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Archive for September 24th, 2015

Review: Johnny Depp Gives ‘Riveting, Rattlesnake Performance’ in ‘Black Mass’

Scene from "Black Mass."

Scene from “Black Mass.”

By Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Ice-cold. Dead eyes. Demonic laugh. His face a mask you can’t read until he’s up in yours. Then run. That’s Johnny Depp giving everything he’s got in a riveting, rattlesnake performance as South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in Black Mass. The FBI finally grabbed this Osama bin Laden of gangsters in 2011. The Irish mobster had been hiding in plain sight since 1994. Now 86, Bulger molders in prison, found guilty of 11 of the 19 murders with which he’d been charged.

Jack Nicholson did a fictional take on Bulger in 2006’s Oscar-winning The Departed (while a fugitive, Bulger reportedly sneaked in to see the film). Black Mass, smartly directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), casts a wide if hardly deep net, since the tentacles of Bulger’s tale could fill a mini-series or five. The script, by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, is based on the 2000 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. And an unholy alliance it truly was.

Bulger had known FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) from the Boston hood. It’s Connolly who persuades his fellow Southie to turn FBI informant in return for help in crushing the Italian Mob. Bulger got the best of that deal, leaving the FBI boss (Kevin Bacon) fuming. Edgerton excels at detailing the dread eating at Connolly; the dread also infects his ethical wife, Marianne (a superb Julianne Nicholson), whose quiet scene with Depp instills more terror than a hail of bullets.

But you get the bullets, too, and the gore, especially when Bulger lieutenant Stephen Flemmi, expertly slimed by Rory Cochrane, is on the scene. And duck when Bulger turns his gun on informant Brian Halloran, played with bug-fuck lunacy by Peter Sarsgaard.

To read more click here.

Bentley-Driving Preacher Convicted of Using Day Care Grants to Fuel Lavish Lifestyle

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a Bentley-driving preacher on 13 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and lying to the FBI, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Herman Jackson, who once warned a federal judge about the “wrath of God,” was taken into immediate custody because of his previous behavior while out on bond.

The jury also convicted his wife, Janetta Faria, of all five fraud counts against her.

As the leader of the Ark of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple, Jackson, 39, submitted false documents to obtain state Child Care Assistance Program subsidy payments for three Chicago-area child care centers.

Jackson used the money to subsidize his lavish lifestyle.

Border Patrol Agent Charged in 2012 Shooting Death of Mexican Teenager

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who killed a Mexican teenager in a cross-border shooting was charged with second-degree murder, CBS News reports. 

Lonnie Swartz was indicted by a federal grand jury, an attorney for Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez’s family said.

“The Elena Rodriguez Family is grateful to the DOJ (Department of Justice) for this first step in the pursuit of justice, and remain steadfast in their resolve to seek full transparency from the U.S. Border Patrol on behalf of Jose Antonio,” Parra said.

Swartz’s attorney said he expects his client to plead not guilty on Oct. 9.

Swartz said his life was in danger when he shot the 16-year-old on Oct. 10, 2012, when he said the teenager was among a group of rock-throwers.

His family said Swartz wasn’t throwing rocks and was walking home from a basketball game when he was shot about 10 times.

Border Patrol Release 14-Year Fugitive Before He Could Be Extradited

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After 14 years, authorities finally captured Luis Golberto-Molina, a fugitive wanted in Colorado for violating his felony probation from a 1998 burglary case.

Trouble is, Border Patrol agents released him after catching him trying to cross the border illegally into the U.S., ABC 7 reports. 

Yuma County authorities were incensed.

“The US Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute him for his aggravated illegal entry into the U.S., despite the fact that he still had an active warrant out of Colorado,” the Yuma County Undersheriff Adam Wills.

“A representative from CBP’s only response was, ‘We’ll get him next time,'” Wills stated.

Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day added, “It’s disappointing to say the least that CBP and ICE released this wanted felon after he had committed yet another crime by attempting to enter the country illegally, and after contacting my office to confirm we would extradite on this warrant.”

Secret Service Takes Extraordinary Steps to Protect Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

By Seve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hotels will be equipped with bullet-proof glass. Government snipers will be placed on rooftops. And mailboxes will be removed along parade routes.

Those are among the likely safeguards taken to protect Pope Francis during his U.S. visit., International Business Times reports. 

Joseph Clancy, the director of the Secret Service, even traveled to Italy in June to prepare for the pontiff’s visit.

“Facial recognition software will definitely be being used in any area where the Pope will be,” Ronald Kessler, the author of “The First Family Detail” and “In the President’s Secret Service,” told the International Business Times. “They’ll remove mailboxes that could have explosives along parade routes, seal manhole covers, protect the underside of the popemobile and stake out evacuation areas.”

So far, authorities said there have been no credible threats.

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