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By DAN RODRICKS | March 31, 1997
Months before she discovered the truth in a box in her basement, Beth Smith had suspected that her husband might be a master of secrets and lies. Her three-year marriage to Salvatore Oliverio had fallen apart, splintering into arguments and broken promises. She had seen Sal once too often in surgical scrubs, stethoscope about his neck, answering to, "Hi, doc," when he had no business doing so.And then, in the fall of 1990, Beth heard Sal's reason for refusing to have a child with her: As a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he said, he had made a deal with the devil to give up his first-born to the Prince of Darkness in return for safe deliverance from Communist captors.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 28, 2013
Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word: OBSEQUIES Among the documents purloined from the Maryland Historical Society by Barry Landau and Jason Savedoff, and recently returned , is a program, "Funeral Obsequies of the late President Lincoln. " The word obsequies , (pronouncd AHB-suh-kweez) for a funeral rite or ceremony, or for a commemorative service at the grave or elsewhere, is very old and has grown fusty in our time.  The Oxford English Dictionary cites obsequies  from Chaucer's "Knight's Tale" in the late fourteenth century.
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NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Staff writer | April 14, 1991
Last month, Pat Mauer made her 48th and final $275 payment on a red 1986 Camaro she and her husband bought in September 1986 from GinoMarchetti Jones.A red Camaro she hasn't seen since April 1987, when the state police seized it as stolen goods.The Mauers never faced criminal charges -- they told police they had no idea the car had been stolen and "replated" with a new identification number when they bought it from Gino Jones. But that didn't mean they weren't left with headaches, including an obligation to make good on the loan on a car seized after just three payments.
NEWS
By Jack Leonard and Hailey Branson Potts, Tribune Newspapers | April 10, 2013
A German native who consorted for years with New England's social elite by pretending to be a Rockefeller was convicted Wednesday in Los Angeles of first-degree murder, capping a nearly three-decade-old mystery involving a missing couple and a body buried in a Southern California backyard. Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, 52, was accused of bludgeoning his landlady's adult son with a blunt object, then digging a 3-foot-deep grave in the backyard of the victim's home in San Marino. The body was buried behind a guest house where Gerhartsreiter had been living.
NEWS
September 2, 1994
A fast-talking con man and his accomplice made off with $100 Tuesday night from a Boston Chicken restaurant in the 500 block of Ritchie Highway, county police said.The two men entered the restaurant at 9:30 p.m. One of them ordered the $2.49 children's meal and gave the cashier a $50 bill. He ordered a soda separately and gave the cashier a dollar bill. He then asked for the $50 bill back and gave the cashier bills of other denominations, police said.The exchange of money continued for several minutes as other customers waited, and the man's accomplice added to the cashier's confusion by spilling a soda.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | March 12, 1997
The name popped up again -- Salvatore Pasquale Spinnato -- and immediately my mind raced off to that distant West Virginia morning when a man in a maroon bathrobe tried to do to me what he'd done to countless others -- con me.Sal Spinnato was from East Baltimore, a slithery man who'd hooked up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an undercover investigation of suspected corruption in the city's Department of Public Works. It was Abscam before Abscam, with FBI agents posing not as Arab sheiks but as blue-jeaned contractors looking for government jobs.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | March 6, 1998
Salvatore Spinnato, the con man, sat near the pale wall of the courtroom in Towson, his ankles chained together, and, appearing painfully bored with the grim proceedings, stared for the longest time at something above the door.As his lawyer went on and on with an argument for leniency, Spinnato, 55 years old, hair graying and thinning, crossed his arms against his black-and-white sweater, turned toward the wall, and fixed his eyes on the only thing up there - the bright green letters in a brown wooden box: EXIT.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | February 2, 1997
Salvatore P. Spinnato has been on the run most of his life -- from the law, from the people he swindled, from those he conned into thinking he was a brain surgeon, an FBI agent and even the owner of a Salvadoran shrimp farm."
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | March 22, 1996
Lovers of Giuseppe Tornatore's brilliant "Cinema Paradiso" may be disappointed in his much slighter and less well-developed film "The Star Maker," which opens today at the Rotunda.Well, too bad, lovers of "Cinema Paradiso." It's not the same movie. Deal with it.The film has, nevertheless, some extraordinary pleasures, though they are far more casual and incidental than in the dramatically whole "Cinema." Like the preceding film, however, it too is built on the love of movies and the magical transformations that this most powerful, subversive and romantic of all media can make possible.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | May 8, 1992
LOS ANGELES -- Last week in Washington, the Republican Party held the single biggest political fund-raiser in American history, a lavish black tie affair that raised $9 million. The largest donation -- $400,000 -- came from Michael Kojima, a mysterious Japanese-American businessman from Los Angeles who sat at the head table with President and Barbara Bush.The next day, party stalwarts, reporters and prominent Japanese-American businessmen began asking each other, "Who is Michael Kojima?"The Republican Party, the party of traditional family and business values, isn't going to like the answers.
NEWS
By Tim Swift | October 18, 2009
HOLIDAY Great Halloween : Lantern Parade : This Baltimore staple celebrates its 10th anniversary with even more holiday fun. Things kick off at Patterson Park at 3 p.m. Saturday with a new outdoor festival that includes hayrides, boatloads of apple cider and more. The parade, featuring stilt-walkers and hundreds of paper lanterns, starts at 7:30 p.m. Web: creativealliance.org CONCERT Dirty Projectors: : These experimental rockers may hail from Brooklyn, but they sure fit in well with Baltimore's quirky and gritty music scene.
