Murder, He Wrote

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Tuesday, January, 25 2022 01:21:00 am   , 860 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 36590 views

(This entry first appeared on my Y!360 site, posted on April 19, 2009.)


My friend Cassandra recently posted an entry, "What's Your Poison," to her blog. In her entry she pondered the mentality behind murder through the use of poison. Her question and resultant comments about murder (by poison or in general) set me to thinking about an incident in my past, a "close encounter" with a murder and a[n accused] murderer. It was an interesting episode in my life, one that made a lasting impression about the twists and turns of fate and intent and how varied and interesting life...and death...can be.


On an early evening in June of 1964, when I was 11 years of age, my immediate family and I were on our way home (55 miles s.e. of Houston) from visiting relatives. Then, as now, our little branch of the family lived  very near the gulf coast, close (about 9 miles, as the crow flies) to the beach.  What attracted my dad to move down here (besides a job at Dow Chemical) from the Houston area where he'd met and married my mother in the late 1940's) was the fishing. (I grew up camping most weekends and many holidays on that damn beach or on the bays behind it, which is why I'm pretty much indifferent to camping now---the sight or thought of beach sand makes my skin crawl).

Thus it was that my parents had been on the lookout for a camper trailer, but such trailers were not as common at that time as they are today, and they were sold mostly by mobile home dealers. (Today, such trailers are more apt to be found in specialty recreational-vehicle and camp-trailer dealerships, something there was not much of back then.) So, going home that evening, we stopped on the Gulf Freeway (I-45, which runs northwest out of Galveston) where a new mobile home dealership had opened up (in what became the NASA area---I can't offhand remember if it was where NASA Road 1 or where Bay Area Boulevard meets 45).

It was still somewhat early in the evening as I recall, but it was dark and the lights in the trailer lot were already on. An adolescent boy (possibly 15 years old or older) came out of the sales office and was telling us that they were closed or would shortly be closed. Just a few seconds later a guy in his twenties strutted out, buttoning his shirt and slicking back his shiny, apparently wet, or oiled, coal-black hair. As events would show, he was getting ready to make a trip. (The guy to me looked the typical honky-tonk man ready for a night out on the town.) He came up to the car, basically to reiterate that the dealership was closing for the night, and my dad spoke with him a bit about camper trailers. The man mentioned what he had available and told my dad to come back later and have a look around. (That turned out to be an invitation we were not to keep.) The man may have stated that he was going somewhere, but it was generally conveyed that he was in a hurry and they needed to be shutting the place down for the evening. We headed on home, but that was not the last time we were to see this man, though we never saw him again in person.

That uneventful incident, which ordinarily would have been erased from one's memory in hardly a matter of days or weeks, was to become one of the most momentous events of my life. The man I had met that night indeed made it to his appointed destination and task. My meeting him took place on the evening before, over in Key Biscayne, Florida, a wealthy businessman, was savagely stabbed and beaten in the early morning hours sometime between the hours of 1 and 4:30 a.m. The businessman's wife and her children (as on some nights of the days just before the murder) were conveniently out of the residence, due to her supposed migraines and (on this night) need to mail some letters! The wife's name was Candace Mossler, wife of Jacques Mossler, who had built a $33 million financial empire through small finance companies making installment loans, and later, through banking and insurance.  The man my family and I had met at a mobile home dealership on the Gulf Freeway on the night of 28 June 1964 was Candace Mossler's nephew (and lover) Melvin Lane Powers.

The trial of Melvin Lane Powers and Candace Mossler was a media circus. Following t.v. news reports which detailed the murder and eventually police suspicion of the nephew and the victim's widow, my dad called in the information of our having met Powers and when. My dad and my mom were never called to give testimony, but I'm sure the evidence thus provided helped to reconstruct Powers's activities that night before the brutal death of his former employer and relative by marriage, Jacques Mossler.

Represented by Texas lawyer Percy Eugene Foreman, who eventually represented James Earl Ray, Melvin Lane Powers was, incredibly, found "not guilty" in spite of a preponderance of evidence presented by the state of Florida to prove his guilt.

Disadvantage Plans!

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Wednesday, November, 03 2021 04:11:00 am   , 176 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 5351 views

Are you tempted to call any of those 1-800 numbers given out night and day in commercials touting additional Medicare benefits not available with original Medicare?  Before you call, you  might want to do a bit of research on what is really offered and what you may actually get instead of what the spokesperson spiel alleges, like up to $1700 added over the year to your social security.


HERE is a good place to start. The comments, though kind of scary, are helpful.


In spite of the hype that somehow you can get money added to your social security, THIS site clarifies that "give back" is "rather a colloquial name for a Medicare Part B premium reduction included in some Medicare Advantage plans."  


The commercials, some featuring familiar and popular celebrities as spokespersons, do not explain that you are being  cajoled "to disenroll from traditional Medicare, the public health insurance plan," and that "if you leave traditional Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you very well might not be able to switch back to traditional Medicare."

A Mystery in Process of Solution: The Tamám Shud Case

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Tuesday, June, 01 2021 08:48:00 am   , 136 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 6842 views

I read some years ago an interesting article (in the now defunct site Odd Xtreme) concerning the case known as the Tamám Shud Case, or the case of the Somerton (Beach, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia) Man. It is an engrossing mystery.  At the time, I added my thoughts on the article. Unfortunately, the website is no longer online, but my comments are because I logged in using Disqus, and that service maintains one's comments.


In the news of late (here for example) is the report that the body of the mystery man found on the beach at Adelaide back in 1948 has been exhumed for possible dna solution as to his identity.


Besides the article, the Wikipedia article contains excellent background on the case.  They will help the reader understand my comments made seven years ago:


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