3
PO Stephen Driscoll #17482, ESS4
PO Mark Ellis #11441, TD4
PO Robert Fazio #6667, 13 Pct
PO Ronald Kloepfer #22403, ESS7
PO Thomas Langone #14356, ESS10
PO James Leahy #8943, 6 Pct
PO Brian McDonnell #6889, ESS1
PO John Perry #3266, 40 Pct
PO Glen Pettit #3815, PA
PO Moira Smith #10467, 13 Pct
PO Ramon Suarez #12671, TD4
PO Paul Talty #28907, ESS10
PO Santos Valentin #21630, ESS7
PO Walter Weaver #2784, ESS3

September 12, 1968 Ptl John Madden, 104 Pct, LOD Heart attack
September 12, 1991 PO Hector Fontanez, 47 Pct, Shot during investigation
September 13, 1928 Ptl Jeremiah Brosnan, 24 Pct, Shot by perp
September 14, 1931 Sgt Timothy Murphy, 8 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
September 14, 1974 PO Bruce Anderson, 32 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 15, 1931 Ptl William Eberhardt, 15 Pct, auto accident on patrol
September 15, 1979 PO Melvin Hopkins, 77 Pct, Shot, robbery, off duty
September 16, 1927 Ptl Henry E.A. Meyer, 54 Pct, shot-robbery arrest
September 16, 1975 PO Andrew Glover, 9 Pct, shot-assasination
September 16, 1975 Sgt Frederick Reddy, 9 Pct, shot-assasination
September 16, 1977 PO Daniel Nowomlynski, 23 Pct, shot-off duty
September 18, 1927 Ptl Jerome DeLorenzo, 4 Pct, Shot-accidental discharge
September 19, 1943 Sgt Mathew McCormick, 120 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 21, 1952 Det Philip Lamonica, 42 Sq, Shot during arrest
September 21, 1984 PO Irma Lozada, TPD D-33, Shot-robbery arrest (RIP, Fran!)
September 22, 1946 Ptl William Brophy, 109 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 22, 1983 PO Joseph Hamperian, TPD-SCU, Struck by auto
September 22, 1987 PO Robert Venable, TPD-D33, Shot during arrest
September 23, 1896 Ptl Thomas McIntyre, MTD, Horse accident
September 23, 1937 Det John Wilson, 1 Pct, Shot-robbery
September 23, 1941 Ptl James Schowers, 28 Pct, LOD heart attack
September 23, 1970 Ptl Michael Paolilo, IdentUnit, Stabbed-off duty investigation
September 25, 1895 Ptl John Delehanty, 21 Pct, assaulted
September 25, 1953 Ptl Harry Widder, GCP-Hwy3, Auto accident
September 25, 1971 PO Arthur Pelo, HA-BkSI, Shot-robbery arrest
September 25, 1995 PO David Willis, 10 Pct, Auto accident, radio run
September 26, 1977 PO Vito Chiaramonte, HA-CCU, Shot
September 27, 1849 Ptl Thomas Lynch, NFI
September 27, 1945 Det Frank McGrath, 2 Sqd, Shot-investigation
September 28, 1921 Ptl Joseph Reuschle, 42 Pct, Shot by prisoner
September 28, 1934 Ptl John Fraser, 4 Div, Shot-robbery in progress
September 29, 1854 Ptl James Cahill, 11 Ward, Shot-Burglary **
September 29, 1965 Ptl Donald Rainey, Auto Crime, Shot-Mistaken ID, off duty
September 29, 1983 PO Joseph McCormack, ESU, Shot-barricade situation

Editor’s Note: The listing of MOS who died in the Line of Duty for this posting is quite extensive. I try to be inclusive of my postings, so that as best as possible no one is left off. This period encompasses that of 9/11 – so I wanted to be sure to include them, without leaving off anyone else.
This particular posting includes some that are more meaningful to me than others – Det’s Parker and Rafferty of the 67 Squad, on September 10, 2004. A dear friend, Irma Lozada on September 21, 1984. Joseph Hamperian, September 22, 1983 and then Robert Venable, September 22, 1987. People I’ve known who left way before their time.
I encourage all readers to go to and look at the very fine memorial site that is set up there – stories on those who have gone before us, often with insights from others who knew them. This is truly one of the finest memorial web sites ever established.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


If the President is protected by the Secret Service, who protects the Pope?

The Swiss Guards, of course.

The Swiss Guards celebrated their 500th anniversary in 2006, founded in 1506, and at one time consisted of several different military commands.

The Papal Swiss Guard is the only Swiss Guard that still exists.

Is the Papal Swiss Guard actually Swiss? In a word, very.

To be more precise, the Papal Swiss Guard is mostly German Swiss. In 2006 the Papal Swiss Guard, responsible for the pope's personal security and the protection of the Vatican, could look back on 500 years of history.

Established in January 1506, the Papal Swiss Guard (there were other Swiss Guards in France), an official Vatican City security unit, is still made up of Swiss volunteers.

Although it is over 500 years old and its members wear colorful uniforms dating back centuries, the Swiss Guard is a highly trained security unit, much like the U.S. Secret Service that guards the U.S. president.

Following the 1981 assassination attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II, the level of training for the Swiss Guard was intensified even more. The official languages of the Swiss Guard are German and Italian.

The elite corps is famous for its distinctive yellow-and-blue uniform which, as the first official history of the Guards recently stressed, was not designed by Michelangelo, as widely believed.

The colors which make the uniform so attractive are the traditional Medici blue, red and yellow, set off nicely by the white of the collar and gloves.

The blue and yellow bands give a sense of lightness as they move over the red doublet and breeches. The Guard's every-day uniform is completely blue.

With the passing centuries there have been a few minor changes, but on the whole the original dress has been maintained. It is commonly thought that the uniform was designed by Michelangelo, but it would seem rather that he had nothing to do with it.

Why Swiss, you ask?

During the Middle Ages and in Renaissance times, the Swiss had the reputation of being Europe's most reliable mercenaries - tough fighters who hardly ever changed sides.

They famously proved their worth during the Sack of Rome in 1527, when 147 Guards laid down their lives to protect Pope Clement VII from the rampaging army of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

The 110-strong Swiss Guards have strict recruitment terms.

The Guards get their recruits from a group of Swiss towns and villages which for centuries have provided the pope's personal corps.

Candidates have to be single males over the age of 18, and practicing Catholics ''of stainless character''.

At one time there was also a height requirement, of 1.74m tall (OK, who can compute that into “American” measurement?), although this has recently been relaxed.

They also have to have completed their compulsory military service in Switzerland.


Following the recent posting on this site regarding the investigation of art-related crimes, I received some follow-up concerning this department’s history, and the Detective who was known as “The Art Cop” – Robert Volpe. I’d like to thank Ret Det Capt Frank Bolz for his contribution to this, which I am passing on for your pleasure.

The New York Police Department had an Art Crimes Unit that operated under the Detective Bureau's Special Investigations Division that at the time was the nation's premier art theft unit, and consisted of one investigator - Detective Robert Volpe.

Volpe ran the unit from 1972 until 1982. Volpe wasn't only a street wise cop, he was an artist as well, and being such, actually connected to art world habitués with ease (people who don't usually feel comfortable around law enforcement). This approach to the art world facilitated numerous high-profile recoveries.

Detective Volpe, who was retired, passed away in 2006 at the age of 63. Much was written after his death concerning his exploits in policing.

He was not any ordinary detective: Volpe specialized in art thefts and frauds, tracking down paintings by Matisse and Raphael, Greek sculptures, and Tiffany glass, all while continuing to paint, teach and lecture about art.

With his dungarees, long hair and thick, handlebar moustache, he looked less like a cop than an art school bohemian, and he endured peer ridicule.

A former art school student and narcotics investigator, Mr. Volpe was asked in 1972 to gauge the usefulness of an art squad. Until then, art thefts were lumped into burglary or larceny caseloads. Asked to make a survey, he came back with actual arrests instead of a report — underlining the need for a special effort.

"Instead of coming back with a report, I started coming back with arrests and recoveries," he told the New York Times.

He became that effort, making the New York Police Department at that time the nation’s only one with a separate bureau for art crime. For years, Mr. Volpe was a singular figure in police work as the only detective in the country assigned full-time to investigate stolen or forged artwork as well as dealer fraud and vandalism in museums.

Around the department, Mr. Volpe was known as Rembrandt.

Robert Volpe studied art at the High School of Art and Design, Parsons, and the Art Students League. Fresh out of the Army, he joined the police to have an “offbeat” job while he painted, he said in an interview with The New York Times in 1977.

