What is the End Game of Government Psychological Warfare and Deception?

Listen up. A society that stops thinking for themselves is a populace that is easily led, easily manipulated and easily controlled whether through propaganda, brainwashing, mind control, or just plain fear-mongering.

White House Resident Joe Biden told CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” last week, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s – but the pandemic is over.”

A few days later Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to all Congressional representatives that because of COVID and the “public health emergency is in effect” she was extending proxy voting until November 10, 2022.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded in the New York Post, saying “the Commitment to America champions policies to restore voters’ confidence in Congress, starting with ending Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proxy-voting abuse of power that allowed 90% of House Democrats to get paid without needing to show up for work.”

Democrats and RINOS are again using the COVID-19 pandemic as both psychological warfare disguised as a pandemic threat, and for unconstitutional political purpose. They are gaming the system.

Pelosi and Deep State operatives have repeatedly used COVID to persuade and force citizens to march in lockstep with a police state.

The more nimble and quick Americans recognized the Pelosi-Fauci types were ratcheting up the fear-factor. In retrospect, we know it was a sham–a carefully calibrated crisis set up in time for the 2020 Election and beyond. Part of the control included teaching and training the more gullible to distrust any who diverge from the norm: stay home, wear a mask, get a dangerous shot, vote by mail, etc.

As science writer David Robson explains: “Fears of contagion lead us to become more conformist and tribalistic… Daily reminders of disease may even sway our political affiliations… Various experiments have shown that we become more conformist and respectful of convention when we feel the threat of a disease… the evocative images of a pandemic led [participants in an experiment] to value conformity and obedience over eccentricity or rebellion.”

This is not a new experiment in mind control.

Add the government’s bias and capabilities to monitor online activity and change truth to so-called “disinformation,” and we settle in with false polices for speech, assembly, worship and employment. Using the three giant propaganda megaphones of…

🔹Media,

🔹Academia

🔹Hollywood

…ensures that facts conform to whatever version of reality the progressive propagandists embrace.

“…it is an illusion to believe that we as conservatives or as Christians can retreat into our private spaces, drive our pick-up truck to school or to work, pray in church, and (those who oppose Christianity) will leave us unmolested,” Dinesh D’Souza explained it back in 2016.

The policing of your mind in schools, in the military, on television and in news media reveals the dangers of how information and communication sources are gradually being linked together into a single computerized network. The result is intended to be your unrecognized and near anonymous control of what you will see broadcasted, what will hear, and ultimately what you will think.

Consider the state and federal level hate crime legislation that is intended to subdue so-called “hateful” thoughts and expression.

🔹It encourages and trains self-censoring and reduces free debate on various subject matter.

🔹The end goal of these mind-control campaigns—packaged in the guise of the greater good—is to see how far the American people will allow the government to go in re-shaping the country in the image of a totalitarian police state.

Do you recognize NEW WORLD ORDER and WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM creeping forward yet?

🔹The government’s fear-mongering is yet another key element in its mind-control programming.

🔹The formula is a simple tried and tested one. National crises, global pandemics, reported terrorist attacks, and sporadic shootings leave us in a constant state of fear.

🔹The emotional panic that accompanies fear actually shuts down the prefrontal cortex or the rational thinking part of our brains. In other words, when we are consumed by fear, we stop thinking.

🔹Fear not only increases the power of government, but it also divides the people into factions, persuades them to see each other as the enemy and keeps them screaming at each other so that they drown out all other sounds. In this way, they will never reach consensus about anything and will be too distracted to notice the police state closing in on them until the final crushing curtain falls.

The frightening part for me is that so many Americans don’t even realize they are being brainwashed—manipulated—into adopting an “us” against “them” mindset. All the while, those in power—bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations—move their costly agendas forward.

One of the great American theorists, Edward L. Bernays was my introduction to propaganda studies originally going back to the late 1970s. What he referred to as “an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country,” makes more sense now. We call it the “Deep State.”

Thank you for reading Part 1 of our Social Engineering Manipulation series.

Read Part 2 Here Coming Soon

Part 3 Coming Soon

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Texas Hill Country is Becoming a Mecca for Movie Making

With the help of the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP), the Lone Star State initiative  is designed to build the state and local economies through the moving image industry and create jobs in Texas communities.

BOERNE

Just 30-minutes northwest of San Antonio International Airport is the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Boerne, Texas, where I raised my family.

It has been discovered by Hollywood for years as the city offers a picturesque vintage backdrop featuring turn-of-the-century architecture nestled in its thriving business district filled with modern boutiques, breweries, and restaurants that are ready to serve.

Their bustling downtown, the Hill Country Mile, is a colorful canvas of quaint shops flanked by winding pedestrian paths and parks situated along the gorgeous Cibolo Creek. At its heart, Boerne is anchored by a 170-year-old traditional Main Plaza, complete with a historic gazebo and surrounded by heritage Oaks.

Boerne is one of now over 150 communities across the state in the Film Friendly Texas program, including the neighboring cities of Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Blanco, Bandera, and San Antonio.  

The Film Friendly Texas program provides ongoing training and guidance on media industry standards and best practices to help communities accommodate media production for film and TV. Film Friendly Certified Communities are trained to match local businesses with production-related needs and services while creating jobs for Texas-based crew members and residents.

