Personal Identity Theft Protection http://personalidtheft.com All things about identity theft protection Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:53:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Top 10 Fascinating Deathbed Confessions http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/top-10-fascinating-deathbed-confessions/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/top-10-fascinating-deathbed-confessions/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:53:54 +0000 http://listverse.com/2009/09/29/top-10-fascinating-deathbed-confessions/ Prevent Identity Theft

When death is inevitable some people decide it is a good time to confess to things that have burdened them during their lifetime. Perhaps it is in order to leave the world with a clear conscience or maybe to benefit the living ones they leave behind. This list contains 10 deathbed confessions and the stories […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

When death is inevitable some people decide it is a good time to confess to things that have burdened them during their lifetime. Perhaps it is in order to leave the world with a clear conscience or maybe to benefit the living ones they leave behind. This list contains 10 deathbed confessions and the stories behind them of people who, for whatever reason, decided to reveal their darkest secrets.

Nathan-Shuly

Confessed to: using a Basque lullaby melody for her song Jerusalem of Gold

Naomi Shemer is one of Israel’s best loved songwriters. The song Jerusalem of Gold was first performed in 1967 at an Israeli song festival shortly before the Arab-Israeli war and describes the Jewish people’s 2000-year longing to return to Jerusalem. It continues to serve as an unofficial Israeli anthem and is often played at national ceremonies. Shemer spent many years denying claims that she plagiarized a lullaby song and turned it into Jerusalem of Gold. Then in 2004 after years of angry denials she made her confession to another composer Gil Aldema just days before dying of cancer writing to him, “I consider the entire affair a regrettable work accident – so regrettable that it may be the reason for me taking ill,” she also wrote that she heard a well-known Basque lullaby which “went in one ear and out the other” and the song must have crept into her unwittingly. Aldema said that Shemer had agreed for her secret to be revealed after her death.

Interesting Fact: In 2005 the lullaby Pello Joxepe became known worldwide when it was published that Jerusalem of Gold was based on its melody. The Spanish singer Paco Ibáñez who performed the song in Israel in 1962 where Shemer first heard it was asked how he felt when he heard Naomi Shemer based most of the melody on the lullaby. He replied by saying he was honored that she chose to use his melody to use for Jerusalem of Gold. You can listen to the song here performed by Ofra Haza at an Israel concert in 1998.

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Confessed to: the legendary clock collection heist

In 1983, the costliest theft in Israel’s history saw 106 timepieces worth millions of dollars disappear from a Jerusalem museum. Included in the timepieces was a pocket watch made for Marie Antoinette which is valued at more than £19m ($30 million). The case remained unsolved for almost 25 years until 2006 when a Tel Aviv watchmaker told police that he had paid some $40,000 to an anonymous person to buy 40 items including Marie Antoinette’s pocket watch (pictured above). Forensic experts examined the clocks and detectives questioned the lawyer who negotiated the sale. The trail led to an Israeli woman in Los Angeles named Nili Shamrat who police identified as the widow of Naaman Diller who was a notorious criminal in the 1960s and 1970s. When Israeli police and US officials arrived at her home to question her they found more stolen clocks. Shamrat then told the police that her husband who she had recently married confessed to her just before he died that he had committed the heist. He then advised his wife to try and sell his collection after his death.

Interesting Fact: The Marie Antoinette watch was actually self winding and was ordered in 1783 by one of her admirers and was to be made by the famous Swiss watchmakers Abraham Louis Breguet. The order specified that gold should be used wherever possible instead of other metals and to make it the most spectacular watch possible. The watch was finally finished in 1827, 34 years after Marie-Antoinette was guillotined and four years after Breguet’s death.

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Confessed to: faking the famous Loch Ness Monster photo

In 1934 a doctor named Robert Kenneth Wilson offered a picture to the Daily Mail newspaper. Wilson told the newspaper he noticed something moving in Loch Ness and stopped his car to take the photo. Wilson refused to have his name associated with it so the photo became known simply as “The Surgeon’s Photo.” For decades this photo was considered to be the best evidence of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. In 1994 at the age of 93 and near death Christian Spurling confessed that the surgeon’s photo taken 60 years ago was a hoax and the mastermind behind it was his Stepfather Marmaduke Wetherell.

In the early 1930s, sightings of the Loch Ness Monster became commonplace, so Spurling’s stepfather who was a big game hunter was hired by the Daily Mail newspaper to investigate. Wetherell found some huge tracks leading to the lake that he proudly displayed to the press. When the Natural History Museum investigated they quickly discovered that the footprints were a hoax. Wetherell was humiliated when the newspaper reported this and for being fooled by the prank. For revenge he asked his stepson Chris Spurling who was a professional model-maker to make something that would fool the public. Spurling started with a toy submarine and then added a long neck and small head. The finished product was about 45 cm long, and about 30 cm high. Wetherell then went down to the lake and took some pictures of the “monster”. To add respectability to the hoax he convinced Dr. Wilson whom he knew through a mutual friend to develop the photo and sell it to the Daily Mail.

Interesting Fact: This deathbed confession is often mistakenly attributed to Roger Patterson of big foot fame. (The Paterson Film) Paterson died of cancer in 1972 and in this case swore on his death bed that the footage was authentic and he had encountered and filmed a large bipedal animal unknown to science.

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Confessed to: the murder of her husband John Kelly

In 1991, after years of domestic violence, Geraldine Kelly shot and killed her husband and stored his body in a freezer at their home in Ventura, California. She told her young children that their father died in a car accident. Seven years later when she decided to move back home to Somerville Massachusetts she had the moving company move the freezer with the body inside and drive it across the country to a local storage facility in Somerville. In 2004, 13 years after the murder Kelly was gravely ill with breast cancer and confessed to her daughter that she had killed her father claiming he abused her for years and then told her where to find his body. Authorities investigated and found human remains in a locked, unplugged freezer in the storage room. The body was mummified but identified as John Kelly based on distinctive tattoos he was known to have including a panther, a Kewpie doll and a skull. The cause of death was a gunshot to the back of the head.

Interesting Fact: The District Attorney of Somerville said it wasn’t clear if Kelly wanted to unburden herself or if she wanted her children to know so if they found the body they wouldn’t be blamed for it.

Fritzmoen2

Confessed to: the murder of Torunn Finstad and Sigrid Heggheim

In 1978, Fritz Moen (pictured center above) was 36 when he was arrested for raping and killing 20-year-old Torunn Finstad in Trondheim, Norway. There was no physical or forensic evidence linking Moen to the crime and no witnesses saw him with Finstad. Moen was deaf with a severe speech impediment and an interpreter was needed for him to communicate effectively. Moen was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Several years later police claimed that Moen had confessed to the 1976 murder of 20-year-old Sigrid Heggheim. During the seven interrogations his confession came during the one time in which he did not have the benefit an interpreter. He was found guilty of this murder as well and sentenced to an additional 5 years in prison. In 1996 after spending 18 years in prison he was released and placed under preventative supervision.

During the next several years Moen’s attorneys tried desperately to clear his name. In 2004 he was acquitted for the murder of Sigrid Heggheim finding that reasonable doubt should have acquitted him in the first place. Then in December 2005 a convicted felon Tor Hepso confessed at a hospital one day before he died to three nurses and later to the police that he had murdered two women and mentioned the names Heggheim and Finstad. After Hepso’s deathbed confession was thoroughly investigated Moen was finally exonerated of the murder. Unfortunately Fritz Moen died of natural causes earlier that year in March and was not alive when he was declared completely innocent of the both crimes.

Interesting Fact: This case was publicly criticized as one of Norway’s most shameful miscarriages of justice. There is even talk of erecting a bust or statue of Moen in front of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice as a symbol of the responsibilities of the criminal justice system.

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Confessed to: the murder of Willie Edwards

I think most would agree that this confession was too little too late and another example of a miscarriage of justice. In 1957 the body of a 25 year old black man Willie Edwards was washed up on the shores of the Alabama River. Although there was much suspicion surrounding his death officials stated that decomposition made it impossible to determine the cause of death. In 1976, an aggressive attorney re-opened the Edwards case and four Klansmen were arrested including Henry Alexander. One of the men gave a sworn affidavit (in exchange for immunity). In the statement the man described how he and three other men beat and forced Willie Edwards to jump off the Tyler-Goodwin Bridge because he said something offensive to a white woman. Even with one of the men’s sworn testimony, Alabama Judge Frank Embry dismissed the charges because no cause of death was ever established. He concluded that “merely forcing a person to jump from a bridge does not naturally and probably lead to the death of such person.” In 1992, Henry Alexander now 63 was near death from lung cancer and decided to confess to his wife. He told her he had things bothering him and said Willie Edwards would not have died if he had not falsely identified him as the one who had offended the white woman. He then said he and the other Klansmen gave Mr. Edwards a choice to run or jump and didn’t think he would jump. He said. “If he’d a run, they would never have shot him.”

