Friday, September 30, 1977

Peek-a-Boo by the Champion, Boos by the Crowd

The heavyweight champion was booed so often during his ultimately successful defense of his world title. Ali was only playing at boxing during the first nine rounds, and the crowd did not like it. Boxing fans like their world heavyweight champions to fight, not play patty-cake or stand against the ropes and play peek-a-boo.

What kind of champion was Ali last night? “Tonight he was a bad one,” said Shavers after the bout. “If I were champion, I would never fight like that, holding all the time.” In the eight round, in which the boos were the loudest, the champion yelled back at the crowd. When the boos persisted, he started booing himself.

Shavers stung the champion several times with right hands – “in the second, ninth, tenth and last rounds,” said the champion. “But by the power of Allah, I won.”

The champion did not sound like a very religious man during most of the fight. “He kept calling me ‘nigger,’” said Shavers, “kept saying, ‘Nigger, I’m going to get you.’” After a while, said Shavers, “I called him a nigger too.”

“I’m almost as tired as I was in Manila. And you all know I talk a lot, burn a lot of energy. I’ve been walking the streets of Harlem, campaigning, shaking hands.”
Ali said he had taken some punches “that would knock anyone out.”

“And me, I’m 35 years old.” “It’s magnificent,” said Angelo Dundee. “The way that man can suck it up.”

NYT Katz 9/30/77

Ali Retains Title By Winning Unanimous Decision From Shavers

Shavers, whose stamina had been questioned, and Ali rewarded the 14,600 spectators at the Garden and the TV viewers with a memorable final round. At the bell both fighters were wobbling and staggering from the assaults upon each other.

But by then, Ali had assured himself the victory unless Shavers could have registered a knockout. Shaver’s corner said the decision was another “Norton deal,” alluding to Ali’s controversial decision over Ken Norton last year.

Ali, of course, as never been knocked out in his 55-2 won-loss record.

Ali did not appear in the Felt Forum interview area until about an hour after the fight ended, explaining, “I’m tired, almost as tired as I was in Manila,” an allusion to his 14-round epic knockout of Joe Frazier two years ago.

ex NYT Anderson 9/30/77

Rape Suspect’s Bail Will Not Increase – 19 Year Old Accused of Attacking Jogger in Park Remains Free

A State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan yesterday refused to increase the amount of bail for a man who was indicted on Monday on charges he assaulted, raped and sodomized one woman at knifepoint and attempted to rape another.
The suspect was released on Tuesday after posting $2,500 bail.

19-year-old Dean Mack was apprehended by the police on September 22 in Central Park where both of his alleged victims had been jogging. He was in possession of a knife when apprehended and identified by both victims. The woman he attempted to rape is an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. She escaped by telling Mack she was a police officer.

Robert Morgenthau personally appeared at the second bail hearing seeking $25,000 bail, but the Criminal Court judge set it at $10,000 bond or $2500 cash.

Excerpt from NYT 9/30/77

Thursday, September 29, 1977

Fight Crowd Answers Bell Despite Television

“Why?” some of the spenders were asked as they filed into the Garden or lined up at a ticket window outside. Why would someone pay from $20 to $100 or more to see something they could have watched at home for free?

“Because I’m one of these idiots,” answered Ronald Clare, a Manhattan attorney who grew up in Harlem. “I want the smoke, the noise, the inconvenience, the traffic jams. Everything. A $30 bite for the ticket, $10 for dinner, $5 for parking – and probably a fight with my wife when I get home –she doesn’t like boxing.”

If any of the customers thought they had been short-changed, they got their money’s worth with dollars to spare in the last three tumultuous rounds.

“It’s the magnetism of Ali,” said Llewellyn Clark who bought a $20 ticket that would put him in the upper reaches of the Garden near the rafters. “People want to see Ali in person, see what he looks like. It’s not the same as watching on TV.”

Ali’s Bravado Is Back For Fight Tonight Steve Cady 9/29/77

“He’s the house slave, that Uncle Tom they put against the other slave. I’m the bold slave, the rebel slave.”

This will be the first heavyweight title bout at MSG since March 8, 1971, when Ali lost a 15-round decision to Joe Frazier in a championship meeting billed as “The Fight.” Ali was in the role of challenger at the time. He has never been defeated in a title defense during his two championship reigns.