Some notable productions filmed in Boerne over the years, including 1973’s The Sugarland Express starring Goldie Hawn; 1997’s The Newton Boys, starring Matthew McConaughey and Ethan Hawke; and 1999’s All the Pretty Horses, starring Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz.

Just minutes west of Boerne on Highway 46 is Enchanted Springs Ranch.

Enchanted Springs Ranch began as a Hollywood movie set in 2001 and has been a preferred filming location for over 20 years. The ranch features a large-scale Old West town that is perfect for filming movies, commercials, TV shows and music videos. The ranch is listed as an approved filming venue with the San Antonio Film Commission and works closely with the Austin Film Commission.

Texas-based TV travel programs like The Daytripper and YOLO TX have also filmed in and around Boerne.

SAN MARCOS

In the summer of 2022, San Marcos–home to Texas State University–announced the construction of a $267 million, 820,000-square-foot TV, film and virtual production studio.

City officials billed it as a studio set to bring in more than 1,400 industry jobs to the community.

“The multiuse project, located at the entrance of the La Cima master-planned community, will also feature modern lifestyle and collaborative workplace amenities, headlined by post-production facilities, a 50-seat screening theater and a full-service restaurant and coffee shop,” Hill Country Group said. “Twenty-five acres will be reserved for vendor and commercial space built to serve both the studio and surrounding community.”

MOVIES FILMED IN HILL COUNTRY

Some movies made in the Texas Hill Country region include (note movies I have appeared in are designated with “*” symbol):

Lonesome Dove

The Alamo

The Getaway

7 Days in Utopia

Boyhood

Time Trap

Miss Congeniality

Selena

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

STRINGS*

Piranha*

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Attack on Terror: FBI vs. Klu Klux Klan*

Race With the Devil

Viva Max!

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Why are Clinton-Epstein Associates, Friends Suddenly Having Violent and Suspicious Deaths?

The odds of Jeffrey Epstein killing himself in August 2019 are about as equal to the odds of Joe Biden being elected to live in the White House in November 2020.

The guards assigned to watch Epstein in his cell at Manhatten Correctional Center, for some reason, did not perform their routine 30-minute checks of the most famous prisoner on earth at the time. They blamed it on allegedly sleeping on the job.

Later we found out that records were falsified and it just so happened the cameras on Epstein’s cell also malfunctioned on that particular night of all nights.

When paramedics were finally called, news reports agreed they “frantically tried to revive Epstein, 66, after he was found hanged in his own cell.”

Jeffrey Epstein’s brother, Mark, hired famed pathologist Michael Baden to observe the autopsy. He insisted that “the evidence points toward homicide.”

By February 2022, other improbable deaths, all related to either Epstein or former President Bill Clinton or both, started occurring.

🔹Millionaire model agency boss Jean-Luc Brunel, who knew the names of all the VIP elites who were part of Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophile ring, was found dead in prison. Brunel supplied children as young as eight to Epstein who then trafficked them to elite pedophiles to rape. According to a former bookkeeper, several girls presented to Epstein worked for MC2, the modelling agency owned by Jean Luc Brunel. He was arrested and charged with raping multiple children in December 2020.

Just like Epstein, his death was alleged hanging…and the video cameras were not running on his cell in La Sante, just south of France. Again just like Epstein, it was in the early hours of a Saturday morning.

🔹In August 2022, New York-based businessman Steven Hoffenberg, who described himself as Jeffrey Epstein’s “best friend” and “wingman”, was found dead at his Connecticut apartment.

Police in Derby said officers responded to the 77-year-old’s apartment at 8 p.m. for a requested welfare check. Officers found the body “in a state where a visual identification could not be made.”

Hoffenberg was the founder of New York debt collection agency Towers Financial Corporation which he set up with Jeffrey Epstein. By 1993 it was revealed they were running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, bilking investors out of nearly half a billion dollars. “He was my best friend for years. My closest friend for years … He was my guy, my wingman,” Hoffenberg told CBS News in an interview in 2019.

🔹In May, 7, 2022, Mark Middleton, Bill Clinton’s special advisor from Little Rock, Arkansas was also found hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast through his chest and a cheap extension cord around his neck. He was just 59.

Middleton was the advisor responsible for inviting Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to the White House at least 17 times. Middleton also flew on Epstein’s notorious private jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express”, and is widely credited with introducing the former president to the convicted pedophile.

“Everyone that I know here, that has worked with Mark, knows it is physically impossible for Mark to have killed himself,” Middleton’s business associate said.

Is it a coincidence that a cheap extension cord had been used on another Clinton associate just a few months before?

🔹Ashley Haynes, 47, was found drowned in the Arkansas River with an extension cord knotted to her ankle and attached to a 58 lb. concrete block. She had been seen just months before visiting Clinton adviser Mark Middleton (mentioned above).

Haynes, a mother of two from the Little Rock suburb of Maumelle, vanished on Jan. 12 after leaving a note on her kitchen island counter stating “on the water, love you all.” She was last seen by a local resident paddle boarding in a wetsuit, according to a police report.

“Mrs. Haynes had a bag strapped to her leg with a green extension cord,” states the police report. “Inside the bag was a large concrete block that measured 16x16x4.”

“It didn’t make any sense, she would never kill herself,” the Haynes source said. “When I heard she went missing I knew instantly it was foul play. I don’t believe she killed herself. How could she water paddle down the river with a concrete block!”

