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Messages - Hypestyle

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In The News / Re: Emmett Till Case Re-Opens
« on: Yesterday at 05:24:30 am »
curious.  a face-saving measure for the justice department under Trump/Sessions?

What do they hope to find now?  isn't nearly everyone dead who was a person of interest?  The one white woman who lied on Till just "fessed up" last year.

So now what?

« on: July 13, 2018, 09:21:25 am »
One spoiler comment that annoys me more than anything else--which on the face of the whole show is silly, but it does.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In the final scene, Clare and Owen are driving down the road with the clone-girl in the back seat with them.  Did they kidnap the girl? She's not their daughter.  They have no right to take her, wherever.

I guess we'll see in part 3.  it wasn't made clear who the rich guy's estate fell to once he died/was killed.  The nanny is still alive, yes?  She'd probably be interested.

for part 3 I'd want more hybrid dinos.  Lots more dinosaur encounters in the wild.  what species become endangered due to the dinosaurs?  Hmm.  we'll see.

What kind of time jump do folks think they'll do?  Stick to a "real time" 3 year gap?  More?  Shorten it to a year?  Hmm...

Are the dinos warm blooded via InGen or the "real science" in recent years that speculates on this?


The interview is tomorrow morning!

Erika, you've been an activist for Democratic causes for some time. What are your thoughts on what policy priorities should be for African Americans in the midterm elections?

« on: July 10, 2018, 06:15:10 pm »
random thoughts for now
Spoiler (click to reveal)

I wonder if the island was completely obliterated of dinosaurs.  Perhaps we'll see by the next film.  Some certainly escaped, especially the flying dinos. the smaller ones who could swim might have made it to shore somewhere nearby.

I guess owen and claire had to get out of the cage somehow, but I didn't quite  buy the goading of the bonehead dino.. but hey, lots of fun when it's set loose..  ;)

they ruined the ending in the trailer!! gah.. I thought those micro-scenes might have actually played out to something, with the "real world" dino confrontations.

... I was glad that the Webb character finally "stepped up" in the climax, but for most of the film with him screaming like a banshee, I was... sigh.. rather disappointed.  Yes, "someone" has to be the comic relief, but...


Hudlin TV / Re: Iron Fist
« on: July 09, 2018, 03:00:19 am »
I'm finally catching up with the first season.  I'm almost done.

Overall my takeaway is pretty good, though not as good as the Daredevil seasons or Luke Cage season 1 (i haven't seen Jesica Jones 1 or 2 yet, nor Cage S2)..

I'm aware of the non-positive reviews that it got hit with early on.
I'd say that the show has suffered from not having a clear-cut main villain early on.  Is it Madame Gau? Is it Harold Meachum?  Is it Ward?  Maybe Joy?  The frenemy back and forth between them all gets a little grating at times, lol.

I'm not familiar with the early solo Iron Fist before the partnership with Power Man.. I also haven't read the last couple of revival series (including the "Immortal Iron Fist" run).. so there may be character references and places that are above my head.

Jessica Henwick  :-* :-* :-* #samuraibae is very pretty and quite enjoyable as Colleen I haven't seen her in anything else- I've read that she and Finn Jones are alums of Game of Thrones?  Compared to some in fandom, I wasn't offended by the choice to make her and Danny a couple instead of him and Misty (so far)...

I was pleasantly surprised to see Clifton Davis..nice-- I wonder how many in comics-fandom even know about his career..

As for Finn Jones himself, he does a good enough job.. again, I don't know his other work at all-- making Danny into something of a hipster millennial was I suppose, fairly par for the course.. (nice music selections on his MP3 player, lol.)

Claire Temple!   :-* :-* #nursebae Wonderful to see her in the latter episodes, Rosario is a pleasure to watch, I hope her character continues in the shows, at least Luke's most of all.

so far, the series had kind of a slow build in the earliest episodes, not a whole lot of action, and amorphous agendas for the antagonists-- generic corporate vultures, and the Hand is, well, on hand again for nefarious... stuff..

I wonder how much more will be revealed about Madame Gao at the end.  I doubt she'll meet her demise.

General Discussion / Why Millennials aren't Joining Country Clubs
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:43:17 pm »

Why Don’t Millennials Join Country Clubs? Because Millennials Can’t Stop Working.

JULY 06, 201811:38 AM
 Four men stand on a putting green, a large club house stands in the background.
Who has time for golf when there’s student loans to pay off?
Robert Perry/Getty Images
A recent article from CityLab posed what is surely the most important question of our time: Why won’t millennials join country clubs? According to writer Kelsey Lawrence, country clubs are failing to gain a foothold among a younger demographic for a variety of reasons, not limited to their well-deserved reputations for racial and religious discrimination, exorbitant membership fees, “old-fashioned dress codes and rules about cell-phone use,” and the fact that country clubs have largely centered their social activities around one of the most boring yet expensive sports in the world: golf.

To combat their increasing irrelevance and shed their Caddyshack legacy, country clubs are attempting to adapt to a more broke and more tolerant generation, offering trial memberships for young professionals, doing away with initiation fees altogether, and offering activities off the putting green. Writes Lawrence:

To draw Millennials, many clubs feature more non-golf amenities—especially health and wellness options like gyms, personal trainers, and yoga classes. Tradition Golf Club in La Quinta, California, reported that its fitness center had hosted “guest lecturers on a variety of health topics as well as [being] the kickoff point for biking groups, and planned area hikes.”

But as Lawrence notes, they’re still competing with “new urban clubs” like The Wing, Soho House, and the Assemblage that are not only concentrated in city centers like most of millennial life, but also treat work as their cornerstone, rather than leisure. And that, more than anywhere else, is where country clubs are failing.

Contrary to the stereotypes, millennials tend to be workaholics. According to an online survey of 5,600 workers conducted by Project: Time Off, almost half of millennials identify as “work martyrs”—workers who are not only overly dedicated to their jobs but feel so indispensable that they’re wracked by guilt every time they take off. The survey found that “millennials are the most likely generation to forfeit time off, even though they earn the least amount of vacation days.” Email, Slack, and a variety of other technologies that define modern workplaces has only fueled that workaholicism—now work no longer ends, because it can be taken everywhere.


inRead invented by Teads
The rising popularity of urban clubs like the Wing proves that some millennials are willing to shell out a decent amount of cash for a community—as long as that community comes with career-enhancing perks. Look no further than the descriptions for the most popular members only co-working spaces. Soho House aims “to assemble communities of members that have something in common: namely, a creative soul. The majority of our members work in traditional creative industries, with the film, fashion, advertising, music, art and media sectors, among others, heavily represented.” The Assemblage is a coworking, co-living and community space that bills itself as “collaboration for the future of humanity.” And the Wing’s front page declares in millennial pink that they’re a “work and community space for women.” WeWork, one of the most ambitious “community-based” startups, didn’t even bother disguising what that sense of community is predicated on in a fancy name.

These spaces blur the boundaries of work and life, turning leisure time into an opportunity for networking. And as much as millennials, myself included, talk a big game about wanting more balance between work and life, the increasing popularity of these spaces suggest we can never completely step away from work. Country clubs and the bucolic images of uninterrupted recreation that they evoke are the antithesis to the “work hard, play hard” ethos that urban clubs traffic in. If they want to survive, they should consider draining the pool and erecting an open floor plan office in its place.


Hudlin TV / Re: Luke Cage Series
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:39:50 pm »
so for season 3 who will be the hip-hop act whose songs serve as the episode titles?

Black Panther / Panther vs Deadpool mini series
« on: July 06, 2018, 01:19:54 pm »

.... I guess we'll see how this turns out.  But I'll say upfront, I'm violently uninterested in TChalla being pwned by Wade Wilson.

Other Comics / Re: Captain America by Ta-Nehishi Coates
« on: June 30, 2018, 03:16:42 pm »
what are the plans for the Cap arcs? The current Panther story has a "Planet Wakanda" theme- so will there be a "Planet America" arc?

