Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: Joe Arpaio: America's Favorite Concentration Camp Operator

Part One: Joe Arpaio: America's Favorite Concentration Camp Operator

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 10:00

Robert is joined by Noah Shachtman to discuss Joe Arpaio.



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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Survive on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and I said Dominicana myself. I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books through your has blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts. What's torturing my people who have not, in most cases, committed a crime, or at least been convicted of it? Ah, Jesus. ****. That was a bad introduction. This is behind the ******** the podcast that is incompetently introduced, incompetently produced by by my producer, Sophie. I'm Robert Evans. The weak link in this in this chain here to talk with my guest this week, Noah Shachtman. Noah, how are you doing? What's up, man? That intro really was ******* deplorable. Yeah, it was horrible. It was horrible. I was gonna start with what's concentrating my camps, but I figured that was even before. You see, now, that's good. That's comedy. I should have dove in. I should have gone for it. Come on, Noah. You are about to be fixing to be, as we say, where I come from. The editor of Rolling Stone. You've been editing editor in Chief The Daily Beast for since, what, 2018, right? Yeah, that's right. We've used, I mean, I use Daily Beast articles constantly as sources on this show. I'm a big fan of your work. Have been for a while. You worked at Wired? You were embedded with the Iraqi, the Baghdad bomb squad at one point, right? That was a story you did earlier in your true story. True story? Yeah. You've done a bunch of cool ****. All journalists, journalist. And now you're gonna sit down with me and talk about a real ****** person. So how are you feeling, Noah? I'm feeling great. I'm feeling great. And I got to say the the staff of The Daily Beast are all like collectively huge fanboys. Yeah, that's great to hear. We were talking about the show **** Boy Island. I feel like, you know, The Daily Beast staff is itself a **** boy island for buying the ********. You could have just left it at a **** Boy Island and then never explained the rest of that comment. Yeah, can't call HR me now, can you? I'm leaving, ****** *******. Noah, how do you what do you know about a little fella, fun little guy named Joe Arpaio? Yeah, like that's that's the right answer. Yeah. I like, you know, I certainly know he is no friend to the immigrant community. That would be a fair statement. I certainly know that he is not been a model for police reform in this country. That would also be a fair answer, but I feel like he's always one of those guys like. Yeah, I knew he was bad. I would read the episodic coverage, but I always knew there was more, and I thought, if only there was going to be a multipart podcast that could explain to me exactly how ****** this ************ was. Well, miraculously, there is one and it's it's this podcast right here. And also my cats figured out how to open the front door to the house. I'm not sure how that happened, but that that just occurred. I'm sure the two are linked. Yeah, yeah, they're probably agents of the of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, so. Joe Arpaio is interesting because he's at, he's at the crossroads of a lot of things. He will claim that he's the guy who kind of provided the blueprint in a lot of ways for how Donald Trump organized and focused his not, not not necessarily for how he he won election, but for how he kind of responded and used the media. And I actually think Arpaio is a narcissist, right, like or that's not a clinical definition, but he thinks highly of himself. But I don't think that's an unfair statement necessarily to make you can see in a lot of the way. Joe uses the media through his career, a lot of Trumpian stuff. UM, he's an interesting guy. And he's kind of also at he's, he's, he's been he. This guy's a long career in law enforcement. He's the sheriff of Maricopa County for 24 years. And so he kind of straddles a few different eras in the evolution of American law enforcement to what it is today, starting with, like, you know, the the horrible, horrible crime spree that we had. And like that kind of reached its peak in 1991. That's about when he comes into office. And he rides that through to the start of the War on Terror and like the big immigration panics of the of the mid aughts. And he he stays in office right up until Trump's election. So he's he's an incredibly influential guy both in the way he uses the media as a right wing politician and in what he is, what he represents as a lawman. So yeah there's there's there's a lot of good reasons to study Joe Arpaio and also just a lot of horrible, horrible stories. We're going to try to balance the two because. I don't want to just make this misery **** but there is a lot of that in this. Yay. All right. So Joseph Michael Arpaio was born on June 14th, 1932 in Springfield, MA. His parents were Italian immigrants and Arpaio would later insist in interviews they came through Ellis Island legally. He says this a lot because he becomes a big anti immigration guy after a certain point, although not originally. Now it's true that his parents did immigrate legally into the United States, but the reality of the situation is more complex than that. His father. 0 Fled Italy during the reign of Benito Mussolini in 1923 for reasons that should be obvious. Not a lot of good reasons to stay in Italy in 1923, unless you're really specific kind of dude. Yeah. I mean, it's kind of ironic, right, given who who Arpaio becomes. Yes. And given that a lot of the people he's locking up are people who are fleeing their own authoritarian leaders. Yeah. And and Ciro comes very close to not being let in the United States. So at the time that he's immigrating to the US, we have an immigration cap. And so he sets sail on a steamship that's leaving Italy alongside like 10 other immigrant ships. And everyone knows when they all set sail, only the first one or two boats are going. Like the. Only the first couple of boats, the people in them are going to be able to immigrate because then the quota will hit and no one else is gonna be allowed in legally. So that's and. And, like, newspapers are covering the race between all these immigrant ships, who's going to get in to be citizens? Yeah. Oh my God, yeah. That's all. What the **** man? That's like a horror show. Yeah, it's a nightmare. Just sitting on a boat for weeks, like it's a steamship. It's not that fast. And just like, not knowing if you're just gonna get sent back to the ocean. Sent back to Mussolini? Yeah, it's horrifying. That said, the Presidente Wilson, which is the steamship that zero his dad is on, is the. President Presidente Wilson. Like what it was going to appeal to US, thinks, I think that's what the Italians were thinking. Yeah, yeah, yeah, let us in. We got the name of everyone's favorite president. Yeah. That boat did win, though. It was the first of these ships into New York Harbor. And so yeah, so they get to be citizens. What? So Joe's family's story here starts with a hell of a lot of luck. I mean, it's just, it's just so crazy. Like, you, your family comes here on the dumbest of dumb reasons, and it like, what they like happened to, you know, hit a tide or hit a hit a wind just right. And otherwise, yeah, they'd be back, come on. They'd be back in like, he's bragging or they'd have come in illegally, right? A lot of people did do that, but he's, like, bragging about my family. Did it the right was like, no, your family got lucky. This is racists. We're trying to limit how many Italians could come into the country. My God. Now. Joe's mother, Josephine, was also an Italian immigrant. She taught kindergarten, and she was the daughter of the publisher of Springfield's Italian language paper. Ciro met Josephine when he placed ads for his new grocery store in the paper. He starts a grocery store not long after, he moves to the country. The two were married when she was 22 and he was 30. So he'd been in the US seven or eight years at this point, right when he gets married to this lady. They had Joe a year later, and it was a a horrible, horrible labor. Josephine died nine days after giving birth to Joe Arpaio of a pulmonary edema. The local paper called her death Sudden. And yeah, obviously a horrific thing for the whole family. Decades later, when he ran for Governor, Joe put out a kind of a biography as a very succinct biography of himself on the early life section of his website. Sorry, when he ran for Congress and he noted that he had a quote tough start in life, which is fair. Losing your mom at 9 days old is a tough start in life, to be certain. In his biography, he claims that his dad owned a small grocery store in town, while The New Yorker profile claims he owned grocery stores. I'm not sure which of those is more accurate. We haven't been able to find much detail. They definitely paint somewhat different pictures of the family socioeconomic status, obviously. Either way, Syria was very busy with work and did not have time to take care of his son. Joe was raised by friends and family. Now, Joe claims that he was an accomplished athlete and an average student, but Terry Greene Sterling and Jude Joffe Block, who wrote a book about Arpaio titled driving