NYT Cady 9/29/77

Police Explain Failure to Find Body

The police said yesterday that they did not find the body of the missing diamond broker late Monday when they visited the office where it was later discovered because they had not been looking for a body. There was no reason at that time to make a complete search and there were no legal grounds for a complete search,” said Keenan. He said he was satisfied that the detectives had performed their duties properly.

A police spokesman said detectives had gone to the office, at 15 West 47th Street, with Mrs. Tal and her attorney, at their request, after Mrs. Tal reported her husband missing. Once there they dusted for fingerprints because a broken door window made them think there might have been a burglary.

“There was nothing extraordinary about the box,” said police spokesman adding that the plastic in which the body was wrapped had presumably kept any odor from escaping.

But chiefly, the police said, they were looking for Mr. Tal, thinking he might have met with foul play or had collapsed. The detectives remained at the site for hours.

excerpt from NYT 9/29/77

Body of Diamond Broker Found As Missing Gem Cutter Turns Up

The body of a 25-year-old diamond broker who vanished last week with up to $1 million in gems was found yesterday, his head smashed by blows from a wooden plank. The body was bound as stuffed inside a small box in the office of a diamond cutter on West 47th Street. There was no trace of the gems he had been carrying in a wallet. The police were led to the body of Pinchos Jaroslawicz by the diamond cutter, 31-year-old Shlomo Tal, himself the object of a police search since his wife reported him missing on Monday. The police found him sleeping in his wife’s car in Queens. The diamond cutter claimed that the murder was committed by two masked men who struck Mr. J on the head and by whom he himself was abducted and robbed several days later. Mr. J died of head injuries and asphyxiation after a plastic bag was put over his head.
Mr. Tal said he kept silent about his associates murder and had concealed the body in a box under a workbench out of fear that the murderers might harm his own family. “We are certainly not accepting his story or any story at face value.” Keenan Chief of Detectives

One of the points the police found puzzling is why the attackers left him unharmed after driving him around in his own car for three days.

The body was found stuffed into a wooden air conditioner box about 2 x 2 x 3. Mr. J was still alive, but unconscious when the bag was placed over his head.

Mr. Tal told police that his abductors had taken $180 from him, but had overlooked $30,000 in gems that he had hidden under the driver’s seat. He told numerous conflicting stories about the events that transpired.

excerpt from Leonard Buder NYT 9/29/77

Wednesday, September 28, 1977

Bernard King Wipes the Slate Clean

He is hundreds of miles from Knoxville, the scene of the crimes, but he still flinches whenever a patrol car cruises by, and he still worries whenever he sees a cop. Force of habit. The word is “paranoia.” Bernard King is familiar with its meaning. “I’m thinking inside that they know me, that they’re looking for me, even though I know they’re not,” he says, flashing a nervous grin.

An All-American in each of his three seasons at Tennessee, he also led the SEC in arrests. He was arrested for four traffic offenses, twice for possession of marijuana and once each for burglary, prowling and resisting arrest. Most of the charges were dropped for insufficient evidence or technical incompetence (of the rest of the team?)

Just 20 years old, the Brooklyn native Bernard King, the 7th overall pick by the New York Nets, has an image problem; the problem is his image. “I’ve been operating under the premise that my pro career with the Nets in the NBA was down the drain.” A Nets official said, “we’re taking a helluva chance on him.”

It’s tempting to say that such losers as the Nets and King deserve each other. The Nets have worked overtime to make themselves the worst team in pro basketball. They traded Billy Paultz, Larry Kenon, Brian Taylor, John Williamson and Tiny Archibald for a collective bucket of porridge, to say nothing of their give away of Dr. J. The Nets met with King twice before the draft and even had a former FBI agent check him out and make a character evaluation. Only after the Nets were satisfied that King was “good people” did they draft him 7th overall. Imagine how they felt just five weeks later when King was arrested for burglary, prowling, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest. “Good God, we were sick.”

Everyone in camp seems to love him.

