Wednesday, January 25, 2012


“One riot, one ranger,” is a phrase made famous by Texas Ranger Captain W.J. McDonald in the very early 1900’s.

McDonald was called upon by a Dallas mayor to stop a forbidden prize fight and ease an angry mob. When stepping off the train by himself, the puzzled mayor asked, “Where are the others?”

To that McDonald replied, “Hell, ain’t I enough? There’s only one riot, isn’t there?”
One of the most enduring phrases associated with the Texas Rangers today is One Riot, One Ranger.
It is somewhat apocryphal in that there was never actually a riot; rather, the phrase was coined by Ranger Captain William “Bill” McDonald, who was sent to Dallas in 1896 to prevent the illegal heavyweight prize fight between Pete Maher and Bob Fitzsimmons that had been organized by Dan Stuart, and patronized by the eccentric "Hanging Judge" Roy Bean. 
According to the story, McDonald's train was met by the mayor, who asked the single Ranger where the other lawmen were. McDonald is said to have replied: "Hell! Ain't I enough? There's only one prize-fight!” This phrase over time has been adapted to become “only one riot”.  
Although some measure of truth lies within the tale, it is largely an idealized account written by author Bigelow Paine and loosely based on McDonald's statements, published in Paine's classic book Captain Bill McDonald: Texas Ranger in 1909.
In truth, the fight had been so heavily publicized that nearly every Ranger was at hand, including all the captains and their superior, Adjutant General Woodford H Mabry. Many of them were not really sure whether to stop the fight or to attend it; and in fact, other famous lawmen, such as Bat Masterson, were also present for the occasion. The orders from the governor were clear, however, and the bout was stopped.
Stuart then tried to reorganize it in El Paso and later in Langtry, but the Rangers followed and thwarted his attempts. Finally, the fight took place on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande near Langtry.
The motto appears on the pedestal of the large bronze statue of a Texas Ranger in the Love Field airport in Dallas. 


The Texas Ranger Division is a major division within the Texas Department of Public Safety with lead criminal investigative responsibility for the following: major incident crime investigations, unsolved crime/serial crime investigations, public corruption investigations, officer involved shooting investigations, and border security operations.
The Texas Rangers are the main investigative organization for the State of Texas.
Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, acted as riot police and as detectives, protected the Governor of Texas, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force at the service of both the Republic of Texas (1836-1845) and the state of Texas.
The Texas Ranger Division is comprised of 216 full time employees; including 150 commissioned Rangers and 66 support personnel; including administrative staff, Border Security Operations Center, Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers, and the Special Weapons and Tactics team.
The Texas Ranger Division created a Special Operations Group to be tasked with the oversight of the Special Weapons and Tactics team, Regional Special Response Teams (SRT’s), Ranger Reconnaissance Team, Crisis Negotiations Unit, and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal.  The Texas Rangers currently coordinate border security operations through six (6) Ranger Staff Lieutenants assigned to six (6) Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers (JOICs) along the Texas-Mexico border and Coastal Bend area of the state.  In response to legislation, the Texas Rangers created a Public Corruption Unit and an Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program.
A look at the latest figures available from the Texas Rangers shows that in 2010, a total of 3,717 investigations resulted in 1,735 felony arrests, 193 misdemeanor arrests.  The Texas Rangers executed 404 search warrants and secured 4,544 statements, including 732 confessions to various crimes.  Rangers recovered stolen property valued at $559,429 and seized contraband valued at $537,087. There were 1,927 convictions for various crimes investigated that resulted in 2 death sentences, 79 life sentences and a total of 10,718 years in penitentiary time being assessed. Rangers served 277 subpoenas and 479 warrants. Rangers conducted 12 hypnosis sessions on criminal investigations.

Ed. Note: I find the 12 hypnosis sessions on criminal investigations to be quite interesting. I have made it a plan to look into this aspect myself, and will report back as I get more information. Hypnotists! Who would imagine?
Essentially, the Rangers are the statewide investigative arm for Texas. Answering the call that the Governor sees fit, they are called on to investigate and act on a wide variety of criminal issues. Matters involving organized crime, public corruption, major violent felony offenses- as an assisting unit in most cases, taking the lead in others when necessary, the Texas Rangers are called on to perform a multitude of tasks. 
A lot like the television show, Walker- Texas Ranger.
I found it very interesting to note that there are 150 Rangers, spread out over 254 counties in Texas.  That’s less than 1 Ranger per county!

Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, fulfilling the role of Texas’ State Bureau of Investigation. 

The Texas Rangers' internal organization still maintains the basic outlines that were set in 1935. The agency is divided into seven companies: six District Companies lettered from "A" to "F", and Headquarters Company "H".

The number of personnel is set by the Texas Legislature; as of[update] 2010, the Texas Rangers number 144 commissioned officers, one forensic artist, one fiscal analyst and 24 civilian support personnel.
The District Companies' headquarters are distributed in six geographical locations throughout the 254 counties of Texas. 

Modern-day Rangers (as well as their predecessors) do not have a prescribed uniform, per se, although the State of Texas does provide guidelines as to appropriate Ranger attire, including a requirement that Rangers wear clothing that is western in nature.

The wearing of badges became more common in the late 1800s. Historians have put forth several reasons for the lack of the regular use of a badge; among them, some Rangers felt a shiny badge was a tempting target. Other historians have speculated there was no real need to show a badge to a hostile outlaw. Additionally, from a historical viewpoint, a Ranger's pay was so scanty that the money required for such fancy accoutrements was rarely available. Nevertheless, some Rangers did wear badges, and the first of these appeared around 1875. They were locally made and varied considerably from one to another, but they invariably represented a star cut from a Mexican silver coin (usually a five-peso coin). The design is reminiscent of Texas's Lone Star flag.

Although present-day Rangers wear the familiar "star in a wheel" badge, it was adopted officially only recently. The current design of the Rangers' badge was incorporated in 1962, when Ranger Hardy L. Purvis and his mother donated enough Mexican five-peso coins to the DPS to provide badges for all 62 Rangers who were working at that time as commissioned officers.

A Texas Ranger is equivalent in rank to a Sergeant in the Texas Department of Public Safety. In fact all Rangers have been “promoted” from the DPS to the Ranger position.  Rangers and the next rank, Lieutenant, have silver badges. Captains and above (Major) have gold.


For more information about the Texas Rangers, visit the Texas Ranger museum web site at:


Doing some research on the Texas Rangers, as noted above, I came across and interesting statistic.  I had believed I knew the information, but was looking to verify it (trust but verify!).

A complement of 150 Rangers spread out over 254 counties means each Ranger is responsible for roughly one and a half counties.  Most times they are not the lead investigators but assist the local agency by providing knowledge, technique and experience. Sometimes, based on the investigation, they do in fact take over the lead.

That seemed a little familiar to me.

I have used this as a positive point. Detectives being the competitive nature that they are never like to hear that someone or some unit is better than them. 

Here’s the spin I’ve taken from this.

The detectives in New York City are the Greatest Detectives In The World. Right? We have it emblazoned throughout our agency.

Certainly the Texas Rangers are not any better. We’re the Greatest.

If I field a team of two detectives to cover half of a borough (county), and the Texas Rangers field one detective to cover one and a half counties, then do the math.

I figure we have 200% more manpower than the Texas Rangers.  So as a team of two, you are ahead of the game. Quit bellyaching and solve some crimes.

Go figure.


London’s police are famous the world over for not carrying guns, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve never been armed.

For more than half the Metropolitan Police of London’s (the Met) history, officers carried cutlasses and swords.

Back in 1829, the Met swords had a 33-inch sweeping blade. By design they were an extremely effective slashing saber, as used by the British Light Dragoons and Hussars in the Battle of Waterloo. These were first distributed to the Bow Street Horse Patrol and later adopted across the burgeoning police service. They were used until 1868 when a new sword was designed; it was the same weapon that was carried by the Light Cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo.

There is very little record of officers inflicting injuries with their weapons, not least because they would probably be sacked if they did.

Unbeknown to most criminals, it was also normal for the blades to be kept blunt.

The Met swords were for use in public order situations, but also in “solitary and exposed
situations where (constables) were at such a distance from each other to preclude a ready
mutual support by springing the rattle” (rattles were used before whistles were introduced in 1865).

According to police orders from 12 January 1832: “The police constable will be given to
understand distinctly that the sword is put into his hand merely as a defensive weapon in case his life should be in danger and if he shall use or even draw it for any less weighty cause, he shall be called to strict account and probably dismissed.”

But it wasn’t just because there was a calmer attitude to blades in those days.  London was a dangerous place 170 years ago.

