Vibenna Brothers Slaying Their Captors

Vibenna Brothers Slaying Their Captors

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Markowitz lived in West Hills, Los Angeles, with his parents, Jeff and Susan Markowitz. A feud between Nicholas' older half-brother, Ben Markowitz, and Jesse James Hollywood, a mid-level drug dealer, began over an alleged $1,200 debt owed to Hollywood by Ben Markowitz. [1] On August 6, 2000, Hollywood and his friends Jesse Rugge and William Skidmore decided to confront Ben. On their way to see him, they saw Nicholas walking on the side of the road and decided to abduct him and hold him for ransom. [2] After they chased, assaulted, and abducted Nicholas, they forced him into a white van and sped off. [3]

Hollywood and his gang then picked up Brian Affronti (another one of Hollywood's friends) and drove to Santa Barbara, California. When Hollywood and his gang informed Nicholas why they were holding him, he allegedly panicked. [ citation needed ] His captors then plied him with drugs and alcohol. [2] Hollywood left Rugge to watch Nicholas and returned to Los Angeles with the apparent intention of speaking with Ben. [ citation needed ] While in Santa Barbara, Nicholas met Rugge's friends Graham Pressley, Natasha Adams-Young, and Kelly Carpenter and attended various house parties with them. [4] Reports indicate that many witnesses, parents and teens alike, saw Nicholas with the others, but did not realize anything was amiss. [1] Also, many people knew Nicholas had been kidnapped, but did not notify the police because Nicholas appeared to be safe and having fun. [ citation needed ]

After Hollywood told Rugge that Nicholas would be returning home, Rugge and several others held a party at the Lemon Tree Inn. [4] However, after learning of the legal ramifications he could face for kidnapping, Hollywood called Ryan Hoyt, another member of his gang who owed him money. [1] [5] Hollywood gave Hoyt a TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun and directed him to kill Nicholas as a way of paying off his debt. [1] A decision was made to commit the murder on the Lizard’s Mouth trail in the Santa Ynez Mountains north of Goleta, California. [4] [6]

After the party, Hoyt, Rugge, and Pressley drove Nicholas to the mountains and walked up a trail to a grave dug by Pressley earlier that night. Rugge bound Nicholas's hands behind his back and covered his mouth with duct tape. Hoyt then hit Nicholas in the back of the head with a shovel, knocking him into the grave, and shot him nine times with Hollywood's handgun. [2] [7] The group attempted to hide the gun by placing it between the legs of Nicholas's body and covering the body with dirt and branches. [ citation needed ] However, the grave was shallow, and was located near a popular trail. Nicholas's body was found on August 12, 2000. [3] Hoyt, Rugge, Skidmore, and Pressley were all arrested. [3] Hollywood went on the run, but was eventually captured in a small town near Rio de Janeiro five years later. [1]

Several civil and criminal court proceedings have arisen from the Markowitz murder. [8] Those proceedings include:

  • Ryan Hoyt, aged 20 at the time of the murder, was charged with the first-degree murder of Markowitz. He was convicted on November 21, 2001 and sentenced to death on December 9, 2001. [9]
  • Jesse Rugge, aged 20 at the time of the murder, was charged with aiding in the kidnap and murder of Nicholas Markowitz. He was convicted in 2002 of aggravated kidnapping for ransom or extortion with special circumstances, but was acquitted on the murder charge. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after seven years. Parole was denied in 2006. [10] After serving 11 years in prison Rugge was granted parole, and released from prison on October 24, 2013. [11]
  • William Skidmore, aged 20 at the time of the murder, was charged with kidnapping and robbery. In September 2002, he was sentenced to nine years in a state prison as part of a plea bargain. [12] Skidmore was released in April 2009. [13]
  • Graham Pressley, aged 17 at the time of the murder, dug Markowitz's grave. He was tried twice. In July 2002, he was acquitted of kidnapping the jury hung on the murder charge. In October 2002, he was retried on the murder charge and was convicted of second-degree murder. Pressley was incarcerated at a California Youth Authority facility until shortly before his 25th birthday in 2007. [14] He has since been released. [13]
  • Jesse James Hollywood, aged 20 at the time of the murder, was not present at the scene of the crime however, he was later found to have ordered the murder. After Markowitz was killed, Hollywood immediately went on the run. He was arrested in Saquarema, Brazil after being on the FBI's most wanted list for five years. [15] In 2009, Hollywood was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. [16]
  • In 2003, the Markowitz family won an $11.2 million civil lawsuit against the kidnappers and the murderers, along with other defendants such as the family friend whose van was used in the kidnapping and the owners of several homes where Nicholas was held against his will. [17]