« on: June 25, 2018, 02:44:52 am »
i'll have to check it out this week, hopefully.

for the next film, I hope that more hybrid dinosaurs become the norm. 

Dinosaurs in the desert, in the seas, and also in WINTER environments!! Do some more gene-splicing to make them warm blooded!

Sexuality / Can Casual Sex be a Spiritual Experience?
« on: June 21, 2018, 12:58:14 pm »
Uh, say what?

Is casual sex a way to find ourselves? Are healthy hookups possible? Let’s explore the multifaceted role of sexuality outside a committed relationship.
I’m a serial monogamist. What I mean by that is I tend to always be in a relationship. I never try to find one, it’s just that they seem to fall in my lap without me having to do a thing. I’m not into dating and never have been. Most of my boyfriends started out as friends, or I met them through acquaintances or work and we hit it off. As a result, I rarely had casual sex, and if I did, it was a “friends with fringe benefits” kind of thing.

I’m also a very spiritual person and I never felt that hooking up with a virtual stranger could be in line with my idea of conscious dating. I thought the new norm of sex outside of a relationship was a little sad and lonely-feeling. There couldn’t be any intimacy or spiritual growth in the act of banging some random in the back seat of a car, could there?

When I found myself single in my 40s, I realized the dating landscape had changed significantly. Everyone was finding partners online. My sister met her husband through a dating site. My happily single friends were blissfully unclenching old “hookups are for hos” ideals and waking up sticky and satisfied next to men or women they’d barely just met.

My first reaction to all of this was to decide the dating world was slowly turning into a bad porn film, but after giving in to my curious nature and trying it out for myself, I changed my mind about casual sex.

I discovered hooking up can be a liberating and healing experience if you do it right.

Even though sex outside a relationship has become normative behavior—especially with Millennials—there is still a pervasive viewpoint that people who sleep around are insecure, have low self-esteem, or who have no ethics. Men who have sex with a lot of women are chauvinist jerks, and women who do the same are just trying to trap a partner.

There is also a ton of pressure on young people from older generations to find a partner, settle down, and start popping out babies as soon as possible. Monogamy and marriage are the ideal standard, and anything else is frowned upon.

It seems silly, though, considering the high divorce rates and unhappy relationships out there, to keep pushing this idea. Maybe going a little wild before settling down is actually a smarter choice.

Casual sex can help us figure out what turns us on, how to share mutual pleasure, and how to be more comfortable with our sexuality.

It can also help us release any guilt we’ve been carrying because of religious or societal beliefs—this is especially true for women and the LGBTQ community. When we hear the message that our sexuality is sinful or unnatural, we can feel that our choice to experience pleasure from it is shameful.

Sex-negative conditioning is a big deal because it encourages the idea that we should deny a part of ourselves that needs nurturing. When we choose to receive pleasure for no other reason than pleasure’s sake, we can reclaim the pieces that we’ve been told don’t deserve love.

If you think about it, sex is the purest form of creative energy. Everything biological, from plants to animals, makes new things with it. Human beings have the added benefits of using it to create joy, healing, and spiritual and emotional connections. Even the basest of encounters can give us an opportunity to evolve.

If we want to have meaningful, fulfilling sex, it’s important to lose the ego. When we use it to satisfy an emotional need to conquer or control—because we are under pressure, or to fill a void—we can get into trouble and create an addiction. It can cause as many issues as sexual repression does if we aren’t careful.

If you want casual sex—or any sex for that matter—to enhance your spiritual growth, it’s important to bring playfulness into the experience. One of the best things about hooking up is how easy it is to do that. You aren’t bringing any conflicts or manipulative tactics into the picture.

You can have fun without an agenda.

Playing the field helped me see myself a little more clearly. I realized that as I aged, I made the choice to play it safe more than I used to. I relied on outside approval and societal norms to shape who I had become. I passed judgment on myself in ways that were surprising to me when I saw them.