He first walked a beat on the Lower East Side, did undercover work on organized crime cases, and was part of the narcotics squad that investigated the heroin-smuggling operation known as “The French Connection.”

As “the Art Cop”, he scoured auction houses; raided homes of collectors suspected of going bad and sometimes went undercover to negotiate with thieves about returning art.

Once, he portrayed a gay Rhode Island art dealer named Damien Renar. When he arranged to meet the thieves, he was dressed in a white linen suit, and he relished the dramatic showdown, he said, when he could pull his police revolver from its holster and shout, "Freeze, you [expletive]!"

"Grade B movie stuff," he told the Times. "You find you have to behave that way. You don't come off with authority, you're done."

A book about Volpe, written by Laurie Adams in 1974 called “Art Cop”, which described his heroics in pursuing his tasks. (Of course, this was part of The Minister’s library, and was read and re-read before carrying a badge of my own, but unfortunately fell prey to one of those texts that was “borrowed” and never returned).

When he retired in 1985, he estimated that he had recovered tens of millions of dollars worth of Byzantine ivories, Oriental rugs, Greek marble heads, Tiffany glass, Matisses, Raphaels and other treasures. For a period, he noted a particularly high trade in counterfeit antique French furniture.

"If all the old French furniture was real," he told the Christian Science Monitor, "there would never have been a French Revolution. Everybody in the country would have been too busy making furniture."

Overall, he said, the recovery rate for stolen fine art was at best 10 percent. He lamented to Time magazine that judges rarely gave harsh sentences to art thieves.

"An art thief is entertaining, romantic," he said. "I've seen cases where the thief has pleaded guilty and gotten no sentence at all."

As a detective and later as a private art-security consultant, he shared information regularly with Interpol and other police agencies in London, Paris and Rome. He added that thieves were just as likely to help in order "to knock out the competition."

In 1997, Mr. Volpe reentered the news when he came to the defense of his son Justin, a New York police officer who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in a Brooklyn police precinct station house.


A reader has recently contacted me, after reading over some of the archived postings, with a contribution concerning the possible derivation of the term – “hairbag”.

A term that we have all heard, and probably used, is certainly one of those that has an uncertain point of origin.

Could the following synopsis have some truth to it?

The story goes like this.

"Back in the day" an officer was permitted to get a haircut while on duty.

After finishing the haircut, the barber would sweep up the loose hair that was now on the floor and put it into a bag. Later, if a supervisor inquired as to why an officer was not on post (occurred more often in cold/inclement weather), or touched an officers shield
and felt that it wasn't cold despite frigid weather, the officer would inform the supervisor that he had been getting a haircut.

The supervisor would then ask the officer to produce his "hairbag" or go to the barber himself and request to see the officers "hairbag."

So long as the cop or the barber produced a hairbag, the cop was ok.

After a while, veteran officers would often carry a bag of hair with them so they could produce it when requested to do so, such as on the times when they were found to be off-post and needed an excuse as to why. Over the years, this policy became less common and only savvy veterans would attempt to pull off the "hairbag" excuse when confronted by a supervisor.

Possible derivation or just another tall-tale by an “old hairbag”?


August 16, 1988 PO Joseph Galapo BSNarco, Shot during arrest
August 17, 1947 Ptl Thomas Gargan 6 Pct, Shot-burglary in progress
August 17, 1969 Sgt Cornelius McGowan 114 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
August 17, 1979 PO Thomas Schimenti, MTS Pct, Shot-robbery

August 19, 1974 Ptl Thomas Pegues, TPF, Shot-auto check

August 20, 1971 Ptl Kenneth Nugent, 103 Pct, Shot-robbery

August 20, 1987 Det Myron Parker, BxNarco, Assaulted

August 21, 1931 Ptl Walter Webb, 40 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress

August 21, 1931 Ptl Edwin Churchill, McyDist, Shot-robbery in progress

August 22, 1924 Ptl Harry Blumberg, 10 Pct, Auto accident on patrol

August 22, 1925 Ptl David Sheehan, 4 Pct, Shot-burglary arrest

August 22, 1941 Ptl Harold King, TrafficB, Shot-GLA arrest
August 25, 1864 Ptl John OBrien, 19 Pct, Arrest-robbery
August 25, 1928 Ptl Joseph Dursee, 8A Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
August 25, 1946 Ptl Michael Zawoltk, Traffic K, Shot during arrest
August 26, 1918 Ptl William Barrett, 13 Pct, Thrown from horse
August 26, 1936 Ptl Richard McCormack, 20 Pct, Injured on patrol
August 26, 1971 Sgt Joseph Morabito, 1Div Narco, Shot during investigation
August 27, 1921 Ptl Daniel Neville, 23 Pct, Shot during investigation
August 28, 1939 Ptl Clarence Mihlheiser, Hwy3, Auto accident on patrol
August 28, 2002 PO Disdale Enton, 113 Pct, LOD injury chasing perp
August 29, 1977 Det Joseph Taylor, 83 Pct, Shot during investigation
August 31, 1962 Ptl Nicholas Panico, 62 Pct, Shot by EDP
August 31, 1969 Ptl Kenneth Keller, 19 Pct, LOD heart attack
September 1, 1891, Ptl John Sherman, 26 Pct, Stabbed during arrest
September 1, 1923 Ptl John Egan, 51 Pct, Shot by perp
September 1, 1954 Ptl Anthony Balga, PBBklyn, Auto accident on patrol
September 2, 1953 Sgt Saul Starett, 50 Pct, Electrocution
September 2, 1956 Ptl William Long, 103 Pct, Shot-arrest
September 2, 1982 PO Robert Seton-Harris, 122 Pct, Heart attack LOD
September 3, 1932 Ptl Peter DeCarlo, 32 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
September 3, 1967 Ptl John Darcy, 28 Pct, Auto accident on patrol


Hoping that all are enjoying the summer, and having an opportunity to spend some time enjoying the nice weather. Having a week off in August is a thrill, and makes one long for the "european" tradition of taking the "month" of august for "holiday". Monthlong holiday in August, and a daily nap time each afternoon - how inviting European traditions can sound at times! Enjoy the summer - Labor Day (or "West Indian Day" for those in the Borough of Kings) is right around the corner!!

The Minister of Investigation invites comments and contributions (of a literary nature only, no gifts!) to the e-mail address:

Friday, July 25, 2008


Investigating art-crime is certainly not at the top of most detective’s hit list.

Certainly the investigation of a theft of art or a cultural artifact is a demanding one to be presented to any investigator.

While many may think that this is a problem only to a squad that houses a major cultural institution inside its environs, the problem investigating the theft of valuable artwork is in no way limited to the 19 and 20 Squad’s!

Art and cultural property crime - which includes theft, fraud, looting, and trafficking across state and international lines -- is a looming criminal enterprise with estimated losses running as high as $6 billion annually.

To recover these precious pieces--and to bring these criminals to justice--the FBI uses a dedicated Art Crime Team of 13 Special Agents to investigate, supported by three Special Trial Attorneys for prosecutions...and it mans the National Stolen Art File, a computerized index of reported stolen art and cultural properties for the use of law enforcement agencies across the world.

The FBI established a rapid deployment Art Crime Team in 2004.

The team is composed of 13 Special Agents, each responsible for addressing art and cultural property crime cases in an assigned geographic region.

The Art Crime Team is coordinated through the FBI's Art Theft Program, located at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Art Crime Team agents receive specialized training in art and cultural property investigations and assist in art related investigations worldwide in cooperation with foreign law enforcement officials and FBI Legal Attaché offices.

Since its inception, the Art Crime Team has recovered over 850 items of cultural property with a value exceeding $134 million.

The National Stolen Art File (NSAF) is a computerized index of stolen art and cultural property as reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and the world. The NSAF consists of images and physical descriptions of stolen and recovered objects, in addition to investigative case information. The primary goal of the NSAF is to serve as a tool to assist investigators in art and cultural artifact theft cases and to function as an analytical database providing law enforcement officials with information concerning art theft.

All requests for searches of the National Stolen Art File must be made through a law enforcement agency in support of a criminal investigation. Individuals or organizations in the United States wanting to access the NSAF should contact their local FBI office.

Art crime represents the third highest grossing criminal enterprise worldwide, behind only drugs and arms trafficking. It brings in $2-6 billion per year, most of which goes to fund international organized crime syndicates.

Most art crime since the 1960s is perpetrated either by, or on behalf of, international organized crime syndicates. They either use stolen art for resale, or to barter on a closed black market for an equivalent value of goods or services. Individually instigated art crimes are rare, and art crimes perpetrated for private collectors are rarest of all.

One of the greatest problems is that neither the general public, nor government officials, realize the severity of art crime. Art crime funds all organized crime enterprises, including terrorism.

