MY FastMetal...the ramblings and rumblings of an old rodder. His name has been omitted to protect the guilty party!

July 9.2007

Today I read in the paper that Frank Fiore had died. I doubt any one here knows who he was, but when I went to work at the airline in '65 he was pointed out to me right away. Frank was a lead mechanic at the Line Matinance Facility at SFO. And Frank had driven at Indy. For years after I went to work there Frank continued to own and run an Indy car at the Indy 500. The really big time. My shop steward had a 270 Offy powered sprinter he maintained for one of the foreman. But Frank was part of the 500. I don't think just regular guys still run in the 500. He was a hero to alot of us. RF _______________________________________________

Goodwin Found Guilty in Murders of Racer

By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent

PASADENA, Calif. - Michael Goodwin, a once high-living motorsports promoter, was convicted of two counts of murder Thursday in the 1988 killings of Mickey Thompson and the racing legend's wife.
The jury also found that special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and multiple murder were true. The prosecution has said it will not seek the death penalty.
Goodwin, who was accused of planning the murders and hiring hit men to commit them, only shook his head slightly back and forth when the verdicts were read.
Goodwin was a former business partner of Thompson, a racer who pursued land-speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and drove everything from dragsters and funny cars to midgets, and was a major figure in popularizing off-road contests.
The killing of Thompson and his wife, Trudy, seemed to be the ultimate "cold case," but it did not die because of the efforts of Thompson's sister, Collene Campbell, who insisted that investigators pursue the case for more than 18 years.
In the beginning, it seemed to be the perfect crime. Two unknown assailants on bicycles penetrated the gated confines of Thompson's home, shot him and his wife as they left for work, then escaped through a wooded area where a car could not have traveled.
Neighbors described hearing screams and seeing two men pedaling away. One neighbor actually tried to shoot at them but was too far away and too late to do any good. The men were never seen again.
As years passed without strong evidence, the case was considered closed. But Thompson's sister, a former mayor of San Juan Capistrano with wide political connections, pressed authorities to reopen the murder case and look at Goodwin as a suspect.
Eyewitness identifications didn't help much. The only witness to see the killings was a 14-year-old girl who testified at the trial. As an adult she claimed her memory of events was good, but defense attorneys questioned that. A couple who claimed to have seen Goodwin casing the area with binoculars before the killings did not come forward until 13 years after the crime when they saw a TV show about it that they said triggered their memories.
At the six-week trial, Goodwin's attorney presented testimony from a psychologist who said memories fade quickly and suggested that a 13-year-old identification would not be trustworthy.
Lacking direct evidence, the prosecution put on a strong circumstantial case, alleging that Goodwin arranged the March 16, 1988, slayings of Thompson, 59, and his 41-year-old wife as revenge for a soured business deal. They showed that Goodwin and Thompson entered into a partnership to stage motocross racing events _ a business that failed.
The partnership disintegrated into a bitter legal battle and Thompson, who claimed he was cheated, won a legal judgment of more than $700,000 against Goodwin.
They showed that Goodwin, 61, liquidated his assets around the time of the killings, bought a $400,000 yacht and sailed off with his then-wife to spend three years in the Caribbean and elsewhere.
Goodwin was arrested in 2001 when he returned to the United States and has been held without bail.
His lawyer contended he was innocent and that the killings occurred during a robbery attempt. The defense contended Goodwin was a victim of false assumptions and of TV shows that created a "folklore" and prompted people to come forward with unsubstantiated accounts.
Numerous witnesses gave accounts of Goodwin threatening to kill Thompson, saying Goodwin confided he planned to "waste him," "take care of him" and see him dead before he would pay him a dime. One witness reported hearing Goodwin say: "I'll kill him. ... I can get it done for 50 grand."
His own attorney acknowledged that Goodwin may have been "a jerk," but said he was not a killer.
During every day of the trial, Thompson's sister sat in court with her husband, Gary Campbell, and stared at Goodwin.
"This has been a long endurance race for justice," she said when the trial began. "We don't plan to drop out till we get to the finish line."



1954 Popular Mechanics Magazine

Be sure to read the caption below the picture.
This picture is before you knew what a computer was or probably before some of you were born!

Picture from 1954 Popular Mechanics Magazine be sure to read the caption below the picture.

The New Mandatory Seat Belt Law :
This is Very Important, Please Pass Along to ALL your Friends and Family .... THIS WILL SAVE LIVES !!!

The National Highway
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designed seat belt. Results

show that accidents can be

reduced by as much as 75%

when the belt is properly

installed as shown. The Correct Installation
is illustrated below ......


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