The feature film Alpha Dog, based on the events leading up to the murder of Nicholas Markowitz and directed by Nick Cassavetes, was released in 2006. [1] In the film, the character modeled after Markowitz was named Zack Mazursky. The role was played by Anton Yelchin. [18]

In August, 1799, the Harpe Brothers also gutted a man. When the unwary Stegall family gave them shelter in Kentucky, they repaid the hospitality by slaying one of their house guests. In another crime against an infant, they also slew Mrs. Stegall&rsquos four-month-old baby boy, because his crying annoyed them. When a horrified Mrs. Stegall screamed, the Harpe brothers did her in too. Those depravities led to the formation of a posse that included Moses Stegall, whose wife and baby the Harpes had slain. They caught up with the siblings on August 24 th , 1799, just as they were about to kill another victim. The brothers tried to flee, but Micajah &ldquoBig&rdquo Harpe was shot in the leg and back.

While Big Harpe was still conscious, Moses Stegall slowly cut off his head, which was later spiked on a pole. Wiley &ldquoLittle&rdquo Harpe escaped, and rejoined Samuel Mason&rsquos river pirate crew. Four years later, the Cave-In-Rock was raided, and Little Harpe escaped with Mason, who was wounded. Harpe, who was using an alias, killed Mason, cut off his head, and along with another escaped pirate, tried to claim a reward. While presenting Mason&rsquos head, Harpe and his companion were recognized as outlaws, and arrested. They were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. The Harpe depravities ended in January, 1804, when Little Harpe was hanged.


The earliest documented use of the term appears in a February 1805 issue of The Sydney Gazette, which reports that a cart had been stopped between Sydney and Hawkesbury by three men "whose appearance sanctioned the suspicion of their being bush-rangers". [3] John Bigge described bushranging in 1821 as "absconding in the woods and living upon plunder and the robbery of orchards." Charles Darwin likewise recorded in 1835 that a bushranger was "an open villain who subsists by highway robbery, and will sooner be killed than taken alive". [4]

Over 2,000 bushrangers are estimated to have roamed the Australian countryside, beginning with the convict bolters and drawing to a close after Ned Kelly's last stand at Glenrowan. [5]

Convict era (1780s–1840s) Edit

Bushranging began soon after British settlement with the establishment of New South Wales as a penal colony in 1788. The majority of early bushrangers were convicts who had escaped prison, or from the properties of landowners to whom they had been assigned as servants. These bushrangers, also known as "bolters", preferred the hazards of wild, unexplored bushland surrounding Sydney to the deprivation and brutality of convict life. The first notable bushranger, African convict John Caesar, robbed settlers for food, and had a brief, tempestuous alliance with Aboriginal resistance fighters during Pemulwuy's War. While other bushrangers would go on to fight alongside Indigenous Australians in frontier conflicts with the colonial authorities, the Government tried to bring an end to any such collaboration by rewarding Aborigines for returning convicts to custody. Aboriginal trackers would play a significant role in the hunt for bushrangers.

Colonel Godfrey Mundy described convict bushrangers as "desperate, hopeless, fearless rendered so, perhaps, by the tyranny of a gaoler, of an overseer, or of a master to whom he has been assigned." Edward Smith Hall, editor of early Sydney newspaper The Monitor, agreed that the convict system was a breeding-ground for bushrangers due to its savagery, with starvation and acts of torture being rampant. "Liberty or Death!" was the cry of convict bushrangers, and in large numbers they roamed beyond Sydney, some hoping to reach China, which was commonly believed to be connected by an overland route. Some bolters seized boats and set sail for foreign lands, but most were hunted down and brought back to Australia. Others attempted to inspire an overhaul of the convict system, or simply sought revenge on their captors. This latter desire found expression in the convict ballad "Jim Jones at Botany Bay", in which Jones, the narrator, plans to join bushranger Jack Donahue and "gun the floggers down".

Donahue was the most notorious of the early New South Wales bushrangers, terrorising settlements outside Sydney from 1827 until he was fatally shot by a trooper in 1830. [3] That same year, west of the Blue Mountains, convict Ralph Entwistle sparked a bushranging insurgency known as the Bathurst Rebellion. He and his gang raided farms, liberating assigned convicts by force in the process, and within a month, his personal army numbered 80 men. Following gun battles with vigilante posses, mounted policemen and soldiers of the 39th and 57th Regiment of Foot, he and nine of his men were captured and executed.