And yet it is often dismissed as a victimless crime, because it is not understood.

Italy has by far the most art crime, with approximately 20,000 art thefts reported each year. Russia has the second most, with approximately 2000 art thefts reported per year.
Italy is the only country whose government takes art crime as seriously as it should. Italy’s Carabinieri are by far the most successful art squad worldwide, employing over 300 agents full time. Other countries have had great success with their art squads, despite lack of governmental support, while many countries do not have a single officer dedicated to art crime, the third largest criminal enterprise worldwide.

Some interesting Art Crime Facts include the following:

142,258: The Number of Forged Works of Art Recovered in Italy in 2001

20,000-30,000: The Number of Reported Art Thefts per Year in Italy

845,838: The Number of Reported Art Thefts in Italy since 1969

$6-8 billion: Estimate of Annual Criminal Income through Art Crime(NOTE: this only covers known crimes—a greater percentage of crime go undiscovered, making this a low estimate)

Art Crime is the 3rd Highest-Grossing Criminal Trade over last 40 years (behind only Drugs and Arms)

1961: The year in which Organized Crime first became proactively involved in art crime. Since then most art crime is perpetrated by, or on behalf of, Organized Crime, thereby fueling their other activities, including the drug and arms trades and terrorism.

Art Crime Funds Terrorism: The IRA are just the most obvious example, but art crime, particularly the trade in illicit antiquities, is a funding source for fundamentalist terrorists in the North Africa and Middle East.

$300-500 million: Estimated value of artworks stolen during one night from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

0: The Number of Art Police Employed by Most Countries

50,000: The Minimum Number of Reported Art Thefts Worldwide Each Year

The United States: The World’s Primary Art Consumer, For Both Legitimate and Illicit Goods


The rate of suicides and murders committed by family members in Italy increases by 20% when the summer heat kicks in, a renowned Italian criminologist recently reported in an Italian news outlet.

Referring to the summer as a ''terrible'' season for psychiatry wards, Francesco Bruno from Rome's La Sapienza University said there was a direct correlation between soaring temperatures and fraying tempers.

''In 2007 we registered a little fewer than 600 murders, with an average of two a day. But if we look at the hottest - and therefore most critical - periods, the average soars to between 2.2 and 2.3 murders a day,'' Bruno said.

The criminologist explained that dehydration is a major element in people losing control of their aggressive impulses.

''The cerebral cortex needs a lot of water to function well. When the temperature soars, it can be a struggle to control both our destructive and auto-destructive impulses, which arrive from the deepest parts of the brain, resulting in the tragedies we read in the newspapers''.

People suffering from schizophrenia are especially at risk from losing control in hot weather, but Bruno added that ''all the psychiatric illnesses feel the heat: in summer we register an increase in the cases of depression too, especially among women''.

But the criminologist said the heat alone can't be blamed for the increase in violent crime within the family. ''We have to remember that loneliness plays a fundamental role during the summer months too: it can make problems worse and increase the desperation of people already at risk,'' he added.


The 1959 Self Portrait issue of SPRING 3100 details the many commands within the NYPD. A review of the Detective Division entry reveals some interesting items.

First, it is noted that the parent command is the Detective Division – and NOT Bureau.

Which is somewhat interesting as two of the components of the Detective Division are Bureau’s – the Narcotics Bureau, and the Central Investigation Bureau.

It was sometime later than 1959 that the Detective command took on the “Bureau” title, and the sub-units became “Divisions”.

Up until sometime in the 1970’s, enforcement of Narcotics crimes came under the command of the Detective Division, in its own Narcotics Bureau command. It wasn’t until the creation of the Organized Crime Control Bureau, under Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy, that the Narcotics Bureau was moved out of the Detective Division.

More on that at a later time.

The Detective Division had, under the Central Investigation Bureau, a Safe, Loft and Truck Squad.

This squad was a combination of what at one time consisted of two separate squads, the Safe and Loft Squad, and the Truck Squad.

“A large percentage of work done by the Safe, Loft and Truck detective is “tail work” where constant surveillance of thieves is necessary before making an arrest”. Undercover work was required before a safe mob could be caught burning or ripping open a safe or hijacking a truck.

“Members of the squad are chosen most often because they don’t look like policemen”.

It was noted that “especially selected are men who barely make the height requirements for the department”.

Much of their work consisted of “surveillance conducted in the fur and garment districts of the city, as well as the jewelry exchange and the high-class neighborhoods in upper Manhattan where expensive wares are easily carried and are available”.

The squad maintained a complete file on all known criminals, to help them in recognizing these thieves as they went along their way.

Two other interesting department squads, under the Headquarters Division, are mentioned.

Health Department Squad:

Enforcement of the Board of Health notices to owners of pets wanted for rabies tests on their animals are located here, as well as providing assistance to aid nurses in gaining entrance into homes where a person with an infectious disease is housed and where forcible removal has been ordered. They also conducted checks on the Board of Health licenses of undertakers, and helped to maintain order in inspections by food and sanitary inspectors. It was noted that the Health Department defrayed the salaries of the policemen assigned to this squad.

Mendicant Squad:

The Mendicant Squad had the special assignment of “corralling panhandlers and peddlers who annoy pedestrians on the streets or in the parks”. The squad also took under surveillance “homeless vagrants and derelicts who have no apparent means of support”.

Apparently the “guardians of the politically-correct” had not yet come into play in 1959.

(Note: The italics in the above quotes were added by me).


Any reader of NYPD History knows the wealth of information contained in the issues of SPRING 3100.

The long-running section of this magazine, “All In The Day’s Work”, recounts the commendable deeds of the members of this department.

In the December 1961 issue, the actions of some 73 Squad Detectives are noted.

A person who was impersonating a police officer in order to solicit money from the public, which he kept for his own, was put to an end by sharp-eyed Det. Fred Cuffee and Det. Jack Grace of the 73 Squad, as they nabbed the evil-doer who was dressed in a blue PD uniform – but wore brown shoes.

Incidentally, it is the cover of the December 1961 issue that has President John F. Kennedy riding in an open motorcade, escorted by a group from an NYPD Motorcycle Precinct, along with Mayor Wagner on his November 1961 visit to New York City.


A record of all the murders in New York City in 2008 that appear in the city's three daily newspapers. (Thanks to Lt. Seamus McHugh of the 77 Squad for the contribution of this interesting site.)


July 24, 1951 Ptl Albert Polite, 94 Pct, Motorcycle accident
July 24, 1971 Ptl Robert Denton, 73 Pct, Stabbed during investigation
July 26, 1923 Ptl Frank Romanella, 29 Pct, Shot during investigation
July 26, 1923 Ptl Charles Reynolds, 116 Pct, Shot
July 26, 1924 Ptl John Hyland, 42A Pct, Shot:Robbery in progress
July 26, 1957 Ptl Edward O’Leary, 7 Div, Auto accident transporting prisoner
July 27, 1942 Ptl Michael Keene, Traffic A, Auto accident on patrol
July 27, 1950 Ptl Roderick O’Connor, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident on patrol
July 27, 1964 Ptl Richard Walburger, 9 Pct, Shot:Burglary in progress
July 28, 1929 Ptl William Kerlin, ESU, Auto accident on patrol
July 28, 1930 Ptl Dominick Caviglia, 20 Pct, Shot:Burglary in progress
July 28, 1930 Det Thomas Hill, 48 Sq, Shot during investigation
July 29, 1906 Ptl William Hederman, 35 Pct, Drowned during rescue
July 30, 1945 Ptl Howard Hegerich, 28 Pct, shot during investigation
July 31, 1947 Ptl William Panczyk, Traffic Unit, Auto accident on patrol
July 31, 1965 Ptl. Maitland Mercer, 76 Pct, Shot-off duty arrest
Aug 1, 1913 Ptl Bernard O’Rourke, 146 Pct, Dragged by horse
Aug 2, 1922 Lt Albert Duffy, HQDiv, Explosion investigation
Aug 2, 1966 Ptl Edward Monzillo, Mcy2, Auto pursuit
Aug 2, 1979 Sgt Michael Russell, 75 Pct A/C, Shot:Off duty arrest
Aug 4, 1851 Sgt Michael Foster, NFI
Aug 4, 1913 Ptl Patrick Cotter, 65 Pct, Shot making arrest
Aug 4, 1928 Ptl Arthur Fash, 52 Pct, Electrocuted
Aug 4, 1953 Ptl Henry Ergen, 79 Pct, Assaulted
Aug 5, 1927 Ptl Hubert Allen, 52 Pct, Auto accident on patrol

Thursday, June 19, 2008


A recent text chronicling international organized crime, MCMAFIA by Misha Glenny, has provided some interesting and educational reading for this true crime buff.

