Can you believe it?  Today is the 11th Friday of the year!  Happy Friday, friends!  Have a great weekend!


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The Assassin’s Assassin

Hello, friends!  Welcome to another Throwback Thursday.  Please try to be quiet as you board the Retro Bus.  We’re headed back to today’s date 1964, in the Dallas Texas Courthouse.  Shhh…

We’re slipping into the courtroom, already in session.  Take a seat in the back, if you can find one, and try not to let the other spectators’ soft weeping unnerve you.  We’re here today so see as Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, is sentenced for killing Lee Harvey Oswald–the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy

As the lawyers recap the events that brought Mr. Ruby to this place, we relive that moment on November 24, 1963, two days after the President was assassinated.  After the heinous crime, the suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was taken to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail.

A crowd of onlookers, including on-and off-duty police officers and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure.  Few, if any, women were present.  The men, if they weren’t in uniforms, wore suits, ties, and fedoras, as were protocol at the time.  As Oswald was escorted into the room, he gave a brief statement to the hungry press, complaining that he was not given the opportunity to have legal representation and had nothing further to say.  Another police officer stood behind him and held up the weapon that he allegedly used to kill the President, a foreign made firearm.

After his statement, police proceeded to escort Oswald out to the transport area when out of nowhere, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and killed him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver.  The crowd went hysterical.  After witnessing, either on live television coverage or in person, the heinous murder of the President just two days prior, shivers traveled up the spines of every person in that room as soon as Oswald stepped in.  Their blood boiled that such a monster had roamed the streets of Dallas just days before.  Yet, before they could fully grasp the history they were witnessing by merely breathing the same air as the monster named Oswald, one among them took the law into his own hands, and became the judge, jury, and executioner of the alleged assassin.

If you really think about it, you can probably imagine the mass panic and hysteria, the sounds of the shot and the screams and commotion that followed, the smell of adrenaline, the fear that something bigger than killing the President was taking place, the urgency to get out—NOW!, the rush of the on-and-off-duty police to subdue Jack Ruby, the scrambling of the cameramen to be the first to capture to moment and preserve it in the annals of history.

Ruby made no effort to elude the police.  He was immediately detained and claimed his crime was a mere reaction to the despair and rage he felt over the President’s assassination.  Some people called him a hero, but the law dictated that he be charged with first-degree murder.

Jack Ruby, born Jacob Rubenstein, owned and operated a slew of Dallas strip clubs and dance halls, had a history of minor connections to organized crime. He also had an ambiguous relationship with a number of Dallas police officers, which constituted various favors exchanged for their leniency in monitoring his establishments.

Once these facts were learned, Oswald quickly became a prominent feature in conspiracy theories regarding President Kennedy’s assassination.  Many speculated that Ruby killed Oswald as a safeguard to prevent him from revealing a larger conspiracy.  In his trial, Ruby denied this allegation and pleaded innocent on the grounds that his grief over Kennedy’s sudden death caused him to suffer “psychomotor epilepsy,” a condition that led him to “unconsciously” shoot Oswald.

And that’s what’s brought us here today.  We’re waiting for the verdict…  The jury has returned!  As the jury foreman delivers the verdict to the bailiff, folded neatly on a slip of paper, and the Judge takes it from the bailiff’s hand, the spectators (including us) are on pins and needles.  Will he be found guilty?  Will he be released?  While we wait for the Judge to review the decision, take a good look around…  This is the first courtroom verdict in U.S. history to be televised!

Everyone holds their breath as the Judge reads the verdict aloud.  Jack Ruby is guilty of the charge of “murder with malice” regarding the death of Lee Harvey Oswald.  He is then sentenced to die in the electric chair.
Even though our Retro Bus Tour has concluded, we’ll tell you how it really ended…  In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the Lower Court’s decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony as well as the fact that it was impossible for Jack Ruby to have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time.  Three months later, in January 1967, while he was waiting for a new trial to be held in Wichita Falls, Texas, Ruby died in a Dallas hospital.  Official Cause of Death: Lung Cancer.  (Or was it?)

The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that neither Lee Harvey Oswald nor Jack Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy. However, despite its outwardly solid conclusions, the report failed to quelch conspiracy theories surrounding the event.  In fact, the public’s conspiracy theories were so strong that by 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that President Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”  Furthermore, it concluded that the events surrounding his death may have involved multiple shooters as well as organized crime. That committee’s findings, as those of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.

As always, thank you for riding Retro Bus Tours.  We look forward to seeing you next week!