According to a report about “H” Division in 1840: “There were plague spots where herded together the vilest and lowest of the criminal fraternity, men, women and children could be found. The police did their best, but there were places where, if an officer dared to walk alone, he carried his life in his hands and where double patrols were the merest precaution. Far into the night pandemonium reigned. Street fights in which belts, knives and bludgeons were used were no uncommon occurrence. Time and time again police were assaulted.”

In 1885 the Met started to cut back on the number of cutlasses used – 4,713 were scrapped and 728 were left on Division. Swords were last used operationally in 1910 and were officially withdrawn from use for most ranks in 1928. Some senior officers can still get them for ceremonial purposes.

(Reprinted with thanks to Neil Paterson, manager of the Met Historical Collection, and found in the November-December 2011 issue of The Met publication.)


My, how the streets of New York City have changed!

A look through the 1846 Rules & Procedures for the New York City Police Department finds a passage on the regulation of “dirt carts”.  These were not the motorized go-karts you used to find teens using in the trails inside parks; these refer to the actual wagons that cart dirt.

It is noted in the procedures that a police officer “must arrest any person they may see driving, for hire or wages, any cart for the transportation of earth, sand, gravel or clay, unless said person shall have been specially licensed a Dirt Cartman, or unless the owner of the cart shall have a license, from the Mayor, to have the same driven; and must also arrest every person who shall drive or lead or have charge of any horse before a Dirt Cart, which shall be going or standing in any street, lane, avenue or public place, without having a tight box fitted thereto” allowing the dirt or gravel to be kept inside the cart.

A “Dirt Cartman” license.  Who would have thought?


Chief Inspector (Chief of Department)  $20,124
Chief of Detectives $13,664
C.O. Det Bureau (Inspector) $10,806
Lt- CDS – 47 of them – $8106-$8395
Sgt – SDS- 107 of them- $7505-$7794
Det First Grade – 269 – $7505-$7794
Det Second Grade- 450 – $6692-$6981
Det Third Grade – 1762- $6324

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

January 22, 1971  Ptl Robert Bolden, 75 Pct, Shot-off duty altercation
January 23, 1934  Ptl Joseph Misichia, 114 Pct, Shot-arrest
January 23, 1943  Ptl Pasquale Venturelli, 45 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
January 23, 1987  PO Michael Reidy, 41 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
January 24, 1967  Ptl John Barry, PA, Line of duty heart attack
January 24, 1975  Ptl John Scala, ApplicInv, Shot-off duty robbery
January 25, 1994  PO Nicholas DeMatiis, 106 Pct, Auto pursuit
January 27, 1908  Ptl John Loughman, 15 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
January 27, 1938  Ptl Edward Roos, 8 Sqd, Auto accident on patrol
January 27, 1943  Ptl Angelo Dimuro, 1 Pct, Line of duty incident
January 27, 1972  Ptl Gregory Foster, 9 Pct, Shot-assassination
January 27, 1972  Ptl Rocco Laurie, 9 Pct, Shot-assassination
January 28, 1938  Sgt David Kilpatrick, 40 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 28, 1980  PO Cecil Sledge, 69 Pct, Shot-car stop
January 30, 1930  Ptl Maurice O’Brien, 28 Pct, Shot-arrest
January 30, 1956  Ptl Benny Bruno, GCP Pct, Auto pursuit
January 31, 1901  Ptl Thomas Fitzpatrick, 29 Pct, Explosion-rescue
January 31, 1901  Ptl Edward Mullin, 29 Pct, Explosion-rescue
January 31, 1927  Ptl James Masterson, 18 Div, Shot-robbery in progress
January 31, 1928  Ptl Patrick Fahey, Traffic C, Fall from horse
January 31, 1928  Ptl William Kelly, 37 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 31, 1931  Ptl Harold Conway, 27 Pct, Drowned
January 31, 1959  Ptl Michael Talkowsky, 23 Pct, Shot-robbery
January 31, 1968  Ptl Stephen DellAquila, Safety B, Scooter accident on patrol
January 31, 1984  PO Angelo Brown, 84 Pct, Shot-robbery, off duty
January 31, 1992  PO Hilario Serrano, 43 Pct, Shot-robbery, off duty
January 31, 2004  Sgt Keith Ferguson, ESS7, LOD Heart attack

It is noted that the eleven line of duty deaths recorded on January 31 represented the date with the most line of duty deaths for members of this department prior to the 9-11 attack.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


From Raymond Chandler's THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER

In describing the detective for this pulp fiction classic, Mr Chandler does so as follows.

