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November 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Ex-FBI Agent Jack Borden Going Strong as Private Atty at Age 101


Jack Borden, who was an FBI agent in the 1940s, is still going strong as a private attorney at 101. Impressive feat. Impressive man.

The Dallas Morning News
WEATHERFORD, Tex. – At 101 years old, Jack Borden often gets asked two questions: What’s the secret to a long life? and When are you going to give up chewing tobacco?

He dismisses the first (“Not dying”) and simply ignores the second.

“I’ve been hearing for 91 years that it’s going to kill me,” he said, projecting juice into a brass spittoon by his desk. “When you’re old, you have to have something to give you pleasure.”

For Full Story


An Amusing Tale of How a Son Wrote J. Edgar Hoover to Help his FBI Agent Dad

Washington Post magazine

Washington Post Sunday magazine

A young son wanted to help his overworked dad who was an FBI agent. So he secretly wrote J. Edgar Hoover to get help. The rest is a very amusing story.

By Anthony Edward Schiappa Jr.
Washington Post Sunday Magazine

I grew up revering two men: J. Edgar Hoover and my dad. I was elated when Dad joined the FBI in 1962; it was as if the Yankees had hired him to pitch. My father had been job-hopping, having worked at five newspapers over the previous eight years. While my parents were pleased with the job security and benefits of the FBI, I had ecstatic visions of my father as a commie-fighting, crime-busting G-man. John Dillinger, the Karpis-Barker gang and “Machine Gun” Kelly were as familiar to me as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. “The FBI Story” was the first book longer than a comic book I ever read. When I was 7 years old, I couldn’t name the president, but I knew

who the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was. I still have letters my father wrote during his training at the FBI Academy in Quantico: “Daddy is working and studying very hard to become a good FBI agent. I will be home in August and I will show you my badge and my gun.” What could be cooler?

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

Through my boyhood eyes, my father personified the FBI motto of Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity. Six feet tall with looks like Cary Grant, he made the dark suit, white shirt, subdued tie and homburg hat of FBI fame appear stylish. As my father’s new-agent training report noted, “This man makes a very substantial initial impression.” Reticent, he wielded the driest of wits. He signed my fifth-grade autograph book: “To my son, Eddie; may his father lead a long and prosperous life.”

As for Hoover, his career turned out to be stunningly inconsistent. His leadership alternated between brilliant and boneheaded; his tremendous accomplishments sometimes have been overshadowed by his idiosyncrasies. Forty years ago, my family got a taste of the best and worst that Hoover had to offer.

To Read the Rest

FBI Investigating Possibility of Conspiracy in Murder of Abortion Doctor

Scott Roeder

Scott Roeder

The FBI has been talking to some Pro-Life folks who happen to be Pro-Death — at least when it comes to abortion doctors.  Were there more people involved in this slaying?

By Judy L. Thomas
McClatchy/Tribune News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – — The list of those visiting and communicating with the man accused of killing abortion doctor George Tiller includes two convicted clinic bombers and several activists who once signed a declaration that defended the killing of abortion doctors.

And federal agents have now talked to many of them.

As Scott Roeder sits in Kansas’ Sedgwick County Jail awaiting trial on murder charges, a federal investigation is under way to determine whether there was a conspiracy involved in Tiller’s death.

For Full Story


Philly Prosecutors Files Papers to Try and Get Big-Time Politician Vincent Fumo More Prison Time

If ever there was a sentence that irked the Philly feds in recent times, this is it. Prosecutors and agents alike were appalled by what they considered a lenient sentence. They want this big-time politician who was well known as a shakedown artist, to serve more time.

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

By Emilie Lounsberry
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors took a first step yesterday toward appealing the 55-month prison sentence given to former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, who is scheduled to report to prison this month.

In a one-sentence court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Zauzmer and John J. Pease submitted a “notice of appeal” of the sentence imposed last month by U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter.

The prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of more than 15 years.

