"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody," Alice Longworth once quipped, "then come sit right here by me."
Yep, the Mt. Adams matron was"”in all matters of fashion"”your typical Cincinnatian. This city's residents have always loved a juicy scandal to chew upon. Give us just a small dose of malicious gossip, contemptible innuendo or unconfirmed rumors, and we're happy.
Over the past century, the Queen City has certainly provided a royal supply: Our landscape is littered with notorious scamps, scalawags, con artists, cads, bandits and other vice squad favorites. A few pesky libel laws keep us from telling tales on everybody, but take us to lunch and we'll reveal all.

Meanwhile, with all due deference to Sheriff Si Leis, here's our list of Greater Cincinnati's "Most Wanted."

Charlie Keating
Owner of American Continental and Lincoln Savings & Loan, Charles H. Keating Jr. is poster boy for the thrift disasters and federal seizures of the 1980s and '90s. UC's first national swimming champion, Keating founded the law firm Keating Muething & Klekamp before striking out on his own as a land developer. He ends up serving four years in jail on convictions of defrauding investors. These days, he lives in Phoenix and"”even though he's in his early '80s"”is back to selling real estate. Long before Enron, long before Michael Milken, there was Charlie.

The Erpenbecks
The region's ultimate fun family, Tony Erpenbeck, son Bill and daughter Lori all spend time in the pokey in connection with the bank fraud that forces one of the Tristate's largest homebuilders, the Erpenbeck Co., into insolvency. Hundreds of home buyers face foreclosure because loan checks are illegally intercepted. Then come FBI stings, snitches, boardroom scandal at a local bank, and finally, bungled contract hits on a federal judge. Bill is currently a guest at a Coleman, Fla., medium-security prison. He's not making travel plans until 2029. Tony's in Grant County Jail for at least another year. Lori cleared the federal clink last year.

The Black Sox
When Shoeless Joe Jackson and his White Sox comrades come to town for the 1919 World Series, the fix is apparently in. "Say it ain't so, Joe," pleads one distraught 8-year-old fan. Professional baseball is forever tainted by the thrown games, eight men are out (banned for life from the game), and the league hires its first commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis"”who happens to hail from Butler County.

Flying Pigs
The flying pigs debacle during the city's Bicentennial in 1988 is a harbinger of pork obsessions to come: The Big Pig Gig. The Flying Pig Marathon. Burbank's BBQ. Essentially, the snafu comes over the city paying for public art on the riverfront that showcases the porkers aloft. The citizenry cries out. Even today, we still can't seem to live down our Porkopolis roots, a shameful time period when pigs roamed the streets and the world's etiquette police labeled us uncouth swine.

The Stripper and the Jock
Newport could effortlessly earn its own special edition for all its history of sin and avarice. In Al Capone's era, the brothels dot Monmouth Street like cicadas in season, and illegal gaming and racketeering is a given. The most notable tale to come out of "Sin City" has to be in 1961, when Notre Dame football star and reform candidate for sheriff George Ratterman is photographed in a hotel room with a naked stripper, April Flowers. Turns out it's a botched set-up by the mob. Flowers ends up totally discredited, and Ratterman wins election.

Fountain Square West
There it sits still, a block-wide chunk of asphalt in the middle of thriving downtown retail. Framed by Saks, Brooks Brothers, Tiffany's and the Millennium Hotel, the skywalks are amputated like pitiful missing limbs. This long-ago stalled project joins the litany of missed opportunities on the part of brain-dead City Council: The Hofbrauhaus on the Ohio side, Newport on the Levee on the Ohio side, the Banks on the Ohio side. On a brighter note, city fathers manage to move the "Genius of Waters" 20 feet to the north. Progress is progress.

Wiretapping Wars
Two former Cincinnati Bell employees are caught wire-tapping everybody from Nick Clooney and Al Schottelkotte to a visiting president of the United States, allegedly in conjunction with the Cincinnati Police Department. The brouhaha in the late '80s is capped by a 60 Minutes special report, "Somebody Is Listening."

The Cincinnati Mob
See above items. We've heard of organized crime, but disorganized crime? Cincinnati's best stab at a godfather is Tony "the Sneer" Erpenbeck. Why do Cleveland and Philly get all the colorful characters, while we're stuck with lackluster swindlers and a sourpuss who doesn't even take a decent mug shot?