[Written by R. Carrera] 

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The Secret Language of Lawyers

Wednesday is the day YOU get to “Ask an Attorney.”  Just leave your question in the comments below, and if your question is selected, it will be answered on an upcoming Wednesday by one of our attorneys at Dean Burnetti Law.


Ben D. from Zephyrhills asks, “I don’t have an injury, just a question to learn something so I don’t feel so stupid…  An older couple from my church were recently involved in an auto accident.  They were sideswiped by a semi-truck, and when their car ran off the road, it overturned and caught fire.  The wife is in critical condition, and though the husband has been released from the hospital, he has several broken bones and can’t get around too well.  I guess they don’t have friends or family nearby, so I volunteered to take him to his appointments.  When we met with his attorney, the attorney kept talking about the D.O.A. this and the S.O.L. that.  He kept saying one or the other might change, depending on the wife’s condition, and a bunch of other 3-letter abbreviations.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but I figured the man from church did – until we left.  The old man was practically in tears when he asked me if I knew what in the heck the attorney was saying.  I guess we both felt too stupid to ask.  (We both thought D.O.A. was dead on arrival – This upset the man greatly!)  The attorney has a huge wall of legal books behind his desk, and we both felt like he was just trying to show off that he had read them all!  Can you shed some light on this for us?  The attorney was obviously highly educated, and he gave off the vibe that if we didn’t know what he was talking about, we were idiots.  Personally, I build transmissions for a living… not a skill most auto mechanics have.  I’ve been doing it so long, I could build one blindfolded.  I bet he couldn’t build one if he had a book in front of him that told him how!  Are all lawyers so full of themselves?”

Hi, Ben.  First off, I’d like to apologize on behalf of my profession.  No attorney’s goal should be to make their clients feel inferior.  The fact is, in law, we tend to abbreviate a lot of terms for our own convenience, but sometimes people who work in law tend to forget that the people who do not work in law will probably not understand our “secret language.”  It’s probably more of a bad habit than an attempt to make you feel unintelligent.  Let me see if I can clear up your misunderstanding:

“D.O.A.”, in this case, means “Date of Accident”.   (It has nothing to do with “Dead on Arrival” – which is more of a medical acronym.)

“S.O.L.” means “Statute of Limitations.”  The Statute of Limitations in any type of case is the length of time the state law allows for the victim to pursue a claim against the at-fault person or company.  In Florida, in the case of a Personal Injury (such as in an auto accident), the Statute of Limitations (or S.O.L.) is 4 years from the date of the accident, meaning the injured party has 4 years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court against the at-fault party or parties, or they are forever barred from doing so.  There are a couple of exceptions to this Statute – One is when the injured party has to file a claim against their own “U.M.” (that’s “Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist”) insurance.  If a person is in an accident and hurt so badly that the amount of insurance carried by the at-fault party doesn’t cover all their injuries, they can also look to their own insurance if they carry Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage.  Likewise, if the at-fault part does not carry any “B.I.” (that’s “Bodily Injury”) insurance, again, the victim looks to their own insurance if they carry Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage.  When the claim is against their own U.M. policy, the Florida Statute allows 5 years from the date of the accident, because that is considered to be a Contract Action, meaning it’s between the accident victim and a party to whom they signed a contract with.  The other exception to the 4-year Statute is when the victim dies.  This makes it a Wrongful Death claim for which the law allows 2-years from the date of the accident – OR the date the victim died (not to exceed 4 years).  What that means is that if a person was hit by a car and died that same day, the family has 2 years from that date to file a claim.  If a person was hit by a car, hospitalized, and died 3 months later from the injuries sustained in the car accident, the family has 2 years from their date of death to file a claim.  But if the person somehow lived 4 years (past the injury statute), then died from something caused by the original accident, they have then (for most purposes) lost the opportunity for their family to file a claim.  (I say for most purposes, because occasionally there are rare exceptions that get around certain areas of the law through certain difficult legal channels.  But this is not often an option and shouldn’t be expected.)

(While we’re at it, I’ll give you one more secret…  The law books you referred to are reference books.  I doubt any lawyer has “read them all.”)

I hope this has helped you and your friend understand things better.  Please encourage him to ask his attorney for clarification if this ever comes up again.

Good luck with everything!

Best wishes!

~Dean Burnetti

[If you have a question for one of our attorneys, please write it in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon for a response.]

(The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.)

