Mobile, Ala. Is the Newest Location on The First 48

Not only are they playing new episodes of The First 48, they’re in a new city. Thursday’s episode (August 4) was in Mobile, Ala. Since I’ve seen every episode, I don’t think they’ve ever been in Mobile, or I would have remembered the fact that Mobile is the city with the oldest Mardi Gras.

Mobile, is a very intriguing city, with talented and interesting homicide detectives (and they all seem to have a sense of humor). Their motto, or at least the one on their coffee cups is “Homicide, our day begins when your’s ends.”

The one that really had me laughing was the one that was spoken three minutes into the show by Det. Julius Nettles, “if we’re not eating as a unit, we’re not eating.”

The other interesting thing I noticed about Mobile, and it could just have been the case they were working, or this particular murder victim, but when the detectives were looking for witnesses, I never once heard, “I didn’t see anything,” or I don’t know nothing,” I didn’t hear nothing.” Mobile citizens were calling the police to give them information.

With the information from the community and armed with what they find on Facebook – yes, Facebook, they track one of the killers down in the first 16 hours.

What follows is nothing short of hysterical. Just when they’re going to call it a day, a tip comes in about where their suspect is and they find him hiding at his grandmother’s house. They finally convince her to come to the door, she continually denies that he’s even in the house, yet he can be seen through the windows. They get her out of the house, they go in and get him. Now they stay at the house while they wait for a search warrant, and poor grandma has to sit in her front yard while all this goes on.

Once the criminal is in the interrogation room it starts at “I didn’t kill anyone,” to “It was just a robbery,” and when they get sick of hearing that, Det. Nettles shames the guy into crying. But the guy’s only crying because he knows he’s caught and he doesn’t know what to do or say to get out of it. What a wimpy, cry baby little twerp. Hardly worth time and trouble. When he finally calms down and says he want to talk, he says “Zebbie killed him.”

They hit the streets to find Zebbie, but they don’t. So, it’s finally time to eat. Back at the station, they hear from a relative of Zebbie’s, and get him in custody.

This episode ends with Zebbie also going into custody for the murder.

A different city with homicide detectives who get the job done. Three out of every four homicides in Mobile get solved. Higher than the national average.

Recently I heard that the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, may be considering a run for President in the near future. I wonder if he’ll use Facebook crime statistics as a part of his platform.

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Criminal Minds – Derek – Stars Danny Glover

The latest episode of Criminal Minds is a study in mind control and how in the face of adversity, you can use disassociation to “save” yourself.

Derek

“Derek” — When Morgan is abducted, the BAU scrambles to find him and save his life. Legendary actor Danny Glover guest stars as Morgan’s father, Hank. Credit: Trae Patton/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

At the end of the previous episode, Derek Morgan is kidnapped just as he reaches home. He’s on the phone with his girlfriend, Savannah, and she’s about to tell him some good news when he is attacked.

Derek, the episode which aired Wednesday, March 2, picks up with Derek being unloaded from crates, and strapped to beams via cables. A team of six men in an isolated location stands by taking orders from a man leading the show.

When the leader orders them to “wake him,” they realize Derek is awake but is disassociating himself from the pain that is about to be inflicted on him. After two similar dreams, one involving children, the other involving the team, but ending with Danny Glover sitting in his dining room, Derek’s torture begins with some body shots and his conversation with Danny Glover begins in earnest.

He needs a hint to find out who he is, discovers it’s his Dad, and with the encouragement of his Dad, begins a cognitive interview on himself to discover who and why he’s in this predicament and how he’s going to get out of it.

His next torture is nasty – some kind of flammable gel is applied down the center of his chest and lit, and when that doesn’t phase him to the delight of the leader he orders Derek to be stripped. They cut him loose and as he falls to the ground and his shirt is cut off, Derek makes his break, grabbing one of the guys as a shield and begins shooting at the rest, killing and/or wounding all of them.

Meanwhile Garcia and JJ take Savannah home to pack a bag and do some cyber scouting and Garcia discovers an Intranet in their wireless router. It opens up a page about the CIA which causes JJ to get on the phone immediately to a contact of hers.