NYT Kornheiser 9/28/77

Police in 2 Nations Asked to Help Find 2 in Gem Mystery

NYC police, acting through Interpol, asked police in Belgium and Israel yesterday to be on the lookout for a diamond broker who vanished last week while carrying possibly as much as $1 million worth of gems, and a diamond cutter who reportedly disappeared Sunday, also possibly with a quantity of diamonds. (Actually the former was packed in a box in his office and the later was sleeping in his wife’s car in Queens).

Mr. Tal was last seen by his wife when he left their Plainview LI home Sunday morning to drive to his office on West 47th Street.

Mr. J was last seen about 5:30pm on September 20th in the Diamond Dealers Club on West 47th. He told another member that he had one more appointment before heading home to Flatbush. That meeting was apparently with Mr. Tal.

excerpt from NYT 9/28/77

Tuesday, September 27, 1977

Youth, 18, Pleads Guilty to Slaying of Expectant Brooklyn Mother, 21

An 18-year-old student yesterday pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of 21-year-old Rachel Brecher last March. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

Richard Hontoria is a student at Newton High School. Mrs. Brecher died of asphyxiation after being shoved into a large oil-burning furnace in the basement of the building in the garment center, where she had gone to buy a coat for her mother. A sanitation man found the charred nude body in a cardboard box in front of the building.

Mr. H said that Mrs. B had annoyed him by ringing incessantly for the elevator while he was in the basement fixing himself a cheese sandwich. He said he told Mrs. B, “The more you ring, the more you wait,” and she had snapped back, “it’s your job,” and had swung her pocketbook at him (unlikely). At that point he said he punched her and forced her into the basement. There, he said, he bound her, placed a bag over her head, beat her, raped her then tricked her into climbing into the furnace – which was not on – by telling her it was a window. He then shut the door and turned the furnace on.
Speaking softly, the bearded youth said he had difficulty remembering the details of the crime because he had taken LSD. He did not specify when he had taken the drug, which he said had given him a “bad trip.”

The Manhattan DA said they would seek the maximum: 25 years to life. Residents of Borough Park said, “We believe in capital punishment. We will not forget. We will always remember this case as long as he is living.”

excerpt from Leslie Maitland NYT 9/27/77

Housing Authority Police Officer Shot to Death Near Baruch Houses

A Housing Authority police officer was shot to death last night while on duty outside the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side. Vito Chiaramonte was found alive, shot in the chest and lying in the street, but died fifteen minutes later at Bellevue.

The victim was one of 1,400 men on the Housing Authority force, which covers the city’s 250 housing projects. Approximately 580,000 people live in the projects. The area in which the victim was shot was described by police as a “hard, tough” area, frequented by thieves and narcotics addicts. A section near the East River was known as a hangout for drug addicts and a haven for the area’s muggers and robbers after they flee the scenes of their crimes.

excerpt from Rudy Johnson NYT 9/27/77

A Diamond Cutter Reported Missing

A diamond cutter who was suppose to meet a young diamond broker on the day the broker mysteriously disappeared last week is now also missing.

“Right now we’re treating this as a coincidence. A very strange coincidence.”

The 20-year old never kept his appointment the diamond cutter told police last week. The police said the disappearance of the cutter was “very strange” and that “right now we’re trying to cover every possibility.” These possibilities range from a voluntary disappearance to possible abduction.

excerpt from NYT Leonard Buder 9/27/77

Con Edison Averts Wide Blackout By Cutting Power in Westchester

With nearly 40 percent of its power supplied lost, apparently to lightning strikes, Con Ed averted a systemwide power failure yesterday by quickly cutting voltage, imposing limited blackouts in Westchester and firing up reserve generators.

130,000 customers in Westchester and a sliver of the north Bronx were blacked out for an hour or more, 80,000 deliberately to cut back the demand on the utility system. Service to nearly all was restored in an hour. The crisis was the most severe since July 13-14 when New York and Westchester were plunged in darkness for up to 25 hours and spawned widespread looting, arson and other problems.

Even before the emergency struck yesterday, Con Ed had declared an internal storm watch under which reserve generators were prepared for use and other steps were taken.

Lightning strikes occurred about 3:30 in the vicinity of Staten Island and near Ramapo New York and sent surges through the transmission lines that tripped circuit breakers and shut down four generating plants. To cope with the sudden lose of 2100 megawatts (38% of the 5,500 megawatts being supplied on the system at the time – the utility first implemented at 8% voltage reduction to all of the three million customers on the system. 80,000 Westchester customers were cut off (another 50,000 were affected by power failures caused by down lines).

