Photo of the Day

Perhaps most notorious was his stint aboard a Canadian naval vessel during the Korean War. He couldn’t resist posing for a photo after he was eventually unmasked.AP Photo

“The Great Imposter”

In the ultimate example of ?fake it till you make it,? Ferdinand Demara boarded the HMCS?Cayuga, a Canadian Navy destroyer during the Korean War, impersonating a doctor, which was fine until the ship started taking on more serious casualties and Demara was left as the ship?s only ?surgeon?.

Ferdinand Demara, or “the Great Imposter” as he came to be known, has a very impressive resume ? the only thing it lacks is his real name. Under a series of stolen identities Demara worked as a civil engineer, a zoology graduate, a doctor of applied psychology, a monk on two separate occasions (Trappist and Benedictine), an assistant warden at a Texas prison, philosophy dean at a Pennsylvania college, a hospital orderly, a lawyer and a teacher ? among other professions. In 1957, he was described as an “audacious, unschooled, but amazingly intelligent pretender who always wanted to be a Somebody, and succeeded in being a whole raft of Somebody Elses.”

Perhaps his most impressive impersonation came during the Korean War while impersonating a doctor on a Royal Canadian Navy Destroyer. When several Korean combat casualties were brought on board, the responsibility of saving their lives fell to Demara, the ship’s sole “surgeon.” Demara, who allegedly possessed a photographic memory and unusually high IQ, ducked into his quarters with a medical textbook and emerged to save the lives of every single man, including one who required major chest surgery. News of his heroics eventually unmasked him, and the resulting media attention ultimately prevented him from continuing his fraudulent lifestyle. Impersonation is considerably more difficult when the entire country knows your face.

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Bet the unions will be all over this – like they would if it was a charter school…

Surely the unions should be all over this, theft of school monies by a staff member, taking that cash from the kiddies…oh wait, it’s not a charter school.

Children at a small Taranaki school are without a playground or a school van because a former member of staff helped herself to nearly half its operating budget over three years.

Nikau Hohaia took $100,000 while working as an administrator at the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O?Tamarongo?at Opunake.

As a result the decile three school?was unable to pay the repair bill on its van and has?not been able to replace a playground that had to be demolished, Hawera Court heard on Monday.

But because the 34-year-old mum of two has no income she will not have to repay the money – a decision criticised by the school trustees, who say justice has not been served.

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Photo of the Day

Ponzi-Schemes-For-DummiesThe Long Con

Phil Ferguson pulled off one of the biggest frauds in Indiana history, duping clients out of millions of dollars and staying one step ahead of the law.

If you’re trying to escape your past, there have always been two options: You go South, or you go West.

Phil Ferguson went West.

Ferguson, the perpetrator of the biggest Ponzi scheme in Indiana history, with ill-gotten gains estimated at $14 million, wound up with a bullet in his head on a ranch in Eastern Oregon after twelve years on the run. The law had finally caught up, and he took his own life.

But for 10 years as a fugitive he was Roy “Vernon” Cox of Burns, Oregon,?beloved surrogate father and honest, penurious rancher (if a bit too enamored of the wrong sorts of ladies), and he left behind people who refuse to think of him as a criminal.

Aside from the holes he left in a lot of people’s bank accounts, the story reveals Ferguson’s legacy to be a cryptic, rambling 70-page manuscript stored in a Portland house where Bush lives with his wife and about 10 others. The book seems to be simultaneously a death note and a treatise on how to make tons of money trading commodities. The Bushes also named their baby after Ferguson’s alias, Vernon, and induced birth so the kid would have Ferguson’s birthday.

?And as for the location of that $14 million? Still a mystery

The day Phil Ferguson?killed Vern Cox, late spring was turning to summer in ?The Big Empty,? an expanse of high desert in Eastern Oregon where the earth stretched lonesome and wide. By midmorning, temperatures near the remote outpost of Burns, the Harney County seat, were in the 70s, even as the Steens Mountains clung to their snowcaps off in the distance. Center-pivot irrigation systems watered fields of alfalfa. Sagebrush filled the unworked land. Here, a man could see things coming for miles: people, possibilities, trouble.

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Idiots of the Week

These idiots used the courier bags in the same place they stole them from.

A couple who stole courier packs and stamps from a post shop returned an hour later to post one of the packs.

Phillip James Morley, 33, unemployed and Kelly Smith, 17, were expecting a baby and had ordered baby clothes online.

After the clothes arrived they needed to return some but they had no money to send them back, their lawyer George Linder, said.

The couple appeared in Westport District Court last week and pleaded guilty to shoplifting charges.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Michelle Payne said that on May 4 the pair went to the Westport PostShop and uplifted courier packs and stamps to the value of $105 without paying for them. ? Read more »

Key a victim of burglary four times over. Why not support ACT?s Three Strikes?