“In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.

The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor — by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things.

He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks — that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness.

The story is the man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.“

Chandler is the author of numerous classic detective crime fiction stories. Among them are The Big Sleep, Little Sister, Farewell My Lovely, The Long Goodbye, and The Simple Art of Murder among them. He can rightly be called the grandfather of hard-boiled detective fiction.

Several of his stories have made it to the big screen. His protagonist character, the private detective Philip Marlowe, was played by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep. Don't miss it the next time it's played on Turner Classic Movies.

If you're looking for an entertaining crime noir story to pass the time you can't do wrong picking up something from Chandler.


The following is taken from material provided by John Reid & Associates, renown leader in interrogation and interview tactics.

The standard rule of thumb relating to improper interrogation techniques is that the investigator should not offer the suspect any threats or promises. In this context, threats are often thought of as threats of physical harm, isolation or deprivation of biological needs. There is, however, a much more powerful threat that can be made during an interrogation -- threatening the suspect with inevitable consequences. These four suspects were offered the most potent threat possible - the threat of death i.e., "If you continue to lie about this you will die. Do you want to die? That's what will happen if you continue to tell me you didn't do this". This was then coupled with the promise of life, i.e.., "I can help you out on this thing. If you tell me the truth I will work it out so you will not face the death penalty. You will be able to live." Who in their right mind wouldn't accept life over death?

When an innocent suspect is convinced that he is helpless to avoid consequences of a crime (a long prison sentence, having children placed in foster homes, being deported to a foreign country, having a license or certificate revoked, etc.) this suspect will do anything in an effort to reduce those perceived consequences. As illustrated by this case, when threatened with inevitable consequences, innocent suspects will not only confess, but adjust their confession to please the interrogator (Dick offered seven different statements) and testify against defendants the suspect knows are innocent.

Concepts within the Reid Technique have been criticized under the guise of threatening inevitable consequences. Specifically, interrogating a suspect on the presumption of guilt, discouraging denials from surfacing and the use of an alternative question, e.g., "Did you plan this out for months in advance, or did it just happen on the spur of the moment?" These criticisms are baseless. Expressing high confidence in a person's guilt certainly would not motivate an innocent person to believe that it would be in his best interest to falsely confess. Rather, the innocent person would be motivated to more strongly maintain his innocence or terminate the interrogation. Similarly, discouraging a suspect from voicing denials will cause the typical innocent suspect to become more forceful in their denials or terminate the interrogation, not to believe that because the interrogator is not accepting their denial that it would somehow be in their best interest to confess.

Finally, it has been argued that the alternative question forces the innocent suspect to incriminate himself. Nothing could be further from the truth. A suspect always has a third choice which is to reject the alternative question and maintain his innocence. None of the tactics or techniques within the Reid Technique would cause an innocent person to believe that they would benefit by offering a false confession. However, this is not the case when a suspect is threatened with inevitable consequences, which is why we are adamantly opposed to this interrogation tactic.


Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator via the Internet. PACER is provided by the federal Judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to court information via a centralized service.

Pacer IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WHO REGISTERS FOR AN ACCOUNT. Registration is free; you pay for what you use only.

If you have the need to seek federal court records including bankruptcy proceedings or other federal case information, you may find this site helpful.


20 East 72nd Street Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein (January 17, 1882–November 4, 1928)

In 1928 this was the location of the Fairfield Hotel, and it was owned by the man who some claimed fixed the major league baseball’s 1919 World Series Game.

Arnold Rothstein was the only real gangster name used in the Godfather Movies.

In 1931 this location was known as the Franconia Hotel, noted as the place where the “Jewish Kosher Nostra” held a meeting just two months after the hit on Boss of Bosses Salvatore Maranzano.

Arnold Rothstein was a New York businessman and gambler who became a famous kingpin of organized crime, the Jewish Mafia.

Rothstein was also widely reputed to have been behind baseball’s Black Sox Scandal, in which the 1919 World Series was fixed. 

His notoriety inspired several fictional characters based on his life, including “Meyer Wolfsheim” in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, the character who shared his name in the Broadway Musical “Legs Diamond”, and “Nathan Detroit” in the Damon Runyon story The Idyll Miss Sarah Brown, which was made into the renowned musical “Guys and Dolls”.