Interesting Fact: After her husband’s confession Mrs. Alexander wrote a letter of apology to Mr. Edwards’s widow. In the letter she writes “I hope maybe one day I can meet you to tell you face to face how sorry I am. May God bless you and your family and I pray that this letter helps you somehow.”

James Brewer

Confessed to: Killing his Neighbor Jimmy Carroll

In 1977 James Brewer was arrested in Tennessee on suspicion of killing his neighbor in a fit of jealous rage. Brewer jumped bail and fled to Oklahoma where he and his wife began a new life together under the names Michael and Dorothy Anderson. They became active members of the local church where his wife established a Bible study group. They also have a married daughter and are grandparents. In 2009, Brewer had a serious stroke and before dying he felt compelled to confess to the crime that had weighed on his conscience for over 3 decades. His wife then called the Police Department to the hospital saying her husband wanted to confess to a murder. Brewer confessed to his crime with the help of his wife who had to translate due to the effects of the stroke. The only problem with this deathbed confession is that fortunately or unfortunately for Mr. Brewer he didn’t die. When Brewer was released from the hospital he surrendered to Tennessee authorities and appeared in court with the same lawyer he had almost 32 years earlier when he jumped bail. The picture above shows Mr. & Mrs. Brewer after their arrest.

Interesting Fact: The Pastor of the church where Mrs. Brewer set up a Bible study group, said: “I don’t know what their former life was but I do know they were both dedicated to the Lord. They’ve been in their own prison for 30 years. I think they’ve done their time.”

Kromosquare-Gibson

Confessed to: the Murder of William Desmond Taylor

William Desmond Taylor was an actor and a top US film director of silent films in the early days of Hollywood. When Taylor was shot to death in 1922 it became one of Hollywood’s most famous scandals and mysteries. In 1964, 42 years after the murder a reclusive old woman living in the Hollywood hill was suffering from a heart attack and summoned her neighbor. With her recent conversion to Catholicism she asked for a priest to confess but when no Priest was available she began to make her confession to her neighbor. As she was dying on her kitchen floor she said she was a silent film actress by the name of Margaret Gibson and that she shot and killed a man named William Desmond Taylor. She is alleged to have been involved romantically with Taylor but a motive as to why she killed him was never mentioned. Taylor’s murder remains officially unsolved however the one thing that stands out is that Gibson had absolutely nothing to gain by her confession. Another revealing fact that should be mentioned is the neighbor that witnessed Gibson’s confession said his mother (who was a friend of Gibson’s) later said that when they were watching a TV piece on the Taylor murder she became hysterical and blurted out that she’d killed him.

Interesting Fact: In the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, the name Norma Desmond is a reference to both Taylor’s middle name and one of his actress friends Mabel Normand.

You can watch a silent movie called “The Kiss” Starring William Desmond Taylor and Margaret Gibson here.

Cover-Smith

Confessed to: the murders of Constance Smootz Hevener and Carolyn Hevener Perry

In 1967, 20-year-old Carolyn Hevener Perry and 19-year-old Constance Smootz Hevener were shot to death while working at an ice cream store in Staunton Virginia. Each had been shot once in the head at closing time and about $138 was stolen from the store. Over the years police worked the case but with no luck. Then in November 2008, police were led to Diane Crawford by new information revealed by a witness. When police went to question Crawford she was at the end-stages of heart failure and suffered from chronic kidney disease and decided to confess in detail to the murders that she committed over 40 years ago. On the night of the shooting, Crawford who was 19 at the time said she went to the store where she worked part time to tell the women she could not work the next day and ended up in a shoving match with them. Crawford then took out a .25 caliber pistol and shot the two women because they had made fun of her for being a lesbian. Perry was the first to be shot at near-point-blank range and when Hevener rushed to her aid Crawford shot her also from just a couple of inches away. She then took money from the store as she fled which led the police to think it was a robbery. Crawford died in January 2009, 2 months after confessing to the murders. The photo above shows Crawford in her 1966 high school year book picture and in her police mug shot.

Interesting Fact: Diane Crawford moved away after the killings for 20 years, got married and had two daughters. She then returned to Staunton without her husband and moved in with a woman and lived with her new partner until her death.

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Confessed to: stealing a Stradivarius violin from Bronis?aw Huberman

I put this at the number one spot not because of the severity of the crime but for the overall story surrounding this deathbed confession. In 1936 Polish virtuoso Hall Huberman was performing at Carnegie Hall and decided to switch the Stradivarius he was playing in the first half of his performance to his newly acquired Guarnerius violin. After the intermission the Stradivarius was stolen out of his dressing room by 20 year old Julian Altman who was a New York nightclub musician. Altman went on to become a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. and performed for Presidents and politicians with the stolen Stradivarius for many years. In 1985, 49 years after the theft, Julian Altman who was in prison for child molestation and gravely ill confessed to his wife that he had stolen the violin. He then instructed his wife where to find the Stradivarius at the couple’s home. Along with the Stradivarius she found newspaper clippings recounting the theft. It wasn’t until 1987 (2 years later) that his wife returned the Stradivarius to Lloyds of London in exchange for a $263,000 finder’s fee.

Interesting Fact: This violin is now called the Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius named after its two previous owners; George Alfred Gibson and Hall Huberman (No love for Altman I guess). It is now owned by violinist Joshua Bell who is pictured above playing the famous violin which he paid close to 4 million dollars for.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2009/09/29/top-10-fascinating-deathbed-confessions/

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10 Cool Car Facts http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/10-cool-car-facts/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/10-cool-car-facts/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:52:59 +0000 http://listverse.com/2014/01/14/10-cool-car-facts/ Prevent Identity Theft

The first automobile is generally considered to have been invented in 1886, making it just over 125 years old. And yet cars are among our most primal obsessions. Learning to drive is a profound rite of passage; sliding behind the wheel for the first time symbolic of freedom. Not surprisingly, the last 125 years have […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

The first automobile is generally considered to have been invented in 1886, making it just over 125 years old. And yet cars are among our most primal obsessions. Learning to drive is a profound rite of passage; sliding behind the wheel for the first time symbolic of freedom. Not surprisingly, the last 125 years have provided us with a great deal of awesome automobile trivia.

10Mr. Rogers’ Stolen Car

Rogers

If you believe everything you see in movies, you might assume that beautiful sports cars are the vehicles most likely to be targeted by thieves. In reality, the most common cars are also the ones most frequently swiped—particularly Honda’s Accord and Civic models. For the most part, stolen cars are not sold intact, but are taken to “chop shops” where they are dismantled. Honda’s wide circulation and relatively expensive parts make their cars an attractive target.

Unless it was picked up for a quick joyride and then dumped, the chances of recovering a stolen car are slim to none. However, your odds supposedly increase precipitously if you are a beloved children’s television personality. According to a probably apocryphal urban legend, none other than Mr. Rogers once had his car stolen. After the theft was reported on the news, the thieves returned the vehicle with a message: “Sorry, we didn’t know it was yours.”

9Driving Upside Down

formula one race car

The idea of a car driving upside down might seem preposterous, the kind of stunt seen in dumb action movies. However, science has assured us that it is indeed possible for a car to drive on the ceiling.

Race cars, specifically those used for Formula One racing, are designed with inverted wings. They work in the opposite fashion to aircraft wings—instead of generating lift, they generate downforce, which pushes the car down against the ground. While this might seem counterproductive in relation to achieving high speeds, the downforce has a practical use: It allows F1 cars to take corners at a velocity that would otherwise send them flying off the road.

All an F1 car would need to do to drive upside down is to generate a downforce equal to or greater than its own weight. But while the science is sound, there are some pretty big complications. Driving upside down would be extremely disorienting to the man behind the wheel. Moreover, the car’s engine and components are not currently designed to operate upside down.

8Cuba

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Movies set in Cuba often portray rows of pristine classic cars, chrome twinkling in the sunlight. You’d be forgiven for thinking Cubans have a love affair with vintage Detroit rolling iron, but the reality is a bit uglier. On October 19, 1960, the United States issued a trade embargo against Cuba. One of the embargo’s many effects was that new cars stopped rolling into the island nation. The Cuban government also cracked down on the purchase of cars; only those that were already on the island at the time of the embargo could be freely traded and sold amongst its citizens. All others who wished to buy a car had to secure special permission.

Beginning in early 2014, the Cuban government lifted the sanctions, allowing people to freely buy cars if they wished. While the United States continues to ban automobile exports to Cuba, manufacturers in other countries, such as France’s Peugeot, have no such restrictions. Unfortunately, the Cuban government has instituted staggering markups on the prices of these vehicles, to the point where a new car ranges from US$91,000 to $262,000. The average Cuban earns only about $240 a year, putting such expenditure so far out of reach as to be unimaginable.

