Art & Fashion
Art & Fashion
Dateline: Los Angeles.
By convicting Conrad Murray, MD., I’m convinced the jury reached a just verdict in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case. Malfeasance, mistakes, or plain ineptitude by callous medical professionals resulting in deaths — and that includes “care” by MDs, down the chain to those barely licensed — is extremely common and usually motivated by incompetence and/or greed. Unfortunately, these cases are rarely prosecuted (laws protect medical practitioners, they protect each other, and, in this case, the events occurred in an isolated home environment with no oversight). Michael Jackson’s family and the LA County DA should receive kudos for the vigilante pursuit of this corrupt, reckless physician. The great tragedy is that Michael Jackson is dead – Dr. Murray may have been in a conspiracy with his meal-ticket, mega-star patient – but he is alive; a culpable co-conspirator who was heavily remunerated.It’s frustrating but because of over-crowding in the state prison system, due to lack of funding, early releases for non-violent offenders like Murray are the norm. He will probably receive a very short prison stay, probation, possibly home monitoring, and hopefully the loss of his medical license.
The historic home to poets and hell-raisers has closed its doors: No More Artists Will Live Or Die Here. On my first trip to Manhattan, sans parents, out of curiosity I stayed there for a few days. It was not for me. I had already met Andy Warhol in L.A. and was a new person on the scene. Presumably curious, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe came to meet me at the Chelsea. I must have left quite an impression: I never saw them again!
The Mickey Cohen of Boston, James “Whitey” Bulger, 81, legendary fugitive mobster, has just been apprehended – after more than 15 years on the lam & an international manhunt. Whitey surrendered at his rent-controlled apartment, 3 blocks from the Pacific, in pricey, pristine Santa Monica, a star-studded beachside community in Los Angeles. Offering $2 million bounty, the FBI had just began running TV ads about him, but not in the LA market! In the apartment, his digs since 1996, authorities found inside the walls more than $800,000 cash, 30 guns, assorted knives and forged documents. Whitey’s story, like the story of L.A.’s own brazen and outrageous underworld boss Mickey Cohen (which may be read in my forthcoming book, MICKEY COHEN: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF L.A.’S NOTORIOUS MOBSTER, coming May 1, 2012) is amazing. While Whitey ruled Beantown for a generation, his brother politician BILLY BULGER– with whom he shared a very close and well known relationship – was one of the most powerful figures in Massachusetts politics (Kennedys and John Kerry kissed his ass!!!)
Whitey is infamous not only for his murderous ways, prominent brother, but also for being a top FBI informant -while having a personal FBI agent on payroll. The 2006 film, The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese, was a prosaic (with changed names) version of his story, but is worth seeing for the performance of incomparable Jack Nicholson as the Whitey-ish mobster. Many non-fiction books have been written, but the one I love is The Brothers Bulger by Howie Carr. An outstanding read, you get the true story of both the mobster and his equally fascinating brother!