By: Ben Clark
The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of big budget, adventure-historical dramas. Thus, we had Dr. Zhivago, Ben-Hur, Zulu, Lawrence of Arabia, El Cid, The Alamo, The Warlord, Julius Caesar, The Blue Max, Battle of Britain, Khartoum, and Spartacus – to name a few of my favorites. My guess is that if you like some of these movies, you'll like 55 Days at Peking (1963). The movie is based on the true story of the 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China during the Qing Dynasty. Before this 1963 film, Hollywood mostly ignored Chinese history and culture, and pitifully few round-eye English speaking people took even a casual interest in Chinese history. 55 Days at Peking is the first major film to examine the clash of Western and Chinese cultures, and is still relevant to this day when trade and political tension with China is a prominent, almost daily, American news story. One of my objectives is to determine just how fair and truthful the movie presents the actual events.
With that in mind, I'd like to begin by summarizing the historical arc of the early Chinese/ European / American foreign relations to put the movie into historical context and correct some confused comments I have read on the internet about the setting, or historical background, of the movie – 55 Days at Peking.
Chinese – European trade begins
Europeans did not arrive in China in any real numbers until the 16th century, so let’s begin there. As was so often the case of early sea exploration, it was the 16th century Portuguese explorers and navigators who founded and established the nautical trade routes to India and China. In 1557, the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) leased the territory of Macau to Portugal. The Macau trading post became the accepted model for foreign trade in China. News of the profitable trade with the Orient spread like wildfire, and worldwide trading competition began in earnest. Soon the English, Spaniards, and Dutch discovered new sea routes to Chinese port cities. By 1773 the British East India Company had penetrated the Chinese market and became the leading merchants of the China trade, overtaking the Portuguese. The English East India Company was buying tea, porcelain and silk from China for sale in England and Europe. As tea became a popular English drink, the tea trade became more and more important. In 1785, about 15 million pounds of tea was being imported into England. China, in particular the Qing Dynasty, was getting rich on British silver.
Opium Wars 1839-1842 & 1856–1860
At first, the Manchu Emperors (aka Qing Dynasty) permitted free trade with foreigners, mainly British and other Europeans, so long as the foreigners were kept isolated. No foreigners were permitted in Peking, the seat of the Qing Dynasty. The British were strictly limited to live in a small enclave in the city of Canton, they could not bring their wives, and they were barred from learning Chinese. Canton was a major terminal on the fabled Chinese Silk Road and is about 75 miles north of Hong Kong on the Pearl River. Note: The Chinese changed the name of Canton to Guangzhou, as was the trendy anti-colonial sentiment in the 1960s.
The British merchants (and Britain was the world's greatest trading nation) found the restrictions chafing, irrational, primitive and of course profit-reducing. There was little demand in China for British finished goods, but British merchants soon found a product for which there was enormous Chinese demand – opium. So in order to help balance the trade deficit, the British set up a trade triangle with India and China. India provided abundant, cheap opium for the British to trade in China for silk and tea to sell in Europe at enormous profit. The Manchu Emperors banned opium; however, the ban was not enforced. Opium smoking dens popped up all over China. Many officials turned a blind eye toward the opium trade since they collected heavy import taxes on all foreign trade.
An upper class Chinese opium den 1830
Eventually internal pressure from reformist groups in China caused the Manchu Emperors to act forcefully against the opium trade. In 1839 Chinese warships blockaded Canton and demanded the British hand over 20,000 opium chests for destruction. The British decided to fight instead of complying with Chinese demands. The Manchu rulers were entirely ignorant of how ineffective the primitive Chinese navy and shore batteries would be against the British Navy - who swiftly crushed the Chinese forces and took command of the important coastal regions of China.
British warships smash Chinese blockade at Canton
The First Opium War ended with the Nanjing treaty of 1842 which ceded Hong Kong Island together with its superb deep water harbor to the British. Also the treaty opened up the interior of China for Christian missionaries to travel, proselytize freely and establish missions all over China. A Second Opium War flared up in 1856 and once again the Qing Dynasty was defeated when British and French infantry captured Peking, forcing the Emperor to flee the royal palace and sue for peace. The emperor’s Summer Palace outside Peking was burned to the ground on orders by British commander Lord Elgin, “To punish the [Qing] court while sparing the people.” In the peace treaty of 1860, China ceded the Kowloon Peninsula to the British. Kowloon, being directly adjacent to British ruled Hong Kong Island, further increased British influence in a strategic location. The “Forbidden City” Peking was also opened to foreigners. The rules were relaxed to allow foreign embassies. For the next century, China would be subject to further invasions and “unfair” treaties, which ended only with the termination of special western rights in China in 1943 under Chiang Kai-shek (not under Mao in 1949, as the Chinese Communist propaganda claims).
The peace treaties proved disastrous to China's exclusionary trade policy. China opened up four, and then nine, separate enclaves within key coastal cities (the "Treaty Port or Concessions") for westerners to live with their families, and police themselves within the enclaves under their own laws, and, of course, continue the opium trade with far more access to Chinese cities. Meanwhile, other nations such as the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, and Japan all began to compete with Britain in trading with China. The China trade became one of the great careers for Americans seeking adventure and juicy profits. The "China Clipper" ships built in the U.S. became world-renowned - as did the courage and skill of their crews.
America soon began to out-strip all other nations in sending missionaries to China. Throughout the U.S., churches raised money to support the Chinese missions where the congregants were assured the missionaries were doing God's work. And in fact, millions of Chinese were converted to Christianity and benefited from local charity provided by the missionaries.
THE CHINESE SON OF GOD and
the Taiping (aka Heavenly) Rebellion 1850-1864
While the opium war itself had a direct impact on relatively few Chinese, one of the results of the opening up of China, demanded by the 1842 treaty, was the influx of thousands of Christian missionaries throughout China. The religious impact on China took a tragic turn when a charismatic lunatic, Hong Xiuquan, converted to Christianity and after a series of hallucinations and dreams, became convinced that he was the Chinese Son of God. Hong soon had thousands of followers chanting the 10 Commandments in Chinese. The new converts took up arms and formed the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Army to defeat the Demons plaguing China. In 1850 Hong declared that the Demons were in fact the Qing Dynasty. Imperial forces and Hong’s Taiping army clashed in 1851, and the Taiping army was victorious in the first series of battles. Inspired by success, Hong’s forces went on the offense and gained control of the critical Yangzi River Valley. The Taiping army captured Tianjin and also took Nanjing, a major city of 2 million. After an attempt to seize Peking (Beijing) failed, Hong chose to cease conquest and fortify his forces around Nanjing.