And while there are some beautifully maintained 57 Chevys and the like rolling down the streets of Havana, the truth is that keeping almost 60-year-old cars in running order is a full time job. Most of Cuba’s vintage cars are dangerous (almost none have seat belts), oil-belching monstrosities held together with duct tape and prayers.

7Most Expensive Production Car

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When we think of expensive cars, names like Bentley and Rolls Royce come to mind. But you could buy more than 20 Bentleys for the price of the world’s most expensive automobile. The Lamborghini Veneno (Italian for “venom”) is a limited edition supercar that boasts staggering power—its 740 horsepower engine can produce a top speed of 355 kph (220.5 mph). According to the manufacturer, this lowslung beast can accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds.

But as we mentioned earlier, the privilege of owning the Veneno comes with a shocking price tag—the roadster goes for an astonishing $4.5 million. Of course, the Veneno is more about making a splash than making a profit. Lamborghini is only producing nine of the cars, which are sure to be squabbled over by all manner of oil-rich sheiks and tycoons of industry, the only kind of folks with pockets deep enough to afford them.

6Game Shows

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One of the loftiest prizes available to game show contestants is a brand new car—usually given to the show as a form of advertisement by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, winning a “free” car can be both a blessing and a curse, since the winner is still required to pay sales tax. In the United States, this rate varies from state to state, but can get very expensive.

This issue was brought to the forefront by a memorable 2004 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, when the entire audience, 276 people, received a Pontiac G-6 worth $28,500. A little math reveals the final price tag for the giveaway as at least $7.9 million. Of course, the billionaire Oprah could easily have afforded such a generous gift, but it was actually funded from Pontiac’s marketing budget. Each prizewinner was left with a tax bill of approximately $6,000.

Should you luck into winning a thirsty, high-horsepower sports car that devours gas at a higher rate than normal, you’ll also get slammed with a “gas guzzler” tax. The less fuel efficient the vehicle is, the higher the tax will be.

5The Lamborghini Story

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During WWII, Ferruccio Lamborghini was a young mechanic in Italy’s Royal Air Force. Following the war, the enterprising young man capitalized on all the spare military equipment lying about, converting it into farm tractors. Business took off and Lamborghini was soon a rich man, able to pursue his love of sports cars. His collection included Maseratis, Aston Martins, and Ferraris.

This latter brand caused Lamorghini considerable annoyance. He loved his Ferraris, but they had several mechanical issues. Particularly troublesome was the tendency for the clutch to burn out. Examining the problem, Lamorghini found them to be the same clutches he used to operate his tractors. He aired his grievances to Enzo Ferrari himself, who dismissed him out of hand as a simple tractor builder. Insulted, Lamorghini decided to make his own cars.

Automobili Lamborghini was formed in 1963 and began producing cars by the mid 60s. Most of these elite supercars were named after bulls, as Ferruccio was obsessed with the sport of bullfighting. Business declined in the 1970s, and Lamborghini sold off his interest in the company after the calamity of the 1973 oil crisis. Today, the brand is owned by the Volkswagen Group.

4Cozy Coupe

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If you’re under 40, you or one of your pals likely had a Cozy Coupe. Manufactured by American toymaker Little Tikes, these plastic, red-and-yellow cars have proven enormously popular since their introduction in 1979. Described a cross between a “Volkswagen Beetle and a Fred Flinstone car,” the Coupe is powered by a toddler’s own feet. For many years, the Cozy Coupe was the bestselling car in America, outselling such perennially popular models as the Ford F-Series pickup and the Honda Accord. In 2008 alone, a year before the car’s 30th anniversary, 457,000 Cozy Coupes were sold.

In recent years, the Coupe’s aging design has been revamped into a slightly more modern look, including a set of cartoon eyes in the front. Little Tikes has also unveiled a line of other riding toys, including airplanes, tricycles, and pickup trucks.

3Driverless Cars

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Driverless cars are one of the mainstays of science fiction, featured in films like I, Robot and Minority Report—not to mention 1980s television classic Knight Rider. There are currently quite a few projects to develop a driverless car, but perhaps the most promising is helmed by search engine giant Google, which has retrofitted at least 10 different vehicles to pilot themselves. The Google project has proven an enormous success—after logging over 300,000 miles on active roads, there have only been two incidents, one where the vehicle was being manually controlled by a human, and another where the vehicle was struck by another motorist.

The implications of this technology are astonishing. Car accidents, which claim the lives of tens of thousands of people each year in the United States alone, would be virtually eliminated by factoring out human error. No longer would drunken, elderly, or youthfully reckless drivers cause deaths. Sending a text message from behind the wheel would not be a potential fatality. Those afflicted by blindness or paralysis would likely be able to drive. As things stand, the future looks bright for autonomous cars, with several automakers expecting to roll out driverless models by 2020.

2Carjacking

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Carjackings are often vicious, deadly crimes that certainly deserve no celebration. The term itself was first used in 1991 in The Detroit News, reporting on the death of 22-year-old Ruth Wahl, who was murdered on the streets of the Motor City for refusing to give up her Suzuki.

Detroit has more than its fair share of carjackings, but the world’s capital for the crime is South Africa, where the rate of carjackings is about 18 times that of the US. To address the problem, the South African police have special units to deal with the crime. Confrontations often end in shootouts.

Several devices have been invented to allow motorists to defend their cars, the most notorious of which was the Blaster. Introduced in 1998, the Blaster was a petroleum gas flamethrower affixed to the car, which would ignite anyone who came within a few feet of your vehicle. The inventor, Charl Fourie, claimed that it probably wouldn’t kill someone, but probably would permanently blind them. Somehow perfectly legal, the Blaster ceased production a few years later, as its price limited sales. There are, however, plenty of these devices still in circulation, a fact which carjackers in Johannesburg are likely to learn the hard way.

1The Consequences Of 9/11

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The terrorist attacks on 9/11 had far-reaching social, political, and financial implications that are still being felt today. Not surprisingly, the four horrifying plane crashes put a great many people off the idea of air travel. Those that did hazard public transportation were chilled by the presence of National Guardsmen clutching automatic weapons. Instead, many people chose to drive. At the time, gasoline could be had cheaply—the average price per gallon in the United States was about $1.50.

One axiom often bandied about is that flying is the safest way to travel. When a plane crashes, the loss of life is catastrophic, but millions of flights go off without a hitch. MIT statistics professor Arnold Barnett reports that in the last five years, the risk of dying on a flight in the United States was one in 45 million. In other words, statistically speaking, you can fly every day for 123,000 years before encountering a crash.

Driving, by contrast, is far more deadly. Your chance of being killed in a car accident in a given year is one in 7,000—flying is more than 6,000 times safer. It has been estimated that the increase in driving in the year following 9/11 resulted in an extra 1,595 traffic fatalities, more than half the death toll of the original attack.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2014/01/14/10-cool-car-facts/

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10 Unsolved Mysteries From London http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/10-unsolved-mysteries-from-london/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/10-unsolved-mysteries-from-london/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:54:34 +0000 http://listverse.com/2013/12/30/10-unsolved-mysteries-from-london/ Prevent Identity Theft

A lot of dark and mysterious things have happened in the history of England’s iconic capital—Jack The Ripper, The London Monster, Dick van Dyke’s “Cockney” accent. It’s a city that’s been burned to the ground, blitzed, and then put back up again. The home of red buses and black cabs has a fair amount of […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

A lot of dark and mysterious things have happened in the history of England’s iconic capital—Jack The Ripper, The London Monster, Dick van Dyke’s “Cockney” accent. It’s a city that’s been burned to the ground, blitzed, and then put back up again. The home of red buses and black cabs has a fair amount of intrigue to offer. Here are 10 mysteries from London’s past and present that have yet to find answers.

10 The Murder Of Edmund Godfrey

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Edmund Berry Godfrey, an English magistrate, was found dead in 1678. Though three men were convicted of his murder and hanged, many historians believe they may have been entirely innocent.

The late 17th century was a time of great religious tension in England. King Charles II was on the throne but had no children. First in line was Charles’s brother James, the Duke of York. Yet Charles was Protestant, and James was Catholic. England’s Protestants weren’t keen on the idea of a Catholic taking power, so a man named Titus Oates forged a plan known as the Popish Plot. Oates claimed—falsely—to have evidence that Catholics were planning to assassinate Charles in order to bring James into power.

Godfrey was dragged into the affair when Oates presented him with this “evidence.” Godfrey was a poor choice, as he had some Catholic sympathy and so failed to do much about the accusation. Yet the strain of dealing with the case caused him to have a breakdown at the start of October 1678. He disappeared on October 12 that year, reportedly a very unhappy man.