Once I recognized these things, I took the steps to change them. I became less inhibited. I also realized that, while hooking up can be a fun and meaningful experience, I prefer sex within a monogamous relationship. I can honor the introvert in me that prefers fewer, more intense relationships without being concerned that I’m trying to stay within the confines of societies idea of what’s acceptable.

Ready for conscious, like-minded individuals you really want to meet?

Register with MeetMindful for free today—the fastest growing dating site for conscious singles.

Latest Flicks / Re: Superfly
« on: June 21, 2018, 12:34:01 pm »
Some thoughts so far (evolving, will revisit soon)

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would.  I'd give it an A-minus. 8)

Was this Director X's first feature film?  I'm not overly familiar with whatever music videos he's been involved with-- and I suppose in the YouTube era of such, I scarcely pay attention to whom is the director.

I liked that the movie took the broad strokes of the original's plot, but didn't try and recreate it note for note.  I have a dim memory of Joel Silver being the producer behind Action Jackson and Romeo Must Die.

Putting things in Atlanta was a good choice creatively.  ATL-area peeps can point out the various neighborhoods and landmarks, but the cityscapes were impressive.  Props to the costume designer, the fashions here are pretty impressive.

Michael Williams as Scatter was a solid move-- including making him a kung fu expert was  a nice upgrade. 

I don't recall seeing Esai Morales in years, nice to see him show up here.  (And the Mama! so ruthless!!)

Trevor Jackson as a (more or less) Generation Z Priest works, I'm not familiar with his other work, but he seems to be comfortable in the role-- his Priest is similarly a plan-ahead, smarter-and-more-careful than most hustler,

Jason Mitchell was enjoyable to watch as Eddie.  I was semi-prepared for the twist, but I was intrigued to see how they pulled it off.

I would have liked to see more with the crooked cops, I couldn't help but notice that the APD folks the heroes dealt with were all Caucasian, lol..

Big Boi as the mayor!! of course he is... lol.. I couldn't help but be reminded of Detroit's own former mayor.. let me stop...  ;D

The Snow Patrol boss looked like a combination of Birdman and Rick Ross.. heh..

Rick Ross of course plays himself here, seemingly... surprised he hasn't been in more movies so far..

Who played the Snow Patrol's main goon?  he lasted a lot longer in the narrative than I thought he would.. lol..

The fights were all pretty satisfying, the subtext with the police stops, and of course how a confederate statue was "repurposed"--  ;)

Priest's ladies! :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*  I hadn't noticed them before, but hopefully we'll see them again in TV and films soon  :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*

Latest Flicks / Re: THE INCREDIBLES 2
« on: June 21, 2018, 12:15:54 pm »
considering the 14 year gap, I hope if a sequel is made it can be fast tracked.

--- who was the gentleman from Pixar who is being let go?

Feel The Funk / Re: KANYE
« on: June 17, 2018, 08:21:30 am »
Nice to see West work with Nas. 

I'd like to see what West would do as a producer, going further back with golden age-MCs like Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, or a group like Salt N Pepa, EPMD or Whodini.

Latest Flicks / Re: White Boy Rick: A Detroit Story
« on: June 11, 2018, 03:46:02 pm »

The writer is a former investigative reporter for WXYZ and Fox 2 who lives in California. His book, "Prisoner of War: The Story of White Boy Rick and the War on Drugs," chronicles the story of Richard Wershe Jr., aka "White Boy Rick," and how he got caught up in the war on drugs at age 14, only to be sentenced to life in prison for cocaine trafficking a few years later. Wershe was paroled in Michigan last year after serving about 30 years in prison. He is now serving a sentence in Florida for his involvement in a car theft ring while he was behind bars there. His release date is 2021. The book is scheduled for release on June 25 as an e-book and in paperback.

The following is a condensed version of Chapter 1. This is the first of two installments.