For the next 11 years Hong’s army held Nanjing and the surrounding territory. European forces in China decided to aid the Qing Dynasty in seizing back the lands held by the Taiping army. In one of the bloodiest civil wars in world history, Imperial forces, often commanded by British officers, finally beat back the Taiping army to Nanjing. The British Major Charles Gordon won 33 battles in a row and became the Emperor’s Golden Boy. Unlike the Chinese Imperial generals who favored massed frontal assaults, Gordon was highly successful defeating much larger forces using maneuver, steam powered gunboats and surprise. Forever after he was known as “Chinese Gordon” (see photo to the right).
The siege of Nanjing lasted several months until resistance collapsed when Hong was found dead in May 1864. The Imperial Army entered the city and massacred Hong’s followers. Estimates vary but the Taiping Rebellion is believed to have claimed at least 20 million dead, and some estimates range as high as 70 million killed.
Sino–Japanese War 1894–95 &
Russian concessions in Northern China
Above is a famous French political cartoon from 1898. A pastry represents "Chine" (French for China) and is being divided between caricatures of Queen Victoria of the UK, Kaiser William II of Germany (who has planted his knife into the pie), Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the French Marianne, and a Japanese samurai. In the background a Qing official throws up his hands to try and stop them, but is powerless and ignored. It is meant to be a figurative representation of the Imperialist tendencies of these nations towards China during the decade. Noticeably absent from the group is the United States.
By the late 19th century, Russia and Japan sought to carve areas out of the obviously weak Chinese Qing Empire. In 1895, Japan crushed China in a short but fierce war - and seized Chinese Imperial territories of Korea and Taiwan. The Japanese also obtained railroad and industrial licenses in Manchuria. Not to be outdone by the rival Japanese, Russia invaded Outer Mongolia and demanded concessions in northern coastal China, in particular ice-free Port Arthur and Talienwan Bay on the Liao-Tung Peninsula of Manchuria. After a Russian battle fleet appeared in the Port Arthur harbor, the Qing Dynasty reluctantly agreed to a 10 year lease of Port Arthur and adjacent territories in Manchuria. The Russians immediately began building a rail line linking Port Arthur to the Tsar’s military base at Mukden. The Russians also began fortifying Port Arthur, indicating they had no intention of ever leaving and returning the port to China. The British and other European nations failed to object - but the U.S. reacted strongly to the foreign incursions - and Secretary of State John Hay pronounced the "Open Door" policy, insisting that no nation should obtain territorial advantages or further exclusive concessions in China. Popular sentiment in America was fiercely pro-Chinese and against the Japanese and Russian invaders. Japan was finally forced by the American-led western powers to return some of its territorial gains from the war.
Rise of the Boxers
The loss of the wars and foreign domination was obviously a great humiliation to the Chinese people who had always regarded China as the center of the universe (the "Middle Kingdom") and their emperors as appointed by Heaven to rule the earth. The fast growing Western and Japanese influence aroused hostile feelings among many Chinese toward the Christian religion and its missionaries, associating such "foreign" culture with Chinese humiliation at foreign hands and resenting the very implication from the missions' existence that the Chinese were backward and must be taught by the foreigners.
Under these circumstances by the late 1890’s, a Chinese secret organization called the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists (nicknamed Boxers) began regular attacks on foreigners and Chinese Christians. The Boxers were a fanatical and murderous semi-religious sect (somewhat like the Mahdi's Dervishes in Sudan or the Wahabbi sect of Islam that bedevils the Saudis today). They swore to kill all the foreigners and to drive them out of the country. They were in no sense a positive force - merely a fierce and frenzied organization of hate for the West and all its ways. Throughout the 1890s the Boxers grew in strength and became more violent. The Boxers' often targeted missionaries and the Chinese Christian converts -- they were defenseless and located throughout the country. The massacres of missionaries and an estimated 30,000 converts aroused outrage back in the U.S. and Britain. Boxers also burned Russian railway stations on the strategic Mukden to Port Arthur line; thereby, giving the Russian Tsar an excuse to send 200,000 troops to Manchuria. The Western legations in Peking began to evacuate as many missionaries as possible and attempted to persuade/threaten the Qing Dynasty to put down the rebellion with the Imperial Army. And so our movie begins!
55 Days at Peking 1963 action adventure history
This movie is based on a true story and is dramatically presented with fairly accurate history, per Hollywood standards. Surprisingly the sets and costumes are all credible even though the movie was filmed in Spain. In 1963, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) was isolated and locked down behind the Iron Curtain. Also keep in mind only ten years past, the US-led UN military force and the PRC fought a bloody, bitter war of attrition in Korea. The studio succeeded in gathering an impressive number of Euro-Oriental actors for the battle scenes, and also managed to obtain some authentic Qing Dynasty wardrobes for the actors playing the royals.
The opening scenes welcome the audience to 1900 Peking (now Beijing), China. In a large walled compound in the heart of Peking, are located the foreign embassies with economic interest in China. The United States, England, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Austria, and Japan are all represented. Next we see the star, Charlton Heston (Major Lewis) riding horseback and leading a company-sized column of US Marines into the city (the western powers were each allowed a small scale military force for security). In a key scene, we are introduced to the Boxers when Major Lewis notices a man being tortured and drowned on a water wheel by Boxer thugs. We later learn that the victim is a British priest. Lewis bargains with the Boxers to release the priest, and pay $20 in gold if the man is still alive. He is dead. A violent exchange follows and one of the armed Boxers is killed by the marines. Major Lewis flips the $20 gold piece to the lead Boxer and defuses the tense situation.