while Brown Paint a less pleasant picture of his time in school. Quote Joe Arpaio had a difficult time. School. He struggled to get passing grades and often bore the brunt of anti immigrant, taughts, **** *** Guinea. He took it, pretended to ignore it, because that's what you did back then, he told us. So Joe suffers a lot of anti immigrant racism as a kid. Which is believable. My God and the abuser. The abuse becomes the abuser. Yeah, I mean, that is, that is the story here. And it's, you know, it's one of those things. He's definitely by the time he's grown up the 30s we're not quite at the height of kind of anti Italian racism, but it is still like a pretty common thing and his family is working class Italian. There's there's certainly a lot of of bigotry that he's he's growing up in and around when Joe turned 18 he joined the army. There was a draft on at the time. So this may have been more him accepting an inevitability than doing a patriotism talk to my grandpa was kind of in the same generation. But a lot of guys joined the army because it was like, well, if you join, you get to pick your branch, you have some choice in what you do as opposed to just kind of waiting for your number to come up. The Korean War started immediately after he joins, and Joe later wrote quote I wanted a piece of the action. But as luck would have it, instead of heading off to combat, the army saw an unusual talent in the young Joe Arpaio, something other men my age knew nothing about typing. So instead of issuing me off to Korea, the army put. Wait a minute. This like guy who purports himself to be the tough guy of all tough guys? Yeah. Meaner. The mean sheriff? America's toughest sheriff? Yeah, he's a ******* typist. He was a typist. And it's it's great. There's some real questions, because he brags a lot about all the gunfights he's in as a lawman later. And there's some serious questions as to whether or not he's ever seen incoming fire. And this is like, obviously there's no shame in being a typist or whatever in the military. But the way he frames this is fat because he he needs you to know because of the guy he is. He needs you to know he really wanted to fight. He wanted to see combat. But gosh darn it, he was just so good at typing. Oh my God. Yeah, because if there's, I mean, it's thing America needed as the North Koreans were coming down the peninsula and one thing they needed for the Inchon landing. There's one touch type, yeah. Georgia mastered the QWERTY keyboard, saved all those marines at the Chosin Reservoir. My grandpa was in Korea and he kind of like by surprise. He had been stationed in Korea before the fighting started and he was just there as a medic. He was there the whole war, and I think would have given anything to have not had those experiences after he had them. Like it's, you can tell the kind of guys who never got into it, but built this image of themselves as a tough guy and really wish they'd seen something that I think had he experienced combat in Korea. Probably would have wished he'd done anything else for his time, because it was a pretty horrible war. Yeah, I mean, even for wars, Korea was really bad. Isn't it? True that one? Isn't that true about all these ******* wannabe fascismo types? Right? It's like none of them actually see any action. I mean, with the exception of, I suppose, one Austrian, but other than that, yeah, you getting it? Hitler that. Yeah, but I mean, they really like, they never see any action. They're they just. Get on the sidelines and and and you're like, Oh my God, I totally would have done it if it wasn't for my bone spurs. I totally would have done it if it wasn't for my ******* killing typing. You know, it's it's this frustrating aspect of American of of the American hawk culture where not all that you you definitely do. I don't want to, like, paint it. There's definitely some Hawks out there who saw some serious combat, but it's not most people who do that and the ones who I think it was a, I think it was Jim Jordan who just. Posted a video of himself, like, firing a machine gun at a range and just looking, looking miserable, doing it like he's got it braced in this, like, really, like he's not. He's shooting it like somebody who's scared of the gun he's using, I suppose. Like none of them ever. I don't know. They never pull any of this off. Like they all. It's like, it's like Ted Cruz trying to or or or Jeb Bush posing with his monogrammed handgun. It's like you obviously don't, and that's fine. You don't have to like this stuff. What? Stop pretending. Stop pushing. Was Jim Jordan in like did he wear a jacket that one time to to machine gun opposing? What? You know how, like, he never wears a jacket. Is this a thing? Maybe there's only like, no, no, I'm not aware. I don't know much about. I think I mean, it may not. I may be getting it wrong. It may not be Jim Jordan, in which case I'm. I'm ashamed. Now Googling Jim Jordan. Machine gun, yeah. Hmm. I see something about Machine Gun Kelly. Yeah, foxes boyfriend. I also think somebody has somebody backing up with a really loud truck. Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm calling from New York. Never apologize. Are we here to talk about trucks and Machine Gun Kelly? Yes, yes, yes. But so yeah, Joe, the way he frames this, he needs to let you know that he he desperately wanted to fight, but he was just so good at typing. But he also wants you to know that him being in the army, like, equipped him with key skills that made him a ****** cop. So he continues after stating that the military had preferred him typing than fighting, he goes on to write. So instead of issuing me off to Korea, the army put me in the military's medical Detachment division, where report writing skills and interviewing techniques. Critical and this is where we get to a really interesting discrepancy in his background. As will become clear, Joe. As we've talked about, Joe has a real vested interest in wanting people to see him as a warrior, but since he didn't do any cool stuff in the army in his own bio, he uses that section to immediately pivot towards his career in law enforcement, saying the Armory never got me over to Korea, but it did get me a broad for a while. That's where I was bitten by wanderlust. Little did I know then that France would be the first of many foreign countries where I would be sent to fight crime after getting a taste of what a cop would be like in the military. I was discharged from the army and immediately signed up to be a street cop in one of the toughest cities in America, Washington DC. Now, do you see the nonsense there? Because he's not being a cop in the army. He's doing medical paperwork. That's not he's not fighting crime in France. He's like filling out VA forms and **** which is again a necessary job, but is not anything like police work. The Hell fighting crime by making sure guys get their doctor's appointments right to make sure that like they're chlamydia gets treated in France. It's very wow. It's very funny. He wants you to, like, see this Direct Line that he's kind of like. Just building up to be a great, great warrior cop. So yeah, and then he goes straight to DC. Well, not quite, actually. What he doesn't say in his his sanitized biography that he wrote for his campaign is that he didn't immediately go into being a DC cop. He actually attempted to join the US Border Patrol, but he flunked the entry test. For the Border Patrol. Ohh, which is I think the test is mainly can you hold a gun in your hand and are you angry all the time? Oh my God, yeah. I couldn't get into the couldn't get into the 50s Border Patrol. Ohhh my God. So this guy who like his family is an immigrant family gets here at a dumb ******* lock, then he can't even he types his way out of fighting in Korea. In Korea? Yeah. Then he. Tries to take it out on immigrants by joining the Border Patrol, and he can't even do that. Yeah, they won't take him. He failed. He flunks out. So. Thankfully, if you're not good enough to be in the Border Patrol at this point in time, at least you can still be a DC cop. And he doesn't do this for long. In fact, over the next three years, he has four different law enforcement jobs. Now, when he talks about his time as a DC cop, he consistently describes it as a black neighborhood. Like, he needs you to know that was that was where he patrolled. In one interview, he admitted I was a pretty aggressive cop, made more arrests than anybody in the precinct. Not that I was prejudice. I wasn't prejudice used. Wait, can we go back to three jobs in four? What did you say? 3 jobs and three jobs in four years, I think. Yeah. 464 different law enforcement jobs in three years? Yeah, that's not great, but that is not a sign that you are. You know Jack Webb here that you are no. Sherlock Holmes. No, he's not holmesian. Yeah. On what I'm sure was a completely unrelated note, he brags that he was the department's, quote, most assaulted officer in 1957. A lot of people wanted to kick the **** out of me. For the two months I had this job, yeah, he was not there long. He claims that he was. He would have made detective. But quote, the promotion roles were backed up and yeah, absolutely Joe. Totally, dude, absolutely, man. Getting your *** kicked all the time, you're definitely racist. You couldn't even share the roles were backed up. Yeah ohh yeah, way back. He also says he was in constant pain from being assaulted all the time. That might be true. I do not have trouble believing he got beaten up a lot. Thank God I I will believe that he