A scepter, a crown and an orb in the form of an apple were stolen from Erik XIV’s tomb in Västerås. The items are priceless funeral regalia from the 1500s. “I am outraged and shocked that it’s such a deliberate crime.” said cathedral chaplain Johan Sköld
A crypt in the church was shattered in Vasteras Cathedral on Friday morning leaving a gaping void in the high marble sarcophagus. Stolen was a unique set of regalia, which was linked to Erik XIV’s half brother John III’s funeral.
Funeral regalia, copies of the normal regalia worn by the Swedish kings, was used at royal funerals and placed in or on the casket.
“It’s a loss for everyone, this is our common heritage. We work hard to improve security, but the objects must also be accessible to all. It is a difficult balancing act.” said John Rothlind, chief curator at the Swedish Church in Västerås.
Erik XIV was buried in Vasteras after his death in 1577 with little ceremony and without regalia.
Much later, his remains were moved to a more appropriate tomb. Gustav III at that time arranged that a scepter and a crown of Uppsala, which might have been used in ceremonies at John III’s funeral, were moved to Västerås around the year 1800.
A second set of funeral regalia, in gold, which is also linked to Johan III’s funeral, is still held in Uppsala.
The stolen set was made in the Netherlands in the 1500s, in gilt bronze with silver details. The apple, in gilded wood, was manufactured around 1800.
The three objects were in or on a ?träkudde?, also stolen, adorned with Vasa sheaves.
Additional sets of funeral regalia are in Straengnaes (Charles IX), Uppsala Cathedral (Gustav Vasa), the Royal Armoury in Stockholm (Karl X Gustav) and in Uppsala (John III’s second set).
Renowned British cat burglar Peter Scott warned the Telegraph in 1994 that he would consider it “a massive disappointment” if his passing were to be overlooked by its obituary writing staff. The Telegraph did not disappoint him.
Scott stole jewels, furs and artworks worth more than £30 million. He held none of his victims in great esteem (“upper-class prats chattering in monosyllables”). The roll-call of “marks” from whom he claimed to have stolen valuables included Zsa Zsa Gabor, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Maria Callas and the gambling club and zoo owner John Aspinall. “Robbing that bastard Aspinall was one of my favourites,” he recollected. “Sophia Loren got what she deserved too.”
Scott stole a £200,000 necklace from the Italian star when she was in Britain filming The Millionairess in 1960. Billed in the newspapers as Britain’s biggest jewellery theft, it yielded Scott £30,000 from a “fence”. After Miss Loren had pointed at him on television saying: “I come from a long line of gipsies. You will have no luck,” Scott lost every penny in the Palm Beach Casino at Cannes.
In the 1950s and 1960s he pinpointed his targets by perusing the society columns in the Daily Mail and Daily Express. Nor did he ease up with the approach of middle-age; in the 1980s he was still scaling walls and drainpipes. In one Bond Street caper alone he stole jewellery worth £1.5 million, and in 1985 he was jailed for four years. On his release he expanded his social horizons by becoming a celebrity “tennis bum”, a racquet for hire at a smart London club where — as he put it in his autobiography — he coached still more potential “rich prats”.
By the mid-1990s, Scott had served 12 years in prison in the course of half a dozen separate stretches, and claimed to have laid down his “cane” [jemmy] and retired from a life of crime.
But in 1998 he was jailed for another three and a half years for handling, following the theft of Picasso’s Tête de Femme from the Lefevre Gallery in Mayfair the year before. To the impassive detectives who arrested him, Scott quoted a line from WE Henley: “Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed.” He often drew on literary allusions, quoting Confucius, Oscar Wilde and Proust.
Scott was also a past-master in self-justification of his crimes and misdemeanours: “The people I burgled got rich by greed and skulduggery. They indulged in the mechanics of ostentation — they deserved me and I deserved them. If I rob Ivana Trump, it is just a meeting of two different kinds of degeneracy on a dark rooftop.”
In his memoirs, Gentleman Thief (1995), Scott admitted to an even stronger motivation than fear as he contemplated another “job”: “Even now, after 30 years, it was a sexual thrill.” There was the additional satisfaction in his assumption that the millions reading about his exploits in the papers were silently cheering him on.
68-year-old Particle Physicist Paul Frampton was divorced and in the market for a new wife, hopefully a woman “between the ages of 18 and 35, which Frampton understood to be the period when women are most fertile.”