They already have called the prison term “unduly lenient” and said the sentence, which triggered widespread public criticism, had done “grave damage to the public’s respect for the law and expectation of justice.”

For Full Story


Jefferson II: Ex-Congressman’s Brother Mose Goes on Trial in New Orleans in Bribery Case Involving Secret FBI Recordings

The older brother Mose Jefferson now takes center stage in a federal courtroom after his brother ex-Rep. William Jefferson. The trial not only does not speak well for New Orleans, but for the Jefferson family, which has been the subject of years of FBI investigations.  Mose Jefferson  is accused of bribing a school board member.

 new-orleans-map-istock By Laura Maggi
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Wearing a microphone hidden on her by two FBI agents, former Orleans Parish School Board member Ellenese Brooks-Simms tried to wheedle information out of Mose Jefferson as they walked around aisles of a Home Depot on the West Bank.

In a recording from the store meeting played Wednesday in federal court, Jefferson was reserved, barely mentioning the names of people he and Brooks-Simms were talking about, liberally using pronouns instead.

Throughout an afternoon court session, Brooks-Simms often translated Jefferson’s opaque sentences in response to questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone, filling in names and expounding on what he meant.

For Full Story

Ex-New Orleans Resident and Lebanese Man Claim FBI in Afghanistan Treated Them Like Terrorists for White Collar Crime

The FBI has generally avoided charges of impropriety when it comes to arrests overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. But this former New Orleans resident and a Lebanese man claim they were subjected to cold temperatures in holding areas and put in tight bindings and a hood while being transported for 18 hours –all for a white collar crime.

By Mark Schleifstein
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Dinorah Cobos, a former New Orleans resident and Tulane business school graduate, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., on Tuesday to change her plea to charges she conspired to bribe federal officials to win construction contracts in Afghanistan worth millions of dollars.

The plea change comes just weeks after Cobos and co-defendant Raymond Azar, a Lebanese citizen, charged in federal court papers that they were treated like terrorists during their April 7 arrest in a cafeteria at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan by FBI agents, and during interrogations and transport to the United States.

For Full Story


J. Edgar Hoover’s 1971 Cadillac and eBay

Hoover 1971 car

Hoover's 1971 car

Rex Tomb served in the FBI from 1968 until his retirement in 2006. For most of his career he served in the Office of Public Affairs, retiring as Chief of its Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit.

By Rex Tomb

I recently found out that J. Edgar Hoover’s 1971 Cadillac limousine was sold on Ebay. Quickly, I went to their site and while I cannot positively confirm that it was actually the car used by Mr. Hoover, it certainly looked like the one I remembered.

Just like me, it appeared somewhat worse for the wear, but was still recognizable. Seeing it was similar to reading a newspaper article about some famous actor that you thought was long dead, making a comeback. It feels oddly reassuring that something familiar still exists.

Coincidentally, I had only been thinking about that car this week. In one of his recent columns, Washington Post writer, David Ignatius wrote about the seeming abundance of protective, security details.

They now seem to accompany just about every high level official in Washington. Mr. Ignatius questioned whether or not this heightened security might be self defeating as it tends to draw attention.

Sirens, lights, and motorcades are hard to hide. It led me to recall the security provided for former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover.

It consisted of a bullet proof limousine and an armed driver, who although quite competent, was also quickly approaching retirement age and sported a pair of black framed, thick lens eyeglasses.

That was all the protection that Mr. Hoover had as he moved through the streets of Washington, D.C. No motorcade, no sirens, no blue lights and positively no squadron of dark suited guys wearing earphones and sunglasses. Just a Cadillac and a middle-aged driver wearing those thick lens specs.

We live in a much different time of course, and with absolutely zero expertise in the field, I would be the last person to second guess the necessity of providing heightened security for high government officials.

Whatever the case, I remember that car, alright. It was parked in a corner of the Justice Department garage in downtown Washington.

We clerks would see it on our way to and from the cafeteria. There were two Cadillac limousines, actually. One was probably a 1968, and was used as a backup. The other, parked next to it, was a brand spanking new 1971.

