Prices Strong Despite Lockdowns Hindering April Sales

Ok, so homes sales fell by 17.8% last moths, as compared to March. BUT, the good news is that prices went up by 7.8%, hence even though the sales were slower the priuceds remained robust. SO, don’t believe the hype about homes not selling.

4.33 million homes sold last month as compared to 21019 where 5.23 million homes sold, again a decline of 17.2%. The lockdowns we had in March and April obviously disrupted the showings of homes, but the homes that were on the market were still attracting buyers. See, when I told you don’t take your home off the market–this is the reason why.

Now that there are RECORD LOW mortgage rates, I don’t see a downside coming on for home sellers in the future. We still have a problem though, there’s still a shortage of homes on the market, we’ll either have to get more homes listed or more homes built.

Again SELLERS, let’s get those homes on the market!


Phyllis George and NFL today

I was very sad to hear about the passing of Phyllis George today. For those who don’t know who she is, she was one of the first women on the NFL pre-game shows when I was younger. I had just gotten into football and was loosely paying attention to what was going on. There was Brent Musberger, Irv Cross, Phyllis George and Jimmy the Greek. This was in the time before NFL Red Zone, and the Internet, hence you got your news from them on Sundays. These guys were BIG TIME back then. You think the NFL is big now, this was when there were only over the air braodcast channels, there was no cable and 500 channels.

My big brother Karamjeet got me into football. He was a Cleveland Browns fan, I don’t know if its because he went to Case Western Reserve or he actually liked the Cleveland Browns. They weren’t the mess that they are now, they had Bernie Kosar as their quarterback, Ernest Byner, and a couple other of really great players. I remember watching games at his home, at least the beginning half of the game because usually hafl way thru I’d have to hop on the train to get back to The Bronx. I remember rooting for the Steelers a lot–they were really good back then and it seemed like they were always on TV. As I mentioned, football wasn’t on demand back then. We had to wait until half time to get the scores, and you really did wait. It wasn’t like now when a team scores a touchdown, they do a cut away and you see the score or go to NFL Redzone, lol.

I remember her because quite frankly she was pretty–she was a former Miss America, hence you know she was a stunner, later on when she left she was replaced by Jayne Kennedy–another who was even prettier than her! The NFL knew what guys wanted to see even then. She did pave the way for a lot of women in football, she wasn’t asking tough questions–she mainly did ‘puff pieces,’ nothing hard hitting like now. Back then she was there to have a pretty face among, Musberger, Cross and The Greek.

I have to admit, I hadn’t thought of her in years, quite frankly I thought she was already dead. Alas, she was alive and kicking up until a few days ago. She was the first lady of Kentucky–being married to the Governor, I was reading their statement, and I’ll para phrase. They said they didn’t know her as Phyllis George from The NFL Today, she was just Mom, which was really refreshing to hear.

It’s just another piece of my childhood going away. I am getting older. I have less tomorrows than I have yesterdays. I hate knowing that I am in the twilight (seemingly) of my life. I am just trying to enjoy it the best that I can and raise a great human being. Phyllis George Rest In Peace, know that you paved the way for many women that we see on TV now and will be missed by many fans.

How a property developer is making money by taking housing vouchers

This is a great article about accepting Section 8, in Washington, DC a voucher can OVER $5,000 per month. The landlords that were smart enough to accommodate these GREAT tenants aren’t worrying about their tenants paying their rent, IT IS BEING PAID! Don’t discriminate against these renters especially in these trying times.

By Cari Shane

May 16, 2020

Asamoah calls his properties “HGTV grade.”
Asamoah calls his properties “HGTV grade.”Courtesy of Joseph Asamoah

Joseph Asamoah was shocked when a potential renter with a Section 8 voucher came to look at his turn-of-the-century Washington, D.C., row house and snubbed him. 