And what do you know? The lucky guy had only to log onto the Internet and start playing with one dating site, and he ran into the internationally-famous-for-her-enormous-upper-endowment supermodel Denise Milani. The couple exchanged texts and photos, and fell madly in love, though the apparently-shy model kept refusing to speak to him on the phone.
Finally, Denise Milani agreed to meet the professor in person… in La Paz, Bolivia. Alas! when he got to Bolivia, the lovely lady had been unexpectedly called away to another photo shoot in Brussels, and would he do her a favor and bring her a suitcase she’d left behind in La Paz?
Peter Frampton was arrested in Buenos Aires and received a 4 year 10 month sentence for smuggling cocaine. The real Denise Milani could not be reached for comment.
Maxine Swann tells the whole sad story in the New York Times Magazine.
Is setting buildings afire in order to force a suspect to come out or be burned alive an appropriate police tactic? I come from a family which produced large numbers of police officers over several generations. I’m not a bleeding heart or soft on crime either. But I’m pretty skeptical of the practice of equipping police with incendiary tear gas grenades, making it possible for them to intentionally torch buildings and then (like Sheriff McMahon) feign no responsibility by blaming the tear gas for “accidentally” igniting a fire.
Those California police would obviously have been perfectly entitled to shoot Dorner dead to reduce him to possession when he continued to resist, but I think it is (a) cowardly and (b) dubiously legal for them to destroy private property and use arson in order to avoid waiting and exchanging more gunfire with a criminal.
——————————————— CBS News:
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon… told reporters that the fire in the cabin where Christopher Dorner presumably died was not intentionally set by authorities. He said tear gas canisters fired into the cabin apparently set the blaze.
An alleged recording of police scanner audio transmissions strongly contradicts McMahon’s statement.
This Model 1911 Colt .45 was found in the waistband of Clyde Barrow’s trousers by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer who brought the outlaws to justice via a high firepower ambush on a rural Louisiana road on May 23, 1934.
A breakout raid on a Texas prison farm by the Barrow gang in which two guards were shot (one of whom died) infuriated Texas state officials, who responded by hiring retired Ranger Captain Frank Hamer, a veteran of a hundred gun fights who had been shot 17 times and who had reputedly killed between 50 and 70 men, to track down the Barrow gang and out an end to their criminal careers.
Hamer’s commission was to deliver justice, not bring them back alive. He was encouraged to trap the gang, making sure the correctness of his identification of the suspects, and then to just “shoot everybody in sight.” Part of Hamer’s compensation for the manhunt included authorization to appropriate as trophies the weapons and personal effects of the criminals.
Hamer caught up with Bonnie and Clyde on a rural highway in Louisiana with an ambush by six lawmen, armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle, Winchesters, and two Remington semiautomatic rifles. The outlaws’ car was riddled with bullets before either had a chance to shoot back.
RR Auctions of New Hampshire is offering for sale next September 30, with documented provenance going back to Frank Hamer, two pistols found on the bodies of the deceased bandits, Bonnie Parker’s cosmetics case, and Clyde Barrow’s Elgin pocket watch.
Several members of the quaint religious minority which shuns modernity ran afoul of the law in Kentucky by refusing to pay fines assessed for refusing to afix orange triangles to the buggies, claiming a religious exemption. They were jailed for contempt of court. Where is the ACLU?
If you can’t see an entire horse and buggy, it’s hard to see that an orange triangle is going to help you.
It is impossible imagine a better metonomic image of Britain disarmed.
The recent breakdown of civil society in British cities has been widely associated with welfare state entitlements and an all-encompassing liberal egalitarianism which insists on treating criminality as victimhood. A version of society Kipling predicted: “[T]he brave new world begins, when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.”
But it must also be noted that the left’s aversion to punishing crime has consistently featured a single notable exception, a passionate determination to make a conspicuous example of any law-abiding citizen competing against the state’s monopoly of force by daring to defend himself against crime and violence. In such cases, liberal authorities have consistently been out for blood.
Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor at George Mason University has made the study of the British experiment a personal specialty, and reports in the Wall Street Journal on some of the atrocities produced by the contemporary administration of justice British-style and their results in multiplying crime.
Great Britain’s leniency began in the 1950s, with a policy that only under extraordinary circumstances would anyone under 17 be sent to prison. This was meant to rehabilitate young offenders. But the alternative to incarceration has been simply to warn them to behave, maybe require community service, and return them to the streets. There has been justifiable concern about causes of crime such as poverty and unemployment, but little admission that some individuals prefer theft to work and that deterrence must be taken seriously.