Both cars positively gleamed. You just never saw them dirty. When it rained or snowed outside, these guys wearing smocks would suddenly appear out of nowhere and wipe them down.

I always wondered how they even knew that the car was back in the garage. It was as if these guys had radar or something. Probably a secretary tipped them off. In any case, regardless of the weather, they always looked as if they had never left the building. In fact, they looked as if they were never used.

There is an unfortunate perception that Mr. Hoover was like the Wizard of Oz or something. That he was forbidding, remote and would never leave his desk. He certainly had a formality about him but in fact, you would see him regularly around the Justice Department Building.

His arrival at work, for instance – his big, black Cadillac would pull into the Justice Building, entering through these enormous iron gates. It always reminded me of some movie mogul arriving at his studio.

The car would silently glide by the guards and those of us fortunate enough to be standing near the entrance. We could sometimes see the Boss reading a newspaper or talking to his deputy, Mr. Tolson. Mr. Tolson, by the way, was the number two man at the Bureau and the Director’s best friend.

He lived along the route the Director took to his office, so I guess you could say they formed one of the most important carpools in the country!

The car would then proceed down a steep ramp that went under a courtyard and into the garage. There the two would be dropped off in that corner I mentioned earlier. Mr. Hoover, or the driver, would usually help Mr. Tolson (who suffered greatly in later years from ill-health) up a short flight of steps to a door that led to an elevator bank.

If you kept looking, after the Director and Mr. Tolson went through that door, you would see the driver push a small button located just above the upper left side of the door’s frame.

This, I would later learn, was the infamous “garage buzz” and it would buzz in his 5th floor office suite, signaling those there that the Director had indeed arrived and that he was on the way up.

To this day, I’m not certain whether or not Mr. Hoover even knew of this early warning system but it must have provided a lot of comfort to his personal staff.

Mr. Hoover had no private elevator and this required him to use a public elevator to go to and from his office. It was not at all uncommon to watch some awestruck mail clerk’s jaw drop as none other than J. Edgar Hoover entered the elevator.

I know this because this happened to me. One day I was taking the elevator down from the 6th floor. It stopped on the 5th and when the door opened I was utterly dumbfounded as Mr. Hoover and Mr. Tolson quickly stepped in. I was so nervous I felt like throwing up.

Immediately upon entering, he cordially greeted me. Mr. Tolson remained silent. Nervous, all I could think to say was “It certainly is hot outside.”

Without looking at me, Mr. Hoover replied, “Yes. I noticed that it was muggy outside when I came in this morning.”

Mr. Tolson then added that “One can certainly stand in good stead with the air conditioning.” They then got off the elevator in the basement and proceeded to their waiting limo. That was the extent of my first conversation with the great Mr. Hoover and Associate Director, Clyde A. Tolson. Sparkling conversation on my part, wasn’t it?

I was able to make a couple of quick observations though. First, he looked much better in person than he did in the photographs I had seen of him. Also, he had a certain presence about him.

If someone saw him and had no idea who he was, they would somehow know that he was important. Some people just have an aura. He was also very tan, immaculately tailored, of average height and surprisingly trim. He had brown eyes, refined facial features and hair made dark by copious amounts of brilliantine (think Vitalis). A pretty good description of someone you saw for about 60-seconds (max), no?

Mr. Hoover was also surprisingly accessible and he regularly set aside a few minutes during the week to meet with Agents, file clerks and assorted others who, along with their families, would traipse into his office to meet privately and be photographed with him.

He must have understood the importance of symbolism because his office was a study in it. Everywhere you saw awards and citations that he had received from kings, presidents, civic and government organizations, police departments and major news and entertainment entities. His office was trimmed with some kind of dark wood (I was once told that it was walnut).

It had a high ceiling and a large, highly polished conference table at the center under three impressive chandeliers. You had to travel a considerable distance across the room to get to his desk which was flanked by American and FBI flags. The office, while impressive, could never be described as ostentatious. Rather it conveyed a sense of substance, dignity and purpose.

