Part 3 – Conclusion.
So many stories to cover, unfortunately reporters of crime can’t cover them all. Here is the last batch of crime related stories that hit the news in 2012.
7. Johnny Lewis (October 29, 1983-September 26, 2012). The 28-year-old actor was best known for his role as Kip "Half-Sack" Epps on the TV drama "Sons of Anarchy" between 2008-2009 before his character was killed off. He also appeared in television’s “Quintuplets” (2004-2005) and “The O.C.” (2005-2006). Here is a report from the LA Times on his death -
The 28-year-old Lewis died of traumatic injuries after falling about 15 feet from a terrace of the two-story home during the Sept. 26 incident, according to a report by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
“We do not have definitive evidence that [Lewis] intended to kill himself," the report said, adding that there was also no evidence that he was pushed.
Lewis "jumped over a wrought iron railing at the top of the terrace to a driveway below during his attempt to flee the location," said the report, which was released Thursday night. Lewis had a history of drug abuse and a criminal record. He has been released from jail five days before his death.
According to Los Angeles police reports, Lewis was the primary suspect in killing his landlady, 81-yeaer-old Catherine Davis. Neighbors heard a woman screaming and called police as he fled away.
8. Michael Phelps/Duff Goldman. Two famous celebrities from Baltimore had to report for jury duty on the same day according to a November 20, 2012 article in the Baltimore Sun. The Olympic gold medalist swimming icon and Ace of Cakes guru created quite a stir upon their arrival.
“Phelps' presence created such a buzz that other prospective jurors and employees throughout the courthouse started streaming in to take his picture," according to Maj. Sam Cogen of the sheriff's office.
"People were using their cell phones [to take pictures], bothering him — including police,” Cogen said. “We had to intervene and do a general announcement reminding people about conduct in the courthouse.”
Taking pictures in the courthouse is prohibited. Cogen moved Phelps to a “quiet room.”
The Sun also stated that “Phelps had headphones on and largely kept to himself,” according to Goldman. Goldman passed the time away by “reading a book and posting messages to Twitter, including his frustration with the NFL over Ravens safety Ed Reed’s suspension and his encounter with a hot dog vendor outside the courthouse.”
9. Heroin. The dangerous drug has affected people young and old, rich and poor, urban, suburb and rural alike, Many have died from heroin overdoses, forfeiting from prescription pills. The United States has always had a dreadful drug problem; unable to combat, with many states trying to solve their situation with health treatments or stiffer drug penalties.
One such state having heroin problems is Maryland, with Baltimore having been dubbed the “heroin capital of the Unite States” by ABC News last year. The article, by Carl M. Yang, stated in the first sentence that "Government agencies estimate that as many as one in 10 of the city's residents are addicted to the drug." Ocean City also has the same problem, as recently as 20 people being indicted on heroin charges by a police sting in December 2012.
The Baltimore Sun reported the following in the December 7, 2012 article “Heroin deaths rise as crackdown on prescription drug abuse succeeds” –
The number of statewide deaths from heroin overdoses increased 41 percent in the first seven months of this year compared with 2011, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Friday. There were 205 heroin-related overdose deaths in the first seven months of 2012, compared with 145 during the same period the year before.
Law enforcement aggressively pursued drug mills and clinics selling drugs illegally. A Maryland law passed in 2011 called for the creation of a monitoring system that will require pharmacies to log filled prescriptions in a database. Doctors and other prescribers will have access to the database, which Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein said will be up and running by the end of 2013.
Famous people who have died from heroin overdoses include Robbie McIntosh (Average White Band, 1974), Frankie Lymon (R&B singer, 1968), Janis Joplin (rock singer, 1970), River Phoenix (actor, 1993) and Jennifer Lyn Jackson (Playboy playmate, 2010). Ex-Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid’s son Garrett died of an overdose of heroin on August 5, 2012 while rocker Jon Bon Jovi’s daughter, 19-year-old Stephanie Bonglovi, was charged with a misdemeanor of overdosing on heroin in her dorm at Hamilton College in New York. She later recovered in a hospital and the charges were dropped.
10. Al Capone/Henry Hill. These famous mobsters hit the presses in 2012 when one’s items were sold at auctions while the other died last year. Both have been subjects in television, books and film.
Al Capone (January 17, 1899-January 25, 1947), the ruthless Chicago gangster in the 1920’s and 1930’s during the Prohibition era, made himself “Public Enemy #1” during his reign and was responsible for the St. Valentine’s Day massacre and other crimes involving murder, drugs, gambling and prostitution. His underworld tactics finally came to an end when he was imprisoned and suffering from mental and physical illness.
According to the New York Post, Capone’s items were up for sale at the RR Auction's live "Gangsters, Outlaws, and Lawmen" auction that took place on September 30, 2012 (located in Amherst, New Hampshire). Featured items from big names in crime also included John Dillinger and gangster couple Bonnie and Clyde. Capone’s belongings were a Colt 25 pocket auto pistol, a musical manuscript he wrote, a 1925 signature deposition, and a rosary. The 1928 armored Cadillac he first owned was up for sale at RM auctions July 28-29, 2012 at St. John’s in Michigan. A recent live auction was held of a baseball signed by Capone last month at www.milehighcardco.com.
Henry Hill (June 11, 1943-June 12, 2012). Hill was a New York mobster associated with the Lucchese crime family, whose criminal activities involved racketeering, murder, drug trafficking, contract killing and extortion, among other crimes. The present “boss” is Steven Crea, who took over in 2012. Hill did his gangster deeds, according to Wikipedia, between 1955 and 1980 under “official” crime bosses Gaetano “Tommy Brown” Lucchese, Carmine “Mr. Gribbs” Tramunti and Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo. Hill became a FBI informant in 1980 and sent two top members of the Lucchese crime syndicate to prison. His life was documented in the true crime book “Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family” and actor Ray Liotta played him in Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster 1990 crime film “Goodfellas.” Hill died one day after his 69th birthday in a Los Angeles hospital from heart complications. Liotta commented on Hill’s death by saying, “Although I played Henry Hill in the movie Goodfellas, I only met him a few short times so I can’t say I knew him but I do know he lived a complicated life." Liotta added: "My heart goes out to his family and may he finally rest in peace.”