decided to move on next to the next Police Department he would serve in Las Vegas. Joe's most prominent claim from this time is that he once pulled over Elvis Presley. Sometimes he claims that he actually arrested Presley and took him down to the station to meet other officers. I do not believe either iteration of this story. I think they are both lies. Never seen any evidence that he arrested Elvis. Obviously. I think a lot of people polled Elvis Presley over does not seem like an obey the rules of the road guy, but. Joe Arpaio also seems like a liar. Yeah, that didn't happen. Yeah. Now, he was a Vegas cop for about six months when he signed on as an agent for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. And this is the job that he would stick with for years and years. The officer, the authors of driving while Brown, right. We came to understand that Arpaio learned and the small Drug Enforcement Agency then overseen by the Treasury Department, a lot of things that would inform his tenure as a Maricopa County sheriff. He learned how to assume a fictitious role. He learned how to self validate by inserting himself in the news, and he learned how to create chaos on the United States. Mexico border to achieve a political goal. In the early days, Arpaio dreamed up tough guy characters for his undercover work and jumped into those roles with gusto. One of his partners in Chicago, Bill Mattingly, told us he and Arpaio went undercover, passing themselves off as pimps looking for drugs to buy for their junkie ******. Again, this is their language. 1950s, so 60s I think maybe at this point to play these roles, the duo tooled around in fancy cars that authorities had seized from suspected crooks. Arpaio smoked a cigar and dressed in flashy sports coats. He purchased $5 nickel bags of heroin for the ****** after which he and Mattingly placed the low level dealer into the back of the car and threatened years of prison if the dealer didn't name his supplier. This earned Arpaio the Bureau nickname of nickel bag Joe. That's amazing. Yeah, that's certainly career. Wait a minute here. Here's the part. I don't understand why the elaborate pimp costume? Like, I don't think those are necessary at all. Right, you can just buy a nickel bag on the street. I bought a handful of nickel bags. At no point have I been wearing a pimp costume. Like, it's like what? He's like the James O'Keefe of the of the of the narcos. Like he's gonna dress up like a pimp in order to do it. Yeah, you get that. And I also think he wanted to. He wanted to feel cool, like he wanted to drive the flashy car dressed like a dressed like a a a ******* hip guy like I. You get the feeling this will come up later with some of his posse members. You get the feeling some of this is just like him wanting to have a cooler life than he did. And the best way to do that is to bust people for nickel bags of heroin while driving around. Confiscated. Fancy cars and ****. I feel like that's what's going on here. Wait, when you say posse members, do you mean like in the hip hop center? Like, no, no, in the he his. As Sheriff, we're getting address, but as sheriff he has, he establishes a posse of thousands of random people. What? Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. No, this is quite a story. We are. We're going to have fun with this, you and I. We. Are they all dressed as pimps? No. Well, is it hundreds of people dressed as pimps. We're running around. That'd be amazing. At one point, dozens at one point. Now, kind of. We'll get into that in a little bit. We're a few years ahead of ourselves, so. Yeah, Joe, because he talks a lot as a when he's a sheriff. Later in a big media personality, he talks a lot about his time in the Narcotics Department and the DEA. He likes to tell a lot of vague stories about traveling over the world and getting into constant gun battles. We'll discuss the truth behind that in a little bit, but he did travel around. He was stationed in a lot of far-flung areas and he busted people for drugs, although most of those busts were not the glamorous stuff that they make HBO miniseries about. That's why he was Nickelback Joe, you know, he's not not the highest man on the totem pole. All right, Joe was married to the job, but in 1957, he had also gotten married to a person. Ava Lamb, a clerical worker who threw some bizarre quirk of fates, found Joe to be a little Italian cutie, in her words. Mattingly, Joe's partner, later expressed the interviewers that he felt Joe ignored his wife and spent too much time away from her. He recalls regularly telling his partner to go home and spend time with his wife. The couple named their first son Rocco, after Rocky Marciano, the boxer Joe only babysat. Your kid once and his wife says never washed a dish or made a bed, she told interviewers. He was too busy. Had to sleep when he was off because he did work a lot of hours. It's OK. First of all, it's not babysitting at your own child. Is your child, well, that she called it babysitting, but yeah, that's that is your child's little Italian cutie. How about no? You know, I was gonna large him up because I feel like Rocco's a pretty good name. Like, I think Rocco Arpaio is like a legit good name. And so it's like, yeah, you could see that guy running a deli. Oh ****. Yeah. Yeah, hell of a deal. I mean, yeah, I mean, I feel like in the Brooklyn of your, there might have been a bunch of Rocco or Payos running around, and that would have been cool, but would have been a good boxer name, too, you know? You could see Rocco Arpaio. Yeah. Punching people in a ring. Absolutely. I've just looked up. Picture of him as young young Joe Arpaio. And he is not a little Italian cutie. I'm just gonna on the record. You can take that up with his very dead wife, Sophie. Dead wife. You and I need to have a conversation. Well, get the Ouija board out. So in 1961. Brags about like, oh, I never washed a dish. I never took care of her saying it. Yeah, I mean, it is weird, right? It is weird that she because you get when, I don't know, she's she's telling me he's obviously. Hold on a second. This poor kid, this picture I just pulled pulled up. I'm sure this is the one Sophie's looking at this picture. This poor kid looks is in a is in like a, a AV neck sweater and A and a bow tie and. There is a look of unbearable sadness on this kid's face. Like, ohh God, I'm looking at it. Yeah that is yeah. Ohh that my boy. My that is a cursed photo Noah. Ohh God, my ******* pimp dressing Dad yeah is touching me on the shoulder for the first and only time and I am gripped with unbearable loneliness. Knowing that this will never happen again, yeah, this is the first time I've seen him in months. Ohh God God and Mom is there and like a bouffant hairdo. And and and a big old belt and she's just like, if only I could murder this man. Yeah, and he looks, he's got like Anslinger vibes. He's got ******* J Edgar Hoover vibes. He just has that like. That particular kind of. Crooked law man. Look to him just like in his it's it's amazing. What what a, what a feel that is. Oh my God. Good God. And yeah, he's just always looked the same. So in 1961, Joe was sent to Istanbul, which was a big get within the Bureau of Narcotics. It's a big job. Turkey was the major hub of the international heroin market, and Joe is about to get his first chance to harsh a lot of people's buzzes. In 1963, he participated in a massive one ton opium. First, he went to the media with the story and ensured it was covered as the largest bust ever made in Turkey and one of the largest in the world. I've no idea if that was true, but that's how the media covered it because that's what Joe told them and they ran with the story. He was the only agent named in the article. So Joe really engineers media coverage around this bust that he's one of the guys responsible for, and he makes sure that he's the only name in that coverage. And it goes it goes over huge back home. His dad, who he's got a very strict father, is proud. He gets to see his kid in the newspaper. The newspaper gets passed all around his hometown, and it's Joe Arpaio's first big experience in using the media to stroke his own ego and to pad his career, and he's going to get very good at this in the future. He plays the media pretty masterfully over the course of his career. So Joe was engaged in at least one gun battle during his time in Turkey. Probably, and this is where we get into a really interesting, really interesting little dissection here. Noah, the authors of the book driving while Brown and I, I found actually the article that they did like a an excerpt from their book was published in The Daily Beast, which is where I found this. I did a really deep analysis of this, reviewing his commentary on the incident from a newspaper archive, a testimony he gave before a Senate subcommittee, and in two of his memoirs. And they note that our apayo tells the story differently each time his first public recollection of the event. Was in 1982, near the end of his career. In about 20 years after it would have happened if it happened, he told a Phoenix reporter that he and five Turkish cops got into a gun battle with drug dealers. Quote four of the Turks got away and the other was shot to death. He gave no detail on who shot the man or the circumstances around the shooting. Joe talked about this gunfight again seven years later, in 1989, during a hearing before the International Narcotics Control Caucus of the US Senate, cheered by a fellow you might know named Sleepy Joe Biden. In his testimony