Nerdom

I'll admit it, I've been a Nerd my entire life. I'm not ashamed totally own the title. I got to say it wasn't all me, in fact I had no choice. My father lead the way as the biggest Nerd I ever knew. Battling neck and neck for the top spot year after year with my Uncle Rob. That was until my sister Olivia came along. She's the youngest sister but she is the biggest Nerd. 

Domenic knows everything Batman. He loves Braveheart and is putting the finishing touches on his third book. This one is titled "Season of the Swords" and it involves time travel. 

Olivia knows anything in the realm of comics. If for some strange reason I had to answer a question about Superheros or Zelda and my life depended on it, she'd be my "Phone a Friend". She has a Triforce tattooed on her wrist! Also Disney, that girl loves anything Disney.

If you didn't know I help produce and host a weekly online show on WISH-TV called "Nerd Panel". We talk about the latest plot lines and character twists happening on shows like "The Flash", "Super Girl" and "Arrow".  I know, it's an amazing gig! 

My point to all of this is, today is the most exciting day for "Nerd Culture". With new movie trailers coming out week after week. "Game of Thrones" on one end, and "Walking Dead" on the other it's an amazing time to be a Nerd. 

So as we embark on a season full of blockbusters, as you walk into that cinema with a twinkle in your eye remember to watch Nerd Panel and comment on our Facebook page... I mean... ehh... 

Remember how lucky we are to be able to go to the theater and enjoy such an awesome time in Nerdom history. 

 
Domenic the Batman
 
Oli

The Big BAD Midwest

I can honestly say my "fears" of the Midwest have more than dissipated. Simply the most humble and kind people that I've ever met live in this state. Indianapolis is just an expansion of the Midwest Philosophy just a bigger city. 

I thought there would be nothing to do. Almost every weekend there is a convention or some big event. This weekend was "BaconFest2017" and it was everything you think it is. The smell when you walk in was like a wall of heaven. So much Bacon so little stomach space. Then we went to Punch Bowl Social, where there are games, bowling, darts and even karaoke. That's just one weekend. 

I knew I was in trouble when I met my Fiance and her son. They are truly my long lost family and I couldn't be who I am today without them. Simple things in life are the most important. A trip to the indoor pool on a weeknight with my 5 year old buddy. Or a cooked dinner at home to save money for the wedding. Family=Life and here in the Midwest it's easier than ever. 

Gas is low, the housing market is moving in the right direction and the school systems are amazing, The hospitals are top notch for when we have a child, and on top of all that traveling is super easy. The airport is literally the best Mid-sized market airport in the country. We can get basically anywhere in the in 3.5 hours. 

On the east coast there is so much... almost too much. People who come visit me here say the lifestyle is "too slow", but that's what makes Hoosier Hospitality work. They take their time and put emphasis on "Quality" not "Quantity". Everything on the east is Go Go Go!  and here its just slow. It took me some time to adjust but since I've accepted the lifestyle I am much calmer and also less stressed (Although my deadline driven job doesn't help lol ) 

Lastly the godliness I see on a weekly basis is humbling. I once thought of myself as "god fearing" but after coming to Indianapolis, I realize I have more work to do. My fiance an I are both Catholic but we also go to Bible study at a Christian church every week. Life is good when you give it up to God and let him take over your life. He has a plan and for me it was to bring me to the Midwest to find the love of my life and start a family. Praise the lord!  

 

Are you interviewing a serial killer?

You never know who you'll meet working in broadcast T.V. and that's one of the most exciting things about the job. Sometimes it's a random person that happened to show up to a meeting you were covering. Or it could be that MOS just around the corner. There're stories everywhere. 

Sometimes it's a person you later find out is a monster. 

Many don't know I am a HUGE true crime fan. 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, mysteries, murder, and anything serial killer really. So since I live in Indianapolis undoubtedly looked up the worst serial killer in the area. People don't know that Westfield Indiana was home to one of the most evil people to ever live, Herb "The I-70 Strangler" Baumeister. 

Herb is know for taking young gay men from downtown Indianapolis back to his secluded home in Westfield and murdering them during their night caps. Drugs and sexual activities added to the confusion for the victims but ultimately he would strangle them by his indoor pool and dump the bodies in the back yard. 

Later police concluded he may have killed as many as 11 people on his property, That number is also thought to be low. There were more than 5,000 bone fragments found on the property. 

