The Strangest America's Most Wanted Capture

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know ("Learn Something New Every Day, By Email"). To subscribe to his daily email, click here.

The Green Parrot Cafe, according to the cover of its menu, was "a private club" in Salt Lake City, Utah, open seven days a week for the benefit of "members and their guests." Early in the morning of May 17, 1992, a few visitors entered who did not fit that description. A foursome known as the "Preppie Bandits"—so named because of their clean-cut attire and penchant for coffee shops—was menacing the city, and the Green Parrot was, as police would later charge, next on the list. According to the allegations, some mix of the quartet decided to knock off the cafe, but something went wrong and a cook named Merritt Riordan was shot and killed during the attempted heist. Two members of the group, brothers Adam and Aaron Galli, were charged with the robbery and murder. But Adam Galli didn’t stick around. He skipped bail and fled Utah before he could be brought to trial.

Galli was captured two years later in Minnesota, thanks in part to a television show called America’s Most Wanted. The popular program featured cases of people wanted for serious crimes, and it asked the public for tips or clues as to the whereabouts of the fugitive. Each 60-minute episode featured the re-enactment of at least one crime. Adam Galli’s story was featured on America’s Most Wanted a few times during his two years on the run, and on July 29, 1995, Galli was arrested after a tipster who had seen his story on AMW called the show’s hotline.

But, Galli's debut on AMW occurred in March of 1993, nearly a year after the robbery and murder. The entire staff and many patrons of the Green Parrot tuned in to watch the episode. After AMW showed their Galli segment and moved on to the next case, many people went on their way, and some televisions were switched over to a local basketball game. But a few people hung around to watch the rest of the AMW episode.

Those who watched the rest of the show started calling the police shortly thereafter.

The second re-enactment AMW aired that evening described the crimes allegedly perpetrated by a guy named Kenneth Lovci, a former Texas police officer. Lovci, AMW explained, had a warrant out for his arrest for molesting a child in Rollingwood, Texas, a 20-hour drive southeast from Salt Lake City. America’s Most Wanted and the police had no idea where Lovci was. But patrons and staff at the Green Parrot did: He was in the kitchen, flipping burgers. Kenneth Lovci had recently taken a job as a cook at the same cafe where Merritt Riordan had been murdered just a few months prior.

The Cafe’s manager, Brad Summerhays, told the Deseret News that the realization was surreal:

After we watched the segment on the Galli boys, we turned a couple of the sets to the U. game and left the other on "America’s Most Wanted." When Lovci’s segment came on, we joked around and said, "That looks like our cook in back." After a few minutes, we said, "Wait a minute, that is him."

The bartender called the police while management made excuses to keep Lovci at the cafe (his shift was ending) until the authorities could arrive. Lovci was arrested and extradited to Texas where he was convicted and served seven years in prison. So, though it would take another two years to dole out justice in the Green Parrot Cafe murder, the restaurant was able to serve up one America's Most Wanted fugitive that night.

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Win a Trip to Any National Park By Instagramming Your Travels

If you're planning out your summer vacation, make sure to add a few national parks to your itinerary. Every time you share your travels on Instagram, you can increase your chances of winning a VIP trip for two to the national park of your choice.

The National Park Foundation is hosting its "Pic Your Park" sweepstakes now through September 28. To participate, post your selfies from visits to National Park System (NPS) properties on Instagram using the hashtag #PicYourParkContest and a geotag of the location. Making the trek to multiple parks increases your points, with less-visited parks in the system having the highest value. During certain months, the point values of some sites are doubled. You can find a list of participating properties and a schedule of boost periods here.

Following the contest run, the National Park Foundation will decide a winner based on most points earned. The grand prize is a three-day, two-night trip for the winner and a guest to any NPS property within the contiguous U.S. Round-trip airfare and hotel lodging are included. The reward also comes with a 30-day lease of a car from Subaru, the contest's sponsor.

The contest is already underway, with a leader board on the website keeping track of the competition. If you're looking to catch up, this national parks road trip route isn't a bad place to start.

15 Dad Facts for Father's Day

Gather 'round the grill and toast Dad for Father's Day—the national holiday so awesome that Americans have celebrated it for more than a century. Here are 15 Dad facts you can wow him with today.

1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain in 1912 as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a contaminated public water supply in 1896.

2. George Washington, the celebrated father of our country, had no children of his own. A 2004 study suggested that a type of tuberculosis that Washington contracted in childhood may have rendered him sterile. He did adopt the two children from Martha Custis's first marriage.

3. In Thailand, the king's birthday also serves as National Father's Day. The celebration includes fireworks, speeches, and acts of charity and honor—the most distinct being the donation of blood and the liberation of captive animals.

4. In 1950, after a Washington Post music critic gave Harry Truman's daughter Margaret's concert a negative review, the president came out swinging: "Some day I hope to meet you," he wrote. "When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"

5. A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin. Pooh was based on Robin's teddy bear, Edward, a gift Christopher had received for his first birthday, and on their father/son visits to the London Zoo, where the bear named Winnie was Christopher's favorite. Pooh comes from the name of Christopher's pet swan.

6. Kurt Vonnegut was (for a short time) Geraldo Rivera's father-in-law. Rivera's marriage to Edith Vonnegut ended in 1974 because of his womanizing. Her ever-protective father was quoted as saying, "If I see Gerry again, I'll spit in his face." He also included an unflattering character named Jerry Rivers (a chauffeur) in a few of his books.

7. Andre Agassi's father represented Iran in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics as a boxer.

8. Charlemagne, the 8th-century king of the Franks, united much of Western Europe through military campaigns and has been called the "king and father of Europe" [PDF]. Charlemagne was also a devoted dad to about 18 children, and today, most Europeans may be able to claim Charlemagne as their ancestor.

9. The voice of Papa Smurf, Don Messick, also provided the voice of Scooby-Doo, Ranger Smith on Yogi Bear, and Astro and RUDI on The Jetsons.

10. In 2001, Yuri Usachev, cosmonaut and commander of the International Space Station, received a talking picture frame from his 12-year-old daughter while in orbit. The gift was made possible by RadioShack, which filmed the presentation of the gift for a TV commercial.

11. The only father-daughter collaboration to hit the top spot on the Billboard pop music chart was the 1967 hit single "Something Stupid" by Frank & Nancy Sinatra.

12. In the underwater world of the seahorse, it's the male that gets to carry the eggs and birth the babies.

13. If show creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz had gotten his way, Gene Hackman would have portrayed the role of father Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch.

14. The Stevie Wonder song "Isn't She Lovely" is about his newborn daughter, Aisha. If you listen closely, you can hear Aisha crying during the song.

15. Dick Hoyt has pushed and pulled his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, through hundreds of marathons and triathlons. Rick cannot speak, but using a custom-designed computer he has been able to communicate. They ran their first five-mile race together when Rick was in high school. When they were done, Rick sent his father this message: "Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"


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