According to crime writer Leo Katcher, Rothstein “transformed organized crime from a thuggish activity by hoodlums into a big business, run like a corporation, with himself at the top.” According to Rich Cohen, Rothstein was the person who first saw in Prohibition a business opportunity, a means to enormous wealth, who “understood the truths of early century capitalism (hypocrisy, exclusion, greed) and came to dominate them”.

Rothstein was the Moses of the Jewish gangsters, according to Cohen, “the progenitor, a rich man’s son who showed the young hoodlums of the Bowery how to have style; indeed, the man who, the Sicilian-American gangster Lucky Luciano would later say, “taught me how to dress.”


The Duty Chart in 1968 for Patrolman's Duty, as listed in a 1968 Spring3100, describes the working life of the Patrolman as follows.

* You do three sets of 5 tours each.
* Rotating around the clock.
* With a 56 hour swing after your last tour.
Unless you're working midnights. 
* Then you get the last midnight tour off,
* For an 80 hour swing.
Unless your last midnight falls on a Saturday or a Sunday.
Then you work the tour!

Got it?


January 2, 1932  Ptl John Kranz, Det Sqd, Shot
January 3, 1975  PO Michael McConnon, 13 Pct, Shot-robbery
January 3, 1978  PO Ronald Stapleton, 77 Pct, Shot, off duty incident
January 5, 1922  Det William Miller, 38 Sqd(32 Sq), Shot-arrest
January 5, 1922  Det Francis Buckley, Det Div, Shot-arrest
January 5, 1944  Ptl Patrick Malone, Traffic I, Auto accident on patrol
January 7, 1930  Ptl Paul Schafer, 19 Pct, Motorcycle accident on patrol
January 7, 1933  Ptl Walter Murphy, 14 Div (13 Div), Shot-pursuit
January 7, 1934  Ptl Ernest McCarron, 68 Pct, Fire rescue
January 8, 1946  Ptl Benjamin Wallace, 32 Pct, Shot-Investigation
January 9, 1938  Ptl Anthony Tornatore, 52 Pct, Shot-investigation
January 9, 1973  Ptl Stephen Gilroy, ESS8, Shot-robbery / hostages
January 10, 1987 PO Francis LaSalla, ESS1, Fire rescue
January 10, 1998 PO Edward Ahrens, 28 Pct, Shot (5/5/75) narco invest
January 11, 1908  Ptl Robert Fitzgerald, Bridge Pct, Drowned-Rescue
January 11, 1916  Ptl Joseph Gaffney, 26 Pct, Shot-arrest
January 11, 1929  Ptl Albert Bruden, Mcy Unit, Auto pursuit
January 11, 1941  Ptl Edward Maher, Traffic P, Shot-robbery
January 12, 1974  PO Timothy Murphy, 120 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
January 12, 1981  PO Robert Walsh, 7 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
January 13, 1924  Ptl John Schneider, 3Div, Robbery investigation
January 13, 1950  Ptl Edward Carraher, 14 Pct, Injured on patrol
January 13, 1997  Det Kenny Fung, 72 Sqd, Heart attack during investigation
January 15, 1938  Ptl Frank Zaccor, 14 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 16, 1953  Ptl Thomas Sheehan, 10 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
January 17, 1947  Ptl Harry Schriffies, McyDist, Shot-investigation
January 17, 2000  PO Benny Marciante, SITF, LOD Heart attack
January 18, 1935  Ptl James Killion, 17 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 18, 1960  Sgt Edward Johnson, 5 Pct, Stabbed by EDP
January 18, 1967  Det Harold Jacob, Safe Loft & Burg Sqd, Line of duty heart attack
January 18, 1979  PO Robert Manzione, 7 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
January 21, 1932  Ptl John Walsh, 17 Div, Shot-off duty robbery
January 21, 1941  Ptl Daniel Piselli, 88 Pct, Killed-line of duty incident
January 21, 1948  Ptl William Von Weisenstein, 101 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
January 21, 1958  Det Francis O’Rourke, 32 Sqd, Line of duty heart attack
January 21, 1986  Det Anthony Venditti, OCCB, Shot-investigation
January 21, 1995  Det Alfred Boesch, Housing SNEU, Line of duty incident