Posts tagged “Chris Rickert

Jingle–In the Form of Handcuffs Clasping–Needed All the Way In Milwaukee, Madison


Back in the late 1990s, when Arthur Jones was Milwaukee’s chief-of-police, he introduced his version of William Bratton’s broken windows theory of policing. Jones sought to address relatively minor issues, which broken windows theorists believe prevent more serious crimes from occurring. Jones’ experiment had mixed results, primarily because he abandoned the department’s prior strategy of aggressively targeting street gangs.

A recent incident caught on video on Milwaukee’s Upper East Side spotlights the MPD’s apparent 180 degree philosophical shift pertaining to crime and disorder.  WTMJ-TV’s Charles Benson reports that a fight between two women on N. Farwell Ave. escalated as a vehicle was driven onto the sidewalk in an apparent attempt to strike pedestrians. According to news accounts, police were called but no arrests were made.

In August 2011, in a post entitled “Kabuki Policing,” SF joined the chorus of community concern over police response times.

Let us hope that the MPD addresses the hooliganism that occurred on N. Farwell Ave.  Over a decade-and-half ago, Milwaukee police investigated a similar incident that occurred outside a pool hall on 27th and Wisconsin. At least one person was killed and several others injured by a party who decided to escalate a fight by running over people on the sidewalk.

Madison Columnist Continues Gun Control Rant while Ignoring Unsolved Murders

In a prior post, I called out Wisconsin State Journal columnist Chris Rickert as one of those willing to use the murders of 26 people in Newtown, CT to support the Democrat Party’s not-so-longer hidden agenda of gun control and/or gun confiscation—the latter of which is now being advocated by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In a December 23 blog post, Rickert, who initially chided the silence of Wisconsin “Republicans” on the Newtown shootings, is now critical of Gov. Walker’s proposal of GPS monitoring for those under the auspices of a domestic abuse restraining orders, as well as the governor’s idea of seeking mental health providers’ inputs on identifying potentially dangerous individuals.

The staff at SF has reviewed the governor’s ideas. Granted, while careful thought must be given to the criteria used to deem a person mentally unstable, Walker’s initial proposal seems thoughtful and reasonable.

In the interim, while Mr. Rickert champions gun control, the murders of several people in Madison, including the high-profile cases of Kelly Nolan and UW-Madison co-ed Brittany Zimmermann remain unsolved. This means, of course, that two murderers are likely roaming the streets of Madison or some other community ticking like a time bomb until they kill again.

While Mr. Rickert et al blabber about Gov. Walker’s response to a shooting in another state, these same columnists refuse to bring virtually any pressure to bear on the powers-that-be at the Madison Police Department over the unsolved murders of young woman and several others in their own city.

“Wink, wink,” a retired Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) homicide detective wrote in an e-mail this week, “liberal journalists providing cover for their city’s holistically liberal police chief.”

Retired MPD Captain Glenn Frankovis, a contributor to the conservative Badger Blogger (BB), was kind enough to provide several links to prior BB posts, which Mr. Rickert and his fellow Madison journalists might use to channel their energies locally and focus like a laser beam on the unsolved murders of these young women:

Crime Book Feedback Always Appreciated

Recently, I received a note from an MPD detective who is in the process or reading Dave Kane’s book MPD Blue, Mitchell Nevin’s Milwaukee-based crime novel The Cozen Protocol, and Best of the Spingola Files Volumes I and II.  For better or worse, I really do enjoy getting feedback from those who take the time to read my stuff.

Yesterday, The Cozen Protocol and Best of the Spingola Files Volumes I and II surged into the top 20 on’s list of criminal procedure books. For those of you who have spent their precious resources—both time and money—on these books, as well as  the readers of this blog, have a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Hanukah.


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012

Demagogues and Gun Control

Over three years ago, Mike Kuspa, one of the Midwest‘s foremost experts on major shooting tactical responses, and I formed The Spingola Group (SG).  This crew of current and retired law enforcement officers has one goal in mind: assisting organizations, such as schools, churches and businesses, to prepare their staffs for those critical minutes after an armed madman enters their facility with the intent to kill as many people as possible.

While there is no foolproof way to fully thwart the madness witnessed in Newtown, Connecticut, the old cliché that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure can minimize the carnage.

Unfortunately, whenever an opportunity presents itself, grandstanding politicians are all too willing to dance on the graves of murder victims in order to advance their own myopic agendas.  By now, though, Americans should know that policy made in a vacuum—the internment of Japanese-American citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the speedy implementation of the USA Patriot Act quickly come to mind—usually results in our rights and freedoms fading like a dying ember.

Some of the pontificators in the mainstream media, many of whom have likely never shouldered a firearm or lived in a troubled neighborhood, have also jumped into the fray.  Liberal Wisconsin State Journal columnist and gun control advocate Chris Rickert, generally one of Madison’s more rational voices (I know, that’s probably an oxymoron), is a prime example. 

In a recent shot at “Republican” politicians, Rickert claims that the “silence” from the likes of Gov. Scott Walker, and the leaders of the legislature, Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos, on a shooting spree in another state is telling.

“When you’re a true believer, events [such as those in Newtown] aren’t evidence,” Rickert quotes former Democrat Party legislator Mordecai Lee. “Events aren’t facts because you have a belief that can’t be overturned by any events or facts.”

What would Rickert and Lee propose to resolve the problem? The columnist, of course, is short on any specifics, although a hunch says European-style gun control.

Dr. John R. Lott, the author of “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws,” is a researcher who views events by looking at the numbers not the rhetoric from the usual suspects.

“Europe has a lot of multiple victim shootings” said Dr. Lott in recent interview with Front Page Magazine.  “If you look at a per capita rate, the rate of multiple-victim public shootings in Europe and the United States over the last 10 years have been fairly similar to each other. A couple of years ago you had a couple of big shootings in Finland. About two-and-a-half years ago you had a big shooting in the U.K., 12 people were killed. 

“You had Norway last year [where 77 died]. Two years ago, you had the shooting in Austria at a Sikh Temple. There have been several multiple-victim public shootings in France over the last couple of years. Over the last decade, you’ve had a couple of big school shootings in Germany. Germany in terms of modern incidents has two of the four worst public-school shootings, and they have very strict gun-control laws. The one common feature of all of those shootings in Europe is that they all take place in gun-free zones, in places where guns are supposed to be banned.”

In my new book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, a chapter entitled, “Do-Gooder Signs Provide Solace for Active Shooters” takes New York City’s nanny-state mayor, Michael Bloomberg, to task for his simplistic view on the Second Amendment and self-defense.

“These are the same signs [posted gun-free zones],” I noted, “that James Holmes—the shooter at the Aurora, Colorado theater—likely ignored. After all, reality dictates that do-gooder, no carry policies do little more than provide killers, like Holmes, with some solace in knowing that their law-abiding victims have voluntarily disarmed.”

Having served for parts of five decades as a law enforcement officer, I know, in most instances, that calling the police is often the best form of crime prevention.  Yet, when confronted by a suicidal gunman or an armed burglar, when a victim needs the police in a matter of seconds the police are likely minutes away.

Just ask Brittany Zimmermann, the University of Wisconsin-Madison student attacked and killed by an intruder in her Doty Street apartment on April 2, 2008. In a struggle for life, Ms. Zimmermann did call the police, but officers were never dispatched.

Almost five years later, sources say only one Madison Police Department detective works the case, rarely, on a part-time basis. While the brass at the Madison PD claims Zimmermann’s homicide is not officially a cold case, the investigative strategy, it appears, is centered on a future hit from a DNA data base.

Chris Rickert certainly knows that Brittany Zimmermann was killed only a few miles away from where he works.  If Madison journalists spent as much time exposing the botched investigation into Ms. Zimmermann’s death as they do carrying water for gun control, the Zimmermann family might finally have some peace this Christmas.  Brittany Zimmermann was not murdered with a firearm. She was stabbed to death. If she had access to a handgun—the same instrument Rickert et al would seek to ban or control—Ms. Zimmermann would likely be alive today and the bloody crime scene on Doty Street would have had a much different look.

As the holidays near and the Zimmermann family realizes that another year has come-and-gone with their daughter’s killer at-large to murder again, one can bet that Mr. Lee’s quote that “Events aren’t facts because you have a belief that can’t be overturned by any events or facts” are more applicable to those of Rickert’s ilk than proponents of self-defense—a long held tenant of natural law.  Just ask the family of Brittany Zimmermann.   

Benjmain Franklin once said, “Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor security.” 

As such, the attributes the Spingola Group identifies to confront evil are “anticipation, preparation and perseverance”—not unarmed surrender. 


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012