Convict bushrangers were particularly prevalent in the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (now the state of Tasmania), established in 1803. [3] The island's most powerful bushranger, the self-styled "Lieutenant Governor of the Woods", Michael Howe, led a gang of up to one hundred members "in what amounted to a civil war" with the colonial government. [6] His control over large swathes of the island prompted elite squatters from Hobart and Launceston to collude with him, and for six months in 1815, Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Davey, fearing a convict uprising, declared martial law in an effort to suppress Howe's influence. Most of the gang had either been captured or killed by 1818, the year Howe was clubbed to death. [6] Vandemonian bushranging peaked in the 1820s with hundreds of bolters at large, among the most notorious being Matthew Brady's gang, and cannibal serial killers Alexander Pearce and Thomas Jeffries. Originally a New South Wales bushranger, Jackey Jackey (alias of William Westwood) was sent to Van Diemen's Land in 1842 after attempting to escape Cockatoo Island. In 1843, he escaped Port Arthur, and took up bushranging in Tasmania's mountains, but was recaptured and sent to Norfolk Island, where, as leader of the 1846 Cooking Pot Uprising, he murdered three constables, and was hanged along with sixteen of his men.

The era of convict bushrangers gradually faded with the decline in penal transportations to Australia in the 1840s. It had ceased by the 1850s to all colonies except Western Australia, which accepted convicts between 1850 and 1868. The best-known convict bushranger of the colony was the prolific escapee Moondyne Joe.

Gold rush era (1850s–1860s) Edit

The bushrangers' heyday was the Gold Rush years of the 1850s and 1860s as the discovery of gold gave bushrangers access to great wealth that was portable and easily converted to cash. Their task was assisted by the isolated location of the goldfields and a police force decimated by troopers abandoning their duties to join the gold rush. [5]

George Melville was hanged in front of a large crowd for robbing the McIvor gold escort near Castlemaine in 1853. [5]

Bushranging numbers flourished in New South Wales with the rise of the colonial-born sons of poor, often ex-convict squatters who were drawn to a more glamorous life than mining or farming. [5]

Much of the activity in this era was in the Lachlan Valley, around Forbes, Yass and Cowra. [5]

The Gardiner–Hall gang, led by Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall and counting John Dunn, John Gilbert and Fred Lowry among its members, was responsible for some of the most daring robberies of the 1860s, including the 1862 Escort Rock robbery, Australia's largest ever gold heist. The gang also engaged in many shootouts with the police, resulting in deaths on both sides. Other bushrangers active in New South Wales during this period, such as Dan Morgan, [5] and the Clarke brothers and their associates, murdered multiple policemen. [7]

As bushranging continued to escalate in the 1860s, the Parliament of New South Wales passed a bill, the Felons Apprehension Act 1865, that effectively allowed anyone to shoot outlawed bushrangers on sight. [8] By the time that the Clarke brothers were captured and hanged in 1867, organised gang bushranging in New South Wales had effectively ceased.

Captain Thunderbolt (alias of Frederick Ward) robbed inns and mail-coaches across northern New South Wales for six and a half years, one of the longest careers of any bushranger. [3] He sometimes operated alone at other times, he led gangs, and was accompanied by his Aboriginal 'wife', Mary Ann Bugg, who is credited with helping extend his career. [3]

Decline and the Kelly gang (1870s–1880s) Edit

The increasing push of settlement, increased police efficiency, improvements in rail transport and communications technology, such as telegraphy, made it more difficult for bushrangers to evade capture. In 1870, Captain Thunderbolt was fatally shot by a policeman, and with his death, the New South Wales bushranging epidemic that began in the early 1860s came to an end. [9]

The scholarly, but eccentric Captain Moonlite (alias of Andrew George Scott) worked as an Anglican lay reader before turning to bushranging. Imprisoned in Ballarat for an armed bank robbery on the Victorian goldfields, he escaped, but was soon recaptured and received a ten-year sentence in HM Prison Pentridge. Within a year of his release in 1879, he and his gang held up the town of Wantabadgery in the Riverina. Two of the gang (including Moonlite's "soulmate" and alleged lover, James Nesbitt) and one trooper were killed when the police attacked. Scott was found guilty of murder and hanged along with one of his accomplices on 20 January 1880.