General Jung-Lu warns the Empress
Another key scene introduces Empress Tzu-hsi and the royal Mandarin court. A heated conversation between Chinese Prince Tuan (pro-Boxer) and General Jung-Lu concerning the Boxers displays the split in the Chinese court between those who believed the Boxers are “useful idiots” who could throw out the foreigners and restore China's pride - and those who believed that if they sided with the Boxers and lost, the western nations would themselves take victorious action and the Manchu court would wind up paying a high price in further concessions and reparations.
As depicted in the film, the full scale Boxer Rebellion is sparked by the vicious attack on the German Ambassador as he rides in his carriage, not far from the Embassy Compound. In a shocking scene, he is dragged to the ground and clubbed to death by the Boxer mob (in real life, both the Japanese and German Ambassadors were killed by Boxers in June 1900). Major Lewis is witness to the attack and notices Prince Tuan directing the mob with hand signals. The British Ambassador Sir Arthur, brilliantly played by David Niven, immediately demands an audience with the Chinese Empress to formally protest the murder of the German official. He is joined by Major Lewis. The scene in the throne room is magnificent – all the pomp and ceremony you would expect. Sir Arthur receives a tongue lashing by the Empress as she rejects his protest. The result of the meeting is clear: the Empress has decided to back Prince Tuan and not mobilize the Imperial army against the Boxers. She will not protect the foreign compound and urges them to leave the city within 24 hours.
Of course the foreigners do not leave (or else there is no reason for the movie). In the critical scene discussing “leave or stay” David Niven (Sir Arthur) steals the show as a true Big-Picture leader who rises to the occasion with a steady hand and precise risk analysis of a very tense and dangerous situation. He convinces the other Ambassadors to stay and band together. Actual history proved Sir Arthur to be correct. It would have been suicide to leave the walled compound. Sir Arthur sends for a military relief force, and makes plans with Major Lewis to defend the compound. The British relief force will have to march 70 miles through hostile territory to reach Peking. No one knows how long they will have to hold out (hint: 55 days is a good guess). The battle scenes that follow are spectacular, and some of the best ever filmed. I can’t understand why this film didn’t do better at the box office and awards season; it’s one of the most ambitious, visually stunning, well done historical epics I’ve ever seen.
The film is not without critics who are quick to point out some problems with the casting and the not-so-subtle pro-colonial message. Without treading too far into the dreadful PC minefield, it is fair to say the casting was somewhat marred by the absence of actual Chinese actors in the main characters. Instead we see British and Aussie Anglos dressed in Chinese gowns. This imparts a Euro-centric flavor to the film that was very common for the era. But back in 1963, given the lack of Chinese-American box office stars and Cold War hostility, this cast is the best we can hope to get.
Prince Tuan (Robert Helpmann) & Qing Empress Tzu-Hsi (Flora Robson)
The movie has a decided European perspective, and while it justly celebrates the heroism of the vastly outnumbered western defenders, there is an overall willing amnesia about the negatives of imperialism and the opium trade. Compared to the violent Boxer mobs, the imperialists depicted in the movie are quite noble and courteous, not to mention that Heston, Eva Gardner and David Niven were all glamourous Hollywood stars and just had to be the “Good guys”. And this movie has a typical “Good vs bad” theme.
C. Heston, Ava Gardner, and David Niven
The official viewpoint by the Chinese communist party of the Boxer Rebellion has a completely opposite twist. For example consider this quote by Mao Tse-tung: “Was it the Boxers organized by the Chinese people that went to stage rebellion in the Imperialist countries of Europe and America, and Imperialist Japan to commit murder and arson? Or was it the Imperialist countries that invaded our country to oppress and exploit the Chinese people?” To put it another way, the Boxer Rebellion was an organic uprising by the common Chinese people who are excused from any violence because they can respond, “we live here.”
What Chairman Mao glosses over here is the tens of thousands of innocent Chinese slaughtered at the hands of the Boxers. Of course, why would this upset the Chairman? He slaughtered innocent Chinese by the MILLIONS. To quote John Derbyshire, an old China expert, “If there is a prize awarded in hell for murdering Chinese people, the easy winner for the 20th century division is Mao Tse-tung. All this is forgotten in the fixation on foreign wickedness. A well-adjusted Chinese citizen is expected to have "moved on" from the horrors of Maoism (1949-76) but to be fuming with indignation at the Opium War (1839-42).”
And so we leave 19th century China, drenched in blood and pyscho-active drugs, and still ruled by the backward, confused Manchu Qing dynasty. The Qing stumbled along for another decade before a (mostly peaceful) transfer of power to the Chinese Republic in 1911. Perhaps the only positive spin about the Boxer vs Western clash is that it hastened the demise of a chaotic, fossilized form of government (the dynastic monarchy) to be replaced by a Chinese Republic. In 1788 after the American constitution was ratified, someone asked Mr. Ben Franklin what type of government do we have now? Franklin, one of the key founders, replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Wiser words were never spoken. Unfortunately a Chinese Ben Franklin did not exist.
One final comment – I recently bought the 55 Days at Peking DVD. It is of superior quality – both picture and sound. The colors are vivid and the Dolby digital 4.0 surround sound is great. I doubt that Criterion could have done a better job. Language spoken is English, with optional Korean and Japanese subtitles. My copy was made in Korea by DVD Video. I have been disappointed by many vintage film transfers to DVD, but not this one.
Source material for this article &
Recommended reading list on Chinese history.
Hungry Ghosts by Jasper Becker – includes the incontrovertible conclusions how the Maoist policies on agriculture reform resulted in severe famine and 30 million Chinese peasant farmers starved to death.
The Chairman's New Clothes & Chinese Shadows by Simon Leys – reveals the horror that was the Mao-driven Cultural Revolution and describes in detail the vast destruction of all that was good and beautiful in China in 1972.
The Dragon and the Foreign Devils by Harry Gelber – a scholarly work on the ebb and flow of foreign trade with China extending back to the ancient Silk Road.
The Chinese Looking Glass by Dennis Bloodworth - The author, a British journalist who married into an old Chinese family, interweaves his personal experiences in Asia (mostly Hong Kong and Singapore) with a discussion of the history, culture, and present situation of the Chinese people and the factors that have formed the Chinese character.