Plummet Mall
If you can't say the words "Plummet Mall" without breaking into a grin, then you didn't live in Cincinnati in the mid-'80s when this radio hoax hit the airwaves. For a month, ads run on 17 stations announcing the construction of the country's "first vertical underground mall." By the campaign's end, the fanciful nature of the make-believe mall becomes clear, especially when ads note that "heavy freezes had caused a seismological occurrence" that shifted the mall to Lincoln, Neb. WEBN's Jay Gilbert and ad man Jerry Galvin dream up the bogus campaign to gauge the impact of radio advertising (one out of three Cincinnatians buy into it"”duh).

George Ballou
George Ballou builds an empire in the '80s, only to see it self-destruct overnight. It's a case of using OPM, Other People's Money, as Ballou leverages purchases such as Provident Travel and West Shell. Tens of millons of dollars in assets become liabilities when the banks tighten their lending practices. He's last heard from battling the porn industry.

"Town Without Pity"
GQ magazine publishes a searing indictment of Cincinnati, "Town Without Pity." Hollywood produces The People Vs. Larry Flynt, another searing indictment. 1996 just isn't our year.

Judge Not, Lest Ye"¦
One of the most titillating cases ever to hit the Cincinnati 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is the matter of Ohio Judge James Barbuto, who goes to jail for allegedly trading sexual favors with female defendants in exchange for leniency. Exposed on hidden camera by no less than Geraldo Rivera, the good judge expresses a preference for being spanked while wearing women's underwear. Talk about your remarks from the bench.

Posteal Laskey
The so-called "Cincinnati Strangler" terrorizes the city in the late 1960s. He currently resides at the Orient Correctional Institution, where his latest request for parole has been denied.

Campeau Crumbles
Canadian billionaire Robert Campeau's takeover of Federated Department Stores in 1985 is followed by the collapse of the Campeau empire"”and bankrupty for Federated"”amid a tangle of leveraged buyouts. Sheltered from creditors thanks to creative bookkeeping, Campeau buys a castle in Austria and now lives in Ottawa with his trophy wife. Glad there's a moral in this story.

Edwin Artzt
Procter & Gamble persuades local law enforcement to rummage through the private phone records of 803,000 Cincinnati homes, trampling any number of civil rights and just a few laws along the way. It's all in the name of loveable CEO Ed Artzt, wh'™s whipped himself into a froth over who in his company might be snitching to Wall Street Journal reporter Alecia Swasy, author of Soap Opera: The Inside Story of P&G. Corporate espionage, bugging, spying, a paranoid and totalitarian regime"”what's not to like about this story? P&G replaces Artzt in 1995 with John Pepper. Today, Artzt"”dubbed the "Prince of Darkness" by his friends and a ruthless %^&*%$! by his enemies"”advises Wall Street moguls such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Swasy is a managing editor at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

Baldwin-United
The high-flying Baldwin-United financial corporation flies into bankruptcy in 1983 thanks to questionable moves by management. When the firm is unable to pay off $900 million in debt, CEO Morley Thompson resigns. Baldwin was Wall Street's Snow White, but"”to utterly misquote Mae West"”it drifted.

Jerry Springer
Pick a scandal. Any scandal. But we'll go with the Springster's 1974 debacle: Caught paying a prostitute with a personal check, he resigns from City Council. Hey, what's the big deal? It's not like the check bounced or anything.

Boss Cox
Party regular George Barnsdale Cox rules the city in the early 20th century, overseeing a corrupt political machine that leaves Cincinnati nearly bankrupt, with garbage piled in the streets and entire blocks burned for lack of fire equipment. A young lawyer named Murray Seasongood runs on the reform-minded Charter Party slate and wins office, ousting the Cox machine.

Mike Allen
The Hamilton County prosecutor's affair with one of his employees, Rebecca Collins, costs him his job. She files a lawsuit for sexual harassment and discrimination. Then she's fired by current Prosecutor Joe Deters, which Collins says is retaliation for the charges. It's a startling fall from grace for Allen, one of the region's most ambitious politicians.