By Vince Wade

At the worldly age of 14, Richard John Wershe, Jr., a street-savvy kid who didn’t sell or use dope, was recruited by FBI agents to become America’s youngest soldier in the War on Drugs. His secret paid mission was to go behind enemy lines to gather intelligence. He wasn’t an ordinary teen and he wasn’t an ordinary snitch. Wershe was “arguably the most productive drug informant of the Detroit FBI during that era,” according to John Anthony who was the legal adviser-agent of that office at the time.

By the time he was 17, Wershe, who is white, had been consorting with Detroit's biggest drug dealers and baddest hitmen, jetting to Las Vegas and Miami, sleeping with the mayor's hot, married, 20-something niece and telling the FBI about top-level police corruption. His reward, in a strange episode of law enforcement intrigue, was to be abandoned by the federal government. He became Rick Who? Wershe, who was eventually labeled by the media as White Boy Rick, was now a broke school dropout from a dysfunctional family. He turned to the only trade he knew—the one the narcs had taught him. He tried to become a wholesale-level drug dealer, got caught, and was sentenced by local authorities to life in prison without parole. Wershe became a Prisoner of War—the War on Drugs.

❖Knew "Sammy The Bull"

During his life in prison Wershe came to know Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, an admitted Mafia killer who helped the government put Mob boss John Gotti in prison for life. He met a world-class drug smuggler named Steve Kalish who lavishly bribed Panama leader Manuel Noriega. On numerous occasions, Wershe discussed the finances of illegal drugs with Carlos Lehder, one of the founders of the notorious Medellín cocaine cartel.

Wershe (pronounced Wur-shee) joined the national battle against the never-ending flow of illegal drugs in June, 1984. That same month, 13 years earlier, President Richard M. Nixon declared the United States of America had to go to battle against the nation’s drug habit.

"America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse,” President Nixon told reporters after sending a message to Congress on the issue. "In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive."

Over a decade later, when the federal government pressed a young Detroit kid in to service in the War on Drugs, the country was losing the struggle. In truth, it never started winning. The story of Richard J. Wershe, Jr is a down-in-the-trenches view of why the War on Drugs is a trillion-dollar failure and will never be won.

Richard Wershe as a teen and in his 40s.
❖Youngest In FBI History

Whatever Wershe’s dreams and fantasies may have been as a lower middle-class white boy growing up on Detroit’s east side, becoming an FBI snitch, a rat, a fink, a canary, a stool pigeon and eventually spending his life in prison was certainly not his life’s ambition.

Wershe, known to his family and friends and on the streets as Ricky or Rick, became a paid Confidential Informant for the FBI, apparently the youngest in the agency’s history, without any real say in the matter or time to think it over.

It wasn’t a recruitment, really. It was more like being drafted. The FBI, for its part, was willing to pay and pay regularly for what the kid could find out. For the boy’s fast-buck, business-hustler father, the FBI’s informant cash was the motivation to agree to this dangerous scheme. The stress of sustained undercover deception on an adolescent mind and the very real physical danger inherent in informing on men who regard murder as a cost of doing business don’t seem to have troubled Wershe’s father or the FBI agents.

On the other hand, working as an FBI informant didn’t seem to have any negative effect on some famous Americans from Wershe’s childhood. Growing up, Rick Wershe, Jr. watched Walt Disney movies not knowing that Uncle Walt had been an FBI stool pigeon for over a quarter of a century, keeping the Bureau informed about suspected Communist agitators and Leftist subversives in Hollywood. Most of Walt Disney’s informing involved labor unions. He didn’t like them.

At the time Rick Wershe was lured in to working as an FBI informant, the man occupying the White House had been a long-time snitch for the Bureau. President Ronald W. Reagan was known as FBI Informant T-10 during the Communist-hunting Red Scare that profoundly impacted the Hollywood film community in the early days of the Cold War.

But Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan were adults when they became police informers. Rick Wershe was a juvenile and a young one at that. To understand how he got in this situation, it is important to examine his childhood and the changing city where he grew up.