I bring this up because I work at WISH-TV I have access to a lot of the archival footage. So a simple search turned up a lot of news about the day the police searched Baumeister's property in the summer of 1996. Then there was a story titled "Raccoon Hit". What could this be? The copy states "Herb Baumeister of Carmel says...". 

I went into the archives and dug up the tape. Put it in a tape player and BOOM there he was. Herb in May 1995. A good year an a half before he was found out for the terrible things he did, giving a sincere interview to one of our WISH-TV photographers. He was personable and smiling and even talked about his son. No where can you tell he was doing what he was doing. Which of course is what made him hard to catch. That photographer happened to see me watching the story and asked why I was looking at it. Then he saw Herb and told me about that day in his life.

He recalled Baumeister coming out from his house, meeting them in the front driveway with the Polaroid pictures of the raccoon. He then did the interview and you can hear him say at the end about the animal ran over by the DOT truck, "the poor thing deserved a better fate than that." 

What a line from one of the most prolific serial killers to ever live. 

This all brought questions to my mind.  "Could I tell a serial killer from just an interviewee? What was he thinking during the interview? Did he go back to his house and say to himself 'Hope the news never shows up for real'?  

Police would never find out the motive for the murders, or how many he actually killed. Baumeister killed himself before police could bring him in for questioning, leaving victims families without closure. 

 

 

Othertimes, an interviewee comes to you. Someone you can tell just wants to talk to the news. You hope that happens especially when you are racing against the deadline clock.

Lauren Giddings and Steven McDaniel were friends at Mercer Graduate School. Giddings went missing after the two had graduated. While friends and family members of Lauren looked for her, Steven walked up to the news camera to talk about what he knows and how upset he was. 

He was part of the search party. During the interview he proceeded to talk for at least 10 minutes. Towards the end you can see at one point the reporter told McDaniel police found a body in the dumpster. On the outside it looks like the young man is shaken, almost looked fake. Just hours later he was being interrogated by police and presented with a mountain of evidence against him, connecting him to the murder. He would eventually be convicted of the crime. 

Again, would you be able to tell this was a murderer? This guy was being was hiding a horrible secret and yet he seemed collectedand able to hide his true emotions from people. Could you tell?  Would I if I was on the other side of the mic? 

I hope I never come face to face with evil like these two, but again you never know what character you could meet on any given day. 

MEETING YOGI BERRA

September 22, 2015

In 2001 I met Yogi Berra. I was 14 years old at Ellis Island as my Dad's Guest ( Domenic Melillo) to an incredible event in my Grandfathers life. Joseph A. Melillo was given the same award as Yogi. Both received the "Ellis Island: Medal Of Honor"

The Medal went to people who were successful Immigrants or First Generation Americans. My grandfather and Yogi both were Italians from the neighborhood who made it big.

My grandfather told Yogi at the award ceremony that I was there. He asked Yogi if I could meet him. So during dinner my grandfather brought me to Yogi's table to take a picture. My grandfather was so nervous when I leaned in to pose my Granfather snapped the picture too quick and Yogi wasn't looking. WHY? Because he was yelling at the waiter in his gruff voice to get out of the way. LOL (SEE PIC) (Also check out Author Mary Higgins Clark In the background)

ON THE RIGHT: JOSEPH A. MELILLLO  ON THE LEFT: YOGI AND JOSEPH W. MELILLO 2001

ON THE RIGHT: JOSEPH A. MELILLLO  ON THE LEFT: YOGI AND JOSEPH W. MELILLO 2001

Grandpa dragged me out of there quickly after but not before I was able to ask Yogi a question. I leaned into his ear and said "Was Jackie safe or out?" He turned to me and said "Kid, He was out for sure!" I'll never forget that moment, especially as a baseball kid what an experience.

Yogi Berra was an amazing icon of americana. He created a language all his own and was one of the greatest baseball minds EVER! My grandfather was the same... He always had his own way of saying things and especially when someone asked my grandfather "HOW ARE YOU?" Joey Baby would always reply "I'M BETTER THAN GOOD" Hence the nickname "MR BETTER THAN GOOD"

Watching all of these tributes to Yogi reminds me of my Grandfather. He and Yogi look very similar and even sound the same, especially in their later years. My grandfather served in the Marines, Yogi in the Navy. My grandfather was probably just as good a baseball player as Yogi but his career was cut short by those dam glasses.

I'm realizing we are losing more members of the greatest generation and we must not forget what they did for our country.

RIP #8 Have a catch with Joey baby for me.