Godfrey was found on October 17, strangled in a ditch. His own sword was sticking out of his back. A silversmith named Miles Prance claimed he’d witnessed Godfrey being strangled under the watch of Catholic priests—this was a claim many were happy to use to their political advantage. Prance later admitted to lying, and many had doubted him in the first place.

In 1682, three men were tried for libel for suggesting that Godfrey had committed suicide. That put anyone off talking about the issue until 1685, when King Charles died and James took power. James ordered another investigation, and suicide became the official story.

Subsequent historians have suggested Titus Oates and his co-conspirators may have killed Godfrey themselves. One person unrelated to the conspiracies, the Earl of Pembroke, has been suggested as a possible culprit. Pembroke was a violent aristocrat that Godfrey had convicted of murder, a conviction the House of Lords later overturned. Truly, no one knows for certain, and this one’s going to remain forever unsolved.

9 The Cheapside Hoard

On June 18, 1812, a group of laborers were demolishing a tenement building in the center of London. They were in for a surprise—a few feet below the brickwork, they found a huge collection of buried treasure. It included large amounts of jewelry crafted with gemstones from around the world, including rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. The pieces were intricate and varied—the emerald items alone included a carving of a parrot, bunches of grapes, a lizard, and a completely unique carving of a clock. In total there were 500 items, making the collection easily the most significant find of its type. Yet no one knows who it belonged to or why it was left there.

The hoard has been dated to the middle of the 17th century, perhaps during the English Civil War. At that time, the area was home to a number of jewelers and goldsmiths, and it’s entirely possible one of them buried the goods for safekeeping while he went off to fight, then never made it back. Shortly afterwards, the Great Fire of London came along and destroyed everything but the cellar.

The workers that found the items took them, still covered in mud and dirt, to a jewelry dealer known as Stony Jack. Jack had made it known to the laborers of London that he was more than happy to take a look at anything they dug up. He bought the pieces for a tidy sum and negotiated in secret to give them to the newly opened London Museum. The treasures continue to be shown today. The curators in charge of the collection hope that historians from around the world can help figure out where the gems came from and who was forced to leave them behind.

8 The St. Pancras Walrus

03

“Who is the walrus?” is no longer just a question of interest to Beatles fans.

Archaeologists in London were excavating the graveyard of St. Pancras Old Church this past July, in preparation for the construction of a rail terminal. The area had been used for mass graves during the first half of the 19th century. A number of epidemics meant 44,000 bodies were buried there from 1822 to 1854, yet the contents of one coffin were particularly unusual.

Scientists opened up the coffin to find the remains of eight people—and a walrus. No one knows how the sizable beast got to London. Historians think it was likely dissected by medical students, yet there are no records of such a large and exotic animal in the city at the time. Given that it would have needed to have been shipped from the Arctic, and the specimen was 4 meters (13 ft) long, it’s surprising that it didn’t make a stir. To most people around at that time, walruses were essentially sea monsters.

7 Who Owns Witanhurst Mansion?

04

The most modern mystery on this list involves Witanhurst Mansion, which is the second largest home in London after Buckingham Palace. While we know who owns the Queen’s residence (it’s our shape-shifting lizard overlords), no one has any idea which lucky person is in possession of number two.

The 65-bedroom mansion was purchased for 50 million pounds (a little over $80 million) back in 2008. Yet the purchase was made by an offshore company, Safran Holdings, and the owners of that organization are a closely guarded secret. Whoever the owners are, they have since almost doubled the size of the building. Underground, they’re building a 20 meter (70ft) swimming pool, a spa, a cinema, and a parking lot with 24 spaces. Their expenditure on building work has cost as much as they paid for the place.

One person that isn’t the owner is Russia’s richest woman, Elena Baturina. She successfully sued British newspaper the Sunday Times for libel when they suggested she was the one splashing out. Butarina claimed the “blatant lie” caused a backlash in the press in her home country. We’d like to make it absolutely clear we make no claims whatsoever as to what she may or may not have purchased with her payout from the suit.

6 The Abduction Of Elizabeth Canning

05
While relatively few people nowadays have heard of Elizabeth Canning, she was one of the most famous people in the whole United Kingdom back in 1753. Her tale begins on the first of January that year—Canning, who was working as a maidservant, disappeared for four weeks. Her story, and whether or not she was telling the truth, ultimately divided the nation.

Canning claimed a couple of thugs had abducted her and carried her out of London to a brothel in Enfield, a town just outside the capital (which is today part of the Borough of London). The owners of the establishment had tried to force her into prostitution and locked her in an attic when she refused. They stole her corset and fed her stale bread, until she was able to escape through a window on January 29.

When Canning returned to share her story, a mob led by Canning’s employer descended upon the place of her alleged imprisonment. Police soon arrested Mother Wells, the madam of the brothel, and her gypsy accomplice Mary Squires. Henry Fielding, a magistrate now famous for his novels, acquired convictions for them both. Wells was branded, and Squires was sentenced to hang for her theft of Canning’s corset.

The Lord Mayor of London, Sir Crisp Gascoyne, heard about the case and thought something wasn’t right. Squires had a number of reliable alibis suggesting she was in a completely different part of England at the time of her alleged crimes. Gascoyne called on King George II to intervene, and Squires’s conviction was quashed. This angered a large swath of the public, and the entire case became a point of debate.

Pamphlets on both sides of the argument were published. People wrote poems and gave talks. Even France’s Enlightenment hero Voltaire weighed in. Those against Canning suggested she’d gone into hiding to have an abortion or an illegitimate child, and concocted her abduction to avoid the shame. She was tried for and convicted of perjury, and sentenced to seven years in America. She never came back, and died in 1773.

The truth of the matter has yet to be resolved, and it’s captivated many academics since. It seems impossible to be certain how much of her story is true, if any, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence for her being anywhere else during the month she was missing.

5 The Natural History Museum Mystery Bug

06

London’s Natural History Museum has 28 million bugs on record, so when museum entomologist Max Barclay found one hanging around in the building’s grounds, he decided to check what it was. It turned out to be a mystery—there was no record of where the insect had come from or what it was. The creature’s closest relative was American, the box elder bug, though a similar specimen had also been found on the Mediterranean coast of France.

“I was surprised to be confronted by an unidentifiable species while having a sandwich in the museum’s garden,” Barclay said. He suggested two explanations, that it may be a similar species called roeselii that’s started feasting on a different type of tree, or it might not be roeselii. We suppose two options covers all bases, at least.

4 The Beast Of Sydenham

07
The wildlife of England doesn’t offer much in the way of danger to its residents. The bears and wolves are long gone, and it’s much too cold for alligators. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that sightings of large, toothy creatures create a stir. One such example is the Sydenham beast, a large black cat said to stalk the suburb from which it gets its name.

The Sydenham beast was first encountered in 2005 by resident Tony Holder. In the early hours of March 22 he was out looking for his (smaller) cat, named KitKat, when he came under attack. A 1.5 meter (5 ft) long animal pounced on him, pinning him to the ground. It ran off before doing any serious damage, and Mr. Holder was treated for scratches by ambulance crew. A police team armed with tranquilizer guns scoured the area in search of the beast, but without success.

While sightings of fantastical creatures are often met with understandable skepticism, the police took the issue seriously. After all, large black cats do exist. Officers made visits to schools to offer safety advice to youngsters, telling them to avoid wooded areas and dark alleyways. The police said they’d had a report of a similar creature in south London in 2002. The last reported sighting was in 2009, when a jogger claimed he’d been chased by the cat.

3 The Origin Of The London Stone

08

The London Stone, also known as the Stone of Brutus, is an unassuming piece of history. It’s located at 111 Cannon Street in London, behind a grate in the wall of a disused office building. You can see its resting place on Google Street View, directly underneath a “Shop To Let” sign. It’s an extremely understated home for an object that folklore deems to be necessary to London’s very survival.

The stone has been in London for thousands of years. Legend says it used to form part of an altar built by Brutus the Trojan, mythical founder of the city. Poet William Blake portrayed it as a site of pagan sacrifice. Sir Christopher Wren suggested it may have been used by the Romans as the starting point for measuring distances from London, as it was located in the center of the city. It’s been mentioned by Shakespeare and Dickens. A proverb about the stone says “So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish.”

It’s been moved many times, and survived disasters including the Great Fire and the Blitz. Until recently, it was under the charge of Chris Cheek, who happened to run the sports shop in 111 Cannon Street’s lower floor. The best view of the stone was from inside the shop, through a glass window just below the cricket equipment. This was arguable quite fitting because understatement and cricket are about as English as anything can be.

As the To Let sign from Google Maps indicates, that shop is no longer open. The future of the stone is uncertain, and it may well be moved to a museum, at least temporarily. The building is due for demolition, so it can’t stay where it is. Chris Cheek thinks the mystery of the stone’s origin is part of its appeal, saying “If it doesn’t have a beginning, then perhaps it doesn’t have an end either.”