❖Teen Burglar

Rick Wershe, Jr. was a rambunctious, mischievous kid prone to stunts like shooting at rats in alleys and setting off illegal firecrackers. In his early teens he participated in a few home break-ins as a way to raise easy cash. He was tutored in the art of burglary by a small-time black criminal who was dating his older sister, Dawn. Drugs were plentiful but Rick Wershe was not a drug user.

Author Vince Wade
Dawn had tumbled down the rabbit hole of drug addiction. She has fought her drug habit all of her life. Rick’s Aunt Carolyn, his father’s sister, was also a drug addict who turned to prostitution to support her habit. Young Rick saw what drugs were doing to his family and he chose not to use them.  He was, however, impressed by the lavish, free-spending lifestyle of the city’s rapidly growing cadre of drug-dealing entrepreneurs. Over the course of three years, federal agents and local police narcs from a drug task force taught the young boy the ways of the drug underworld. They had a willing student. What thrill-seeking, hormone-fueled teenage boy wouldn’t relish the chance to go undercover for-real in a sleazy and dangerous world awash in fast cars, fast women, “bling” and so much cash that machines were needed to count it?

By the time guys his age were prepping for their SAT exams, Rick Wershe had been shot once and targeted for a hit murder another time. When other boys his age were learning to drive, Rick Wershe had been jet-setting to Las Vegas prize fights, flying to Miami to meet cocaine importers, hobnobbing at nightclubs favored by black gangsters and buying himself jet skis, hot cars and flashy jewelry. He also began to give the FBI insights regarding drug-related police bribery.

Yet, by the time he reached his 17th birthday, the feds had abandoned their star snitch. He wasn’t just another criminal working off a beef by turning informant against his friends. Rick Wershe had been recruited by government agents.

Suddenly, he was too hot. Too many people knew or had guessed what he was doing. As we shall see, his informant work caused crisis meetings at the very top levels of the Justice Department. He was in danger of being exposed as an under-age FBI informant in the War on Drugs. What’s more, FBI investigative files had been falsified to make it appear the information was coming from his father. Falsifying federal files is a felony.

Over time, city officials in positions of power became deeply afraid of what the kid might know about public corruption and what he might expose about them. The feds, having committed file falsification crimes in order to use him as an informant, feared what he might expose about them.

Richard Wershe Jr. (WDIV photo)
Young Wershe was suddenly adrift. He had worked night after night in his paid role as a Confidential Informant. Now it was over. The cash had dried up. The only trade he knew was the dark art of slinging dope. With all the immaturity and bad judgment he could muster, Rick Wershe set out to become a “weight” man, a wholesaler of cocaine. His adventure as a drug dealer lasted less than a year. He was busted and sentenced to prison for life.

Before all of this, there was a discipline-free and largely love-free childhood that was starved for the right-from-wrong rules that accompany true parental concern for a child.

❖Dad, The Hustler

Richard John Wershe, Senior was called Rick. Richard John Wershe, Junior was known to his friends and neighbors as Ricky. Rick and Ricky. The fact they shared the same name differentiated only by Senior and Junior was significant for the FBI.

The elder Wershe, now deceased, once described himself as a business hustler. “He was always looking for a better mousetrap,” longtime friend Fred Elias recalls. Elias says the elder Wershe always seemed to be starting a new business venture, anything that might turn a quick buck. Elias remembers Richard Wershe, Sr. as whip-smart about guns and electronics. Attorney Ralph Musilli knew Richard Wershe, Sr. for close to 20 years. Musilli says Wershe never looked beyond making money that week. Musilli says prospective business partners found Wershe aggravating, self-serving and uninterested in the basics of building a thriving, long-term enterprise. Physically trim, Wershe was a fast talker with a faint lisp.

Those who knew Richard J. Wershe, Sr. as a neighbor and family member paint a harsh, unflattering picture. They say he was a jerk. They recall he was an arrogant, insufferable and controlling know-it-all with a violent temper; a chronically abusive husband and negligent father who was obsessed with the next business hustle. He never held a real job for long. Richard Wershe, Sr. was convinced he was destined to become a successful self-made millionaire based on some scheme-of-the-week. He had two children; Ricky and Dawn. By all accounts both children had difficult childhoods made more so by their largely absentee father.