before Congress, Joe claimed to have not Biden, obviously. Arpaio came to have claimed to have killed 2 Turkish drug dealers and a pulse pounding shootout. He made this claim while criticizing the State Department for being ineffective in supporting DEA agents. Here's what he said. Quote a paradox, one of my weekly gun battles in the mountains of Turkey. Where I killed 22. Yeah, that now it's weekly, right? Weekly, weekly. Like was it said in a certain time? Was it like, OK guys, first time for the gun battle. That sounds to me like that sounds to me like he had a weekly, like maybe training session at the at the range. Like he went to the range every Thursday at 4:00 and he had a gun battle with like a paper target. Yeah. Yeah, I don't think he would have. I don't have much faith in his ability to win that gun battle, but I'm not. I'm not sure he was ever in a gunfight is what I'm going to say. But this is what he says before Congress. So I killed 2 Turks, 2 dope peddlers, and I was indicted with four other police officers for murder. I sent a cable. Through State Department channels and nothing happened. Three weeks later, they finally decided, Gee, we had better do something with Joe. Of course, I resolved the matter. My indictment was dismissed and the other police officers had to stand trial, but they were found not guilty. Guilty, let me add. We were in the line of duty, so I have no idea what to make of that, because he tells the story differently every time. You would think that the version in Congress would be the most honest, but he's also claimed to have had weekly gun battles in the mountains of Turkey, and I have never been able to find any evidence that would corroborate this. No one else's stories. In the DEA of that time, sound like Joe would have been involved in, like he's painting the picture that he was at war in the mountains of Turkey for several years, basically. Hold on. He says he was indicted for murder, like no big deal. And he hadn't mentioned in Turkey and he hadn't mentioned that in previous iterations of the story. Nope. Nope. I don't think so. No, I think in his in that interview, well, in the interview he gave to that local Phoenix paper, he says that several of the cops he was with got indicted and there was a trial and they were declared innocent. But he doesn't mention himself being indicted in that first interview. So you can see seven years later, the story has evolved. And he tells it to Congress. And not only is it like, Oh yeah, we had this one gunfight, gunfight where a guy died. It's though this is one of my weekly gunfights, and it's you can see, like, the mythologizing, right, that he's he's going through as this happens. So when he tells this dude, hold on. It's like, I have this awesome story. Let me tell you 20. There's one part I forgot. Oh, there's this one little key detail I left out. I was indicted for murder. It was indicted for murder. It was one of my weekly gun battles where I get indicted for murder, you know? Happened to me all the time. Classic DEA business. And it's interesting this, this, this most kind of lavish version of the story in 89 comes out like 2 years before he runs for office. So you can see he's kind of starting to like, build up this, this internal mythology over like what he did as a DEA agent. And I don't think any of it's true. Like I said, I don't actually know if I think Joe Arpaio was ever in a gunfight. I just don't know. You know, there's also a good chance. I, you know, I think you talked to people who served in the military. They all have stories of guys who came back and then started embellishing what happened. And, like, eventually it bears no resemblance to, like, well, yeah, there's this one time we were getting shot at, and then, like, it's turned in his head into this thing different than what it was. So it's possible that, like, there was a, there was a gunfight of some sort that Joe was around for, and he's just turned it into something completely different. We don't really know. But Robert, you know who definitely hasn't? Well, I don't know if they could possibly gun. I'm gonna guess a number of our sponsors. Yeah. Alright. Sophie, I would agree with that statement. I I was gonna you don't move to the pills unless you're willing to like lay down some heavy leg. Can confirm. Just drop in a Mac 10 into a. OK, well. Here, here's the ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and. Meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy. At, my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. Always felt like an ambassador. The first speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's You get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or? Could have asked you like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. So we're back and we're talking about Joe and his story of this gunfight that may or may not have happened. Now, 89 is when he tells this to Congress. Years later, when he's a sheriff, he writes two different memoirs while he Co writes. He hires a ghostwriter to write two different sets of memoirs, and in both memoirs he repeats the story with more embellishment. In this version he ties it into Turkish politics, adding quote it's not that I was glad the dealers had been killed. I wasn't, but it happened, and more often than on one occasion. So he's still adding that. Now he's saying I killed multiple people, right? Like, again, it keeps part of why I'm pretty part of why I don't know if I ever think he's ever been in a gunfight is the story evolved? So it starts there was one gunfight. A guy died. We had daily gunfights. And then one time, you know, I killed somebody or I killed two people is what he tells Congress. And there was a big court case. And then the third version is I killed people in a bunch of different occasions, you know, version four in my daily tank War. I drove an armored personnel carrier down the streets of Istanbul, mowing down bystanders. Just machine gunning drug dealers. Just for the sport of it. That's how he wants people to think about his *******. I mean and that's that's the image he paints of himself when he's Sheriff Joe and he gets all these tanks and he's got guys with machine guns all over the place like he very much wants to be seen as this like Wild West lawman type mother like he you know you know the the kind of image he wants to portray is like that. He's like Charles Bronson. You know? He's the yeah he's he's definitely if you never seen a Charles Bronson movie they're all based around this like schlubby middle-aged man who just mows down drug dealers. Machine guns in like New York City? Yeah, and grunts to himself. Yeah, and grunts and sweats a lot. Ah, Charles Bronson. So the authors of driving while Brown eventually got to interview Joe Arpaio about this purported shooting, they write. Quote, we asked Arpaio several times if he'd ever killed anybody. He answered. Not that I know of. Although in Turkey I used to have gun battles. I think 1 gun battle. I did hit one or two dope peddlers. Only because I am the one that had the gun. A 38, I guess. He added hastily that he had never killed anyone in the United States. Another time he told us in Turkey, I've had some gun battles. I don't know who killed who, but I never killed anybody, which is different very much from his congressional testimony. So he's just a liar. He's just a big liar, Noah. He's just a big liar. I think I, I also I like. It's not a gun battle. If you're the only one with the gun, you're just you're just shooting people with Joe. To be a gun battle, there need to be guns on both sides. I had a gun battle. Yeah. I'm going back to the paper target theory, I think. Yeah. Weekly gun battle with a paper towel. Might might have shot somebody while he was trying to hit a paper target. Yeah. I know, yeah, we spent a lot of time in analysis on this, but it's hugely important to his his image in public speeches and books aimed at his fan base when it becomes a politician. Joe would talk about these weekly gun fights in the mountains of Turkey and his like far-flung career killing bad guys all around the world. And this is how he portrays himself when he's giving speeches and when he's writing his own books. But when he's pressed by serious reporters, he backs down and he provides a much more grounded story. And I think it's because he knows that they can check up on elements of his story. And at the end of this, again, I have no idea if I believe. Arpaio has ever heard incoming fire now after Turkey, Joe was sent to DC where he participated in Operation Intercept, a Nixonian plan to blockade border crossing stations with Mexico in order to stop drugs from entering the US. This may have been the seems to have been partly Joe's idea, and Nixon really liked it. It was a big publicity ploy. Nixon was trying to bully Mexico into letting the US aerially spray pesticides on marijuana fields, and basically we were threatening the Mexican government by shutting down border crossing. Patients and causing a huge amount of economic damage. One aspect of the blockade that Joe personally oversaw was that immigration and narcotics officers individually searched 4.5 million civilians over a three-week period. This included a lot of strip searches, a lot of people being detained, and it was economically devastating to people who lived in the region on both sides of the border. But it gave Dick Nixon an excuse to act like he was tough on drugs and make political hay. Joe Arpaio got in close with Nixon. As a result of this, he