10 Moments In The Disturbing History Of The Jim Crow Era – Listverse


via 10 Moments In The Disturbing History Of The Jim Crow Era – Listverse

 

The roots of American racism run deep. The country’s troubled history of infighting over the ideal that all men are created equal has often clashed with the harsh reality of life for people of color.

Racial prejudice has always haunted the United States, and it continues in many corners of the country today. Although the conclusion of the US Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment abolished the institution of slavery, individual states remained free to write their own brutally racist laws (aka “Jim Crow laws”).

Here are 10 disturbing facts about the Jim Crow era in the United States.

Featured image credit: fastcompany.com

10History Of Jim Crow

Photo credit: blackpast.org

The history of Jim Crow laws dates all the way back to the early 1800s when slavery was still legal in the United States. In Jump, Jim Crow, a bizarre stage show that debuted in 1828, Thomas Rice created what he and his audiences thought of as comedy. Rice painted his face black and performed with the supposed gestures and mannerisms of African Americans.

Though stage actors had appeared in blackface before Rice, he popularized the genre in the 1830s and had a disgustingly cultish level of success with it. The name of the show came to represent the patently racist laws and practices that developed a century later.

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which carried an anti-racist, antislavery message and even featured a character called Jim Crow. In an ironic twist, Rice ended up performing in blackface in stage adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which were unfaithful to the novel and delivered a racist message that mocked African Americans.[1]

9Slavery Outlawed

After a long-drawn-out civil war, the federal government made slavery illegal in the United States on December 18, 1865. At that time, Secretary of State William Seward verified the ratification of the Thirteen Amendment to the US Constitution. At least three-quarters of the then 36 states had to vote in favor of ratifying the amendment to abolish slavery across the country.

Twenty-seven states ratified by December 6, 1865. Five more voted in favor by the end of January 1866, and Texas assented in February 1870. However, three states held out until the 20th century. Delaware ratified the amendment in February 1901, Kentucky in March 1976, and Mississippi in February 2013.

Mississippi had actually voted in favor of the amendment in March 1995. But they didn’t send the required paperwork to the National Archives to make it official until 2013 due to a clerical oversight.

Today, many people do not realize that the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, mainly fought for the rights of blacks during and after the Civil War. Despite opposition from the Democrats, the Republicans passed the Thirteenth Amendment (outlawing slavery), the Fourteenth Amendment (giving blacks equal rights under the law), and the Fifteenth Amendment (giving blacks the right to vote).

After the Thirteenth Amendment was formally ratified in 1865, there was a brief intermission in systemic racism. But it took less than 20 years before many Democrat-dominated state and local governments, primarily in the South, began enacting laws to mandate racial segregation. These came to be called “Jim Crow laws.”

In this long, painful period of US history, slavery was officially abolished but overt racism at the hands of the law was not. The grim period of Jim Crow had begun.[2]

8The Civil Rights Act Of 1875

Believe it or not, a civil rights act existed in the United States way back in 1875. Cosponsored by two Republicans, the bill passed 162–99 in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and 38–26 in the Republican-controlled Senate. An impressive seven African-American representatives had debated in favor of passing the bill. On March 1, 1875, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law.[3]

The act would have stopped Jim Crow laws by prohibiting racial segregation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the US Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional. Although the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, Congress did not have the authority to regulate private persons or corporations under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Nevertheless, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 shows that many people in the 19th century wanted to abolish racial discrimination under the law.

7Tennessee

Photo credit: tn4me.org

Tennessee didn’t even have a recovery period before its racist ways became law. As early as 1866, shortly after the end of the US Civil War, Tennessee passed its first Jim Crow law.

Initially, the state created separate schools for white children and black children. In 1870, Tennessee banned interracial marriage. Then, in 1875, they legalized racial discrimination via private businesses, saying that hotels and other private enterprises could refuse service on the grounds of race.

Shortly thereafter, the infamous “Whites Only” signs began appearing in front of many public establishments. The tragic fact of segregation had just become a reality for the people of Tennessee.[4]

6Alabama

Photo credit: jimcrow1930.weebly.com

Alabama was another Southern state which almost immediately adopted Jim Crow laws after the end of the Civil War. In 1867, they banned interracial marriage. Fines ranged as high as $1,000, which was an exorbitant price to pay in those days.

Several years later, the state passed a law that made black and white children attend separate schools. In 1891, with limited exceptions, railroads were required to have separate cars for black and white passengers.[5]

As more laws were enacted, bus stations soon had separate waiting areas and ticket windows for black and white people. Bathrooms were segregated by skin color, and white female nurses weren’t allowed to tend to black male patients. It was even illegal for people of different races to play a game of pool together.