When Richard Wershe Sr. was around, which was seldom, he wasn’t a responsible parent, according to someone well-acquainted with the father and the son.

Wayne LeCouffe is Rick Wershe, Jr.’s cousin by marriage. He’s two years younger than Rick and in some ways as street-savvy as his cousin. But he took a different path in life, a path that led to business success and a family. He has clear memories of his Wershe cousins in their youth.

"Rick’s father was never home for Dawn or Rick," LeCouffe states flatly. "He was never there. Rick and Dawn grew up without parents."

LeCouffe tells the story of the time Wershe decided to take some kids—Ricky, Wayne and Wayne’s two young brothers—up on a garage roof to shoot at rats in the alley. The elder Wershe gave one of Wayne’s brothers a loaded .45 caliber pistol and told him to climb the ladder. As the boy climbed the ladder, he lost his footing. The gun went off. The shot hit the ground inches from one of his brothers. Instead of taking responsibility for his own negligence in giving a loaded pistol to a youngster on a ladder, Wershe smacked the kid who had accidentally fired the shot.

Even as a child, LeCouffe had Richard Wershe, Sr’s number. "He was always up to something, trying to make a fast buck," LeCouffe remembers. "When cable TV first came out, you had the illegal cable TV boxes. He was in on that immediately. When cell phones were the size of a cinder block, he was in on that, getting chips for the phones. He was getting the chips so you could use the phone until whoever found out and shut it off. There was nothin’ there that was legitimate. Nothin’."

In business Richard Wershe, Sr. tried anything and everything, typically walking along the edge that separates legal from illegal. He prowled estate sales of the recently departed looking for clothing he could sell at second-hand outlets. He owned a military surplus store for a time. He was a bit of a health nut so he tried his hand at selling vitamin supplements. He was well-versed in firearms, having worked in a gun shop.

The elder Wershe eventually got busted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) for possessing unreported parts for suppressors or silencers. A box of silencer parts was found in a raid on his mother’s home. An appeals court ruled the government had proved the senior Wershe had “constructive possession” of the silencer parts.

At Richard Wershe Sr.’s 1988 federal weapons trial, his elderly mother, Vera, made a sad effort to take responsibility for the silencers. At age 77 and in poor health, she had to use a walker to make her way to the witness stand. She tried to claim the silencers were in a box to be thrown out, but she saw them and hauled the box back to her basement thinking they must be valuable. She admitted she didn’t know what they were. The jury didn’t buy her story.

Richard Wershe, Sr., his mother and his trial attorney are deceased so we will never know if Wershe talked her in to testifying at his trial. But it’s highly unlikely that an elderly, ailing, always-follow-the-rules Polish woman would dream up such a preposterous story on her own and repeat it in front of a jury. What’s more likely is, it’s an indication of how Richard J. Wershe, Sr. was willing to put his own mother in a precarious legal situation to save his neck.

Wershe was convicted and sentenced to seven and a half years in federal prison.

❖Brain Cancer

As LeCouffe noted, the senior Wershe had a knack for consumer electronics. He was the first in his neighborhood to have a backyard satellite dish for TV reception. Soon, he was selling them to homeowners. Wershe had enough skill with electronics that he installed several home theaters for wealthy customers. No matter what the endeavor, he wasn’t interested in working for someone else in a 9-to-5 office job or in doing shift work in a factory. He relished the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur. He never made it. Richard Wershe, Sr. died of brain cancer in 2014.

❖Kids Didn't Matter

Like many white ethnic families in Detroit, two generations of Wershes lived just a few doors apart. When Richard Wershe, Sr. got married, he and his wife bought a house in the same block as his parents.

Beverly “Bev” Srbich was a neighbor. She was known as “Aunt Bev” to Ricky and his sister, Dawn. Over a period of years Bev Srbich watched the disintegration of the Wershe families—and the neighborhood.