2 The Hanging Of Roberto Calvi

09
During his life, Roberto Calvi was nicknamed “God’s banker” due to his work with the Vatican. Yet he is best known for the manner of his death—he was found hanging from Blakcfriars Bridge in the heart of London on June 18, 1982. He had five bricks in his pockets, along with $14,000 worth of cash in three currencies. Leading up to his death Calvi had been accused of stealing money from the mafia, making the whole situation sound like the set-up of a crime thriller (probably starring Jason Statham).

That July, a jury at an inquest declared the hanging a suicide. Not everyone was convinced, and a second inquest took place in 1983—it declared an open verdict. In 2002, a group of forensic investigators appointed by Italian judges concluded that Calvi had been murdered and hung from the bridge after his death. An American Archbishop was sought for questioning, but his position as a Vatican employee granted him immunity. Five people were put on trial in Italy in 2005, but all were acquitted in 2007.

Francesco Di Carlo, a former mob boss. was linked with the killing, though he wasn’t one of the people that stood trial. Di Carlo thinks the murder will never be solved because those involved have too much power. “They are made up of a mixture of politicians, bank presidents, the military, top security. and so on,” he says. Calvi’s son continues to pursue the truth and claims to have spent nearly $25 million on lawyers and private investigators. Yet even with his efforts, the mystery won’t be solved soon, if ever.

1 The Pimlico Poisoning

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On the January 1, 1886, Thomas Edwin Bartlett was found dead at his home in Pimlico in the center of London. He had been ill for some time, but when doctors performed a post-mortem, they discovered a large quantity of chloroform in his stomach and intestines. They declared this the cause of his death, and blame fell on his wife Adelaide Bartlett.

There was a fair amount of circumstantial evidence against Adelaide. Her tutor (and probable lover) George Dyson confirmed that he had bought chloroform from a chemist on Adelaide’s behalf. She had admitted her intention to us the chemical to knock out her husband should he try to claim his “marital rights.” Adelaide apparently avoided sex due to her husband’s mental instability and the horrendous stink from his chronic gum disease.

The case went to trial and she was acquitted. The jury believed that no convincing case had been made about how she might have been able to murder her husband. There were no burns to his throat, which would’ve been inevitable had he been forced to swallow. After the trial, famed doctor Sir James Paget said, “Now that she has been acquitted for murder and cannot be tried again, she should tell us in the interest of science how she did it!”

History is silent on what became of Adelaide after the trial, and the passage of time has also failed to solve the mystery of how Thomas Bartlett met his fate.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2013/12/30/10-unsolved-mysteries-from-london/

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How to protect yourself from identity theft http://personalidtheft.com/videos/how-to-protect-yourself-from-identity-theft-3/ http://personalidtheft.com/videos/how-to-protect-yourself-from-identity-theft-3/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:55:03 +0000 http://personalidtheft.com/?p=6005 Prevent Identity Theft

Find out how to fight identity theft, and avoid becoming a victim. Learn more about Everyday Banking

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Prevent Identity Theft

Find out how to fight identity theft, and avoid becoming a victim.

Learn more about Everyday Banking

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Here’s What It Means If You Find A Coin In Your Door Handle http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/heres-what-it-means-if-you-find-a-coin-in-your-door-handle/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/heres-what-it-means-if-you-find-a-coin-in-your-door-handle/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:51:06 +0000 http://damn.com/heres-means-find-coin-door-handle/ Prevent Identity Theft

“One of life’s unfortunate realities is that when it comes to innovation, thieves are among the best at staying ahead of the game. For every method we find to thwart them, they find some way to get around it. The funny thing is that it’s not always something that’s on the cutting edge of technology […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

“One of life’s unfortunate realities is that when it comes to innovation, thieves are among the best at staying ahead of the game.

For every method we find to thwart them, they find some way to get around it. The funny thing is that it’s not always something that’s on the cutting edge of technology – some of the most devious criminal techniques are remarkably low-tech.

You wouldn’t think a humble coin could be a tool for car theft, but that’s exactly what seems to be the case apparently. Thieves jam a coin into your car’s passenger door handle and then follow you home. When you lock up your car, the coin prevents the passenger-side locking mechanism from locking properly and gives the thief access to your car.

Luckily, thisis fairly simple to prevent – simply make sure to do a quick routine check on all your doors whenever you get into your car. If you do happen to find a coin, remove it and contact authorities.”

Don’t forget to SHARE this vital information with your friendsand family.

Written byBy Archit Tripathiviawimp

Read more: http://damn.com/heres-means-find-coin-door-handle/

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ISIS Releases Latest Hostage Video To Introduce New Series Criticizing Western Media http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/isis-releases-latest-hostage-video-to-introduce-new-series-criticizing-western-media/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/isis-releases-latest-hostage-video-to-introduce-new-series-criticizing-western-media/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 06:53:05 +0000 http://elitedaily.com/news/world/isis-releases-hostage-series-video/762945/ Prevent Identity Theft

The Islamic State has released a video of captured British journalist John Cantlie, the first in a series to feature Cantlie explaining how the Western media distorts the truth about the chaos in Iraq and Syria. The video begins with Cantlie, captured in Syria in October of 2012, declaring that he may be saying what […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

John-Cantlie-ShowJohn-Cantlie-Show

The Islamic State has released a video of captured British journalist John Cantlie, the first in a series to feature Cantlie explaining how the Western media distorts the truth about the chaos in Iraq and Syria.

The video begins with Cantlie, captured in Syria in October of 2012, declaring that he may be saying what he’s about to say because he is threatened with execution, but the information consists of only verifiable facts.

He then says that more videos will be released revealing why the Western allies are so anxious to get involved in another war in the Middle East, and how some of the news sources he used to work for are manipulating the public to support a pointless conflict.

Cantlie says,

There is time to change this seemingly inevitable sequence of events, but only if you, the public, act now. Join me for the next programs and I think you might be surprised at what you learn.

The video comes in the wake of Islamic State putting out a fake movie trailer for “Flames of War,” containing real combat footage edited like an action blockbuster, and ISIS supporters allegedly releasing another threat stylized like Grant Theft Auto V.

via BreitBart

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/world/isis-releases-hostage-series-video/762945/

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24 Reasons Mayonnaise Is The Devil’s Condiment http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/24-reasons-mayonnaise-is-the-devils-condiment/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/24-reasons-mayonnaise-is-the-devils-condiment/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:53:07 +0000 http://buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/reasons-mayonnaise-is-gross-the-devils-condiment Prevent Identity Theft

View this image › Twitter: @dmbestor Too long have the citizenry of this nation stayed silent in the face of an insidious, nefarious power. Too long have we suffered soggy, slimy sandwiches in silence; choked down gelatinous egg salads; stood idly by while innocent fries drown under a flood of pallid, flavorless fat-goo. That’s right, […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

Too long have the citizenry of this nation stayed silent in the face of an insidious, nefarious power. Too long have we suffered soggy, slimy sandwiches in silence; choked down gelatinous egg salads; stood idly by while innocent fries drown under a flood of pallid, flavorless fat-goo. That’s right, I’m talking about BIG MAYO. And until the rest of the world is talking about it too, I will not rest.

Here’s a little wakeup call for all the mayonnaise apologists out there. I only pray that you may see the error of your ways before it’s too late.

1. Mayonnaise is made out of oil and uncooked* egg yolks. It’s essentially raw, greasy eggs.

Although! For the record! Homemade mayonnaise and/or aioli is far, far superior to the store-bought kind — often palatable, occasionally delicious.

*mass producers of mayo pasteurize the eggs first, which is why mayo is eerily shelf-stable

2. Mayo is the sandwich-killer.

3. It has ruined countless tuna salads throughout history.

And this is why you should never eat at Subway, son.

4. Mayo destroyed an entire generation of American dinners.

Carve me another slab of corned beef and cabbage mousse, Mom!

5. It makes a huge, slimy mess of every situation.

Go home, mayo, you’re drunk.

6. When people put mayo on fries it’s like they think I won’t notice that it’s just nasty, bleached-out fake ketchup.

You can’t fool me.

7. It constantly has to reassure you that it’s “REAL.”

Seems legit.

8. You shouldn’t want to eat anything that comes in this container.

Oh, great, “heavy duty.” Just the way I like it.

9. What a dumb name. Who even knows what “mayonnaise” means?

10. Mayo is an attention-seeking brat, constantly popping up in places where it Should Not Be.

11. Like, really should not be.

12. GET OFF MY PIZZA.

13. Squeeze bottles of mayo are the grossest thing on earth.

They make jars look downright appealing.