China in Convulsion by Arthur Smith – the author was an American missionary to China during the Boxer Rebellion and altogether spent over 50 years living mostly in small villages in China. This is his detailed eye witness account of the event as he, his wife and 22 other missionaries took refuge in the Peking foreign legation compound in June–August 1900 during the famous siege. Same author also wrote – Chinese Characteristics in 1894, and this became his most famous work. Modern day expats still consider this to the bible for better understanding the Chinese mindset.
What’s Wrong with China by Rodney Gilbert – written in 1926 by a Victorian Brit expat, this is the most un-PC account of Chinese characteristics and viewpoint of life in China. Available on Internet Archive.
The Opium War by Peter Ward Fay – A detailed narrative of the India-China-England opium trade triangle, and the military campaigns to settle disputes.
By Ben Clark
This article is about the Travel lowlights and highlights of the year. My sincere wish is that you may find some valuable info herein to assist in your personal trip planning, e.g., airlines, travel agencies, and cruise lines to avoid; fatal islands of the Caribbean Sea, ways to fake a vacation and save money, some choice side trips, illegal ways to obtain an American passport, and FFS stay the hell away from Mount Everest. Keep on Traveling!
The Boeing 737 Max 8 grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes with eerie parallels
March 13, 2019 – via wsj Staff (WSJ has a paywall, sometimes)
Update August 16, 2019 – The Boeing 737 Max 8 is still grounded after five months. Read an impressive, detailed recap of the “Fatal battle between man and machine” in the WSJ here.
Update August 31, 2019 – As reported by Bloomberg news, Boeing outsourced the faulty Max 8 MCAS code to India in order to save money. Do the math on that genius business decision. Airlines are making plans to keep the Max 8 grounded until 2020.
Viking cruise ship narrowly misses major maritime disaster
“In Search of the Northern Lights” becomes a PR nightmare for Viking
March 23, 2019 via the Independent
The Viking Sky cruise ship lost [all] power as it sailed toward Stavanger, Norway in heavy seas and wind today. The cruise ship issued a mayday call and many passengers were evacuated from the cruise ship via helicopter as the ship rocked back and forth in stormy weather.
Passengers were reportedly being hoisted by rescue helicopters from the stranded cruise ship as strong winds pushed the ship toward the Hustadvika coast of Norway, which is considered one of the most dangerous parts of the Norwegian coast, with many shipwrecks in this area during rough weather.
“It was very nearly a disaster. The ship drifted to within 100 meters of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines,” stated police chief Hans Vik, who heads the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, according to Reuters. Around 1,300 passengers and crew were originally on the ship.
Update March 24, 2019: According to the Independent, the two year old Viking Sky was sailing on a two-week “In Search of the Northern Lights” voyage. .. Viking Cruises says: Currently we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centers in Norway, with some already having been discharged. Viking Sky will stay in port in Molde [Norway] while repairs are carried out. Her next voyage to Scandinavia…has been cancelled.”
Viking Sky cruise ship engines failed because of low oil levels, maritime official says
The investigation has figured out the reason for the engines shutting down, but that is only half the problem. A mechanical mishap is to be expected now and then, so it is up the Captain and his/her crew to react promptly and efficiently to a failure in order to maintain the safety of the ship. It is a matter of training and knowledge – in this case the Viking crew reacted with the speed of a land tortoise. The crew was pathetically slow pokey in getting those engines back on line. Was this because of a design flaw, or inadequate crew training (or both)? Get back to work Lars.
Update March 27, 2019 via USA Today staff
The Viking Sky cruise ship that had to be evacuated off the coast of Norway over the weekend had low oil levels that led to engine failure, according to the Norwegian Maritime Authority, which has been investigating the incident…to identify why the cruise ship suffered a power blackout Saturday. Lars Alvestad, the head of Norway's Maritime Authority, said Wednesday that low oil levels were the "direct cause" of the engine failure that stranded the Viking Sky on Saturday. The NMA indicated in a press release that while oil in the tanks was relatively low, it was within set limits. But as the ship crossed rocky seas, movement of oil in the tanks triggered an alarm. Norwegian media reported gusts up to 43 mph and waves over 26 feet. "The heavy seas in Hustadvika probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped," Alvestad said. "This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubrication oil, which in turn shortly thereafter caused an automatic shutdown of the engines."
Fire at famed Notre Dame Cathedral
Centuries old wooden roof destroyed
April 16, 2019 via AP staff & HouseClark
Paris, France – The nearly 900-year-old cathedral has endured the French Revolution, Prussian invaders, and the Nazi occupation, but the Paris landmark suffered a truly unlucky day today. As can be seen in the photo below, a huge fire engulfed the roof and the massive spire. City officials say the cause of the fire was an accident by construction workers doing restoration work.
I toured the ND Cathedral in 2016 and will never forget the grandeur of the towering arches and stained glass windows. No worries, the Europeans have medieval building restoration down to a science due to the many, many projects done post-WW2. I’ll bet you one French omelet the basilica will be rebuilt and look better than ever, and safer too, with a fireproof roof. As we approach year end, the French are still squabbling about the new ND design and are wasting time. I have plans to visit France in 2020 and will hop on a train to see the Chartres Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic church in a quaint French town not far from Paris.
28 Dead after River Tour Boat Sinks in Danube River, Hungary
Only 7 people rescued
This story really captured my interest because I had just returned from a Danube riverboat cruise when this story broke. I too, had sailed past the impressive Hungarian Parliament building, under the Margrit Bridge and then returned to our dock in Budapest. Below is a photo I took from the top deck of the Avalon Impression. Do not let this incident scare you away – The Danube river cruise is safe, fun, and filled with scenic areas.
May 30, 2019 via bbnews Staff - BUDAPEST, Hungary – Rescue workers scoured the Danube River in downtown Budapest Thursday for 21 people missing after a sightseeing boat, identified as the Hableany (Mermaid – 89 ft), carrying South Korean tourists sank in a matter of seconds after colliding with a much larger Viking riverboat (440 ft) during an evening cruise. Seven people are confirmed dead and seven were rescued, all of them South Koreans, Hungarian officials said. Police launched a criminal investigation into the incident. Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarian crew members – the captain and his assistant – are reported missing.
