Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sermon on the 49 MUNI

San Francisco is a walker’s paradise, but after three consecutive days of logging 20,000+ steps, my dogs were tired. 

MUNI passport in hand, jumped onto the 49 bus headed to Mission & 21st where my friends would meet me for dinner. I’m obsessed with punctuality; I left the hotel with ample time to spare. A traffic jam snarling Van Ness was not in my plan. Be stoic, I thought. It will clear up. But it didn’t. Not for a very long while anyway.

“We told you this would happen,” a man said in the front half of the bus. I could see him, but heard him continue, “Nobody would listen. ‘You’re just a bunch of dumb hippies.’ But we were right. There are too many of us. Gridlock! Chaos! Despair. Too many people; too bad no one listened to us dumb hippies.” 

People are human treasure. But looking at the frustrated faces of my fellow riders stuffed into this aluminum can, it was clear:  we are choking on our riches. Paul Ehrlich had the timing wrong, but he and this dumb hippie may have been right. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unabomber Does Not Fit Tylenol Murderer's Profile

I'm highly skeptical about today's news re:  the FBI seeking DNA samples from Ted Kaczynski, possibly connecting him to the unsolved Tylenol poisoning murders in 1982. Here's why...

1. Motive and modus operandi. The Unabomber targeted his victims, basing his actions on his own twisted moral code. The Tylenol killer's victims were the definition of random.

2. DNA revelations. Investigators have long said that they had no biological evidence connecting anyone to the crime. Has DNA technology advanced enough to uncover new evidence? The lack of specificity is troubling.

3. Does this mean James Lewis is no longer a suspect? Over the past few years, the FBI has raided the Cambridge, MA home of long-time suspect James Lewis, seizing computers and other materials. Later, Lewis, too, was asked to provide DNA samples. Yet nothing has come of any of that. And all court records related to those searches and seizures have been kept under seal by the courts. Or at least that was the case when I attempted to obtain the text of the search warrants issued.

4. How does this connect with the OTHER unsolved Tylenol murder? Investigators maintain their "one-guy" theory about the Chicago case. That someone took possession of capsules via retail stores, replaced the Tylenol with cyanide, then put the tampered Tylenol back on the shelves where it would later be purchased and consumed by unwitting victims. 

What if the tampering occurred somewhere else along the supply chain? Perhaps at the manufacturing facility? That theory received traction in 1986 when a young woman named Diane Elsroth died in Yonkers, New York, after consuming cyanide-laced Tylenol. Additional tampered boxes of Tylenol were discovered on store shelves subsequent to her death. 

It's all a bit strange. Like everything connected to this unsolved mystery.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spotted: 434 W. 52nd Street