“The reports we received were that they were the heaviest thunderstorms ever seen in this area.”

During the July blackout, more than a score of gas turbines representing almost 2000 megawatts of generating capacity were not manned at night, to cut costs, and were thus unavailable for an emergency. Since the July blackout the turbines have been manned around the clock and tested regularly.

In July a Con Ed spokesman had labeled the blackout “an act of God.”

excerpt from Robert McFadden NYT 9/27/77

Monday, September 26, 1977

Orthodox Jews Search for Missing Diamond Broker

More than 100 Orthodox Jews, many dressed in black felt hats and long coats, conducted a building-by-building search of the diamond district yesterday for a 25-year-old diamond broker who disappeared there last week while carrying a wallet containing between $100,000 and $1 million in gems.

Sergeant Howard Russell of the Missing Persons Bureau praised the work of the search crews. “You can’t conduct an investigation unless you have an open mind. Especially since we still have no concrete evidence of any sort.”

excerpt from NYT 9/26/77

Thursday, September 22, 1977

Giants and Dodgers in 1957, Remember?

Twenty years ago this week, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants closed up shop in their ancestral homes, Flatbush and Harlem, and moved to California. There’s no denying that nothing in baseball has been the same since.
No other major league game was ever played in Ebbets Field and it was torn down three years later. The Polo Grounds were still there in 1962 when the Mets came to life. Not only did the Mets use it for two years until Shea Stadium was built, but the Giants themselves, now representing San Francisco, also came back to play the Mets there 18 times in those two seasons. The Polo Grounds disappeared in 1968, replaced by Apartment Houses, just like Ebbets Field. The Dodgers, who prospered mightily in Brooklyn, have prospered even more mightily in LA. The Giants, who went from affluence to the brink of insolvency during their twenty years in New York, have followed the exact same pattern in SF. So it was altogether fitting that in SF Tuesday night the Dodgers clinched the NL West.

The move marked the full emergence of major league sports to continental proportions, in step with network television, jet passenger travel, and shifting population.

Ebbets Field had only 32,000 seats and the television market was being divided three ways. When it was built in 1913, almost all its customers could reach it by foot, trolley or subway; now, with potential ticket buyers moving more and more to the suburbs, parking space was becoming essential.

And to those who felt that the last week of September 1957 was an emotionally shattering experience, a still more shattering thought can now be added: 20 years have passed.

ex NYT Koppett 9/22/77

Families of ‘Son of Sam’ Victims Stage Demonstration at Hospital

Thirty-five friends and members of the families of two of the victims of the .44-caliber killer stood outside Kings County Hospital and called for revenge. They chanted “We want justice,” and carried signs that read “The rope for Son of Sam,” “Kill Son of Sam,” etc. The hour long demonstration was organized by Eva-Maria Freund, the 20-year old sister of Christine, who was shot to death in January in Queens as she sat in a car with her boyfriend John Diel. Letters were sent to the families of five other murder victims and the seven young people who were wounded but only the mother of Stacy Moskowitz showed up. “It’s an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” said Neysa M, “for those who go around killing for the fun of it.” “I hear voices also and everyone of these people hear voices. My daughter’s voice says ‘I want revenge.’ Would you like to match voice for voice?”

Excerpt from Marcia Chambers Sept 22, 1977 New York Times

Wednesday, September 21, 1977

Strong Thief Lifts Jets’ Weights

A weight lifter without his barbells is like a bagel without lox (a very New York analogy), and that is why Paul Mastropasqua is forlorn these days. M. is the strength coach of the New York Jets and someone stole 4,000 pounds of weights from the Hempstead LI camp.

“Find out who did it,” said Joe Klecko, the rookie defensive lineman, “and sign him up.” M. happens to be the smallest man in the Jets entourage. He is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 153 pounds.

In 1972 he was Mr. New Jersey and the next year finished 10th in the professional Mr. America competition.

NYT Eskenazi 9/21/77

Notoriety Haunts Real-Life “Sam”

The most recent and frightening communication was a Sept. 13 letter from Mr. Berkowitz. Arriving in an envelope bearing the name D. Berkowitz and the address of the headquarters of NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation in the upper left-hand corner.

