About Marshall Frank

Thirty-year veteran of law enforcement with Miami-Dade Police Department, sixteen years in Homicide, retired a captain. Author of seven fiction novels and seven books of non-fiction. Op-Ed writer for Florida Today and TC Palm newspaper. Former symphony violinist. Married, father and grandfather. President, Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc.
Author Archive | Marshall Frank


Can You Ever Forgive Me   -7.5


In two words: Author Alcoholic

 In a rare non-comedic role, Melissa McCarthy shows the dramatic side of her talents by playing a down-in-her-luck author, Lee Israel, who sadly finds herself on the outs with her literary agent, her publisher and everyone else who avoids her like a rotten smell, other than her cat. Set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s, where she lives in a ramshackle, filthy apartment, there’s hardly a scene in the movie where McCarthy is not sipping on a glass of Scotch.  She had been a successful author once, profiling numerous celebrities like Tallulah Bankhead, Katherine Hepburn, Estee Lauder and others. Now she’s barely able to get past the alcohol induced writer’s block. 

       On the edge of being evicted by her landlord, coupled with a number of other debts, Lee stumbles on a an easy money scheme to deal with selling bogus documents signed/written by other famous authors of the past, often worth anywhere from $50 to thousands, depending. She established a friendship with a gay man, interestingly named “Jack Hock,” another down-and-out drunk drug user played by Richard E. Grant, where they share a few laughs

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An interesting crime statistic:

The top ten cities in America for rates of murder per 100,000 are as follows:  (Per FBI stats)

  1. St. Louis, Mo.      –   59.8
  2. Baltimore, Md       –  57.8
  3. New Orleans, La.  –   41.7
  4. Newark, NJ  –   33.3
  5. Milwaukee, Wi.  –   24.2
  6. Wash. DC    –    24.1
  7. Chicago, Il.  –  23.8
  8. Kansas City, Mo.  –  23.0
  9. Cincinnati, Oh     –   22.1
  10. Memphis, Tn –   20.5

If you wanted to see the next 10 cities on the list, it would be:

  1. Oakland
  2. Atlanta
  3. Pittsburg
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Miami
  7. Cleveland
  8. Stockton
  9. Buffalo
  10. Houston

New York City with the highest population by far (8,537,673) is far down the list with only 3.4 killings per 100,000

While I was going through this research, I stumbled on another interesting crime stat pertaining to rape.  Top five cities are as follows (per 100,000):

  1. Anchorage  –  171.6
  2. Cleveland, Oh  –  124.0
  3. New Orleans, La  –  104.0
  4. Aurora, Co.  –  97.7
  5. Columbus, Oh   –  95.1

     New York City?  Way down the list at 14.0

My next focus, following these crime trends, was to research the local government make-up of cities with high rates of violent crime, particularly city councils and mayors, who have the most influence on policy and

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A Star is Born – 8 .5

In a word: Captivating

     This is a great movie, with superb acting and an ample supply of modern-age music which, for some, could have been moderated a bit to allow for more appeal to all audiences.

     First a question: What does Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Lady Gaga all have in common? They all played lead roles in a smash movie titles “A Star Is Born.” (1937, 1954, 1976 and 2018) This might well be considered the best of the lot. (Until the next rendition sometime in the mid 2050s)

     While the plot is basically the same in each film, (down and out show-biz fellow discovers a future star)  I cannot imagine better acting in the lead role than what Lady Gaga gives us in her first major film. She is virtually intoxicating, not only for her dramatics, but her music, which is not only singing, she renders the epitome of bridging modern rock with classic love songs. (I’ve never heard La Vie En Rose sung better) Gaga realistically crosses the gamut of raw emotion from learning that she is truly beautiful and vastly talented, as deeply imparted by a smitten

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The Polygraph Lie

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the prime accuser in the Brett Cavanaugh fiasco, took a polygraph claiming Judge Cavanaugh had sexually assaulted her 36 years ago when they were 15 and 17 years old, respectively. Setting aside other facts concerning the case, this appears to validate the accuser, because the examiner concluded that Dr. Ford was telling the truth.

