I am a soon to be retired Duke Medical Center library researcher, who enjoys writing. I have been writing on Wikipedia for years and have begun to write
ebooks. My pastimes include selling books on EBay, genealogical research, baseball (Pittsburgh Pirates), collecting antique furniture and coins, and spending time with Kingsley, my cocker spaniel.
Marquette Frye, 21, and his stepbrother, Ronald Frye, 23, were stopped by Los Angeles Police on suspicion of drunken driving. The incident is considered a key to rioting that continued unabated for six days. The Watts neighborhood of south central Los Angeles was teeming with frustrations, especially unfulfilled aspirations. There was a complete breakdown in communication of citizens and cops.
By 1937 Murder Inc. chauffeur Seymour "Blue Jaw" Magoon was a bodyguard for murder organization associate Martin "Buggsy" Siegel. The two men were arrested in a a conspiracy plot to defraud New York City contractors of money. Magoon's nickname came from a blue burn mark on his left jaw. In 1939 Magoon was held as a material witness in the mistaken identity murder of Irving Penn in the Bronx.
In February 1939 Anthony "Duke" Maffatore was mentioned in the murder of Brooklyn loanshark Irving "Matty" Moskowitz. Allegedly, Moskowitz had offered mobster George "Cagey" Zeitz a gun to kill Maffatore. Instead, Zeitz had shot and killed Moskowitz. He was soon sentenced to the electric chair. Maffatore is best remembered as a key witness that led to convictions of Murder Inc. assassins.
In December 1961 Christina Paolozzi was featured seminude in an issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine. The publication went on sale just after Christmas. The waves produced by the controversial photo proved devastating for Christina's flourishing modeling career. She went from a highly in demand $60 an hour New York City based model, to an ostracized beauty. She describes losing $2,000 per month.
Sam Rinella was gunned down on the front lawn of his South Side Chicago home on December 1, 1951. Chicago and Illinois State Police investigators believed that the two gunmen may have been imported from out of town. Whatever, their trail was covered with alibis from Chi hoodlums. The killers sped away in a green car that while Rinella's grieving wife held her dead husband's body.
Also known as Waterhouse Frederichsen Syndrome, meningococcemia most often affects infants and young children. A fever develops, accompanied by a dark red rash. Patients often become comatose. Symptoms include a high fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting and confusion. Given correct treatment, fatality rates are as low as 10%. If left untreated, however, they rise to 70%.
Two organized crime figures of note, Ernest "the Hawk Rupolo" and "Patsy" Guariglia, already were heavily involved in the underworld at the time of a 1946-1947 gangland war. Police led by Commissioner Arthur Wallander vowed an aggressive sweep against hoodlums who'd killed 11 small time crooks. The murders occurred primarily in Brooklyn's Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Borough Park sections.
In September 1964 crime investigators surmised that a Joseph Profaci family feud had been building for many months. Adversaries in the ongoing strife were Deer Park resident Felice Philly Vizzari and Pasquale Patsy G. Guariglia. Additional friction involved Colombo family lieutenants John "Sonny" Franzese and Johnny "Bath Beach" Oddo. Thugs were dispatched to harrass Peggy's Luncheonette's owner.
In May 1970 West New York, New Jersey Mayor John Armellino and rackets boss Joseph Zicarelli were charged with conspiring to bribe authorities to reduce charges against gamblers. Armellino became the second New Jersey mayor to be indicted during a police crackdown on corruption and crime charges. In June 1970 Newark Mayor Hugh Addonizio was tried on extortion and income tax evasion charges.
Captain Chris J. Gleitsmann and Sergeant Peter Policastro offered a New York policeman money to excuse mobster Carmine Galante of a traffic offense. The gangster was apprehended on a New Jersey highway after leaving a mob conclave in Binghamton, in October 1956 Gleitsmann and Policastro acted on the orders of NJ Police Commissioner Ernest Joseph Modarelli. Meanwhile, Galante left for Italy.
On an evening in an isolated part of upstate New York, near Amsterdam, two aimless youths happened by a gas station. While conversing with the station manager one of the teens pulled a .38 and shot the man dead in the back of the head. My research of the Volkert brothers looks at their backgrounds and aimlessness. Both boys had mental capacities far below their ages 20 and 17. Volkert was a moron.
Samuel Carbone was an East Rutherford, New Jersey hoodlum who was killed inside his dark sedan in the Valisburg section of Newark. Police found him dead with a bullet wound in the back of his head. His head was slumped against the steering wheel. Authorities suspected the advent of a mob gang war as other New Jersey gangsters were slain at the same time. Carbone was indicted for loansharking.
Major William A Campbell was a Confederate blockade runner who retired to Los Angeles in the years following the Civil War. His first hand account, as captain of the blockade runner Jane, is one of the central parts of my work "Confederate Blockade Runners In Action". Blockade running was essential to the Confederacy to ensure the safe passage of cotton from southern ports to England.
Kawasaki Disease is a strange illness that may have its origins in bacterium. Some researchers believe it originates from a virus. It usually strikes children under age five during the springtime of the season. By 1987 gamma globulin was being used effectively to treat Kawasaki Disease. First diagnosed in the U.S. in 1971, two of the biggest outbreaks occurred in Rochester, NY and New England.
Carmine Lambiase was part of a large narcotics ring managed by Sam Valenti in Troy, Rensselaer County, New York. Lambiase's biography shows that in 1918 he was employed by Antonio Vitolo of 1615 Park Avenue, New York City. On February 12, 1934 Lambiase was indicted by a grand jury, charged with violating five counts of the Harrison Narcotic Act. Valenti faced deportation from the U.S. in 1938.
New York State Health Commissioner Herman E. Hilleboe (1906-1974) was among the many important officials who made key decisions during the 1957 Asian flu outbreak in New York State. On October 21st he announced that six major flu vaccine makers had agreed to allocate 10% of their vaccines to government agencies. Hilleboe informed the drug makers that essential personnel weren't receiving vaccines.
Before the SARS Coronavirus outbreak of 2003, it was considered standard for scientists to work as many as fifteen years in the development of a vaccine. Longstanding diseases like malaria and tuberculosis had resisted the development of a proven vaccine for many years. As with COVID-19 in 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci was heavily involved. "We need a vaccine", he said succinctly.
Vintage scuba and skin diving clippings recount eerie deaths like a diver who was lost in the icy caverns of Radium Springs, Georgia. This diver had just organized a diving club the day before he disappeared in one of the many caverns. One diver lost his life in preparations for diving on the Andrea Doria, only a week after the Italian cruise liner sank near Nantucket Island.
The Soviet ship Indigirka carried prisoners from Kolyma and Vladivostok across the Sea of Okhotsk. Destined for Magadan, the ship wrecked in a violent snowstorm off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Running aground in the intense blizzard, Indigirka wrecked around 2:20 a.m. on December 13, 1939. My research has discovered much about the ship's past, including its stint as a rum runner.
My research has uncovered the names of three of the main Genoan divers who succeeded in finding the immense treasure of gold bullion on board the sunken ocean liner S.S. Egypt. The arduous recovery task lasted more than 10 years. In the meantime scuba divers were faced with a wreck that was 400 feet deep in water. An Italian salvage ship was lost during one of the recovery efforts that failed.
Admiral Karpfanger's remains were discovered near the isolated island of Navarino, after it became missing in Antarctic waters some six months earlier, i.e. March 1938. Bound for England the ship was carrying a load of wheat. It was last heard from in August 1938. Initially a Belgian bark named L'Avenir, it regularly competed in cargo races from Australia to England.
My e-book recounts the collision of two ships in the early morning hours of November 26, 1964. The accident occurred in international waters, approximately eighteen miles off the coast of New Jersey. Dense fog preceded the tragedy in which the ocean liner S.S. Shalom cut the Norwegian tanker Stolt Dagali in sections. The stern section sank immediately with the loss of 19 Norwegian crew members.