Mr. Hoover obviously did some homework before these meetings took place. He would often say nice things about an employee’s work in front of their families. He would also mention something about the town or city that the family had come from.

Though these meetings would only last for only a few minutes they were a big morale booster and those who took part in them left very excited.

After hearing several of my friends talk about their experiences, I decided that I would also ask that my father and I have an opportunity to meet with the famed Director. Checking with my mother, I found out when my father was scheduled to again be in Washington. I then submitted a standard request which was promptly approved.

When I telephoned Dad to give him the good news (he was totally unaware of what I had done), he seemed, well, less than enthusiastic.

First he told me that his schedule had changed and that he would not be in Washington on the day of our appointment. Then he told me that he really had no desire whatsoever to meet Mr. Hoover under any circumstances. He chided me further by adding that I could have saved everyone a lot of time and trouble by first checking with him. I was stunned but Dad was adamant, so I had to cancel the meeting.

You won’t find this in any text book, but the history of this nation was probably changed by my father’s refusal to meet with Mr. Hoover (I’m kidding)!

I and many of the other clerks I worked with were intensely interested in Mr. Hoover. We wanted to know everything about him and I think I can understand why. We were young, ambitious and barely in our twenties.

Mr. Hoover, though old enough to be our grandfather, had several things in common with us. He was someone who came from a middle class family (many could identify with this), he was raised in a family that valued hard work and religion (many of us could identify with this), he started his Federal career as a clerk in the Library of Congress (many of us could identify with this) and he worked all day attending college at night (again, many of us could identify with this).

He became the Director of a Federal agency at 29 years of age (not a whole lot older than we were) and would become a confidant of Presidents, appear on the cover of major magazines, and have Congressmen, governors, motion picture actors, recording artists, clergymen, television stars, sports figures and corporate executives lined up at his office door almost every day.

He was also intimately involved in some of the most important events of the day. We really admired the fact that he never made any attempt to deny his modest beginnings. He transcended them, instead. As one friend put it to me, “. . . it’s not like this guy was born rich like a Rockefeller. He accomplished all of this on his own.”

We wanted to learn what made him so successful and some of my colleagues must have found out because they went on to head up national investigations, lead major FBI Field Offices and become Assistant Directors with national and international responsibilities.

After retirement, some of these same guys took on very lucrative corporate jobs. They ended up becoming national figures in their own right. Others of us, including me, never seemed to discover it and for better or for worse (mostly for better), our careers charted a more modest course.

I know of course, that the mere mention of J. Edgar Hoover in some circles elicits nothing but scorn. Some of the criticism of him is doubtless justified, but a lot of it is either baseless or the critic fails to put the alleged wrongdoing in the context of the time in which it occurred.

What’s that old saying about it being wrong for a person of one generation to judge the actions of a person from another generation?

Others of us, and I unashamedly put myself in this category, admit that Mr. Hoover had his faults but we believe he also brought to the table innovation, hard work, discipline, persistence and a keen intellect. He was not ostentatious.

That big office and the awards on the walls were there to inspire confidence and demonstrate substance rather than to impress. That’s an important distinction, which I think can also be said of that 1971, Cadillac Fleetwood I recently saw on Ebay.

Gosh, after all of these years could that really be the car he used? If so, the new owner should be told that when that car was a little bit younger, had smoother skin and a more lustrous shine, it had more than a few secret admirers. It was also used by several of Mr. Hoover’s successors, including, L. Patrick Gray and Clarence M. Kelley.

I would have tried to buy it myself, but my wife, when told of my plan asked if it was big. “Yes,” I told her, “it is, why?” “Because,” she said, “if you buy it you’ll be living in it . . . alone.”