While searching for a cell phone on one of the six, now assumed dead, Derek finds one, but it displays “No Signal.” He finds an interesting tattoo and discovers the leader is still alive and encourages him to talk, but all he does is mutter name and serial number gibberish. He realizes he isolated and has no way of contacting anyone to help him.

He and his Dad are now standing next to a body of water, and Derek asks him “why are here?” His father says, “you created this space in your head when you were 15.” “I don’t want to talk about what happened when I was 15,” Derek tells him. Dad tells him he’s very proud of him, which floors Derek. “Proud!” “Yes, Derek,” his Dad says, “Proud you turned your pain into your greatest asset.”

Soon Penelope shows up in his dissassociated state, teetering around in heels among the grass and dirt with a furry halo wired to her, appealing to Derek for help so she can do something to find him. Nothing comes to him immediately, but he remembers the tattoo and in the real world, JJ has returned to headquarters with a picture of a six man team that hires itself out to the highest bidder. Hotch tells Garcia to focus in on the tattoo and they have a clue.

Is this a Walking Dead episode?!?…. no but Derek has heard one of the survivors talking on a satellite phone and when he tries to get it away from him the guy swallows the sim card and Derek’s only option is to gut the guy with a knife and get the card …. which he does. When he gets the phone working it says “enter password” and he proceeds to throw a temper tantrum and just like our friend Garcia his Dad says “let me know when you’re done throwing your temper tantrum” and continues smoking his cigar.

Derek calms himself and says, “okay Dad. Hey is that a Dominican? At work we had this Day of the Dead thing and I left it for you,” and Danny Glover takes a puff and says, “well, I got it.”

Still he’s really stressed as he plays with the phone, his only chance and his fear takes over and briefly they show the aftermath of his death … his photo up on the FBI wall, his team solemnly standing in front of it. As he continues to play with the phone he finds the redial screen and with his Dad talking him through it, he redials the first number ….

Which gets Garcia incredibly excited hoping someone answers it, and someone does, sending everything into motion …. Morgan talking to the man who had him kidnapped, the team heading out to rescue him on helicopters, Garcia going to tell Savannah they know where he is and they’re going to get him.

So the guy shows up and tries to finish the job. Kicks Derek down, takes the knife away and stabs him in the hand. Derek is calling to his Dad, wondering where he is, and Derek plays a little possum so Reed can sneak in the front door and shoot the guy.

But it doesn’t end there. Derek is rescued. So go check OnDemand and watch it for yourself. You’ll really enjoy Danny Glover’s performance as Derek Morgan’s dad.

Thomas Gibson (Hotch) directs this episode.

 

 

Indulging in New Major Crimes Episodes?

For the first time ever the five winter episodes are one continuous story line, and after seeing the first two, it’s playing like an impeccably acted mini-series.

It begins with a young woman and her infant son getting killed while driving through LA in the wrong colored car threw rival gang territories. When Major Crimes shows up, they discover that some of the shots are so close to the car, there’s powder residue around the holes. They also find packaged heroin and lots of cash hidden in the car.

When the shell casings Amy Sykes takes to ballistics for analyzing uncovers 12-year old wounds from a missing uzi, Sykes is forced to make the acquaintance with a disgraced LAPD detective for some inside information (Mark Hickman).

In the meantime, Rusty catches Gary following him and discovers that his mom has rehabilitated herself right out of custody and into an apartment and a program. But he’s afraid if he goes to see her, Gary will just follow him there so he and Gus concoct a high tech way of communicating with her using Talk Chat on Gus’s cell phone.

MAJOR CRIMES

Jason Gedrick plays Mark Hickman. Credit: Doug Hyun

By the time the second episode has begun, they’ve discovered the missing uzi in the pulpit of a church that is run by one of the suspects of the 12-year old crime and Mark Hickman has been invited down to the squad for some face time.

Though he does keep his secret liaisons with Sykes quiet, he’s not so silent with his contempt for almost everyone else in the squad: Captain Raydor originally fired him; he asks Andy Flynn if he’s still cheating on his girlfriends, causing Capt. Raydor’s eyes to fly open; and of course he has a lot to say to Lt. Tao, because he was his (Hickman’s) old partner.

By the end of the second episode, their only witness, Emile Fisher is dead, and they still don’t know his connection to the girl who was killed in the car, even though she was calling his cell phone.