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Teenage Earth Angels…

It’s “Tuesday Newsday,” the day when Dean Burnetti Law brings you news of recalls, legal or political events, other important happenings, or just uplifting stories that make your heart smile…  


The recent prediction for an overnight snowstorm in New Jersey worried brothers Brian and Patrick Lanigan.  They weren’t concerned with the cold, or the snow, or even potentially missing school.  But they knew the snowstorm could literally mean the difference between life or death for their neighbor Natalie Blair. So, the boys reached out to friends until they had assembled an army of five.

 The three volunteer friends spent the night at the Lanigan house and set the alarm to wake up at 4:30 AM.  (If you know teenagers, you know this in itself goes against their natural instinct to sleep late.)  But they all popped out of bed, bundled up, and headed next door, shovels in hand, to shovel the driveway of Ms. Blair.

 This single act of kindness allowed Natalie Blair to get to her dialysis treatment!  The parents of these fine young men are proud of their boys’ selflessness, and many who have seen them on Twitter have called them Snow Angels.  We couldn’t agree more!

 And speaking of awesome teenagers, Byron Román of Phoenix, Arizona, recently ignited a new trend being deemed “the best challenge social media has ever created” by calling out bored teenagers in a Facebook post.

 The #TrashTag challenge has been quick to catch on, and we hope it continues to snowball in popularity. 

 “Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens,” Román posted on Facebook. “Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it.”

 When questioned about his motives, Byron simply replied, “Due to teens making the news lately about Tide pods, Bird Box, and the Momo challenge, I thought maybe I could inspire some of them to do something positive.”

 So far, Román’s post has been shared by more than 300,000 people, and it’s more than just “bored teens” participating in the challenge.

 People of all ages from all over the world are collecting trash from outdoor spaces in their area and posting before-and-after pictures on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook, making this one of the best hashtag challenges ever.

 If you’d like to join in on the fun, simply take a before-and-after photo of the area you clean up and include #trashtag in your post.

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Define Blessed

It’s Monday. Welcome to a new week. Today is the day for “Monday Ministry.” Did you know that Attorney Dean Burnetti went to seminary before he was called to the legal field?  The following is a devotion given to you by Dean…


Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the one…”

The world often assumes that to be blessed means to prosper, to advance in life in a positive material way.  If we make more money, we are blessed. If we are promoted in our position at work, we are blessed.


Although these things can be a blessing, it should not be the focus of us as believers. As followers of Christ, to be blessed is a state of mind and heart that arises from our relationship and service to Christ.

We are in joy and contentment, whether we are rich or poor. Whether we are driving a Mercedes or a Volkswagen. Whether we are president or janitor.

The Apostle Paul states that whatever position we find ourselves, in that place we are to be content and at peace.

During your life, you may be rich and then become poor. You may be on the top and then on the bottom several times with no apparent reason. For all of us, life will have hills and valleys.

The difference for the follower of Christ is that he or she can, despite hills and valleys, always be blessed.

Today, your contentment in whatever position or circumstance you find yourself is the gift that will make the difference.  That’s the definition of blessed.

Be Blessed.

~Dean Burnetti

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Another One Down

Happy Friday, Friends!

Have a great weekend!

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And Then There Were None

Happy Throwback Thursday, friends!  Please watch your step as you board the Retro Bus.  Our final destination is today’s date, 45 years ago, but on our way there, we’ll be cruising by an unknown date 75 years back in December 1944.  (And as the date may seem to the 1939 publication of Agatha Christie’s best-selling book with the same title as today’s blog post, it’s not related.)

In December 1944, as World War II was drawing to a close, a Japanese intelligence officer, Hiroo Onoda, and three fellow Japanese soldiers were sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines with instructions to destroy the infrastructure on the island and do all they could to thwart enemy attacks.

When the United States and Philippine Commonwealth forces landed there shortly after the beginning of 1945, Onoda and his men hid in the mountains and strategized how they would carry out their mission of guerrilla warfare despite being greatly outnumbered.  As they plotted their mission, they built huts out of bamboo, and sustained themselves with a diet of bananas, coconuts, rice, and the occasional treat of beef after they slaughtered cattle on sporadic farm raids.

Eight or nine months after they were stationed, the war ended.  Only there was no way for the Japanese Army to let them know.  A couple of months later, the men were scouting for food when they found a leaflet that said, “The war ended on August 15. Come down from the mountains!”

But these good soldiers would not be duped by the enemy.  They knew in their hearts that there was no way that Japan could have been defeated, or even worse, surrendered.

The dedicated soldiers continued to man their station and occasionally raid a farm or take out an infiltrator that dared to wander too close to their camp.

