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    Kenneth Allen McDuff (March 21, 1946 – November 17, 1998) was an American murderer. He was convicted of murdering sixteen-year-old Edna Sullivan, her boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Robert Brand, and Robert’s cousin, fifteen-year-old Mark Dunnam, who was visiting from California. They were all strangers who McDuff abducted after noticing Sullivan; she was repeatedly raped before having her neck broken with a broomstick. McDuff was given three death sentences, and subsequently convicted of having offered a bribe to a member of the parole board. He was freed in 1989. He was given a new death sentence and executed for a murder committed after his release, he is suspected to have been responsible many other killings. According to one reporter, "If there has ever been a good argument for the death penalty, it's Kenneth McDuff."

    Kenneth McDuff


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    In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated and Texas Governor John Connally is seriously wounded. Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald is later captured and charged with the murder of both the President and police officer J. D. Tippit. Oswald is shot two days later by Jack Ruby while in police custody.

    President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and Governor of TexasJohn Connally in the presidential limousine, minutes before the President's assassination.

    Please go to this previous blog post to learn more.

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                On this date, November 22, 1946, the Reich Minister of Justice, Otto Georg Thierack, committed suicide by poisoning himself. I will post information about this Nazi Scarface Judge from Wikipedia and other links.

    Otto Georg Thierack in 1940

    Reich Minister of Justice
    In office
    20 August 1942 – 30 April 1945
    Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler (Führer)
    Preceded by
    Franz Schlegelberger
    Succeeded by
    Personal details
    19 April 1889
    Wurzen, Saxony, German Empire
    22 November 1946 (aged 57)
    Sennelager, Paderborn, Germany
    Political party
    Nazi Party (NSDAP) from 1932

    Otto Georg Thierack (19 April 1889 – 22 November 1946) was a Nazi jurist and politician.

    Early life and career

    Thierack was born in Wurzen in Saxony. He took part in the First World War from 1914 to 1918 as a volunteer, reaching the rank of lieutenant. He suffered a face injury and was decorated with the Iron Cross, second class. After the war ended, he resumed his interrupted law studies and ended them in 1920 with his Assessor(junior lawyer) examination. In the same year, he was hired as a court Assessorin Saxony.

    A meeting of the four Nazis who imposed Nazi ideology on the legal system of Germany. From left to right: Roland Freisler, Franz Schlegelberger, Otto Georg Thierack, and Curt Rothenberger.
    Joining of the Nazi party

    On 1 August 1932, Thierack joined the Nazi Party. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, he managed within a very short time to rise high in the ranks from a prosecutor to President of the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof). The groundwork on which this rise was built was not merely that Thierack had been a Nazi Party member, but rather also that he had been leader of the National Socialist jurists' organization, the so-called Rechtswahrerbund.

    Nazification efforts as Justice Minister of Saxony

    On 12 May 1933, having been appointed Saxony's justice minister, it was Thierack's job to "Nazify" justice, which was a part of the Nazis'Gleichschaltung that he had to put into practice in Saxony. After going through several mid-level professional posts, he became Vice President of the Reich Court in 1935 and in 1936 President of the Volksgerichtshof, which had been newly founded in 1934. He held this job, interrupted as it was by two stints in the armed forces, until 1942, when he was succeeded in the position by Roland Freisler.

    Roland Freisler shakes hands with Otto Georg Thierack

    Persecution and debasement of law as Reich Minister of Justice

    On 20 August 1942, Thierack assumed the office of Reich Minister of Justice. He introduced the monthly Richterbriefe in October 1942, in which were presented model – from the Nazi leaders' standpoint – decisions, with names left out, upon which German jurisprudence was to be based. He also introduced the so-called Vorschauen and Nachschauen ("previews" and "inspections"). After this, the higher state court presidents, in proceedings of public interest, had at least every fortnight to discuss with the public prosecutor's office and the State Court president – who had to pass this on the responsible criminal courts – how a case was to be judged beforethe court's decision.

    Thierack not only made penal prosecution of all unpopular persons and groups harsher. "Antisocial" convicts on the whole were much more often turned over to the SS. This usually meant Jews, Poles, Russians, and Gypsies. Soon afterwards, though, he utterly forwent any pretense of legality and simply began handing these people over to the SS. Thierack came to an understanding with Heinrich Himmler that certain categories of prisoners were to be, to use their words, "annihilated through work". Ever since coming to office as Reich Minister of Justice in August 1942, Thierack had seen to it that the lengthy paperwork involved in clemency proceedings for those sentenced to death was greatly shortened.

    At Thierack's instigation, the execution shed at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin was outfitted with eight iron hooks in December 1942 so that several people could be put to death at once, by hanging (there had already been a guillotine there for quite a while). At the mass executions beginning on 7 September 1943, it also happened that some prisoners were hanged "by mistake". Thierack simply covered up these mistakes and demanded that the hangings continue.

    Suicide after war

    After the Allies arrested him, Thierack committed suicide in Sennelager, Paderborn, by poisoning before he could be brought before the court at the Nuremberg Judges' Trial.

    Martin Broszat writes Thierack took office had “initiated the final phase of the extreme selloff of justice”. Sarah Schadler perspective this judgment and question whether Thierack had delivered actually generous competencies. He made ​​Himmler promises that he does – as in the case of the controversial approval of Gestapo instead Prosecutor  – not always cheated on the competencies of the To preserve Justice. However Thierack was not fundamentally in opposition to the political police, but he was himself an advocate draconian severity, in the prosecution “racially inferior groups” and he was not interested in the “delivery of social misfits to the police,” he voluntarily gave up skills from.

    Thierack was a ruthless “arch-careerist”, “power hungry”, “ambitious” and “scheming” and is described by staff as “hardworking and robust,” “autocratic” and “autocratic”. Thierack of Hitler’s political line was closer than its predecessor and was further nominated in the Political Testament ofAdolf Hitler as Minister of Justice.

    Thierack was a “fanatical Nazi”, took the steering instruments such as judges letters Urteilsvor and looking up, reporting and control travels influence on the case, eroded the independence of judges and reduced to a “referral freedom”. During his tenure, the number of death sentences rose, less than three percent of e clemency were endorsed by him. For the tightening of the penal system and the handling of night-and-dagger methods Thierack was responsible. In January 1943, Rudolf Hoess led him through the main camp of Auschwitz.


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                Sixty years ago on this date, November 22, 1954, Stalin’s State Prosecutor, Andrey Vyshinky, died in New York. I will post information about him from Wikipediaand other links.

    “Vyshinsky”. Soviet lawyer, diplomat, academician A. Ya. Vyshinsky (1883-1954).

    In office
    4 March 1949 – 5 March 1953
    Joseph Stalin
    Preceded by
    Vyacheslav Molotov
    Succeeded by
    In office
    3 March 1935 – 31 May 1939
    Preceded by
    Succeeded by
    In office
    11 May 1931 – 25 May 1934
    Preceded by
    Succeeded by
    Candidate member of the 19thPresidium
    In office
    16 October 1952 – 6 March 1953
    Personal details
    Andrey Yanuarevich Vyshinsky
    10 December 1883
    Odessa, Russian Empire
    22 November 1954 (aged 70)
    New York City, New York, United States
    Political party
    Lawyer, diplomat, civil servant

    Andrey Yanuarevich Vyshinsky (Russian: Андре́й Януа́рьевич Выши́нский, Andrej Yanuar'evič Vyšinskij; Polish: Andrzej Wyszyński) (10 December [O.S. 28 November] 1883 – 22 November 1954) was a Soviet politician, jurist and diplomat.

    He is known as a state prosecutor of Joseph Stalin's Moscow trials and in the Nuremberg trials. He was the Soviet Foreign Minister from 1949 to 1953, after having served as Deputy Foreign Minister under Vyacheslav Molotov since 1940. He also headed the Institute of State and Law in the Soviet Academy of Sciences.


    Early life

    Vyshinsky was born in Odessa into a Polish Catholic family, who later moved to Baku. His father, Yanuarii Vyshinsky (January Wyszyński), was a pharmaceutical chemist. A talented student, he married Kapa Mikhailova, and became interested in revolutionary ideas. He began attending the Kiev University but was expelled for participating in revolutionary activities.

    Vyshinsky returned to Baku, became a Menshevik in 1903 and took an active part in the 1905 Russian Revolution. As a result, in 1908 he was sentenced to prison and a few days later was sent to Bailov prison to serve his sentence. Here he first met Stalin: a fellow inmate with whom he engaged in ideological disputes. After his release, he returned home to Baku for the birth of his daughter Zinaida in 1909. Soon thereafter, he returned to Kiev University and did quite well. He was even considered for a professorship, but his political past caught up with him, and he was forced to return to Baku. Determined to practice law, he tried Moscow, where he became a successful lawyer, remained an active Menshevik, gave many passionate and incendiary speeches, and became involved in city government.

    Russian Civil War

    In 1917, as a minor official, he undersigned an order to arrest Vladimir Lenin, according to the decision of the Russian Provisional Government, but the October Revolution quickly intervened, and the offices which had ordered the arrest were dissolved. In 1917, he became reacquainted with Stalin, who had become an important Bolshevik leader. Consequently, he joined the staff of the People's Commissariat of Food, which was responsible for Moscow's food supplies, and with the help of Stalin, Alexei Rykov, and Lev Kamenev, he began to rise in influence and prestige. In 1920, after the defeat of the Whites under Denikin, and the end of the Russian Civil War, he joined the Bolsheviks.

    Bolsheviks in Power

    Becoming a member of the nomenklatura he became a prosecutor in the new Soviet legal system, began a rivalry with a fellow lawyer, Nikolai Krylenko, and in 1925 was elected rector of Moscow University, which he began to clear of "unsuitable" students and professors.

    In 1928, he presided over the "Shakhty Trial" against 53 alleged counter-revolutionary "wreckers." Krylenko acted as prosecutor, and the outcome was never in doubt. As historian Arkady Vaksberg explains, "all the court's attention was concentrated not on analysing the evidence, which simply did not exist, but on securing from the accused confirmation of their confessions of guilt that were contained in the records of the preliminary investigation."

    In 1930, he acted a co-prosecutor with Krylenko at another show trial, which was accompanied by a storm of propaganda. In this case, all eight defendants confessed their guilt. As a result, he was promoted.

    He carried out administrative preparations for a "systematic" drive "against harvest-wreckers and grain-thieves."

    Political leaders of the Romanina left in a visit to the Soviet legation in Bucharest at the time of the return of Nothern Transylvania to Romania, (March 11th 1945). Among others, left to right: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (second), Petru Groza (fifth), Gh. Tătărescu (fourth) and Andrey Vyshinsky (eighth, in glasses).

    Prosecutor General

    In 1935 he became Prosecutor General of the USSR, the legal mastermind of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. Although he acted as a judge, he encouraged investigators to procure confessions from the accused. In some cases, he prepared the indictments before the "investigation" was concluded. He is widely cited for the principle that "confession of the accused is the queen of evidence" despite his monograph Theory of Judicial Proofs in Soviet Justice (which was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1947) stating directly the opposite, nor did he coin the phrase, which originated in Ancient Rome. Stalin personally gave direction on the use of confessions and the use of the death penalty. Furthermore, he edited some of Vyshinsky's speeches.