14. Look at that squeezed-out mayo. It looks like WORMS.

UGHGHGHGHHG

15. Mayo fuels the most obnoxious kind of gentrification.

This place is two blocks from my apartment. It’s never open except sometimes for like two hours on Saturdays, during which time NO ONE goes in to buy mayo (for obvious reasons), which leads me to believe that it’s some kind of hipster mafia front.

16. And it always tries to monopolize Ryan Gosling.

Step aside, girlfriend.

17. It’s basically just an instrument of torture.

18. For example, this is the worst thing you can do to another human being.

20. It makes people behave like animals.

21. It encourages theft.

22. And for what? It doesn’t even have any meat in it.

23. Seriously, this stuff is Pure Evil.

24. There are tons of other things you can put on a sandwich that are healthier and taste better.

Like, basically ANYTHING that comes in spreadable form is preferable.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/reasons-mayonnaise-is-gross-the-devils-condiment

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How A One-Time Pig Peddler Helped The U.S. Flood War Zones With Guns http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/how-a-one-time-pig-peddler-helped-the-u-s-flood-war-zones-with-guns-2/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/how-a-one-time-pig-peddler-helped-the-u-s-flood-war-zones-with-guns-2/#respond Tue, 13 Jun 2017 06:53:08 +0000 http://buzzfeed.com/aramroston/how-a-one-time-pig-peddler-helped-the-us-flood-war-zones-wit Prevent Identity Theft

The U.S. government is one of the world’s biggest buyers of AK-47s and other Soviet bloc weapons, which it has poured into Afghanistan, Iraq, and other hot spots. An exclusive look at a strange string of U.S.-backed arms deals. View this image › BuzzFeed The Sheraton hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria, is a neoclassical colossus built […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

The U.S. government is one of the world’s biggest buyers of AK-47s and other Soviet bloc weapons, which it has poured into Afghanistan, Iraq, and other hot spots. An exclusive look at a strange string of U.S.-backed arms deals.

View this image ›

BuzzFeed

The Sheraton hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria, is a neoclassical colossus built during the Soviet era. The rear end of the building butts up on a 4th-century church and mossy Roman ruins, and it dwarfs the country’s adjoining presidential palace. Inside the hotel, a dark-eyed woman in a pantsuit invites guests to the erotic nightclub in the hotel basement. Skip the strip club, and there’s a hotel bar with a spacious lounge, where carpeting absorbs sound, and marble pillars reflect the light of the massive crystal chandeliers.

It is here that a short, heavyset, American arms dealer visiting from Fresno, Calif., held his business meetings. Bulgarian weapons dealers said that this man — 53-year-old Ara Dolarian — was likable and garrulous. He was often there on behalf of the U.S. government or its allies, shopping for weapons destined for America’s most difficult and dangerous foreign-policy tangles, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

From 2006 until last year, Dolarian managed to get contracts affiliated with the U.S. government that ranged from less than $20,000 to $14 million.

One $588,000 Dolarian deal last year was for an operation still shrouded in secrecy. American commandos wanted dozens of Kalashnikov rifles, a handful of the massive, Soviet bloc machine guns nicknamed Dushkas to mount on trucks, some rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition — a standard package for a foreign quick-reaction force that the U.S. could train and deploy, according to special forces veterans who perused the shopping list for BuzzFeed.

It isn’t clear what group the U.S. intended to arm with this contract, parts of which are apparently classified, though the timing fit with secret U.S. training programs for Syrian rebel forces. Intelligence agencies and the military declined to comment.

They also declined to comment on whether they knew certain pertinent facts about Dolarian: When his company landed the subcontract to buy these weapons, he was the subject of a federal criminal grand jury investigation for possibly violating U.S. arms-dealing laws and had been found by a civil court in California to have defrauded investors there.

Dolarian’s tale highlights how the U.S. relies on small but important defense-contracting bottom fish to arm some of the world’s most violent and unstable military forces.

View this image ›

BuzzFeed

The U.S. is famously the largest arms exporter in the world. Less well-known is that America also purchases massive amounts of foreign-made weapons, most of them manufactured in the former Soviet bloc. In an effort to build up and train friendly security services, the U.S. saturates some the most violent regions of the world with these arms but has little control over who ultimately gets them.

The Pentagon or U.S. intelligence agencies often issue contracts themselves for these weapons. But other times, American tax dollars go through a proxy, such as an Afghan government agency, which issues the contract but which is heavily funded and guided by the U.S. Dolarian was involved in both types of contracts.

While most coverage of the weapons trade tracks the multibillion-dollar deals in fighter jets, strategic missiles, or radar systems, most killing in modern wars is done with cheap rifles, machine guns, mortars, and other small arms.

Over the last decade, the U.S. has sent more than 700,000 weapons — the vast majority foreign-made small arms — to Afghanistan, where President Barack Obama has staked his strategy on training and arming the army and police. Likewise, in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, the U.S. disbanded the security forces only to rebuild and rearm new ones for eight years, sending over a million weapons by some estimates. The majority of these were Russian-designed small arms.

These are the types of arms that Dolarian, a man the state of California banned from selling certain financial securities, was given U.S. tax dollars to purchase.

This line of work has seen its share of scandal. In 2007, the Pentagon awarded a $300 million contract for Warsaw Pact ammunition to a company run by a 21-year-old Miami man, Efraim Diveroli, who had limited experience in the arms trade. The story of Diveroli, later convicted of fraud after his company sent decades-old, flawed ammunition to Afghanistan, is set to be made into Hollywood movie called Arms and the Dudes. Since that fiasco, the government has tried to use well-known, established defense contractors to equip Afghanistan’s forces, and procure this type of weaponry. But as the Dolarian tale shows, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Details about Dolarian’s career as an arms dealer were culled from court records, interviews, and documents. In response to a detailed letter laying out the contents of this article, Dolarian’s lawyer, Myron Smith, wrote, “I do not intend to provide a point by point response. Needless to say, I believe some of the information is inaccurate and some is false.”

Dolarian himself declined repeated requests for an interview. But in one brief phone conversation he made it clear that he sees the weapons business as nothing special: “The arms trade,” he said, “is no different than any commodity.”

Indeed, before he dealt in arms, Dolarian dealt in another commodity: pigs.

View this image ›

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Dolarian was a financier based in Fresno, where he arranged investments for a variety of ventures. In 2001, a livestock business he had invested in started to founder. The company was supposed to supply 450 young pigs a week to a Northern California slaughterhouse catering to the Chinese-American community. But the company, run by a farmer who had agreed to provide the pigs, often failed to fulfill the weekly order. Dolarian’s company at the time, Dolarian Business Group, took over the contract, buying and delivering the pigs, according to court records.

“At the start of the contract, the quality of the pigs shipped was good,” a California state appellate judge would write years later, “but quality began to decline. Many of the pigs were overweight and blemished. Some arrived dead; others were condemned upon arrival as unfit for human consumption.”

In 2001 and 2002 in a separate pig-processing effort, according to court records, Dolarian encouraged a dentist named Dennis Shamlian to invest $190,000 in a company he controlled, Golden State Meat Products. Shamlian’s then-73- year-old mother, Roxie Shamlian, pulled $100,000 out of her savings account to invest with Dolarian.

The two didn’t get paid back, and by 2004 the case had worked its way through a California state civil court in Fresno, where a superior court judge ruled that Dolarian had committed “fraud and deceit upon his investors and creditors.”

Reached for a brief interview in July, Smith, Dolarian’s lawyer, said that there was no fraud and that Dolarian did not pocket money in the deal. He said it was just an honest investment that went bad and that borrowers who owed Dolarian money didn’t pay it back.

In his letter to BuzzFeed, Smith noted that the pig deals happened more than 10 years ago and said, “I believe that the purpose of using this old information is to cast my clients in a false light and cause the reader of the article to conclude that my clients are ‘bad’ people.”

In 2005, the state of California ordered Dolarian to “desist and refrain” from selling certain “unqualified” financial securities. The state found that “Dolarian and/or Dolarian Business Group” had not informed investors that Dolarian was the chief financial officer of one of the companies investors had loaned money to. The state also found that investors had not been paid what they were promised.

Dolarian’s lawyer wrote that the state’s order came “two years after Business Group ceased ANY business.”

It was in the mid-2000s, when the U.S. occupation of Iraq was bleeding billions, that Dolarian saw how lucrative government contracting could be, according to a former business associate of his who spoke on condition of anonymity. Under President George W. Bush, the Coalition Provisional Authority, which then oversaw Iraq, was issuing huge contracts.

View this image ›

BuzzFeed

“They were throwing money at anyone,” said the former associate of Dolarian, who watched his transformation.

The first arms deal Dolarian’s company did directly with the U.S. government came in 2006 with the Air Force, contracting records show. He delivered 30,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, plus 100,000 rounds of blank ammunition, presumably for training. The total price was just $18,000.