You’d think that after being burgled four times, John Key would be a fan of ACT’s three strikes for burglary policy.

Prime Minister John Key has revealed he once confronted an intruder who broke into his Parnell home on a stormy night – screaming when he went downstairs and saw the burglar.

At his post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, Mr Key said, from memory, he had been burgled about four times, all incidents coming before he was elected Prime Minister.

Mr Key was burgled twice when he lived in Wellington. In one case no suspect was caught, in another his house was cleaned out, and police eventually caught a burglar who also stole his wife Bronagh’s new car.

“They stole Bronagh’s birthday present at the time which was a pink Honda City. That was of some amusement at the time to the cops that I would be stupid enough to buy her a pink Honda City.”

Another break-in came when Mr Key and his wife were at their home on St Stephens Ave in Parnell, at the time when he was Opposition leader. ? Read more »


Petty theft and weak-kneed judges

Larry Williams doesn’t hold back:

The police are in the gun over the high rate of unsolved burglaries.

The national resolution rate for 2015 was just 9.3 per cent. Across New Zealand 59,845 burglaries logged last year went unsolved, an average of 164 a day.

These statistics show that the odds are with the crooks. Burglars have little chance of being “nicked”. Life is good if you’re a professional burglar right now – but I don’t blame the cops.

The statistics can be misleading. A lot of these so-called burglaries are more like petty theft cases. Police have to prioritise. The cops resources are so thin on the ground they can only chase the more serious burglaries. Read more »

Well, I guess that is one way to make housing more affordable

The NZ Herald, in its ongoing campaign against rising house prices, has hit upon a brilliant strategy for crashing the value of your house.

This week the Herald will investigate burglaries across the country in the most in-depth series on the subject ever done in New Zealand. Over five days we will examine where burglaries happen, talk to victims, burglars and the police and find out how you can protect your home and business. In part one we look at which areas are the most burgled and ask why so many crimes are unsolved.

Labour will be really pleased that the Herald has embraced their strategies for making housing more affordable.

They’ve even produced a handy interactive map to check if you can save thousands by living in a crime zone. Complete with handy colour coding to show the no-go zones…or, as I prefer?to call them, bargain housing estates.

interactive_graphi1 Read more »

Face of the day

Penny Bright protests Cameron Slater's High Court Bid to block media from publishing information hacked from his Gmail and Facebook accounts including exchanges with accountants, doctors, lawyers and personal communication with his wife.

Penny Bright protests Cameron Slater’s High Court Bid to block media from publishing information hacked from his Gmail and Facebook accounts including exchanges with accountants, doctors, lawyers and personal communication with his wife.

Today’s face of the day, activist Penny Bright, will have to pay over $34,000 to Auckland City Council. Penny didn’t think Cam and I had a right to keep personal conversations, which were hacked by a criminal, private. She was all for the MSM spreading our personal conversations far and wide for the titillation of the masses. I don’t think Penny should have been allowed to get away with stealing from the council for almost a decade but I do think she should become Auckland’s Mayor. Do you want to know why?

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SHOCKING: Gun City caught out by another loophole

When it comes to getting your hands on stuff being sold by Gun City, the loopholes just keep on coming.

Minutes after posting CCTV footage of a man stealing close to to $20,000 in military equipment on Facebook, Christchurch gun shop owner David Tipple was inundated with messages “naming and shaming” the alleged thief.

The man was captured on camera, grinning as he stole a 280840 ATN NVG7 Night Vision Head Unit valued at $17,999.

The CCTV footage was posted on Gun City’s Facebook page of a couple they say were in their store on Sunday afternoon at 3.07pm.

The video shows a man leaning over the counter, taking an item and stuffing it in his jacket.

Who?could have seen that coming? ? Bloody loopholes. ? Read more »

Anyone in your street got a brand new trailer recently?


Notice someone with a nice trailer that looks like that, except it’s probably been painted over by now?

The other day, a custom-built ‘Wash Against Waste’ trailer which is designed to wash reusable items at events – thereby negating the need for disposable rubbish – was stolen. Please share this article/photo as widely as possible, so that we may help them to get it back. If you have any information about it you can confidentially contact Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

I am particularly fond of this project as it creates a simple solution to what I believe has become a packaging crises – the insane trend of using so much unnecessary single-use plastic. This is particularly bad over the summer holidays when our consumption goes up 30 per cent.

The guy who wrote this, Sam Judd, has his heart in the right place but sadly he thinks that having things stolen isn’t due to lowlife feral scum, but because you and I have made people do it because they are just too poor. ? Read more »