Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Columns

November 6, 2013

House of Burgess: The scoundrel update round-up

What became of these villains?

Often, after I write a column or two about a particular subject, I want to let the matter rest. There are many subjects which interest me and I try not to linger on any single topic too long. Yet, when my columns are published, they stand as a snapshot reflective of the facts as they stood then. Time, as Steve Miller pointed out, keeps on slipping into the future. Story lines I’ve brought up in the past are later routinely resolved whether I have 700 words to say about the outcome or not. So, in order to give some measure of closure to these varied threads, let this week’s column serve as an update round-up of five villains I didn’t feel like writing another column about individually.

‘Carlos Danger’ and ‘Client 9’

New York City political phoenixes Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner and Eliot “Client 9” Spitzer were still in contention for the city’s mayoral and comptroller elections, respectively, when I filed my July 31 column, “Nobody wants to see that.” Prior to this year’s race, Weiner lost his seat in Congress and Spitzer fumbled his governorship through reckless sexual behavior. Weiner was actually ahead in early polls until July 23 when it was revealed his photographic endeavors hadn’t changed since his last public shaming. Big Apple voters turned on them. Both lost their races Sept. 10 in the city’s primary election. “Well, we have it on camera,” tweeted Lindsey Christ, NY1 reporter, after Weiner’s concession speech. “Weiner drove off, middle finger raised at an NBC reporter. Curtain down. Bam.”

Bob Filner

In that same July 31 column, I mentioned San Diego mayor Bob Filner’s July 26 announcement of his entrance into a behavior counseling clinic. He was to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy after several women accused him of sexual harassment. After a few weeks of defiance, Filner finally resigned office effective Aug. 30. On Oct. 15, Filner pleaded guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor battery charges. He will be sentenced next month. A special mayoral election has been scheduled for Nov. 19.

Ariel Castro

In my Aug. 15 column, “You are never, ever getting out,” I opined on the semantic problems inherent in judges handing out unthinkably long sentences. As an example of this phenomenon I wrote about Ariel Castro. On July 26, he pleaded guilty to 937 of the 977 charges against him in connection with the kidnappings of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in Cleveland. On Aug. 1, he was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, plus 1,000 years. On Sept. 3, just over a month into his millennium-length sentence, he was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell.

Matthew Cordle

In my Sept. 11 column, “Matthew Cordle ‘killed a man,’” I discussed a viral video made public Sept. 3 by the 22-year-old with the help of nonprofit Because I Said I Would. The Ohio man admitted being blackout drunk June 22 when he hit and killed Vincent Canzani, 61. Cordle claimed his only reason for the confession was to stop others from making the same mistake. In that column, I joined Vincent’s daughter Angela Canzani and others in expressing skepticism over Cordle’s motives, as the video was released before he was charged or sentenced. Our suspicions were immediately confirmed. “In the video, he said he’d take full responsibility and plead guilty,” reported ABC News’ Linsey Davis and Kevin Dolak on Sept. 11. “But Judge [Julie] Lynch told ABC News that Cordle’s lawyers decided that Cordle would plead not guilty at the last minute. … Judge Lynch said Cordle’s attorneys were trying to game the system. Under Ohio law, entering a guilty plea locks in the judge, before the case was reassigned. It would have been Lynch. She said that she believes Cordle’s team got spooked after she told them she didn’t know how she’d sentence Cordle.” On Sept. 18, in front of a new judge, Cordle changed his plea to guilty. He was subsequently sentenced to 6 ½ years Oct. 23.

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller