Dateline NBC is so well done. The Black Candle Confession. There are things left out, like the fact that the detective lied and bluffed about having DNA evidence. They come off as sleazy even though they stand for and were doing the right thing.

Iowa. They seem to have a disproportionate number of psycho killers. They also have these little newspapers (still) that write about them.

The link from the Muscatine Journal finally put it all together.

The D.A. is not real admirable either. I mean, the whole department is kind of backward and incompetent. It was a weak and poorly put-together case. But they weren’t on trial and they got it to stick. He had the courage and worked for it.

And then there is Corey Weineke himself. He is living with and outwardly, publicly, they-both-say-it engaged to one woman. He is 22 and about to drive the mother of his child home after he closed the bar at 2 am. In the meantime another woman he is having a public, frequently sexual affair with is passed out drunk in the back of his Cadillac. She, the third woman who was 29 with a 10-year old daughter, would beat him to death the next day.

It is a pretty “good” crime, I suppose. Who would think a small woman could do such a thing to the center for the football team?

Convicted. Murderer, and a liar for 25 years about it. The end.

Dulos, part 2

There is more work to be done. The videos.

There is also the interview on Dateline. Finally, there is the one with Norm Pattis by the judge.

“That of course is laughable. There is no documentation.”

Start with Dateline. It begins around 35:00. Everything so far has been a lie. She is alive. She is a good mother. The “divorce was going to be amicable.”

“Didn’t even really argue all those years.” It is all nonsense.

“I would lie to you if I told you that I didn’t have a very nice life. I was with somebody that I was completely enamored with”

“The divorce was… and I couldn’t wait for it to be over with.” He was the one holding it up. He was going to get the short straw in custody. He was the one having serious financial problems without her family’s money.

“Gave them my phone. Willingly.” (Virtually) every sentence is a lie. Is that you’re phone? I think we’ll keep it. It was not voluntary.

Please end! “Nothing that I didn’t want them to have.” Sure, that is why you spent the day cleaning and throwing things away in 30 different waste stops after the murder.

It is tedious and hard to get through; every sentence. “… I wish she were here, to sort this mess out. And I am still hoping that she is goin’ to show up. “

It is victim bashing, or at least it is watered-down to victim blaming. First get this out of the way: he has an unusual confidence in his ability to look into a camera or make eye contact and lie. His appearance may be anything from OK to handsome; he is confident and potentially charming.

But more to the immediate point, he blames others. His entire lifestyle and narcissism caused the situation he is in.

Finally. “Maybe not at my door, but at some door.”

He is delusional. He can justify or rationalize anything. Now that behavior is his criminal defense. They have a lot of evidence.

#2 the video above.

It is dated July; Dateline was September.

One quick other video firstI lied, but only for a minute. Interesting… I believe Gloria Farber paid it off and now, while still evicted, he owes her.

I really did mean to finish this. Maybe someday I will, particularly Pattis. What I was getting at above, and I became sort of sidetracked by the Fore Group videos, is I don’t think he was a good marketer. He certainly did not sell himself well in the interviews either.

His developments are just chopped-out pieces of forest with gigantic homes placed on them. At one point, through sheer collusion, he became somewhat of a local celebrity, but as we saw that ended very quickly and dramatically. Without that, who needs his overpriced houses? As has recently been divulged, his sister is an architect and helped with the Fore Group. He would pretend to be a big shot, and use, anyone.

His last words are the end in terms of first person Fotis. I think sometimes you see last notes to people or others that can be characterized as suicide notes. I think this one was left on the car seat. It is obviously last words and a suicide not and it is about himself.

Ms. Anna Curry… If you’ve got it, why not? It is just money and it has been a very kind stock market. I wonder if she gets it back now that he is dead?

Markle and more

Stunning. I remember a scene in the movie Vision Quest. And I sit here in my little room and watch… Thanks to those people who want to do the right thing. Some can only observe or be grateful in their own way. Others do what they can, also in their own way.

More importantly, I am reminded of the quote from somewhere: If you have the opportunity to do great things, take it. I’m sure it has been said in a lot of different ways.

Meghan Markle appears unspectacular to me–she is a former actress, divorced once, grew up in a middle class (predominantly black) area of L.A., and she obtained a degree from Northwestern in theater and international studies. Markle has also worked in fashion , merchandising, and marketing. She met Prince Harry on a blind date set up by acquaintances.

Perhaps it is a bad vice. For now I am addicted to dailymail.uk on my smartphone and there are constant blurbs about Megxit. One was Prince William saying he always put his arm around his brother but he cannot do it anymore; true or not, I don’t know.

