Ronald Wilson Reagan Part 77 (1981 Orsini McArthur Murder case Part 2)

Anonymous / AP

No. 5: Villanova couldn’t miss

NCAA Championship game, April 1, 1985 — The Big East dominated the NCAA tournament, placing three teams in the Final Four. But few expected the Wildcats to be the eventual champ instead of powerhouses Georgetown or St. John’s. But No. 8 seed Villanova did just that, beating the Hoyas 66-64, largely because the Wildcats rarely missed. Their shooting (22-of-28, 78 percent from the field) remains a championship game record.

Picture of Nancy and Ronald Reagan at the Stork Club in New York City.
(Picture from the Ronald Reagan Library)

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan at the “Stork Club” in New York City. (Early 1950s)


1980 Presidential Debate Reagan v Carter



Yes, I would like to add my words of thanks, too, to the ladies of the League of Women Voters for making these debates possible. I’m sorry that we couldn’t persuade the bringing in of the third candidate, so that he could have been seen also in these debates. But still, it’s good that at least once, all three of us were heard by the people of this country.

Next Tuesday is election day. Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls: you’ll stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision. it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was 4 years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was 4 years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were 4 years ago? And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to who you’ll vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think that this course that we’ve been on for the last 4 years is what you would like to see us follow for the next 4, then I could suggest another choice that you have.

This country doesn’t have to be in the shape that it is in. We do not have to go on sharing in scarcity, with the country getting worse off, with unemployment growing. We talk about the unemployment lines. If all of the unemployed today were in a single line allowing 2 feet for each one of them, that line would reach from New York City to Los Angeles, California. All of this can be cured, and all of it can be solved.

I have not had the experience the President has had in holding that office, but I think in being Governor of California, the most populous State in the Union — if it were a nation, it would be the seventh-ranking economic power in the world — I, too, had some lonely moments and decisions to make. I know that the economic program that I have proposed for this Nation in the next few years can resolve many of the problems that trouble us today. I know because we did it there. We cut the cost — the increased cost of government — the increase in half over the 8 years. We returned $5.7 billion in tax rebates, credits, and cuts to our people. We, as I’ve said earlier, fell below the national average in inflation when we did that. And I know that we did give back authority and autonomy to the people.

I would like to have a crusade today, and I would like to lead that crusade with your help. And it would be one to take government off the backs of the great people of this country and turn you loose again to do those things that I know you can do so well, because you did them and made this country great.

Thank you.


Gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, for 60 years the League of Women Voters has been committed to citizen education and effective participation of Americans in governmental and political affairs. The most critical element of all in that process is an informed citizen who goes to the polls and who votes.

On behalf of the League of Women Voters, now, I would like to thank President Carter and Governor Reagan for being with us in Cleveland tonight. And, ladies and gentlemen, thank you and good night.



Next image

japan disatster: US Navy deliver aid in Wakuya

A US naval air crewman hugs a resident after delivering supplies from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in Wakuya, Miyagi prefecture

It has been 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War that started in April of 1861 at Ft Sumter.

The Cassius M. Clay Battery defending the White House in 1861

The Cassius M. Clay Battery defending the White House in 1861


Book review – Widow’s Web – By Gene Lyons – Simon & Schuster, $23, hardcover, 447 pages


October 27, 1993|By Reviewed by Bill Kent, Washington Post Book Review Service


Those who imagine Little Rock, Ark., as a haven of jogging idealists, heartland virtues and journalists who don’t lie are about to get their wake-up call in Widow’s Web, a true-crime tale of a 1981 double murder that ensnared rival law enforcement agencies, craven judges, a publicity-mad county sheriff and the city’s astonishingly gullible newspapers.It should be noted that Bill Clinton was way out of the loop during the investigation, arrest and ultimate conviction of white trash femme fatale Mary Lee Orsini, a pathological liar who had almost the entire state believing that a conspiracy of honky-tonk nightclub owners, cocaine-snorting Chicago Mafiosi, Little Rock lowlifes and her former defense attorney, William McArthur, had murdered both her faithful, hard-working husband, Ron, and McArthur’s wife, Alice.But those seeking an insight into the character of leadership, as well as the integrity of the news media in a place that author Gene Lyons, a former Newsweek writer, describes as ”as brutally anonymous as any big city in America, and as intimate and small-minded as any country town” should look no further than former Pulaski County sheriff Tommy Robinson.Lyons exposes Robinson as an unabashed media demagogue, who freely tampered with evidence, made baseless arrests, withheld information from other police investigators and gleefully passed on Mary Lee Orsini’s preposterous conspiracy theories to the warring Little Rock Gazette and Democrat newspapers, which not only printed them without challenge, but added their own self-serving distortions (the newspapers have since merged).The events reported in Widow’s Web cover only two years, beginning with Mary Lee’s March 1981 discovery of her dead husband, shot in the head in her suburban Little Rock bedroom. While members of the North Little Rock Police Department are inclined to believe Mary Lee’s initial claim that the death was a suicide, the gun Ron may have used is missing, and other circumstantial evidence points toward murder.

October 27, 1993|By Reviewed by Bill Kent, Washington Post Book Review Service

(Page 2 of 2)
Mary Lee begins fabricating evidence that supports her increasingly convoluted tale of a midnight break-in, her husband’s shadowy dealings with criminal types and a police conspiracy to frame her. Her lawyer, William McArthur, who also is a partner in a Little Rock nightclub, is almost certain that she’s guilty, but he lives up to the ethics of his profession – don’t ask what you don’t want to know. When a grand jury finds insufficient evidence to indict Orsini, McArthur hopes only that Orsini will pay his fees.When McArthur isn’t impressed by Orsini’s attempt at seduction, and McArthur’s wife, Alice, snubs Orsini in their nightclub, Orsini has a different payback in mind. She starts by spreading rumors that the conspiracy that claimed her husband was much larger than even she had anticipated.At first, McArthur suspects that the car bomb that nearly kills his wife was planted by a rival nightclub owner. Then he finds his wife shot dead. Before the Little Rock cops even can begin their investigation, County Sheriff Tommy Robinson is on the local news, repeating Mary Lee Orsini’s wildly improbable conspiracy theories verbatim, naming William McArthur as the mastermind.From then on, Widow’s Web reads like a more intricate, but no less suspenseful, version of Scott Turow’s fictional Presumed Innocent, in which McArthur finds himself accused of his wife’s murder by corrupt cops, incompetent reporters, ignorant Little Rock citizens, devious newspaper editors embroiled in a circulation war and other people who don’t ask what they don’t want to know.Lyons skillfully juggles gossipy details, police procedures and the tedious complexities of Arkansas jurisprudence. Quite a bit of dust must settle before McArthur is exonerated and Mary Lee Orsini is convicted of first-degree murder and is sentenced to life in prison without parole.


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