And then he solicited business around the world. The Dolarian name showed up bidding for a mortar contract in the Philippines, according to The Philippine Star. A 2008 WikiLeaks cable makes a reference to Dolarian pursuing business as part of a trade delegation to South Sudan.

Dolarian quipped recently that he was self-taught in the arms business, joking that there weren’t apprenticeships or vocational schools. “I don’t believe those types of programs are available in the industry,” he said, wryly.

The former associate of his said, “He’s a really great talker. If you had one shot to get a deal done, and you could control him, you could send Dolarian. The guy knows how to get it done: when to pause; when not to pause; when to be quiet.”

In early 2010, according to the former Dolarian associate, money was tight. But then, one Thursday morning in March, Dolarian got an email. “Good morning,” said the email. “[Do] you have PKMs available in Bulgaria?” A PKM is a heavy-duty, Russian-style machine gun.

The email was from a major U.S. private security company called SOC, LLC, looking for Soviet bloc arms it could use in Iraq and Afghanistan to arm its guards. Like the more famous company Blackwater, SOC sent highly trained veteran soldiers to protect State Department officials around the world. It had a piece of a giant State Department contract called Worldwide Personal Protective Services. On top of that, two sources say, SOC had contracts in Afghanistan, where it protected CIA officers on undercover assignments, operating as bodyguards for the spies. SOC declined to comment for this story.

“These goods are now ready for dispatch,” Dolarian emailed back, “pending licensing from both the United States and the Bulgaria. (sic)”

That email exchange, legal records show, blossomed into a contract with SOC worth $1,063,328 for guns from Bulgaria, to be shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan. SOC’s contracts were with the U.S. government; Dolarian was a subcontractor. Records from a case in U.S. district court in Fresno say he got a deposit of $531,664. The deal included at least a thousand AK-47s and 75 heavy machine guns, and over a million rounds of ammunition. In transactions such as this one, Dolarian, like most weapons dealers, would buy the weapons as inexpensively as possible to maximize his profit.

And these purchases of firepower were laid out on a banal invoice, as if it were the most normal thing in the world for one American company to buy from another American company enough Warsaw Pact weapons to arm an infantry battalion.

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Then things got even better for Dolarian’s business, with a far larger deal to ship guns to Afghanistan’s government. In August 2010, documents show, Dolarian Capital became a subcontractor to an arms dealing company called Turi Defense Group, to ship $14 million worth of weapons to the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security, the intelligence service that was heavily mentored and funded by the CIA.

Turi’s contract was with the NDS, but one source with knowledge of the deal said that the funding, as with much of Afghanistan’s budget, came from the U.S. And the U.S. embassy in Bulgaria would end up facilitating the arms purchase. Turi Defense declined to comment, as did the NDS and the CIA.

On this deal, Dolarian’s subcontract called for him to procure weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, ammunition, pistols, heavy machine guns, and sniper rifles, and it put him at the heart of President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy: a surge that would build up Afghan security forces to fight the Taliban. He had graduated, in just a decade, from selling pigs to selling guns.

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Several months after signing the Afghan deal, Dolarian Capital spent $1.2 million to buy a 3,000-square-foot home for Dolarian and his family, according to corporate records. “It is necessary,” according to a resolution of the board, “for the Corporation to provide to the President of Dolarian Capital Inc. a residence that provides a high level of security to the President and his family.” Dolarian himself signed the resolution to buy the estate.

Dolarian’s lawyer, in his letter to BuzzFeed, objected to an “implication” that “my client improperly took money from the Turi contract and used it personally. Such implication is actionable.”

In any event, to start getting the weapons, Dolarian headed out to Bulgaria.

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The tour books call the expansive farmland around the ancient, central Bulgarian town of Kazanlak the Valley of Roses. Locals call it, more accurately, the Valley of Guns and Roses. Roses, because for centuries farmers have cultivated the fragrant pink damask rose here, to press it into rose oil. Guns, because this is where the arms manufacturer called Arsenal 2000 is based. It’s been an institution here since the days when the Russians helped break the back of the Ottoman Empire in the 1870s.

Spread over 4 square miles, Arsenal’s factory grounds are carefully guarded. Inside, the roads are shaded with trees that give it the feeling of a college campus. A 25-foot stone statue of a bearded Friedrich Engels, in the socialist realism style, still towers near the entrance.

Inside a company museum there’s a world map studded with pins to show where Arsenal’s guns have been sold — every continent except Antarctica, dozens of countries.

And in the marble showroom the goods are all on display for buyers who come from around the world to do deals. There are submachine guns called Shipkas, and huge ZU 23 fully automatic anti-aircraft guns that fire shells as big as dildos. Mortars for infantrymen, and thermobaric explosives that can kill anyone hiding in enclosed spaces, just from the blast waves. There are shoulder-mounted, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and even grenade launchers with revolving barrels, that look like some kind of space-age commando weapon.

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BuzzFeed

But what Arsenal is best known for is its production of the ubiquitous Kalashnikov rifle, the legendary AK. It has manufactured 2 million of these assault rifles. And they are some of the most rugged, long-lasting, finely machined AKs ever deployed, arms dealers say. Guns & Ammo magazine this January put one of the newer Arsenal models — built for the U.S. civilian market — on the cover, with the words “The Best AK Around?”

“Bulgaria, after Russia, has the best quality of AK 47,” said one veteran American arms dealer, “but also the most expensive.”

Dolarian was one of Arsenal’s recent customers. For the Afghan intelligence service, he ordered 500 PKMs. Hristo Ibouchev, Arsenal’s executive director, remembered Dolarian well: “Likable guy. He could pass for a very good businessman.”

“He knows how to talk,” another Bulgarian arms dealer, sitting in the Sheraton lounge, said admiringly.

Ibouchev, who attended an elite MBA program in New York, Paris, and London, refers to his guns and ammunition as “goods.” He said Dolarian made a down payment and was supposed to pay the rest. “As soon as we finished manufacturing, we said, ‘Sir, we are ready. Send the rest of your money and you can take your goods!’”

And that’s where things went bad, because, Ibouchev said, Dolarian didn’t send the rest of the money.

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For American arms dealers like Dolarian, Bulgaria has become an unusually good place to buy large quantities of Soviet bloc guns and ammunition. Bulgaria is politically friendly to the U.S. It is part of NATO and is also a member of the European Union. But its GDP per capita is about $7,000, according to the World Bank, about the same as Botswana, meaning the country needs the business.

Arms dealing is practically in the blood here. “During the cold war, Bulgaria’s arms industry was the cornerstone of the national economy,” wrote Human Rights Watch. In 1998, the New York Times reported that “this Balkan country has become the arms bazaar for rebels and terrorist organizations of every political, ethnic and religious persuasion.”

Organized crime is endemic in Bulgaria. A 2012 European Commission report noted that police consider the problem in Bulgaria “unique,” and said organized crime gangs “exercise a considerable influence over economic activities in the country.” An American official familiar with Bulgaria’s weapons industry said he’s convinced that some arms dealers in Bulgaria are connected to organized crime.

Today, Bulgaria remains one of the world’s breadbaskets for assault rifles, having exported 221,000 over the last eight years, according to the website for the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. That’s an average of 27,000 guns per year, more than any other country listed on the website, except England. (The United States does not provide the U.N. with statistics about its small arms exports and imports.)

In April 2003, Bulgarian troops participated in what President Bush called the “coalition of the willing,” joining in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. That October, Bulgaria’s government announced that Arsenal, in the Valley of the Roses, had won a contract to supply the new Iraqi army with new assault rifles.

It was the start of a vast race to supply Iraqi forces. Arms dealers on behalf of the U.S. scoured Eastern Europe to buy guns and ammunition for Iraqi and Afghan forces. CJ Chivers, in his 2011 history of the AK-47 rifle, The Gun, wrote: “The U.S. military, since 2001, became one of the largest known purchasers of Kalashnikov assault rifles.”

“When the U.S. got involved with these huge purchases,” said Ibouchev, whose company benefited, “this was a immense opportunity. Many people became millionaires from that. I know people who did.”

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BuzzFeed

Eastern Europe was key, in part because of the high quality of its guns. “There is a huge amount of Chinese shit everywhere, but nobody wants it,” said Andrew Feinstein, author of The Shadow World, a book on the arms trade.

In Iraq, there were constant troubles tracking where the guns went. A 2006 report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found “questionable” accountability for the 370,000 weapons, mostly AK-47s that the U.S. had provided to Iraqi security forces. The next year, the Government Accountability Office found a “discrepancy” of 190,000 weapons between what U.S. forces had delivered and what was on the books.

When Obama came into office and revved up the war in Afghanistan, business started booming even more for Bulgaria. From 2009 through 2012, Bulgaria shipped $170 million in arms and ammunition to Afghanistan, according to the country’s own statistics.