Letting down others, your country, and failing to live up to expectations is one way to look at it. Abdicating on a an opportunity for greatness is another.

Bad News

https://patch.com/connecticut/newcanaan/fotis-dulos-has-passed-pair-psych-evaluations-attorney-claims

Gregarious and confident and lacks “psychopathology.”

Lawyers playing psychologist, and psychologists playing lawyer.

Psychopathology is “the scientific study of mental disorders.”

Next up, a Personality Assessment Inventory.

Who wouldn’t want Porsche seats in a 2003 Toyota Tacoma?

It is an interesting case all centering on two people who could not get along, act civil, or care about their parents or children. One is dead from a violent killing, the other is in prison for murder, and the rest of the family remains.

How will the kids treat him?

It centered on tampering with evidence. They drove around throwing away bloody items. The local, high-priced New Canaan police dug through parks, dumps, and trash cans everywhere. The state police arrested him.

The pictures, video, and coverage are fantastic.

I am afraid of my husband. I know that filing for divorce, and filing this motion will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way. He has the attitude that he must always win at all costs. He is dangerous and ruthless when he believes that he has been wronged. During the course of our marriage, he told me about sickening revenge fantasies and plans to cause physical harm to others who have wronged him. For example, flying a plane over an ex-client’s home and dropping a brick on his house. I fear for my family’s safety and I believe him to be highly capable and vengeful enough to take the children and disappear.”

They both went to Brown and she went on to earn a masters in writing from NYU, and he a MBA from Columbia. I remember the teen rape at Stanford and the letter. I also knew someone who said she had undergone a myriad of personality tests and that restraining orders in divorces are normal.

Her family has money. She lived in a $3 million house with a nanny and he was persona non grata. I remember this too: the Southern California case of the guy who rode a bike to the movie theater Brinks truck murder and robbery.

It is surprising that so many of the great videos have comments from people who have not been following that there is no evidence. There has been a lot less in murder convictions elsewhere. Right from the start he did not cooperate. They worked it hard, smart, and with money and arrested him within a week for tampering (like obstruction).

The motive? Oh, he lived in a $3 million home too (actually, appraised near two and trying to sell for four) that he was trying to sell. He was in debt. Her family had money and he did not.

What a beautiful couple with looks, brains, and money. Oh, and five kids. Now he looks like a common criminal, sans the tattoos.

The pictures and videos are very revealing.

“The real national news story is that this happens every day,” Charlotte said. “If it happened in any other town, this would not be national news. (Women disappear or are killed) all over the world all the time and it’s only getting attention because it involves a woman in a wealthy town. If she was a person of color, or from another socioeconomic background, no one would (care).”

https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-ct-dulos-court-20190603-ndbwxvndpfa3xdknw4wvxqmhqi-story.html

This is great coverage and writing. We do not have that in Colorado.

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1820-Albany-Ave_West-Hartford_CT_06117_M41046-20382#photo38

The above link is not far from the intersection, sewer grate, video surveillance area, and all that. Monthly payments, $2500; monthly taxes, $2500.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/nyregion/jennifer-dulos-michelle-troconis-fotis-dulos.html


There is still a mystery here–where is the body?–so the case is worth keeping in touch with. There are three defendants. Will one of them crack?

Other than a warning to be careful with RSS, I don’t know what this is. This does not make much sense either. As usual, Dateline is a really good place to start. The woman in the episode said that her writing is about wanting love and I agree. It is not about current events, learning, or doing anything. All she does is observe her kids from a distance and name/place drop. It does have an eerie and mystical air to it, and that is appealing, but that may have more to do with the events since. Perhaps she is a good writer if she works at it. It also smacks of depression.

For him it was a second marriage after the first one fizzled in about 3 years; they were married the month after his divorce, once again for him, in Athens. They met in a Colorado airport (she was in Aspen) some thirteen years after Brown. She seems malleable or even easy at first, and that would change. All five kids have Greek names.

Over the course of twelve years her family lent him over $12 million. It is easier to buy lots and build houses when someone is fronting you interest-free money. The house they lived in is now owned by Gloria Farber. They seemed to survive the Great Recession fine, but afterward his company was barely surviving. He couldn’t do it without the infusions of cash. The first time he was arrested he could not come up with $50K for bond.