🔹On June 22, 2022 Clinton mega-donor and close associate, 55 year old Steve Bing was found dead after plunging from the 27th floor of his luxury apartment building in Los Angeles’ Century City at around 1 p.m.

To be fair, I don’t think there was a proveable connection of his death to Epstein or Clinton because he had been depressed for awhile—at least since the death of his girlfriend, Alexanne Mitchum, the great granddaughter of actor Robert Mitchum.

She took Xanax and slipped into unconsciousness. She died accidentally on July 3, 2020 from acute Fentanyl and Alprazolam toxicity, according to the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.

At the age of 18, Bing inherited an estimated $600 million from his grandfather, Leo S. Bing, a real estate developer, which led him to drop out of Stanford University and use the money to invest in Hollywood.

In 2009, Bing paid for the flight that carried Clinton and American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee home from North Korea.

Clinton and Bing were part of a hard-partying group that included Ron Burkle and Jeffrey Epstein, according to LA Mag.

Bing has a son with actress Elizabeth Hurley. Legendary Rock-n-Roller Jerry Lee Lewis considered Bing his adopted son.

Keen observers of these deaths point to one single court case regarding Epstein that was settled in May 2017. It was on the eve of the trial set up by Virginia Giuffre, a woman who claimed to have been Jeffrey Epstein’s teenage “sex slave.” She sued Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and ringleader, for defamation.

The key to this was that other court documents had been published indicating Giuffre made allegations of sexual abuse against “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well‐known Prime Minister, and other world leaders.”

Painting from Epstein’s NY townhouse

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Politics, Entertainment & History: Can You Identify Them by Their Mugshots?

Can you identify these historic, political and entertainment figures by their arrested mugshots and photographs?

Answers at the bottom.

POLITICS & HISTORY

Politics, News and History: John Hinkley, Shepherd Smith, Bill Gates, John Edwards, Bernard Madoff, Lee Harvey Oswald, Rod Blagojevich, Rosa Parks, Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, James Earl Ray, Jack Ruby, Charles Manson

Entertainment: Harvey Weinstein, Jane Fonda, O.J. Simpson, Nick Nolte, Heather Locklear, Jussie Smollett, Paul Reubens

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Hollywood Actor James Woods’ Wisdom to Upset Communists

Actor James Woods is one of the few Hollywood actors brave and tough enough to pull no punches while standing up to liberal socialists. He tells it like it actually is. God Bless America. Amen.

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Where Did ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’ Come From?

During World War II (1945), a Japanese boy stood in front of a funeral pyre and waited his turn to cremate his little dead brother.

The person who took the photograph said, in an interview, that the boy was biting his lips so hard to keep from crying that blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth.

It was then that the guard asked him for the body and said, “Give me the load you are carrying on your back.” And the boy answered:

“He ain’t heavy, he is my brother”. He handed over the body, turned around, and left…

In Japan, even today, this image is used as a symbol of strength.

In college during the mid 1970s, I had the opportunity to meet and interview some music entertainers of the times. As the Fine Arts Editor for the Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) University Star, it helped me go backstage for artists like Freddy Mercury and Queen, Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Alvin Lee with Ten Years After, and more.

One of my classmates was a young fellow who would sit out in the hall before a business class trying to catch up because he had been out singing late into the night before. You may have heard of him–George Strait.

A special moment was meeting Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina backstage before their San Antonio Municipal Auditorium (now the expanded Tobin Center) concert. I secured autographs, asked a few questions and was allowed to watch their sound check.

From the side of the stage they sat on stools, side-by-side, singing to an empty auditorium that would soon be filled to the brim.

The song was “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” I had heard the recordings by The Hollies and Neil Diamond, but this one time “personal” performance remains in my heart and memories to this day.

It was written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. They only met three times to collaborate before Russell died of lymphoma.

A guy name Reginald played piano on The Hollies’ version which was released in 1970. It was a worldwide hit. You likely know the piano player by another name–Elton John.

The title actually didn’t come from the Japanese picture shown above. It came from the motto for Boys Town, a community formed in 1917 by a Catholic priest named Father Edward Flanagan.

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, it was a place where troubled or homeless boys could come for help. In 1941, Father Flanagan was looking at a magazine called The Messenger when he came across a drawing of a boy carrying a younger boy on his back, with the caption, “He ain’t heavy Mr., he’s my brother.”

Today, there is a statue with that phrase that serves as the symbol for Boys Town.

In 1938, actor Spencer Tracey portrayed Father Flanagan in the movie Boys Town, which also starred Mickey Rooney. In 1941, they made a sequel called Men Of Boys Town, where they used the phrase “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother” for the first time in a movie.

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3 Thoughts on Amber Heard’s Reaction to the Johnny Depp Case

In September 2008, I attended the first ever performance of magician Criss Angel at his new residency show–Criss Angel BeLIEve–at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Our tickets were complementary (I was writing a review for AXS Entertainment’s blog which featured such reporting at the time), and our seats were center, on the back row of the front section.

I felt a bit sorry for the magician, because despite his good intentions for a “new” type of theater experience, there were several mishaps in queuing, lighting, music and even props.

Early in the production, Angel, trapped in a white straitjacket and spinning, suddenly disappeared as the theater went totally dark.