    He first became a nationally known public figure as a result of the Semenchuk case of 1936. Konstantin Semenchuk was the head of the Glavsevmorput station on Wrangel Island. He was accused of oppressing and starving the local Yupik and of ordering his subordinate, the sled driver Stepan Startsev, to murder Dr. Nikolai Vulfson, who had attempted to stand up to Semenchuk, on 27 December 1934 (though there were also rumors that Startsev had fallen in love with Vulfson's wife, Dr. Gita Feldman, and killed him out of jealousy). The case came to trial before the Supreme Court of the RSFSR in May 1936; both defendants, attacked by Vyshinsky as "human waste," were found guilty and shot, and "the most publicized result of the trial was the joy of the liberated Eskimos."

    In 1936, Vyshinsky achieved international infamy as the prosecutor at the Zinoviev-Kamenev trial (this trial had 9 other defendants), the first of the Moscow Trials during the Great Purge, lashing its defenseless victims with vituperative rhetoric:

    Shoot these rabid dogs. Death to this gang who hide their ferocious teeth, their eagle claws, from the people! Down with that vulture Trotsky, from whose mouth a bloody venom drips, putrefying the great ideals of Marxism!... Down with these abject animals! Let's put an end once and for all to these miserable hybrids of foxes and pigs, these stinking corpses! Let's exterminate the mad dogs of capitalism, who want to tear to pieces the flower of our new Soviet nation! Let's push the bestial hatred they bear our leaders back down their own throats!

    He often punctuated speeches with phrases like "Dogs of the Fascist bourgeoisie,""mad dogs of Trotskyism,""dregs of society,""decayed people,""terrorist thugs and degenerates," and "accursed vermin." This dehumanization aided in what historian Arkady Vaksberg calls "a hiterto unknown type of trial where there was not the slightest need for evidence: what evidence did you need when you were dealing with 'stinking carrion' and 'mad dogs'?"

    During the trials, Vyshinsky misappropriated the house and money of Leonid Serebryakov (one of the defendants of the infamous Moscow Trials) who was later executed.

    Wartime Diplomat

    The Great Purge inflicted tremendous losses on the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. Maxim Litvinov was one of the few influential diplomats who survived and he was dismissed. Vyshinsky had a low opinion of diplomats because they often complained about the impact of trials on opinions in the West.

    In 1939, Vyshinsky entered another phase of his career when he introduced a motion to bring the Western Ukraine into the USSR to the Supreme Soviet. Afterwards, as Deputy Chairman of the People's Commissariat, which oversaw culture and education, as this area and others were incorporated more fully into the USSR, he directed efforts to convert the written alphabets of conquered peoples to the Cyrillic alphabet.

    In June 1940 Vyshinsky was sent to the Republic of Latvia, to supervise the establishment of a pro-Soviet government and incorporation of that country into the USSR. He was generally well received, and he set out to purge the Latvian Communist Party of Trotskyists, Bukharinites, and possible foreign agents. In July 1940, a Latvian Soviet Republic was proclaimed. It was, unsurprisingly, granted admission to the USSR. As a result of this success, he was named Deputy People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs, and taken into greater confidence by Stalin, Lavrentiy Beria, and Vyacheslav Molotov.

    After the German invasion of the Soviet Union Vyshinsky was transferred to the shadow capital at Kuibyshev. He remained here for much of the war, but he continued to act as a loyal functionary, and attempted to ingratiate himself to Archibald Clark Kerr and visiting Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie. During the Tehran Conference in 1943, he remained in the Soviet Union to "keep shop" while most of the leadership was abroad. Stalin appointed him to the Allied Control Council on Italian affairs where he began organizing the repatriation of Soviet POWs (including those who did not want to return to the Soviet Union). He also began to liaise with the Italian Communist Party in Naples.

    In February, 1945, he accompanied Stalin, Molotov, and Beria to the Yalta Conference. After returning to Moscow he was dispatched to Romania, where he arranged for a Communist regime to assume control in 1945. He then once again accompanied the Soviet leadership to the Potsdam Conference.

    British diplomat Sir Frank Roberts, who served as British Chargé d'Affaires in Moscow from February 1945 to October 1947, described him as follows:

    He spoke good French, was quick, clever and efficient, and always knew his dossier well, but whereas I had a certain unwilling respect for Molotov, I had none at all for Vyshinsky. All Soviet officials at that time had no choice but to carry out Stalin's policies without asking too many questions, but Vyshinsky above all gave me the impression of a cringing toadie only too anxious to obey His Master's Voice even before it had expressed his wishes. ... I always had the feeling with Vyshinsky that his past as a Menshevik together with his Polish and bourgeois background made him particularly servile and obsequious in his dealings with Stalin and to a lesser extent with Molotov.

    Post-Second World War

    He was responsible for the Soviet preparations for the trial of the major German war criminals by the International Military Tribunal.

    In 1953 he was among the chief figures accused by the U.S. Congress Kersten Committee, during its investigation of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states.

    The positions he held included those of vice-premier (1939–1944), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (1940–1949), Minister for Foreign Affairs (1949–1953), Academician of the Soviet Academy of Sciences from 1939, and permanent representative of the Soviet Union to the United Nations.

    He died in 1954 while in New York and was buried near Red Square.


    The unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht is signed on 8 May 1945 in Karlshorst, Berlin. Representing the Red Army High Command, Marshall of the Soviet Union G. K. Zhukov, to his left the Soviet deputy foreign minister A. J. Vyshinsky and to his right General of the Army V. D. Sokolovsky are signing.


    Vyshinsky was the director of the Soviet Academy of Sciences' Institute of State and Law. Until the period of destalinization, the Institute of State and Law was named in his honor.

    During his tenure as director of the ISL, Vyshinsky oversaw the publication of several important monographs on the general theory of state and law.


    Vyshinsky married Kara Mikhailova and had a daughter named Zinaida Andreyevna Vyshinskaya (born 1909).

    Cultural references

    Pet Shop Boys' song "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave" from album "Behaviour" (1990) contains the sample of recording of Vyshinsky's speech from the Zinoviev-Kamenev trial (1936).


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    On this date, November 24, 1963, in the first live, televised murder, Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is murdered two days after the assassination, by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters.