“With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the deregulation of international financial markets in 1989, governments and entrepreneurs alike became intoxicated by forecasts of limitless expansion into newly open markets”.

Did you realize that roughly one-fifth of global GDP is by illegal trade?

While providing a very authoritative look at Russian organized crime, which we have seen a large growth here in Brooklyn in recent years, it also presents a compelling narrative on organized – and not so organized – illegal trade throughout other parts of the world, and its impact on our everyday life.

I had not realized the high level of trade in illegal, untaxed cigarettes throughout the world. Having some first hand experience with untaxed cigarettes and the violence that can ensue among dealers right here in Brooklyn, it is no wonder that, on an even higher scale, this is being conducted throughout the world.

What about Israeli organized crime?

I did not know that the Israeli crime syndicates more closely resemble the Sicilian Mafia than its Russian counterparts. The Israeli crime groups are gathered around families, much the same way the Sicilians are.

“When you have crime based on families, then issues such as honor and vendettas come into play,” states Professor Amir, a leading Israeli criminologist.

Gambling had been the traditional industry around which the Israeli crime syndicates gathered and thrived. But in the 1990’s, they branched out and moved into an even more lucrative area. According to the U.S. DEA, the Israeli families continue to be a major element in the transfer of large shipments of Ecstasy from Belgium to the US. Europe is the top manufacturing base for this synthetic narcotic, Ecstasy. The main West European center being Amsterdam, although recently industrial-scale arrests and seizures have been made in Serbia and Bulgaria as well.

A 2003 State Department report indicated that Israel is the hub of global ecstasy trafficking, having branched out from Europe to the United States.

“Israel drug-trafficking organizations are the main source of distribution of the drug to groups in the U.S., using express mail services, commercial airlines, and recently using air cargo services,” the report states. For a country as dependent on American financial, political, and military support, this would seem to be an embarrassment to Israel.


What are the five key commodities which organized crime groups around the world make their largest profits?


Arms (guns, not body parts!)


Energy products



Investigators world-wide can attest to the importance of a proper canvass as a critical component to an effective investigation.

Unfortunately, all too often the canvass is looked on as a tedious task – one that gets delegated to detectives being “flown-in” from other commands, to provide necessary manpower at the early stages of the investigation.

An effective canvass, though, can mean the difference between success and stagnation.What are looking for in a canvass?An actual eyewitness to the crime.Information about the circumstances of the crime.

An approximate time of occurrence and/or estimate of time of death.

Information about the victim – background, habits, intelligence that could provide a motive.

Handling a canvass properly, and following up on information provided, can turnaround an otherwise slow progressing case.


Thanks to the “unofficial” NYPD Historian, Ret. Sgt. Mike Bosak, the following is presented regarding the department’s first recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The department did not award its first Medal of Honor until May 18, 1912 and it was awarded to Acting Detective Sergeant (today's rank of detective) Charles S. Carrao, Italian Squad for police action performed on the morning of September 15, 1911.

The 'Italian Squad' worked out of Police Headquarters, 240 Centre Street and worked primarily on the 'Black Hand', an organized crime entity that preyed mostly on recently arrived Italian immigrants. (This was the squad that was commanded by Lt. Joseph Petrosino, noted as the only member of this department to be killed in the line of duty on foreign soil.)

Detective Carrao confronted a "Black Hand" extortionist, who had just lit the fuse on an explosive device in the hallway of a tenement house located at 356 East 13th Street . Carrao then extinguished the fuse; gave chase, where shots were exchanged with the perp, and personally affected the arrest. This Black Hand extortionist had just four hours earlier ignited another bomb at 314 East 12th Street , causing extensive damage.

According to former Detective 1st Grade John Reilly (Now Deceased), this first NYPD "Medal of Honor" was designed by Tiffany & Co. and it was originally referred to as the "Department Medal." NYPD General Order # 19, dated April 22, 1915, authority of Police Commissioner Arthur Woods changed the name of this medal from the "Department Medal" to the "Department Medal of Honor."

New York City had it first police "Medal Day" on Saturday, May 26, 1855 in City Hall Park , when the "NYC Municipal Police Department" gave out seven (7) silver medals. "Chief of Police" George Matsell and Mayor Fernando Wood awarded six (6) of the solid silver medals for heroism and good arrests and one (1) silver medal for "meritorious service."

The first medal given out by the NYPD was awarded on August 17, 1871 and was for given for quote, unquote “meritorious conduct.” It was awarded to Patrolman Bernard Tully of the 19 Precinct (today's 17th Precinct) for the arrest of a burglar with one shot fired. And that was the only medal that the NYPD awarded in 1871.

Thanks once again to Mike Bosak for all he continues to do in maintaining the history of this department!

“It is not how they died that makes them a hero, but how they lived their lives”.

June 17, 1912 Ptl Thomas O’Connell, 29 Pct (17Pct), Water rescue
June 17, 1923 Ptl Cornelius Platt, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident
June 17, 1973 PO Ralph Stanchi, 32 Pct, Shot-investigation
June 18, 1932 Ptl Joseph Burke, 32 Pct, Shot- Robbery in progress
June 19, 1917 Ptl Samuel Cunningham, 42 Pct, Shot- GLA arrest
June 19, 1980 PO Joseph Keegan, TD1, Shot- investigation

June 26, 1918 Ptl Joseph Nolan, 22 Pct, Assaulted with brick
June 26, 1930 Ptl Wilson Fields, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
June 26, 1937 Ptl George Mahnken, Mcy Unit, Motorcycle accident
June 26, 1977 Det Henry McDevitt, 48 Pct, Assaulted
June 28, 1927 Ptl Andrew Grennan, 46 Pct, Drowned during rescue
June 28, 1931 Det William DeGive, MODD, Shot during GLA Arrest
June 28, 1963 Ptl. William Baumfield, 4 Div, Shot-Robbery
June 28, 1972 PO John Skagen, TD2, Shot chasing felon
June 28, 1986 PO Scott Gadell, 101 Pct, Shot during investigation
July 1, 1911 Ptl Michael Lynch, 22 Pct, Shot by perp
July 2, 1922 Det John Moriarty, Det Div, Shot:Robbery in progress
July 2, 1970 Ptl Paul Donadio, 75 Pct, Patrolwagon accident on patrol
July 3, 1857 Ptl Thomas Sparks, No info available
July 3, 1917 Ptl John Flood, 31 Pct, Assaulted
July 3, 1966 Ptl Willie Stephenson, HAPD, Drowned during rescue
July 4, 1940 Det Joseph Lynch, Bomb Squad, Explosion during investigation
July 4, 1940 Det Ferdinand Socha, Bomb Squad, Explosion during investigation
July 4, 1993 PO Rudolph Thomas, PSA3, Shot:Off duty

Monday, June 16, 2008


P.O. Carragher, James
Date of Death: 1982-02-11
Command: Housing Authority Police Service Area 1
Cause of Death: Shot Off Duty Robbery

Officer Carragher was shot and killed as he attempted to arrest two suspects that tried to rob him. Officer Carragher had just returned home from his tour of duty and was about eight feet from his building when he was approached by two men with guns. The men attempted to rob Officer Carragher. Officer Carragher drew his weapon and was able to fire five shots before being shot and killed. Officer Carragher had been with the Housing Police Department for 16 years.

P.O. Ryman, Harry
Date of Death: 1980-08-14
Command: 060 Pct.
Cause of Death: Shot-Investigation

Officer Ryman was shot and killed when he attempted to stop three men from stealing his neighbor’s car.

Officer Ryman exited his house to investigate a noise at approximately 0340 hours. He confronted three men who were attempting to steal his next door neighbor's car. Officer Ryman identified himself as a police officer and attempted to arrest the three suspects’.

One suspect drew a handgun and opened fire, striking Officer Ryman three times in the chest. Before he fell Officer Ryman was able to return fire, striking one suspect in the head. Officer Ryman was removed to Kings County Hospital where he died from his wounds. Two alert Police Officers who were waiting in the emergency room for word on Officer Ryman's condition spotted three men entering the hospital. One man was bleeding from the head. As the officers approached, two of the suspect fled, and after a brief foot pursuit were arrested. The third man was arrested in the emergency room. All three were charged with First-Degree Murder.

Officer Ryman, 43, had been with the NYPD for 17 years.

P.O. Sledge, Cecil
Date of Death: 1980-01-28
Command: 069 Pct.
Cause of Death: Shot-Auto Check

Officer Sledge was shot and killed while making a traffic stop in Brooklyn of a suspect wanted for shooting at his girlfriend.