51930s

Photo credit: prezi.com

The Jim Crow laws that segregated schools, businesses, railways, and more became increasingly oppressive and bizarre as time went on. By the 1930s, it seemed like anything that even implied that blacks and whites were equal was made illegal.

Black men were not allowed to touch white women in any way without risking a charge of rape, even for common gestures as harmless as a handshake. A black man could not offer to light a cigarette for a white woman without being accused of making a romantic overture. This would also land black men in legal trouble.[6]

Even after the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves, African Americans were still treated as second-class citizens.

41940s

Photo credit: americanhistory.si.edu

Racial discrimination during the Jim Crow era wasn’t confined to the South in the United States. Many photos exist of signs from Northern states establishing their own segregation laws, disallowing whites and blacks from enjoying the same public accommodations.[7]

Black people were not the only ones who experienced such discrimination. During World War II, Japanese Americans were segregated especially harshly.

By the 1940s, it was illegal in Alabama for white and black people to play games together that involved dice, checkers, dominoes, or cards. It was also unlawful in some areas for white people to sell their homes to people of color, and these laws could be quite detailed.

For instance, in some places, if a person had one-eighth or more of a nonwhite race in his lineage, he was considered to be a person of color. At less than one-eighth, he was considered to be white and was free to use the public accommodations available to white people.

3The Change Of The 1950s

Photo via Wikipedia

In the 1950s, attitudes began to change. Support groups and organizations formed in the 1930s and 1940s openly pushed for an end to the Jim Crow era. The “separate but equal” decision of the US Supreme Court in 1896, which had permeated the Jim Crow laws, was growing stale.

In 1955, another monumental act in US history would transpire—the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, which was against the law at that time.

Parks was arrested, which set the stage for massive social change. Many claim that the Jim Crow era ended in 1954. That year, in their Brown v. Board of Education decision, the US Supreme Court struck down the 1896 law that had permitted states to segregate public schools. Even so, segregation clearly continued for another decade.[8]

2Civil Rights Of The 1960s

The road to racial equality in the US had been paved by the movements of the 1950s. In turn, the 1960s drove political and racial turmoil across those avenues as equality was demanded and the push for a new civil rights act gained traction.

Still, it was a slow process. Demonstrations and civil disobedience were nothing new. However, the culmination of all these movements occurred when groups like the Black Panthers and individuals such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. gained serious support from both black and white people across America.

This caused widespread chaos. Race riots, massive protests, and general societal disarray became the dominant theme of the day.[9]

1A New Civil Rights Act

On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The goal was to achieve economic and civil rights for African Americans. At the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, where he told of his dream of a nation without racism and segregation.

With the widespread desire for change, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was ripe to become law with massive backing. It called for the end of an era that had stained the fabric of American history. People are still alive who lived through the Jim Crow era. They remember when it was illegal—based on the color of your skin—to drink from certain water fountains or enter certain establishments.

Finally, after nearly a century of cruel and bizarre laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Initially proposed by Democratic President John F. Kennedy, the first bill failed. Kennedy thought he had lined up enough support from both Democrats and Republicans, but passage was held up by Democrat Howard W. Smith, an ardent segregationist from Virginia.

After Kennedy was assassinated, Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson used his skill to get the act passed. The main opposition came from the Democrats. Still, Johnson managed to rally enough Democrats and Republicans to vote for a compromise bill, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law on July 2, 1964.[10]

It prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, as these had all been used to divide people throughout the United States’ tumultuous history. The act still stands as federal law today. Although racism may not be wholly defeated in the United States, it is clear in the eyes of the law that discrimination is an illegal practice that should be forcibly relegated to the dustbin of history.

 

 

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10 Deadly Household Foods That Can Actually Kill You – Listverse


via 10 Deadly Household Foods That Can Actually Kill You – Listverse

When it comes to the long list of dangers in this world, many people jump to the more obvious ones. Stepping outside can get you killed by a snakebite in many parts of the world, or if you live in Florida or Australia, you might be attacked by an alligator or crocodile on your afternoon stroll. Tornadoes, fires, drowning, car accidents, and even other people can kill you easily.

But when we think of objects of death, rarely do we stroll into the kitchen, past the knives, and head for the refrigerator or food pantry. But there is actually a long laundry list of regular, run-of-the mill foods which are absolutely deadly. Here are ten common household foods which can be lethal.

