Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

“The Bull’s Blood”, a novel.

April 19, 2019

Cover for Bull's Blood

Chapter 34

It was raining the next morning. The rain pelted the roof in loud cascades of white noise. Vadas opened one eye, saw the ominous darkness of the morning and curled himself around Elizabeth.

Elizabeth woke up, yawned and stretched. “Come on, it’s morning. It’s late. Get up.”

Vadas buried his head in her hair. “No, I want to stay in bed all day. In you, too.”

“Vadas, don’t be silly. There are plenty of things to do today.”

“What? You got someone to visit? You want to go shopping?”

Elizabeth yawned. “No. I have nowhere to go, but we could do something.”

“You can scratch my back. Massage my shoulders. Maybe you trim my toenails.” He snuggled down in the covers and tightened his arm around her.

“I don’t trim your toenails, Vadas. Even if we marry, I don’t do that.”

“What? A wife does these things for the husband.”

“I’m not your wife, yet, remember?”

“So? You are in training, no?”

“Ha. Come on, Vadas. I’ll get you some coffee.”

“Good. Bring back the pot.”

Elizabeth went downstairs and poured two mugs of coffee. On the way back she looked out the window at the top of the staircase. It was pouring outside. Perhaps Vadas was right. Perhaps it was a good day to do nothing.

Vadas was sitting up in bed, scratching his chest. Elizabeth handed him his mug and sat down in a chair by the window, sipping the hot coffee gingerly.

“It’s too wet to go visit the grapes, Elizabeth,” he said mournfully.

“Okay. Why don’t we go into Eger and see what furniture your aunts have stored in that warehouse?”

“We could do that. You could pick what you wanted for the house.” Vadas yawned. “We could also stay right here in bed.” He patted the bed beside him.

“Vadas, we don’t have a lot of time before the wedding. If you are serious about making the house livable, it’s going to take a lot of time and attention. The roofers should be coming soon, right?”

“Ah, we can go up there today and see where the rain is coming in, Elizabeth. Good idea. First, take care of your man.” Vadas grinned over his mug.

“You are going to wear me out before we get married.”

“Yes, I am. Aren’t you a lucky woman? The ló fasz is lonely.”

“You’re a maniac, Vadas. Later, sweetie, maybe this evening. I want to get some things done today.”

“As long as you remember the ‘later’, Elizabeth.”

“I’m going to take a shower.”

“Good, I’ll join you.”

“Nothing doing, Vadas. You know what happens when you butt into my shower.”

Vadas smiled, finishing the last of his coffee. “Listen, Elizabeth, before you go shower, I’ve been thinking. The reception? We need a big place. We can rent a hotel, or we can open part of the house. You want to live there, right? Well, we can fix up the roof. We can have people come in and repair some of the rooms. We can have chairs and tables rented. We can make part of the house livable. What do you think?”

Elizabeth stopped where she was. “Vadas? Can you afford to do this? You know that roof will cost a lot of money. And the murals must not be touched. We need a conservator to look at them. They might be of historic value. We don’t want to rush things. Is the house even wired for electricity? What about bathrooms? You are planning on, what? Two, three hundred people?”

“Elizabeth. I would be expected to have at least that many. This whole village and people from Budapest and Eger. It will be a crowd. For three days.”

Elizabeth’s mouth fell open. “Vadas. Some people will have to be put up for that long. At least those from Budapest. Your aunties and my Aunt Irene for much longer.”

“We can put a tent on the grounds. We can have people from out of town stay here. It would be tight, but Maria and Janos will arrange. As for toilets? They can use the bushes.”

“Oh, stop it, Vadas,” said Elizabeth laughing in spite of herself. “Be practical. And the food? We need a wedding planner. We need caterers. We need someone who knows what to do.”

“Okay. Hire someone. Vadas pays.”

Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief and went to take her shower. Vadas picked up a paper and started to read.

The phone rang. It was Andor. “Miklós has been seen in Eger.”

