Broward News

You've Come A Long Way, Sparky

Tiny Davis

When I read the stories about the botched death by lethal injection of Angel Nieves Diaz on Death Row, I can't help but recall the truly horrific state-sanctioned deaths that have occurred in Florida. You know, like the times that the electric chair, ghoulishly called 'Old Sparky,' set the heads of Jesse Tafero and Pedro Medina on, um, well, FIRE. Pretty cruel -- and it's not like it's ancient history (Martinez was executed in 1997).

Then there's Allen Lee "Tiny" Davis, a huge, ironically nicknamed man who bore an uncanny resemblence to Tor Johnson, the wrestler and star of Ed Wood films. Tiny is pictured above and I think it's worth a thousand words. It also helped coerce the Legislature to go to lethal injection in 2000.

After the jump: Buh-bye Judith

It wasn't the disastrous O.J. Simpson book or the fact that she published the book of a c0n woman under an alias, it was the fact that she said something deemed anti-Semitic that finally ended the reign of Judith Regan in New York publishing (ended for now, at least).

Andy Borowitz says her firing from HarperColliins is proof that God exists -- and I'm not far away from that viewpoint. I wrote a lot about Regan after I found out the awful book Miami Psychic was written by a rip-off artist named Gina Marks. Especially after I exposed that fact, got a smattering of national attention for it (Jossip and MediaBistro picked it up), and Regan didn't do the right thing and yank it off the damn shelves. Then new victims started calling me and telling me she was scamming them even as she was promoting the sham book. Finally I wrote an open letter to Regan, trying to appeal to her "Judy" side, which her sister claims is actually somewhat human. None of it worked.

It was still amazing to me that such a terrible person could rise to such heights. In the end, it was her own hatred that got her, apparently (though I wonder if the anti-Semitic thing wasn't just a Rupert Murdoch excuse).

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman