Harlan, We Hardly Knew Ye • Real-Life Shooting Game on Fairview • Fly Me to the Clink 

Harlan, We Hardly Knew Ye

Harlan Hale has been plenty of things to Boise Weekly over the last 11 months, and he's had just as many faces. He's been the topic of tiny but exciting write-ups for shooting at a police car during a routine stop (BW, True Crime, "Hail of Hale's Gunfire Peppers Cruiser," March 9, 2005) and getting in a couple of high-speed chases and even more shootouts ("Mr. Hale's Wild Ride Ends in Canal," March 16, 2005). He's been the butt of our jokes for his cartoon-villain-style facial hair ("Fashionable Superthug Facing Heavy Charges," April 13, 2005). He's been the only criminal ever to write to us from jail complaining about our flippancy and fondness for dramatic terminology--and to ask our readers for money ("Harlan's Retort," May 4, 2005). He's been a cause for momentary panic in the editorial room when he escaped from Ada County lockdown soon after writing to us--though of course we knew that he had much bigger fish to fry at that point ("Handsome, Thoughtful, Well-Groomed and Nice-Smelling Fugitive on the Loose," June 22, 2005). He's been the only five-time True Crime subject in as long as anyone on staff can remember ("All Hale the Wyoming Sheriffs!" July 6, 2005). He's been the recipient of the very first BW Golden Nib award in our Best of Boise issue, for his impeccable penmanship (Public Eye's Editor Picks, "Best Handwriting by a Local Prisoner," September 28, 2005). And now, barring another escape, he's making what will probably--hopefully--be his final appearance on the True Crime page.

Last Wednesday, Hale pleaded guilty to attempted murder of a police officer, and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He'll be eligible for parole at age 65. So as our farewell to this fan favorite, we present a final look back at the many versions of his mug, from the first arrest to the final orange jumpsuit portrait from last week. (A tip for maximum enjoyment: Put on a record of "Nobody Does it Better," pour a glass of wine and scan them as slowly as you can.)

And as an extra treat, here's a BW exclusive: an artist's rendition of what Hale will look like 25 years from now, when he is finally paroled:

(Note the lines under his eyes, indicating that he is very old. And as for Hale's signature neck tattoos, they're located under the beard. )

Real-Life Shooting Game On Fairview

Scariness ensued over in west Boise last Friday when a man put on every piece of dark clothing he owned and robbed the Wells Fargo at Fairview and Westland--right next to Pojo's Family Fun Center and arcade. Why is that worth noting? Because not only did the perp look like one of the bad guys from the really cool shooting game Silent Scope II (which costs just two quarters to play at Pojo's, plus one more to continue), he also acted like one, when at some point during the robbery, he fired a single shot from his handgun. The shot ricocheted around the bank, making several witnesses believe their tormenter had fired multiple shots.

The game isn't over yet for this villain. Police found a red truck that they believe to be his getaway vehicle stashed behind a business on the northeast corner of Fairview and Cole, but the robber fled on foot and is still on the loose.

He is described as a white male in his 20s or 30s, about five-and-a-half feet tall and 150 pounds. During the robbery he wore a dark ski mask, dark sweater, dark jacket and dark pants, and carried either a red or purple bag. There's been no word on whether his underwear was dark as well, but we're pretty sure that when the people inside the bank heard the bullet bouncing off the walls, theirs were.

Fly Me to the Clink

In case you haven't noticed, we at BW like Boise. Sure, it has its share of embarrassments (cough--hilltop governor's castle--cough), but they're rare enough that we don't usually feel it necessary to elevate our blood alcohol level up to .20 to keep from going bonkers. Usually.

On the other hand, we're also humble enough to recognize that to some people from much larger cities, this burg is--how to put this delicately--the absolute last place in the world they'd ever want to be, or especially, be sober. Take Judith McKenith, for example. She was so desperate to tune out during her 2004 trip from Newark, New Jersey, to Boise, she threw back three vodka cocktails during the first leg of the flight, from Newark to Minneapolis. On the flight from Minneapolis to Boise, she and the passenger next to her ordered another round, this time of mini-bottles of Jack Daniels. At some point, according to a story in the Helena, Montana, Helena Independent Record, McKenith dropped one of her bottles on the floor. She approached a flight attendant to ask for another bottle, or for a refund, but was refused service. That's when things got ugly, and Operation: Don't Fly To Boise became a success.

First, McKenith cracked flight attendant Robin Benz in the chin, knocking Benz out cold. Then, McKenith gave a little love to her fellow passengers, hitting one in the face and kicking another in the cargo bay, so to speak. After saying that she wanted to go talk to the captain--always a great idea in the post-9/11 world--McKenith was finally restrained and the pilots made an emergency landing in Billings, Montana, where McKenith was booted off and arrested for interfering with a flight crew.

On November 10, 2005, McKenith pleaded guilty to the charges, and last Thursday--after taking a bus from New Jersey to Billings--she was sentenced to four months in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and $3,357 in restitution to be paid to Northwest Airlines.

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