Music and sound effects stirred a puzzled and startling response of gasps in the audience. Spotlights suddenly appeared, shining on a point right above our heads.

Criss Angel was dropped out of the ceiling hanging by his bound ankles, struggling to escape the tightly strapped straitjacket. Just as he was a mere six feet over our heads, more overhead house lights were turned on to the delight of everyone while he “escaped” the confines of the jacket.

As everyone applauded, still hanging upside down, Angel was slowly lowered to a blonde lady right next to me. She stood up and he embraced her.

They kissed. We clapped.

As they reeled him back up through the trapped door in the ceiling, I leaned over and said to the woman, “Wow, how did you get so lucky to get that seat? I’m glad it wasn’t me seated there.”

“Oh, it is he that is the lucky one,” she replied.

After he returned back to the stage he took a moment to thank us for attending that night’s performance and being patient with the “mixups” of a new show and early jitters of the crew.

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank my girlfriend who you just saw me kiss while I was hanging upside down like Spiderman,” he pointed back to the blonde sitting on my left. “Miss Amber Heard, ladies and gentlemen.”

To this day, I don’t know if Heard was his actual girlfriend, because we thought he was dating Holly Madison at the time. But it’s Vegas. Who knows? What happens there is not the same as in Hollywood!

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Jump to 2022. I happily quit watching television—especially the news—years ago and have not been too much engaged with the entertainment world since.

Having a nice breakfast conversation at the ‘Table of Knowledge’ in one of my favorite Texas Hill Country restaurants one morning, a veteran police officer, the now retired Jim Harvey, mentioned he wanted to get home in time to watch the continuing saga of the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard Trial.

He briefed the diners and morning coffee drinkers about the latest drama of the televised proceedings. It was intriguing, but I elected to wait until after it was basically over to watch some video of the court antics. 

All I knew about Heard was that I sat next to her for 90 minutes at the Criss Angel show while the magician was on record as dating Holly Madison in those days. The only other thing I was familar about Heard was that she was born and raised in “The San Francisco of Texas,” the Keep it Weird city of Austin. This explained, for me at least, some of her antics I witnessed on the video clips of the trial.

Following her loss in court, this was Heard’s official released statement:

Based on what I saw and heard, here are a few things to think about regarding her statement:

🔹The ‘mountain of evidence’ she presented was actually what helped her lose. She very clearly lied about several things and refused to take responsibility for any of the wrong she had done.

🔹This verdict could have set back the clock for women at least as much as the Hollywood starlets who participated in the #MeToo movement one moment, then followed by publically attacking Jeffrey Epstein accusers the next. Heard lying about abuse and trying to profit from it may have implications for years to come. People will find it harder to take someone at their word without thinking back to this trial. Will they wonder if the person is being truthful or making it up to hurt someone that they are mad at?

🔹Her and her attorneys trying to make this out to be a freedom of speech case is pathetic. Nobody took away her rights. The 1st amendment isn’t there for people to use it to lie and try to ruin people with false accusations. That’s why there are laws against that sort of thing.

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My First Big Interview Was With Elvis Presley

In the early spring of 1976, my Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) journalism professor Jeff Henderson, asked his class on the second floor of Old Main to write down the names of two people we would like to interview if we could. 

When he called on me to reveal my answers, embarrassingly, I said “Elvis Presley and Clint Eastwood.”

Spontaneously, my classmates laughed. Their answers were reasonable…and safe: the police chief, fire marshal, county commissioner, etc. But Jeff held his hand up and looked me seriously straight in the eyes and asked, “Why don’t you?”

WHY DON’T YOU?

“Look, Jack. You just came back from winning Investigative Reporter of the Year Award out of every university in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Association,” he smirked, then grinned. “So, my question to you is—why don’t you?”

I thought of scores of reasons why I couldn’t. Jeff’s question would have profound impact the rest of my life. So, why don’t I? Within eight months, I interviewed both Presley and Eastwood.

I traveled to Memphis during Spring Break with one mission in mind: To do the impossible by interviewing Elvis.

Just a few days after my arrival, staying at a nearby (from Graceland) Howard Johnson’s, I was called in by a local radio station to be interviewed myself because there was much buzz (was that even a word, other than the sound a bee makes, in ’76?) about Elvis.

It was recently announced he’d be performing in his hometown later that summer. Months away and thousands of fans had been camped out for two days in line to buy tickets.

The day before, I drove by the Mid-South Colosseum and was astonished. People were in tents, sleeping bags, lawn chairs and on blankets waiting. Although it was hot and humid, they were happy.

Through the years I’ve found dedicated Elvis fans to be among the happiest people on the planet. Their camaraderie expands beyond man-made limiting boundaries such as race, politics, religion and sex. Generally, they’re united.

Two nights before, I gained quick notoriety among Memphis fans for gaining the “impossible dream.” I scored an interview with Elvis Presley!

As a young journalism student from then Southwest Texas State, I did my homework. The stars were aligned:

🔹Local fans were not swarming around Graceland,

🔹It was a time sandwiched between Elvis’ mother Gladys’ birthday week (reasoned he may leave to visit her gravesite) and Mother’s Day. Yes, it was a long shot, but I was giving it all I could.