He was living off her and philandering to boot. It reminds me of the Gary Triano case, but in that one she killed him. Nannies, Porsches, and gigantic houses in expensive neighborhoods are expensive. Add-in real estate that you are sitting-on and paying for, working out of your home with a large family, and it is stressful. Who is to say he is that much smarter than everyone else in buying vacant land and building massive homes one at a time? If you look at the Fore Group (a.k.a., Foregroup) website one of the properties for sale is the land–the house is an artist’s conception–from his deceased mother’s house. Real estate taxes in that part of the world are high.

She knew about the affair(s) and cash squandering. It was hopeless. He was putting his money and affection into something besides his own family. In her writing she seems pretty lost too. The nanny took care of the kids and the maid cleaned the house…

The Farbers fought back hard and began to break him. They bled him with (a lack of) money, lawsuits, and took away his kids. Two days before the murder he had a picnic with them in his wife’s backyard. He could not see them without a third-party present and he was not allowed in the house. He was humiliated, eviscerated, and emasculated.

We don’t victim bash around here because a murderer is a psychopath, but they both seem spoiled to me. They were a terrible match.

Even the just as facile girlfriend with her young daughter in tow back and forth to court said “We fight all the time.” The degrees from Brown and NYU were worthless. He is sitting on expensive real estate and paying the blood-sucking lawyers. The cops have his phone and computers. He was ruined.

“I didn’t think she would do this to me,” Fotis Dulos said to Michelle Traconis. He did the rest.

It is a fascinating story of an otherwise confident and capable man pushed the brink. He was out for himself and he just could not take it anymore; surely you must know you are going to be caught, but he did it anyway. He will almost certainly spend the rest of his life in jail. That last part is where the defense lawyers and Norm Pattis in particular look so ridiculous: It is an extremely strong case and virtually everything out of his mouth sounds phony and money-grabbing, duty to defend or not.

In the meantime, Dulos is sitting in a 15,000 square foot home that he can barely leave. Remember, this is a family without pensions, 401Ks, or IRAs; her family has money (Hilliard Farber and Liz Clayborne) and the kids have trusts. Fotis Dulos worked for Petros Dulos & Associates when out of college but his family is sketchy; it seems they all moved to the Connecticut area when he attended college in Providence, but that is unclear. This is it, this is his last and only chance, and somehow he received a cash infusion (rumor is from Greece) to post bond on the murder charge. So far no one is getting a lot of answers as to where the money is coming from, but that pressure is likely to increase. It is probable he is selling everything he has at less than top dollar. He has already been sent a notice of eviction from the Farber matriarch. He is prohibited from contacting the other defendants. How will he pay the bills?

He had, past tense, a certain charm. He was able to promote the big houses, seduce women, and wear monogrammed shirts with cuff links through it all. Do you think little kids had a chance? He was able to lie to anyone, from the project manager at the Fore Group with the red Toyota Tocoma to a judge in family court. When the money ran out his true colors showed. He is a classic narcissist gone con man.

Not Gone Girl. Gone con man, and ultimately murder.

The Christmas Story

A.k.a., the Craigslist Christmas.

Early in 2019 when I turned fifty-nine and a half I began to look for carpet. I floundered. Why anyone would change their house over someone with a bunch of samples in the back of a truck I don’t know. In landscaping there is a general rule: place the new plants in their new home before digging and planting. That is not so easy with carpet, plus the expenses are a lot higher and the people may be undependable.

Isn’t it beautiful? Enough written about that for now.

While old by many standards, I am part of the end of the first generation to retire on their own due to IRAs. The change is huge. People no longer stay at jobs in order to qualify for a pension. Anyone who kept even a small amount in such an arrangement made a mistake because a 401K with company matching is much better. Then, when it becomes an IRA, or better yet a Roth IRA, you are in the money.

I was lucky and good at it in order to achieve that kind of growth. It is an incredible thing to have financial independence, even if it is not a billion or even a million.

Early on in 2019 I went on a spree. First it was the big black Mercedes diesel. Battery, antifreeze, tires, and all-around check-up that did nothing more than fail and put the car right back in the garage. There was the fiasco with MetLife, county and state cops, and nonexistent Quest Tow Network.

Then I decided to upgrade my washing machine. What does a life-long bachelor know about buying a washing machine? There was a time that the thing to do was to go to Sears. There is a debate about which is better, old agitator or new without. I couldn’t even open the damn thing in the place where it was, and I could afford to upgrade. E-commerce can be great. Isn’t it beautiful?

Not only did I not know how to buy a washing machine, I didn’t know how to get rid of one. People sell used washing machines for $250-300. On the other hand, you can buy a new one (a small one) online, delivered, for $100. I figured my old one is worth $200, therefore I will sell it for $100.

