Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Devil Wore Red

I have needed to replace the Bianchi for sometime, it was always a little small, advertised as a 57, but really a 56, when in reality I need a 59.

Enter the Medici. Out with the real Italian, in with the non-Italian-Italian sounding-fully kitted-out in Italian parts, ah, I forget where I was going with that

Somewhat interestingly, Medici bikes were made only a few blocks from my current residence. East L.A. pride on two wheels

Medici Bicycle Company is the name of an American bicycle manufacturer established by Gian Simonetti and Michael Howard when they left another bike manufacturer, Masi California, in 1978. Located near Los Angeles, the Medici catalog included mostly road bikes and frames.

The name Medici was chosen to for its association with Italian European Enlightenment. The Lion Rampant symbol was used for decals on the bicycle frames.

In the mid-90's they lost the rights to the Medici name, but continued on as Simonetti Bicycles.

So now on to the best part, one of the owners of Medici was put in jail a few years back for "hair banditry"...

Californian man locked up over hair cutting spree

When police finally came to Michael Howard's home they came across quite a lot of hair.

They discovered a thin carpet of it covering the floor, huge mounds of it on the bed, piles of it in the closet, and to capture that perfect hairy moment, photos of severed ponytails lined up as neatly as bodies in a morgue.

Californian police then deduced they had finally caught up with the notorious "Haircut Bandit".

For three weeks in December of 2001, Howard cruised the streets of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, casing bus stops and park benches for women with ultra-long tresses.

Before he was caught, Howard chopped hanks of hair or entire ponytails from the heads of nine victims, aged 12 to 45.

Investigators began closing in on the bicycle repair shop owner on New Year's Eve when a deputy sheriff saw him approach a woman at a bus stop and shear off her waist-length hair.

He escaped, dropping his scissors and his hair trophy, but police nabbed him the next day.

On Thursday, Howard entered a surprise guilty plea and was sentenced to eight years in prison for his hair-raising rampage.

His attorney, deputy public defender Gregg Hayata, says Howard became fascinated with hair as a boy and that as an adult, the sound of scissors cutting hair sexually aroused him.

But the lawyer says lust never interfered with his leading a law-abiding life until December 4, 2001, the first time he went into the street and attempted to shear some locks.

Mr Hayata says his life began to spiral out of control after his father died and his business began to fail.

"I think the combination... made him start experimenting with drugs... and he just lost control of it," he said.

Before his highly publicised foray into hair banditry, Howard was known as a cycling fanatic who had learned to fix and build custom bicycles as a youngster, a passion which led him to open a bike shop with a high school pal.

Howard, who was once married, owns a home in a suburb south of Los Angeles, and has been described by neighbours as quiet.

Family members say Howard underwent an extreme personality change in the weeks corresponding with his haircut spree, that they attribute to cocaine addiction.

Police also unearthed reports from friends that Howard had often paid women as much as $200 to let him cut their hair.

They confiscated more than 40 hair fetish videos depicting people getting haircuts.

"There were naked women getting their hair cut, videos of (Howard) cutting women's hair, some of a couple who had each cut each other's hair and shaved each other's heads," one police officer said.

"There was a Spanish game show where, if you answered the question wrong, they would cut your hair."

They also seized photos of the apparently consensual bobbing of a woman's long hair and of a row of about 15 neatly severed ponytails.


Anonymous said...
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Haywood Jablome said...

Cocaine is a hell of a drug