february 1988


35-year-old Richard Farley was employed at Electromagnetic Systems Labs Incorporated when he met 22-year-old Laura Black, who also worked at the company. Farley developed an obsession with his young co-worker and repeatedly wrote her letters and asked her on dates, to which she politely declined. Over the next four years of their employment, his obsession became very unnerving to Black. Farley often showed up outside her home and as a result, she moved house multiple times to try and avoid him.

Black eventually went to ESL and complained about the unacceptable behaviour and the company forced Farley to take therapy sessions and back off. He did not comply and in May 1986, the company fired him but this didn’t alleviate his bizarre behaviour. Black filed a temporary restraining order against him in February 1988 after he refused to stop harassing her. The day before they were due in court over the restraining order, on 16 February 1988, Farley drove to the ESL car park and began to open fire.

He killed his first victim in the car park and proceeded to the ESL building where he shot anybody in his sight while making his way to Black’s office. When he arrived at her office, he shot her twice before engaging in a five hour shoot-off with police before surrendering. Miraculously, Black survived the gunshot wounds but seven other employees were not so lucky and perished  from their wounds. Farley currently sits on Death Row in San Quentin.


George Harrison, Amstel Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 22 February 1988, photographed by Rob Verhorst

On this date, George appeared on the televison show Countdown. The two parts available on YouTube have been posted previously here and here. If you’ve ever wanted to hear George reading out part of the Dutch Top 10 and wryly saying words such as “…get into my car”, “wet, wet, wet” and “Dirty Dancing”… that’s in this interview.

Well, unfortunately, Paul [McCartney] is a hypocrite sometimes, you know, when - because right before we had that Hall of Fame thing, we were… You know, we’d not been friends for a number of years and we spent a long time really getting to know each other again, and it was so sad really that Paul should use an old business kind of thing and superimpose it on that situation at the Hall of Fame. And it’s sad really that he’s like that, but it’s really sad because we spent a long time this last year and the early part of, um, well, just the end of the year, right before I came away from London, we had lots of dinners and meetings and we were all really on a great course, which we still are on a business sense of solving every problem we ever had, finally, after all these years, and it was just a shame that Paul should use like a sort of political sort of situation because I think all he’s done is miss a great night out, missed meeting Little Richard and all the old guys, and [Bob] Dylan. And also I think he put another nail in his own coffin as far as him as a person, because, you know, as Bob Dylan said at the Hall of Fame, love and peace is one thing, but we all have to have forgiveness too.

But we do, actually, we do get on. I mean, at this point in time, I’m the closest I’ve been with Paul now for say the last ten, twelve years, and that’s why it seems so silly what he did. But in spite of that, I still love him, and it doesn’t matter, I’m going to continue my friendship with him regardless of his attitude, because I don’t have time to screw around anymore, you know.

[…] It’s unfortunate because I know Paul’s wife Linda was cursing, she wanted badly to go to that show and I think Paul did too. Maybe he was badly advised by somebody.

—  George Harrison on Paul McCartney and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in January 1988, The Midday Show, 9 February 1988

Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise: NBC News Today interview (February 1, 1988)

I haven’t been anywhere. But I know what you mean. Okay, it’s great to be back, but I was always there, even when you never noticed.
—  George Harrison in response to a caller’s comment, “Hi, George. It’s great to have you back, man.” Rockline, 10 February 1988