    Ruby about to shoot Oswald who is being escorted by Dallas police detectives Jim Leavelle and L. C. Graves.


    McCoy was at home watching TV when she saw Ruby shoot Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Department. (PHOTO SOURCE:


    Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald (raw footage)

    Oswald Shooting - Digitally Remastered [HD & SlowMo]

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    From left to right: Adrian Lim, Tan Mui Choo and Hoe Kah Hong (PHOTO SOURCE:
    The Toa Payoh ritual murders took place in Singapore in 1981. On 25 January the body of a nine-year-old girl was found dumped next to the lift of a block of flats in the Toa Payoh district and, two weeks later, a ten-year-old boy was found dead nearby. The children had been killed, purportedly as blood sacrifices to the Hindu goddess Kali. The murders were masterminded by Adrian Lim, a self-styled medium, who had tricked scores of women into believing he had supernatural powers. His victims offered money and sexual services in exchange for cures, beauty, and good fortune. Two of the women became his loyal assistants; Tan Mui Choo married him, and Hoe Kah Hong became one of his "holy wives". When the police investigated a rape charge filed by one of Lim's targets, he became furious and decided to kill children to derail the investigations. On each occasion, Hoe lured a child to Lim's flat where he or she was drugged and killed by the trio. Lim also sexually assaulted the girl before her death. The trio were arrested after the police found a trail of blood that led to their flat. Although the case name suggested ritualistic murders, the defendants said they did not conduct prayers, burning of joss sticks, ringing of bells, or any other rituals during the killings.

    The 41-day trial was the second longest to have been held in the courts of Singapore at the time. None of the defendants denied their guilt. Their appointed counsels tried to spare their clients the death sentence by pleading diminished responsibility, arguing that the accused were mentally ill and could not be held entirely responsible for the killings. To support their case they brought in doctors and psychologists, who analysed the defendants and concluded that they had exhibited schizophrenia, and depressions of the psychotic and manic order. The prosecution's expert, however, refuted these testimonies and argued that they were in full control of their mental faculties when they planned and carried out the murders. The judges agreed with the prosecution's case and sentenced the trio to death. While on death row, the women appealed to the Privy Council in London and pleaded for clemency from the President of Singapore to no avail. Lim did not seek any pardons; instead, he accepted his fate and went smiling to the gallows. The three were hanged on 25 November 1988.

    The Toa Payoh ritual murders shocked the public in Singapore, who were surprised by such an act taking place in their society. Reports of the trio's deeds and the court proceedings were closely followed and remained prominent in the Singaporean consciousness for several years. Twice, movie companies tried to capitalise on the sensation generated by the murders by producing motion pictures based on the killings; however, critics panned both films for indulging in gratuitous sex and violence, and the movies performed poorly at the box office. The actions and behaviour of the three killers were studied by academics in the criminal psychology field, and the rulings set by the courts became local case studies for diminished responsibility.

    Whoever says Singapore is boring and antiseptic ignores our hard-to-surpass crime spine tinglers starring inimitable rogues such as ... the very incarnation of Evil — Adrian Lim ...
    - Sonny Yap, The Straits Times, 15 July 1995


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    Ben Stein

    Known for his eclectic career in politics, Hollywood and media, Ben Stein is also a pro-lifer. While he predicted a 2012 loss for Republican Mitt Romney and while he disagreed with some of the GOP’s economic views, Stein refused to support Obama. The reason? The actor and lawyer’s pro-life views prevented him from doing so.
    “For me, the number one issue is right to life. I don’t think the Democrats are very good on the right-to-life issue,”he said during a PBS appearance last year. “People who think of abortion as a reasonable method of birth control just are never going to get my vote.”

    “… [Pro-choicers] cannot look at their handiwork or the handiwork they defend. Across the country, they shrink from photos of the babies killed in abortions. Through their mighty political groups, the pro-abortionists compel TV stations to refuse advertisements showing partial birth and other abortion artifacts. They will not even allow viewers(or themselves, I suspect) to see what their policies have wrought. They are, at least to my mind, like the Germans who refuse to think about what was happening in Dachau and then vomited when they saw – and never wanted to see again.”

    Jewish columnist Ben Stein in the May 1998 issue of American Spectator magazine

    AUTHOR: Benjamin Jeremy "Ben" Stein (born November 25, 1944) is an American writer, lawyer, actor and commentator on political and economic issues. He attained early success as a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later, he entered the entertainment field and became an actor, comedian, and Emmy Award-winning game show host. Stein has frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors. He is the son of economist and writer Herbert Stein, who worked at the White House under President Nixon. His sister, Rachel, is also a writer. While, as a character actor, he is well known for his droning, monotone delivery, in real life he is a public speaker on a wide range of economic and social issues.

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                On this date, November 26, 1948, a Nazi SS officer, Hans Möser, was executed by hanging in Landsberg Prison. Please go to this previous Blog Post to learn more.

    Hans Möser in US custody, 1947

    Sixteen of the nineteen defendants on trial for war crimes committed during the war at Dora-Mittelbau. Locale: Dachau, [Bavaria] Germany
    The Dora defendants, Hans Möser 3rd from the right

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                I will post information about the relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab World from Wikipedia and other links.

    The Farhud by Edwin Black
    The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the HolocaustPaperback– November 16, 2010
    by Edwin Black(Author)

    The Nazis needed oil. The Arabs wanted the Jews and British out of Palestine and Iraq. The Mufti of Jerusalem forged a far-ranging alliance with Hitler resulting in the June 1941 Farhud, a Nazi-style pogrom in Baghdad that set the stage for the devastation and expulsion of the Iraqi Jews and ultimately almost a million Jews across the Arab world. The Farhud was the beginning of what became a broad Nazi-Arab alliance in the Holocaust.


    Relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab World refers to political and military links between Germany and Arab nationalists during the era of Nazi Germany (1933–1945). The relationship between the Nazi movement and leadership and the Arab world encompassed contempt, propaganda, collaboration and in some instances emulation. Cooperative relationships were founded on shared hostilities toward common enemies, such as British and French imperialism, colonialism, and Zionism.

    Muslim soldiers of the HandscharWaffen SSreading a pamphlet authored by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini titled 'Islam and Judaism.' They wear distinctive Handschar tarbooshheadgear, and insignias (curved-blade weapons and swastikas) on their lapels.

    Nazi perceptions of the Arab World

    Hitler's views on Islam and the Arab world

    Arab perceptions of Hitler and Nazism



    Mandatory Palestine


    Central and Eastern Europe

    North Africa

    Arab incorporation and emulation of fascism


    Fundamentalist Pan-Islamists


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                On this date, November 28, 1941, the Mufti of Jerusalem had a meeting with the Führer, Adolf Hitler in Berlin. I will post information about this event from several internet sources.

    Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler (November 28, 1941).

    The Holocaust:
    The Mufti and the Führer

    (November 1941)

    In 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini fled to Germany and met with Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim Von Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders. He wanted to persuade them to extend the Nazis’ anti-Jewish program to the Arab world.

    The Mufti sent Hitler 15 drafts of declarations he wanted Germany and Italy to make concerning the Middle East. One called on the two countries to declare the illegality of the Jewish home in Palestine. Furthermore, “they accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, in accordance with the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method, that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries.”

    In November 1941, the Mufti met with Hitler, who told him the Jews were his foremost enemy. The Nazi dictator rebuffed the Mufti's requests for a declaration in support of the Arabs, however, telling him the time was not right. The Mufti offered Hitler his “thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches....The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely....the Jews....” Hitler replied:

    Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine....Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle....Germany's objective [is]...solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere....In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. The Mufti thanked Hitler profusely.

    In 1945, Yugoslavia sought to indict the Mufti as a war criminal for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslim volunteers for the SS, who participated in the killing of Jews in Croatia and Hungary. He escaped from French detention in 1946, however, and continued his fight against the Jews from Cairo and later Beirut. He died in 1974.

    The Farhud by Edwin Black

    The Holocaust:
    The Mufti’s Conversation with Hitler

    (November 28, 1941)
    Haj Amin al-Husseini, the influential leader of the Arabs in Palestine, moved to Germany during World War II and met Adolf Hitler, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Heinrich Himmler and other Nazi leaders in an attempt to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies in the Middle East. The following is a record of a conversation between the Fuhrer and al-Husseini in the Presence of Reich Foreign Minister and Minister Grobba in Berlin.

    The Grand Mufti began by thanking the Fuhrer for the great honor he had bestowed by receiving him. He wished to seize the opportunity to convey to the Fuhrer of the Greater German Reich, admired by the entire Arab world, his thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially the Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear espressos in his public speeches. The Arab countries were firmly convinced that Germanywould win the war and that the Arab cause would then prosper: The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists. They were therefore prepared to cooperate with Germany with all their hearts and stood ready to participate in the war, not only negatively by the commission of acts of sabotage and the instigation of revolutions, but also positively by the formation of an Arab Legion. The Arabs could he more useful to Germany as allies than might he apparent at first glance, both for geographical reasons and because of the suffering inflicted upon them by the English and the Jews. Furthermore, they had had close relations with all Moslem nations, of which they could make use in behalf of the common cause. The Arab Legion would he quite easy to raise. An appeal by the Mufti to the Arab countries and the prisoners of Arab, Algerian, Tunisian, and Moroccannationality in Germany would produce a great number of volunteers eager to fight. Of Germany's victory the Arab world was firmly convinced, not only because the Reich possessed a large army, brave soldiers, and military leaders of genius, but also because the Almighty could never award the victory to an unjust cause.

    In this struggle, the Arabs were striving for the independence and unity of Palestine, Syriaand Iraq. They had the fullest confidence in the Fuhrer and looked to his hand for the balm on their wounds which had been inflicted upon them by the enemies of Germany.

    The Mufti then mentioned the letter he had received from Germany, which stated that Germany was holding no Arab territories and understood and recognized the aspirations to independence and freedom of the Arabs, just as she supported the elimination of the Jewish national home.

    A public declaration in this sense would be very useful for its propagandistic effect on the Arab peoples at this moment. It would rouse the Arabs from their momentary lethargy and give them new courage. It would also ease the Mufti's work of secretly organizing the Arabs against the moment when they could strike. At the same time, he could give the assurance that the Arabs would in strict discipline patiently wait for the right moment and only strike upon an order from Berlin.

    With regard to the events in Iraq, the Mufti observed that the Arabs in that country certainly had by no means been incited by Germany to attack England, but solely had acted in reaction to a direct English assault upon their honor.

    The Turks, he believed, would welcome the establishment of' an Arab government in the neighboring territories because they would prefer weaker Arab to strong European governments in the neighboring countries, and, being themselves a nation of 7 million, they had moreover nothing to fear from the 1.700,000 Arabs inhabiting Syria. Transjordan, Iraq. and Palestine.

    Francelikewise would have no objections to the unification plan because she had conceded independence to Syria as early as 1936 and had given her approval to the unification of Iraq and Syria under King Faisal as early as 1933.

    In these circumstances he was renewing his request that the Fuhrer make a public declaration so that the Arabs would not lose hope, which is so powerful a force in the life of nations. With such hope in their hearts the Arabs, as lie had said, were willing to wait. They were not pressing for immediate realization of their aspirations: they could easily wait half a year or a whole year. But if they were not inspired with such a hope by a declaration of this sort, it could be expected that the English would be the gainers from it.

    The Fuhrer replied that Germany's fundamental attitude on these questions, as the Mufti himself had already stated. was clear. Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine. which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish interests. Germany was also aware that the assertion that the Jews were carrying out the function of economic pioneers in Palestine was a lie. The work there was done only by the Arabs, not by the Jews. Germany was resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well.