He was shot when he approached the vehicle. As he fell to the ground his gunbelt became caught on the car and he was dragged approximately one quarter mile before falling free from the vehicle. The suspect was apprehended after taking an elderly woman hostage in her own home.
The suspect, Salvatore DeSarno was on parole at the time of the murder (while he resisted arrest for numerous armed robberies). As a result of Officer Sledge's murder, one man patrols were no longer authorized unless the officer was equipped with a shotgun.Officer Sledge had been with the agency for 12 years. He was 35 years old. He left behind a wife, Linda and 2 children - 3 1/2 year old Richard and 9 month old Corinne.

Each of the killers of these Police Officer’s comes up for parole in August 2008.


If you can help provide any first-hand knowledge of these officers, their actions, or any information that can help in formulating a presentation to the Parole Board on behalf of the official Police Department response, please do so!

I am asking you to forward any information, first-hand info of these officers, their actions, etc. to me at the below listed e-mail address.

I will make sure this information gets turned over appropriately.

In the very near future all will be asked to help by sending letters to the Governor and others on the Parole Board urging the parole for these cop killers be denied.

Your help and assistance is appreciated in advance.



Thursday, June 05, 2008


As investigators, you should know that a “Gunshot Residue Test” – or “GSR” – is not a surefire exam to determine whether or not someone has fired a gun!

In fact, it should be stressed that, according to Marc S. Taylor, a gunshot-residue expert from California who has testified nationally for both prosecutors and defense attorneys, a gunshot residue test “should never be referred to as showing that someone fired a gun”.

The reason for this is the ability to contaminate – in both a contamination to show a “positive”, as well as to show a “negative” – that should cast all doubt on any validity of this exam.

Why, then, is the test conducted?

Perhaps because it looks good when people watch it being done on TV, on shows like CSI!

It has been noted that across the country defense experts are fighting the validity of “positive” results, as tests have proven a “false-positive” could occur from contaminants from items that already have gunshot residue on them – such as handcuffs, car seats, or even the police officers clothing.

This is combined with the known “negative” results which could easily be obtained from having cleaned ones hands before a swab being taken.

It has long been considered an unreliable test any time the subject was out of view of the tester or police officer for any amount of time, as one could easily wipe and clean hands, thus removing particles before being swabbed.


The tiny particles that are released when a handgun is fired, consisting of lead, barium and antimony particles.

In theory, when firing a gun, these particles are displaced into the air and onto the hands of the person firing the gun – thus, testing “positive” for these elements, one would – TRY – to conclude that you fired the gun.

However, as noted above, there are variables which cannot be controlled that could easily cause a “false positive” – as well as a “false negative” – that should leave any investigator with the very big question that needs to be answered any time such a test is recommended – “Why Should A Gunshot Residue Test be Conducted?”


As noted in a Baltimore Sun article from January 2005, the following excerpt regarding gunshot residue should be of interest to investigators:

“Look through a microscope at the hands of someone who has just fired a gun, and there will probably be hundreds of lead, barium and antimony particles. This is gunshot residue.

The same explosion that forces out the bullet also releases these particles in a fine, nearly invisible cloud. It is one of the few ways these three elements become fused.

But after a few moments, much of the residue won't be there any more. It is like talcum powder. One shake and particles scatter. One rub and they'll transfer from a gunman's hands to his pants or a car seat or even handcuffs.

That is why officers try to test a suspect for gunshot residue as soon as possible: It is easy for someone to get rid of it.”

“It's also why defense attorneys and many experts worry about contamination, and why some departments don't bother with the science. Gunshot residue, they say, can mean someone fired a gun, or was next to a gun, or touched a person who fired a gun, or touched a car seat where someone who fired a gun once sat.

"We feel that for the amount of effort you're putting into it, you're not getting a clear result back," said Elizabeth Ziolkowski, a senior criminalist with the Boston Police Department.

There are few comprehensive studies of how easily gunshot residue transfers. One internal test by the Los Angeles Police Department found that police cruisers were contaminated by gunshot residue and that the particles transferred onto people who hadn't fired anything.”


When the firing pin of a firearm strikes the primer of a cartridge the primer compound ignites sending a flame into the cartridge case.

Gunpowder in the cartridge case starts to burn, causing it to change from a solid material to a gas. This change creates pressure within the cartridge, which in turn forces the bullet down the barrel and down range. Pressure building behind the bullet is released when the bullet exits the muzzle of the firearm.

The bullet acts like the cork in a shook up Champagne bottle. When the bullet exits the muzzle, pressure behind it blows the gunshot residues out of the firearm's barrel under high velocity.

The residues are expelled from the barrel in a smoky cone shaped pattern.

Gunshot residue, or more technically, gunshot primer residue, is expelled as tiny particles from the barrel of a firearm when it is fired. Among other materials, gunshot residue contains the heavy metals barium, lead and antimony. Modern forensic methods require the presence of these metals to identify trace evidence as gunshot residue.

The further gunshot residues travel from the muzzle, the broader and less concentrated the pattern becomes. Because the various elements included in gunshot residues are very small and lack mass they lose their energy rapidly.

Gunshot residues emitted from the muzzle will travel out to distances of approximately 3 and 5 feet in most firearms but in some cases can travel even greater distances. At the 3-5 foot range the gunshot residues may only consist of a few trace particles and make determining the firing distance difficult if not impossible.


One investigation where it could be considered more valuable than others may be in the investigation of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Provided there was no opportunity for contamination.

The examination of gunshot residue can disprove an assumption made falsely or mistakenly. For example, in the case of an apparent suicide involving a handgun, a gunshot residue collection should be done on the hands of the deceased. If no residue is found, the case could actually be a murder made to look like a suicide.

Certainly a consideration for the investigator.


It’s been some time since I last posted to this site.

I attribute it to a very busy springtime – nothing else.

Writing items to post on this blog site takes time, which is sometimes something I do not have enough of. Perhaps if I got myself a laptop computer and spent more time during my “free time” tapping away at a computer, I could post more frequently.

Motivation to do so, for sure, is a big part of it as well. Recent inquiries from people, who I never realized looked at this site, have driven me to get myself back in gear and get posting.

Thanks! And wishing all health and well being.


June 2, 1973 PO Robert Laurenson, 20 Pct, Shot- robbery
June 2, 1989 PO Jeff Herman, 71 Pct, Shot- investigation
June 2, 1853 Det George Trenchard, NYMunicPD, Fire rescue
June 3, 1938 Ptl James Fisher, 73 Pct, Shot- accidental discharge
June 4, 1927 Sgt Benjamin Cantor, DetDiv, Shot- robbery arrest
June 4, 1932 Ptl Thomas Burns, McyUnit, Injured on patrol
June 5, 1973 PO Sid Thompson, TD12, Shot- arrest
June 6, 1939 Ptl Emmitt Cassidy, 120 Pct, Shot- off duty incident
June 8, 1958 Ptl Herman Corn, 52 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
June 9, 1931 Sgt William O’Shaughnessy, 28 Pct, Shot- robbery in progress
June 9, 1939 Ptl Alexander Stutt, ESU, Asphyxiated during rescue
June 9, 1969 Sgt Edward Henninger, AIS, LOD Heart Attack
June 11, 1925 Ptl James Cullen, 37 Pct, Motorcycle accident on patrol
June 12, 1991 PO Kenneth Hansen, Harbor, Drowned
June 13, 1938 Ptl Warren Smith, NFI
June 14, 1960 Ptl William Ramos Jr, 80 Pct, Shot- robbery
June 15, 1944 Ptl Eliote Holmes, 13DetSq, Line of duty injury
June 15, 1967 Ptl Walter Ferguson, DetDiv, LOD heart attack
June 15, 1979 PO Ted Donald, PSA7, Shot- burglary arrest
June 15, 1980 PO John Patwell, 43 Pct, Assaulted
June 15, 1983 PO John Mandia, 25 Pct, Fell under train
June 15, 1984 PO Juan Andino, 40 Pct, Shot- robbery arrest

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

“Controlling information is power, and they (the FBI) don’t want to let it go.”
Police Commissioner Kelly as quoted March 25, 2007 from the Washington Post

“When you control the mail, you control information.”
Newman on Seinfeld


Two recent occurrences regarding chicken connected to detective work should be mentioned.

I just read an obituary for the founder of the Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken chain, Al Copeland, who recently died at the age of 64.

It seems that Mr. Copeland, who grew up in New Orleans, started out at the age of 18 with a one-man doughnut shop. He moved on to chickens when Kentucky Fried Chicken came to town, and after trying several different recipes, he finally chose a spicier Louisiana Cajun style, reopened his chicken restaurant, and called it Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken.

