Think back, if you will, to November of 2004. President Bush carried Ohio ... sorta. Radio host Don Imus got in trouble for saying during a live broadcast of Yassir Arafat's funeral that the Palestinian people were "stinking animals" who should be "killed right now." Usher and Alicia Keys topped the charts with the duet "My Boo." And 32-year-old Charles Bagwell of Redlands, California, rolled into Boise with bank robbery on his mind. He had already robbed two banks in the Golden State, and his wife and driver Erin saw a likely third candidate in the U.S. Bank on Broadway. Inside, Bagwell brandished a pistol, emptied the cash drawers and attempted to lock the customers and employees in the vault. Outside, Bagwell stole an off-duty security guard's .357 magnum, fired it six times at gathering police and sped away--but not far away. The Bagwells drove only about two miles before breaking into an empty Southeast Boise home to park their car in the garage. Then they walked to another nearby home inhabited by a 74-year-old woman and her 79-year-old husband. The pair were held captive while the Bagwells counted their illicit winnings, watched preliminary news reports and repainted the elderly couple's teal Ford Escort with brown house-paint. The fugitives quickly ditched that ugly ride (who wouldn't?) in downtown Boise, hitched to Ontario, quickly bought another car and made it as far as Baker City before crashing into a ditch during a high-speed chase with police.
Fourteen months later, Bush is still president, Imus is still an ass, Alicia Keys is still undertaking misguided duets, ("Wild Horses" with that wuss from Maroon 5? Pul-leez!) and Charles Bagwell was sentenced last week to serve 40 years in federal prison for his wild ride. When released, he'll be two years younger than the woman he held hostage.