The American official familiar with Bulgaria said the warehouses there were piled with arms and ammo intended for Afghanistan. “There was so much stuff in the warehouses it was incredible to see. Warehouses as big as football fields.” Indeed, in the stampede to arm Afghanistan, the U.S. sent 83,000 more AK-47s than the country needed, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, known as SIGAR.

As in Iraq, there has been a huge hole in accountability once the arms reached Kabul: The U.S., the SIGAR report says, can’t track where weapons go once they are in the hands of the Afghan Army and Police, whose ranks have been plagued by corruption and penetrated by the Taliban. “U.S. and coalition-provided weapons are at risk of theft, loss, or misuse,” according to the report. Of the estimated three quarters of a million weapons the U.S. had shipped to the Afghan forces, 204,000 were not appropriately tracked in U.S. databases.

In fact, tallying the overall number of weapons that the U.S. has shipped to Afghanistan and Iraq isn’t easy, auditors acknowledge. One reason: Two years ago, Afghanistan asked the U.S. to conceal information about the weapons it was buying. “We request that the United States Government not release any document relating to our procurement activities with the United States,” wrote an Afghan defense official to the U.S. Iraq has made a similar request.

During the Afghanistan surge, so many orders flooded into Bulgaria, according to arms dealers and a U.S. official, that the country’s export officials couldn’t figure out which were legitimate and which weren’t. The U.S. military deployed extra officers to Bulgaria to work at the U.S. embassy, just to facilitate arms shipments to Afghanistan.

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In the summer of 2011, according to a government memorandum obtained by BuzzFeed, the Defense Attaché Office of the United States Embassy in Sofia vouched for the $14 million Dolarian deal for Afghanistan’s NDS. The 5,000 AKs, the 500 PKM machine guns, the pistols, and all the ammunition? That was all for Afghanistan, the U.S. embassy assured the government of Bulgaria.

Dolarian, according to three sources familiar with his operations, delivered to the Afghan security forces only about half of what he was supposed to. He delivered 800 launchers for rocket-propelled grenades, and 20,000 rounds for the weapons; he also delivered 9.5 million rounds for AK-47 rifles and for heavy machine guns, they said.

But according to letters and interviews with arms dealers in Bulgaria, he never delivered to Afghanistan the 5,000 AKs. Or the PKMs he had ordered from Arsenal over in the Valley of the Roses. One source said Dolarian simply canceled that contract. This source and two others who were directly involved said that Dolarian paid only a down payment and not the remainder. He never picked up the weapons, they said, nor were they shipped to Afghanistan.

But deals were falling apart and landing in court. Dolarian sued SOC, the private security company. He blamed the company for his deal with them collapsing, alleging that they’d failed to get proper paperwork, so he couldn’t get the guns.

The company quickly countersued, and the cases are ongoing.

In 2011, Dolarian’s company sued another American arms dealer. That dealer had contracted to sell Dolarian 5,000 AKs from Romania, but never got the proper authorization, Dolarian claimed.

And then the feds moved in. On April 12, 2012, agents from the Department of Homeland Security swept into his office, and carted off files and his computer server. “It was pretty low-key,” as Dolarian would later describe it. “No visible FBI nothing, ICE nothing. My understanding was that they didn’t want to raise any concern or alarm.”

His lawyers told a California civil court judge in 2012, “Dolarian and its principal are subjects of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation,” that “involves possible violations of the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.” (This April, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security called the case “ongoing” and referred questions to the Justice Department. A spokesman there said that as a matter of policy he could not comment on whether there was a criminal investigation.)

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BuzzFeed

But despite the legal issues, Dolarian got another juicy contract months later — that mysterious arms purchase on behalf of America’s commandos.

It was early in 2013, and the crisis in Syria was brewing. President Obama had warned that any chemical weapons use by President Bashar al-Assad’s government would cross a “red line.”

Three people involved with the Syrian opposition and two former American intelligence officials said that it was during this period that the U.S. began setting up training for a small, carefully vetted unit of Syrian opposition forces. And it was also during this period that the U.S. Special Operations Command put out its request for Russian-style weapons.

The process was a daisy chain of subcontracts. First, SOCOM issued a contract to Dyncorp International Inc., a huge defense contractor that not only performs logistics operations for DOD and the State Department but also operates training missions for the department and intelligence services.

Dyncorp gave a subcontract to buy the weapons to a Canadian firm called Sterling Cross. Sterling Cross, according to intelligence officials, frequently does work for Canada’s equivalent of the CIA, the Security Intelligence Service.

The Canadian arms company turned around and in May 2013 signed a deal with an American firm: Dolarian Capital.

The secretive U.S. government arms operation had landed in the hands of a man whose company was the subject of a U.S. criminal investigation for violating arms laws. Take a look at the list of what he was supposed to buy:

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But doing business now wasn’t necessarily easy. People such as Ibouchev at Arsenal, which makes the guns he wanted to buy, wouldn’t deal. “I don’t speak to him,” Ibouchev said. “He has been very unprofessional. The type of person we try to avoid.”

Dolarian didn’t deliver the guns for the U.S. Special Operations Command mission, according to a lawsuit Sterling Cross filed late last year. The Canadian firm alleged that it had paid him $300,000 and that he simply kept the deposit. In a brief interview in April, Dolarian’s lawyer blamed Sterling Cross. He said Sterling never gave Dolarian enough information to get the proper paperwork to ship the guns and ammunition.

The end result: A secret arms operation ended up in federal court.

Told about the deal, intelligence veterans were astonished. “If this happened, it’s a colossal fuckup,” one senior ex-CIA official said. “The minute you bring it to Dyncorp and then a Canadian company and then someone else, it’s just a mess.”

“It’s amateur hour,” said another former CIA official.

As for Dolarian, he’s still in business, and his website still advertises an extraordinary array of equipment, from T-72 tanks to M4 rifles.

After numerous attempts to reach Dolarian, he answered the phone in June but again declined to be interviewed for this story. “When the time is right for the story to be told,” he said before rushing off the phone, “I’ll be writing a book. It’s my retirement.”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/aramroston/how-a-one-time-pig-peddler-helped-the-us-flood-war-zones-wit

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Reporting Identity Theft | TransUnion http://personalidtheft.com/videos/reporting-identity-theft-transunion-2/ http://personalidtheft.com/videos/reporting-identity-theft-transunion-2/#respond Sun, 11 Jun 2017 15:26:55 +0000 http://personalidtheft.com/?p=6002 Prevent Identity Theft

Learn about identity theft protection at: Knowing where to turn in order to report identity theft is as important as knowing how to spot it. And whether the signs come from a credit report or a credit card statement, you should report identity theft as soon as you notice it. Visit Us Here: Contact Us […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

Learn about identity theft protection at:

Knowing where to turn in order to report identity theft is as important as knowing how to spot it. And whether the signs come from a credit report or a credit card statement, you should report identity theft as soon as you notice it.

Visit Us Here:
Contact Us Here:
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(Partial Transcription)
How you become a victim of identity theft? While this is not good news, TransUnion can help. Here's how:

First, report the theft to your local law enforcement agency. Give them a list of your items stolen, or report the suspicious activity you noticed. Request a copy of the report, you might need it later.

If you think you have been, or may be a victim of one of these crimes, contact TransUnion and add an initial, extended, or active duty fraud alert to your credit file. Advising potential creditors to contact you personally before approving any applications in your name.

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Man Named “Michael Jackson” And Woman Named “Elizabeth Taylor” Arrested On The Same Night http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/man-named-michael-jackson-and-woman-named-elizabeth-taylor-arrested-on-the-same-night/ http://personalidtheft.com/awesome/man-named-michael-jackson-and-woman-named-elizabeth-taylor-arrested-on-the-same-night/#respond Sun, 11 Jun 2017 06:52:46 +0000 http://buzzfeed.com/daves4/man-named-michael-jackson-and-woman-named-elizabet Prevent Identity Theft

View this image › Michael Raven Jackson, 44, is charged with felony theft because he’s a third time offender. Court documents state on January 24, Jackson stole toiletries and other items from the CVS at 3811 Old Spanish Trail on the south side of Houston by concealing the items in his pants. Via abclocal.go.com View […]

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Prevent Identity Theft

Michael Raven Jackson, 44, is charged with felony theft because he’s a third time offender. Court documents state on January 24, Jackson stole toiletries and other items from the CVS at 3811 Old Spanish Trail on the south side of Houston by concealing the items in his pants.

Elizabeth Taylor, 53, of Houston, is charged with possession of a controlled substance. Court documents state that Taylor was found in possession of more than one gram, but less than four grams, of cocaine on Monday.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/daves4/man-named-michael-jackson-and-woman-named-elizabet

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