Friday, December 21, 2012

Pestaño: Chess playing bad guys

Friday, December 21, 2012

The deadly mass shooting of 26 persons at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last week shocked the whole world. The act is so evil that it is almost beyond comprehension.
Sixteen of the children who died were only six years old. Four were seven. All were shot multiple times. The gunman, Adam Lanza, who previously killed his mother then shot himself.
A few weeks ago, I featured saints, popes and other holy men who play chess, This article chronicles the opposite- the bad guys.
Alphonse Gabriel “Al” Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate that was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging including prostitution, in Chicago from the early 1920s to 1931. An Al Capone Gambit is when you use the IRS to pin someone down.
Robert Stroud served 54 of his 73 years in prison, 42 of them in isolation. He played chess with some of the guards. He is famous because of the movie “Birdman of Alcatraz” .He was sent to prison for murder and while there stabbed a fellow inmate and killed one of the guards.
Raymond Weinstein was an American International Master from New York. He killed his 83-year-old roommate with a razor after an argument .
Charles Manson is a convicted serial killer who has become an icon of evil. In the late 1960s, Manson founded a hippie cult group known as “the Family” whom he manipulated into brutally killing others on his behalf. One of those murdered was the actress Sharon Tate, my favorite. He sometimes played chess with the chaplain of San Quentin.
Claude Bloodgood was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering his mother, although this sentence was later commuted. While in prison, he played a large number of correspondence games and rated games with other inmates.
Harold Davidson was sometimes known as the “Prostitutes’ Padre.” He was a Church of England priest. He spent his weekends saving young girls from sin. At his trial the prosecution maintained that what he was saving them for was himself. He was defrocked on charges of immorality. He was president of the Oxford Chess Club and captain of their team.
John Christie was a notorious English serial killer active in the 1940s and early 1950s. He murdered at least eight females–including his wife Ethel–by strangling them in his flat in Notting Hill, London. While on trial, he passed his time thrashing his wardens and other prisoners at chess. He was hanged.
Aleister Crowley was known as the wickedest man of the world. He became the most notorious practitioner of black magic in the 20th century. Between his orgies he represented Cambridge and Oxford team in chess and he rarely lost.
Norman Whitaker was a lawyer who became a conman. He swindled the Lindbergh parents on a promise that he could returned the kidnapped Lindbergh infant. He was imprisoned for 5 years.He got an IM norm in by placing 1st in San Francisco in 1923.
The most notorious murderer who killed John Kennedy was Lee Harvey Oswald . His squad leader in the Marines said chess was his favorite game.
John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer and rapist who sexually assaulted and murdered at least 33 teenage boys. He was convicted of 33 murders and sentenced to death for 12 of these killings. He was executed in May 1994. He was a competitive chess player.
Walter Sickert,who they say was also known as Jack the Ripper, gave London an autumn reign of terror in 1888.. He was a keen chess player.
Other chess-playing bad guys were John Hinckley who tried to assassinate Reagan, Sirhan Sirhan who was convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ian Huntly for the killing of 2 girls known as the Soham murders.

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