My gosh, nobody wants to see a picture of a washing machine, but I sure would like to get rid of that old over the range microwave. It is about nine times bigger than any dish I ever put in it. My goal is parsimony.

$75 for the washing machine and the microwave did it and the local couple who bought it was really happy. I couldn’t believe it. They showed-up with a trailer, dolly with straps, and gave me cash. The man and the woman lifted it and would not let me do a thing. And it is exactly what they wanted. No tax, box, or delivery people.

Like me, they have lived “in the mountains” for twenty years. “Just a basic washing machine,” is what she said she wanted.

If I couldn’t get rid of it I would have given it to charity.

As the holidays approached I continued my cleaning. Or should I write clearing? It is a right of passage to be sure, and family or not at sixty it needs to be done. Call it a holiday bonfire, what with the fireplace.

I was emboldened. I learned from eBay and elsewhere, like everyone younger than me has, anything goes if you include pics or video. It was all itemized by model number and condition. I offered it for free, including the old laptops not pictured. Please take the old window and other stuff off to the right also.

For everything in that picture, save for the VCR and tube TVs, I have a newer and better one.

I posted it on Craiglist the evening of Christmas day. I could have been aware when people started responding “I’ll be there” before any pictures were included. But I started piling it up in front of the garage. I took more photos with updates; first come, first served. I was very surprised by all the replies.

I was happy. Another Christmas without family, but I had made significant progress. I had actually made it through to the walls behind. Each box had been opened. I had made every decision between keep, give away, or burn.

I also found

Gosh, this was never finished. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Where I live, the sun is at its prettiest, and it is quiet and sometimes snowy. It is also close to the solstice, the days will get longer and things will grow and become greener.

It was nice to get rid of some things and help others out in the process.

Bernie Ebbers update

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ailing-former-worldcom-ceo-ordered-201734886.html

I was around when Worldcom and Bernie hit the big time, but as is usually the case I did not understand. I worked for Nextel and the Worldcom deal was almost done… But I really did not understand.

About a year ago I tried to understand. I checked out every book with a mention of Worldcom and read everything I could find on the internet. I believe I started to write something, but it was never finished. There is not much available on the company or Ebbers himself; one local writer wrote a book that was pretty much just newspaper clippings but that is about it.

For prosperity, there is the one short CNBC video with Bernie acting as town owner.

Ebbers is from northwest Canada. He went to several colleges, played basketball, and led an unspectacular life until he became prosperous through hard work and cheap motels. He had migrated to Mississippi. He was religious and as a community do-gooder he joined a group to invest in a new opportunity in telecommuications: AT&T was forced to sell-off long distance capacity. The venture initially floundered and Ebbers became CEO.

With Scott Sullivan as the brains and Ebbers as the spokesman (not to mention UUNet), Worldcom became an acquisition machine. It helped to be in a growth market–again, not to mention wireless which Ebbers eschewed–and it was especially beneficial to be crooked. Everyone (Enron was another star) was doing it but some were worse than others. Ebbers got caught.

Seemingly untouchable was he. Boy was he arrogant. Not ignorant, which he pleaded, but arrogant.

What’s next, Madoff set free as well? That is the point, to die in prison.

Good God, prison seems like a horrible place. Ebbers was never contrite. Maybe he never adjusted.

Still it appears to be a reasonable and justifiable decision. We are, after all, human. If presented with the chance to do the right thing, do it.

The Stock Market

Since I cannot embed just a link, I will let what is above stand.

I am modestly bearish, and it is not because I want to be contrarian. It does relate to my dislike and distrust of Trump. It has more to do with fact that I do not see how the gains can continue.

I hate being a wimp. Maybe it makes sense given my age, but I dislike being down to 50% stocks.

I don’t know how anyone, including Trump and the federal government which unfortunately he controls lock, stock and barrel, can micromanage every sector of the economy.

Does 2018 offer a clue?

The Dow was down slightly in 2015. The S&P and Nasdaq were down a small amount last year. The Nasdaq, i.e., a lot of the growth, has gone bonkers since the 2008 recession.

The trouble is, the figures above do not include this year. The Nasdaq is up over 33%.

Personally, when my portfolio started to hit the mid twenties in terms of growth this year, I sold. When it hit 25% I exchanged more in stock funds to cash. Not bonds, cash.

I am now sitting on more cash in my IRA than I have ever held in my life.

So far today the U.S. market is up another 1%. It is fun to sit here and watch what is left of my stock portfolio rise.

Maybe I will buy on the dips. I am comfortable with all that cash because I still don’t trust Trump.