Off to the Races
The fun starts early, in the year 1888, when Kentucky state treasurer "Honest Dick" Tate embezzles $247,000, plays the ponies and then flees for parts unknown. Fortunately, taxpayers learn from their mistakes and immediately elect "Trustworthy Tim" Turner.

George Herscu
George Herscu opens his Forest Fair Mall in 1989, at a cost of $250 million"”some $50 million over budget. The mall, and Herscu, short-circuit shortly thereafter. Lenders withdraw their support and Herscu, burdened by debt from the cost overrun, puts the mall up for sale while filing for bankruptcy. Herscu is later sentenced to five years for attempts to bribe a public official. Forest Fair sits largely empty for years, then resurrects itself as Cincinnati Mills.

Esprit d'Corpse
Artist Thomas Condon creates a firestorm after taking photos of bodies in the Hamilton County morgue posed with "poetic" props. By 2002, he's been sentenced to 2 1/2 years for gross abuse of a corpse"”what you might call a particularly stiff jail term. Condon is later the star of a New York City art film, WIDE OPEN eyes that will not see.

Mapplethorpe
Wh'™d have thought a photo exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center would result in the first pornography arrest of an art museum director in American history? The 1990 peep show is truly off-color, but the ensuing trial? Now that is pure obscenity. Museum director Dennis Barrie moves on to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and D.C.'s Spy Museum.

Stanley Aronoff
The affable Ohio State Senate president"”who secured pork-barrel projects for Cincinnati for decades, including the state-funded Aronoff Center for the Arts"”retires in 1996 after convictions for failing to report speaking fee payments from The Limited company. He later pleads guilty to two misdemeanor crimes in connection with a DUI auto accident. He is now a senior consultant with State Street lobbyists in Columbus.

Donald Harvey
One of the nation's most prolific serial killers is brought to justice by Channel 9 anchorman Pat Minarcin (famous for maintaining his stoic expression on-camera by dumping his feet in a bucket of ice-water on the newsroom set). Minarcin airs his landmark report on June 23, 1987, pinning dozens of patient deaths at Drake Hospital on Harvey, who promptly confesses. Minarcin now cools his heels at a Tampa, Fla., TV station. Harvey patiently waits at the Warren County Correctional Institution for his first parole hearing, scheduled for the year 2047.

Mike Gallagher
An ongoing feud between billionaire Carl Lindner and the Cincinnati Enquirer finally boils over in 1998. An investigative series on Lindner's Chiquita Corp. badly misfires, and by year's end, reporter Mike Gallagher has been fired and sentenced as a felon for illegally tapping Chiquita's corporate voice-mail system. The daily renounces the series in a front-page apology, fires editor Larry Beaupre and agrees to pay Lindner $14 million in a settlement. The national news magazines spin out the headlines: "Final A-peel." "Bitter Fruit." "Yes, We Have No Bananas." Gallagher escapes prison time and moves back to Michigan and his family, with plans to write children's books. Beaupre moves on to become managing editor of a 61,000-circulation paper in a struggling Pennsylvania coal town.

'Buz' Lukens
When the respected U.S. Representative from Middletown winds up in jail for soliciting sex from a minor, it's good news for one John Boehner, who ends up taking Lukens' seat in Congress. West Chester's Boehner goes on to become majority leader, while Lukens' troubles escalate after he's convicted of bribery and conspiracy in a House banking scandal. Lukens now lives in Texas, even though the Cleveland Plain Dealer mistakenly reported he died years ago. Some guys can't catch a break.

CREEP
It's a grand day indeed when Cincinnati Enquirer publisher Francis L. Dale goes off to Washington to work directly for the president. Oops. It would have been a grand day, except the job Dale takes is to head the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) for Dick Nixon. Ironically, a coupla other newspaper guys named Woodward and Bern-stein bust down CREEP's doors, only to encounter Watergate. Dale steers above the fray, going on to run the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and later serve as commissioner of Major League Soccer.

Calvin & Hobbes
The Cincinnati Post, in a bone-headed move now legendary, fires Bill Watterson as its editorial cartoonist. Apparently, the Post's editors believe Watterson can't draw and has no sense of humor. Watterson achieves the last laugh, as his comic strip is eventually carried in 2,400 newspapers. The afternoon daily, meanwhile, closes its doors on Dec. 31, 2007. Hmmm, who wins this argument?