So, where’s the detective part?

Well, it seems that he named the restaurant Popeye’s after the Gene Hackman character in the film “The French Connection”.

Hackman played Detective Popeye Doyle – the one with the pork pie hat – based on the true story of the NYPD drug bust in the 1960’s. You know the film, the one with the famous chase scene under the el.

I just don’t get it, though. Popeye Doyle was a New York Irishman, NYPD police detective, working on a drug case involving a connection to France. Where’s the chicken come in? I’ve watched the movie – many times – and have read the book. I don’t recall any part of the story where chicken plays any part whatsoever. They never went out and ate chicken, no one in the film cooked chicken, he didn’t wear a chicken-pie hat, I just don't get it. A fast food restaurant that specializes in Louisiana Cajun-style fried chicken, from a New Orleans chicken restaurateur, is actually named for an NYPD Detective?

After mulling around that chicken story all day, I then am introduced to another true chicken-detective story. Two chickens in one day?

Tony Viggiani, one of the finest detectives I know, was recounting a story about an arrest for homicide that took place not so far in the past. Armed with the suspects photograph, and doing what detectives do, the team was out scouring the neighborhood in search of the perp. After he’s spotted on the street, the detectives move in.

As the perp is grabbed, he is carrying a plastic shopping bag. The detectives grab the bag as the cuffs are put on, prompting this spontaneous statement from the perp: “I know I did something really bad, and I’m going away for a long time – Can I at least have the chicken?” It seems the bag contained his recently purchased order of fried chicken.

Another example of fried chicken and its role in detective work. Another in a long line stories too true you can't make up.

Some call it ironic.

I call it just another story from this Naked City.


The department’s monthly magazine, SPRING 3100, has been providing a written historical review of the department for decades. Get your hands on some old issues of this magazine and you can be assured a virtual walk through time, a time sometimes little understood by current day law enforcement.

A look through the magazines “Self Portrait” of February 1964 recently provided just such a perspective for me.

As has been noted on this site in the past, there was at one time a Bureau of Policewomen.

There was noted a “growing awareness of the usefulness of women in law enforcement, especially in those jurisdictions where their natural attributes and talents have been incorporated into the broad spectrum of police functions”. Keep in mind this was, at the time, “forward thinking”.

There were, at that time, approximately 340 policewomen on the department, of which more than 25% of them were assigned to the Youth Division.

“The Bureau of Policewomen functions as a personnel pool for all units within the department. Most detective squads, specialized units and borough commands have short-term, intermittent need of a policewomen’s services. When specialized departmental divisions require continued and extensive use of female officers, policewomen are permanently assigned. More than 25% of the policewomen force is detailed to the Detective Division. Policewomen are now eligible to compete for promotional ranks, beginning with sergeant”. This was in 1964!

A few pages away from the details of the Bureau of Policewomen was that of the Chief Inspector’s Office, and the Tactical Patrol Force.

The TPF was established in 1959 to supplement the regularly assigned foot patrol personnel in any given area during periods when unusual crime conditions require reinforced manpower.

TPF was the origin of the now borough uniform task forces.

The TPF worked from 6PM to 2AM, the hours which accounted for the greatest percentage of crime.

What was not stated, but was a well known fact, was that entry to the TPF was limited to Patrolmen over six-feet in height.

In addition to providing the enhanced patrol presence in high crime areas, they also provided two other functions which, at that time, were unique to that command.

One of the tasks that TPF undertook was “Operation Decoy”. Selected members would, while attired in women’s clothing, work as part of three-man teams in sections of the city where street crimes were on the rise. “One team member acts as the woman, and the other two are the back-up men”. I guess utilizing the members of the Bureau of Policewomen was not considered? Better to put a dress on Rocco, hairy legs and all, I guess.

It was also the TPF that utilized another state-of-the-art tactic: Civilian Clothes Patrol.

In today’s department, when every precinct has what sometimes seems like more MOS and units performing duties in plainclothes than they do in uniform, it is hard to imagine the day when the civilian clothes patrol was a special concept, undertaken by a citywide, specialized unit to address street crime.

The former Street Crime Unit sprung from the ranks of the TPF civilian clothes patrol, at a time when the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit of the precinct wasn’t even considered. Other than those in the Detective Division (it was still a Division, not a Bureau), the only people performing plainclothes duties were the few precinct Captain’s Men, addressing vice and gambling enforcement, and the Division and Boro Plainclothes Unit, also to address vice and gambling. Narcotics enforcement fell under the direction of the Detective Division.

Women as cops, and civilian clothed enforcement- two concepts taking rise in the early 1960’s!


Check out this website on DNA:

Seems that the District Attorney's office in Denver has decided to share their knowledge about DNA and prosecution.

Here’s another site with additional info on DNA:

Check out these photos, recently posted on the great web site,

Everything from the Beatles to Lauren Bacall and Malcolm X!

This is one of the best PD sites on the internet. It MUST be bookmarked on your computer!


Norman Horowitz would like to let everyone know that the Untouchables Motorcycle Club is hosting their 1st Annual Memorial Run and BBQ, for the benefit of the widows and children of NYPD’s PBA and DEA who have lost family members in the line of duty.

The event will take place at Wantagh State Park in Wantagh, on Sunday July 20, from 12pm to 5pm.

The run, (a motorcycle run, not an actual foot-run, hence the Untouchables MOTORCYCLE Club) starts at Cunningham Park in Queens, with a 9am registration. The run will commence at 11 am. If not participating in the run you may also register for the BBQ at Wantagh Park at 1130.

The donation of $20 per rider, $15 for passenger, with $20 for non-riders and $5 for children under 10, will provide you with hamburgers, hot dogs, corn, june ham, beverages as well as live music.

“Ride for those who cannot.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What a fool believes he sees no wise man has the power to reason away.
The Brothers Doobie


As reported by the Italian news organization ANSA on February 20, the Calabrian organized crime syndicate 'Ndrangheta is similar to both a fast food chain and the Islamic terrorist network al Qaeda. This analogy is according to a new report by the Italian Parliament's Anti-Mafia Commission.

'Ndrangheta is like a fast food chain, the report explained ''because it offers the the same, recognizable brand and an identical criminal product all over the world''.

The similarity with al Qaeda lies in the fact that it has a ''tentacle-like structure which does not have a strategic command but a kind of organic intelligence,'' the report said.

The mafia in Calabria, more so than its Sicilian counterpart Cosa Nostra or the Camorra in Naples, has an ability to adapt and infiltrate into different geographic realities and market situations.

''And it does this by using the family as a base while expanding on a worldwide scale. With its tribal mentality, it is able to efficiently operate in a global and modern reality,'' the report observed.

However, 'Ndrangheta's propensity to expand may be its weak point, the report said, ''as rival families compete against each other with an intensifying obsession to control their territories''.

Up until now, the report recalled, Calabrian organized crime had been able to expand without overlapping territories and thus avoided the bloody gang wars common in both Cosa Nostra and the Camorra.

Now that the drive to expand appears to have reached a fever pitch, the report said, there have been increasing examples of gangland slayings by rival clans both in Italy and abroad.

These included the murders of six Italians in an ambush in Duisberg, Germany, last summer.

Some experts believe 'Ndrangheta is now the most powerful mafia organization in Italy and is even more ruthless than Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Camorra in the Naples region.

The reason why 'Ndrangheta is considered stronger than its Sicilian counterpart is because the families involved are fewer and more closely knit, thus making infiltration and betrayal more difficult.

According to a 2006 report from Italy's national crime bureau DIA, 'Ndrangheta holds a virtual monopoly on drug trafficking in Europe, especially for cocaine, which generates an estimated annual turnover of almost 36 billion euros (nearly $50 billion).

It also has branches operating in Latin America, Canada and Australia, the result of emigration from Italy during the 20th century.


The Commemorative Celebration of the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, celebrating its “35 Year’s and Still Talking!” will take placed Friday, March 28, 2008.

Seeking as many active and retired MOS from the HNT to attend, its Commanding Officer, Lt. Jack Cambria, is putting together a commemorative celebration second to none.

The event will take place at St. John’s University, Council Hall, on the Jamaica campus of the college.

The program starts with an 8am-9am breakfast and registration, and the days events will include a hot buffet luncheon and commemorative gift.

Those wishing to attend should contact:

Lt Jack Cambria at 646-610-8763, or
Det Sal Abuiuso at (646) 610-6631.

A great time for all former and present negotiators to get together for a “chat”! Sounds like it should be a great day. Perhaps the esteemed Ret. Capt Frank Bolz, one of the founding fathers of the team, will be there?


Commemorating thirty years since the death of two Police Officers from the 79 Precinct, a Memorial Mass is scheduled April 5.

