Friday, January 27, 2006

Tate, Reagan and a religious hypocrite

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Going over my files, I came across a list of celebrity chess players categorized according to lifestyle and profession. Some are categorized as musicians such as Philidor, scientists such as Albert Einstein and entertainers such as Humprey Bogart and Sting.What caught my attention was the group of so-called “sinners.” Here they are.

1) Charles Manson – The most infamous serial killer in the United States. The first five murders are known as the “Tate” murders that occurred in a house in Los Angeles. Steven Parent, Abigael Folger and Voytek Fryskowski were found stabbed and shot to death. Abigael was stabbed 28 times and Voytek 51 times.

The bodies of actress Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring were found hanging by their neck. Tate, who was eight months pregnant at that time, was stabbed 16 times.

The next two murders are known as the “LaBianca” murders. Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were found stabbed to death in their home; Leno with a knife found protruding from his body, while Rosemary was stabbed 41 times.

Charles Manson has been denied parole 10 times. His last denial was in April 2002. His next parole hearing is scheduled for next year.

2) John Hinckley Jr. – He nearly killed President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Acquitted of the crime as he was judged mentally ill, he is now being permitted unsupervised visits within the Washington metropolitan area away from his mental facility.

What is not well known is that his father, a Texas oilman, is a very close friend of George H. W. Bush. The two families were frequent dinner companions. He lobbied very hard to get fellow oilman George H. W. Bush the Republican nomination for president in 1980. Although they both failed, they got the next best thing: a “heartbeat away from the presidency,” the vice-presidency of the United States.

George H. W. Bush would later be elected president of the United States and so would his son George W., the current US president.

3) Claude Bloodgood – A weird chapter in the history of chess ended when Bloodgood died in 2001while serving a life sentence in prison. In the 1970s to the ’90s, he was one of America’s top chess players and played thousands of games by mail from his maximum security jail. Here is a report on how he killed his mother in 1969.

“Bloodgood jumped her, beat her head with a screwdriver, strangled her with his hands, smothered her with a pillow, rolled her body in a porch rug, then drove 70 miles and gently laid her corpse along a wooded road, placing a pillow under her battered head.”

Incredibly, thanks to his chess prowess, guards let him out to play in chess tournaments. His escape in 1974 led to the resignation of Virginia’s director of prisons.

4) Rev. Harold Davidson – Had he been alive today and a Filipino, he would be like some of our politicians. He was sneaky, self important, humorless, religious, and utterly incapable of anybody else’s opinion. His own son called him “mad, quite mad.”

In the evenings, he would pester teenage girls and was banned from backstage theaters for leering at the dressing rooms of half-naked actresses. He was also banned from most of London’s tea shops for his practice of sniffing at waitresses.

In 1932, he was defrocked in a trial that was highly publicized but surprisingly got a sympathetic view from the public. He was a religious hypocrite like no other.

CEPCA. The January tournament of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association will be held this Sunday at Stella Maris Center starting at 2 p.m.

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