🔹With donuts, coffee and burgers from the Hickory Log cafe, I befriended Elvis’ cousin Harold Loyd and other Graceland gate security guards at night…and Uncle Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge and others during the day in between naps (Elvis was a night owl, so I had to be).

Harold Loyd

.

🔹The big card up my sleeve was the ace in the hole: I was President of the Texas Chapter of the official Elvis Presley Graceland Fan Club.

Invited to the radio station because of the spike in interest of the upcoming concerts and me landing the interview, the DJ began asking questions in rapid fire.

I answered them as fast as he spit them out, but when he paused for a commercial break, I defaulted to my normal mode of operation–to engage in conversation rather than his Q&A approach.

Elvis’ Bicentennial Harley.

.

He started taking live listener calls. It was compelling enough that he kept me on air for over an hour.

I was psyched, of course, but somehow all this excitement calmed my youthful ego. I was very thankful for meeting Elvis, but especially grateful for his kindness. When you hear or read how nice he was to fans, believe me, it was very genuine kindness.

Shaking the hand of the man my parents, my sister Bobbi and I would see on the giant screens of the Trail or Mission Drive-In theaters, watch on TV, or read about in magazines and newspapers, was a surreal and humbling experience.

Meeting Elvis taught me much, including the value of doing homework, being prepared, investigation and a more engaging approach to interviewing.

Most of all, it taught me to never let self-imposed obstacles get in the way of my dreams.

Photos of Dodie and me taken at Graceland, SUN Studio, on June 24, 25 2020.

The following August, I was able to meet Elvis briefly backstage at Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio to present him some official honorary documents from the City, Bexar County and a Texas-shaped award from fans across the state.

Two of my favorite journalism classmates under Jeff Henderson, Janis Johnson and Vicky Highsaw, joined me on the front row center section for the Elvis concert.

Photos taken from front row, center at Elvis Presley’s August 18, 1976 concert.

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What Happened to Elvis Presley’s Wedding Ring?

Elvis Presley unveiled his wedding band ring at The Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas on Monday, May 1, 1967, the day he wed Priscilla in a ceremony that celebrated one of the most famous marriages of the 20th century.

The band is decorated with eight baguette-cut diamonds within a border of sixteen fill-cut diamonds. It sold at an auction for $90,000 in 2006.

Note: At the same auction by Profiles in History, the original Cowardly Lion costume worn by actor Bert Lahr fetched $700,000. Presley’s band had an expected sale price of $100,000 – $150,000.

Here is some information about the wedding band from 2006:

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The Killing of Alfalfa,’The Little Rascals’ Star

CLEVERJOURNEYS AMERICAN CRIME CHRONICLES SERIES

Carl Switzer, 12, ended his run as a notable Little Rascal when the “Our Gang” short films series ended in 1940.

🔹He continued to appear in movies with various supporting roles, including I Love You Again, Going My Way, Courage of Lassie, and It’s a Wonderful Life and starred in the John Wayne film Island in the Sky where he coined the phrase “Whatever’s customary,” about the only line he spoke throughout the film, but one he repeated several times in it.

🔹Switzer’s last starring roles were in a brief series of imitation-Bowery Boys movies; he reprised his “Alfalfa” characterization, complete with comically sour vocals, in “Gas House Kids” comedies of 1946-1947.

🔹He returned to supporting roles, including a short stint as B-western sidekick “Alfalfa Johnson.”

🔹Switzer preferred not to recall his Our Gang work; in his 1946 resume he referred to the gang films generically as “M-G-M short product.”

🔹Switzer had a fleeting cameo in the 1954 musical film White Christmas where his picture was used to depict an Army buddy (named “Freckle-Faced Haynes”) of lead characters (Wallace and Davis) played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and also the brother of the female leads (the Haynes Sisters) played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. He also did some acting for television.

🔹His final film role was in 1958’s The Defiant Ones and on the television series The Roy Rogers Show, where he was called upon to reprise his off-key “Alfalfa-like” singing. Switzer’s difficult reputation and his typecasting as “Alfalfa” made it difficult for him to find quality work.

Deathday: ALFALFA (Carl Switzer) 1927-1959 RIP

🔹In the early 1950s, Switzer moved to Kansas. He lived and worked on a farm at Pretty Prairie, west of Wichita. There he met and married Diane Collingwood, the heiress of grain elevator empire Collingwood Grain.

The marriage only lasted four months, but did result in the birth of a son whose name was a well-kept secret. In 2002, it was revealed that his son’s name is Lance, per his cousin’s statement on ancestry.com.

🔹In addition to acting, Switzer bred hunting dogs and guided hunting expeditions. Among his more notable clients were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (Switzer’s godparents), and James Stewart.

🔹In January 1958, he survived being shot in the arm while getting into his car. (His assailant was never identified.)

🔹Months later, Switzer was arrested in Sequoia National Forest for cutting down 15 pine trees he sold as Christmas trees. He was sentenced to a year’s probation and ordered to pay a $225 fine.

Deathday: ALFALFA (Carl Switzer) 1927-1959 RIP

TRAGIC DEATH

🔹Prior to a hunting guide job, Switzer had borrowed a hunting dog from Moses “Bud” Stiltz. When the dog was lost, Switzer offered a $50 reward for the dog’s return.

🔹A man found the dog a few days later and brought it to the bar where Switzer was working. Switzer paid the man $35 and bought him $15 worth of drinks from the bar.