    Germany was at the present time engaged in a life and death struggle with two citadels of Jewish power: Great Britain and Soviet Russia. Theoretically there was a difference between England's capitalism and Soviet Russia's communism: actually, however, the Jews in both countries were pursuing a common goal. This was the decisive struggle: on the political plane, it presented itself in the main as a conflict between Germany and England, but ideologically it was a battle between National Socialism and the Jews. It went without saying that Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle, because platonic promises were useless in a war for survival or destruction in which the Jews were able to mobilize all of England's power for their ends.

    The aid to the Arabs would have to be material aid. Of how little help sympathies alone were in such a battle had been demonstrated plainly by the operation in Iraq, where circumstances had not permitted the rendering of really effective, practical aid. In spite of all the sympathies. German aid had not been sufficient and Iraq was overcome by the power of Britain, that is, the guardian of the Jews.

    The Mufti could not but he aware, however. that the outcome of the struggle going on at present would also decide the fate of the Arab world. The Fuhrer therefore had to think and speak coolly and deliberately, as a rational man and primarily as a soldier, as the leader of the German and allied armies. Everything of a nature to help in this titanic battle for the common cause, and thus also for the Arabs. would have to he done. Anything, however, that might contribute to weakening the military situation must be put aside, no matter hose unpopular this move might be.

    Germany was now engaged in a very severe battles to force the gateway to the northern Caucasus region. The difficulties were mainly with regard to maintaining the supply. Which was most difficult as a result of the destruction of railroads and highways as well as of the oncoming winter. If at such a moment, the Fuhrer were to raise the problem of Syria in a declaration, those elements in France which were under de Gaulle's influence would receive new strength. They would interpret the Fuhrer's declaration as an intention to break up France's colonial empire and appeal to their fellow countrymen that they should rather make common cause with the English to try to save what still could be saved. A German declaration regarding Syria would in France he understood to refer to the French colonies in general, and that would at the present time create new troubles in western Europe, which means that a portion of the German armed forces would be immobilized in the west and no longer he available for the campaign in the east.

    The Fuhrer then made the following statement to the Mufti. enjoining him to lock it in the uttermost depths of his heart:

    1. He (the Fuhrer) would carry on the battle to the total destruction of the Judeo-Communist empire in Europe.

    2. At some moment which was impossible to set exactly today but which in any event was not distant, the German armies would in the course of this struggle reach the southern exit from Caucasia.

    3. As soon as this had happened, the Fuhrer would on his own give the Arab world the assurance that its hour of liberation had arrived. Germany's objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. It would then be his task to set off the Arab operations which he had secretly prepared. When that time had come. Germany could also he indifferent to French reaction to such a declaration.

    Once Germany had forced open the road to Iranand Iraq through Rostov, it would he also the beginning of the end of the British world empire. He (the Fuhrer) hoped that the coming year would make it possible for Germany to thrust open the Caucasian gate to the Middle East. For the good of their common cause. it would he better if the Arab proclamation were put off for a few more months than if Germany were to create difficulties for herself without being able thereby to help the Arabs.

    He (the Fuhrer) fully appreciated the eagerness of the Arabs for a public declaration of the sort requested by the Grand Mufti. But Ire would beg barn to consider that he (the Fuhrer) himself was the Chief of State of the German Reich for five long years during which he was unable to make to his own homeland the announcement of its liberation. He had to wait with that until the announcement could he made on the basis of a situation brought about by the force of arms that the Anschluss had been carried out.

    The moment that Germany's tank divisions and air squadrons had made their appearance south of the Caucasus, the public appeal requested by the Grand Mufti could go out to the Arab world.

    The Grand Mufti replied that it was his view that everything would come to pass just as the Fiihrer had indicated. He was fully reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard from the Chief of the German State. He asked, however, whether it would not be possible. secretly at least, to enter into an agreement with Germany of the kind he had just outlined for the Fuhrer.

    The Fuhrer replied that he had just now given the Grand Mufti precisely that confidential declaration.

    The Grand Mufti thanked him for it and stated in conclusion that he was taking his leave from the Fuhrer in full confidence and with reiterated thanks for the interest shown in the Arab cause.

    November 1943 al-Husseini greeting Bosnian Waffen-SS volunteers with a Nazi salute. At right is SS General Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig.

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    C.S. Lewis

    In the frequently debated essay in The Weight of Glory titled “Why I’m Not a Pacifist,” Lewis asks a simple, provocative question: “How do we decide what is good or evil?” It seems easy enough. It’s our conscience, right? Lewis says that’s the usual answer, breaking it up into what a person is pressured to feel as right due to a certain universal guide, and what a person judges as right or wrong for him or herself.

    The first is not arguable given its universality (something some argue nonetheless), but Lewis warns that the second is often moved and sometimes mistaken.

    Enter Reason. We receive a set of facts, we have intuition about such facts, and we have need to arrange these facts to “produce a proof of the truth or falsehood,” Lewis says. This last ability is where error usurps reason or simply a refusal to see and understand the truth.

    Most of us have not worked out all of our beliefs with Reason. Rather, we lean in on the authority on which those beliefs are hinged and we are humble enough to trust it.

    Why not pacifism then? Here’s his rundown, in brief.

    First, war is very disagreeable in everyone’s point of view. The pacifist contends that war does more harm than good, that every war leads to another war, and that pacifism itself will lead to an absence of war, and more, a cure for suffering. Lewis is pointed in his  response:

    I think the art of life consists in tackling each immediate evil as well as we can. To avert or postpone one particular war by wise policy, or to render one particular campaign shorter by strength and skill or less terribly by mercy to the conquered and the civilians is more useful than all the proposals for universal peace that have ever been made; just as the dentist who can stop one toothache has deserved better of humanity than all the men who think they have some scheme for producing a perfectly healthy race.