spent. During this operation, Arpaio was flying around in a helicopter with Spiro Agnew monitoring, like, the shutdown of the border. So he he's actually in pretty deep with the Nixon administration, you know, he's Agnew deep, which is. Yeah. So Joe was sent next to Mexico City, where he was served as the regional director for the Bureau of Narcotics. He and his wife had a second child, and in general things were going great for him. Nixon regularly sent his deputy Attorney General down to talk with Joe about undercover operations. He went to Chicago and San Antonio in Boston over the next few years. As his career neared its end in 1978, he chose to be stationed in Arizona. This would be Joe's last station of duty, and it was the place he and Ava decided to build their life. They bought a house in the northeast. Alley Ava started a travel agency in Scottsdale, but all was not well. Phoenix, being Phoenix, had a lot of Mexican agents in its DEA branch. Two of Joe's new colleagues felt that he was kind of racist. Phil Jordan, who ran the Phoenix office before Joe moved in, claims Joe deliberately sabotaged relationships between Mexican and American narcotics agents. In response, Joe initiated an internal probe against Jordan, claiming that he leaked information to a journalist and that he'd used the office copy machine to copy. Cookbook for his girlfriend. How dare he, how dare he. Joe loses his rank over this and gets pushed to a desk job. Though now there's eventually an investigation and it founds finds that there's or not Joe. Sorry, the other guy, Phil Jordan. And when the investigation concludes, I just love how it's like, oh, I may be racist, but he photocopied a cookbook. Yeah, it's an amazing allegation to throw out like and it's, you know, it's it's this thing you'll see again with Joe. He gets attacked and he immediately goes after the people who attack him and and does his best to damage their career. And although there were no merit, say, allegations Joe made against Phil Jordan, it still damages the guy's career for a while. Joe also had conflict with Laura Garcia at the time. The only Mexican American woman in the Phoenix DEA office, she filed a complaint about explosives that the DEA had stored. About proper safety procedures in downtown Phoenix, she was especially concerned about these improperly stored explosives because she was pregnant and thus particularly vulnerable to explosions. A local newspaper. That's true, I guess. So every doctor's gonna tell you no, don't explode pregnancy. It's bad for him. But she's got concerns, too. Like they're they're not properly dealing with, like, the fumes and stuff coming off this. Like, it's just a really dangerous storage situation, and a local newspaper learns about her complaint and publishes an article. This infuriated Arpaio, and she claims he started attacking her about her ethnicity. And Monday morning meetings, he had agents search her car repeatedly and investigate her over parking tickets. At one time, he told her you should be home having babies and cooking tortillas. She eventually left the DEA over this, so he's. He sucks. Not good now. Joe retired from the DEA in 1982. He was 50 years old. For the next 10 years, he lived the low profile life of a retiree. He worked mostly at his wife's travel agency in Scottsdale. He seems to have been very quickly bothered by the fact that he was no longer a powerful man. He wasn't interacting with elected leaders and making decisions that impacted people's lives every day. He doesn't take well to being retired quietly, so he decides to run for Phoenix City Council on a platform of forcing the homeless out of town and locking them up if they refuse to leave. Yeah, wait, I wanna, I wanna know what he like, what kind of trip he was booking. Ohh, we're about to talk about that, Noah. Ohe spoilers. It's to space. So he loses that City Council election. And next, in 1985, he decides to use his talent as a huckster to sell people tickets to space through his wife's travel agency. Wait, you're not? No, that was. That's absolutely a thing he did. Yeah, it's part of this. I I haven't I there's like a whole dig to be done here into the whole story. But basically there was this nationwide, there was this company called Society Expeditions and Pacific American Launch Systems. And they started advertising in the 80s that by 1992 they're going to have a craft capable of vertical takeoff and landing, like a spaceship that can do vertical takeoff and landing, which we still don't have today, right. Like that's not wasn't remotely possible in the 1980s, but they're bragging that they have. This and they make deals with a bunch of travel agencies to sell people tickets on this thing, and Joe's track gets his travel, his wife's travel agency involved, and they start hucking these space tickets. And I'm going to quote from a 1996 write up by the Phoenix New Times here. The price was $50,000 with a $7000 deposit and collection of the rest beginning in October 12th, 1992 when the Phoenix was to take its first passengers into space. Yeah, we had. People's program director Colette Bevis says 252 people paid the $7000, with 5000 going to a refundable escrow account and the remaining 2000 non refundable going to society expeditions bank account. We had people taking out three mortgages on their home, she recalls. My God, yeah, and they were. Wait a minute. Joe Arpaio. Selling space tickets. Selling space tickets. OK, stick with me. Joe Pyle was from the future. No, actually, he meant it. He meant it. He wasn't trying to, he wasn't trying to, you know, pull a grip on any. He came back in time and his him selling the tickets early is why space travel got derailed and we weren't able to get. We would have been doing trips into space by 92 for everybody. We'd have my space travel now. Joe Arpaio ruined it by selling space tickets too early. He ****** ** the time stream. He came back from the future to **** ** space travel. Ohh, he wanted to take that from us. Yeah, he wanted Jeff Bezos to have it to himself. That's *** ** * *****. Yeah. So he sold tickets to space. We don't know if any of them sold. We know that they were trying to sell them. What? I thought you said 250 people paid. 7052 people total in the country paid for this ticket. We don't know who they. So when the Phoenix New Times interviewed the lady who used to work for the company. She said she couldn't access her records to confirm whether or not the Arpaio sold any space junkets, and Joe just refuses to answer any questions about this. So we don't know if he sold any, but he tried to. He may have. We just have no idea because I think this was all the con game from the beginning, and I don't know that I believe the company ever actually had records. In any case, whether or not it was a con from the beginning, in 1986, the challenger exploded, and that was kind of the end of anyone talking about selling tickets like this. So the grift falls apart. It's just funny that they got involved with this. Joe was selling tickets to space for a while. We don't know if he succeeded in actually getting any money, but they tried. You guys have. Covered like every grifter in history, right? You guys have covered 10 million grifters. A lot of them, yeah. This is like the same playbook, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, it's it's very much, you know. I I think the thing that you see with all of the grifters that we cover that Joe Arpaio has in spades, is a. A gut understanding of how to make a spectacle of the media, right, because the the thing that you're always selling is a grifter is yourself, and that's the thing Joe is always selling. That's why this story about him being in gunfights and Turkey is so important, because he's got to sell himself as this desperado warrior lawman, right? And I think in this. After retirement, kind of the reason he's going through the City Council trying to win there and an anti hunt and he's then he's selling space tickets is he kind of loses the thread of his own story for a while. I think he's kind of lost. After the DEA, and it takes him a while to figure out what story he's going to sell next to people. I think that's kind of the position he's in right now. So after 10 years of working for his wife, he decided to get back into the spotlight. In 1992. He had a chance because there was a Maricopa County sheriff's election. So it just so happened that 1992 was a great time to run for Sheriff of Maricopa County. The sitting sheriff was a guy named Tom Agnos, and he was in charge during the Wadell Buddhist temple shooting, which I think may still be the largest mass shooting in Arizona history. 