Barry Miller
When the owner of the ritzy Gidding-Jenny clothing store on Fourth Street is arrested for robbing an AmeriFirst Bank in Montgomery, friends and associates of social butterfly Barry Miller are shocked. Miller storms the bank in a ski mask, toting 50 rounds of ammunition. He serves half of his six-year sentence before his release in 2000. Well, he's not the first retailer to be accused of highway robbery.

Pete Rose
Aug. 24, 1989. Peter Edward Rose is banned for life from The Game, and retires to Florida. Charlie Hustle, we hardly knew ya.

Maisonette R.I.P.
How does a restaurant go from five-star to five-and-dime? Take your pick: A reflection of the center city's economic woes, inept management, personality conflicts, whatever. Today, former proprietor Nat Comisar has sold off the Golden Lamb, the last jewel in the family's culinary crown. Former Maisonette chef Jean-Robert de Cavel has opened his fourth restaurant in a fast-growing empire that includes the four-star Pigall's.

Jerry Springer, Part Deux
"My Teen-ager is a Lesbian Hooker." "I'm Dating Gene Pool Rejects." "I Married a Soup Nazi." Need we go on? Springer was recently found pimping himself on Dancing With the Stars and on Clear Channel radio stations nationwide. Misery loves company.

Bill Cunningham
When a local newspaper conducts a scientific survey headlined "Who Must Go?," the random poll of 1,200 Cincinnatians picks the WLW shock jock as the No. 1 candidate for extermination (followed in short order by Pete Bronson, Charles Winburn and Mike Brown). Rather than firing him, WLW promptly promotes Cunningham to program director. So much for the power of the press..

"Arsenic Anna"       
Marie Hahn

The Cincinnati black widow makes national headlines in the 1930s for dispatching a series of elderly house guests. She is the first woman executed in the Ohio electric chair, "'Ole Sparky."

Marge Schott
The former Reds owner is surely the city's most legendary cheapskate (she's regularly caught stealing employees' bag lunches from the front office fridge). Early on, the chain-smoking Marge achieves that significant level of wealth that entitles her to be called "eccentric" instead of just plain crazy. An equal opportunity offender, she praises Adolf Hitler (but only for "his early years"), heaves ethnic insults and is finally suspended by Major League Baseball for a series of racial slurs. She dies of lung cancer in 2004.

Helter Skelter
Charles Manson is born in Cincinnati on Nov. 12, 1934. We're so proud.

Sam Wyche
Speaking of psychopaths, Sam Wyche is named head coach of the Bengals in 1984. During his stormy tenure, he bars female reporters from the locker-room and abuses fans on the stadium P.A. system. Wyche currently coaches at Pickens High School in South Carolina. True story.

George Remus
Bootlegger extraordinaire George Remus is best remembered for killing his wife, Imogene, in the Eden Park Gazebo in 1927. The high-profile trial is the O.J. Simpson of its time; Remus eventually is acquitted. Numerous early-morning joggers report seeing her ghost in the gazebo to this day, still sporting her favorite wide-brim Parisian hat.

Marvin Warner
The CEO of Home State Savings & Loan, Marvin Warner precipitates Ohi'™s S&L disaster. The 1985 collapse of Warner's Home State sets off a crisis for the state's 69 other privately-insured thrifts. The Cincinnati financier and former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland is convicted in 1987 of various Ponzi schemes, earning five years in prison. He dies of a heart attack while watching the 2002 launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. No joke.

Friends of Joe
When county auditor Joe DeCourcy is caught lowering property taxes for his GOP pals (subtly marking their appraisal forms "FOJ"), the ensuing uproar paves the way for the election of the first Democrat to Hamilton County office in decades, one Dusty Rhodes. DeCourcy dies at a Blue Ash hospice in 2004. Rhodes still holds office.

CB's Own Lump of Coal
Cincy Business, in its first year out of the gate, plops U.C.'s brand-new president on the cover, proclaiming "The Zen of Zimpher." A few short years later, Zimpher is on the hot seat with alumni and fans for dumping Coach Hugs. Zen? More like Yin and Yang.