Victims of aggression who defend themselves or attempt to protect their property have been shown no such leniency. Burglars who injured themselves breaking into houses have successfully sued homeowners for damages. In February, police in Surrey told gardeners not to put wire mesh on the windows of their garden sheds as burglars might hurt themselves when they break in.
If a homeowner protecting himself and his family injures an intruder beyond what the law considers “reasonable,” he will be prosecuted for assault. Tony Martin, an English farmer, was sentenced to life in prison for killing one burglar and wounding another with a shotgun during the seventh break-in at his rural home in 1999. While his sentence was later reduced to five years, he was refused parole in 2003 because he was judged a danger to burglars.
In 2008, a robber armed with a knife attacked shopkeeper Tony Singh in West Lancashire. During the struggle the intruder was fatally stabbed with his own knife. Although the robber had a long record of violent assault, prosecutors were preparing to charge Mr. Singh with murder until public outrage stopped them.
Meanwhile, the cost of criminal justice has convinced British governments to shorten the sentences of adult criminals, even those guilty of violent crimes, and to release them when they have served half of their sentence. Police have been instructed by the British Home Office to let burglars and first-time offenders who confess to any of some 60 crimes—ranging from assault and arson to sex with an underage girl—off with a caution. That means no jail time, no fine, no community service, no court appearance.
In 2009, 70% of apprehended burglars avoided prison, according to British Ministry of Justice figures. The same year, 20,000 young offenders were electronically tagged and sent home, a 40% increase in the number of people tagged over three years.
All sorts of weapons useful for self-defense have been severely restricted or banned. A 1953 law, the “Prevention of Crime Act,” made any item someone carried for possible protection an “offensive weapon” and therefore illegal. Today there is also a list of devices the mere possession of which carries a 10-year sentence. Along with rocket launchers and machine guns, the list includes chemical sprays and any knife with a blade more than three inches long.
Handguns? Parliament banned their possession in 1997. As an example of the preposterous lengths to which zealous British authorities would enforce this law, consider the fate of Paul Clark, a former soldier. He was arrested in 2009 by Surrey police when he brought them a shotgun he found in his garden. For doing this personally—instead of asking the police to retrieve it—he received a five-year prison sentence. It took a public outcry to reduce the normal five-year sentence to 12 months, and then suspend it.
The ban on handguns did not stop actual crimes committed with handguns. Those crimes rose nearly 40%, according to a 2001 study by King’s College London’s Center for Defence Studies, and doubled by a decade later, according to government statistics reported in the London Telegraph in October 2009.
Knives? It’s illegal for anyone under age 18 to buy one, and using a knife for self-defense is unlawful. In 1991, American tourist Dina Letarte of Tempe, Ariz., used a penknife to protect herself from a violent attack by three men in a London subway. She was convicted of carrying an offensive weapon, fined, and given a two-year suspended sentence.
The result of policies that punish the innocent but fail to deter crime has been stark, even before the latest urban violence. The last decade has seen a doubling of gun crime. According to the latest annual report of the Home Office (2009), there was a 25% increase in crimes involving contact, such as assault and battery, over the previous year.
A man lies injured on the ground in Ealing, west London. He was beaten by rioters for attempting to put out a fire.
SayUncle produced the best line: What’s the cause of the riot? I’m guessing lack of incoming fire.
———————————————————————————— Roger de Hauteville yesterday posted a 2 minute video showing a small line of 8 British riot police retreating from a mob of looters who are hurling the long boards and other pieces of traffic barriers at them. The police line withdraws backward in the direction of another line of police, luckily for them I expect, continuing to face in the direction of the mob and maintaining something resembling a line. Had they turned and run, the mob would probably have been on them. Amazingly, the second line of police never made any move to come to their assistance. At around 1:23 the mob begins to turn back, for no obvious reason that can be discerned from the video. The police make no effort to pursue the now retreating mob.
I’d say that the police response was lacking. Here you have a mob of hoodlums engaged in looting and vandalism making unsafe a public street and attacking police. When the two lines of police consolidated, there were at least 16 cops, a number quite adequate to form a line capable of presenting a solid front. 16 men, armed with nightsticks, carrying shields, and armored by the force of authority, with justice on their side, should have had no problem clearing that street and driving an unorganized crowd comprised of criminal scum right out of there.
If a representative of the criminal element should attempt to use some form of terrorist weapon like a Molotov cocktail, the police ought to shoot him.
All this demonstrates just how thoroughly the political leadership of Western democracies has become unmanned by the anti-morality of the Left. Criminals and looters are now disenfranchised victims of society equipped on the basis of their alleged grievances and resentment with anti-moral authority more powerful than the badges and uniforms of police or the titles and powers of elective office.
———————————————————————————— Roger de Hauteville responded to all this by reflecting that the Riot Act in Britain, from 1715 in the time of George I until it was repealed (alas!) in 1973 during the age of imbecility, permitted mayors, bailiffs, or justices of the peace in situations in which twelve or more persons were “unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together” to read aloud the following:
Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King!
If anyone remained on the street after one hour of the proclamation, the act provided that the authorities could use force to disperse them. Those assisting in the dispersal were specifically indemnified against any legal consequences in the event of any of the rioters being injured or killed.
The act also made it a felony punishable by death for rioters who had been read the proclamation to cause (or begin to cause) serious damage to places of religious worship, houses, barns, and stables.
———————————————————————————— John Derbyshire is so disgusted, he says: Let it burn!
Why does the British government not do its duty? Because it is the government of a modern Western nation, sunk like the rest of us in trembling, whimpering guilt over class and race.
Through British veins runs the poisonous fake idealism of “human rights” and “sensitivity,” of happy-clappy multicultural groveling and sick, weak, deracinated moral universalism — the rotten fruit of a debased, sentimentalized Christianity.
When not begging for forgiveness and chastisement from those who rightfully despise him, the modern Brit is lost in contemplation of his shiny new car or tweeting new gadget; or else he has given over all his attention to some vapid TV production or soccer team.
I treasure my faint, fading recollections of Britain when she was still, for a few years longer, a nation.
Today Britain is merely a place, a bazaar. Let it burn!
Left-winger Brendan O’Neill, amusingly, is equally indignant, and sounds exactly like a conservative.
[I]t’s more than childish destructiveness motivating the rioters. At a more fundamental level, these are youngsters who are uniquely alienated from the communities they grew up in. Nurtured in large part by the welfare state, financially, physically and educationally, socialised more by the agents of welfarism than by their own neighbours or community representatives, these youth have little moral or emotional attachment to the areas they grew up in. Their rioting reveals, not that Britain is in a time warp back to 1981 or 1985 when there were politically motivated, anti-racist riots against the police, but rather that the tentacle-like spread of the welfare state into every area of people’s lives has utterly zapped old social bonds, the relationship of sharing and solidarity that once existed in working-class communities. In communities that are made dependent upon the state, people are less inclined to depend on each other or on their own social wherewithal. We have a saying in Britain for people who undermine their own living quarters – we call it ‘s****ing on your own doorstep’. And this rioting suggests that the welfare state has given rise to a generation perfectly happy to do that. ...
There is one more important part to this story: the reaction of the cops. Their inability to handle the riots effectively reveals the extent to which the British police are far better adapted to consensual policing than conflictual policing. It also demonstrates how far they have been paralysed in our era of the politics of victimhood, where virtually no police activity fails to get followed up by a complaint or a legal case. Their kid-glove approach to the rioters of course only fuels the riots, because as one observer put it, when the rioters ‘see that the police cannot control the situation, [that] leads to a sort of adrenalin-fuelled euphoria’. So this street violence was largely ignited by the excesses of the welfare state and was then intensified by the discombobulation of the police state. In this sense, it reveals something very telling, and quite depressing, about modern Britain.
When mobs of “youths” try looting homes in Kansas City, homeowners like Roger MacBride, can have inexpensive war-surplus weapons like this M44 Moisin Nagant rifle on hand to run them off. It goes harder for the unarmed populace of London.
A Texas mother received a felony conviction, five years probation, parenting classes, a small fine, and a scolding from a judge who has vocabulary problems (“quarrel” for “era”) for spanking her two-year-old daughter.
A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas had some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child before sentencing her to probation.
“You don’t spank children today,” said Judge Jose Longoria. “In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.”
Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” They noted she didn’t use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.
As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she’ll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children’s Advocacy Center.
She was arrested back in December after the child’s paternal grandmother noticed red marks on the child’s rear end. The grandmother took the girl, who was two years-old at the time, to the hospital to be checked out.
Some people certainly think that spanking children is always inappropriate and excessive. Let’s hope that even more people think that intrusions by the state into relations between parents and children in circumstances not involving grave and serious injury are inappropriate and that everyone would think that a felony conviction over an ordinary spanking is outrageously excessive.
A scientific swindler preyed on American scientists working in Geology during a period extending from 1884 to 1891, obtaining books, specimens, and money from a number of American scholars. He had a good knowledge of Eastern European languages, was well acquainted with the field and frequently assumed the names of prominent authorities. By the time he vanished from history, he had also accurately identified large numbers of specimens in American museum collections.