Among the last bushrangers was the Kelly gang in Victoria, led by Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous bushranger. After murdering three policemen in a shootout in 1878, the gang was outlawed, and after raiding towns and robbing banks into 1879, earned the distinction of having the largest reward ever placed on the heads of bushrangers. In 1880, after failing to derail and ambush a police train, the gang, clad in bulletproof armour they had devised, engaged in a shootout with the police. Ned Kelly, the only gang member to survive, was hanged at the Melbourne Gaol in November 1880.

Isolated outbreaks (1890s–1900s) Edit

In 1900 the indigenous Governor Brothers terrorised much of northern New South Wales. [5]

"Boy bushrangers" (1910s–1920s) Edit

The final phase of bushranging was sustained by the so-called "boy bushrangers"—youths who sought to commit crimes, mostly armed robberies, modelled on the exploits of their bushranging "heroes". The majority were captured alive without any fatalities. [10]

In Australia, bushrangers often attract public sympathy (cf. the concept of social bandits). In Australian history and iconography bushrangers are held in some esteem in some quarters due to the harshness and anti-Catholicism of the colonial authorities whom they embarrassed, and the romanticism of the lawlessness they represented. Some bushrangers, most notably Ned Kelly in his Jerilderie letter, and in his final raid on Glenrowan, explicitly represented themselves as political rebels. Attitudes to Kelly, by far the most well-known bushranger, exemplify the ambivalent views of Australians regarding bushranging.

The impact of bushrangers upon the areas in which they roamed is evidenced in the names of many geographical features in Australia, including Brady's Lookout, Moondyne Cave, the township of Codrington, Mount Tennent, Thunderbolts Way and Ward's Mistake. The districts of North East Victoria are unofficially known as Kelly Country.

Some bushrangers made a mark on Australian literature. While running from soldiers in 1818, Michael Howe dropped a knapsack containing a self-made book of kangaroo skin and written in kangaroo blood. In it was a dream diary and plans for a settlement he intended to found in the bush. Sometime bushranger Francis MacNamara, also known as Frank the Poet, wrote some of the best-known poems of the convict era. Several convict bushrangers also wrote autobiographies, including Jackey Jackey, Martin Cash and Owen Suffolk.

Cultural depictions Edit

Jack Donahue was the first bushranger to have inspired bush ballads, including "Bold Jack Donahue" and "The Wild Colonial Boy". [11] Ben Hall and his gang were the subject of several bush ballads, including "Streets of Forbes".

Michael Howe inspired the earliest play set in Tasmania, Michael Howe: The Terror! of Van Diemen's Land, which premiered at The Old Vic in London in 1821. Other early plays about bushrangers include David Burn's The Bushrangers (1829), William Leman Rede's Faith and Falsehood or, The Fate of the Bushranger (1830), William Thomas Moncrieff's Van Diemen's Land: An Operatic Drama (1831), The Bushrangers or, Norwood Vale (1834) by Henry Melville, and The Bushrangers or, The Tregedy of Donohoe (1835) by Charles Harpur.

In the late 19th century, E. W. Hornung and Hume Nisbet created popular bushranger novels within the conventions of the European "noble bandit" tradition. First serialised in The Sydney Mail in 1882–83, Rolf Boldrewood's bushranging novel Robbery Under Arms is considered a classic of Australian colonial literature. It also cited as an important influence on the American writer Owen Wister's 1902 novel The Virginian, widely regarded as the first Western. [12]

Bushrangers were a favoured subject of colonial artists such as S. T. Gill, Frank P. Mahony and William Strutt. Tom Roberts, one of the leading figures of the Heidelberg School (also known as Australian Impressionism), depicted bushrangers in some of his history paintings, including In a corner on the Macintyre (1894) and Bailed Up (1895), both set in Inverell, the area where Captain Thunderbolt was once active.

Although not the first Australian film with a bushranging theme, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)—the world's first feature-length narrative film—is regarded as having set the template for the genre. On the back of the film's success, its producers released one of two 1907 film adaptations of Boldrewood's Robbery Under Arms (the other being Charles MacMahon's version). Entering the first "golden age" of Australian cinema (1910–12), director John Gavin released two fictionalised accounts of real-life bushrangers: Moonlite (1910) and Thunderbolt (1910). The genre's popularity with audiences led to a spike of production unprecedented in world cinema. [13] Dan Morgan (1911) is notable for portraying its title character as an insane villain rather than a figure of romance. Ben Hall, Frank Gardiner, Captain Starlight, and numerous other bushrangers also received cinematic treatments at this time. Alarmed by what they saw as the glorification of outlaw life, state governments imposed a ban on bushranger films in 1912, effectively removing "the entire folklore relating to bushrangers . from the most popular form of cultural expression." [14] It is seen as a major reason for the collapse of a booming Australian film industry. [15] One of the few Australian films to escape the ban before it was lifted in the 1940s is the 1920 adaptation of Robbery Under Arms. [13] Also during this lull appeared American takes on the bushranger genre, including The Bushranger (1928), Stingaree (1934) and Captain Fury (1939).