9 dead. It may have been beaten by now. It was the largest for quite a while. And it was not like, you know, when we say mass shooting today, you're thinking about like a guy walking into with a gun and just mowing people down. This was a robbery that went horribly bad. And these people were, well-being robbed, executed so that they couldn't, like, give away the people who'd robbed them, basically. Right. Like, that seems to have been the actual case here. It's a horrible, horrible tragedy. And it it it got worse, actually when the police got involved because they get a tip from a very unreliable. Source and they immediately arrest five men from Tucson, AZ based on this tip. Now one of these guys has let go after providing an alibi, but the remainder are charged after deputies coerced them into confessing by exaggerating evidence and threatening them with the death penalty. So very sketchy behavior on behalf of the sheriffs. They kind of force these guys to confess and the Sheriff's Department just is is very convinced that these are the guilty parties. For about 7 weeks the Tucson 4 languish in jail. And the Sheriff's Department is adamant that these guys are absolutely guilty. And then incontrovertible evidence emerges that two completely different guys are the real killers. So the Tucson 4 sued the state successfully. They get a bunch of money. But the sheriff Agnos refuses to admit any wrongdoing, and he claims the coerced confessions justified murder charges. Now, 1992 was still a time when being brutally bad at your job in a way that harmed people could get you fired. And Maricopa have remember those days fondly. And Maricopa County very rightly decided to fire Sheriff Agnos. So this Joe picks this time to run for sheriff. It's a great time to run for sheriff because it's really easy to look good next to this chuckle ****. Now at the time, the US was just one year out from the peak of the most violent crime wave in recent history, 1991, as the peak in recent memory of violent crime in the United States. So this is the year after that people are still real freaked out about. This is like Charles Bronson movies are big in this time, right? Arpaio was not, at this point, focused on immigration. In fact, his campaign had nothing to do with immigrants. Instead, he focused on his history as a DEA man, and he promised to use those skills to keep people safe. He also complained about mismanagement by the old sheriff and that he was basically like, hey, he's wasting a bunch of tax money. See this big case that went badly? We got sued for millions of dollars. Like, I'm going to come in and clean up the Sheriff's Department, and I'm going to save the county a bunch of money. He also promised that if elected, he would serve only one term. He won election handily. In 1993, he was sworn in. One other elected official who was sworn in on the same day was Mary Wilcox, a Mexican American woman elected to the county Board of Supervisors, which oversaw the Sheriff's Department budget. On the day they met, Joe told her, you look so much like my mother in her pictures. I could never get mad at you. Which is kind of a weird thing to say, but the two of them had a good relationship. Actually, Mary Wilcox is a Democrat, but she has. Joe comes over to her family restaurant all the time. He plays with her kids. He's a very pleasant fixture in her life, and she's pretty adamant that, like, he was not this weirdo racist for the first like decade or so that she knew her, that there is a shift in Joe Arpaio and we're going to talk about that shift more in Part 2. But he also, like during this period of time, she thought he was like a pretty reasonable guy, and he specifically told her he didn't want to waste department money arresting undocumented immigrants and having them deported. He wanted to deal with violent crime, and his only concern was keeping the people of his county safe. So. At the start, some people, at least Mary Wilcox is one of them, will say he seemed like a pretty reasonable guy. He seemed. And obviously the guy who was sheriff before was ****. So it doesn't immediately look like Joe Arpaio is going to be a nightmare, you know? Yeah, but that's not where the story ends, Noah. But the story that we're going to tell right now is the story. Of products and services, which is a story that never goes badly. That always leads us to more products and more services than thus to a better life. So here's some ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and. That meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy. That mint mobilcom behind my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. Always felt like an ambassador. For speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle. The hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's You get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or? Vascular like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. Alright, we're back. So. Joe is the sheriff now and you know in public he almost immediately adopts the name Sheriff Joe and he clearly he tries to portray himself from the start as kind of like an Old West style law man. That's how he wants to be seen. The only problem is that's not the job he got elected to do. Maricopa is the largest county in the US by area. It is not in population. Obviously the population is about four million, which is about the entire population of Oregon where I live. So it is a populous county, but Maricopa is. Like bigger than most nations in Europe, it's a massive, massive county, and it includes a bunch of nowhere land, like a bunch of desert with tiny little towns. But it also includes the enormous Phoenix metropolitan area. Most of Arpaio's job involved overseeing the county jail, where people arrested for minor ******** were locked up while they awaited trial or served very short sentences. So his job is not to be the desperado lawman. His job is very much to manage a jail. That's the biggest part of what he's supposed to be doing. Joe immediately saw potential in his this job where his predecessors had not. And I'm going to quote from The New Yorker here. The voters had declined to finance new jail construction. And so in 1993, Arpaio, vowing that no troublemakers would be released on his watch because of overcrowding, procured a consignment of army surplus tents and had them set up surrounded by barbed wire in an industrial area in southwest Phoenix. I put them up next to the dump the dog pound, the waste disposal plant, he told me. Phoenix is an open air blast furnace for much of the year. Temperatures inside the tents hit 135 degrees. Still, the tents were a hit with the public. Or at least with the Conservative majority that voted. Arpaio put up more tents until Tent City Jail held 2500 inmates, and he stuck a neon vacancy sign on the tall guard tower. It was visible for miles. His popularity grew. What could he do next? Arpaio ordered small, heavily publicized deprivations. He banned cigarettes from his jails, skin magazines, movies, coffee, hot lunches, salt and pepper. Arpaio estimated that he saved taxpayers $30,000 a year by removing salt and pepper meals. Cut to two a day, and Arpaio got the cost down, he says to $0.30 per meal. It costs more to feed the dogs than it does the inmates, he told me. Jail, Arpaio likes to say, is not a spa. It's punishment, he once inmates whose keenest wish is to never get locked up again. He limits their television, he told me, to The Weather Channel C-SPAN. And, just to aggravate their hunger, the Food Network. For a while, he showed them Newt Gingrich speeches. They hated him, he said cheerfully. Why? The Weather Channel? A British reporter, once asked. So these morons will know how hot it's going to be while they're working on my chain. Gangs. Oh my God, this ************. And this guy who was, yeah, two years out of selling space tickets? Hmm, is now who? The US military's greatest typist of of the Korean War has now decided that he's going to take his rage at being so impotent out on these guys who, what, like, were busted for a dime bag? A dime bag? You know, they they have expired letag they didn't pay a parking ticket, right? And they get a warrant out, like all sorts of ****. And a lot of them are people who are accused of crimes, and again, as a general. Or jail. There's two kinds of people in a in a in a city jail, right. There's people who have been convicted of a crime, but it's usually under a year in sentence. So they're doing like three to six months or something. You're gonna go to prison. Yeah. Or it's somebody who has been arrested and is accused of a crime but has not been convicted. A significant, if a majority, generally people into jail are people who are legally innocent, right, because they have not been proven guilty. And that's the way the system works. But Joe's whole thing is, is punish them and and do it in a very showy way. And he's not doing this. Because it's good for anything and he's not even doing this. No, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. But look, I'm just as somebody who lived through that time. This was also the peak of, like, drug war, super predator hysteria. You know what I mean? If this this was like the time when, you know, you were not, that people violated the law, were not criminals, they were animals. And and, you know, that's when you get Joe Biden's crime bill. That's where here in New York, you get Giuliani time. You know, and all of a sudden people were getting busted. Some people that may even be on this podcast right now, we're getting busted for very petty crimes. But at least when they threw, theoretically this person into the, you know, Midtown S holding cell, they just held me there for a couple of hours and then, you know, let me walk. Not kept me in a ******* blast furnace. Yeah, where they feed you broading food. Generally, it's it's said to be rotting food twice a day. The cheapest worship they can. No salt. And again, he brags about saving the city $30,000 a year on salt and pepper. We'll talk about how much lawsuits of his jail cost the city, but, like, the real the point is the real purpose of this it's not to save money. He's doing that because it's a good when he talks about saving money, he's doing that because it's a good campaign thing to say, right? And in general, the more outlandish things he can force inmates to do, the more press he gets, right? Joel's