The two Patrolmen, Officer Norman Cerullo and Officer Christie D. Masone, both from the 79 Precinct, were shot and killed on April 2, 1978, after stopping two suspicious men in front of 660 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn.

Officer Cerullo exited the patrol car and spoke to one suspect, while Officer Masone spoke to the other suspect while still seated in the patrol car. After Officer Cerullo had finished speaking to one suspect, he re-entered the patrol car. Officer Masone suddenly exited the vehicle and began to struggle with one suspect. This suspect then drew a 9mm handgun from his clothes and began firing at Officer Masone. Officer Cerullo exited the patrol car and began firing at the second suspect. When the firing had stopped, Officer Masone laid dead. Officer Cerullo was mortally wounded, and one suspect was dead. The suspect that had been struggling with Officer Masone was struck twice in the legs, but was able to get to his car and escape the scene.

He was able to travel eight blocks before crashing into a parked car at Summer Avenue and Lexington Avenue. An off duty officer en route to the hospital to offer assistance to the fallen officers noticed the accident, but did not connect it to the shooting. When he arrived at the hospital and was informed of the circumstances of the shooting, he took three uniformed officers and returned to the accident scene and arrested the suspect.

The Memorial Mass is to take place on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at the Diocese of Brooklyn Administration Building, 310 Prospect Park West (corner of Prospect Park West and 19th Street). This is across the street from Bishop Ford HS (72 Pct area).

The Mass is scheduled for 10am, with a brunch & reception immediately following.

Let us not forget those who have gone before us.


GPS by Phone:

A free service for directions by phone is touting itself as the ideal answer for those times when you may have left your GPS at home (or in someone else’s car).

According to Directions, anyone can get driving directions by calling from their cell phone.

Dial 347-328-4667, tell the voice activated service a starting address and destination address, and instantly receive a text message with Mapquest driving directions.

According to the company, the service is free and works on all cell phones.

You can also check into this at their web site:

Dick Tracy Wrist-phone:

The wrist-watch telephone made famous by that comic strip character, Dick Tracy, is a reality.

The ready to wear phone is made by Hyundai. The W-100 is a phone that you can wear on your wrist, features a 1.3 megapixel camera, a touch screen, Bluetooth, as well as a watch!

It can also be used as an MP3 player, and will be available in the U.S. soon.

Check it out at:


It was reported on March 11, 2008 that Malvin Wald, the screenwriter nominated for an Academy Award for the 1948 movie “The Naked City”, died at age 90.

This gritty 1948 crime film “The Naked City,” was a prototype for modern police dramas, including the popular television show of the same name.

Ending with the famous lines “There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them,” “The Naked City,” was inspired by Mr. Wald’s adolescent years on the streets of Brooklyn.

“No one had done a film where the real hero was a hard-working police detective, like the ones I knew in Brooklyn,” Mr. Wald told The Hollywood Reporter last year. “We knew we were making a new genre that became the police procedural.”

The idea for “The Naked City” came to Mr. Wald from a photography book of the same name showing the bloody crime-scene coverage of the famed tabloid photographer Arthur Fellig, known as Weegee.

The film script follows Detective Dan Muldoon, played by Barry Fitzgerald as he trails the killer of a woman found drowned in the bathtub of her Upper East Side apartment.

The movie was shot on city streets, on East River piers and finally on the Williamsburg Bridge, where the killer climbs a towers, is shot and lands with a thud.

“My concept was that the Police Department — with all its fingerprint experts, crime scene photographers and autopsy physicians — solved murders, not Sam Spade-type private eyes working alone,” Mr. Wald later wrote.

At one point in the script, Detective Muldoon says, “Haven’t had a hard day’s work since yesterday.”

My note:
Alas, the Brooklyn homicide detective brought to the big screen – but, of course, the crime takes place, where? On the Upper East Side!

“There are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.”


March 15, 1922 Ptl James McMail, 85 Pct, Assaulted during arrest
March 15, 1930 Ptl Walter DeCastillo, 84 Pct, Shot- robbery in progress
March 15, 1934 Ptl Philip Clarius, 78 Pct, Shot – robbery in progress
March 15, 1936 Ptl Dioniso Pasquarella, 75 Pct, Shot – off duty altercation
March 16, 1940 Ptl Francis Dolan, 10 Pct, Fell from auto
March 17, 1956 Ptl George Lessler, 10 Pct, LOD heart attack
March 18, 1926 Ptl William Higgins, 13 Div, LOD injury
March 18, 1948 Ptl John Casey, 20 Pct, LOD injury
March 18, 1972 Ptl Elijah Stroud, 80 Pct, Shot – robbery
March 19, 1943 Ptl James Donovan, 75 Pct, Shot – investigation, off duty
March 20, 1804 Ptl Hugh Enright, 24 Pct, Shot- burglary arrest
March 20, 1963 Ptl John Tuohy, TD2, Heart attack chasing felon
March 22, 1932 Ptl George Myers, Line of duty injury
March 23, 1986 PO James Holmes, PSA3, Shot-off duty robbery
March 26, 1949 Ptl Anthony Oetheimer, 114 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
March 26, 1992 PO Joseph Alcamo, 100 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
March 27, 1921 Ptl Joseph Connelly, 10 Div, Shot-investigation
March 27, 1944 Ptl Arthur Eggers, Traffic C, Auto accident on patrol
March 28, 1922 Ptl James Baker, 83 Pct, Motorcycle accident
March 31, 1914 Ptl Thomas Wynn, 155 Pct, Arrest-robbery
March 31, 2002 Det Jamie Betancourt, BxNarco, Stabbed- o/d dispute

Noted: March 12, 1909 marks the 99th anniversary of the death of Lt. Jospeh Petrosino, the only NYPD officer killed in the line of duty on foreign soil.

His death has been profiled on this site in the past, and I have learned recently that there is a documentary in the works as well. A screenwriter has been researching the exploits of Petrosino, interviewing relatives and others who are providing valuable information, and will be preparing a documentary. Should be interesting when completed.

More on this as I get it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Sir Winston Churchill


I have always found that, no matter where you travel or venture to, cops are cops.

Especially true with Detectives – whether they be investigating shootings in the Big Apple, Chicago, LA, or in Palermo Italy, two detectives get together for a chat and will inevitably find more in common than disparate.

One of the principles I preach when instructing at the Criminal Investigation Course is that, as investigators, we should be professionals. Professionals maintain their knowledge of their profession by partaking in continued education, by reading and networking with others that can help them to broaden their knowledge of investigations and investigative tactics and procedures.

All too often detectives act as if they performed inside of a bubble (not quite like “bubble-boy”, but you get what I mean).

What can the detective from Chicago teach you about investigations? Certainly a detective from Manchester England, or Dublin Ireland, can have nothing of value to teach you? That kind of thinking is not helpful, and can be very harmful.

Keeping up to date with the latest practices and issues on forensic procedures, particularly DNA related, is extremely valuable to every investigator, regardless of their geographic area of employment.

Share ideas, network, and keep an open mind.

I often read news articles concerning crime issues from around the world. The geography changes, but the frustrations of the investigator, the skills and the tactics of the working sleuth, can be duplicated across the globe.

The only frustration I sometimes encounter is discovering a new tactic, procedure or whatever that may be applicable locally, and getting someone of power and/or authority to listen. “To think outside the box” always sounds great when you’re the owner of the box, but never very popular when you work in the bureaucracy around the box owner.

Why live in a bubble, when there is so much more?

With those thoughts in mind, I am presenting some out-of-the ordinary items on this posting.

Investigations from around the globe, and a look at the application of investigations in a corporate environment – items to educate, and broaden the investigators knowledge.

There is no such thing as too much education.

Professional knowledge for the professional investigator.


We have been surrounded with news items concerning steroids in baseball, from the print media to television and radio broadcasts.

Professional sports are a hot item, and always make for good media exposure.

Why would the US Congress get involved in conducting hearings on the use of steroids in baseball? It certainly couldn’t be a political issue, right?

Well, in the light of broad-based information, I’d like to share an ongoing tale of fraud and deception presently underway in Europe, involving the Formula 1 (F1) Racing teams of Great Britain and Italy.

It appears that the British racin g team, McLarens, had obtained paperwork from the Italian team, Ferrari, that has become a large scale corporate espionage investigation.

It was released on February 29, in Bologna Italy that statements and information gathered by Italian investigators during an unannounced swoop on McLaren's headquarters in Britain and the homes of its top executives have been turned over to magistrates preparing an industrial espionage case against the British Formula 1 team.
McLaren has already been condemned by the international racing federation- FIA - for the illegal possession of technical data belonging to Ferrari.