Ned Kelly (1970) starred Mick Jagger in the title role. Dennis Hopper portrayed Dan Morgan in Mad Dog Morgan (1976). More recent bushranger films include Ned Kelly (2003), starring Heath Ledger, The Proposition (2005), written by Nick Cave, The Outlaw Michael Howe (2013), and The Legend of Ben Hall (2016).

The cold-blooded Plan

Al Capone and his dreaded gang member Jack 'Machine Gun' McGurn devised the ghastly plan for the Valentine's Day massacre mainly to eliminate arch rival Moran. The idea was to trick Moran and his gang to visit a warehouse on North Clark Street on the pretext of buying some hijacked bootleg whiskey at cheap price. A team of six men led by Fred ‘Killer' Burke would enter the venue in the disguise of police officers and carry the shoot out. Capone and McGurn were to be away from the scene to establish their alibi.

6 A Family Affair

The Black Mafia Family had enough money. Through their three main hubs of cocaine traffic, they raked in millions of dollars annually. Kingpin brothers, Demetrius &ldquoBig Meech&rdquo and Terry Flenory, needed a front for their operation. To hide the true source of their income and raise a little extra dough on the side, they founded record label BMF Entertainment. With that accidental decision, they created a new genre of music. [7]

BMF Entertainment only had one legitimate client, Bleu DaVinci. The rest of its roster was burgeoning rappers in the Atlanta area, including future breakout stars Fabolous and Young Jezzy. The drug trade bankrolled promotions for acts associated with the label. The premiere of Let&rsquos Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Jeezy&rsquos debut record, was equally a showcase for the rapper and a chance to build up connections in the community. Despite their intentions, Let&rsquos Get It became the foundational text for Trap music, an offshoot of southern hip-hop. Popularized in Georgian crack dens, the style has become the dominant sound of hip-hop in the decades since.

Seven convicts at Graterford State Prison Monday night released.

GRATERFORD, Pa. -- Seven convicts at Graterford State Prison Monday night released their last six hostages and surrendered, firing their weapons in a final act of bravado to end a five-day drama that began with a bungled escape attempt.

The captors were sped away to a federal prison at their request for their own safety. Prison guards began a cell-by-cell search for any other concealed weapons and an investigation of the hostage-taking in the prison kitchen.

Chuck Stone, a Philadelphia Daily News columnist who acted as a mediator in negotiating the surrender, said at one point he feared he might be killed by the ringleader, three-time killer Joseph Bowen.

While talking to Bowen Monday morning Stone said Bowen exclaimed, 'I'm tired of this . man,' shouted a series of expletives and picked up a sawed-off shotgun.

At that moment, said Stone, 'I felt we might go down.'

When the six hostages left the kitchen they carried a .22 caliber handgun, a .38-caliber revolver, a double-barrel shotgun and a single-barrel shotgun that the captors had surrendered to them minutes earlier. Authorities had no idea how the convicts got the weapons.

Stone said the captors were 'stripped naked, frisked by state troopers and given coveralls and rubber sneakers.'

He said Bowen agreed to surrender at 5:50 p.m. EST and said of the weapons, 'I want to fire these rounds and empty them out,' which he did in an enclosure adjacent to the kitchen.

'It sounded like cannons booming,' Stone said.

'They paid a lot for their ammunition so they wanted to use it,' a state trooper said. 'They weren't trying to hit anyone.'

The captors, preceded by their hostages -- three guards and three food service employees -- then walked with their hands up through the door of the prison kitchen, where they'd been barricaded since 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after a failed escape attempt. The captors had hot-wired the doors 'so if anyone had triedu:PxwP:tzYPwot be held liable for damages to the kitchen.

The end of the hostage drama was sealed when federal authorities agreed to Gov. Dick Thornburgh's request for the transfer of the captors and when Graterford officials said the captors would not be held liable for damages.

'There was an immediate predisposition,' Stone said. 'We could feel it going to happen.'

'Joe said, 'How do we do this thing? I said, 'I've never done this before, but I guess the hostages go first,' Stone said.

The hostages were taken to the prison infirmary for debriefing, and most had left the prison within an hour.

