crime


Some People Would Die To Wind Up at This Museum – washingtonpost.com

Normally I would shamelessly plug my own museum (and I need to do that soon) but this one caught my eye today. It’s right in the same neighborhood and I didn’t realize that it was happening. The National Museum of Crime & Punishment opens today on 7th Street NW here in DC – just a 1/2 block from my museum. Here’s a bit from the Washington Post review in today’s paper:

You know the names: Jesse James, Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger . . .

And the men who chased them. Wild Bill Hickok. Wyatt Earp. Eliot Ness. J. Edgar Hoover.

The prisons where their kind were locked up: Rikers. Attica. Leavenworth. Alcatraz.

And the ways they died: Bullets. Ropes. Firing squad. Electric chair. Gas chamber. Lethal injection.

These are the stories at the heart of the District’s newest tourist attraction, the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, which opens today on Seventh Street NW in Gallery Place. The for-profit museum — admission is $17.95 — gives an eerie gloss to these true-life tales of cops and robbers, almost as if you’re walking through a high-toned coffee-table book.

Throughout the three-story building, the museum presents a number of interactive displays. You can learn how to crack a safe, watch clips of famous movies such as “The French Connection” and take an electronic quiz to see if the movie squared with reality. In a simulator, you can learn how to drive police vehicles. Then you can stand in a police station lineup or step into an Old West jail cell.

That’s where the simulated experience stops. There are no pretend executions.

That’s right — $17.95 per head. YIKES! I find the price just a scary as the content.

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Feb. 14, 1929: Al Capone’s .45 Caliber Valentine

1929: The art of the gangland slaying takes a quantum leap when mobsters working for Al Capone use the cutting-edge technology of the day — the Thompson submachine gun — to wipe out a rival gang in a garage on Chicago’s North Side.

The St. Valentine’s Day massacre wasn’t the first time a mobster used the Tommy gun in a rub-out, but the slaughter — seven men were killed — was unprecedented and therefore shocking, even by jaded Chicago standards.

Instead of the usual hearts and flowers, I thought this was an interesting Valentine’s anniversary.

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Would-Be Robber Stays for Wine, Hugs

Would-Be Robber Stays for Wine, Hugs – washingtonpost.com

Police on Capitol Hill are baffled by an attempted robbery that began with a handgun put to the head of a 14-year-old girl and ended in a group hug.

It started around midnight on June 16 when a group of friends was finishing dinner on the patio of a District of Columbia home, authorities and witnesses said. That’s when a hooded man slid
through an open gate and pointed a handgun at the girl’s head.

“Give me your money, or I’ll start shooting,” he said, the witnesses told The Washington Post.

Everyone froze, they said, but then one guest spoke up.

“We were just finishing dinner,” Cristina Rowan, 43, told the man. “Why don’t you have a glass of wine with us?”

The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, “Damn, that’s good wine.”

The girl’s father, Michael Rabdau, 51, told him to take the whole glass, and Rowan offered him the bottle. The would-be robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese and put the gun in his sweatpants.

Then the story got even more bizarre.

The man with the gun apologized, the witnesses told the Post.

“I think I may have come to the wrong house,” he said. “Can I get a hug?”

Rowan stood up and wrapped her arms around the man and the four other guests followed.

The man walked away a few moments later with the crystal wine glass in hand. No one was hurt, but once he was gone, the group went inside, locked the door and called 911.

Police said Friday that the case was strange but true. Investigators have not located a suspect.

“We’ve had robbers that apologize and stuff, but nothing where they sit down and drink wine,” Cmdr. Diane Groomes said. “The only good thing is they would be able to identify him because they hugged them.”

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