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Showing posts from May, 2017

For Find Out Friday Week 36- Who was Amber Behind the Life-Saving Alert?

When someone can take a tragedy and turn it into a cause that saves other lives, I feel like that is the ultimate height of the human condition.   For instance John Walsh took the kidnapping and murder of his six year old son Adam in 1981 and created “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children” in 1984, which has subsequently changed the way these crimes are tracked and how those involved find justice. Walsh also hosted “America’s Most Wanted” that hunted down the FBI’s most notoriously dangerous criminals. Talk about taking your pain and acting on it. Another brave parent was Donna Norris, mother of Amber Hagerman, who was just nine years old she went out for a neighborhood bike ride on January 13, 1996, and never returned. Amber’s body was found four days later. To this day the murderer has not been caught. At the time of Amber’s disappearance there was no notification system in place which Donna believes might have been able to save her daughter. If ther

For Life, When in Newport: “Flo’s Clam Shack”

During a recent family gathering my cousin took one bite of the shrimp that was being served, turned to me and said: “well this is no Flo’s”. It sure wasn’t. But in order for you to know what that means I must tell all of the wonderful things Flo is. Flo’s Clam Shack is a hole in the wall and no that is not an insult. This is where I had dinner my first night in Newport and it was raining cats and dogs. In fact I felt like a drowned rat. I wouldn't have gone out at all except I was hungry and had been anxiously awaiting this meal. If you Google food in Newport you will end up finding the name of Flo’s Clam Shack, which is of course how I found it. But it is not only the search engine’s favorite Newport hot spot. Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” easily one of the greatest shows ever on television, featured Flo’s Clam Shack on their “Crunchy” episode. On it, celebrity chef Chris Consentino said Flo’s fried clams on a roll was the best cru

For Life, When in Newport: “La Forge Casino and Restaurant”

Now for the delicious part of my trip: the food!! First up was a return to one of my most favorite locations in Newport; La Forge. Not only is the name French, which appeals to the Paris devotee in me, it also has some of the best food in town. Although I have been here numerous times, it was this most recent visit that has been my most favorite.  I have never had a bad meal here nor have I had the same thing twice. The menu is expansive including specialities of the day.  My first visit here coincided with my first taste of a New England classic, the lobster roll ( ). I still believe this is the best one I have had thus far even though I don’t believe it is the best thing I have ever had at La Forge. However, that is not to say the lobster roll was not good. In fact quite the opposite is true.  I have thoroughly enjoyed their cheeseburgers, salads, sandwiches, and other popular menu items ( ). La Forge seems to someh

For Life, When in Newport: “Island Cinemas 10”

My life in Newport doesn't fortunately include staying in Newport. Even in the off season I can’t afford it and really it is not necessary. I always stay in Middletown, Rhode Island which is about fifteen minutes from Bellevue Avenue a.k.a. the main hub of Newport. That makes Middletown an ideal location for me. Reasonably priced hotels and every store or restaurant you can think of are all there waiting for you just as you get off the Newport Bridge. Trust me whether you stay at the Ramada, Holiday Inn, or any of your favorite hotel chains, they are all there waiting to offer you a good deal. While in Middletown I did manage to get around pretty good. In the previous Newport post ( ) I mentioned the Newport Grand Casino which is very easy to access, but for the second evening of my three day trip I managed to fit in a night at the movies. I don’t often go to the movies because I am not usually interested in anything that is out. I prefer mov

For Find Out Friday Week 35- Why Does Both Alford and His Plea Suck?

For my fellow true crime devotees the phrase “Alford plea” is part of our regular vocabulary. Anyone who has every heard of the West Memphis Three or Michael Peterson (no relation to Scott) although he too was convicted of murdering his wife, knows that these cases famously used Alford pleas to free those involved from jail and their particular circumstances. In order to understand these cases, which I want to dive into further, we must start as always at the beginning. I have a background in legal studies so I knew what an Alford plea was but not how it came to be. For those who do not, I will catch you up. Officially and simply, an Alford plea: “Is when a defendant enters a plea of guilty without making an admission of guilt. In other words, he pleads guilty but at the same time he maintains that he's innocent. This is very different from the typical guilty plea where the defendant usually admits, in open court, that he's guilty of the crime.” This in a n