🔹Several days later on January 21, 1959, Switzer and his friend Jack Piott decided that Stiltz owed Switzer the $50 paid to the man who found the dog.

🔹The pair allegedly arrived drunk at Stiltz’s home in Mission Hills to collect the money Stiltz “owed” him.

🔹Switzer knocked on Stiltz’s front door, demanding, “Let me in, or I’ll kick in the door.” Once Switzer was inside the home, he and Stiltz got into an argument. Switzer informed Stiltz that he wanted the money owed him, saying “I want that 50 bucks you owe me now, and I mean now.”

🔹When Stiltz refused to hand over the money, the two engaged in a physical fight. Piott allegedly struck Stiltz in the head with a glass-domed clock, which caused him to bleed from his left eye.

🔹Stiltz retreated to his bedroom and returned holding a .38-caliber revolver, but Switzer immediately grabbed the gun away from him, resulting in a shot being fired that hit the ceiling.

🔹Switzer then forced Stiltz into a closet, despite Stiltz having gotten his hands back on the gun. Switzer then allegedly pulled a switchblade knife and screamed, “I’m going to kill you” and was attempting to stab him with it, but just as Switzer was about to charge him, Stiltz raised the gun and shot Switzer in the groin. Switzer died of massive internal bleeding and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

CONTROVERSY

🔹Jack Piott’s version of events was different, telling investigators that he and Switzer went to collect a debt from Stiltz, when an argument broke out. Piott said a brief struggle ensued and Stiltz brandished a gun and shot Switzer, who was unarmed at the time, in the groin.

🔹According to police reports, only by begging was Piott able to save his own life.

🔹The killing was held to be a justifiable homicide. Switzer had allegedly pulled a knife; therefore, the shooting was judged to be self-defense.

🔹During the inquest regarding Switzer’s death, it was revealed that what was originally reported as a “hunting knife” was in fact merely a penknife. It had been found by crime scene investigators under his body, but with no blade exposed.

WITNESS COMES FORWARD

🔹On January 25, 2001, a third witness came forward and gave his version of the events of January 21, 1959. The witness, 56-year-old Tom Corrigan, son of Western movie star Ray “Crash” Corrigan and stepson of Moses Stiltz, was present the night Switzer was killed.

🔹”It was more like murder,” Corrigan told reporters. He said he heard the knock on the front door and heard Switzer say “Western Union for Bud Stiltz.” Corrigan’s mother, Rita Corrigan, opened the door to find a drunk and demanding Switzer complaining about a perceived, months-old debt.

🔹Switzer entered the house followed by Jack Piott and stated that he was going to beat Stiltz. Stiltz greeted Switzer with a .38-caliber revolver in his hand. Tom Corrigan claimed to witness Switzer grab the revolver and the two began struggling to gain control over it. Piott broke a glass-domed clock over Stiltz’s head whose eye swelled shut.

🔹During the struggle the gun fired into the ceiling and Tom Corrigan was struck in the leg by a piece of shrapnel. After the initial shot, his two younger sisters ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help.

🔹”Well, we shot Tommy, enough of this,” he remembers Switzer saying before Switzer and Piott started to retreat. Corrigan had just stepped out the front door when he heard a second shot go off behind him. He did not see his stepfather shoot Switzer, but when he turned around he saw Switzer sliding down the wall with a surprised look on his face — shot in the groin.

🔹Corrigan said he spotted a closed penknife at Switzer’s side which he presumed fell out of his pocket or his hand.

🔹He then witnessed his stepfather back Piott into the kitchen counter and threaten to kill him, but as the man begged for his life, they heard emergency sirens which is why Corrigan believed Stiltz didn’t shoot him again.

🔹Corrigan recalled that his stepfather, Bud Stiltz, lied in his account of the event to the authorities.

🔹Following the shooting, Corrigan claims a now-deceased Los Angeles Police Department detective, Pat Pow, interviewed him and asked him if he would testify before a judge. Corrigan claims to have agreed, although for unknown reasons he was never called before the coroner’s jury. “He didn’t have to kill him,” Corrigan said.

Deathday: ALFALFA (Carl Switzer) 1927-1959 RIP

Carl Switzer is interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. His death went virtually unnoticed in the media, as Switzer died on the same day as the famous movie director, Cecil B. DeMille. Switzer received only minor footnotes in most newspapers, while DeMille’s obituary dominated the columns.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Interviewing Gentle Ben’s Owner and Ron Howard’s Brother

Or How to Tick Off My Teacher Without Really Trying…

Or Finding My Porpoise in Life

“This time find a book with porpoise, Jackie,” Ms. Nancy Lewis instructed me in 1965.

Purpose?

The previous time I checked out a book from the Harlandale School District Book Mobile, it was a brand new novel by Walt Morey entitled Gentle Ben.

Ben was a big brown bear in Alaska who befriended a boy named Mark. I imagined the boy looked similar to my fifth grade classmate, Mark Kuykendall, because he was somewhat adventurous.

Well, I supposed Ms. Lewis was upset about my book choices because she obviously didn’t think my Gentle Ben skit—performed in front of her fifth grade class in lieu of a book report— was as brilliant as the class did.

