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Keridwen Cornelius, Niki D’Andrea & Craig Outhier
July, 2013, Page 84
*Warning! This article contains graphic content, multiple murderers, salacious sex scandals, swearing sports figures, risky businesses, batty bills, and ghastly gubernatorial grammar.
The Most Notorious Man on Two Wheels
It says a lot about your badass bona fides when the de facto leader of the world’s most famous outlaw motorcycle gang picks your city for his retirement garden. Hells Angels founding member Sonny Barger fell in love with Arizona the way most of us do – while pulling a four-year stretch in Phoenix federal prison. Afterward, in 1998, he relocated to Cave Creek, ushering a statewide “patch-over” in which members of Arizona’s formerlydominant motorcycle club, The Dirty Dozen, were admitted into the ranks of the HA. He continues to live in Cave Creek, where he’s written six books and produced a movie, Dead in 5 Heartbeats, based on his own novel.
: The Mormon Murderess
: After enduring – or maybe enjoying – a “debasing” relationship with motivational speaker and alleged tree fetishist Travis Alexander, compulsive liar Arias stalked him, sliced his throat, stabbed him nearly 30 times, then shot him in the head – in self-defense, she claims. She was convicted of the 2008 murder, but after the jury failed to reach a decision on the sentence, the judge scheduled a penalty phase retrial for July 18.
Photos - From left: Sonny Barger, Jodi Arias
Photo by Nicolle Clemetson, Illustration by Louisa Bertman
Photo courtesy of Arizona State Library Archives and public records (AMP WRJ036)
Winnie Ruth Judd
Winnie Ruth Judd
: The Trunk Murderess
: Medical secretary
: Brown bob, flapper dresses, permafrown
: After a jealous spat over Phoenix businessman/philanderer John “Happy Jack” Halloran, Judd murdered her friends Agnes LeRoi and Hedvig Samuelson in 1931. Judd and an accomplice then stuffed LeRoi’s body into a shipping trunk and carefully dismembered Samuelson’s body, placing the head, torso, and calves into a trunk, and the thighs in a small bag and hatbox. Judd fled with her body baggage on a train from Phoenix to L.A., where railroad personnel discovered the corpses due to the offending smell and leaking fluids. She was sent to the State Asylum for the Insane, now the Arizona State Hospital, but escaped six times before being released in 1971.
: The Bar Stool Killer
: Apartment manager
: After her allegedly abusive husband, Joseph, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the adulterous mother of two believed she could collect money from a medical malpractice suit. So, in October 2000, she overkilled Joseph by poisoning him with pesticide, bludgeoning him 23 times with a barstool, and stabbing him in the neck. She’s currently on death row.
: Eden, Tiara
: Distinct lack of stealthiness (told friends about the planned robbery, failed to disguise herself in multiple security videos, failed to wipe off fingerprints from hotel hair dryer and key card left in room)
: After a few failed attempts to rob Empire Auto Glass owner and jeweler Rick Chance, Hungerford lured him to a Tempe Best Western in 2002 to drug him and steal his jewelry. Her boyfriend, exotic dancer Robert Lemke, instead shot and killed Chance. The pair fled to Washington, but a gold mine of evidence left behind – including the murder weapon, which had been “hidden” in a pizza box and given to Lemke’s friend – led to their arrests.
Susan and Rachel Brock
: Timmy Turner (a name Susan used while sexting)
: Cougar-in-the-headlights expression (Susan); hoodies (Rachel)
: The wife and daughter, respectively, of former Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock were seemingly devout Mormons, but Susan had her lecherous eye on the 11-year-old son of her friend and started to gain his trust by buying him gifts. Her then-18-year-old daughter Rachel began a sexual relationship with the boy when he was 13. Susan subsequently molested him between the time he was 14 and 17, all while buying him numerous presents, including iPhones and assault rifles. In 2011, Susan was sentenced to 13 years in prison; Rachel received 10 years’ probation.
: The Denier
: Insurance company secretary
: Soft voice, ambiguously innocent expression
: In 1989, Debra and her 4-year-old son, Christopher, moved in with Jim Styers, who later took Christopher to Metrocenter Mall and claimed the boy disappeared. During a missing person investigation, police arrested Styers’ friend Roger Scott, who led police to Christopher’s body; he had been shot three times in the head. Scott allegedly told the lead detective, Armando Saldate Jr., that Styers killed the boy because Milke “wanted it done.” (Scott later refused to testify against Milke.) Saldate interrogated Milke alone, without setting up a tape recorder, and she confessed to soliciting Christopher’s murder, the detective reported. Milke was sentenced to death in 1990, but her conviction was overturned this past March due to the dubious confession allegedly obtained by Saldate, who had a history of lying under oath.
THE PHOENIX ALL-NOTORIOUS SPORTS STARTING FIVE
Point Guard: Muhammad Ali
In his boxing heyday, the longtime Paradise Valley resident fed incendiary, headline-grabbing quotes to journalists like alley-oop dunks. Defending his decision to seek conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War, the Muslim convert dropped a zinger for the ages: “No Viet Cong ever called me a nigger.”
Small Forward: Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu
Though he has yet to play a down for the Arizona Cardinals, the former LSU cornerback and Heisman finalist arrives in the Valley with unbeatable notorious bona fides, having failed more than 10 drug tests in college. Our high-flying, above-the-rim swing man.