goal with all of this isn't even necessarily to punish the prisoners as much as it is to get attention from the media because of how he's punishing, right? To and to build support because a lot of specifically, yeah, I can say from this, you know, my Joe Arpaio was very popular with members of my family, you know, because of because he was seen as like, putting these, putting these dangerous criminals in their places and like saving, you know, people money and not doing any of this ********. We're too easy on dangerous criminals in this country kind of ****. Yeah, you know it almost. It's like a troll, right? He's actually, he's actually like. He he's trolling the media in this way that, like, now we totally get, right? Like, you know, Trump is **** *** X says. Yeah, in order to provoke this, you know, Pearl clutching outrage from from the media. But back then, you know, it was like him doing it. You know, in the jails. And I guess it was kind of like a Rush Limbaugh move. You know, or Rush Limbaugh analog. It was just a way to troll people into coverage. It's ******* nuts, man. Yeah, and but that's what I mean when I say there there's an element of him that is he will claim, you know, that he would kind of blaze the trail for Donald Trump. And there's obviously he's not the only guy who was, but he was a very prominent person who was figuring out how to use the media in the in the same way that kind of every every guy who's in that space on the that troll space in the right does today. He was kind of, he was very early. In that and he's very early in using the Internet. We're going to talk about that in a little bit too. But people love Sheriff Joe. He is incredibly popular right away because of this stuff and as a result, every news report on his jail did really good. The numbers were always good, so outlets kept sending reporters his way. He was a big hit with the foreign press, the British and the Japanese and everyone else would send TV crews all around the world would come to report on his tent city and to film it to keep them interested he regularly. Developed new methods of punishing and humiliating inmates. He put them in black and white striped uniforms. He started putting them into chain gangs, a practice that had ended everywhere else in the country in 1955. To make more headlines, Joe created female chain gangs, too, which he bragged were the first in the history of the world. I don't know if that's true, but that's what he bragged. And then his next big innovation was to start chain gangs for children. What? So some kid is like accused of what? Like, yeah, stealing an apple or some **** you know, ******* stealing a car or something. And yeah, then they they put the child on a chain gang. Putting a kid in a chain gang so you can get another Swedish film crew to ask you to film your juvenile chain gang. God, yeah. Now his chain gangs did work. One of the most popular jobs was burying dead homeless people in the county cemetery. But Joe was clear from the jump that their main purpose was to be a spectacle. Quote. I put them out there on the main streets so everybody sees them out there cleaning up trash and parents say to their kids, look, that's where you're going if you're not good. God, we're lucky up in a chain gang if you're a bad kid. Oh my God, right Wing Media went *** **** for this. Oh my God, Rush Limbaugh couldn't get enough Joe Arpaio. He was repeatedly praised on air and before his first term was done, polls showed that Joe Arpaio was the most popular politician in Arizona. The State Democratic Party didn't even try to run a candidate against him in 1996. Joe was very open about the fact that his success had everything to do with the way he'd gotten the media. To cover his antics, he told the Phoenix New Times quote. Since the day I got elected, I've been giving speeches. I'm going constantly. Everybody who wants me to talk, I talk. I feel I'm the elected sheriff. I deserve to go directly to the people. You can't rely on the press, the media, to tell the truth. My name ID is like 99%. That isn't just because they see me on television. I'm out there talking to people constantly. But television was the vast majority of his publicity, and in 2004, the Phoenix New Times wrote more than 90% of the events appearing in his daily duty calendar are related to stocking his public image, his only regular. Were related duties according to the calendar are two weekly staff meetings and speaking to classes of graduating detention officers and deputies for a cop who loves to brag about his gun battles with drug dealers in Turkey, South America and Washington DC, during his 32 years with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Arpaio spends no time at the firing range practicing his gunslinging skills. So 90% of his jaw time on the job is press related. So he's putting kids to work would you say? Like burying bodies? Yeah, I mean that's some of his chain gangs are bearing the corpses of of of of poor people. I don't know if the child changes are doing that. They also pick up trash and stuff. OK, so even if the kids are only picking up trash and 110 degree heat while he's in his air conditioned trailer. Giving press interviews 90 times a day. Yeah. How tough he is. Yeah, full. That's his job guy. Yeah. He sees the funk. He's a lovely man. Yeah. So there is some evidence that Joe's attention seeking behavior was not all the result of callous political calculation. A lot of it seems rooted in insecurity. When he first took office, he would spend months going around and asking strangers, do you know who I am? So he was. He was really the the fact that he brags later about his name recognition, that was something he was like deeply insecure about from the beginning is that people wouldn't know him. So he's there's an element of this that is just like Craven opportunism and there's an element of this that's kind of sad. From the beginning, Joe's attention seeking antics came with a horrific human cost. The first clear example of this came in 1996 with the death of Scott Norberg and in detention the Phoenix New Times wrote. Quote Norberg died of asphyxia after he was tackled by 14 detention officers and strapped into the restraint chair. His head was then pressed forward against his chest and a towel was placed over his face. An autopsy report showed that he sustained numerous contusions and lacerations to his head, face, neck and limbs. He had been stunned. And more than 20 times there were burn marks up and down his body. Norberg's death triggered worldwide criticism of the Sheriff's Office. The london-based human rights group Amnesty International conducted a review of the incident and issued a 1997 report that states although Norberg was reportedly uncooperative and engaged in bizarre behavior, his behavior and initial passive resistance does not appear to have warranted the extreme degree of force used, especially as he already had his hands handcuffed behind his head and was lying on his stomach on the ground when dragged by officers from his cell. They later find that he had been well restrained, tased at least 14 times and had his larynx crushed, like his esophagus was literally crushed. When they eventually like, find out, like he's he's beaten to death while he is, he is tied to a chair, right. So this is straight up murder. This is straight up murder. Yeah, this is this is like you read stories about the wild concentration camps which were before they established like the actual, like physical camps, like the permanent camps and stuff in the early days of the Nazi regime. This is like the way they would get rid of people, you know, you, you you have a a group of goons beat them to death with sticks. Like it's that kind of ****. This guy was strapped to a chair, yeah, tased 14 times, even strangled to death, well beaten. And his throat got crushed in the beating at least. God, yeah, it's bad. It's bad stuff. Joe Arpaio and his employees denied any wrongdoing. One of his top aides told the New Times that the restraint used by deputies was actually so appropriate that it set a new standard for how detention officers would perform their duties in the future. Yeah. That hold that just killed somebody, that's how we're going to keep doing it. Arpaio claimed to be proud of how the situation was handled by his men. Maricopa County, however, paid $8.25 million in a wrongful death suit to his family. And this gets to an important point because Joe would brag about stuff like how he saved the county $30,000 by cutting out salt and pepper. But all of the brutality suits against his men cost eventually 10s of millions of dollars. So would you say 8,000,000? Yeah, for this one death? OK, so this guy is bragging about $30,000 in salt and pepper. Yeah. And his deputies beat a restrained man to death, and it cost the county 8.25 million. Yeah. Good. That's some good mathematics. Good, good math. Yeah. Makes sense. Now this in no way harmed Joe's popularity. He won reelection handily and his second term contained more of the same antics. On July 9th, 1999 he launched his boldest PR move yet, framing a teenager for trying to murder him, James Saville. Yeah, he frames a teenage boy for murder. Well, for attempted murder. Yeah, gone. James Saville, 18, was a pyromaniac with prior felony convictions and a clearly tenuous hold on reality. This is a mentally ill kid with a record. Joe Arpaio wanted something to burnish his tough guy Wild West Sheriff credentials. Since his day job was just talking to cameras and dreaming up new ways to