“GET MY PADDLE”

The week before, I had seen Ms. Lewis use her “discipline paddle” on Kenneth Andrews. Ken was upset because the recess bell rang– meaning we were to get back to class. It went off just as he had stepped up to bat during an exciting softball game.

I was playing second base when pitcher David Cardenas took the ball and walked back towards the second wing of Gillette Elementary School in south San Antonio that day.

The words that red-headed Kenneth screamed in anger, for not having the ball pitched to him, was dialect unfitting to a 5th grader, Ms. Lewis determined.

“Jackie, go get my paddle,” she directed me.

Why me? Kenneth is my friend. I don’t want to see his butt blistered by her spanking paddle.

I ran to our classroom and obediently brought out the paddle.

“What porpoise does that serve to cuss like that?” she asked Kenneth before the WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!

His buttocks were seared. All I knew was I wanted to make certain I had a good porpoise for anything I did around Ms. Lewis.

The next time the Book Mobile came to our school I made sure my book had porpoises in it.

I wasn’t certain what she had against bears, but as long as I never was on the receiving end of the teacher’s paddle, I would learn as much about porpoises as required.

CLINT HOWARD

A couple of years later, Gentle Ben became a TV series and the boy in that show didn’t look anything like the adventurous Mark Kuykendall at all.

The actor was Clint Howard, younger brother of Ron Howard, “Opie Taylor” of Mayberry and Andy Griffith fame at the time.

It was an okay show, but as long as Ms. Lewis wasn’t my teacher anymore it was all right by me.

Fast forward forty years later. It’s 2006, and I finally know the difference between Ms. Lewis’ pronunciation “porpoise” and the word “purpose.” That year I had the pleasure of meeting Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Gene Krantz, and other space related notables at the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio.

Among some of the “celebrities” I talked with were movie and television stars James Drury (The Virginian, Disney’s Toby Tyler), Lana Wood (The Searchers, Peyton Place, Diamonds Are Forever), comedian Bill Dana (Jose Jiminez), Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet) and more.

It was certainly an unexpected eye opener to spend some time with the one and only Clint Howard. Although known to Baby Boomers for his role in Gentle Ben, he was at the Space conference for his part in the Ron Howard movie, Apollo 13.

The real life Apollo Mission control commander, Gene Krantz was nearby and in passing, called out to Howard: “Afternoon Sy!”

Clint Howard grinned and explained his role in Apollo 13 was the part of Sy Liebergot, a key member of the Mission Control crew under Krantz.

Howard loved the role acting with Ed Harris who played Krantz:

Sy LiebergotFlight… I recommend we shut down reactant valves to the fuel cells.

Gene Kranz: What the hell good is that gonna do?

Sy Liebergot: If that’s where the leak is, we can isolate it. We can save what’s left in the tanks and we can run on the good cell.

Gene Kranz: You close ’em, you can’t open ’em again! You can’t land on the moon with one healthy fuel cell!

Sy Liebergot: Gene, the Odyssey is “dying”. From my chair here, this is the last option.

INTERVIEW

Howard was kind enough to place his signature on a photo alongside his brother Ron Howard’s autograph and was willing to be interviewed for a few quick questions. Ready go:

Biggest influence?

My dad, Rance Howard is definitely my biggest influence. He has taught both Ron and I attributes of being a good man of the earth type solid human beings. We’ve learned to apply this to our work, the entertainment business.

The work can be hard enough in the morning but it is especially grueling by the end of a very long day on the  set. Through Dad, we learned to remain focused because all time counts.

I’m sure you’ve been asked this often, but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t ask, how was it working with Gentle Ben?

Yeah, that’s a good question. I’ve never really heard of that question before (He winked and grinned).

Gentle Ben was really Bruno the Bear and he actually was a gentle bear. I remember he smelled bad and enjoyed drinking Coca-Cola and eating candy, especially lemon drops and sometimes Tootsie Roll.

I was already accustomed to acting and wasn’t starstruck at that age, but co-starring with a bear was cool. My dad was always on set with me down on a ranch in the Everglades, so I was away from my mom for a bit. When we would come back for Christmas break, our house was decorated to the max for the holidays. Good memories.

I would describe you as a character actor, with a diverse set of many different roles. How do you describe your acting persona?

That’s right on. You know, my great brother Ron, five years my senior, basically played all similar roles. There is Opie (Mayberry), Ritchie (Happy Days), Chad (The Smith Family) and the character, Steve from American Graffiti, basically.

We both started very young. By the time Gentle Ben was around, I had years of experience. I’m in my fifth decade of acting and now find myself in the position in my career as a character actor with a lot of experience.

When I walk on set and I think people look towards me, somewhat for some of a bit of guidance and mentoring. Now, I don’t stick my nose somewhere where it doesn’t belong. I’m there to act, my job. Thats my thing. I’m not going to step on anybody’s toes and automatically mentor. It is not my responsibility. But I realize now that some people do look up to me, and respect my experience. So I keep that in mind when I work on any project. I will be a leader and positive influencer for the director, crew, the actors if and as needed.

Like I said, I grew up with wonderful parents. My Dad mentored and I remain grateful.

Note: At the time of this interview Rance Howard was alive. He passed away on November 25, 2017. Clint’s mother, Jean Frances Speegle Howard, died on September 2, 2000.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Was Natalie Wood Murdered?