A couple of months later, the Japanese Army dropped more leaflets over the island that included a copy of the surrender order signed by General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the Fourteenth Area Army.   But these four soldiers were too smart for that enemy trick.  It had to be a lie.  They just knew it, and they weren’t going to fall for such a silly hoax.

So, they continued life as usual, planning and carrying out various hit-and-run campaigns.  For the next few years, they carried out a series of armed raids, including setting fire to houses and farms, many which resulted in the deaths of unsuspecting farmers and other civilians.

It was nearly 6 years after they landed (and 5 years after the war ended), sometime in 1950, when they encountered the Filipino army and one of the men surrendered.

And then there were three.

The three remaining soldiers continued their vigilant mission as was dictated by their superior officer so many years ago.  Two years later, a Japanese plane dropped snapshots of their family members enclosed in letter from the family members and a leaflet explaining that the war was indeed over.

But these men were too smart for a trick like that.  The enemy may have forced their family members to pose for photos and lie about the war being over, but then, their family members were trained soldiers such as they.  So, they picked some more coconuts, killed some more cattle, and continued their mission.

Two years later, in 1954, a search party went looking for them.  But because that was obviously another ruse to trick them into believing the war had ended, they knew the search party was the enemy and shot at them.  Which prompted shots back, and one of the stalwarts was killed.

And then there were two.

The duo diligently carried on their mission, killing some locals, setting some fires, when necessary, and hiding deep in the jungle brush within the mountains.  Situation Normal continued – for 18 more years! And then the S.N.A.F.U. –During a shootout with the police in 1972, Onoda’s last remaining companion was killed.

And then there was one.

Alone in his mission to serve his country, Onodo knew he bore the sole burden of carrying out the task he was sent there to do.  So, as an army of one, he continued to terrorize the locals and hide out, refusing to be caught and disappoint his country.

Two years later, in early 1974, a Japanese explorer and adventurer named Norio Suzuki decided that he would travel to Lubang Island and locate Onodo and bring the soldier home.  Well, he managed to navigate the jungles and mountains, and survive the terrain, perhaps finding some clues along his way to point him in the right direction.  And after his diligent search, he ended up eye to eye with the end of a loaded, leveled rifle staring him in the face and Onoda at the other end.

But because Suzuki had been well briefed before he left Japan, he quickly said, “Onoda-san, the Emperor and the people of Japan are worried about you.”

Onoda, however, was not convinced that this wasn’t yet another enemy trick.  He released Suzuki from being his prisoner and actually let him live, but he firmly explained that he would not surrender until he had a direct order to do so from his commanding officer.

Suzuki fled the island and returned to Japan where he then went on a mission to locate Onoda’s C.O., Major Yoshimi Taniguchi.  Of course, since it had been nearly 30 years since the war ended, Major Taniguchi had retired from the military and was working as a bookseller.  He knew of Onoda’s stand, and agreed to travel with Taniguchi back to the Philippines.

On today’s date, March 9, 1974, Taniguchi and Suzuki located Onoda, and Taniguchi assured the steadfast soldier that the Imperial command had indeed ceased all combat activity and ordered him to lay down his arms.

And then there were none.

Onoda reluctantly surrendered his one-man war, and soon thereafter, presented his ceremonial sword to Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos.  President Marcos, in turn, granted Onoda a pardon for his guerrilla activities.

Onoda returned to Japan as a hero, but after almost 3 decades of remote jungle living, it didn’t take long for him to decide that the modern Japan was not his cup of tea.  You see, the Japan of 1974 was in the throes of a decades-long economic boom and in thrall to Western culture. It was also avowedly pacifist.  So, because of his difficulty adapting to the new Japan, in 1975, he relocated to a Japanese colony in São Paulo, Brazil, where he became a cattle farmer, although he continued to travel back and forth.

A decade later, in 1984, he was still very much a celebrity, and he established a youth camp, where he taught young Japanese some of the survival techniques he had used during his decades in the jungle.

In 2001, he gave a rare interview to a Western journalist, in which he said, “In Japan you go to war because you are ready to die. That is the absolute pre-condition. To become a prisoner is the worst thing possible. On Lubang, I didn’t want to be seen as a failure, so I protected my honor and carried out my mission to the end.”  Yes, he certainly did.  His adventures are detailed in his book “No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War.”

Hiroo Onoda died in a Tokyo hospital from heart failure in 2014.  He was 91 years old.

This concludes our journey for today, friends.  As always, Retro Tours, Inc. thanks you for your patronage.  See you next week!



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