make inmates miserable, he didn't get a lot of opportunities to look like an actual ******. An assassination attempt would solve that problem nicely, making the case just ahead of his third reelection campaign that Joe Arpaio was the kind of *** *** crime foe who risked his life for the safety of his community. James was arrested by heavily armed sheriff's deputies, flanked by local news teams with cameras, who had been informed that there was an assassination plot against the sheriff ahead of time. It was front page news all across Phoenix from another article by the New Times quote. They got what they wanted. Images of gun wielding. Rapidly sweeping into a parking lot and taking a bewildered and unarmed civille into custody filled the airwaves. News anchors gushed about how they were thankful that civille despicable plot had been foiled by vigilant deputies and that the brave Arpaio had averted yet another a serious attempt on his life. While we took this guy off the street, Arpaio bragged and his best John Wayne inflection to a television news station after going home to comfort his wife in the wake of the alleged foiled assassination attempt. He's back in prison, where he belongs. Now. What the ****? How does nobody see through this? It's that's really frustrating question to ask, isn't it, Noah? Because it's obvious from the beginning, almost, that this is that this is sketchy. Well, not to dumb people, I guess. A lot of people by the end of this because they buy into this like war on crime. That, like crime, is an organized force that's always trying to just murder as many cops as possible, as opposed to crime being a pretty disorganized, decentralized just thing that happens generally as a result of unmet needs. And that it's actually pretty rare, for example, a sheriff to be assassinated. With his Batman, yeah, that's. But yeah, he wants to be Batman, right? It's like, oh, he's foiled this too many times. Let's send the teenage pyroman this 18 year old boy. Now, Arpaio's claim was that Seville had been building a bomb in order to kill him. As is usually the case, the people who were helping him build that bomb were undercover officers. Now this sort of thing happens a lot, right? And civil. And his family claimed that they were entrapped by the MCS by the by the the the Sheriff's Office. This happens a lot with people who are charged with crimes like this. And if you look at FBI arrests of, you know, Muslim guys who were going to build a bomb, you often find some sketchy details right? Like that seem, oh, I don't know, this might cross the definition of entrapment for me. It's the same thing with a it was Boogaloo boys who were trying to kidnap Governor Whitmer. Like you look into that case, there's some like, I don't know if this this may cross my mental threshold of entrapment thing. It's fuzzy, is what I'm saying. You often find a lot of sketchy details, but almost never do those people win with entrapment. Offences, because it is extremely hard to win, to actually win with an entrapment defense. It happens almost never because the actual the threshold is very high. You have to show that the idea for whatever illegal plot was being carried out originated with law enforcement and that the person being charged would not have had that idea or would not have tried to do that crime without the help and encouragement of law enforcement. So you have to show basically that they had the idea that they pressured the defendant into carrying it out and that he was not. Disposed to do it otherwise. That's a high bar, right? Right. You can get away with a lot of kind of sketchy behavior without crossing that line. James Saville's attorney, a guy named Farragut, proves all those things in court. He succeeds in an entrapment defense. James, get like this very rarely happened. That is the level of ******* that the Maricopa County sheriff's engaged in. He wins on an entrapment defense, and that does not happen often. And just clownish. Yeah, right. I mean, like, there's. In a million cases where an FBI agent has suggested, pushed along some kind of wannabe terrorist, wannabe bad guy, there's. I mean, like, totally. Yeah, like literally several times a week you see cases, or at least did see cases like this. And and I mean there's hundreds of them. And. I've never, ever never heard of an entrapment defense. Yeah, working. Even, as you say, there's a lot of times that there's some pretty sketchy behavior by the cops. It is hard. It is hard as a cop to actually get to actually cross the line to where you lose an entrapment case. And they do in this, like as an example of how of how egregious they're being now, despite the fact that he was totally innocent. The entire time it was completely exonerated. And yeah, I mean, basically, I'm actually going to quote from that article. And after the trial jurors told Farragut, the defense lawyer, they were convinced that Seville had been a pawn in an elaborate media ploy, Arpaio had cameras out there waiting to film the arrest. Farragut says the jurors indicated that this was clearly a publicity stunt. Now, that's the best case scenario if you're this kid, right? You get completely exonerated. He still spends four years in Joe Arpaio's tent jail. Because, yeah, he gets denied bond because he's a terrorist who tried to assassinate the sheriff. Now, he and his family did win a $1.1 million settlement. I don't know that that makes up for four years of hell like this. Yeah, not not at all. News articles published at the time suggested this could be a turning point in Joe's career, the moment when people finally saw who he was and turned against him. It's true that the state Republican Party did briefly decline to endorse him for reelection, and that a number of former backers pulled away from him, but the the voters did not abandon Sheriff Joe as a result of this, and in the end, he was reelected to a third term. The way he saw it, he was just getting started, and that's where we're going to end for part one. Power of the tail of Sheriff Joe. You just kicked me in the gut. Yeah, yes, yeah, I that that was the big one for me. Was like he faked an assassination plot. He locked a teenage boy up for four years over a fake bomb plot. Are you ******* kidding me? In his own no salt, no pepper, eat food. Too nasty for dogs. Tent city, that. I mean, he thinks he's Batman, but that's like some super villain stuff that is some super villain ****. And for the record, I don't think 1.1 million is enough for that kid. Should have gotten like 3 or 4,000,000 for that kind of ****. Honestly, if I'm like, you know something, I don't want any money. I think Joe should then do a day for every day. He should do a day in his own city for every day I did one. That seems like the more. Their recompense. If that's the way we handled it when police lied or falsified evidence to get people convicted, I think that would happen less. But I'm a child of Dallas, which had a big fake drug scandal that definitely impacted my feelings on law enforcement as a young man. So yeah. Umm. Good **** good **** Noah, you got any plug cables to plug before we sail out for over the rest? For this episode, you can find me on on the twitters at Noah Shackman, and you can find my my publication at at How do you spell ROLLING? Yeah, something like that. Yeah, something like that. Check out Noah's work when he starts at the Rolling Stone. Obviously check out The Daily Beast who continuously do some of the best reporting on the hell world. Particularly a lot of like really good Q Anon stuff. A lot of yeah will summer right is a yeah well summer is does incredible to meet once we're doing a Bellingcat workshop. Yeah yeah yeah great. And you know amazing stuff is his book on Q. That's coming out soon. Yeah, that's coming out soon. You should check out my man Spencer Ackermann's new book, reign of Terror, which is coming out really soon. And Speaking of former daily beasts, folks, now we got The Daily Beast has an incredible crew. I'm so super proud of them. You know, you should go visit that website. Wrong stone. I've heard they've done a good story or two once or twice in their 50 some odd years of publication, and I figure we'll do one or two more. Yeah, yeah, that seems like a good goal. One or two, one or two stories every 54 years? Yeah, man. Noah, thank you for being on the show. It has been a pleasure and we will while, well, people will be hearing our next episode in a couple of days, but you and I will immediately tear into another chapter in the life of Sheriff Joe and just have a miserable time with it. So oh God, I thought this is where it was all going to turn happy. This is where he decides to dedicate his life to charity. So there's no happy ending to the Sheriff Joe story? No, I mean no. Because he's still ******* alive, man. It's crazy how long this guy goes without dying. Fairish. Yeah. Wait, he's really still alive? Yeah, he's like 90. He's pushing 90 at least. What the ****? He's like Emperor Palpatine. Yeah, he he does look more like Palpatine every year. He does not meet the high moral standards. He is a youthful 89. Unlimited power? Yeah. There's more accountability in in the imperial justice system. I think it's terrible. He's a youthful 89 years old. Yeah, spry. Alright, episode one over. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break our handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees, the four O months the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. 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