“…intentional accident,” said her sister Lana.

When Hollywood legend Natalie Wood starred in the 1983 movie Brainstorm,  there was no way of knowing it would be her last.

NOTORIOUS AMERICAN CRIME CHRONICLES is a CleverJourneys ongoing series exploring American history from a perspective that burrows deep into criminal profiles, the penal system, victim’s stories, crime prevention, forensic science, law enforcement and our justice system.

The science-fiction movie, co-starring Christopher Walken,  explored the intriguing and dangerous possibilities that came with intruding into someone else’s mind. 

Natalie died before the film was finished. Despite resistance from studio executives, the director, Douglas Trumbull, creatively found a way to complete Brainstorm

Walken and Wood in BRAINSTORM

Trumball used Natalie’s younger sister, Lana Wood, for some “long shots and shaded profiles” to successfully complete the movie. Brainstorm was a hit and went on to receive a total of six award nominations.

Natalie started out successfully as a child actor and by the 1960s she was featured in Hollywood classics such as West Side StoryGypsy, and Sex and the Single Girl.

She put her acting career on hiatus in the 1970s and had a child with Robert Wagner, whom she had previously married and divorced.

🔹While on a yachting excursion with Wagner and Brainstorm co-star Walken off Santa Catalina Island on November 29, 1981, Wood’s body was mysteriously found floating about a mile away from the yacht.

🔹An autopsy revealed that she had bruises and abrasions on her body, as well as a cocktail of pain medications and alcohol in her system.

🔹Her death was ruled to be an accidental drowning and hypothermia.

🔹To this day, no one is certain how Natalie got in the water in the first place, although then-Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi suggested that she may have slipped and fell given the alcohol in her system.

🔹Wagner claimed that there was no foul play on his part, although he admitted later that the two had a big argument right before Wood disappeared.

In 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Gene Krantz, and other space related notables at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Among some of the “celebrities” I talked with were movie and television stars James Drury (The Virginian), Clint Howard (Gentle Ben, Apollo 13), and Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet). However, I was especially excited to spend some time with Lana Wood.

Lana followed her sister into the movie business and as a child starred in The Searchers with John Wayne. She had a recurring role in the TV hit Peyton Place in the 1960s. My favorite role of hers was as Plenty O’Toole in the 1971 James Bond spy movie, Diamonds Are Forever with Sean Connery.

I gave her my business card and we chatted for a good while. She was very open and candid during the interview, especially when asked about the death of her sister.

My autograph from Lana Wood

“First, Natalie was absolutely terrified of the water and swimming, so I never bought into the idea she went out at 10 o’clock at night in a dingy,” she said.  Additionally, Wood’s sister asserted that Wood was terrified of water and under no circumstances would have gone in on her own accord.

“The things they (Wagner and Walken) were saying that Natalie did that night were just not credible,” Lana was certain. “Searchers found her in her nightgown about a mile away. That totally goes against her personality, her character.”

“I knew her all of our life and she was always concerned about how she looked and where she was going,” Lana continued. “Our mother, was an aggressive stage mom, especially with Natalie. It was drilled in her head to be dressed right, day or night, here or there.”

“Do you think her death was an accident?” I asked point blank.

“No, if it was an accident, it was intentional because of their fight on the yacht,” she responded. “I believe her death was intentional and the man who killed my sister was not Christopher Walken. It has been over 20 years now and it continues to haunt me.”

🔹In 1983, the coroner officially ruled Natalie Wood’s death as an accident.

🔹Her death certificate reads, a “probable drowning in the ocean.”

🔹In 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened the investigation into the mysterious death.

Since the night of her death, more information has come to light:

🔹The yacht captain and Christopher Walken both heard Wood and Wagner fighting that night, per Vanity Fair.

🔹Questions about why no one called for emergency assistance when Wagner discovered his wife missing have never been answered. It wasn’t until a few hours later when the incident was reported.

🔹Over time, new witnesses, including people who were in their own boats at that time, came forward indicating they heard arguing and a woman shouting for help on that night.

🔹Natalie’s death certificate was amended in 2012 to change the cause of her death from “Drowning” to “Drowning and other undetermined factors”.

Finally, during the last week of May 2022, the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. announced they cleared Robert Wagner, 92, in its investigation into the death of Natalie Wood.

“All leads have been exhausted and the case remains open,” they said. “If additional leads surface which have not already been investigated, the case will be reassigned for investigation.”

WOOD’S AUTOPSY

🔹When Natalie Wood’s death investigation was reopened, her cause of death was changed to “undetermined.”

🔹Her body was found dressed in a plaid, flannel nightgown, argyle socks, and a red down jacket.

🔹Wood’s blood alcohol content was 0.14%, which was higher than the legal driving limit.

🔹Pain and motion sickness medications were found in her bloodstream.

🔹Bruises were found on several parts of her body, such as the ankles, knees, and wrists.

🔹In the 1981 report, the bruises were attributed to hitting her body on the side of the yacht, as she struggled to get back up after falling over.

🔹However, the new coroner’s report, after the reinvestigation, states that the bruises occurred before Wood even fell into the water.

“The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water.”

🔹The yacht’s captain, Dennis Davern, revealed in an interview that he lied during his police interrogation. When asked whether he thought Wagner was responsible, he answered, “Yes, I would say so. Yes.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.