Four rebel convicts originally took 38 captives, but released a hostage inmate late Friday and 28 more Saturday. Officials said the four original captors were later joined by three inmates who were among the 38 hostages.

For at least part of their captivity, the hostages were tied with ropes used by their captors as leashes to control their movement, prison officials said.

A published report quoting unidentified sources said the captors had held a gun to the head of one of the hostages, prison guard Lorenzo Alleyne, most of the five days. Alleyne, 54, was described as a tough disciplinarian.

Relatives of both the rebel convicts and their hostages were waiting outside the kitchen area.

Thornburgh had asked Stone to intercede because a dozen fugitives and escaped convicts have surrendered to him in the past.

Bowen, 35, was convicted of killing a warden and deputy warden at a Philadelphia prison in 1973 while serving a life term for killing a police officer. Bowen's brother Jeff took part in the negotiations to end the standoff.

Stone said Bowen 'came across as a very rational person' who 'felt dehumanized.'

The other captors were identified by Stone as Calvin 'Pepper' Williams, serving life for a 1971 slaying in Philadelphia, LeRoy Newsome, 29, convicted of the 1972 gang-related slaying of a 14-year-old boy, Drake Hall, Lawrence Ellison, Otis Graham, and Frank St. Clair.

Lucius Tarquinius Priscus

Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, or Tarquin the Elder, was the legendary fifth king of Rome from 616 to 579 BC. His wife was Tanaquil.

According to Livy, Tarquin came from Etruria. Livy claims that his original Etruscan name was Lucumo, but since Lucumo (Etruscan Lauchume) is the Etruscan word for "King", there is reason to believe that Priscus' name and title have been confused in the official tradition. After inheriting his father's entire fortune, Lucius attempted to gain a political office. Disgruntled with his opportunities in Etruria (he had been prohibited from obtaining political office in Tarquinii because of the ethnicity of his father, Demaratus, who came from the Greek city of Corinth), he migrated to Rome with his wife Tanaquil, at her suggestion. Legend has it that on his arrival in Rome in a chariot, an eagle took his cap, flew away and then returned it back upon his head. Tanaquil, who was skilled in prophecy, interpreted this as an omen of his future greatness. In Rome, he attained respect through his courtesy. The king himself noticed Tarquinius and, by his will, appointed Tarquinius guardian of his own sons.

King of Rome

Although Ancus Marcius, the Roman king, was the grandson of Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome, the principle of hereditary monarchy was not yet established at Rome none of the first three kings had been succeeded by their sons, and each subsequent king had been acclaimed by the people. Upon the death of Marcius, Tarquin addressed the Comitia Curiata and convinced them that he should be elected king over Marcius' natural sons, who were still only youths. In one tradition, the sons were away on a hunting expedition at the time of their father's death, and were thus unable to affect the assembly's choice.

According to Livy, Tarquin increased the number of the Senate by adding one hundred men from the leading minor families. Among these was the family of the Octavii, from whom first emperor, Augustus, was descended.

Tarquin's first war was waged against the Latins. Tarquinius took the Latin town of Apiolae by storm and took great booty from there back to Rome. According to the Fasti Triumphales, this war must have occurred prior to 588 BC.

His military ability was then tested by an attack from the Sabines, who received auxiliaries from five Etruscan cities[citation needed]. Tarquin doubled the numbers of equites to help the war effort. The Sabines were defeated after difficult street fighting in the city of Rome. In the peace negotiations that followed, Tarquin received the town of Collatia, and appointed his nephew, Arruns Tarquinius, better known as Egerius, as commander of the garrison there. Tarquin returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph on September 13, 585 BC.

Subsequently, the Latin cities of Corniculum, old Ficulea, Cameria, Crustumerium, Ameriola, Medullia and Nomentum were subdued and became Roman.

Since Tarquin had kept the captured Etruscan auxiliaries prisoners for meddling in the war with the Sabines, the five Etruscan cities who had taken part declared war on Rome. Seven other Etruscan cities joined forces with them. The Etruscans soon captured the Roman colony at Fidenae, which thereupon became the focal point of the war. After several bloody battles, Tarquin was once again victorious, and he subjugated the Etruscan cities who had taken part in the war. At the successful conclusion of each of his wars, Rome was enriched by Tarquin's plunder.

Tarquin is said to have built the Circus Maximus, the first and largest stadium at Rome, for chariot racing. Raised seating was erected privately by the senators and equites, and other areas were marked out for private citizens. There the king established a series of annual games according to Livy, the first horses and boxers to participate were brought from Etruria.