It was 1996; D.C. was in a recession. Crime, a drug epidemic, and dysfunctional government services sent thousands fleeing the District. After a neighbor was murdered on their doorstep, Asamoah and his wife joined the mass exodus and moved to the Maryland suburbs. Born in Ghana, Asamoah had moved to D.C. a decade prior from England, where he was raised. Believing the capital city would eventually “come back,” he listed the house for rent. 

“She said, ‘Well, it doesn’t have a jacuzzi. It doesn’t have stainless steel appliances. Where are your hardwood floors?’” says Asamoah, recalling the conversation with the voucher holder at his row house in Columbia Heights, an enclave of D.C. where single-family homes are now selling in the millions. Asamoah purchased the house in 1989 for $47,000. “A voucher holder with a net worth of zero was telling me that where I lived was not worthy of her and her family.”  

His rental property was competing with high-end renovations. These renovations were intended to be house flips, but no one was buying, so the properties were put on the rental market. Renters got used to bells and whistles.

The encounter led Asamoah to develop a real estate strategy that has inoculated the 59-year-old from economic shocks, like the current downturn caused by the pandemic. It’s earned him a nice portfolio—32 single-family homes in the Washington, D.C., area, one of the highest-priced housing markets in the U.S. 

Have you signed a buyer-broker agreement? Do you even KNOW what a buyer-broker agreement is?

“As your Designated Agent, I have been assigned by my Managing Broker as your one and only agent in your purchase transaction, to the exclusion of all other licensees in my company. Even if someone else in my company represents a seller in whose property you are interested, I, as your Designated Agent, will continue to work as an advocate for your best interests. An agency relationship of this type cannot, by law, be established without a written agency agreement — the Buyer Representation Agreement.”

After our initial meeting, I have explained this to you. This an employment contract between you and I. The agreement outlines what you are entitled to in services from me, and in turn what you should expect from me.

There are 6 standards of my fiduciary duty:

  • Obedience: I have to do what you tell me to do
  • Loyalty: I am loyal to your interests and keep those ahead of mine
  • Disclosure: I will disclose any material defects in the property that I know
  • Confidentiality: I will never divulge anything I learn about you, whether it is business, financial, personal activities, motivations or intentions–unless you give me permission in writing
  • Accounting: I will account for all funds given to me, knowing where earnest money deposit, deposits, and other funds are kept
  • Reasonable care and diligence: My words and actions, will not cause any harm to you

One of the foundations of my business as your Realtor is providing high quality service, I will work long hours, on weekends, holidays, and visiting new construction. I’ll make sure you are connected with contractors, electricians, plumbers, structural engineers, doctors, dentists, hair stylists, school personnel. This is all part of giving you the best service possible.

You will get more from me without paying any more. In mnost instances, the seller pay their listing agent, and they pay the cooperating agent for selling their home. In certain instances, the seller may not be willing to pay the commission, we will come to an agreement of what my compensation will be.

I will explain each part of the buyer agreement:

  • The parties of the agreement
  • Property information
  • Price range
  • Types of property
  • Commencement and expiration dates of agreement
  • Broker authorization
  • Broker and agency information
  • any stipulations

This agreement is based on mutual consent, you are not bound to sign the agreement, just as I am not bound to work with you should you choose not to sign the agreement.

Lastly, you must understand we are forming a partnership. We are partners in looking for your next home of for selling your home.A partnership creates mutual respect, trust and most importantly–LOYALTY.

So, you see there is a lot that goes into entering an agreement with a Realtor.

How Airports Will Change After COVID-19

As avid travelers I thought this was definitely an interesting article about how going to the airport will be different. You thought the changes after 9-11 were tough, woo-hoo wait until you see what is probably going to happen.

Two airline employees walk through an airport with face masks.

by Jessica Puckett

You may need an appointment to get through TSA.

As certain countries begin to slowly reopen in the wake of the coronavirus, airports are looking at what it will take to make fliers feel comfortable in their facilities again. That is sure to be no small feat. “In total, over 70 different areas in the passenger journey are expected to either change or to be introduced from scratch to restore confidence in flying after COVID-19,” a report by airline strategy firm SimpliFlying predicts.

