Options Aerial View: Playlist from July 21, 2015 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options July 21, 2015: Murder In My Town
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Tonight: Murder In My Town
My guests tonight are Mark Moran of Weird NJ and Jesse P. Pollack, a contributor to same, whose new book is Death on the Devil's Teeth: The Strange Murder That Shocked Suburban New Jersey. It tells the fascinating, lost story of sixteen-year old Jeanette DePalma of Springfield, NJ and her unsolved murder. The tale encompasses witchcraft, Satanism, a possible police coverup and a serial killer on the loose.
I've told the story here before of a murder that shocked the town in which I grew (see The Big Duh, below) and, after reading The Devil's Teeth, I began wondering if every town has that one locally-notorious case of murder, solved or not.

Call 201-209-WFMU tonight between 6 and 7 PM Eastern time with the details of the murder in your town. If it happened in New Jersey it might make it into the next edition of Weird NJ!
Edinburgh_Clip Tom Joad Speech
Tom Joad organizes Uber drivers.
Last Week: The Great Gig In The Sky
Last week's show was an examination of what's been labeled the "Gig Economy." Led by companies like Uber and not quite the same as freelancing, the gig economy is more like independent contractor-ship (though an LA judge recently ruled that Uber driver are actually employees). The show included calls from a Biological Chemist doing work on his kitchen table and an actual Uber driver who pulled over to call. 

Check these great playlist comments:
  • I do house painting and drywall and tiling and such for cash. I make a lot less than i should but i don't report it to the feds. I hope the revenuers aren't watching this forum. I finally raised my rate for one guy i work for often - i've been charging him the same money for 4 years. You'd think i asked him for a kidney. "You can only charge what the market can bear blah blah." Meanwhile, he drives a new Lincoln MKZ he paid cash for.
  • Ben Walker, formerly of FMU, recently did "Instaserfs," a series of podcasts on this topic, but at the end, I felt like there was a lot more to explore. There's probably endless material to mine re: the abuse of so-called independent contractors.
  • NAFTA, GATT, TPP. These were going to make our lives better. Can't wait for the AI robots. Oy vey.
  • i'm making nothing. Moving into the dirt or a cave soon or a tree.
  • It's exciting to be part of the Survey Monkey economy!
  • i have a full-time job and I tend to resist the urge to gig, simply because its taking money away from folks who need to gig for a living... that said, gigging has always been appealing to me, except for not having a steady client base...
  • I juggle jobs all the time - I enjoy the variety but the instabitily and hustle can be exausting. You could work your ass off for over a year but when the tide goes out for a bit not only do you get no benis from your employers you cannot apply for the unemployment benifits that your fed taxes are going towards. Contractors get shafted all over the place.
  • With you on the immigrants, Chris. My Great Grandma was one, she barely spoke a word of English. But she came to this country and worked hard. I'll never complain about foreigners because of that.
  • You drive a car for a living, you have to be prepared to drive drunk people. You want these people driving a car themselves?
  • Work more. get less. Right-wing Utopia.
  • Would love to live somewhere cheaper but then where do I make enough money to survive? A question I've been struggling with for several years now. Such a hustle just to make a living these days.
  • Uber's official policy is no tipping, and supposedly sends out undercover riders to test them and drops drivers who take the bait. Lyft builds tipping into its app. Drivers like the Lyft method better.
The Big Duh
Tommy Palmese never got his goal into the Lindenhurst High School yearbook. I think he dropped out and never made it that far. He was like a lot of guys I went to high school with: not too bright, a bit of a hustler, always playing the angles. He did one thing well–he sold pot. That’s all he did. He was known as the pot connection. I knew Tommy, not well, but we used to say "hello" if we passed in the halls. I didn’t hear anything about him after I left school.
 
Years later, I was back visiting my mother for some holiday or another and switched on the TV to see Tommy’s parents on the local news. Seated side-by-side on a crummy couch in their sad-looking living-room, they were saying how they’d like to bury Tommy as he lived: with his head. I’m thinking All the time I knew him he had a head. How was it his parents were sobbing and asking for the return of his head–or for information leading to its recovery? Here’s how:
 
Tommy and this other guy set up a drug deal. They were going to sell some cocaine to some other guys at a late night rendezvous in this gas station in Farmingdale–only they didn’t have any cocaine to sell. What they planned was to rob the guys coming to buy the drugs. With a bag of faux cocaine and a shotgun, they met these guys somewhere around three in the morning.
 
The guy with Tommy pulls the shotgun on the other guys, to rob them. They make a run for it. Shotgun guy clobbers one of the other guys as he’s grabbing the money to leave. The shotgun goes off, hits Tommy full in the chest. Kills him.
 
Now the shotgun guy’s panicked. The guys with the money have fled. Shotgun guy’s left there with Tommy, who’s dead or quickly dying. He decides he has to get rid of the body. He goes hunting through the shuttered gas station and finds some kind of knife, a regular knife with a small blade, and he figures the thing to do is to make Tommy a mystery corpse. So he starts cutting off Tommy’s head. It takes hours. This guy really isn’t aware of what it means to cut someone’s head off - he’s seen too many bad horror movies where heads come off like bottle caps–and he’s making a real mess of it. There’s blood everywhere. It’s a slow, labor-intensive job but finally, around dawn, he’s through.
 
Shotgun guy cuts off Tommy’s hands for good measure and puts the head and the hands in one garbage bag and the torso in another. He throws both bags in his trunk and drives down to the bay, to the end of a dock, and he chucks the bag with the torso in the water. Then he drives a few miles to another dock, fills the head and hands bag with stones and throws that one in the water. Then he drives home.
 