The British team was fined 50 million pounds and stripped of all its points in the 2007 championship, which it was leading. The British team now faces criminal charges in Modena, the city which has jurisdiction over Ferrari's home town Maranello.

Working with British police, Italian investigators on Wednesday gathered information and documents at McLaren's headquarters in Surrey and from the private homes and offices of team boss Ron Dennis and executives Martin Whitmarsh, Jonathan Neale, Rob Taylor and Paddy Lowe.

Although McLaren has admitted having the technical data for Ferrari's 2007 race car, it has always denied using the data for its own benefit.

However, Modena magistrates said on Thursday that they had ample evidence which ''clearly showed the responsibility of top company management and technical staff'' not only in regard to obtaining the Ferrari data but also using the information for its own car and in deciding race strategy.

The material gathered Wednesday by Italian investigators, working with British police, mostly involved computer data and email records.

A statement from McLaren said that the police and investigators had been satisfied with the team's cooperation.

The information about the 2007 Ferrari was allegedly obtained by McLaren's chief designer who obtained it from Ferrari's former chief engineer.

McLaren is said to have received a 780-page dossier of Ferrari secrets from the Ferrari technician at the start of the 2007 Grand Prix season.Ferrari have taken legal action in Britain against McLaren’s engineer, and in Italy against the former Ferrari engineer.


I was reading an article on fraud deterrence in the private sector, and came upon the term “sweethearting”.

I had never heard the term used before, and wasn’t sure exactly what it meant – could it have something to do with “Leap Day” or “Sadie Hawkins”? An affair of the heart – but how does it apply to corporate fraud?

Sweethearting is the term that reflects a practice by employees that results in large dollar losses to retailers at all level.

Here’s a good example.

People come into the store and buy an item at a certain price, but the cashier rings up a different product at a much lower price.

They call that sweethearting in the trade, and that costs revenue.

The granting of special favors or privileges, especially to friends or family; in retail, the giving of unauthorized discounts or the abetting of shoplifting or other theft; the giving of a sweetheart deal.
The cashier may fail to charge the customer for some items, or may only ring up one item of a multiple purchase (a can of Coke rather than a six pack, for instance)
In shops with no bar code scanning, the cashier may ring an item up with a lower price, or ring it up as a cheaper item.
The cashier may apply discounts where they are not justified.
Like all forms of fraud involving collusion, sweethearting is difficult to deter by means of administrative controls.
You should know that many large retailers use closed-circuit cameras to both detect sweethearting and intimidate employees out of doing it.

I go back 30 years to my time as a McDonalds store manager, and realize that I fired a worker for sweethearting, before I even knew the term applied. Giving her boyfriend 3 hamburgers, a bag of fries and a soda, and charging him for only 1 hamburger – that sweethearting, sweetie-pie!

It was reported in Italian news media recently that there appears to be a shift in power as it relates to organized crime in that country.

We lump all organized crime groups under the simple heading of The Mafia. In fact, in Italy, one of the major investigative arms of the National police (Polizia di Stato) is the Anti-Mafia Investigative Division.

Organized crime – the Mafia – is actually composed of several distinct organizations- Cosa Nostra, in Sicily; ‘Ndraghetta in Calabria; and the Camorra in Naples.

Long known as the most powerful of organized crime groups, the Cosa Nostra, which is Sicilian based, appears to be losing ground to the Calabria based “Ndrangheta.

The 'Ndrangheta's power has been rising for decades and it is now considered more of a threat than Sicily's Cosa Nostra, with huge drugs revenue and a greater resistance to penetration by informants.
In November 2005 it signaled its new-found strength by murdering a prominent local politician.
In a 2006 report from Italy's national Anti-Mafia group, DIA, the 'Ndrangheta was described as more ruthless than Sicily's Cosa Nostra or the Neapolitan Camorra.
It dominates drug trafficking in Europe, especially the cocaine market, and has an estimated annual turnover of almost 36 billion euros (nearly $50 billion).
Recent arrests come in the wake of a series of police success against Cosa Nostra in Sicily and the Neapolitan mafia, or Camorra.
''After the capture of the big bosses in Sicily and Naples, now the strongholds of organized crime in Calabria are being dismantled too,'' Amato said.
He praised the collaboration between German and Italian police which had made the arrests possible.


Ever speak to someone in the corporate setting and have them ask you if you are “Wicklander certified”?

What the heck does that mean?

Checking out the web site of Wicklander – Zulawski and Associates will tell you exactly who these people are.

Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. claims that they continue to be recognized as the premier consulting and training company on interview and interrogation techniques.

Ever hear of John E. Reid Associates, or the Reid Technique for Interviewing? Apparently Wicklander and Reid have teamed up on much of this training.

They state that they are dedicated to assisting public and private sector professionals to improve their ability to obtain the truth through legally acceptable techniques. To this end, WZ continues research to provide the highest quality training, products and professional services to an ever-increasing number of organizations throughout the world.


Investigative Links:

Heres an interesting site that I have passed on before, but certainly worth doing so once again. Certainly worth a look-see.

Black Book Online has completed a transformation and testing of its new design. It is now the single largest FREE database of public record searches available on the Internet!

If you haven't visited in a while, visit it again soon at

10-13 Association:

The 10-13 Association has a great web site you should check out also.

They also are providing a listing to help you find old friends or stay in touch with people you’ve worked with in the past. By clicking onto the below site you will be brought to the list of those who have registered.

If you would like to register yourself, it takes a little searching to figure out how to do so – but I’ve done it for you! (You’re welcome!)

Go to the home page, and click on the Guestbook link. You will be brought to the sign in guest book; register a new email address, fill out the boxes, and you’ll be added.

Take a look!


Charlie from Florida, a law enforcement officer who has his roots in New York, has passed on the following link of interest.

This site will bring you to the flags of NYC, as well as the NYPD flag, and provide a little history of them all.

Once there, the history of the nypd flag and nyc flag(s) are there. On the "clickable map" you get all the info about the flag including a history of each borough.

Charlie has been in touch with me in the past, and is a regular reader, and sometime contributor, to this site. I recently had the pleasure of meeting him in person, when he attended the Homicide Course this past January. Thanks for everything!!


Remember driving around looking for a pay phone so you could answer the “beep” you just received from home or work?

How about just having a beeper – no readout – and trying to figure out who was beeping you by elimination phone calls?

Well it should be no surprise to many people that pay phones are falling away real fast.

AT&T has announced its getting out of the business altogether.

It has announced a fire-sale on its last 65,000 pay phones, hoping to not be the last man on a sinking ship. When the liquidation is completed, the telecom giant won't own a single coin-operated phone. The pool of payphones nationwide has shrunk from 2.6 million to one million over the past decade, according to the Associated Press.


March 1, 1945 PO Albert Black, Traffic F, Fire rescue
March 1, 1970 PO Joseph Mariconda, Aviation and
PO Patrick Harrington, Aviation
Helicopter Accident
March 2, 1924 PO Thomas Gaffney, 26 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
March 3, 1989 PO Robert Machate, BSTF, Shot-car stop
March 4, 1927 PO Henry Farrell, 3A Pct, Fire rescue
March 5, 1973 PO Irving Wright, 20 Pct, Shot-arrest
March 5, 1975 PO Robert Rogerson, Div.Licenses, Auto accident
March 9, 1948 PO Julius Mirell, 34 Pct, Shot-burglary
March 9, 1974 PO Timothy Hurley, 103 Pct, Shot-robbery
March 10, 1917 Ptl Deforest Fredenburg & Ptl John Lober, No information available
March 10, 1994 PO Sean McDonald, 44 Pct, Shot-Robbery
March 10, 2003 Det Rodney Andrews, OCCB Firearms, Shot-UC gun buy
March 10, 2003 Det James Nemorin, OCCB-Firearms, Shot-UC gun buy
March 11, 1930 Ptl Joseph Scott, 32 Pct, auto accident on patrol
March 11, 1947 Ptl Winthrop Paris, 30 Pct, Shot-Investigation, off duty
March 11, 1959 Ptl Robert Forrest, 24 Pct, Off duty LOD heart attack
March 11, 1987 Det Louis Miller, FTU10, Shot-Burglary in progress
March 12, 1909 Lt Joseph Petrosino, Det Div; Shot – Investigation in Italy
March 12, 1931 Ptl James Flanagan, 25 Pct, Shot- off duty investigation
March 14, 1872 Det Phillip Lambreck, 19 Pct, Assaulted
March 14, 1967 Det John Pollins, Narc, Arrest- narcotics buy/bust
March 14, 1996 PO Kevin Gillespie, SCU, Shot – investigation