Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Keep A Cop Bored" video

Check out this light-hearted video "Keep a Cop Bored" to encourage drivers to stay home to drink.

Thanks to videographer Frank Vespe, the East Hampton Police Department, and all the parties involved who supported this project. Check out Erin Geismar's story of the video in Newsday. The video stars East Hampton Police Officer Matt Rodriguez, and the voice over is provided by WKJY "KJOY" radio DJ Steve Harper.

Twitter fans: Don't forget, Thursdays are "Thank-a-Cop-Thursday," using the hashtag #tacop.

May everyone have a safe New Year's!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mystery Monday: Bodies on Long Island

This is the most current "mystery" on Long Island. Suffolk County Police are investigating the deaths of four bodies dumped along a roadway. Their identities are unknown. At least two are women.

On Saturday, December 11, 2010, Suffolk County Police K-9 officer John Mallia and his partner, "Blue" (photo, above, from were conducting exercises and searching for a woman who went missing in May: 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert from Jersey City. They found skeletal remains of a woman. When the search expanded on Monday, imagine their surprise upon finding three more bodies, within a quarter-mile stretch along Ocean Parkway. The parkway runs from Jones beach, which is 14 miles west, past Oak Beach, to Captree State Park.

None of the bodies turned out to be Shannan Gilbert. Police are investigating whether the remains could be of another woman, Megan Waterman, of Scarborough, Maine, who was last seen at a Hauppauge hotel in June, where she was staying with her boyfriend, but early reports indicate it is unlikely her remains.

A web site has been established concerning the whereabouts of 22-year-old Megan Waterman, who was an escort who advertised on Craigslist. A $2500 reward is being offered for her safe return, or her recovery and an arrest and conviction.

The New York Daily News has photos of the missing women.

The police are hoping that science may help crack open the case.

Even if none of the bodies turns out to be Megan Waterman, in addition to the identities of the four bodies recovered, another mystery remains: Where are Shannan and Megan?

If anyone has information concerning the identity of the four bodies, the whereabouts of Shannan or Megan, or any other clues, please contact Crime Stoppers of Suffolk County. Thanks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mystery Monday: The Disappearance of Judge Crater

On August 6, 1930, Judge Joseph Force Crater disappeared after hailing a cab in Manhattan on 45th Street near Eighth Avenue after dining at a Times Square restaurant with his mistress and a friend. He had just withdrawn $5100 from his two bank accounts.

It is the longest unsolved missing person's case in the NYPD.

Following the Judge's disappearance, "Pulling a Crater" became a part of the lexicon, as did "Judge Crater, please call your office," by comedians.

Novelist Peter Quinn wondered about his disappearance for years ~ his father was a justice at the same courthouse as Judge Crater ~ and he decided to fictionalize the story in The Man Who Never Returned, through the eyes of a detective in 1955. This past August, Alan Feuer interviewed Quinn for an article in the New York Times. Quinn's fascination and involvement in this case is detailed in this informative article.

In August 2005, authorities announced they had received notes left by the wife of an NYPD officer, after her death at age 91. The notes alleged the judge was buried under the boardwalk in Coney Island. Author Richard J. Tofel expressed skepticism of the woman's account in his book, Vanishing Point: The Disappearance of Judge Crater and the New York He Left Behind.

Sounds like some intriguing books for my Christmas list!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Keeping Kids Safe in Cars

Did you know that on the average, five children a day are killed in car crashes? That's a tragic statistic, and one that could be reduced through the proper use of child safety seats.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children, ages 3-14, in the U.S. Statistics show that nearly 80 percent were unrestrained or were in adult seat belts.

Child Passenger Safety is addressed today at NPR.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a forum today and is open to all, and is free to attend ~ no registration required. The forum, "Child Passenger Safety in the Air and Automobile" will take place at NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center, 439 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington D.C. (On Twitter, follow #NTSB today).

The event will be webcast live.

One of my former partners in the police department is a certified technician who assists motoring parents to ensure the safety seat for their infant or child is positioned properly.

For today's #TACOP (Thank-a-Cop-Thursday), I'd like to thank him and all certified technicians ~ law enforcement officers, health officials, and other concerned parties ~ who spend their time making sure our future citizens are prevented from becoming one of those five unfortunate losses on the roadways.

For a safety seat check in your area, visit or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK.

Here are ten tips to keep a child safe while riding in a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also offers information on keeping children safe in vehicles. Don't forget to register your car seat so you can be notified in the event of a recall.

For those on Twitter, don't forget to #TACOP!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Day That Will Live in World History

Today marks the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Below I have included a clip from The Pacific Historic Parks' DVD, Pearl Harbor: A Landmark of History. Over 2300 lives were lost that day.

(U.S.S. Arizona photo source here)
In 1994, my husband and I traveled to Hawaii. Part of our journey included an emotional, haunting visit to the U.S.S. Arizona memorial.

Last year, I visited Washington, D.C. for the first time. I blogged about it for a "My Town Monday" post at Women of Mystery. As a writer, one of the highlights of my trip was seeing a replica of FDR's typewritten draft of his Pearl Harbor address -- with edits -- posted in the Smithsonian, in the National Museum of American History (I took the photos of the draft, and they are unclear; if you visit here, click on the draft photo and you can zoom in).

FDR had crossed out "World History" and replaced it with "infamy."

My grandfather, Edward Welsh, who died from a heart attack at age 47, was born on this day, 101 years ago. On December 7, 1941, my grandparents went out to celebrate his 32nd birthday, and when they returned home, they continued celebrating. My mother was conceived that night; she was born the following year -- on September 11th.

Last year, to commemmorate my grandfather's 100th birthday, I accompanied my mother and two of her siblings to attend mass in his honor at St. Joseph's on Pacific Street, Brooklyn (the church is still undergoing renovations, as evidenced by the scaffolding in the background). My grandfather, the youngest of nine, was born on Pacific Street.


St. Joseph's has a Facebook page, and so does the National Museum of American History. You can follow @WWIIValorNPS on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

War Story Wednesday - A Masked Intruder

A frightened family in a residential area awoke to loud, strange noises in the lower level of their home during the early morning hours. They called 911 and remained upstairs until patrol officers arrived.

The family members let us in. Guns drawn, we checked out the house. It turned out to be a raccoon that came in via the chimney, landing in the fireplace. The critter ran across the piano keys, tried desperately to find a way out (ruining some window treatments in the process), and scared the heck out of the occupants.

We were relieved the bandit was a four-legged one, who was promptly shown the door. The family probably replaced or repaired their chimney cap the next day.

If you have a War Story to share, by all means, enter it in the comment section, or leave a link to your post.