A few days later the bag with the torso surfaces and washes up on shore. The cops come down and they open the bag and everyone is shocked to see this headless, handless torso fall out. Who is it? Who can this be? Will the identity of this bloated corpse ever be known? Will this remain a mystery forever?
 
They never said in the news accounts who the cop was–the genius–who reached in Tommy Palmese’s back pocket and pulled out a sopping wet wallet stuffed with ID but I always imagined him letting out a big "Duh!" Like that wouldn’t be the biggest "Duh!" in the whole world. They must’ve wet their pants over that one down at the precinct house.
 
When Tommy’s head and hands surfaced and washed ashore several days later no ID was required. His parents collected the parts and had a lovely, open casket funeral. I did not attend.
 
Obligatory Throwback Pic
Me, 1992, as Jack Boyle, Detective in I Was A Teenage Mummy,
How To Hear Aerial View
OVER THE AIR: Every Tuesday night, 6 PM Eastern time on WFMU in the metro NY/NJ area at 91.1 FM and on WMFU at 90.1 in the lower Catskills, Hudson Valley, western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

ON THE WEB: Streaming audio in several formats is available at wfmu.org.
ON DEMAND ARCHIVES: The Aerial View Archive page features archives going back to nearly the beginning of the show in RealAudio and MP3 format.
PODCAST: Aerial View is available on iTunes as a podcast.
WFMU MOBILE: Listen live via the mobile app or browse the archives. Get the iOS app here and the Android version here. Amazon Kindle users can use the TuneIn Radio app. Info for other platforms, including Blackberry, etc. can be found here.

AUDIOBOOM: Hear Aerial View and easily share it on social media here. Mobile apps are here.
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Artist Track Year Format
Black Chris T. Sabbath  Chidlren of the Aerial View Grave   Options 2015  CD-R 

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:01pm Greg from ZONE 5:

Off to a good start!
  Tue. 7/21/15 6:11pm Marcel M:

Oh there are zines (strict xerox definition zines, yes) Believe it or not. Shout out to Born to Kill!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:14pm dale:

soooo....what is the devil's teeth - the rock formation on the book cover?

i used to buy the weird nj magazine and cool and strange music, maybe at a hudson news around grand central. no such newstands where i live now, except for the area in shoprite where they sell woman's day and field and stream and greeting cards
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:16pm chris:

now i want a Pagan Bikers vest... we would ride around blasting Hawkwind
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:18pm Cecile:

I gotta read that book.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:20pm Mike East:

I just started watching True Detectives...this is sounding a bit similar.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:22pm chris:

Season 1 True Detectives is the stuff of nightmares, Mike East... great TV! I think there's the sense that this kind of shit happens all over the place.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:25pm Mike East:

@chris - yes, I'm enjoying it when I can - not the type of thing you one can watch with kids in the room, even with my very liberal standards. I love the pacing of the story so far. Friends tell me season 2 is confusing as hell.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:27pm chris:

jury still out on season 2, for sure... still pretty damn compelling tv, though...
  Tue. 7/21/15 6:28pm Ellen:

Do you still have to wait 24 hours to file a missing person report for a child. There should be an exception made for children.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:31pm Ike:

I don't get the appeal of True Detective (season 1; haven't seen any of S2). There's not much of a plot -- the writer obviously doesn't give a shit about the "case" he's splurted out. It's just a loose framework to hang the characterization on. It's all McConaughey & Harrelson. I don't dig that. Want plot. Need plot.
Avatar Tue. 7/21/15 6:32pm Marcel M:

A full blooded New Joisie Italiano becoming Evangelical is a story in and of itself...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:37pm dale:

is this a movie too? or are trailers being made to sell books - which is actually a great idea. has weird nj or ny or whatever ever been pitched as a tv show or pbs series?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:39pm dale:

was it ancient aliens that dumped her up there?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:39pm Mike East:

@Ike - I think for me its the slow reveal on the characters. I like thinking one thing about a character, and then a piece of info comes out that completely shifts my perspective...I'm kind of a sucker for that. And, yeah, I do like those actors and they're fun to watch.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:40pm Mike East:

@dale - Weird NJ was a tv show...er Weird U.S. it was called - en.wikipedia.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/21/15 6:41pm Īke:

Yeah, the body being up on the cliff reminded me of that bit in Amazon's "Bosch" too. Too bad "Bosch" isn't a better series overall. It's all over the place, some very unrealistic trashy thriller-y bits and some much more realistic bits.
Avatar Tue. 7/21/15 6:41pm Marcel M:

I haven't watched True Detective yet. But I usually watch shows a decade after they happen.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:47pm dale:

i like the word 'constabulatory'
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 6:49pm dale:

ah! mike - no cable over here. sure i can find it online...
  Tue. 7/21/15 6:52pm exNJ:

This is why we left NJ
Avatar Tue. 7/21/15 6:52pm Marcel M:

Where'd you move exNJ? A place where murder is illegal?
  Tue. 7/21/15 6:54pm Jim B:

Has the WNJ crew been following this house stalker incident from Westfield?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/24/the-watcher-house-home-letters-westfield_n_7656620.html
  Tue. 7/21/15 6:57pm exNJ:

Lots of sick people putting on a bourgeois costume and playing the fake civility game. Back to the city for good and happy about it.
Avatar Tue. 7/21/15 6:58pm Marcel M:

Ah yes. The city. Where there are no bourgeois costumes at all, and the last strange murder was 300 years ago.
Avatar Tue. 7/21/15 7:01pm Marcel M:

Awesome show.. I want the book! Thanks Chris.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/21/15 7:01pm Mike East:

yeah, really interesting stuff, guys. Thanks Chris.
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