10Nutmeg


While most of us look at nutmeg and think of it as a spice, a nice little dash of flavor for our coffee or any other food which needs its rich, aromatic, nutty flavor, nutmeg is actually a hallucinogen at higher does.[1] Nutmeg can cause dizziness, vomiting, nausea, central nervous system excitation, and even death. It takes about two tablespoons before someone starts feeling the painful and powerful effects of nutmeg, but it’s definitely no joke and has landed hundreds of people—often looking for a cheap high or good time—in the hospital.

The toxicity of nutmeg is surprisingly high for something that’s sold in grocery stores and found in plenty of homes’ spice racks. There’s a surprisingly small margin between the amount that’ll simply spice up your eggnog and the amount that’ll cause toxic effects. It’s powerful enough that it was even historically used as birth control, to terminate unwanted pregnancies, and to fight the Black Death.

9Apricot Seeds


In the United States, it’s difficult to buy whole, raw apricots in the produce section of the grocery store, and there is a reason. That reason is the lethality of apricot seeds. They can kill you if you eat them. Apricot seeds contain a chemical called laetrile or amgydalin, which is highly toxic. Many people falsely believe that apricot seeds can cure cancer. They are also ground up and sold as “vitamin B17.”

In the human body, amygdalin is converted into hydrogen cyanide and can kill the person who consumed it.[2] As we will see, many, many fruit seeds are actually poisonous for one reason or another, but apricot seeds, vitamin B17, laetrile, or whatever you wish to call it, definitely produces cyanide in the gut and can definitely kill you.

8Almonds


In 2014, Whole Foods had to recall some of its bitter almonds, which contain traces of hydrocyanic acid as well as glycoside amygdalin, which, when heated or exposed to certain other conditions or chemicals (like the kinds in your digestive system), will be converted to hydrogen cyanide.[3] That’s right: amygdalin again, just like with the apricot seeds. Both raw almonds and apricot seeds are marketed health products, but both can be deadly when ingested.

Cyanide compounds are actually pretty ubiquitous and plentiful in nature; in fact, if you walked out into nature and just began eating food, many of the things you ate raw could kill you, as is, without human intervention.

7Potatoes

Photo credit: Don Bobbitt

Glycoalkloids are a chemical compound that occur naturally in many various plants, such as bittersweet nightshade, a plant related to tomatoes and, believe or not, potatoes. These plants contain solanine, a chemical which, in large enough doses, is actually toxic. Symptoms of solanine poisoning include nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and worst of all, respiratory failure, leading to death.

Yes, you can die from eating potatoes.[4] A grown, 91-kilogram (200 lb) adult would need to consume 0.9 kilograms (2 lb) of fully green potatoes to ingest enough solanine to kill them, which, if you think about it, really isn’t a lot.

6Tomato Plants


Tomato plants are another potentially lethal plant and also a relative to the bittersweet nightshade plant, as mentioned above. Thus, as logic would deduce, parts of tomato plants are also loaded with glycoalkoids and possess solanine, with all of the same symptoms as the potato, including vomiting, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and, of course, respiratory failure up to and including death.

The good news is that the poison resides in the leaves and vines, not in the tomatoes themselves, so eat as many actual tomatoes as you’d like, to your heart’s desire. Just stay away from the green areas, like the vine the tomato grows on.[5]

5Hot Dogs


Hot dogs kill people all the time, believe it or not, which is unusual for such a lovable (albeit unhealthy) snack. Hot dogs are an American icon, a staple of many diets for decades, but they’re just as deadly as everything else on this list. However, hot dogs are deadly in a different manner. They aren’t poisonous and don’t come with some mysterious, hard-to-pronounce chemicals lurking beneath the surface, waiting to intoxicate you—hot dogs are actually a major cause of food-related choking.

No, this isn’t a slapstick joke, meant to conjure up cartoonish images of old movies or cartoons; this is a bona fide, legit fact. A child dies from choking on food every five days in the United States, and hot dogs are one of the most common foods that a child can choke on.[6] But when you take a second to stop and think about it, you pretty much couldn’t intentionally design a better food object for someone to accidentally choke on. As long and cylindrical as hot dogs are, it’s almost as if all you have to do is inhale, and the hot dog will fly in and get stuck in your throat. Nonetheless, hot dogs have earned their place on this list by being a legitimately deadly food.

4Fugu


Fugu is a dish prepared from pufferfish, which is served as a fancy dinner in many restaurants worldwide but particularly in Japan. Part of the draw is this fish’s toxicity, which makes it a very expensive item that’s often served more as a garnish in extremely small amounts, tiny slivers of which might kill you. The toxin in question is called tetrodotoxin and is found in parts of the pufferfish, none of which must make it into what’s served to guests. Chefs in Japan must complete two to three years of training in order to be licensed to prepare fugu.

Tetrodotoxin is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. A minuscule amount is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, killing him. Pufferfish generally contain enough tetrodotoxin to kill 30 people. When experiencing fugu poisoning, the mouth begins to burn, along with the tongue, and slow, slurred, drunken speech begins. The heartbeat begins to become irregular before the respiratory system shuts completely down, killing the person who ate too much.[7] There is no antidote for fugu poisoning, but it isn’t always lethal, and sometimes the victim can be flushed of the remaining poison and survive. Eating fugu is a gamble, but that’s part of the draw for some.

3Ackee


Ackee is a fruit native to West Africa and is grown in Jamaica as well as parts of the Caribbean. It is a pear-shaped fruit in the same family as lychee and a few thousand other relatives. But ackee can’t be bought raw in the United States, either, with a federal ban on the importation and sale of the fruit. It can be bought canned, but there are strong restrictions on canned importation, due to ackee’s potent toxicity.[8]

If the fruit is not ripened fully, consumption can lead to disastrous results. “Jamaican vomiting sickness” is a name for ackee poisoning, and it sometimes actually kills people. Generalized weakness, dehydration, and confused, crazy, panicked mental states are the initial onset of symptoms, starting two to six hours after consumption. This can quickly progress to seizures, coma, and death. The fruit is definitely not something to mess around with, hence the extremely restrictive ban by the US Food and Drug Administration.

2Cherry Pits


Cherries are a delicious fruit we all know and love, and most of us have grown up with them. There is cherry-flavored just about everything today, from soda to ice cream, but beneath the flesh of a cherry is an extremely lethal pit, or seed . . . and many of us probably remember swallowing them as a child, because, whole, raw cherries can be purchased at many grocery stores, as is, with the pits included, unlike apricots or ackee.

So what’s the culprit in cherry pits? Amygdalin, yet again, with its hydrogen cyanide potency. For such a lovable fruit, the availability of cyanide, directly on the inside, is pretty astonishing; You shouldn’t just ingest cherries by swallowing them whole, regardless of what cartoons and video games may tell you; it’s extremely dangerous. A man in Lancashire, UK, actually got cyanide poisoning by consuming a mere three cherry pits, which almost ended up killing him.[9]

1Apples


Like cherries and apricots, the poison in apples lies in the seeds, but nobody really knows about that. Cyanide toxicity takes place at 0.5 to 3.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, and apple seeds could do the job if you were to eat enough of them. As usual, amygdalin is the culprit, and the resultant cyanide can kill you quickly.

Each apple seed contains about 2 milligrams of amygdalin. Rest assured, however, you would have to consume over 140 apple seeds for it to kill you, which, if you obtained eight seeds per apple, would require about 18 apples. There are 700 milligrams of cyanide in one kilogram of apple seeds.[10]

 

 

10 Craziest Facts About ‘The Godmother’ Griselda Blanco – Listverse


via 10 Craziest Facts About ‘The Godmother’ Griselda Blanco – Listverse

Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco was known as “La Madrina” (“The Godmother”) after she successfully pioneered a Miami-based cocaine drug trade for nearly five decades from the 1950s to the early 2000s. The murderous matriarch stood only 152 centimeters (5’0″) tall. But she was feared by many and even dubbed the “Female Tony Montana” due to her lavish lifestyle.

Blanco is remembered for many things—her power, her bloody tactics, her coldheartedness, and her ability to amass a staggering net worth of $2 billion in a field that has always been dominated by men.

10She Committed Her First Murder At Age 11

Born in 1943 in Cartagena, Colombia, Blanco was surrounded by poverty from birth. The shantytown where she grew up had such a high murder rate that children would pass the time on the streets by digging holes for the bodies that littered the roads.

At age 11, she went with a group of friends to a nearby wealthy village and kidnapped a 10-year-old boy from a rich family. The boy was held hostage as Blanco tried to obtain ransom money from his family. When it was clear that the family was not willing to give up the cash, Blanco was handed a gun and she shot the boy between the eyes. Violence was present from the beginning of her life, and it followed her into adulthood.

DEA Agent Bob Palombo explained, “I don’t think the fact that she was a female trying to prove something had anything to do with her violent behavior; I just think it was inherent to Griselda Blanco. This goes back to her life, the way she was brought up. She was just a violent person.”[1]

9She Was Making Around $80 Million A Month

Blanco ran away from home at age 14 to escape abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. She survived by earning money as a pickpocket and a prostitute. In the mid-1970s, she immigrated to Queens, New York, with her second husband, Alberto Bravo.

There, they started their own network of cocaine dealing. Her client list included Hollywood stars and top athletes. The huge success of their narcotics empire put her on the FBI’s radar, and eventually, she moved to Miami.

When Blanco hit Miami, the timing was just right and she soon had a monopoly. By the late 1970s, at the height of her game, she was earning around $80 million a month. Everyone wanted to work for her, and the DEA estimated that she had 600 people on her payroll.

DEA agent Bob Palombo told Maxim, “She mesmerized people. She could woo you with her acumen and make you a loyal follower.” Blanco was able to live a life of comfort and luxury. However, with great riches came powerful enemies.[2]

8She Went To War With Her Rival Pablo Escobar

Business was going so well for Blanco that it was only a matter of time before her rivals started to invade her territory. One of those rivals was Pablo “The King of Cocaine” Escobar. He had become the biggest threat to her business even though she had given him a leg up from the start. Jennie Smith, author of Cocaine Cowgirl, explained, “[Escobar] wasn’t afraid of her. Everyone else was, but he wasn’t.”

In 1975, Blanco and Escobar were at war and they wanted each other dead. So began a deadly game of assassins as they both deployed members of their own drug cartels to kill the other.

In this drug war, Escobar had the upper hand. When the FBI was closing in on Blanco, Escobar was on his way up. It was just a waiting game until he would come out on top.[3]

7She Was Believed To Be Responsible For More Than 200 Murders

Photo credit: laweekly.com

The actual number of murders for which Blanco is responsible has been disputed over the years. Many have pegged the potential victim count as between 40 and 240, although she was only convicted of three murders. The details of the slayings that put her behind bars had all come from her former hit man Jorge Ayala.

One of the most shocking was the murder of two-year-old Johnny Castro who was in the car with his father Jesus “Chucho” Castro. Blanco had ordered the killing of Chucho because he had disrespected her son.

Ayala told the police, “At first, she was real mad ’cause we missed the father. But when she heard we had gotten the son by accident, she said she was glad, that they were even.”[4]

In 1985, she was captured in Irvine, California, by the DEA and sentenced to three concurrent 20-year sentences. She would only have to serve 10 years as the case collapsed due to technicalities.

6She Named Her Son After A Character In The Godfather Movie

Photo credit: miaminewtimes.com

Blanco clearly loved her reputation as “The Godmother.” She even named her third son, Michael Corleone (pictured above), after the third son of Mafia don Vito Corleone in her favorite movie, The Godfather.

Blanco’s former hit man, who would later become a witness against her, revealed that he accepted a $50,000 payment for killing a man for her while three-year-old Michael was in the room with her. Blanco never hid her criminal ways from her sons. She was determined that they would follow in her footsteps and inherit her multibillion empire.

However, things didn’t work out as planned. Michael’s father and his older brothers were all killed before he reached his 16th birthday. It wasn’t long before his mother was sentenced to decades behind bars, so he was left in the care of his maternal grandmother and other legal guardians.[5]

5She Allegedly Killed All Three Of Her Husbands

Photo credit: miamiherald.com

Blanco’s three husbands were all murdered. The blame was pointed in her direction, earning her the name “The Black Widow.” Her first husband was Carlos Trujillo, with whom she had three sons. They were all killed under suspicious circumstances after they were deported to Colombia following prison sentences in United States.

She then married Alberto Bravo, and the pair went into business together. In 1975, she confronted Bravo in a Bogota nightclub parking lot as she believed that he had stolen millions of dollars from the profits they had made in business together.

The married couple was locked in a deadly gun battle. She was holding a pistol, and he had an Uzi submachine gun. It ended with Bravo dead along with six of his bodyguards. Blanco walked away with only a minor gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Blanco’s third husband, Dario Sepulveda, was the father of her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco. In 1983, Sepulveda kidnapped Michael during a custody disagreement. Blanco then paid to have Sepulveda murdered in Colombia, and Michael was returned to her.[6]

4She Invented Drug Smuggling Underwear

Photo credit: elpais.com

When you have to transport 1,540 kilograms (3,400 lb) of cocaine into the United States a month, it pays to be a bit creative to avoid detection. According to Miami New Times, “She revolutionized smuggling by developing her own line of underwear with secret compartments to stuff drugs into.”[7]

She invented the underwear with hidden pockets so that her cocaine mules could get the drugs into the US. In Medellin, Colombia, she opened her own manufacturing facility that developed custom-made bras and girdles that were perfect for drug smuggling.