“I screamed at first,” said Wheat Carr (25). “I was angry that he was sitting up there in a prison ward at taxpayers’ expense and still harassing us. Something has to be done.”

The letter, which has been turned over to police, referred to Mr. Carr as “Sam, my Lord,” and “Papa God,” and railed against the family’s Labrador Retriever, Harvey, named by Mr. B as the messenger who told him to kill.

“A lot of people seem to think we were connected with the killings, I mean really connected. People don’t seem to know that for months before he was arrested he had harassed us with letter and anonymous phone calls and we believe he was the one who threw a Molotov cocktail at our house last Oct. 4th. We had been nervous and frightened for months before and in the aftermath were still on edge and emotionally upset.” (Wheat)

The son Michael said people in a bar he frequents couldn’t resist introducing him as the real Son of Sam. It was a bad joke.

The Carrs are also sensitive about suggestions that they are trying to capitalize on their involvement in the case. Miss Carr said that the family was not seeking to “make money off other people’s tragedy and anguish.”

“We think we are entitled to some of the reward money. “

Excerpt from Ronald Smoothers Sept 21, 1977 New York Times

Friday, September 16, 1977

One of Three Lawyers Withdraws in Berkowitz Case

Mark Heller withdrew from the case following a confrontation between Mr. Berkowitz and his family. The family was opposed to Mr. Heller working on the criminal case.

The feud between Mr. Heller and the other lawyers, Leon Stern and Ira Juitak, erupted yesterday after weeks of behind-the-scenes hostilities.

By all accounts, Mr. Berkowitz as sad to see Mr. Heller go because they had spent more than 50 hours together and the two men had become friends.

The stakes are high for the lawyers. Neither Mr. Berkowitz nor his family are well-to-do. Rather, it is the possible sale of the literary and movie rights in the Son of Sam case that could lead to ample resources for Mr. B to finance his defense.

Excerpt from M. Chambers Sept 16, 1977 New York Times

Thursday, September 15, 1977

Jackson’s Homer in 9th Gives Yanks 2-0 Victory Over Red Sox

In one of the classic struggles of a classic pennant race, the New York Yankees subdued the Boston Red Sox again last night when Reggie Jackson pounded a 400-foot home run in the ninth inning of scoreless pitching duel. Jackson struck his tie-breaker just after Thurman Munson opened the inning with a single. Jackson also made two key defensive plays in right field.

The Yankees finally beat Reggie Cleveland who had pitched seven straight victories against them in two years. The Red Sox fell to third place while the Orioles advanced to second, only 2 ½ out.

“I’m not Joe DiMaggio, I’m not Mickey Mantle, I’m not Lou Gehrig. I never will be. The thing that stands out in my mind is that I went for the most money and got the money and landed here in New York. So I have to perform, and I’m glad the people got something back.”

“The bunt was on,: Martin remembered later, “then off, the on, the off. I was hoping then that the pitcher would lay one in there and he might rip one.”

It was a bunt situation, so I wasn’t troubled by that. I was only troubled that I didn’t know the signs that well.”

On a full count, Cleveland fired a fastball that Jackson bombed into the night sky. “It should have been ball four. Low and outside, where I wanted it to be, looking for the ground ball.”

“I crouch at the plate so to me it was the perfect pitch. Religion teaches you ask and you shall receive. And I asked. That may have been the best game I ever played in, great plays, no mistakes by anybody. “

“Last night I met George Steinbrenner in PJ Clarke’s and he told me I’d win the next game with a home run. He also picked up my tab so that’s another $30 in the package. I hit the ball on the screws and I knew it was gone.”

So intense is the rivalry between the teams that when it was announced that the National Anthem had been recorded by the Boston Pops Orchestra, partisans in the crowd booed.

NYT Durso 9/15/77

Wednesday, September 14, 1977

Ill Bronx Woman, 71, Returns to Find Home Ravaged

A 71-yer-old woman convalescing from surgery in her son’s home returned to her Bronx apartment to find that it had been trashed. A piano was stolen. Officials acknowledge that the police did not attempt an onsite investigation of the burglary until they were asked about them by a reported. “I need an apartment and furnishings and have to start over from scratch,” said Ann Massimiano. Social workers believe that crimes against older people living in isolation are on the rise. “That’s the name of the game in this area. Their apartments are watched. People prey on them.”

The apartment contained wall-to-wall debris. The front door was simply held in place by nails, placed there by the superintendent. “I thought I was going to collapse.” The super said he had learned of break-ins on July 1, 8, 19, and 23 but had no phone number where he could reach them.(He changed his story, though, telling the police the break-ins happened on the 8th, 12th and 18th).

excerpt from Judith Cummings NYT 9/14/77

Tuesday, September 13, 1977

Two Men Arrested For Robbing Elderly

Two young men suspected of numerous attacks on elderly people and charged with shooting a 71-year-old man and pistol-whipping his 70-year-old wife in an attempted robbery last Friday were ordered held on $100,000 bail in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

Frank Marshall, 21, and Curtis Reliford, 20, were implicated in at least 33 attacks on elderly people in Brooklyn and Queens during the last three months.

The assailants in the attacks almost invariably were well-dressed in leisure or business suits and carried pistols – they carried away their loot in attaché cases.

The defendants were seized in a struggle with four police officers in which they allegedly attempted to draw revolvers from an attaché case.

excerpt from NYT 9/13/77 R. McFadden

Monday, September 12, 1977

The Last Day of Forest Hills

In the years to come, when tennis aficionados reflect on the charm of Forest Hills, the will remember how the players used to walk down from the clubhouse to the stadium and back again. That’s were the people could see them up close.

When the Open moves to Flushing Meadows next year the stadium will accommodate 20,000 compared to 12,600 here.

The poet, Guillermo Vilas found the pentameter of his game, to the cheers of those who obviously preferred the poet to the punk. When it ended there was another demonstration, this time by Jimmy Connors who stalked out of the stadium without waiting for the presentation ceremony. At the last ceremony on the last day of the Open at Forest Hills, nobody missed him.

To A Seething Connors, Open Title is Still Open 9/13/77

“Maybe there are too many heroes in this country in too many sports. If I go to Argentina for Davis Cup, do they cheer for me? In Argentina, there’s only one player, and he’s their hero.” It got to the point where fans clapped for his service faults. Connors always has been anti-establishment and aggressive, in his style of play and in his attitude toward officials. Bob Dailey of CBS said the final call had been “late.” But it was impossible to tell due to camera angle if the ball was in or out. The outpouring of fans never gave Vilas and Connors an opportunity for the traditional handshake.

The final scene typified the strange twists to the farewell at Forest Hills. Bomb threats, a shot that wounded a spectator, the first transsexual competitor, the youngest player ever, and a final day demonstration against apartied in South Africa were only a few of the noteworthy events during the 12-day tournament.
The word was that South African tennis officials were meeting next week to discuss merging their black and white federations. The USTA said that, “unless there is an effort to merge, we will have no choice but to lessen our support for South Africa in international team play.”

NYT Anderson 9/12/77

Vilas Captures Open Title From Connors 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-0

It was a farewell to remember at Forest Hills yesterday as Guillermo Vilas beat Jimmy Connors in four thrilling set for the men’s singles title at the United States Open tennis championship. Vilas extended his amazing summer winning streak to 29 matches and 46 on clay or hard surfaces. He also appeared to assure himself of being named the world’s number one player.

The match had all the dramatic ingredients of a heavyweight title fight, even a bomb scare earlier in the day and a protest demonstration against South Africa.
Vilas did it the hard way, dethroning a determined defending champion who felt that he owned a piece of the concrete horseshoe, and continually coming back just when it seemed as if he might be counted out. But this was a tougher, more disciplined player than the cerebral artist who was knocked out in straight sets by Connors in the semifinals here last year. “His biggest improvement was his mental attitude.”

The final mob scene at center court with Vilas riding on the shoulders of his joyous supporters. A controversial late tentative call on the last point had Connors and the cebrating infuriated Connors. He skipped the ceremony and news conference.

NYT 9/12/77

Palm Reader Held As Widow’s Captor Over Nine Months

A palm readers and her boyfriend were arrested on charges of holding a 37-year-old widow a virtual captive for nine months and robbing her of about $5000 in Social Security payments on the pretext that they would cure her crippled 15-year-old daughter.