After a great flood, Tarquin drained the damp lowlands of Rome by constructing the Cloaca Maxima, Rome's great sewer. He also constructed a stone wall around the city, and began the construction of a temple in honour of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. The latter is said to have been funded in part by the plunder seized from the Sabines.

According to Florus, Tarquin celebrated his triumphs in the Etruscan fashion, riding a golden chariot drawn by four horses, while wearing a gold-embroidered toga and the tunica palmata, a tunic upon which palm-leaves were embroidered. He also introduced other Etruscan insignia of civilian authority and military distinction: the sceptre of the king the trabea, a purple garment that varied in form, but was perhaps most often used as a mantle the fasces carried by the lictors the curule chair the toga praetexta, later worn by various magistrates and officials the rings worn by senators the paludamentum, a cloak associated with military command and the phalera, a disc of metal worn on a soldier's breastplate during parades, or displayed on the standards of various military units.[8] Strabo reports that Tarquin introduced Etruscan sacrificial and divinitory rites, as well as the tuba, a straight horn used chiefly for military purposes.

Death and succession

Tarquin is said to have reigned for thirty-eight years. According to legend, the sons of his predecessor, Ancus Marcius, believed that the throne should have been theirs. They arranged the king's assassination, disguised as a riot, during which Tarquin received a fatal blow to the head. However, the queen, Tanaquil, gave out that the king was merely wounded, and took advantage of the confusion to establish Servius Tullius as regent when the death of Tarquin was confirmed, Tullius became king, in place of Marcius' sons, or those of Tarquin.

Tullius, said to have been the son of Servius Tullius, a prince of Corniculum who had fallen in battle against Tarquin, was brought to the palace as a child with his mother, Ocreisia. According to legend, Tanaquil discovered his potential for greatness by means of various omens, and therefore preferred him to her own sons. He married Tarquinia, the king's daughter, thus providing a vital link between the families. Tullius' own daughters were subsequently married to the king's sons (or, in some traditions, grandsons), Lucius and Arruns.

Most ancient writers regarded Tarquin as the father of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome, but some stated that the younger Tarquin was his grandson. As the younger Tarquin died about 496 BC, more than eighty years after Tarquinius Priscus, chronology seems to support the latter tradition. An Etruscan legend related by the emperor Claudius equates Servius Tullius with Macstarna (apparently the Etruscan equivalent of the Latin magister), a companion of the Etruscan heroes Aulus and Caelius Vibenna, who helped free the brothers from captivity, slaying their captors, including a Roman named Gnaeus Tarquinius. This episode is depicted in a fresco at the tomb of the Etruscan Saties family at Vulci, now known as the François Tomb. This tradition suggests that perhaps the sons of the elder Tarquin attempted to seize power, but were defeated by the regent, Servius Tullius, and his companions Tullius would then have attempted to end the dynastic struggle by marrying his daughters to the grandsons of Tarquinius Priscus. However, this plan ultimately failed, as Tullius was himself assassinated at the instigation of his son-in-law, who succeeded him.


(31–36). The Muse resides with them as they enjoy music, poetry, and feasting, and they never become sick or grow old (37–44). The narrative section concludes with a brief mention of Perseus’ famous exploit of slaying the Gorgon and turning his mother’s captors into stone (44–48).

After marveling at the power of the gods, the poet suddenly suspends his song’s progress and declares that encomia must vary their subjects (48–54). He hopes that his songs will make the victor more admired among his countrymen, especially the young girls (55–59). It is sweet to gain what one desires in the present, but the unforeseeable future looms ahead (59–63). The poet places his confidence in his friend Thorax, who commissioned the ode, and praises his brothers, good men who maintain the Thessalian state (64–72).

BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB BOUNCES BACK! / How a Belmont crime captivated thecountry -- and may do so again

purported links to international terrorists and the CIA.

After all, Eslaminia was a former high-ranking member of the

late Shah of Iran's government. There were rumors that he had

contacts within the CIA, that he was part of a plot by Iranian

expatriates to assassinate Iran's new leader, the Ayatollah

Khomeini, and that he was now on the Ayatollah's hit list.

Eslaminia always slept with a revolver by his head and at

one time had been suspected of drug dealing by police. He had

also boasted that he had taken $30 million with him when he

fled with his family to the United States in the late 1970s

to escape the Islamic revolution.

authorities later concluded was the reason for his kidnapping

The motive, said investigators, was to extort

those vaunted millions of dollars from the victim -- and turn

them over to the so-called Billionaire Boys Club, a group of

scions of wealthy, well-connected Southern California families

who had become entangled in a web of get-rich-quick investment

The Billionaire Boys Club was in desperate

need of funds to make up losses from the suddenly unraveling

schemes of Joe Hunt, the club's brilliant, charismatic leader

who seemed to have a guru-like grip on his followers. Hunt actually

had named his group the BBC, after the Bombay Bicycle Club in

Chicago the name was later changed by a tabloid pundit.