    In other words, doing good in tackling immediate evils with deliberate force, does more good than setting up position statements based in some humanistic view that improvement will inevitably come just because… it’s supposed to come.

    Hold on. Jesus says a person should turn the other cheek, right? Lewis presents three ways of interpreting Jesus. First, the pacifists way of imposing a “duty of non-resistance on all men in all circumstances.” Second, some minimize the command to hyperbole. The third is taking the text at face value with the exception toward exceptions. Christians, Lewis says, cannot retaliate against a neighbor who does them harm, but the homicidal manic, “attempting to murder a third party, tried to knock me out of the way, [so] I must stand aside and let him get his victim?” asks Lewis, who answers his own question with a resounding, “No.”

    Further, Lewis says, “Indeed, as the audience were private people in a disarmed nation, it seems unlikely that they would have ever supposed Our Lord to be referring to war. War was not what they would have been thinking of. The frictions of daily life among villagers were more likely on their minds.”

    Lewis ultimately lands on authority, referencing Romans 13:4, I Peter 2:14, and the general tone of Jesus’ meaning.

    Here’s Romans 13:3-4: “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

    And I Peter 2:13-14: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.”

    Do you agree with Lewis’s rationale?  How does your understanding of the Bible and Christian faith influence your feelings toward war?

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    The trial found General Dostler guilty of war crimes, rejecting the defense of superior orders. He was sentenced to death and executed by a 12 man firing squad at 0800 hours on December 1, 1945 in Aversa. The execution was photographed on black and white still and movie cameras. Immediately after the execution Dostler's body was lifted onto a stretcher, shrouded inside a white cotton mattress cover and driven away in an army truck. His remains were subsequently buried in Grave 93/95 of Section H at Pomezia German War Cemetery.


    Dostler tied to a stake before the execution





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    On this date, December 3, 1941, the approval of the Three Alls Policy was given by the Imperial General Headquarters. I will post information about this scorched earth policy from Wikipedia.

    General Yasuji Okamura (岡村寧次Okamura Yasuji)
    The Three Alls Policy (Japanese: 三光作戦, Sankō Sakusen; Chinese: 三光政策; pinyin: Sānguāng Zhèngcè) was a Japanese scorched earth policy adopted in China during World War II, the three "alls" being "kill all, burn all, loot all" (Japanese: すべてを殺す、すべてを燃やす、すべてを略奪; Chinese: 殺光、燒光、搶光). This policy was designed as retaliation against the Chinese for the Communist-led Hundred Regiments Offensive in December 1940. Contemporary Japanese documents referred to the policy as "The Burn to Ash Strategy" (燼滅作戦Jinmetsu Sakusen?).

    The expression "Sankō Sakusen" was first popularized in Japan in 1957 when former Japanese soldiersreleased from the Fushun war crime internment center wrote a book called The Three Alls: Japanese Confessions of War Crimes in China (Japanese: 三光、日本人の中国における戦争犯罪の告白, Sankō, Nihonjin no Chūgoku ni okeru sensō hanzai no kokuhaku) (new edition: Kanki Haruo, 1979), in which Japanese veterans confessed to war crimes committed under the leadership of General Yasuji Okamura. The publishers were forced to stop the publication of the book after receiving death threats from Japanese militarists and ultranationalists.


    Initiated in 1940 by Major General Ryūkichi Tanaka, the Sankō Sakusen was implemented in full scale in 1942 in north China by General Yasuji Okamura who divided the territory of five provinces (Hebei, Shandong, Shensi, Shanhsi, Chahaer) into "pacified", "semi-pacified" and "unpacified" areas. The approval of the policy was given by Imperial General Headquarters Order Number 575 on 3 December 1941. Okamura's strategy involved burning down villages, confiscating grain and mobilizing peasants to construct collective hamlets. It also centered on the digging of vast trench lines and the building of thousands of miles of containment walls and moats, watchtowers and roads. These operations targeted for destruction "enemies pretending to be local people" and "all males between the ages of fifteen and sixty whom we suspect to be enemies."

    In a study published in 1996, historian Mitsuyoshi Himeta claims that the Three Alls Policy, sanctioned by EmperorHirohitohimself, was both directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of "more than 2.7 million" Chinese civilians. His works and those of Akira Fujiwara about the details of the operation were commented by Herbert P. Bix in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, who claims that the Sankō Sakusen far surpassed the Rape of Nanking not only in terms of numbers, but in brutality as well. The effects of the Japanese strategy were further exacerbated by Chinese military tactics, which included the masking of military forces as civilians, or the use of civilians as deterrents against Japanese attacks. In some places, the Japanese use of chemical warfare against civilian populations in contravention of international agreements was also alleged.

    Controversy and dispute

    As with many aspects of Japan's World War II history, the nature and extent of Three Alls Policy is still a controversial issue. Because the now well-known name for this strategy is Chinese, some nationalist groups in Japan have even denied its veracity. The issue is partly confused by the use of scorched-earth tactics by the Kuomintang government forces in numerous areas of central and northern China, against both the invading Japanese, and against Chinese civilian populations in rural areas of strong support for the Chinese Communist Party. Known in Japan as "The Clean Field Strategy" (清野作戦Seiya Sakusen?), Chinese soldiers would destroy the homes and fields of their own civilians in order to wipe out any possible supplies or shelter that could be utilised by the over-extended Japanese troops. Almost all historians agree that Imperial Japanese troops widely and indiscriminately committed war crimes against the Chinese people, citing a vast literature of evidence and documentation.


    The movie The Children of Huang Shi, which covers the Japanese invasion from 1938 to 1945, is set in part along the sankō sakusen.