Vadas sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. “What? When was he seen?” Vadas stood up and paced while he was talking. “Okay, okay. This changes plans for today. I have to get rid of Elizabeth. No, no. She wants to come into Eger, but that can’t happen. Yes, get Marcus and some of the other men here. I want at least two men here in the house, and two parked near the house. If Miklós is around, Elizabeth is in danger. No, I will meet you in half an hour, maybe a little more. Okay. I’ll unlock the gun cabinet in the hall. You know what to do.”

Vadas put the phone down on the nightstand. So, the bastard had surfaced and he was right under his nose. Now he had to convince Elizabeth to stay here, and not ask questions. But she would be alarmed with two other men in the house. She wasn’t stupid. She would know something was up.

Maria. She would help. Vadas threw on clothes and went downstairs to find Maria. Janos and Maria were both in the kitchen drinking coffee.

“Good. I’m glad I caught both of you. Janos, Miklós was seen in Eger. I’m going there. There will be four men here, two in the house, and two parked nearby. Just in case. Maria? I need you to keep Elizabeth under your thumb. Perhaps she can help in the kitchen? I don’t want her alarmed, but these men here? She will know something’s afoot.” Vadas shrugged his shoulders.

Janos nodded. Maria wasn’t so easy.

“Vadas. Elizabeth will know. She will be scared. I’m afraid for you. Don’t do this, Vadas. You don’t know what Miklós is planning or how many men he has. Please, Vadas, don’t go after Miklós now. Let the police handle it.”

“If the police get involved, I will go down with Miklós.”

Janos spoke: “Maria. This is Vadas’ decision. You, woman, stay out of it. You just keep Elizabeth busy until the smoke clears. Vadas, what are you going to do?”

Vadas turned in the doorway and looked at Janos. “I don’t know. Maybe beat him up. Maybe cut off his dick. Maybe I kill him. I don’t know, Janos. But I won’t go easy on Miklós. That’s if I find him.”

Vadas picked up Andor and Tomas, another man who knew what Miklós had done. Andor filled Tomas in about the sighting of Miklós. They got to Eger fast, Vadas driving like a maniac. They met the man who claimed Miklós had been seen. Miklós had disappeared, though someone had followed. Vadas turned and punched the wall of a building, cursing his head off. Bad move, as he skinned his knuckles. Vadas glared at Andor. “This seggfej is screwing with me.” Vadas lunged at the man, anger contorting his face.

Andor and Timor grabbed Vadas by the shoulders and arms and held him back. “Vadas! Stop it. Don’t kill the messenger, you shithead,” hissed Andor.

The man went pale. He stepped back.

Vadas shook his head, recovering himself and held out his hand. “Sorry. I lost my head.”

The man didn’t take his hand, his eyes flashing anger. Andor stepped in front of Vadas and put his arm around the man’s shoulder. He led him away and spoke quietly to him. Andor slipped something into his hand. The man looked back at Vadas and nodded his head.

“Maybe I should stay here and tail him myself.”

“No, Vadas. Miklós probably wanted you to know he was here. He’s playing cat and mouse with you. Go home and wait. He will probably do this again. But we will get him. Just be patient.”

Vadas looked at Andor and Tomas, and sighed. “You’re probably right. Miklós always was a tok feju. I just lost my head. I can’t afford to do that again.”


Elizabeth found the gun cabinet open and immediately knew something was happening. She saw Marcus sitting on a chair in the hall. He nodded to her. Elizabeth could see he was armed. She went back to the gun cabinet and looked for a small pistol. Vadas’ guns were too big for her but she was damned if she was going to be unarmed. Marcus walked over to her and in bad English asked what she was looking for. Elizabeth said “gun” and he rolled his eyes. She opened the bureau next to the cabinet, rummaged around and found a small .38, unloaded. She found five bullets, loaded the gun and stuck it in the back pocket of her jeans. Marcus winked and nodded at her, then went back to his seat.

Elizabeth walked into the kitchen. A mood of unease filled the room. Maria was silent and Janos was smoking in the kitchen, something Maria usually forbade him doing. They suspected Elizabeth knew something and tried to take her mind off Vadas’ absence. Elizabeth had pulled her sweater down so the gun didn’t show. Maria didn’t notice, but Janos did. He smiled to himself and puffed on his cigarette. This was no helpless, dumb American woman.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

“The Bull’s Blood” will be published in May, 2019 on

Noon Rose

Crime and Corruption, Atlanta style: Warning, NOT Politically Correct…not even close.