So either clear your Monday nights or set your DVRs, or learn how to use your OnDemand, because you won’t want to miss the winter episodes (3 to go) of Major Crimes, on TNT at 8pm CT.

If  you haven’t heard, TNT has cancelled Rizzoli & Isles. It will end after a shortened season this summer.

Two New Dead Again Episodes – Why a DVR Is So Handy

Joe Schillaci, Kevin Gannon and Michele Wood are on new cases. © AETV 2014

Joe Schillaci, Kevin Gannon and Michele Wood are on new cases. © AETV 2014

If you own a DVR and really use it to it’s full potential, then you should be able to skip the first couple of paragraphs of this post. I left to go shopping this morning and was completely unaware that Dead Again, one of my new favorites on A&E was coming on with not one, but two new episodes.

Which is where my DVR comes in. Since I have it set to record all “new” episodes of Dead Again, I came again home several hours later, unpacked my groceries, walked my dog, and sat down wondering what I was going to watch on TV.

When I pressed my Play List button, I was overjoyed to find at the very top of the list, a folder entitled Dead Again with two new episodes in it – the case of Margo Prade and the murder of millionaire William McLaughlin.

With these two particular episodes I was one-for-one. I remember the case of Margo Prade, vividly. I’ve seen at least three different television shows on this particular murder, but because Dead Again is so unique, is done so differently, and the real names of the people involved aren’t revealed until the very end, I wasn’t exactly sure it was the Prade case until the last 7 minutes or so.

The second episode, the murder of William McLaughlin, I wasn’t familiar with at all, but when I googled his name, I noticed there was extensive coverage of the murder trials of both suspects that are currently serving time in prison.

One of the biggest enjoyments I get from Dead Again is the affirmation of my own opinions on cases they’ve reexamined. Most recently the Prade case. Last season there were two cases they had a go at that reaffirmed my opinions.

So what’s my advice – if you don’t want to miss any of this season’s Dead Again, you should learn how to operate your DVR.

 

 

 

From 1st Degree to 2nd Degree in 60 Minutes in the First 48 Hours

I’ve seen every episode of The First 48 Hours on A&E. Every once in a while I’ll catch one that I think I’ve never seen and then as it continues, I realize, nope, seen it.

So when a new season starts and they’re in a new city, I really get excited. This new season they’ve branched out into Atlanta (though they’ve been there before) and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The first few episodes they were … well … not that exciting. Actually, they’ve been boring up until now.

But this past episode, which aired Thursday, Feb. 26, has brought Tulsa into it’s own. First let me just say that I had no idea that Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) had a much younger brother working in law enforcement and living in Tulsa.

Corporal Nathan Schilling © AETV

Corporal Nathan Schilling © AETV

More on that later. When a car heist goes wrong and a “Stray Shot” kills the car owner, Corporal Nathan Schilling is up next in the rotation to solve the homicide.

On the scene to help is Det. John Brown and Sgt. Dave Walker. Solving a homicide is definitely team work and having a sense of humor must be an important asset, because I can’t ever remember hearing a man ask another man (much less a cop ask another cop) “do these pants make my ass look fat?”

Or maybe it’s just Det. Brown with the sense of humor. Upon leaving the parking garage it’s “exiting the bat cave.” And when he’s searching a 16-year old suspect he’s looking for “guns or bazookas.”

Detective John Brown © AETV

Detective John Brown © AETV

Even when he’s looking at the ammunition from the handgun to see if it’s the same type from the homicide he’s cracking wise about “he’s the oldest guy in here.” To which one of the other detectives brings him a magnifying glass 5 times the size of the one used by Sherlock Holmes.

With the 16-year old suspect in custody and the gun confirmed as the murder weapon the case is on track and now The Rock’s younger brother can go to work. Head of the Fugitive Warrant Squad, Sgt. Luke Sherman has a profile that would have any woman believing he’s Dwayne Johnson’s baby brother.

I’d show you ladies a picture but A&E doesn’t have one posted with the rest of the “Meet the Officers” photos.

Once they have a majority of the underage suspects in custody and interview them, they have a clearer picture of exactly how the homicide went down and exactly who the killer is. And after searching for him (who is not underage), but not finding him, he eventually turns himself in.