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    A group of six members of Majdanek personnel – who had not managed to escape – were arraigned before the Soviet-Polish Special Criminal Court immediately following the camp's liberation of July 23, 1944. After the trial, and deliberations which lasted from November 27, 1944 to December 2, 1944 all accused were found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and sentenced to death by hanging. They included SS-Obersturmführer Anton Thernes, SS-Hauptsturmführer Wilhelm Gerstenmeier, SS-Oberscharführer Hermann Vögel, Kapo Edmund Pohlmann, SS-RottenführerTheodor Schöllen and Kapo Heinrich Stalp, all of whom were executed by hanging on December 3, 1944 except for Pohlmann, who had committed suicide the night before.

    I will post information about the Deputy Camp Commandant, Anton Thernes from Wikipedia.

    The first judicial trial of the Nazi officials at the Majdanek extermination camp took place from November 27, 1944, to December 2, 1944 in Lublin, Poland. In this photograph, Anton Thernes, standing on the left at his trial.
    SS-ObersturmführerAnton Thernes (February 8, 1892 – December 3, 1944) was a Nazi German war criminal, deputy commandant of administration at the notorious Majdanek concentration camp on the outskirts of Lublin, Poland in World War II. He was tried at the Majdanek Trials and executed on December 3, 1944 along with five other war criminals near the gas chambers and the Majdanek crematorium. 

    Showers (left) and gas chambers (right) at Majdanek
    War Crimes

    Thernes was married with six children in Trier before the Nazi German invasion of Poland. A member of the SS, Thernes served as the last administrative chief of KL Lublin / Majdanek. He was also in charge of food and slave labour administration, starvation rationing, and the maintenance of camp structures including the storage depot for property and valuables stolen from the Holocaust victims at the killing centers in Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.

    Thernes was given the task of destroying the evidence of crimes against humanity and genocide, but ran out of time due to his ineptitude and lethargy. Instead of blowing up the chimneys and torching his city of death, the SS actually brought an additional 500 prisoners from Lublin for the last timely kill, while the T-34 tanks were already at the gates. Thernes was caught by the Soviets and tried at the Majdanek Trials together with his assistant SS-HauptsturmführerWilhelm Gerstenmeier. He denied knowing anything, but the proceedings were swamped with testimonial proofs offered by eyewitnesses. He was executed on December 3, 1944 along with five other war criminals, close to the gas chambers and the Majdanek crematorium

    The camp's original crematorium with reconstructed wooden building around it, Majdanek c. 2006
    Harvest Festival

    During the mere 34 months of camp operation, more than 79,000 people were murdered at the main camp alone (59,000 of them Polish Jews). Some 18,000 Jews were killed at Majdanek on November 3, 1943 during the largest single-day, single-camp massacre of the Holocaust, named Harvest Festival(totalling 43,000 with subcamps).

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                On this date, December 3, 2013, a Prison escapee and killer, Jerry Duane Martin was executed by lethal injection in Texas. He was convicted of the murder of Corrections Officer Susan Canfield on September 24, 2007. 

    Jerry Duane Martin
    Susan Louise Carpenter Canfield

    Summary: Along with fellow prisoner and accomplice John Ray Faulk, Jr., Martin attempted an escape from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wynne Unit located in Huntsville. At the time, Martin was serving a 50-year sentence for attempted capital murder, a 40-year sentence for another attempted capital murder, a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault, and a 10-year sentence for failure to appear. While assigned to the "onion fields," Martin and Faulk overpowered a guard on horseback and fled. They engaged in a gun battle with guards and while Faulk overpowered guard Susan Cafield, Martin hijacked a truck, immediately driving at full speed straight toward Canfield, who was struck along with her horse, causing the death of both. Faulk then jumped in the passenger side of the truck, which sped from the scene. Faulk was captured shortly after he attempted to hijack another vehicle in a bank drive-through. Martin was arrested 2 hours later in a nearby woods after discarding his clothing. He was found in a tree wearing only his underwear. Martin's defense at his trial was that he did not intend to kill Canfield and that her death was accidental. He claimed that he was trying to turn away from the horse. The jury did not buy it. Accomplice Falk, already a convicted murderer with a life term, is awaiting retrial after a mistrial. 

    Martin v. State, Unpub. LEXIS 1160 (Tex. Crim. App. Oct. 31, 2012). (Direct Appeal) 

    Final/Special Meal:
    Texas no longer offers a special "last meal" to condemned inmates. Instead, the inmate is offered the same meal served to the rest of the unit. 

    Final/Last Words:
    "I would like to tell the Canfield family I'm sorry. I'm sorry for your loss. I wish I could take it back, but I can't . . . I hope this gives you closure. I did not murder your loved one. It was an accident. I didn't mean for it to happen, but it happened. I take full responsibility." Martin also expressed love to his brother and friends who attended. "You know I'm at peace. God is the ultimate judge. He knows what happened." 

    Internet Sources:
    Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders
    Jerry Duane Martin
    Date of Birth: 03/28/1970
    DR#: 999552
    Date Received: 02/17/2009
    Education: 10 years
    Occupation: Construction
    Date of Offense: 09/24/2007
    County of Offense: Leon C/V from Walker
    Native County: Collin
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Hair Color: Brown
    Eye Color: Brown
    Height: 5' 09"
    Weight: 169 

    Prior Prison Record: TDCJ # 585762, Dallas County, 10 yr sentence from Harris County for Theft of Property $750-$20,000; released to Shock Probation; returned under TDCJ # 795994, 50 yr sentence from Collin County for Attempted Capital Murder with a Deadly Weapon, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Failure to Appear; incarcerated at the time of this offense. 

    Summary of incident: The subject and co-defendant were working in the field squad at the Wynne Unit. He took an officer's weapon, ran to a city parking lot and stole a City of Huntsville truck. The subject drove the truck into the horse of a female correctional officer causing her fall and resulting in her death. 

    Co-Defendants: John Ray Faulk, Jr. 

    Jerry Martin and John Ray Falk escaped from a work detail at the Wynne Unit near Huntsville, Texas on Sept. 24, and were recaptured that day.