Another one of her inventions was deadly. In 1979, she coordinated a shoot-out at Dadeland Mall in Miami. Three gunmen drove up to the target in a fully equipped “war wagon” and sprayed 60 shots. Two men were killed, and a store clerk was injured. It was the first grisly drive-by of its kind, but it was copied by many cartels after Blanco died.

3She Planned To Kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr.

Photo credit: NASA

When they finally busted Blanco, it was a big deal for the DEA. Miami Attorney Sam Burstyn told Maxim, “She was our John Gotti.” Blanco was not happy about sitting behind bars, so she cooked up an elaborate plan to regain her freedom.

According to the New York Post, she intended to send her foot soldiers in the cartel to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr. A promise of his safe return would be negotiated if she was allowed to walk free. Nothing ever came of Blanco’s elaborate plan. With her behind bars, it was business as usual—and then some—for her rivals on the outside.

The safest place for Blanco was behind bars. Miami homicide detective Nelson Andreu explained to the Miami Herald, “It’s surprising to all of us that she had not been killed sooner because she made a lot of enemies. When you kill so many and hurt so many people like she did, it’s only a matter of time before they find you and try to even the score.”[8]

2She Avoided The Death Penalty Due To A Phone Sex Scandal

Most of the information about Blanco’s web of illegal drugs, murder, and extortion came from her former hit man Jorge Ayala who became the key witness in the investigation. Blanco was looking at the death sentence in the state of Florida if she were found guilty of murder.

But the case took a shocking U-turn that saved her life. Ayala had begun a phone sex relationship with two of the secretaries at the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office who also cashed money orders that he sent them.[9]

The phone sex scandal brought Ayala’s credibility as a witness into question. With the key witness now useless, the state didn’t have enough evidence. It’s strongly believed that Ayala purposely sabotaged himself as a witness so that he wouldn’t be murdered by one of Blanco’s henchmen. Although one of her most loyal soldiers had turned against her, he had also saved her.

1She Was Murdered By Her Own Vicious Method

Photo credit: npr.org

Blanco created the method of killing her enemies while on a motorcycle. Her henchmen would ride up on motorbikes, shoot the intended target, and then zoom off before anyone really knew what was going on. It was such a successful method of killing that many of her rivals also adopted the technique.

After Griselda Blanco was released from prison, her youngest son revealed that she had become a born-again Christian. Then, on September 3, 2012, Blanco went to the butcher’s shop in Medellin with her pregnant daughter-in-law. They bought $150 worth of meat.

A middle-aged man got off a motorbike, walked up to Blanco on the street, and shot her twice. Then he walked back to his motorbike and drove away. One witness at the scene said, “He was a professional. It was vengeance from the past.”[10]

As Blanco lay dying on the ground, her daughter-in-law placed a Bible on her chest. Blanco was 69 when she died. She had finally fallen victim to the same fate that she had forced on so many others.

The Rockford Files Day


Did you know…

… that today is The Rockford Files Day? In 1974, The Rockford Files, starring James Garner as a private detective, premiered on NBC-TV. Rockford was an ex-con, wrongly convicted of armed robbery and paroled, who eked out a living at his dilapidated trailer on the beach at Malibu. Celebrate by watching your favorite detective show!

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RAK Movement – Random Acts of kindness – What I did. How about you?


  1. We all love surprises! Buy someone an unexpected gift
  2. Share your lunch with a friend
  3. Is that litter on the floor? Pick it up and bin it
  4. Recycle 3 things today
  5. Remember that friend you haven’t seen for ages? Give them a call
  6. Be proactive – sign a petition for a good cause
  7. It’s hard to stay connected – reach out to an elderly person you know
  8. Be eco-friendly – unplug electronics when you’re finished using them
  9. Offer to help your neighbours/friends with chores
  10. Empty your wallet for charity

National Policewoman Day in USA.


Did you know…

… that today is National Policewoman Day? In 1910, the Los Angeles Police Department hired the world’s first female police officer, Alice Stebbins Wells, a former social worker. Wells founded the International Association of Policewomen and, in 1934, she was appointed the historian of the Los Angeles Police Department. By the time she had retired in 1940, Wells had been a policewoman for 30 years.

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Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.”

— Robert Brault