The sunken boat was located early Thursday near the Margit Bridge, not far from the neo-Gothic Parliament building on the riverbank. Video displayed by Hungarian police showed the sightseeing boat, traveling closely side by side and in the same direction as the Viking cruise ship as they approached the bridge Wednesday night.
The Hableany then appeared to steer slightly to its left, into the path of the 440+ ft Viking Sigyn cruise ship, which continued to sail on the same course. The two collided and the sightseeing boat was then seen tipping on its side between the bridge’s two supports. “As the Viking comes into contact with (the Hableany), the smaller boat overturns and in about seven seconds, it sinks,” Police Col. Adrian Pal said.
The river, which is 450 meters (500 yards) wide at the point of the accident, was fast-flowing and rising as heavy rain continued in the city. Water temperatures were about 10 to 12 degrees Celsius (50-53 Fahrenheit).
UPDATE – June 12, 2019 AFP — Hungarian rescue teams recovered more bodies on Tuesday as they recovered the sightseeing boat (Hableany) that sank in the river Danube in Budapest last month. Only seven of the 35 people on board survived the accident. The captain of the river cruise boat, the Viking Sigyn, has been arrested by Budapest police on suspicion of “endangering waterborne traffic resulting in multiple deaths”. On Monday the Sigyn was again searched by Hungarian police. According to a popular cruise blog, the captain has been identified as Yurily Chaplinsky from Odessa, Ukraine.
2019 USA tourist death count at Dominican Republic resorts rises to 11
The DR was in the news often this summer – all bad news. They have a major PR wreck. Americans are cancelling trips by the thousands.
July 15, 2019 – via abc7chicago – A Georgia man died in the Dominican Republic in March, the State Department confirmed Friday. ABC News has confirmed 31-year-old Tracy Jerome Jester, Jr., of Forsyth, Georgia, died on March 17. Jester is the 11th American confirmed to have died in the country since June 2018…
June 22, 2019 – By NYPost Staff – Vito Caruso, 56 of NY, died suddenly on June 17 while staying at the Boca Chica Resort in DR. Caruso is among three tourists in the past month and at least 11 in 2019 who died while vacationing in the DR. Dozens more have reported illnesses.
June 17, 2019 – AVENEL, New Jersey. Via 6abc.com – A State Department official confirms the death of another American tourist in the Dominican Republic last week, the ninth to die while on vacation in that country this year. Joseph Allen, 55, of Avenel, New Jersey, was found dead on the floor of his hotel room at Terra Linda in Sosua on the morning of June 13, his sister, Jamie Reed, confirmed to ABC on a phone interview.
Leyla Cox, 53, died June 10 in her hotel room, Excellence Resorts in Punta Cana confirmed to CNN on Sunday. Officials in the Dominican Republic have called the deaths isolated events.
Updated Jun 17 2019 – PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – About half the members of a Jimmy Buffett fan club from Oklahoma who traveled to the Dominican Republic in April got sick, the group’s travel agent confirmed. Dana Flowers, the group’s travel agent, said about 54 out of the 114 visitors who stayed at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana fell ill during the trip.
June 17 2019 – PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – A group of Oklahoma teens’ senior trip to the Dominican Republic was ruined when they fell sick with a mysterious illness. The recent Deer Creek High School graduates flew on June 8 to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, where at least two Americans have died and others have fallen ill this year.
June 2019 – A couple more unrelated yet disturbing incidents; a Delaware woman claims she was beaten senseless by a man on the Punta Cuna staff, and retired MLB star David Ortiz was shot and wounded Sunday at a club in the Dominican Republic, reports said. Ortiz is in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.
Company will superimpose your photo into fake vacation destinations
If you are one of the many thousands of Americans who canceled their DR vacation, then I suggest you consider using this company’s services. This is also perfect for the Facebook posers who absolutely love posting bullshitty photos.
April 24th, 2019 via 6abc Staff
You’ve heard of stay-cations, but how about fake-cations? A business called Fake a Vacation is allowing people to do just that. The Nebraska-based company will superimpose pictures of you on backdrops of Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, and other popular places. The company says people do it because they want to make their social media accounts look like they’re leading way more interesting lives. Some do it because their actual vacation was canceled. It may seem silly, but one survey of 4,000 people found 10 percent had posted fake vacation pictures. Now, there is a 72-hour turnaround on the Fake a Vacation website. It also costs money, anywhere from $17 to $80. Below are some ads from the website.
Floatplanes carrying cruise ship passengers on sightseeing trips collide in midair near Ketchikan, Alaska – 6 Killed
Talk about it being your unlucky day. Maybe certain attractions are just too popular. Alaska has suffered a rash of small plane crashes and is in the process of revamping and improving the local air control systems.
Updated: May 14, 2019 via Anchorage Daily News Staff
Six people died when two floatplanes carrying passengers from the same cruise ship collided in midair over George Inlet near Ketchikan. A total of 16 people were on the two planes and 10 people were rescued, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said… All Fourteen of the passengers involved [in the mid-air collision] came off the Royal Princess, a Carnival Corp megaship on its inaugural Alaska cruise.
Eleven climbers have died this season on Mount Everest
Overcrowding a factor as human traffic jams form near summit
May 27, 2019 via kdvr.com Fox 31 news
Boulder, Colorado attorney Christopher Kulish, 62, picked an expensive way to die. He was found dead near the 29,035 foot summit on Monday. This follows three climbers that died after summiting the world’s tallest mountain last Thursday. That makes eleven fatalities on the famed Himalayan mountain this season, including American Donald Lynn Cash, 55, from Utah, who collapsed from altitude sickness on his way down the mountain last week.
Also this week, Indian climber Anjali Kulkarni, 55, died on her journey back down last Thursday. Her son told CNN that she became stuck in the “traffic jam” above Camp 4 (the final camp before the summit at 26,247 feet). And a climber with Swiss outfitter Kobler was the third fatality that day, also dying while descending the mountain.
Crowds are believed to have contributed to several of these recent deaths, as the congestion leaves climbers exposed longer to the dangerous wind, cold and lack of oxygen at the highest natural point in the world. (In fact, so many people have been climbing that piles of garbage and human waste are becoming an issue.)