From the very start of the interview he denies involvement … “I was home that night.” I wanted to reach into the TV and smack him in the back of his head.

Sgt. Dave Walker ©AETV

Sgt. Dave Walker ©AETV

We’ve heard every one of the suspects say he was the one who had the gun and did the shooting. Sgt. Walker and Corporal Schilling tell him that as well. They tell him this is his opportunity to tell his side of the story.

Sgt. Walker gets frustrated … angry … pissed off … or is it just a ploy and exits the room and leaves Corporal Schilling in the room with the suspect. Which works and the suspect opens up and admits that the shooting was an accident. He didn’t mean to shoot anyone.

Which brings it from first degree murder to second degree murder, giving all of them some possibility of a life after serving their sentences.

Don’t take me for one of those bleeding hearts – they definitely deserve to go to jail. But as Corporal Schilling said, the victim lost his life and a bunch of families are going to lose their children. Their are a lot of victims of crime, on both sides of the table.

The officers who fight it see the devastation on all levels.

 

 

 

 

A Wolf Films/44 Blue Show – Nightwatch – Is Worth a Watch on A&E!

An average of forty-two calls an hour; as many as 1,000 calls a night. No matter how you say it, New Orleans gets a helluva lot of police, fire and EMS calls in a 24-hour period. A&E has a new show on Thursday, following one of my favorites (The First 48) that comes on at 9pm CST entitled Nightwatch. It’s a Wolf Films (yes, follow along here, a Dick Wolf Production: Law & Orders) that follows the police, fire and EMS squads of New Orleans as they go about their nightly … business.

Let me be perfectly clear, it’s not Cops; it’s not even anything like Cops. It is a reality show but it will certainly keep your ass in your chair so I suggest you set your DVR so you don’t miss a single moment.

It’s no secret that New Orleans is one of the cities that The First 48 added to it’s roster in 2013. I was in New Orleans in December 2013 and was pleasantly surprised when I settled in my hotel room to watch my favorite show (The First 48) and that particular episode took place in New Orleans.

But I’m not writing this to tell you about my last vacation. This is a show you should definitely check out because you will be rewarded with an insight into modern police work, dedicated and knowledgeable EMS workers who you hope (or not) you meet one day, and firefighters who save a cat from an arson started burning house and actually have oxygen masks on board their truck that are meant for animals. (Yes, the cat makes it.)

Holly of the team Gavin & Holly, closes the door of the ambulance. © A&ETV.

Holly of the team Gavin & Holly, closes the door of the ambulance. © A&ETV.

EMSers Gavin and Holly and Titus and Dan start work at 8pm. Gavin is an iceberg. I have never seen anyone so cool; even when he’s dealing with a lying doper and delivers a dose of Narcan to a man in the back of his ambulance while his partner Holly drives.

Titus and Dan, the other well matched pair of EMSers, assist with some calls, but also answer their own. A man has congestive heart failure and can’t breathe. Of all the calls they’re sent to, one particular address gives Dan a deja vu and as they go in, he recalls the patient and talks to him like an old friend.

Victor and Cedric of the NOPD in the meantime are “wolfpackin'” in an attempt to find the shooters who gunned down Anthony, the first case the EMSers responded to in this episode.

Over at Firehouse SQURT 27, dinner is being made and Chief Terence is impatient. An alarm goes off and everything is dropped for a residential fire call.  An arson job.

Just as Gavin and Holly get ready to leave Tulane University Emergency they’re called back to the neighborhood where Anthony, their first call, was shot. Retaliation shots have been fired and members of the neighborhood have suffered. They bring an elderly lady in with three gunshot wounds.

NOPD continues their wolfpackin’ strategy in an attempt to catch the shooters. Driving in a pack, patrolling the streets in the area where the shooting took place, checking out foot traffic, hoping the shooters get nervous and make a mistake. Around 12:30pm that’s exactly what happens and they recover two guns, the magazines and some pills.

“Cousins” Titus and Dan stop off at SQURT 27 just in time for dinner. It’s way after 1am and Chef/Capt Kevin has finally put dinner on the table. As they laugh and eat and compliment the cook, Titus makes a joke about them being the kind of cousins “you let ’em on the porch but not in the house.” (I use to have a boyfriend like that.)