"Richard thought the world revolved around Richard and what Richard wanted," Srbich remembers. "His kids didn’t matter. Nothing mattered." Her voice begins to quiver. "You have no idea of the hate I have in my heart for this man."

❖FBI Agents Come Knocking

Rick Wershe remembers standing in his family home one day in June of 1984, watching and listening as his father sat at the dining room table talking with two black men who had come to the house unannounced. They were showing Richard Wershe, Sr. some snapshots of other black men. The elder Wershe said he didn’t recognize anyone in the photos, but he suggested his son might. He asked Richard Wershe, Jr. to join the conversation.

The younger Wershe approached the men and looked at the photos spread across the table. “That’s Big Man, that’s Little Man, that’s Boo,” he said, pointing to the photos one by one.

The visitors, FBI agents Jim Dixon and Al Finch, knew they had hit pay dirt. The fourteen-year old was correctly identifying, by street name, the Curry Brothers drug gang. In the criminal underworld, street names are often the only names used. It makes it harder for the police to figure out the true identities of crime suspects.

"For a fourteen-year old kid, he had so much information," recalled Jim Dixon, one of the FBI agents who was there for the recruitment of Richard Wershe, Jr. as an FBI CI—Confidential Informant. This was no random house call by a pair of FBI agents. They started the conversation with the father, but the agents knew it was the younger Wershe who had the knowledge—and access to the Currys—that they wanted. It was expedient to involve the father. In a way, Richard Wershe, Senior had opened the door by contacting the FBI looking for help with Dawn, his drug-addicted daughter—Rick’s sister. She had taken up with a known burglar and the elder Wershe wanted the FBI’s help in finding her. The FBI wanted something in return, a quid pro quo.

Even though he was an adolescent, Rick Wershe knew he was the real target for recruitment. The agents told his father they wanted to recruit him—Wershe Senior—as a paid Confidential Informant, but the teen knew from the outset he would be the real source of information. Asked when the agents recruited his father and when they recruited him, Rick Wershe says, “It was the same day, in that same meeting.”

The FBI agents were not enlisting the help of some sweet, innocent Leave It To Beaver sitcom adolescent. Young Wershe had had numerous minor run-ins with the police. Dave Majkowski, Rick's lifelong friend, said they were always getting stopped by the police for juvenile misbehavior of one kind or another.

Three months earlier, the younger Wershe had been arrested and charged in Juvenile Court with Assault with Intent to Commit Murder.

One night in March, 1984, Rick Wershe and his sister were driving together but in separate cars when Rick stopped at a gas station to get a soft drink. He was driving his grandmother’s car. He left it running while he went inside to get his drink. A thief saw an opportunity and jumped in the idling car and drove off. Dawn Wershe leaned on the horn. As Rick stepped outside he could see his grandmother’s car was gone. He dashed to Dawn’s car, jumped in and told her to chase the stolen car, now on a nearby freeway.

As they gave chase Rick asked Dawn if she had a gun. She did. Rick found a .22 and began firing at his grandmother’s car. It was Rick Wershe’s buzzard luck that an off-duty Detroit police officer was in the traffic mix as he was shooting at the fleeing car. Rick Wershe was arrested. His grandmother’s car was later found on the side of a freeway with a gun inside.

Rick eventually beat the charge with the help of a Detroit Police narcotics cop working with the FBI on the drug task force. It took some months for the attempted murder charge to make its way through the juvenile court system. By the time the case came up, young Wershe was making lots of undercover drug buys for the Detroit narcs. When the case was called on the Juvenile Court docket, the officer who had written the complaint wasn’t at court. Case dismissed.

Years later, a parole board attorney asked Wershe why his sister had a gun he could fire at the stolen car. Rick Wershe said guns were part of their world. "We played with guns, we had guns," Wershe said. "I mean, I really didn't have any parental supervision at that time. I was basically raising myself and I went down some wrong paths."


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