Raja Gupta took one of the several viral photos showing a long line of climbers winding along the ridge up to the Everest summit. He wrote on Facebook that he was among roughly 320 people attempting the “summit push” last Wednesday. "It was very crowded," Gupta said. "I have guided trips for five years, and I've never seen such a year. We lost about three hours waiting at the most difficult part of the rock." Climbers call the area above 26,000 feet the "death zone," because the air is so thin that supplemental oxygen is critical. "And that's very dangerous if you run out of oxygen, you can die within a couple of hours," Gupta explained.
More than 200 people have died on Mount Everest’s peak since 1922. And due in part to the difficulty and expense of retrieval, most bodies are left on the mountain, and are believed to be buried beneath the snow.
American Airlines mechanic charged with aircraft sabotage
Thank God for security cameras. Due to several bad business decisions, I expect American Airlines to be the next major carrier to fail.
September 6, 2019 via Yahoo news
New York (AFP) - An American Airlines mechanic on Friday was due to appear in court on charges he tampered with an aircraft over stalled union negotiations that he said harmed him financially. US prosecutors have charged Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani with interfering with part of an aircraft fight data system, causing the grounding of a July flight from Miami to the Bahamas, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Miami. Alani is due to appear before a judge later Friday. The maximum possible penalty for the violation is 20 years in jail, said a spokeswoman for the US Attorney's Office in Miami.
The plane carrying 150 passengers and crew was taken out of service before takeoff due to an error in the air data module system. Alani was identified in surveillance footage as having entered the aircraft earlier in the morning. Alani admitted to the FBI that he had inserted a piece of foam into the ADM inlet and applied super glue to prevent the foam from coming off, according to an FBI affidavit...
Bail denied in aircraft sabotage case
American Airlines mechanic suspected of being sympathetic with Islamic terrorists
Update September 18, 2019 via APnews.com
MIAMI (AP) — A mechanic accused of sabotaging an American Airlines jetliner had expressed a desire for Allah to hurt non-Muslims, stored violent Islamic State videos on his cellphone and has a brother in Iraq involved with the extremist group ISIS, according to new evidence unveiled at his bail hearing Wednesday.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris McAliley cited those revelations from prosecutors in ordering pretrial detention for Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani at the hearing in Miami federal court. Alani is accused of disabling a critical navigation component on the Boeing 737, which had 150 passengers and crew aboard.
Other evidence revealed Wednesday including that Alani recently sent a $700 wire transfer to someone in Iraq — where he has extended family — and that he traveled to Iraq in March but did not disclose that to authorities after his arrest.
Alani also previously worked for Alaska Airlines. Business Insider reported that Alani worked for both American and Alaska from 1998 until 2008. He was fired from Alaska Airlines following a series of maintenance mistakes, and Alani was also accused of clocking into both jobs at the same time.
Chinese Woman Admits to Running a ‘Birth Tourism’ Scheme
How did she get caught? No mention in the article. Allow me to explain (hint- read the last paragraph). She got too flashy and greedy- someone in the know got jealous and tipped off the feds.
September 17, 2019 via ktla5 staff
Los Angeles - A Chinese woman living in Irvine, California pleaded guilty Tuesday to running a business that charged pregnant Chinese women upwards of $40,000 for coaching on getting into the U.S. to give birth and secure American citizenship for their children. Dongyuan Li, 41, is the first to be convicted in the broad scheme in which 19 others are also accused, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Santa Ana said.
Li (see photo at left) admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and one count of visa fraud, prosecutors said. Within two years, Li's firm - You Win USA Vacation Services — based in Orange County — was able to rake in millions by catering to wealthy pregnant women and Chinese government officials, instructing them on how to circumvent visa requirements and avoid detection, according to the federal indictment.
The so-called "birth tourism" scheme charged each client between $40,000 and $80,000, and the expectant mothers would be lodged in one of 20 apartments around Irvine that Li controlled, authorities said. Prosecutors say You Win claimed to have served more than 500 customers, and Li received $3 million in international wire transfers over the course of the scheme.
To get into the U.S., the company allegedly told clients to provide false information on visa applications and to immigration agents. Li also admitted to coaching customers on how to pass their consulate interview, including lying about how long they planned to stay in America, officials said. Customers would book two flights, stopping in Hawaii before continuing to Los Angeles, because the company thought clearing customs would be easier on the island, according to the plea agreement. Authorities say the women were also taught to conceal their pregnancies while traveling.
In entering her plea, Li agreed to forfeit more than $850,000, a Murrieta residence worth more than $500,000 and several Mercedes-Benz vehicles, officials said. Li is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 16, when she'll face a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
Giant Tapestry immortalizes ‘Game of Thrones'
I plan to visit France in 2020 and catch this exhibit while in Bayeux
September 20, 2019 via NYpost.com
BAYEUX, France — Fans who have flocked in their thousands to see the embroidered artwork are giving it a thumbs-up…At 87 meters (285 feet), the tapestry is longer than the width of a soccer field and longer than the famous 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry that recounts the Norman invasion of England in 1066. That tapestry served as an inspiration for the “Game of Thrones” (GOT) lookalike.
Obvious parallels between the two tapestries include the embroidery styles, colors and structures. Both are divided into three segments, with their central storylines running through the middle bordered by smaller panels displaying motifs like winged beasts or weaponry. The two works evoke similar themes of violent conquest and feudal loyalties.
The Bayeux Tapestry is thought to have been commissioned by William the Conqueror’s brother. It tells the story of William’s conquest of England with vivid scenes of battle and palace intrigue. It attracts nearly 400,000 visitors annually and Bayeux officials hope the “Game of Thrones” exhibit will grow that number.
The tapestry begins with fictional King Robert Baratheon visiting the Stark family in Winterfell and ends with the final scenes from the eighth and last season. It took a 30-strong team of volunteer embroiderers in Northern Ireland nearly four months to stitch the tapestry in 2017, adding final scenes after “Games of Thrones” finished airing in May… Scenes depicting Daenerys Targaryen with her dragons, and Jaime Lannister getting his hand chopped off have proved particularly popular with the exhibit visitors.
For your convenience, I inserted a GOT character guide - see below.
UK's Thomas Cook Collapses After Rescue Talks Fail - 150,000+ Travelers Stranded
Beware of this outfit. It will go into receivership and continue to operate, probably under a new brand.
September 23, 2019 via ZH
Becoming the latest European travel company to fail and leave its customers stranded, 178-year-old Thomas Cook collapsed [into bankruptcy] after failing to secure a deal with its creditors, leaving the British government to step in and rescue the as many as 150,000 customers who are reportedly now looking for a ride home.
Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser apologized to customers "following a decision of the board late last night, a British government receiver has been appointed early this morning...we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business...I know that this outcome will cause a lot of anxiety, stress and disruption." The company, weighed down by debt, said Friday that it was looking for $369 million in financing over the weekend to avoid going under on Monday. [The deal failed to happen.] All bookings made through the company have been invalidated, the company said [nobody knows exactly the number of cancelations – could be as high as 500,000]. Thomas Cook typically runs hotels, resorts, airlines and cruises for 19 million customers a year in 16 countries.
Sex assaults on cruise ships up 67% this summer
Beware the toxic combination of alcohol + seawater
November 30, 2019 via NYPost Staff -- Cruise liners experienced an unprecedented crime wave this summer, with 35 sex assaults, two disappearances and five thefts of $10,000-plus reported to the FBI during the third quarter of this year. Sex assaults were by far the most frequently reported crime. In 2019, cruise ship chaos has become viral social media moments and major national news stories — from tragedies like the July death of an Indiana toddler whose grandfather accidentally dropped her into the Caribbean, to violence and plain stupidity, like the woman caught balancing on the edge of a Royal Caribbean boat’s balcony in October while posing for Instagram.
Note: The [cruise line] companies are required by the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act to report alleged homicides, suspicious deaths, missing persons, assaults, theft over $10,000, and incidents of people tampering with the ship to the FBI. There were no homicides and no suspicious deaths reported in 2019.
Carnival Cruises, the world’s largest cruise company, reported the most incidents with 28, including 20 sex assaults; two missing people; two serious assaults and two thefts. That marks a 47 percent uptick from the same quarter last year, when there were 19 reported Carnival incidents. The two missing persons were “intentional man over boards” [suicides] who couldn’t be saved, Carnival claimed. In addition to Royal Caribbean and Carnival, Norwegian, Disney, Celebrity and MSC Cruises also reported incidents during the reporting period (see bar graph below).
Community leader shot to death during armed robbery in Midtown Memphis
Jack Hammer, Crime Reporter – I hate to say it, but sometimes killers really do get away with murder. This case is getting cold. I hope the police can get a lead.
Memphis, Tenn. June 8, 2019 via wreg.com
Victim ID is Glenn Cofield, 57. Cofield was a financial advisor for Barnes Pettey, on the board of directors at Paragon Bank and a deacon at Independent Presbyterian Church. He was also a past President of Carnival Memphis, member of the FedEx St. Jude Golf Tournament Committee, and a board member of the Institute of Management Accountants.
Update – June 11: A $26k Reward has been offered to catch the killer, a young black male (see police composite sketch below).
Suspect in I-40 Triple shooting killed by Police
Jack Hammer, Crime Reporter – Another Manhunt ends in perfect fashion, and justice is served. Don’t tell me we have a “gun problem”; American has a “felon in possession of a firearm” crisis.
October 17, 2019 via news3
MEMPHIS, Tenn. —The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has identified the deceased person following a deputy-involved shooting early Wednesday morning. The suspect was identified by a TBI spokesperson as Keyshon Parham [mugshot below], who was wanted on multiple felony warrants. One of those was issued just last week by the Memphis Police Department following a car-to-car triple shooting on I-40 on October 9.
Early Wednesday morning law enforcement officers were executing an arrest warrant when Parham fled through another exit. A chase ensued. At some point, two law enforcement officers fired their weapons and Parham was shot and killed. A deputy who did not fire his weapon was also shot in the leg and rushed to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
WREG news 3 discovered Parham has been arrested multiple times for various driving offenses, theft and assault. Back in March Memphis Police released surveillance video taken at a southeast Memphis gas station of a black male stealing a car. Records show officers connected Parham to the crime after receiving a tip and when they showed up to his listed address they found the car’s key in his pocket.
Manhunt underway in the shooting of Chicago police officer
Felon in possession of a firearm
Jack Hammer, Crime Reporter – Updated Sept 22 – Despite being wounded several times, Blackman remained at large for several hours after shooting a Police officer on Saturday morning… Authorities later identified private surveillance video following his movements, and tracked the wounded fugitive to a rail yard where he was arrested.
September 21, 2019 via abc7chicago
Chicago - A Chicago police officer who was shot Saturday morning in West Englewood is recovering from surgery in a local hospital. [The wounded officer is in serious yet stable condition]. He was shot while officers… were serving a warrant at a home near 65th Street and Winchester. The warrant was for Michael Blackman [see mugshot below] accused of a random shooting of a woman… in the Fulton River District on Wednesday.
"When the fugitive unit went to knock on the door, he heard the knocks and ran out the back and that's when he ran into the officer and his partner [covering the rear exit]," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Authorities are actively searching for Blackman who is considered armed and dangerous. The wounded officer along with his partner, were able to return fire, but it's not known if Blackman was injured in the exchange of gunshots, according to police.
Blackman has an extensive arrest history dating back to 1991. His charges include from burglary, battery domestic battery, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, driving on a suspended license criminal possession of a controlled substance. "We think that he shot the young lady Wednesday, now today he shot a police officer so obviously this is a person that shouldn't be walking around the streets of Chicago," said Supt. Johnson [No shit, Sherlock!].
The killer was free on probation instead of in Jail
Jack Hammer, Crime Reporter – This pair of Mass Shooters do not fit the pathology of the FBI Mass (or Active) Shooter profile. The shooting may have stemmed from an argument that occurred inside the bar hours earlier, police said. A bartender, Jose Valdez, said the problem started when he refused to serve a man who'd caused problems months earlier. The man threw a glass at him and was thrown out of the club, Valdez said. A few hours later that man and a second man came through the back door armed with pistols and began shooting, he said. Sadly this is the new normal in rough bars across the country – arguments escalating into late night gun fights. If a person keeps his/her wits, they know better than to be caught in these dangerous bar/clubs. This event is also another example of the shambolic American Legal system – pokey, porous, and pathetic.