Yes, there is some humor, yes there is plenty of drama. At the end of this particular episode, there is a great deal of sadness, and a good deal of truth. Even when Gavin and Holly’s shift is finally over and they stop for a coffee, they still cannot let it go. A citizen tells them there’s someone over at Jackson Square having a seizure.

Turns out it’s just someone who’s overpartied. That happens a lot in New Orleans. I wonder if Nightwatch is going to have a Mardi Gras episode (or two).

Dead Again – Winner … Joe Schillaci – Alive & Kicking

I admit, I have been more than pissed at A&E for dumping Longmire and insulting my intelligence with Love Prison. I mean I watch and write about TV for a living. I understand demograpics. I’m in the demographic range that they no longer want anything to do with.

But how many 18-49 year olds do you know are buying expensive cars and saving for retirement? I’m quite sure Longmire will land on it’s feet where it will be more than appreciated and bring its 5.7 million fans* with it.

But there are shows on A&E that I’ve been watching since Day 1. The First 48 is one of those. From Miami to Memphis to Birmingham to New Orleans to Dallas and Harris County, I’ve seen them all. I own both “Best of the First 48” DVDs. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. I’m a very loyal fan and I bet the demographic category I fall in is too.

Joe Schillaci has always been one of my favorites. He openly admitted one morning when having breakfast with two colleagues that he was metrosexual. When I discovered he was taking part in a Dick Wolf crime show called “Dead Again” I was really excited.

Executive Producer Dick Wolf has gone from showing us some of the fictionalized dramas of America’s real cases in Law & Order to Cold Justice on TNT (I’m a fan) and now to A&E with Dead Again.

Joe Schillaci, Kevin Gannon, Michele Wood - the team of Dead Again. © AETV.

Joe Schillaci, Kevin Gannon, Michele Wood – the team of Dead Again. © AETV.

Wolf has assembed a team of experts: Joe Schillaci (Retired Deputy Commander, Miami), a 30 year veteran with a background in homicide and undercover work and a fan-favorite from The First 48; Kevin Gannon (Retired Detective Sergeant, NYC); and Michele Wood (Homicide Detective, Chicago, 13 year veteran).

The 60-minute series uses these experts in their field to re-examine controversial murder cases in which serious unresolved questions still linger long after the verdict was determined.

The episodic premiere was Thursday, October 2. I watched it twice. I’m still thinking about it and today is Saturday. The case and how it ended is haunting me.

Like The First 48, the eight cases Schillaci and the team re-investigate will not be resolved when the 60-minutes is up. The first episode of Dead Again ended so abruptly, with no known resolution, that I believe that’s why it’s still effecting me.

But I guess you can’t watch year after year of true crime murder cases and not have it effect you. But what really marvels me is the difference between Cold Justice and Dead Again.

Cold Justice reopens unsolved murder cases with the consent of local law enforcement and has a go at re-examining the evidence in an attempt to solve the murder.

The premise behind Dead Again is totally fascinating when you seriously think about.

Longmire fans 5.7 million viewers when DVR views get added in over 7 days. Multichannel News (8/28/14) Updated

Season Finale of Longmire is Monday, August 4

Longmire, Season 3, Episode 10. CarterMatt.

Longmire, Season 3, Episode 10. CarterMatt.

If you’re not caught up on your Longmire episodes, you better get crackin’, because the season 3 finale aires Monday, August 4 at 9pm CST. [spoiler alert]

There seems to still be a couple of things up in the air. But between Henry and Walt they’ve been eliminating suspects. Henry eliminated Malachi (Graham Greene); Walt eliminated Chance Gilbert (Peter Stormare). But now Henry’s trial has been moved up by two weeks.

Branch is still not himself; he stole a rifle, and broke out of his father’s house. Though it seems like he’s ruined every opportunity of ever returning as a productive lawman, I feel Jacob Nighthorse or David Ridges have been drugging him all this time.

Now that Vic’s husband has served divorce papers on her, the pressure is off and she can just continue to fill the role of a trusted and competent law enforcement officer and back-up Walt. If you’ve read Craig Johnson’s books, Walt and Vic have a romantic relationship and in the last one I read (A Serpent’s Tooth: A Walt Longmire Mystery, Book 9) he proposes to her. 