By Allan Lengel

The classic black 1971 Fleetwood Cadillac would have been a sweet acquisition regardless. But what made it all the more appealing was the online ad on eBay with the notation “1971 CADILLAC LIMOUSINE – (J. EDGAR HOOVER) FBI” and a photo of a dashboard adorned with switches marked “siren” and “phone”.

After a week of bidding – the first bid started at $765 — the winning bid for a piece of Americana was $6,677.77 on Aug. 7 at 9:47 p.m. The winner was Harvey Pincus, a collector of cars who runs Model Garage Inc. on 39th Street in Brooklyn, N.Y.

How could he be sure it was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s car?

Pincus, who didn’t want to say much until he picked up the car, said by telephone that he saw the letter of authenticity on eBay.

“There was a letter posted and I have some knowledge” of other things to verify it, he said. He declined to elaborate, and for that matter, say much more until he picks up the car.

He bought the car with about 50,000 miles from Bill McDaniels of Petersburg, N.J., a man described by a friend as semi-retired, a car collector and a jack of all trades. McDaniels did not return several calls made to his cell phone.

But his friend Brad Sturgess, 35, who sold the car for McDaniels, did.

Sturgess said he helped sell the car on eBay because McDaniels is ” not real good with the computer and I do eBay and Craigslist and all that stuff.”

Sturgess said McDaniels bought the car in recent years for $9,000 from the second person to own it since Hoover. Sturgess said McDaniels decided to sell it because he was accumulating too many cars and “It was time to liquidate.”

Sturgess said the car had some unique features: separate air conditioning unit for the back seat, switches for the now-disconnected siren and phone and a “huge” generator and alternator. He said it also appeared that there was once flashing police lights in the front grille of the car.

“It’s neat,” he said. “It’s older than me.”

Hoover, who unquestionably is one of the most legendary of America’s law enforcement figures, had five FBI cars; two in Washington, two in New York and one in Los Angeles, according to a July 1977 Associated Press report.

After Hoover’s death on May 2, 1972, the cars were sent to the General Services Administration, which turned over four to the Secret Service and put the fifth one up for auction. Denny Tiche of Boyers, Pa. bought it in 1976 for more than the $2,900 book value, the AP report said.

The following year, Tiche planned to sell the car, but wanted to wait until he got a letter of authenticity. In a letter dated June 21, 1977, the FBI wrote:

“The automobile in question was assigned to the late Director Hoover and, on April 22, 1976 was taken to the GSA sales center for disposal.”

Tiche did not return a phone call for comment.

This month, 33 years after Tiche bought the car, 26 people posted bids on eBay.

“I had a bunch of people outside of the country wanted to ship it,” Sturgess said. ” I didn’t want to get involved. They were paying the same amount. Had a guy from France. Had a guy from Spain.

In the end, Sturgess said he was surprised the car didn’t fetch more money. In fact, after the sale, he said someone said that the car was worth far more.

But in the eBay world, he said, “”that just so happens how it works.”

Woman Charged With Exortion and Lying to FBI Was Given Money For Abortion, Coach Pitino Says

The University never likes it when your life off the court is far more interesting than your team’s life on the court. Rick Pitino has got a pretty interesting tale to tell.

Rick Pitino/univ. photo

Rick Pitino/univ. photo

By Andrew Wolfson
Louisville Courier-Journal
LOUISVILLE — University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino told police that he had consensual sex with Karen Cunagin Sypher at a Louisville restaurant where he’d been drinking on Aug. 1, 2003.

He also told police that he later gave Sypher $3,000 to have an abortion, according to Louisville Metro Police reports The Courier-Journal obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

But Pitino denied Sypher’s allegations that he raped her at Porcini, after the restaurant closed, and again a few weeks later at a different location, police records show. And prosecutors who have reviewed Sypher’s claims say Pitino won’t be charged.

Sypher has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to extort money from Pitino in exchange for her silence about the alleged crimes, and with lying to the FBI. She has pleaded not guilty.

She reported the alleged rapes to Metro Police on July 9, about two months after she was indicted.

For Full Story

Woman Accused of Extortion