They were also accused of assaulting their victim with baseball bats and lighted cigarettes.

According to the story told to the police by Mrs. Maria Nievies, she had gone to Miss Mary Hernandez’s apartment last November in the hope that the latter’s religious powers would cure her daughter. The apartment was adorned with altars and religious statues. Miss H persuaded her to stay with her daughter and son, 16. She said they permitted her to leave the apartment occasionally for errands but warned her to keep silent and threatened harm to the daughter if she did not return. She said they forced her to sign over her monthly Social Security checks. They shaved her head and did not permit her to bathe for months. Last Friday a friend persuaded her that her captors could not help her daughter and so she called police. She was treated for lacerations and bruises.

Excerpt from Emanuel Perlmutter Sept 12, 1977 New York Times

Sunday, September 11, 1977

Affirmed, $4.40, Beats Alydar by a Nose

Harbor View Farm’s Affirmed continued to show who’s boss in the dramatic rivalry he’s been waging with Calumet’s Alydar by capturing the $112,000 Futurity yesterday before 25,500 spectators at Belmont Park.

The victory, the third by Affirmed in four meetings was scored by a nose. And it was a winning effort that made another rematch between the colts seem all the more inviting.

In triumphing, Affirmed outlasted Alydar in a tense stretch duel in which both jockeys put their mounts under sustained pressure.

Even after the race was finished, Eddie Maple, who had the leg up on the runner-up, refused to concede that Affirmed was Alydar’s master. The winner was ridden by 17-year-old Steve Cauthen who continues to lead jockeys in the two week old Belmont meeting.

NYT Strauss 9/11/77

Friday, September 09, 1977

Father of Berkowitz Seeking Role As Conservator of Son’s Property

The father of David R. Berkowitz, the man accused of being the Son of Sam killer, has moved to become conservator of is son’s property.

If Mr. B is appointed conservator by the court, he would control all income, assets and investments derived from literary and film contracts based on the life of the 24-year-old Yonkers mail clerk.

In his affidavit, Mr. B mentioned attempts by Philip Peltz, a former lawyer for his son, and other unidentified people who “entered into contracts with David purportedly for the purpose of representation and the making of tape recordings, which are ultimately intended to be sold through various literary agents.”

Excerpt from Marcia Chambers Sept 9, 1977 New York Times

Thursday, September 08, 1977

Woman Is Charged In FALN Blast

A 22-year-old woman identified through a fingerprint found at the site of the August 3rd bombing that killed one person and injured several others at the Mobil Oil Building in Manhattan was charged with the bombing yesterday.

The suspect was identified as Marie Haydee Beltran Torres. She and her husband, Carlos Alberto Torres are being sought by the authorities.

Commissioner Codd’s description Mrs. Torres, delivered in a flat tone of voice, was all the more dramatic for its brevity.

“She’s 22 years of age,” he said. “Her present address is unknown, and she is married.”

Police sources say the bomb set off at the Mobil Building’s street level employment offices was concealed in an umbrella placed on the coatrack at about 9:10am. It exploded at 10:42am killing Charles Steinberg, a partner in an employment service.

Chicago police found more than 200 sticks of dynamite and other material in the Torres apartment last November.

NYT Lubasch 9/8/77

Suspect in 37 LI Motel Burglaries Found Dead In His Apartment

A 47-year-old former publishing executive who was arrested three weeks ago by the police in East Hampton LI as a suspect in 37 motel burglaries, was found dead yesterday, apparently of a drug overdose, in his East Side Manhattan apartment, the police reported.

The police identified the dead man as John Rodney, a former executive at Conde Nast (most recently advertising director with American Home magazine.
A note with a formal apology to his victims and family was found alongside his body in his apartment at 166 East 63rd Street. In the robberies $550,000 in jewels and other valuables were taken.

Shortly after 1 AM on August 20, detectives who had staked out a motel where there had been a rash of robberies said they saw Mr. Rodney trying to enter several motel rooms. He subsequently entered a room rented by the police as a trap.

But the most recent so-called “cat burglary” occurred in Southhampton the weekend Mr. Rodney was being detained by the police.