NEWS
By MATTHEW DOLAN AND CHRIS YAKAITIS and MATTHEW DOLAN AND CHRIS YAKAITIS,SUN REPORTERS | June 20, 2006
The Baltimore teacher who pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and then taught the entire school year had been a convicted thief before he was hired by the city school system four years ago. Court records show that Martius Harding pleaded guilty in May 2001 to participating in an elaborate fraud using credit cards on the Internet, stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods, including a late-model Jeep and two new motorcycles. Harding, who had wrestled for West Virginia University before his felony arrest, was sentenced to five years' probation and an indeterminate period of home detention, according to the Monongalia County, W.Va.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun Staff | April 24, 2005
Responsible Men By Edward Schwarzchild. Algonquin Books. 352 pages. $22.95. In his debut novel, Edward Schwarzchild writes about a world with which he is closely acquainted, but which remains in important respects mysterious -- one of early-morning sales calls and roadside diners and bowling alleys and sealing the deal with a handshake. Schwarzchild has written that his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were salesmen, and that he made sales calls as a boy with his father. In Responsible Men, Schwarz-child's protagonist, Max Wolin-sky, is the kind of person Schwarzchild conceivably might have become, had not he been firmly dissuaded by his father from going into the family business.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | September 10, 2004
Rodrigo is a nascent small-time con artist with big problems. Bad enough that he's not very good at his chosen profession (his cons are pretty easy to see through, and he tries the same ones repeatedly). But he's also got a dad who's heavily indebted to some impatient loan sharks, and thus needs money fast. Imagine Rodrigo's (Diego Luna) good fortune when a more accomplished, but still decidedly small-time, con artist named Richard (John C. Reilly) decides - out of the blue, mind you! - to take him under his wing, teach him a few things, maybe pass on some tricks of the trade.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 19, 2003
NEW YORK - David Hampton's pursuit of a fabulous Manhattan life ended last month in the early-morning hush of a downtown hospital. No celebrities keened by his bedside, no theatrics unfolded in the hall; there was no last touch of the fabulous. Just the clinical cluck that follows the death of a man who dies alone at 39. His name may not resonate, but his story will. David Hampton was the black teen-ager who conned members of the city's white elite 20 years ago with an outsized charm. He duped them into believing that he was a classmate of their children, the son of Sidney Poitier, and a victim of muggers who had just stolen his money and Harvard term paper - a term paper titled, "Injustices in the Criminal Justice System."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dan Rodricks and Dan Rodricks,Sun Staff | March 2, 2003
W.C. Fields, by James Curtis. Knopf. 448 pages. $35. W. C. Fields, by reputation and repetition one of America's most famous boozers, was also one of its most prolific comic performers. On stage, screen and radio, he was a master of physical and verbal comedy, and throughout his years in Hollywood, Fields was fully engaged in his career, intimately -- even obsessively -- involved in the writing, production and editing of the dozens of movies and shorts in which he appeared from 1915 to the 1940s.
NEWS
By Stephen Henderson and Peter Hermann and Stephen Henderson and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Jamie Stiehm contributed to this article | February 1, 1998
A photo caption on the Maryland section front Sunday incorrectly identified the subject as Norris Davis, a Baltimore school counselor who was fired after it was learned he had been convicted of theft.The Sun regrets the error.In the 1970s, Norris Davis threw going-away parties for drug dealers heading off to jail -- and charged people to come. In the late '80s, he stole a $1,600 donation to Maryland Public Television, money he still hasn't fully repaid.Despite his past -- in fact, because of it -- the Baltimore school system hired him in 1993 as a counselor at Northern High, one of the city's most troubled schools.
NEWS
By Michael Ollove and Scott Shane and Michael Ollove and Scott Shane,Staff Writers | April 4, 1993
David Lee Weyer said he wanted to salvage young lives. Fo six months, that's what everyone thought he was doing.There wasn't a juvenile counselor with more energy or determination. When one of his delinquent teen-agers missed a curfew, Mr. Weyer would prowl the night streets to find him. If a parent called in distress, he would be at the house at a moment's notice."He was memorable, a very forceful advocate," said a master who hears cases in Baltimore Juvenile Court. "He wouldn't just say, 'I think I can help this kid.' He'd say, 'I think I can make the difference in this kid's life.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | June 14, 2002
Nine Queens neatly meets the twin demands of any con-man caper. It keeps us amused as a scam unfolds and leaves us satisfied when its secrets are revealed. The chief players here are Ricardo Darin as a practiced street hustler and Gaston Pauls as the son of another con man. Because he needs a ton of dough fast to help out his dad, Pauls joins up with Darin and swiftly becomes part of a scheme that could net the pair $450,000: selling some rare old German postage stamps known as the "Nine Queens" to a shady financial wizard and philatelist who is about to be deported.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 11, 2001
"Ladies, when I blow my whistle, you're going to approach the man you would most like to couple with for the next 48 hours." That's the opening instruction to the eight women contestants on Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage, yet another reality series exploiting the emotional vulnerabilities of young adults with good bodies who don't seem to have the brains to know how to find a partner in more traditional, less public ways. Trying to make it all seem glamorous, the show is set aboard a luxury sailboat in the Caribbean with 16 singles trying to be part of the last couple left standing.
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