In addition to requiring travelers and employees wear face masks, airports are examining how to adapt their every aspect to a post-COVID-19 world. Here’s how experts say each part of the journey through airports may change once air travel begins to open up again.

Entering the airport

The first major change that travelers will notice in airports is that non-fliers will likely not be allowed inside. “We’re likely to see a restriction to passengers only,” says Regine Weston, the Americas airport planning leader for engineering firm Arup, which has worked on hubs like Beijing, London Heathrow, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson. “That’s to really ensure that the only people we’ll have to be dealing with are people that are going to be flying.” This rule—already in place at airports like Los Angeles International—will make exceptions for unaccompanied minors or others who need assistance, Weston notes.

Down the line, passengers could also pass through a disinfection tunnel and thermal scanners when entering the airport, SimpliFlying predicts. “Only those ‘fit to fly’ will be allowed to enter,” the firm’s report says. Thermal cameras, which are able to scan a crowd for a feverish temperature, are already in use at several facilities, including Heathrow, Puerto Rico’s San Juan airport, and Paine Field—a secondary airport in Seattle.

Once in the airport, travelers will see touchless options for checking in, a service that was previously available in a handful of terminals, like the Delta terminal in Atlanta, which operates an all-biometric check-in system. But the technology is sure to become more widespread. “You can go to a kiosk to check in using your face as [identification], and you can get your bag tag,” Weston says. “You can then go to a self-bag drop machine and drop your bag. For the check-in process, the technology already exists to do that without having to interact with any airline or airport personnel,” she says. After it’s dropped off by the passenger, luggage may also be put through a fogging tunnel to be disinfected, according to SimpliFlying.

Another long-term option is to make parking garages into check-in area and screening centers, according to airport design firm Gensler. “The garages that are directly connected to terminals present the ideal place to house processes such as check-in, security screening, and crowd control, providing new distance controls and passenger flow metering, while also freeing the existing terminal to house more passenger amenities in a less densified arrangement,” writes Ty Osbaugh, a principal aviation architect at Gensler.

The next problem to solve? Security lines. Anyone who has flown during summer or the holiday season knows that TSA lines can be one of the most crowded places in the airport. That will have to change in a post-COVID-19 world.

“One interesting alternative is to have passengers book essentially an appointment to go through security screening,” Weston says, noting Montreal airport has been using one such system for several years, in which passengers signup online for a specific time slot to pass through the security checkpoint. “I can see that and even more sophisticated versions becoming more widespread so that the actual area that’s dedicated for security screening is able to exist without crowding.”

Additional health screening

Thermal cameras are currently being utilized in multiple airports for temperature checks, as they’re “the most efficient way of doing it because there isn’t any interruption of passenger flow and there’s no negative impact on capacity,” Weston says. But although they’re effective, they’re not visible to the public. “So I don’t think it will work to restore passenger confidence,” Weston says. Instead, she thinks passengers are more likely be screened with handheld, no-contact infrared thermometers once large-scale air travel starts up in a major way.

In addition to temperature screening, other medical tests to scan for the coronavirus are possible. SimpliFlying’s report goes as far to predict a lung CT scan could be implemented prior to security screening. Elsewhere XpresSpa—the gate-side shop where fliers can get a manicure or shoulder massage—recently hired its first chief medical officer to start a new arm of the company: XpresTest, which aims to administer COVID-19 blood tests to airport employees.

There are no federal requirements yet from the TSA or Federal Aviation Administration mandating such health screenings for travelers or employees. But U.S. airlines are pushing for there to be uniform federal regulations. “We’ll need to work with the federal government in terms of screening customers to make sure, for example, that you don’t have someone getting on the airplane that has a fever,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a recent CNBC interview. “I think that that’s going to be very important.”

But a point of contention is who will be responsible for checking travelers’ for high temperatures and other COVID-19 symptoms. The TSA is still considering whether it will have its officers take temperatures as part of the security screening process. But some, like SimpliFlying, predict that a new federal health agency will be formed in order to coordinate such health screenings inside airports.

Major changes at gates

Once through security, passengers can expect to see more Plexiglas and other types of barriers in places like customer service counters. These additional barriers have been recommended for most passenger-facing employees by the U.S. Travel Association.

Travelers will also notice increased cleaning measures throughout concourses. Airport employees will be cleaning and disinfecting more often, but airports like Pittsburgh and Hong Kong have also deployed sanitizing robots to constantly rid floors of the virus. Such visible disinfecting measures are also part of creating confidence in travelers, according to Weston. “Things as simple as [having] a lot of hand sanitizing stations and no drinking fountains are visible things that the airport can do” to restore passenger trust, she says. In fact, Weston predicts that instead of operating 24 hours a day, airports will start closing overnight for additional deep cleans.

In busy terminal corridors, passengers can also expect to arrows that designate where foot traffic can flow, much like on a road Weston says, in order to maintain proper social distancing when on the move.

When it comes time to get on the plane, boarding processes will use touchless options like facial recognition, too. The technology has already been used widely in the U.S. for international routes, but Weston predicts it will shift to domestic flights as well. “The primary reason [facial recognition] wasn’t widely used before is because there were a lot of concerns about personal privacy and data storage,” she says. “I think at least in the short term, privacy concerns are going to be considered less important than health concerns.”

After touchdown

Upon arrival, international passengers will likely need to show some form of immunity passport to border control agents, SimpliFlying predicts. An immunity document is something the International Air Transport Association has advocated for as well. Weston says it’s more likely that passengers will need to present a proof of vaccine—once there is one for COVID-19—to enter other countries.

Arriving passengers will also undergo another temperature screening at their final destination and potentially even blood tests for COVID-19. Some airports like, Hong Kong and Vienna, are testing passengers for the coronavirus with a blood test before they are allowed to enter the country. Those types of tests, however, might be short lived.

“I don’t personally think we will see blood testing” in the long term, Weston says. “While passengers might be comfortable right now giving up their face [for scans], I don’t know if we’re yet ready to give up our blood to some unknown agency to store somewhere.”

But whether it’s a blood test or a temperature scan that’s required, airports must be ready to deal with passengers who do have a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms. “Most large airports have one isolation room,” Weston notes, but many more will be needed as travel opens up again. Weston is working with major hubs like Dubai Airport to determine how many isolation rooms are needed and how to strategically place them throughout the airport. The goal is to get a symptomatic person out of the main flow of passengers as quickly as possible and minimize their contact with other passengers, she says.

While all the changes that airports will undergo are not completely clear, one thing is for sure: the facilities are about to undergo a seismic shift.

“Although we’re still in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, we’re anticipating it will bring about the same kind of paradigm shift in air travel that we experienced after 9/11,” Osbaugh, the Gensler architect, says. “We may never look at flying or airports the same way again.”

Is it over?

So the economy is starting to re-open. Is it the right time to do this? I will be honest, I habe been careful but I didn’t truly quarantine except for about two weeks at the beginning, even then I would go to my office. My office was open, but there was no one there or really just minimal people there. My office is situated ina way that you wouldn’t even know I was in there. The other thing is that even is you knew I was there the door is closed and locked, we really don’t hang out with each other while in the office.

Let’s be real, we can’t live like this for the rest of time. There will be a vaccine sometime soon, and thing will return to some what the new normal? I don’t think we’ll be hugging on the street and giving high 5’s anytime soon, but the economy can’t be stalled forever. I can’t help but blame Trump for not taking this more seriously at the beginning. I heard about some important public health doctor in NYC at the beginning didn’t take this seriously. Why would he/she when the word from the top was that this was nothing to worry about.

I think we will indeed have to lrn to live like this, some sort of face protection, some type of being socially distant, etc. I can’t believe that they’re going to try and pass another stimulus bill. How are we going to pay for this ultimately? For whatever issues Clinton had in his personal life, he left us WITHOUT A DEFICIT, now how will this effect Sean, and Sean’s kids, and his kids kids. This will put us in the whole for a very long time, aside from the mess that the country’s finances were in before. It does sadden me.

It’s ashame that Trump governs by public opinion, he does whatever public opinion says to do, he doesn’t seem to do his thing except for anything to do with repealing anything Obama did, or anything to do with immigration he is quick to act on that! OK, i apologize for my political ranting. I am not a political person, but when I see what’s going on it’s just scary.

Home sales will rebound as the economy opens up

Watch for Home Sales Rebound as Economy Opens Up

This was an interesting article, things will get better, unfortunately prices will probably start going up also. If you didn’t pull the trigger when I told you to, then here we go!

Acknowledging the many unknowns in relation to the COVID-19 virus, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, sounded cautious optimism about where the economy is heading and highlighted positive indicators in the residential real estate market at the Residential Economic Issues and Trends Forum on May 13 at the 2020 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings. Yun predicted that steady and even rising home prices could point toward healthy home sales numbers once the economy reopens, and he saw signs that jobs could also rebound as stay-at-home orders ease.

Consumer Spending Down but Home and Garden a Bright Spot

Despite a decline in GDP, consumer spending, and business spending in the first quarter of 2020, Yun noted that residential investment, which includes home building, home sales, and remodeling, was actually up by 21% during the first three months—an indication, he said, of how strong the housing market was before the pandemic.

He also drew attention to the fact that personal income was up by 2% and personal savings jumped a remarkable 152%, related to curtailed household spending as the pandemic spread. Yun was hesitant to gauge the mindset of savers but offered more than one interpretation. “Are they waiting for the economy to reopen?” he said. “Or does it imply pessimism? There is certainly more money available.”

Noting that spending at grocery stores had predictably gone up in March while spending at restaurants had declined, Yun noted that restaurant spending had improved slightly in the last few weeks, showing a decline of just 60% to 70% from the same period last year as some restaurants found ways to continue serving customers by engaging in social distancing measures and offering takeout service.

And while clothing stores, sporting and hobby stores, and department stores all saw steep declines in consumer retail spending over the same period a year ago, building materials and gardening spending actually increased by 10.4%, a hopeful indicator. “People are upgrading their homes,” Yun said. “When the market reopens, that housing will go up in value. People are remodeling, working on lawn care. All things you do to sell a home.”

Jobs Rebound Possible in Education and Health

As grim as the unemployment numbers have been, Yun was encouraged by recent data. As of May 2, a reported 26 million people were jobless, in contrast to the high of 33 million who filed claims earlier in the lockdown. Yun inferred from the numbers that some people received unemployment checks for a few weeks and then got back to work, possibly in jobs in high-demand essential fields. He also said that it was important to watch for trends like these as a harbinger of improvement. “Even in good years people file (for unemployment),” he said. “We are looking for a flattening of the curve. When 1 million jobs are created in a week and less than 1 million file for unemployment, we will know the economy is turning for the better.”

Yun also noted that the biggest job losses in April were found in leisure and hospitality (7.6 million) and in education and health (2.5 million). However, he saw potential for the latter category to rebound quickly once the economy reopens. “I expect [education and health] to turn positive. People will need daycare. Hip replacement, knee surgery will be done again. These loses could be temporary.”

Home Prices and Sales

In addition to positive prognostications on the job front, Yun saw reason to be optimistic on the potential for home sales once the economy picks up steam. Of particular note were home prices, which he said were strong. “There is no meaningful downward trend,” he said. “If anything, they appear to be rising.”

Yun pointed to the current housing shortage as the source of the stable prices, and he predicted that the shortage could grow even more severe given that the usual spring increase in listings didn’t occur this year. He suggested that as the economy reopens, people will be ready to list. He noted that Georgia, which is beginning to reopen, could be a model for what we will see in the rest of the country as restrictions ease. “Listings are popping out,” Yun said, “and buyers are quickly grabbing homes.”

He added further that healthy home sales are possible even when the job market is uncertain. “Even in high unemployment times,” he said, “60 to 70 percent have employment. And we have record-low mortgage rates. The situation could be good.”

Gary Marshall Special

I’m watching this special on Gary Marshall, which just got me to think about when I was younger living in The Bronx watching TV every night. I have said many times before that I LOVE TV–it practically raised me–in all defference to my Mom, I loved watching TV,\. She always made sure I had one, we had this 12″ black and whit TV we kept on one of these stools in the kitchen. It was set up there relatively permanently. The stool and TV could be moved with ease in case we were bringing groceries into the kitchen or something like that.

I remember watching all these Gary Marshall TV shows, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, later on he would go onto feature films, including Beaches and Pretty Woman. The special is a great look behind the scenes of how the man ticked. It’s amazing some of the stories you heard about certain scenes in shows. For instance Mork came about because Gary’s son got into Star Wars and was no longer that into Happy Days, Michael Eisner called Gary Marshall and asked him to build an entire show around Mork, which became Mork and Mindy. Robin Williams’ first big break, we all knew what a great actor he was, but this is were he started. Just think I started watching him there, then found his stand up comedy cassettes, then watched his movies, etc. But then it all ended when Robin Williams took his own life…very sad.

It’s amazing how TV brings back these memories, I can remember specific episodes, where I was, who I was with, what I was doing. Then I’m flooded with memoriws of the day or the week or the time. Life definitely was simpler then, go out and play, come home when my mother said to come home, eat, watch tv, go to sleep, and rinse and repeat, lol.

What’s even more amazing is that we are in the golden age of TV, I believe many people thought that was back in the 1960’s yes that was the Golden Age of TV part one, but now we are going thru a renaissance on TV. I love all the choices we have right now, there is constantly something to watch. I subscribe to Hule, Netflix, Disney), I had Sling TV but cancelled it–thought it was redundant with everything else. The crazy thing is even after spending all this money with all these platform the thing I watch the most is network TV, just amazing as segmented as TV has become network TV still makes the biggest impression on me.

What does any of this have to do with Real Estate–ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! LOL. These aresupposed to be my musing from the area, not just Real Estate!

Affordable housing coming for Veterans!

This is really great news, affordable housing is extremely difficult to find in Arlington, VA. This is a beginning, not a solution but definitely the start of a solution.

Affordable Housing for Veterans Coming to Arlington Thanks to $80M Deal

Lucille & Bruce Terwilliger Place


The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing has acquired the former Arlington American Legion Post 139 in Arlington, Va., for $80 million, and has already broken ground on an $80 million development of affordable housing.SEE ALSO: How the Pandemic Is Driving Labor Activism Among Essential Workers

APAH is developing Terwilliger Place, a seven-story, mixed-use complex with 160 units of affordable housing, including half that will be set aside for veterans.

Avison Young, which has been marketing the property for nearly four years, represented the seller in the deal.

“The whole project is something unusual and exceptional and something I am very proud to have been a part of,” Jim Kornick, a principal at Avison Young, told Commercial Observer. “APAH was chosen because of its shared vision of veterans-preference affordable housing and ongoing services tailored to today’s veterans.” 

APAH is also creating a new ground floor condo for Post 139. The site will also include a number of service and amenity spaces, such as community rooms, flexible multipurpose space, counseling space, and a business center.

Originally built in 1947, Post 139 has assisted veterans returning from World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and Afghanistan wars. The 1.3-acre site is situated across from the George Mason University Arlington campus in the Virginia Square area of Arlington County.

“The veterans coming back from the last couple of wars are not like the guys who came back from Vietnam and Arlington is not the kind of place it was then,” Kornick said. “The community has changed and veterans are different and they wanted to sell to someone who appreciated that.” 

The reason for the long wait of the sale, Kornick noted, was the challenge of securing zoning entitlement changes and putting a multi-layered debt and equity structure in place.

The redevelopment has received $33.8 million in tax credits from the state, a $11.5 million loan from Arlington’s affordable housing fund, a $1 million donation from Amazon and a $1.5 million donation from real estate mogul Ron Terwilliger.

Prep work on the site is already underway with demolition of the existing Post 139 building expected sometime in May. The entire project is expected to be complete in 2022.

Joining Kornick on the deal was Avison Young Principal Chip Ryan. The buyer was not represented by a broker.

Bernard Goetz

I saw this article and thought itwas interesting. Ironically over 30 years later we’re still dealing with the same situations seemingly. I can attest the NYC Subway system was a nightmare in the 70’s and 80’s. I got mugged one morning coming back from Manhattan, but never had a problem otherwise. My mom once got attacked by some kids who hit her in the head with a paddle ball paddle, and sundry other stories that we haven’t heard. When I saw what Bernie Goetz dd I was was like YEAH! It was about time someone started fighting back. I totally believe those kids were going to do something to him and HE WAS RIGHT to defend himself!

Where Is Bernhard Goetz Now? The ‘Trial By Media’ Subject Still Lives In NYC

By Gretchen SmailMay 11, 2020

Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

Netflix’s Trial by Media chronicles the case of Bernhard Goetz, who shot and wounded four young black men he claimed were about to rob him on the subway in 1984. He was ultimately cleared of attempted murder and served less than a year in jail for illegal firearms possession; today, Goetz is still living in New York City. But over 30 years later, Goetz’s case remains sadly resonant: it led to a nationwide debate about race, crime, and the limits of self-defense.

Goetz, who was labeled an “average loner” by his attorney, was once mugged in 1981 while transporting electrical equipment. This prompted him to buy the firearm that he later used in the subway shooting. When Darrell Cabey, James Ramseur, Troy Canty, and Barry Allen boarded the same train Goetz was on in 1984, Goetz claimed they boxed him in and demanded $5. (In court, Canty said they did ask for $5, but they did not threaten Goetz.) Goetz immediately rose from his seat and shot all four teens, paralyzing Cabey from the waist down. Goetz initially ran from the scene of the crime, but turned himself in eight days later.

During the criminal trial, Goetz famously admitted that he wanted to kill the teens. “I wanted to maim those guys. I wanted to make them suffer in every way I could…. If I had more bullets, I would have shot them all again and again. My problem was I ran out of bullets,” he said. Despite this damning confession, the predominantly white jury found that Goetz had acted in self defense and was not guilty of attempted murder. Goetz served 250 days in prison. (Cabey’s family successfully sued Goetz in 1996 and won $43 million, but per Newsweek, it’s unclear how much of that he was actually paid.)

Rick Maiman/Sygma/Getty Images

Goetz’s trial was a lightning rod for numerous issues plaguing the city, both social and political. According to Time magazine, 1980s New York was characterized by crime paranoia. Between 1965 and 1984, the city’s violent crime rate had nearly tripled due to the ongoing economic crisis and the cocaine epidemic. When Goetz’s trial began, many people saw him as a hero fed up with the ever-increasing crime wave. “Ride with Bernie — he Goetz ’em!” bumper stickers were sold all around NYC. According to a 1985 New York Times poll, 52% of residents were “generally supportive of Mr. Goetz’s actions.” Even Joan Rivers reportedly sent Goetz a telegram of “love and kisses” after the incident.

Since then, Goetz has capitalized on his contentious celebrity status. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2001, and has appeared on VH1’s Where Are They Now, Aftermath with William Shatner, and The Howard Stern Radio Show. According to Newsweek, he’s also become a vegetarian activist and spends his time nursing injured squirrels in New York. In 2008, he was spotted at an animal rights parade called Veggie Pride. In 2013, Goetz was arrested for attempting to sell $30 worth of marijuana to an officer, but was released shortly afterward.

Lately, however, Goetz seems to be keeping a low profile. In response to a 2019 Insider Edition story, he simply emailed back that he is “not doing any interviews at this time.”

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