The Nazi Hunters

The Nazi HuntersThe Nazi Hunters by Andrew Nagorski
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 10th 2016
Pages: 416

“[A] deep and sweeping account of a relentless search for justice.” —The Washington Post
More than seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the era of the Nazi Hunters is drawing to a close as they and the hunted die off. Their saga can now be told almost in its entirety.
After the Nuremberg trials and the start of the Cold War, most of the victors in World War II lost interest in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Many of the lower-ranking perpetrators quickly blended in with the millions who were seeking to rebuild their lives in a new Europe, while those who felt most at risk fled the continent. The Nazi Hunters focuses on the small band of men and women who refused to allow their crimes to be forgotten—and who were determined to track them down to the furthest corners of the earth.
The Nazi Hunters reveals the experiences of the young American prosecutors in the Nuremberg and Dachau trials, Benjamin Ferencz and William Denson; the Polish investigating judge Jan Sehn, who handled the case of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; Germany’s judge and prosecutor Fritz Bauer, who repeatedly forced his countrymen to confront their country’s record of mass murder; the Mossad agent Rafi Eitan, who was in charge of the Israeli team that nabbed Eichmann; and Eli Rosenbaum, who rose to head the US Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations that belatedly sought to expel war criminals who were living quietly in the United States. But some of the Nazi hunters’ most controversial actions involved the more ambiguous cases, such as former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim’s attempt to cover up his wartime history. Or the fate of concentration camp guards who have lived into their nineties, long past the time when reliable eyewitnesses could be found to pinpoint their exact roles.
The story of the Nazi hunters is coming to a natural end. It was unprecedented in so many ways, especially the degree to which the initial impulse of revenge was transformed into a struggle for justice. The Nazi hunters have transformed our fundamental notions of right and wrong. Andrew Nagorski’s book is a richly reconstructed odyssey and an unforgettable tale of gritty determination, at times reckless behavior, and relentless pursuit.

Nagorski’s Nazis Hunter’s story picks up after the Nuremberg trials.  The official search for Nazis waned, partly because we became obsessed with the communists and partly because we felt that Germany just needed to get on with its healing from its reign of terror.

For some reason I thought that most of the war criminals of WWII were arrested and prosecuted during the Nuremberg trials, this appears not to have been the case.  Nagorski book covers some of the men and women that continued to search for war criminals well into the twenty-first century.

The book serves to remind us that we can never forget what happened and that we should bring to justice those that abuse their powers.


Collecting more firewoodYesterday I helped Richard split (we have a log splitter) and stack firewood.  Got to get the wood shed filled before winter.


The lilies in the bed behind the living room have started to bloom.  They are just gorgeous.


A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town

A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American TownA Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town by Barry Siegel
Published by Ballantine Books on November 28th 2000
Pages: 544

"We want to talk to you about my brother who was murdered twenty-one years ago--can we come in?" The veneer of tranquility in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, began to crack the day Jerry Sherwood and her son showed up at the police station to inquire about her first-born son, Dennis--adopted by Lois and Harold Jurgens and dead before his fourth birthday. The autopsy report ruled peritonitis was the cause, but the startling photos of the boy suggested murder.
How could the Jurgens kill a small child and get away with it? Determined to find answers, detectives Ron Meehan and Greg Kindle tracked down old witnesses and rebuilt the case brick by brick until they exposed the demons that drove an adopted parent to torture and eventually murder a helpless child. Just as compelling, they investigated why so many people watched and did absolutely nothing. A vivid portrait of an all-American town that harbored a killer, A Death in White Bear Lake is also the absorbing story of two detectives who refused to give up until they had the killer cold.

Interesting book that encapsulates a national tragedy, child abuse was pretty well neglected by both the medical profession and law enforcement up until the 1960’s.  The attitude was who would do something like that and it’s really none of our business.  Once the scope of the abuse of children began to come to light both the medical profession and law enforcement stepped up to face the challenge.

What is so very sad about this book is that it is not about an isolated instance but rather it is just an example of what was going on through out the country.  Even in today’s world abuse of children continues, unabated.  The year Dennis Jurgen died, White Bear Lake became the All-American city of 1965.  The irony of this, is what makes this story so compelling.


While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent Into Madness

While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent Into MadnessWhile the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent Into Madness by Eli Sanders
Published by Viking on February 2nd 2016
Pages: 336

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping account of one young man’s path to murder—and a wake-up call for mental health care in America  On a summer night in 2009, three lives intersected in one American neighborhood. Two people newly in love—Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper, who spent many years trying to find themselves and who eventually found each other—and a young man on a dangerous psychological descent: Isaiah Kalebu, age twenty-three, the son of a distant, authoritarian father and a mother with a family history of mental illness. All three paths forever altered by a violent crime, all three stories a wake-up call to the system that failed to see the signs.   In this riveting, probing, compassionate account of a murder in Seattle, Eli Sanders, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper coverage of the crime, offers a deeply reported portrait in microcosm of the state of mental health care in this country—as well as an inspiring story of love and forgiveness. Culminating in Kalebu’s dangerous slide toward violence—observed by family members, police, mental health workers, lawyers, and judges, but stopped by no one—While the City Slept is the story of a crime of opportunity and of the string of missed opportunities that made it possible. It shows what can happen when a disturbed member of society repeatedly falls through the cracks, and in the tradition of The Other Wes Moore and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, is an indelible, human-level story, brilliantly told, with the potential to inspire social change.