     As famed newsman of yore, Paul Harvey, used to say, “Here’s the rest of the story.”

     First of all, there is no such thing as “passing” a polygraph. Polygraphs do not detect lies or truths, they detect stress or the absence of stress. Type A personalities may respond to polygraph testing much differently than Type B personalities.

     The results of a polygraph are determined solely by an opinion rendered by the examiner, based on physiological reactions to questions. Often, there may be no “pass” or “fail” if the test results are unclear. These are deemed “inconclusive.” I know all this because I worked in Miami-Dade Homicide 16 of my 30 years on the job where I often watched or assisted examiners testing witnesses and/or suspects.

     Later in my career, I attended polygraph school to become a licensed examiner. Now relegated to administrative

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I applaud reality star, Kim Kardashian for embarking on a mission convincing President Trump to commute a woman’s prison sentence who had been serving mandatory life plus 25 years, for her role in a Tennessee drug ring. Alice Johnson, age 63, is a mother of five who admitted her crimes for which she was sentenced by a federal judge in 1996.

     Mrs. Johnson had petitioned President Obama for clemency in 2014, but was denied. Hers was a significant drug crime, but also a first offence. During her prison time, she was considered a model inmate.

     While president, Barack Obama issued nearly two thousand clemency orders for inmates serving non-violent offenses. I was no fan of President Obama, but I do think he was right to address the issue of harsh and mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes.

     Mrs. Johnson certainly deserved prison time. But relegating a human being to life without a chance of parole, except in the most egregious of crimes, is barbaric. If Mrs. Johnson, and others like her, remained in prison until age 90 or 100, costs to the taxpayer would be enormous.

     Elderly people in prison is becoming the norm, not the exception. According to Wikipedia

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In a word:  Depressing.

     If you are adverse to a barrage of bad language, plus graphic violence, do not see this movie.

     Set in Detroit around 1984, this is a deep, dark film giving us a vivid peek into the underworld of drugs and dealers, depression, dysfunction and misery.

     Mathew McConaughey deftly plays the role of a struggling single father of two teens, one a female junkie who lives in the streets and the other, Rick Wershe Jr., age 15, who spends most of his miserable life interacting with dopers and thieves in the hood, often the only white person in the mix. This was during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

     Wershe Sr. sells guns illegally to make ends meet but soon attracts attention from the FBI. Federal agents convince his son, Rick Jr., to become an undercover drug informant in exchange for keeping his father out of prison. When young Rick gets in too deep, he finds himself seduced by the lure of easy money and becomes a drug dealer himself.

     This is based on a true story which comes together at the end, which I will omit for this article.

     McConaughey is

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Vivien Marie Peterson was born September 13, 1910, Chicago, Illinois. Died: June 3, 1966, North Miami, Florida.

By age seventeen, she was an honor student in high school, played classical piano, winning a number of music competitions, accomplished dancer studying ballet and tap, loyal daughter to Anna Peterson, and sister, Frances Peterson.

At age 19, she moved to New York City and married vaudeville star, known as “Old Man Whoopee,” performing as straight woman for him in hundreds of performances around the nation. She shared stages with Burns and Allen, Ginger Rogers, Rudy Vallee, Ray Bolger, Edward G. Robinson, Ruby Dee, The Three Stooges, Marx Brothers, Sophie Tucker, the Dorsey Brothers and many more entertainers of note.

“Old Man Whoopee” died (natural causes) in 1941, after which she remarried to Queens mobster, Willie Strauss. She had already birthed two baby boys, the eldest of whom died by drowning in Flushing Bay, New York, when he was age 7.

Four years after moving to Miami Beach in 1945, her second husband died. (natural causes) Times were tough in Miami Beach, a single mom raising one child as she work playing piano at dance classes for $20 a week. Eventually, in 1955,

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