“Shooting” Guard: Barry Bonds
Hard to believe the bulked-up baseball pariah was once a fleet, 185-pound centerfielder for the ASU Sun Devil baseball team. Behold: the miracle of a high protein diet.
Power Forward: Mark Grace
Like any effective post-player, the former Diamondbacks slugger – and two-time DUI convictee – spends a lot of time on the line. Now if he could only walk it straight.
Photos - Clock-wise from top left
Photos courtesy Arizona State University Libraries, department of Archives & special collections
Center: Mike Tyson
For an intimidating presence in the middle, you can’t do better than Paradise Valley’s pigeon-raising ex-heavyweight champ. Is he more notorious for the Maori tattoo on his face, or the lingering aftertaste of Evander Holyfield’s ear? Discuss.
Illustration by John Ueland
Head Coach: Charles Barkley
Perhaps the most beloved figure in Phoenix sports history, Sir Charles is also no stranger to controversy, from his “I’m not a role model” quote to the time he got popped for DUI after boozing it up with TV über-nerd Steve Urkel and told an employee at the East Valley DUI Task Force that if it would get him out of the DUI, “I’ll tattoo your name on my ass.” And, yet, we’d still vote for him if he ran for governor. How does he do that?
Illustration by Louisa Bertman
Every cub journalist knows the story of Bolles – the Arizona Republic reporter who was fatally wounded in a car bomb attack in June 1976 outside the Hotel Clarendon in Phoenix. Ultimately pinned on Phoenix contractor Max Dunlap, who maintained his innocence until dying in prison in 2009, the murder elevated Bolles – who specialized in uncovering influence-peddling and land fraud – to somewhat mythic status in the Valley’s media community. The Arizona Press Club’s investigative journalism award is named after the late scribe.
Pete’s Fish and Chips Owner:
Besides the flaky fried cod that has made his local chain of fast food restaurants a Valley favorite for more than six decades, Pete Grant Jr. had one great passion in life: precious coins. And coins, ultimately, proved his undoing. In December 1987, an acquaintance named James Karis shot Grant to death in his Phoenix apartment and absconded with his $30,000 rare coin collection. Grant Jr.’s daughters reported the theft to Coin World magazine, and a Scottsdale coin dealer who read the article called police when Karis attempted to sell several distinctive Pete’s 25th anniversary rounds to him six weeks later. Karis was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Emil “Mal” Vaci:
What do Arcadia-area fine dining haunt Crudo and the Martin Scorsese organized crime saga Casino have in common? As it turns out, not much – but authorities once suspected Chicago mobster Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro, reportedly the inspiration for Joe Pesci’s squeaky-voiced sociopath in the movie, for the 1986 murder of Vaci, a maitre d’ at now-defunct Phoenix eatery Ernesto’s Backstreet. Spilotro was found dead in a shallow grave in the Midwest a week after the murder. And Ernesto’s Backstreet? Resurrected first as Backstreet Wine Salon, then as Crudo.
Probably the most famous of the Valley’s infamous murder victims, Hogan’s Heroes star Crane was a sex addict and videophile whose sad, dissolute lifestyle was later chronicled in the Greg Kinnear-fronted biopic Auto Focus. He was performing in Scottsdale dinner theater at the time of his bludgeoning death in 1978. A jilted enabler named John Carpenter was tried for the murder but found not guilty, and the case remains officially unsolved.
Buddhist Temple Victims:
Six Buddhist monks, a nun and a pair of acolytes were senselessly murdered at the Wat Promkunaram Temple in Waddell in August 1991 – an act of savagery made doubly notorious by the staggering ineptitude of the investigation that followed it. Acting on a tip from a Tucson mental patient, authorities coerced false confessions from four innocent men before finally snaring the real killers, a pair of West Valley teenagers who hoped to steal the temple’s nonexistent “gold Buddha.”
CRAZY ARIZONA LEGISLATION QUIZ
Think you can tell the difference between real, what-were-they-smoking-type bills proposed by the Arizona Legislature and a few we made up ourselves? Find out with this handy quiz.
1. SB 1892
: Makes it a felony to use harsh or demeaning language toward a handgun or other small firearm. Also known as the Preserve Firearm Dignity Act.
2. SB 1202
: Guns in bars? Sure, but don't drink.
3. SB 1507
: Forbids government entities in Arizona from adopting any sustainability, resource-management or poverty-eradication program if an obscure, non-binding United Nations resolution dating back to 1992 adopted
4. SB 1307
: To prevent the secret British practice of creating “chimeras” or a possible Planet of the Apes scenario, the bill bans the genetic engineering of human-animal hybrids as well as human cloning.
5. SB 5950
: No municipality shall use taxpayer dollars to “fund a planet-destroying superweapon, like the one in Star Wars.”
6. SB 1024
: Before qualifying for the Arizona ballot, presidential candidates must submit a valid birth certificate to the Arizona Secretary of State, who will use his or her keen forensic skills to determine whether the document is legit.
7. SB 1112
: Bars civil litigation against pro-life-minded obstetricians and family doctors who place pregnant women in “safety bubbles” for the duration of their
pregnancies, so long as they update the woman’s family with daily proof-of-life photos via cell phone.
8. SB 1045
: Protects business owners from potential lawsuits for forbidding transgendered people from using a bathroom designated for any gender other than their birth gender.
9. HB 2455
: Forces municipalities that hold gun buyback programs – designed to take guns off the street – to resell the guns, thereby putting them back on the street.
Real bills: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
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