Interesting book about how we treat our mentally ill citizens.  Isaiah Kalebu on a summer’s night in 2009 brutally raped two women, then murdered one of them.  Isaiah Kalebu had mental health issues and there was nothing that either family members, mental health workers, lawyers or judges could do to stop the trajectory that Kalebu was on.

We have absolutely no framework within our culture to care for these people, if a person gets so deranged that they decide to do harm to themselves or others we have no mechanisms to help them.  We continually see the effects of this.


Six week old baby chickens, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Golden Sexlinks and 2 silver laced Wyandottes. Currently housed in a 108 quart plastic storage box in my sewing room.  More pictures later….

Week old Chicks 4-22-16

Manifest Justice

Manifest JusticeManifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom by Barry Siegel
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on January 22nd 2013
Pages: 400

In this remarkable legal page-turner, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barry Siegel recounts the dramatic, decades-long saga of Bill Macumber, imprisoned for thirty-eight years for a double homicide he denies committing. In the spring of 1962, a school bus full of students stumbled across a mysterious crime scene on an isolated stretch of Arizona desert: an abandoned car and two bodies. This brutal murder of a young couple bewildered the sheriff 's department of Maricopa County for years. Despite a few promising leads—including several chilling confessions from Ernest Valenzuela, a violent repeat offender—the case went cold. More than a decade later, a clerk in the sheriff 's department, Carol Macumber, came forward to tell police that her estranged husband had confessed to the murders. Though the evidence linking Bill Macumber to the incident was questionable, he was arrested and charged with the crime. During his trial, the judge refused to allow the confession of now-deceased Ernest Valenzuela to be admitted as evidence in part because of the attorney-client privilege. Bill Macumber was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
The case, rife with extraordinary irregularities, attracted the sustained involvement of the Arizona Justice Project, one of the first and most respected of the non-profit groups that represent victims of manifest injustice across the country. With more twists and turns than a Hollywood movie, Macumber's story illuminates startling, upsetting truths about our justice system, which kept a possibly innocent man locked up for almost forty years, and introduces readers to the generations of dedicated lawyers who never stopped working on his behalf, lawyers who ultimately achieved stunning results. With precise journalistic detail, intimate access and masterly storytelling, Barry Siegel will change your understanding of American jurisprudence, police procedure, and what constitutes justice in our country today.

The first book I read by Barry Siegel was Claim of Privilege  , I was absolutely mesmerized by the book. Amazed that the government could withhold information from family members on the loss of their loved ones.

Manifest Injustice, like Just Mercy tells the story of a man caught in grips of a legal system gone awry. It is hard to understand exactly how our legal system gets so messed up. After reading Unfair I understand how juries are manipulated by lawyers,expert witnesses and judges that have agendas.

What interests me was it Bill Macumber who was the sociopath or was it his wife that lied? Nobody seemed to care that his wife lied. What was really going on between those two?

Obviously spending 37 years behind bars has to have an effect on one’s personality but it saddened me to find that Bill Macumber was found guilty of child sex abuse less than 12 months after he being released from prison, very sad indeed.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American CityEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Published by Crown on March 1st 2016
Pages: 432

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.
The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.
Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.
Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

The rental market is rigged, it is especially so for the poor.  I don’t know how one of the most basic of necessities has become so abused.  Are there any reputable landlords out there, I think not, especially in poor communities.

The book follows eight families and two landlords experience with renting and renters in Milwaukee, it is not a pretty story.  We tend to forget the depth of poverty in this country.  The vacancy rate for cheap housing is in the single digits, it’s a landlords market and they know and exploit it.  Very sad, heart wrenching read, but also a necessary read.


Reinstall of Word Press

I think that my blog got hacked so I deleted and started over again. I used to enjoy this but not so much any more. I don’t want to give up my blog so I will be a trooper and get it set-up. I always say I’ll keep it simple but before I know it I have a little add-on here and there.

This time I will keep it simple. Remember KISS!

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of TragedyA Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
Published by Crown on February 15th 2016
Pages: 296

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives. For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently? These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts. Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent. Author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable foundations focusing on mental health issues

Sue Klebold is a brave woman and I have nothing but admiration for her.  She will always live with the fact that she missed something; something that was going terribly wrong with her son.

Simple truth is we really don’t know how one’s mind works, we don’t know what causes abnormalities in people’s minds.  There was something wrong with Dylan Klebold, we know that for sure. What we don’t know is if he had not met up with Eric Harris would he have done the things he did?  I believe that the chemistry between these two lead to this terrible tragedy.