October 10, 2019 via Fox4kc
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Both suspects in the October 6 Tequila KC Bar shooting that killed four people and injured five others were scheduled to be in court today. The two were both awaiting court dates scheduled for Oct. 10 for other cases when the shooting happened. Javier Alatorre, who is in custody, was indicted for possession of a controlled substance. He also has other court cases involving stolen cars and a robbery.
Police are still looking for Hugo Villanueva-Morales, the second suspect. He has served time before, and he pleaded guilty to trafficking contraband while in custody at Leavenworth Prison. The Leavenworth County Prosecutor asked that Villanueva-Morales serve nine years, but a judge gave him two years probation. He was still on probation when the Tequila KC bar shooting happened. On Thursday, a Leavenworth judge issued an additional warrant for his arrest because he didn't show up for court at a hearing to revoke his probation. "We asked for a prison sentence… Instead, he’s still doing crime." Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County Attorney said.
Man arrested after using social media to set up, rob & murder 18-year-old
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – Take my advice and beware of those online Lonely Hearts Clubs. Criminals are baiting victims into a trap using cell phone apps and online dating sites. This is part of a new development that I labeled Techno-Crime. The murder occurred on September 2, 2019, so this manhunt took roughly two weeks to trace the electronic trail and ID the killer.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019 via abc3memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man who was wanted on first-degree murder charges was captured Tuesday after police say he set up, robbed and killed an 18-year-old earlier this month. Talas Bonds [see mugshot at left] was arrested after giving police a foot chase… Police say Bonds robbed and murdered 18-year-old Jack Luibel [white male] on Sept. 2 on Clifton Avenue in Frayser. According to court records, Luibel drove to an abandoned house to meet with someone, who he thought was a girl, who he met on a texting app, Text Now.
When Luibel got to the house, he was shot and robbed. Police found him unresponsive at the scene. After securing search warrants, police were able to trace communication between the victim and the suspect with the app, which lead them to Bonds on Tuesday. Police said Bonds admitted to his role in the crime. In addition to this first-degree murder in perpetration of robbery charge, Bonds was also already wanted on aggravated robbery charges.
Fugitive wanted for shooting Virginia police officer killed in shootout with U.S. Marshals in Morgantown, W.Va
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – When old school U.S. Marshals (think Raylan Givens, Justified) are gunning for you, I suggest you surrender and take your chances in the shambolic American legal system. You always have the chance of getting a shitlib judge. But obviously Donquale has a low IQ and thought he could outshoot a couple of well-trained gun fighters. He won’t be missed.
Mar 7, 2019 via wtkr.com & WTVR
The man wanted for shooting a Virginia police officer was killed during a shootout with U.S. Marshals on Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement sources confirm to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Donquale Maurice Gray, 25, was killed in Morgantown, West Virginia after firing at law officers who were trying to apprehend him.
According to WTVR, the incident started after officers responded to a report of shots fired and an armed fugitive in the area of Falling Run Road and College Avenue. Police say the suspect, armed with a handgun, fired shots at Marshals during a foot pursuit. At least one U.S. Marshal returned fire at Gray, who was found dead at the scene.
Gray was wanted by the Virginia State Police for attempted capital murder of a police officer after he shot a police officer on February 16 in Bluefield, Virginia during a routine traffic stop.
The wounded officer suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries. A manhunt for Gray led to a $25,000 reward for information which led to his apprehension [dead or alive].
Suspect arrested for murder of Black History Museum founder
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – The irresistible fantasy of the SJWs is the Hate Crime Wave of whites targeting blacks. This rarely happens in America. In fact, the reverse is more common with blacks targeting whites in armed robbery, home invasions and carjacking. Black on black murders are a dismal fact of life in urban America. Take, for instance, the homicide of Sadie Roberts.
July 16, 2019 via NYPost
Baton Rouge, LA - Sadie Roberts-Joseph, the founder of Baton Rouge’s Black History museum, was found dead in the trunk of her car on July 13, 2019, and instantly rumors of a “hate crime” were suggested. Al Sharpton and the BLM gang began sharpening their switchblades and preparing plans for protests, but days later a black male suspect, Ronn Bell, was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The police said that Sadie was choked to death, and the evidence led to Bell, an ex-con with an extensive criminal record.
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – This is the “feel good” story of the year, so far, encompassing an underdog and pure bravery, with a good-guys-win ending. Come on, Jataveon, you really thought hiding out at your Mother’s house was going to work out? IQ70.
June 16, 2019 / Updated June 17, 2019
via abc11 Staff
An 11-year-old North Carolina boy fought off a home invader with a machete, sending the thief to the hospital, where he was supposed to be monitored until police could take him into custody, but he walked out, sparking a two-day manhunt.
Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, [mugshot at left] is accused of breaking into a Mebane house Friday afternoon and stuffing an 11-year-old boy into a closet in an effort to steal electronics, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. But the boy was able to escape from the closet and hit the thief over the head with a machete.
Sheriff's deputies responded to the home, got a description of Hall from the boy, and started sharing it with area hospitals so they could be on the lookout. They got a call at about 1 p.m. that Hall had walked into a local hospital with a head wound.
The sheriff's office obtained warrants for breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child under 12, and instructed hospital staff to call deputies before discharging Hall…
On Saturday morning, a deputy called UNC-Chapel Hill to check on Hall. He was later told that the suspect had left the hospital "against medical advice," according to the sheriff's office. He had told a nurse that "he needed to leave because the police were going to be looking for him." The hospital [UNC Chapel Hill] did not respond to a request for comment [on the case].
The sheriff's office asked the public to look for a man with a bandaged head, wearing a hospital gown and blue socks. Police received a tip Sunday afternoon that Hall was at his mother's house in Burlington, and that's where he was found and arrested…
11-year-old Braydon Smith told CNN affiliate WTVD, … "It went by really fast and I knew that I didn't have any time to think about what I was going to do. So as soon as I had the chance, I grabbed the machete and struck him.”
Sheriff Charles Blackwood said. “Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case. This is a very tough kid who kept his wits about him “…
Hall is being held at the Orange County Detention Center on $100,000 bond. He is due in court Monday afternoon.