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Jul 16, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #033 – The Black Sox – Baseball’s Most Notorious Scandal

The Black Sox - Baseballs Most Notorious ScandalI’m forever blowing ballgames,
pretty ballgames in the air.
I come from Chi, I hardly try,
just go to bat and fade and die.
Fortune’s coming my way,
that’s why I don’t care.
I’m forever blowing ballgames,
and the gamblers treat us fair.

-Ring Lardner

You could say that it started with Charlie Comiskey, because a lot of things started with Charlie Comiskey in Chicago in 1919. Comiskey owned the Chicago White Sox, a serious contender in any year, and he enjoyed the reputation as a tightwad and a fierce negotiator.

I want to go on record by saying that although Comiskey fostered the reputation as a hard-guy and a tightwad, the payroll of the Chicago White Sox was one of the best in the league. The team was filled with solid players and had two bona fide stars on its roster; outfielder Joe Jackson and third baseman Buck Weaver. They each made over $6000 a year in 1919 and a lot of the other name players on the team made around half that. And that was about what they would have made on any other roster in the Bigs, so while money was a factor in the Black Sox Scandal, it wasn’t the only factor.
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Jul 10, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #032 – Alan Ladd and Box 13

Alan Ladd and Box 13 - The Noir Factory“I’m the most insecure guy in Hollywood. If you had it good all your life, you figure it can’t ever be bad, but when you’ve had it bad, you wonder how long a thing like this will last.” – Alan Ladd

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born on September 3rd, 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was the only child of Ina Raleigh and Alan Ladd. Like most of the characters Ladd went onto play, his upbringing was rough and growing up was a constant struggle.

The family lost Alan’s father, a freelance accountant, to a heart attack when Alan was only four. Shortly afterwards the family apartment was lost when Alan accidentally burned it down playing with matches.

After they lost their home, Alan and his mother moved to Oklahoma City where she remarried. Afterwards they went to Pasadena, in a Grapes of Wrath-like journey, where his stepfather found short-time work painting movie sets. Later in life, Ladd said they existed for long periods of time on nothing but potato soup.

Throughout Alan Ladd’s childhood he and his mother battled times of homelessness and sever hunger. Alan, who was always undersized, was said to have suffered from malnutrition. Growing up, he was labeled with the nickname “Tiny,’ a nickname he hated.
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Jun 18, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

A Learned Affair – John Brightman Case #1

Auto-Icon Jeremy BenthamMy name is John Brightman and I am a hunter, as was my father before me. My job is to take down the most dangerous prey, the Noir Factory crime cabal, a criminal organization that has operated for centuries in the shadows of polite culture. They have been my family’s quarry for generations and while I am new at the game, it has been my experience that the license for the hunt is quite costly.


Two days ago I returned to my small studio in Seattle’s wharf area to find a note waiting for me. It was from a man named Miles Scofield and it instructed me to meet him at a bar in town called Einstein’s, nearby on the docks.

I knew the bar in question and assumed that it had been named ironically. It was a squalid, unsavory little dive and the collective IQ of all its customers could not have generated a single genius. There was no date or time associated with the note and it vaguely mentioned that I would be rewarded if I sought him out.

I was tired and sore and the gunshot wound in my shoulder was acting up, but if it meant leading me one step closer to the heart of the Noir Factory, than it would be worth it.
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Jun 17, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #031 – The Batman

The Batman“He’s clearly a man with a mission, but it’s not one of vengeance. Bruce is not after personal revenge … He’s much bigger than that; he’s much more noble than that. He wants the world to be a better place, where a young Bruce Wayne would not be a victim… In a way, he’s out to make himself unnecessary. Batman is a hero who wishes he didn’t have to exist.” – Frank Miller

In 1939 detectives and vigilantes ruled the popular literary landscape. They were hard men who handed out justice at the end of a gun. Even the heroes that appeared in pulps, the early Super Heroes, such as The Shadow and The Spider, handed out death sentences with regularity, and whenever justice didn’t come from them, it usually came in another fatal form, and no one seemed really broken up over it.

But suddenly comics and comic books were picking up steam with the public, serving as moral compasses for the kids of America, and that brand of quick justice would no longer do.
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Jun 8, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Secrets of the Noir Factory – John Brightman Files #0

John Brightman Case 0My name is John Brightman.

My father’s name was also John Brightman, which isn’t really that unusual in boys, and becoming less-so in girls. For most of my life people had made the assumption that I was the junior to his senior, but whenever called me that in my father’s presence, he would correct them.

“His name is John,” he would say.

And that was that.

I am a historian by trade, again like my father. I have a love of looking into the past, at the events and people, turning them, and examining the facets of a particular moment. The goal is to understand that confluence of events and what may be taken from it.

The process is akin to being a detective. While you can never look into someone’s soul or read their mind, with enough information you can try to understand their wants, their needs and their desires. You can understand what motivates people to behave in a given way in a given situation, and that can help you make sense of events and tragedies.

It is a process, sadly, that doesn’t really work in the moment.

I would have loved the study of history even if my father had no interest in it, but as it is, that was the one time when he truly came alive.
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