Categotry Archives: Law


Charles R. Thomson

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Categories: Law, Military

Charles Renfrew Thomson, a federal firearms and explosives investigator, died on July 3 of cardiovascular collapse. He was 61.
Born in Manhattan and raised in Amesbury, Mass., Thomson was a descendant of Josiah Bartlett, a founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Thomson earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College, then served in the U.S. Army for three years. He attained the rank of captain and was put in charge of a helicopter gunship platoon in Vietnam. After the war, Thomson worked surveillance along the border between East and West Germany to monitor for the possible deployment of nuclear warheads.
In 1971, Thomson joined the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as an undercover field agent in Boston. He worked his way up to a supervisory position in Philadelphia, led the A.T.F.’s first arson task force, solved a string of bombing attacks on 10 abortion clinics and handled money laundering, tax fraud and financial security cases as the bureau’s liaison to Assistant Deputy Treasury Secretary for Law Enforcement William Nickerson.
From 1989 to 1993, Thomson ran the A.T.F.’s New York field office, which was located right across the street from the World Trade Center complex. Just as he was leaving work on Feb. 26, 1993, Thomson heard a massive explosion. Needless to say, he was one of the first investigators on the scene when a bomb planted inside a van exploded in the underground parking garage below Tower One. Six people died in that attack.
Thomson’s A.T.F. team in New York joined forces with local, state and federal law enforcement personnel to search the debris for clues to the bombers’ identities. Their dogged investigation led to the 1994 convictions of Mohammed Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima and Ahmad Ajaj. All four men received life sentences. In 1995, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a cleric who preached at mosques in Brooklyn and Jersey City, was sentenced to life in prison for masterminding the bombing.
After the World Trade Center attack, Thomson was promoted to associate director for law enforcement at A.T.F. headquarters in Washington D.C., a position that gave him purview over all field officers in five headquarters divisions. Two years later, he assumed oversight of the bureau’s investigation into the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, for which he earned the Presidential Rank Award.
Thomson returned to Massachusetts as director and special agent in charge of the Boston division in 1998, and retired in 1999. His final years were spent working as an antiterrorism, security and crisis management consultant.


Domino Harvey


Categories: Law

Domino Harvey, a former model and bounty hunter, died on June 27 from an accidental overdose. She was 35.

Born in Belgravia, Harvey was the daughter of British actor Laurence Harvey (“The Manchurian Candidate”) and Vogue model Pauline Stone. Despite her glamorous upbringing, she was a tomboy at heart who preferred playing with weapons to dressing up dolls. After being expelled from four public schools for fighting with boys, Harvey spent her teens strutting up and down the London catwalks as a model for the prestigious Ford agency.

At 19, Harvey moved to California to find her place in the world. She ran a nightclub, did some gigs as a DJ, labored as a ranch hand and even worked as a firefighter. Dangerous situations jacked her up almost as much as heroin, her drug of choice. This passion for peril also led to a new career: bounty hunter.

In 1993, Harvey became a bail recovery agent for the Celes King Bail Bonds Agency in South Central Los Angeles. Although her pickups were usually small-time drug dealers and addicts, she helped arrest the leader of one of the city’s most violent gangs.

When Harvey checked into a Hawaiian rehabilitation clinic in 1997, she weighed less than 100 pounds. That same year, she sold the rights to her life story for approximately $46,000. Harvey had reportedly kicked her drug habit, but was recently arrested in Mississippi and charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs, possession, trafficking and racketeering. At the time of her death, she was under house arrest pending trial, and facing a possible life sentence in prison.

“Domino,” an action-filled biopic loosely based on Harvey’s life and starring Keira Knightly, is scheduled for release in theaters this fall. One of Harvey’s original songs will be played during the film’s opening credits.

“Domino never failed to surprise or inspire me over the last 12 years. She was a free spirit like no other I have ever known,” said Tony Scott, director of “Domino.”

Watch the “Domino” trailer


Ryan Alan Hade


Categories: Law

Ryan Alan Hade was seven years old on May 20, 1989, when a violent sex offender named Earl Kenneth Shriner kidnapped him. Shriner then raped the boy, cut off his penis, stabbed him and left him for dead in a Tacoma, Wash., park. Because he was so young, and the victim of a sex crime, the press dubbed Hade “The Little Tacoma Boy.”
The brutal nature of Shriner’s crimes was undeniable. His 25-year history of perversion and cruelty against animals and children made it clear to authorities that he was never going to stop, never going to be rehabilitated. In response, Washington adopted the Community Protection Act of 1990, the nation’s first state law for the indefinite civil confinement of sexual predators, to help others like “The Little Tacoma Boy.” Shriner was sentenced to 131 years and remains in prison to this day.
Hade, however, spent the rest of his life trying to recover from what Shriner did to him. He rarely talked about the incident, and until two or three years ago, became angry and physically ill around the anniversary of the attack. Hade underwent reconstructive surgery and spent six years in counseling. He had to change middle schools to avoid questions about his past, and to receive professional attention for his dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.
Hade finished his freshman year in Roseburg, Ore., then returned to Tacoma, where he enrolled at Bates Technical College to learn upholstery. He left home at 18 and supported himself by doing upholstery jobs and buying/renovating houses. A trust fund that his mother, Helen Harlow, formed with nearly $1 million in donations from the public also helped pay for his living expenses. Recently, Hade lived with his grandmother, Betty Foote, in a mobile home in Roy, Wash., while he looked for a one-story duplex in Tacoma. He wanted to find a fixer-upper he could renovate so Foote wouldn’t have to continue climbing the stairs in their current home.
Cheating death as a child also inspired an interest in daredevil sports. Hade enjoyed skateboarding, snowboarding, skydiving and flying. He wrote and recorded music, and served as the DJ in the hip-hop group LikeMinds. His friends said he seemed determined to live every moment as if it would be his last.
Hade died on June 9 when his brand new Suzuki motorcycle collided with a pickup truck. He was 23.


Percy Arrowsmith


Categories: Extraordinary People, Law

Percy George Arrowsmith, the world’s longest married man, died on June 15. Cause of death was not released. He was 105.
Arrowsmith worked his way up from office boy at a law firm to an attorney in his own right, one that specialized in real estate law. In the early 1920s, he met the love of his life at church in Hereford, England. Percy sang in the choir and Flo taught Sunday school. The couple married on June 1, 1925, raised a family and became founding members of the local Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
Percy and Flo celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary two weeks ago. Officials at Guinness World Records acknowledged their accomplishment, and recognized them for achieving the oldest aggregate age of a married couple. To honor their record-breaking nuptials, Queen Elizabeth II sent her congratulations.
When asked for the key to marital longevity, Flo said she and Percy always shared a kiss and held hands before going to bed, and never went to sleep in the middle of an argument. Percy joked that he avoided confrontation by always agreeing with his wife.
“I think we’re very blessed,” Flo said in a recent interview with the BBC. “We still love one another, that’s the most important part.”
Arrowsmith died at his home with Flo by his side. He is also survived by three children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.


George Mikan


Categories: Law, Sports

gmikan.jpgGeorge Lawrence Mikan Jr., a star center who led the Minneapolis Lakers to five NBA championships, died on June 1. Cause of death was not released. He was 80.
Born in Joliet, Ill., Mikan attended Joliet Catholic High School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, where he considered entering the priesthood. He failed to make the basketball team at Notre Dame and decided to attend DePaul University instead. There he met Ray Meyer, who was in his first year as DePaul’s coach. Meyer worked with Mikan one-on-one for six weeks, making him shoot left-handed and right-handed, a procedure now known as the “George Mikan drill.”
From 1941 to 1945, Mikan became a three-time All-American. Twice named college player of the year, he scored 1,870 points during his four years at DePaul, led the Blue Demons to a National Invitation Tournament title and inspired the passage of the NCAA’s rule prohibiting goaltending. Mikan played one season with the Chicago American Gears of the NBL, a predecessor of the NBA, before moving to the new Lakers franchise in Minneapolis.
At 6 feet 10 inches and 245 pounds, Mikan was considered a big man physically and metaphorically in the NBA’s early years. Although the polite, bespectacled center was known as the “gentle giant,” he attained superstar status on the court for his sweeping hook shot and defensive prowess. In response to Mikan’s size and skill, the NBA doubled the width of the free-throw lane.
During the NBA’s 1948-49 season, Mikan averaged 28.3 points per game and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. He averaged 23.1 points per game over the course of his career before retiring from injuries in 1956. Mikan coached the Lakers for part of the 1957-58 season, worked in corporate and real estate law, then served as the first commissioner of the American Basketball Association.
Voted the “Greatest Player in the First Half-Century” by The Associated Press, Mikan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. Four years ago, a 9-foot bronze statue of Mikan making his trademark hook shot was erected at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Despite all the accolades, Mikan had the unfortunate luck to play professional basketball before multimillion-dollar contracts and lucrative commercial endorsements were the norm. Like other athletes who played in the NBA prior to 1965, Mikan never made more than $35,000 a year and drew only a tiny pension. In later years, he spoke out about this issue in hopes that the league and the players’ association would improve pension benefits for “pre-65ers.”
Mikan suffered from diabetes and kidney failure. His right leg was amputated below the knee in 2000, and he endured a diabetes-related wound in his left leg. To pay his medical bills, he sold off most of his memorabilia. Upon learning the Mikan family was struggling financially, Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal agreed to pay for Mikan’s funeral costs.
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