Excerpt from John McQuiston Sept 8, 1977 New York Times

Wednesday, September 07, 1977

50% of 176 Cited In Looting Held Full-Time Jobs

Of the 176 persons indicted on looting charges after last month’s blackout, almost half had full time jobs and less than 10 percent were on welfare, according to DA Gold.

Mr. Gold said the breakdown belied statements made earlier by President Carter and others that the looting had been committed by hungry people.

70% had prior arrest records and 43% prior convictions. 73% were black, 23% Hispanic and 4% white.

Not poor and needy – stats show job holding criminals.

Saturday, September 03, 1977

Muggers Pick on Magician and Are Taught a Trick or Two

22-year-old slight of hand expert, Sony Echavarri, wearing a big blue button stating: “I Believe in Magic,” related his tale as he awaited the arraignment of three suspects.

Mr. Echavarria said that at 6:40pm Thursday, he was on the corner of 45th and Broadway getting ready to perform when he was grabbed from behind and knocked to the ground and tried to grab is money bag. He tugged the bag away from them and gave chase. They were waiting for him in parking lot wielding nail-studded planks. “We’re going to kill you,” one of the assailants reportedly threatened. But suddenly the magician said, he flourished a scarlet silk scarf and warned it could hurt them, and turned it into a medal cane – a feat, he said, that left the muggers gawking in astonishment and backing away.

“I couldn’t let them get away with it. A magician has to have respect. If I ran away it would get around.” Mr. E, who is 6 foot 1, 185 pounds, (with a large afro and mutton chop sideburns, broad collared open shirt and jacket.) said he was surprised that anyone would select him as a victim.

Echavarria an admirer of Phillipe Petit the French aerialist who walked a wire between the twin towers, claimed that on September 12th, he will attempt to “extricate himself from a straitjacket while hanging upside down from a helicopter hovering above the World Trade Center 1500 feet above the pavement”.

Excerpt from Leslie Maitland Sept 3, 1977 New York Times

Thursday, September 01, 1977

Hanging of “Birdman” in Bronx Pet Shop Break-In Is Being Investigated

“It’s like Agatha Christie,” said Pat Sasso, the detective working on the murder of “the birdman,” who was found hanged in a dilapidated pet shop in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, his hands and feet tied with twine.

The 400 pigeons he was guarding, the only animals in the shop were he was “night watchman”, were gone. The police don’t know how the intruders got into the “fortified” pet store, why the killed 61-year-old Olin Wardlaw, or why they chose hanging.

“I would really like to know who did this, said Wardlaw’s sister/roommate. He was such a nice “boy.” Everybody loved him.” Wardlaw retired last year from a Buick assembly plant in Buffalo and had been filing in for the regular night watchman. (A fill-in night watchman at a pigeon store).

Despite a sign in front advertising monkeys, fish and poodles, the pigeons (and some bird feed were the only things in the store. A hundred of the pigeons were of the homing variety and belonged to the regular night watchman. The others, according to police, were being boarded at the store. Total value was put at $400 – one dollar per bird. The homing pigeons have little value other than to their original owner since they can’t be trained to return to a new coop. The other birds are useful as breeders, or to lure wild birds.

The police doubt that they will end up as squab, and a nearby poultry market reported no new source of supply or increased competition.

The 400 birds are not easy to identify if their leg bands are removed. “It’s like any other animal,” said Charles Herin, a spokesman for the American Racing Pigeon Union. “If you’d had them long enough, you could recognize them, but there’s really no proof.”

Detective Sasso thinks they could be hidden “in a vacant house or down in a basement and they will be purchased.” Even if the original owner recognized his bird, “it would never stand up in court,” he said. The Detective said there were some suspects in the case but would give no details.

The pet shop is still open, selling yellow and brown chicks, which a hand-lettered sign on cardboard taped to the window says are 50 cents each. But the phone was disconnected in mid-July, and the landlord says that for several months the owner, Charles Lehnert has been paying only part of the $275 rent.

“He claims he’s not doing any business because he’s been broken into many, many times,” said Mikita Drakotos. “IF it was anyone else,” he added, “he would have packed it in long ago.” Detective Sasso believes Mr. Lehnert, who he says is 71 years old, will close the store soon.

Excerpt from Matthew Wald Sept 1, 1977 New York Times