At the conclusion of Counting Coup, Walt finished off David Ridges, even though Ridges thought he was a time traveling warrior and couldn’t be killed. My question is did Jacob Nighthorse call Walt to tell him where to find Ridges so Walt could finally take him into custody; or, did Nighthorse tell Ridges to kill Walt? Especially since it was Ridges that drove away in Walt’s truck and then came back on the horse. Either way, Nighthorse wins. For now anyway.

The photo (above), is from the final episode. Doesn’t say much, does it? But I’ve heard nothing but good things about this season of Longmire. It’s received high marks all around. I’m expecting an announcement of a Season 4 during the finale.

 

Seen Andrea (Laurie Holden) from The Walking Dead lately?

The modern invention … the DVR … spoils me. It also makes me a day late on my shows. It spoils me because I wait a day to watch my quality shows so I can whiz through the commercials.

Take for instance Major Crimes on TNT. It airs on Monday night, but I watched it tonight (Tuesday). Laurie Holden shows up as Ann McGinnis. Right now its a one episode gig, but who knows, it might become something else.

Hey Laurie, Rizzoli & Isles is looking for another detective.

John Walsh Hosts “Cold Justice” on July 18

 

“Cold Justice” on TNT — Dishing Out Justice on Old Cases

You might remember the name Dick Wolf from his Law & Order shows. He still has one Law & Order drama on network television: Law & Order: SVU.

But he also has his hands into a real life show that’s racked up a real life score: 4 confessions, 8 indictments, 12 arrests, 2 guilty pleas and one 22-year prison sentence for murder.

It’s made up of real women traveling from cold case to cold case, tackling some that have little or no evidence. They bring fresh eyes and talented, tough retired detectives to small and medium sized towns. They use their talents to reopen unsolved murder cases by invitation of local law enforcement and many times, with the blessing of family members of the deceased.

 

YOLANDA MCCLARY, KELLY SIEGLER Credit: Mark Hill, Cold Justice, TNT

YOLANDA MCCLARY, KELLY SIEGLER Credit: Mark Hill, Cold Justice, TNT

The Cast
Kelly Siegler is a former Texas prosecutor and in that position she has prosecuted some of the toughest cases against some of the most formidable and respected criminal defense attorneys in the state of Texas. She has lectured all over the country on topics such as Final Arguments, Jury Presentation, Arguing Effectively for a Death Sentence and How to Pick a Jury.

Yolanda McClary is a former Las Vegas crime scene investigator with 16 years of experience who has worked more than 7,000 cases. It’s been said that Las Vegas is one of the busiest crime labs in the country. Of course you’ve probably heard that she’s the real life model for the Catherine Willows character on CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, which definitely explains why Marg Helgenberger always gets her man and apparently, so does Yolanda McClary.

The Detectives
Johnny Bonds is a retired homicide detective from Houston, Texas. He started his career in 1967 and was the youngest detective promoted to the Homicide Division at the age of 25. In 1988 he began working for the Harris County DA’s office as an investigator and it is there he met Kelly Siegler. They worked closely together in the Special Crimes Unit.

 

Orlando Martinez is the only active detective on the Cold Justice team. He has been a sworn officer for the LAPD for over 18 years. His specialties include case biopsies, interviews and the application of modern tech advances to cases. He loves working in homicide, as it is a way to bring closure to families of lost loved ones.

If you watched A&E’s American Justice, you may know the face of Armando Perez. Armando grew up in a very large family in Brownsville, Tex. He received his BA in Criminal Justice from Abilene Cristain University at Dallas. He went on to graduate from the Dallas Police Academy in December of 1972 and began working as a DPD officer in the Patrol Division. After 26 years with the DPD, working with such various department as Vice, IA and the Intelligence Division, he moved into Homicide in 1996. He retired in 2008.

July 18 “Cold Justice” Episode features Case Updates – Hosted by John Walsh

Who doesn’t know John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted? TNT’s Cold Justice episode on Friday, July 18 features a special episode created in response to fan requests for case updates. Entitled “Justice Served,” this episode will look back at the impressive results achieved by the investigators on TNT’s Cold Justice.