One of the newest recruits to Hunt's club was Eslaminia's

eldest son, Reza. Investigators claimed Reza had turned his

new friends on to his father's wealth as a possible way out

of their financial troubles. (Ironically, when the elder Eslaminia's

estate was eventually probated, it listed little more than $200,000

Eslaminia's captors planned to drive him to a "safe house" in Los Angeles, where he was to be tortured into releasing power of attorney over his wealth to them. But the kidnapping of the former Iranian cabinet minister went awry.

Eslaminia died of suffocation inside the steamer trunk that had carried him from his Belmont apartment, according to court testimony. His kidnappers had poked holes in the trunk to give him air, but later stuffed them up to quell the nuisance of his groanings, according to court records.

It was three months before Eslaminia's coyote-scattered bones were found in a remote Southern California canyon. Some weeks before the discovery of the Belmont man's remains, Hunt and his bodyguard, Jim Pittman, were said to have buried in the same canyon the body of Ron Levin, a Hollywood con man who had duped Hunt in a $4 million commodities scam.

Investigators were taken to the canyon by one of Eslaminia's kidnappers, Dean Karny, who later testified that he had been with Eslaminia in the back of Hunt's rented van when the victim had died.

Karny, son of a prominent Los Angeles real estate developer, had been Hunt's closest friend since childhood. But in one of the many bizarre twists to the story, he turned state's evidence against his longtime buddy and role model at both of the Billionaire Boys Club leader's murder trials -- in Los Angeles for Levin and Redwood City for Hedayat Eslaminia.

In return, Karny was given a new identity under the Federal Witness Protection Program and, even as the legal maneuverings of the trials ground on, graduated from the University of Southern California Law School and was admitted to the State Bar.

But first Karny was the state's star witness in the trials of Hunt and bodyguard Pittman in the murder of Levin, whose body was never found. Largely based on Karny's testimony, Hunt was convicted in 1987 of first- degree murder in the case, and sentenced to prison for life without possibility of parole.


Karny later played the same prominent role in the state's prosecution of Hunt, Reza Eslaminia and Arben Dosti for the Belmont kidnap-murder. Dosti's mother is a Los Angeles Times editor his father made his money in the aerospace industry.

Karny, under tight security as he was at every court appearance, testified against Reza Eslaminia and Arben Dosti in San Mateo County Superior Court in 1988 and was again instrumental in obtaining murder convictions.

At the trial, testimony revealed that in the months before the kidnap victim's body was found, his son and Dosti had gone to Europe with a false power of attorney document. They were trying to recover a $125,000 Swiss bank account Hunt had discovered in the murdered man's papers.

Eslaminia testified that he knew nothing of the kidnap plans and scoffed at testimony that he told the Billionaire Boys Club his father was wealthy. He said he thought Hunt had gone to his father's apartment to try to bring about a reconciliation between father and son, who had become estranged in a family dispute.

Both Reza Eslaminia and Dosti were sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.


Just as he had swayed his followers, Hunt mesmerized a San Mateo County jury at his 1992 trial in Eslaminia's murder, acting as his own attorney.

The horrific crime scene was discovered the next day. When news of the murder and mutilation broke, and that a &ldquosexually and criminally dangerous woman was on the loose&ldquo, Japan went into what became known as &ldquoSada Abe panic&rdquo. Police eventually caught up with and arrested her, at which point they discovered Kichizo Ishida&rsquos genitals in her purse. Naturally, they questioned why she was running around with Ishida&rsquos penis and testicles. Abe replied &ldquoBecause I couldn&rsquot take his head or body with me. I wanted to take the part of him that brought back to me the most vivid memories&ldquo.

Sada Abe in police custody. La Republica

Abe was tried, convicted, and was sentenced to prison. She was released after five years, wrote an autobiography, and lived until 1971. The Ishida-Abe affair and its painfully weird conclusion was a sensation in Japan. It became embedded in the country&rsquos popular culture, and acquired mythic overtones ever since. The story and variations thereof has been the subject of poetry and prose, both fiction and nonfiction. It has been depicted in movies and TV, and was interpreted over the decades by various philosophers and artists.