July 30, 2009

I have been an Atlantan resident for 40 years this fall.  I have been here long enough to see radical and enormous changes in this city.  I used to be a community activist, but got tired after many years of beating my head against a wall of ignorance.  Many of my friends did too, and either retreated into their own lives or left Atlanta.

I moved here from Princeton, New Jersey for a job with Newsreel Films, got married the first time, bought an old 1880’s  Georgian (built by an English family, the Ragsdales) style house, got divorced, got married again (and this time it stuck) and stayed.

Many times I wish we hadn’t.  Atlanta is a strange city, with some very beautiful places, and also some places that are plumb ugly. Reminded me of Montreal in some areas:  beautiful places and places like Chinatown that were ugly.  Perhaps the greenery of Atlanta helps cover some of the seedier parts, but they are fast coming down for new development.

And that’s part of the problem.  I’ll be frank here, and revealing.  We have had black administrations for 36 years now.  Atlanta has suffered in that these administrations seem to have little regard for the historic buildings.  Down they go for ‘economic progress’.  Downtown Atlanta is one super hotel after another and all the old buildings, theaters, etc. have been razed in the name of ‘progress’.  One has to wonder about this mentality when “The Dump”, where Margaret Mitchell of “Gone With The Wind” wrote this historic book (historic because she was two generations removed from the Civil War and listened to and researched the stories of the elderly that were directly involved in that war…) and “The Dump” was firebombed three times at least in the past 15 years.  A little touchy there, and akin to book burning in my opinion.

Atlanta became something like 78% black in the 70’s I believe.  Most of the social services were intown, so blacks of a certain economic class settled or were settled intown.  There were lots of projects that were their dwellings.  Crime was always an issue, but not like what we are seeing now.  The stats of Atlanta changed over the past 15 years, actually, as more and more people came from all over the country and indeed, the world to settle in Atlanta.  There were many opportunities here, and many people settled into our small and historic neighborhoods.  Our own neighborhood dates from the 1850’s…and I remember reading where members of some Methodist church walked by lantren light for evening services in 1858.  Now, that doesn’t sound like a very old neighborhood, but people should remember what happened with Sherman, the Civil War, etc.  Plus, this area was farmland and forest, and not heavily populated.  That would come after the war when the economy slowly changed and recovered. We have a number of houses in our area, neighborhood that date from the 1860’s.  Sherman didn’t get everything in his march with matches.

About 10 years ago, gentrification became popular…or at least got a foothold in this city.  Property values intown went up and young whites and professionals moved into these once white and then black older neighborhoods like Capitol View Manor, Capitol View, Ormewood Park, Sylvan Hills, etc.  on the southside.

Living in one of these historic neighborhoods, well, I can attest that at times the mentality of some people is challenging.  They have been rather a social problem for these young whites as they confront with violence and ignorance new people  moving in.  I have had a couple of friends and neighbors who have been mugged in daylight in the Park, or have had these ‘citizens’ let loose with racial slurs.  Or their dogs.  And what happens??? Little, because the police take their old time showing up, long after the perps have run away.  A dear friend suffered a fractured skull and was almost killed.

And what is the kicker here?  Many new residents report that the police tell them that they should move out, or even this:  they don’t belong. They get what they deserve for living in Atlanta.   And what about the future of Atlanta?? Should it become a large ghetto?  Would this make any fucking sense?

People dodged the vagrants, whores and drug dealers on the streets. It was  the price you paid for the pre WWI Arts and Crafts houses  and 1920’s brick bungalows.

It was an uneasy truce at best but it was livable for a time.

There has always been a sentiment that ‘crime got worse when times got worse’.  Perhaps.  But what people, black and white refused to see was this:  there is a core criminal element that ALWAYS lives off the labors and property of others:  it’s not dependent upon ‘the times’, it’s just the way a certain group of people function.  They also breed more criminals, more generations of those who prey upon those who work hard for a living.

The police in part were part of the problem.  Most of the police force was black, and they were ‘soft’ on the criminals  for a number of reasons:  1) They came from some of the same projects, neighborhoods, etc. as the criminal elements, and in many cases knew the grandparents, mothers, etc. OF those criminals.  This was especially obvious with the prostitutes.  They would put them in a patrol car, drive them around the block, let them out.  Of course they would show up again, littering our streets and front lawns with their debris.

Many cops just didn’t see prostitution as a crime….and I believe that was a cultural issue.

It didn’t help that the corruption (shakedown of drug dealers and keeping the $$#) of the Atlanta Police Department was a long time issue, with the doctoring of records, etc.  But this isn’t much different than many cities.

We have had a lot of corruption with our mayors, elected officials, etc over the past years.  The mayor before Shirley Franklin, Bill Campbell went to prison for a laundry list of issues.  He was an arrogant bastard til the end, siting  “racism” for his convictions.  A thoroughly unpleasant fellow.

Which brings me to my present rant.  Atlanta is suffering an extreme crime wave.  It seems that every day a shooting, a carjacking, continued robberies, but more, the murders of innocent people is growing.  This week alone, two women were murdered execution style by 4 teens or young black men.  Saturday a world champion boxer was killed near my neighborhood when he was checking the pressure in his tires at a convenience store.  Yesterday, a 22 year old black woman was shot in the stomach twice in front of her children in a home invasion.  She died yesterday afternoon.  A few weeks ago two elderly people were blugeoned to death by 3 black teens.

And our Police Chief Richard Pennington sez that ‘it’s only our perceptions of crime increasing.’  Yeah, right.

Recently the President of the Atlanta City Council was robbed twice at home.  Good.  This seems to be the only way that attention is raised about our ‘preceived’ crime increase.

Last week, one of our Council members, Ceaser Mitchell, had his carjacked and a gun fired in the air.  Better.  It’s getting more attention now…..our ‘preceived’ crime increase.

This only happens when ‘celebrities’ are jacked around with crime.

Our own mayor, Shirley Franklin, is not too clean here.  She isn’t running for a third term, and is as arrogant as she can be.  She doesn’t give a damn, probably waiting for that call from Washington.  Her own daughter avoided a money laundering (just, with a lot of $$ and lawyers as was reported) charge (drugs) and her son in law is in prison for murder, drug running, weapons charges, etc.  He is in for life I understand.  Shirley Franklin knew this when she was contemplating for the second term.  She didn’t reveal this until after she was elected.  Boo.

Our Chief of Police is Richard Pennington.  He came straight out of New Orleans, and the history of crime in that city (and the overspill Atlantans know with the Katrina refugees here now and the spike in crime FROM these criminals)  should be well known.

A couple of months ago, HIS answer to Atlantans who complained about crime was this:  “You all are talking to each other in email, and your talking is talking up the crime.  Your perceptions are wrong: violent crime has gone down 8%”.


All these above deaths of citizens we guess  are ‘perceived’ crimes??? They actually lived through the crimes?? These mourners are faking it?

I think it’s this:  15 years ago, Atlanta had a really bad crack epidemic.  All these children born from those crack mothers were predicted to be a problem for the future.  Well, nothing happened and people thought it was just a prediction.  But wait!  These kids weren’t old enough, and yes, the police say that the majority of crime are from the youth.

Sure looks like it.  13-16 year olds are stealing cars, gangs now have a different standard:  they are not territory emphasised, but are joining forces for smash and grabs (every day you read about some store, usually a clothing or jewelry store being smashed into) and to divide up the loot.  Shootings generally are youth and up to mid twenties now.  In January, a 17 year old blew away a bartender.  He was part of the Deep 30 gang from New Orleans and the police knew this gang and where they were located.  Too bad they never moved their asses until this man was killed.  And this gang was in my neighborhood.

Today our arrogant Mayor Franklin and her hand picked Chief Pennington are finally having a press conference about crime in Atlanta.  At least that is what we think they will be discussing.

Or perhaps they will be still pushing that it’s only our ‘perceived’ increase in crime.

We just received $11 million from Washington for the hiring of 50 more cops….we needed 300.  I guess Franklin and Pennington will be taking credit for this.

Sigh.  We need to clean house but the running field for Mayor this fall doesn’t look too good.

Lady Nyo

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