Daily Archives: February 13, 2007

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Another entry in the “People Suck” category: The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the Maltese Falcon has been stolen.

More specifically, an authorized reproduction of the prop from the 1941 film classic The Maltese Falcon, one which was used for publicity stills for the movie and which was signed by actor Elisha Cook, Jr., was taken from a locked cabinet in John’s Grill, a well-known San Francisco bar where Falcon author Dashiell Hammett and his fictional alter ego Sam Spade used to hang. Several vintage and signed Hammett books were taken as well.

A reward of $25,000 has been offered, but I have a hunch the owner of John’s will never see the Black Bird again. Bastards.


The Jealous Astronaut

Why don’t we take a break from all the doom and gloom of the Trolley Square thing and enjoy a little music video by The Phantom Surfers, inspired by the strange story of astronaut Lisa Nowak:

Courtesy of Boing Boing, naturally enough.


The Trolley Square Shooter

The gunman has been identified as Sulejmen Talovic, an 18-year-old who lived with his mother in Salt Lake. No word yet as to motive, and it appears he was working entirely on his own.

Holly Mullen, a former columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune and newly minted blogger, attended the noon-time press conference I mentioned earlier and has a full report on everything that was said, including a detailed rundown of how last night’s events unfolded. I see little reason for me to summarize or rewrite what she’s posted, so go have a look if you’re curious.

I will, however, note for the record the names of the victims. First, the dead:

  • Teresa Ellis, 29
  • Brad Frantz, 24
  • Kirsten Hinckley, 15
  • Vanessa Quinn, 29
  • Jeffery Walker, 52

And here are the injured and/or hospitalized:

  • Stacy Hansen, 53
  • Shawn Munns, 34
  • Carolyn Tufts, 44
  • Jeffery Allen Walker, 16

I feel kind of cold for what I’m about to say, but I’m very thankful that I didn’t know any of them…


History of Trolley Square

The Trib also has a brief history of Trolley Square, if you’re interested. Here’s the even-briefer version:

The area served as territorial and state fairgrounds until 1908 when Union Pacific Railroad magnate E.H. Harriman made it the site for an innovative trolley car system. At one time, more than 144 trolleys operated from mission-style car barns erected at the site. They served the area until the line was discontinued in 1945.


For years, Trolley persisted as a decaying garage for Utah Transit Authority buses and Utah Power maintenance vehicles and the historic block was littered with junk vehicles, old tires and trash contained within barbed wire. Then, in 1972, developers dedicated to historic restoration renovated the old barns, which were painted yellow at the time, into a collection of boutiques and trendy restaurants.

There has been talk lately of a new owner planning to do some major renovations on Trolley. I’ve been concerned that these plans (which of course have not been revealed to the public) will change the quirky Trolley characteristics that I described last night and personally like, namely the maze-like layout and dimly lighted corners. I suspect that the shootings will now make such changes inevitable regardless of whatever the earlier plans were, and all in the name of our singular modern concern, “security.”


Update on the Trolley Square Shootings

The Trib is reporting that the gunman in last night’s madness at Trolley Square was an 18-year-old kid. He had no accomplice, as some early rumors suggested, but he was stopped by an off-duty Ogden police officer with the help of several Salt Lake officers. So I guess there was something to that Die Hard story I mocked in last night’s entry. No motive has been discovered.
Police are still withholding the names of the dead, but we’ve got their ages and genders: two 28-year-old women, a 52-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. Three of them died in a card store, one in Pottery Barn Kids, and another outside of Bath and Body Works. I can’t think of anything more sad, more miserably mundane, than to be shot in front of freaking Bath and Body Works, with a bottle of pearberry shampoo in your hand. God…

There’s a press conference scheduled for noon Salt Lake time, at which the authorities are promising names and more details…