Jun 22, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Plan Your Noir Summer Getaway – 10 Great Prison Breaks

noir factorySummer is a great time to consider hitting the beaches and escaping from everyday life. From the office to the boardroom, sometimes you just have to get away from it all, and some of us are better at it than others.

Below are ten of the most spectacular prison breaks in modern history, teaching us that only occasionally do four walls a prison make and where there’s a will there’s a way!

Alcatraz (1962)

Known as the Rock, Alcatraz withstood fourteen escape attempts in its 29 years as a prison and officially the prison went undefeated.


Unofficially Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers conspired to make their way out of the world’s most notorious prison. On June 11, 1962 they put a brazen plan into action.

The three men chipped away at the walls of their cells with spoons over the months, eventually making their way onto the top of their cell block, and managed to cut their way through the bars and into an air vent that led them to the roof of the prison.

From there they made their way down a drainpipe, over a chain link fence, and to the shore where they fashioned a raft stitched together from rain ponchos. The three boarded the raft and set out to navigate the treacherous San Francisco Bay towards freedom.

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Jun 11, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Drink Like a Hard-Boiled, Noir Shamus – 11 Cocktails to Serve Your Inner Detective


boozegunI don’t want to shock anyone, but there is drinking in this establishment.

For noir fiction, booze is as much a staple to the gumshoe’s identity as cigarettes, femme fatales, or cynicism. Drinking doesn’t necessarily DEFINE the detective’s identity, but a tee totaling gum-shoe is a rarity indeed in the dark worlds of hard-boiled, noir pulp fiction.

Beer and straight whisky is the gumshoe’s stock-in-trade, but they are by no means the limits to their alcoholic repertoire. Wines, house blends and varietals alike, come into play depending on the company they keep and environment, and most noir sleuths would never turn up their nose at a hearty ale or a thick stout.

Cocktails on the other hand, require a bit of consideration.
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Jun 7, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Kill Me, Deadly – YOUR Chance to Play Angel to a Noir-Style Comedy!

“Why fall in love with a broad you can trust? That’s like reading a book you already know the ending to.” – Mona Livingston -Kill Me, Deadly

Kill Me DeadlyOn Criminal Minds, the dark CBS drama that my wife turned me onto, Kirsten Vangsness plays a campy, optimistic, brilliant computer nerd who is often asked to ferret information on serial killers. Joe Mantegna plays senior criminal profiler David Rossi, a man who looks into the eye of the abyss hoping that it does not look back.

Both of these actors spend a considerable amount of their days getting into character mindsets that examine the worst  mankind has to offer, so in their off time, it’s only natural that they might want to slip into something a little lighter.

Like a hard-boiled noir mystery?

Kill Me, Deadly is a noir comedy movie that has become a passion for Vangsness. With half of the film completed, she and the rest of the cast have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the closing act of the movie.

The plot focuses around a clueless detective hunting for a cursed (Is there any other kind?) diamond. The detective, played by Dean Lemont, fumbles his way through the case, running afoul of both the mob and the cops. He falls like a ton of bricks for femme fatale Mona Livingston, played by Vangsness.
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May 30, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Three Card Monte Trick – Putting the Con in Confidence Games!

Welcome Back To The Underworld Academy!

Underworld Academy

In This Lesson – The Three Card Monte Trick

There is an art involved in a successful Three Card Monte Trick just as there is in any good confidence game. Practice is required to train your hands to be quick enough so that you can keep track of the “One-Eyed Jack” but not so clumsy as to be SEEN keeping track of the “One-Eyed Jack.”

You need a surface where the cards can glide over the surface but with enough grab to keep steady control over them. You have to have a patter, a spiel that you are comfortable with, to chat up the most jaded passersby and tourists who are looking for a walk on the wild side.

And you have to have an authentic personality. You’ve got to be able to put people at ease quickly. People can distrust the GAME, but they have to be comfortable with you. As they say, if you can fake that….

three card monteYou’ll need to be the lovable rogue who is engaging, with just a hint of excitement, but who is still fallible. In order for the game to succeed, you have to be able to be beat.

You will lose, and lose often. You’ll be good-natured to show that there are no hard feelings. You win some and you lose some. You will be sharp, well-practiced, and patient. And you WILL lose, but you won’t ever be beat.

At this point, the game hasn’t even started yet, because the trick of a good confidence game isn’t in the game, but in the confidence.

In a crowded city where you present an engaging and talkative figure, people WILL notice you, but they won’t be lining up to give their money away, which is fine. What would be the fun in that anyway?
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May 16, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

The Mob Museum – The Disneyland of Noir

mob museumIn downtown Las Vegas, a few blocks away from the neon and glitter of the big casinos, is one of the true hidden gems of Sin City.  And one of its darkest!

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas holds what might be the world’s largest collection of crime exhibits and underworld collection and is the Promised Land for every noir and pulp mystery fan.

With a motto of “two sides to every story,” the Mob Museum’s mission is to advance the public understanding of organized crime’s history and impact on American society. It shows organized crime in all its facets, and puts a hard light on the glamour as well as the horrors of a real criminal underworld.

The museum is housed in the famous federal courthouse of downtown Las Vegas that saw the Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime. It has restored the courtroom and turned it into a high-tech movie theater, where visitors can sit before the judge’s bench and watch on multiple screens reenactments of the trial’s highlights, where organized crime was dragged from dark alleys and into television watching America.
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