Wikileaks has responded: Julian Assange: the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing
A British tech site, Thinq, sounds rather like a mouthpiece for Assange, and is claiming the whole thing is a smear campaign presumably by the US Government to discredit Assange in advance of its next leak of US documents “lift[ing] the lid on more atrocities committed by forces in Afghanistan in the polluted name of freedom.” Or so says the polluted voice of communism anyway.
UPDATE 12:50 EDT: The Guardian is now reporting that Swedish authorities have withdrawn the warrant for Assange’s arrest.
Good Point: (via Jose Guardia): Why isn’t the documentation for the charges up on WikiLeaks?”
In the aftermath of the Swiss decision to reject the American bid to extradite Roman Polanski, the predicatable indignant editorials are beginning to appear.
Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post, is not at all satisfied with the outcome.
It’s relevant that Polanski has never shown remorse. He claimed in a 1979 interview that he was being hounded because “everyone wants to (have sex with) young girls.” It’s irrelevant that the victim, now a middle-aged woman, has no interest in pursuing the case and reliving a traumatic episode. What matters is what Polanski admitted doing to her 33 years ago—and the fact that Polanski decided to run away rather than face the music.
Swiss officials noted the obvious: that Polanski never would have visited Switzerland if he had thought he was putting himself in legal jeopardy. Since he’s not a legitimate candidate for kidnapping and rendition by the CIA, he’s now home free—unless he somehow makes another mistake. He’ll always have to look over his shoulder.
That’s punishment of a sort, but not nearly enough. How about this: As long as he steers clear of U.S. justice, why don’t we steer clear of his movies?
I strongly disagree with the majority of the journalistic community on this one, and since I’ve already explained why at considerable length, today I plan to take pleasure in quoting myself.
The most interesting aspect of all of this is the fact that Roman Polanski’s flight thirty one years ago was precipitated by precisely the same sort of journalistic feeding frenzy which has been replayed all over again recently. A firestorm of sensationalized accounts of Polanski’s misdeed alarmed the publicity-conscious judge who intended to set aside the conventional processes of justice and overrule a plea bargain already agreed to by both the prosecution and the defense.
Polanski did not escape justice. He had already served a 42 day term of imprisonment, which was supposed to constitute his actual sentence. Polanski also settled privately with the young lady, paying her a sum of money of a specific amount never publicly disclosed. What Polanski escaped was injustice.
He escaped a breach of the normal, impartial, and objective processes of justice, which were in the process of collapsing due to official cowardice and unwillingness to resist a wave of public indignation, mischievously created by irresponsible journalism.
Long-standing cultural restraints on sexual expression and activity have been dwindling away in America for all of the last century, but one powerful prohibition not only survives, but continues to be able to turn ordinary Americans into something very much resembling belligerent Muslims bent on wiping out any stain upon the chastity of their females in blood: the issue of age.
Underage sex is still a kind of priapic third rail. And like Nabokov’s Humbert, Roman Polanski proved to be another sophisticated European gentilhomme d’un certain âge susceptible to the charms of the knowing nymphette. His sin happens to be relatively unique in being capable of getting Americans in general worked up into a lather of righteous indignation just as effectively in 2009 as in 1978 or in 1955 (the publication date of Lolita).
In exactly the same way that the idea of black sexual aggression directed at white women was once upon a time so horrifying an idea to the general community in certain American states that any close resemblance to that supreme phobia could suffice to set into motion the processes of storytelling which would fit the details of the actual case into the terrible archetype, frequently with lethal results, so too today is the idea of adult sexual aggression directed at children a compelling, and potentially dangerous, archetype.
Let’s try another literary trope. Picture Roman Polanski, not as Humbert Humbert, but as Tom Robinson, the black defendant in To Kill a Mockingbird. Just like the Polanski case, To Kill a Mockingbird features a public frenzy of indignation at a defendant accused of being a sexual aggressor toward an innocent victim, who is supposed to be protected from the advances of anyone like the defendant by powerful social taboos. Just as in the Harper Lee novel, adjudication of the Roman Polanski case revolved around issues of just who was the actual initiator and whether female consent had been given. Fearful archetypes and framing narratives can work in exactly the same in either case, can’t they?
The National Enquirer says Al Gore’s alleged victim has DNA samples, video evidence and witnesses. She is telling all, and describes Gore as “a sexual predator.” That means that Al Gore really did have essentially everything in common with his running mate.
“He’s not what people think he is – he’s a sick man!”