S.S. Brother Jonathan remained a mystery for more than 125 years after it sank near Crescent City, California on July 30, 1865. Once owned by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the square rigged side wheel steamer foundered because it was overloaded with passengers and cargo. 220 feet, the ship was built in 1850. This was an era of ship construction that saw a transition from wind to steam.
My e-book considers explorers who made successful dives on the Andrea Doria sunken liner and various schooners, steamers, and tugs that have foundered in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island. Eve Bartram was perhaps the first recorded woman to dive on the Andrea Doria. A fascinating young woman from Pennsylvania, she got into wreck diving after quitting school and taking up mountain climbing.
On June 8, 1964 the U.S. Government announced the breakup of a major U.S. Postal theft ring. The criminals had taken more than $1,000,000 in money orders, cash and stamps from seven New Jersey post office branches. They Keyport branch suffered $592,000 in stolen money orders which $77,000 in stamps was robbed from the Fairview branch. These were the highest recorded thefts in postal history.
In 1965 Michael Viggiano was one of 19 people indicted in a narcotics dealing conspiracy. Some years after the trial, in 1968, three members of the heroin ring were murdered. Two of the men's bodies were found in Sullivan County, New York while another conspirator died violently on a street in Queens. It is believed that Viggiano became a target for murder because of evidence he might provide.
Anthony Crisci had a number of mob aliases, i.e. Crish, Cristi, Carish and Crisc. A February 1969 Mafia expose found him living in a 7 Nantucket Place, Scarsdale, New York home owned by Bonanno family captain Nicholas Alfano. As late as 1961 Crisci was the proprietor of Snooky's, a Greenwich Village deli, also called the Deli Box. Crisci became a very important heroin distributor for the Bonannos.
The Pizza Connection was a multinational narcotics ring with a cleverly devised front. Multiple fronts actually. The conspirators used pizza parlors in the eastern U.S. and American Midwest to make their drug deliveries and transactions. Illinois pizza shop proprietor Pietro Alfano was only one of many pizza distributors who was caught up in the syndicate. In 1987 he was shot by Gambino mobsters.
In April 1950 the sentencing of five defendants completed the prosecution and conviction of a syndicate that had passed $300,000 in phony currency, stamps and American Express traveler's checks. Secret Service agents closed in on the ring's perpetrators in Manhattan and Los Angeles. Curiously, one of the fake presses was located in close proximity to Secret Service headquarters in Manhattan.
The Gambino syndicate, based in Brooklyn is one of New York's five principal crime families. In March 1961 Gambino capo Carmine Lombardozzi and his associate Arthur Tortorello were both charged with probation violations. Barney Kotler was a Lombardozzi minion who was subpoenaed during a roundup of racetrack fixing conducted by District Attorney Aaron Koota. More than 60 others were subpoenaed.
In March 1969 the New York State Investigative Commission conducted a thorough inquiry into mob infiltration of organized crime in New York City. Two Brooklyn restarauteurs begged for mercy rather than divulge details of their coercion by emissaries sent to them by the Gallo brothers. The thugs asked for dues for restaurant employees. However the workers received no benefits in return
When mobster Vincent Lombardo married Meyer Lansky's daughter Sandra in 1964 he promised him that he'd stay out of the mob as long as he was with Sandra. His actions belied his promise however. Central figures in a massive stock swindle unraveled in November 1970 were Lucchese mobsters Carmine Tramunti and imprisoned garment industry hoodlum Giovanni "Johnny" Dio. The Gambinos were also involved.
The denial of New York as the venue of the Ernie Terrell-Muhammad Ali heavyweight fight led to the mob beating of Terrell's manager Bernard Glickman. He entered federal custody soon after being nearly beaten to death in his Chicago residence in February 1966. Mobsters hoped for a big payday in New York. The New York Boxing Commission denied Terrell a boxing license because of his ties to Glickman.
My e-book looks closely at three influenza epidemics that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries, i.e. 1890-91, 1918-19 and 1957-58. I also discuss the 2009 flu pandemic and look at similarities between earlier expert advice and current. For example, in 1918 scientists also advised the use of face masks to prevent the spread of flu. From September 1918-March 1919 flu killed 5.6 per 1000 in U.S.
Philly Vizzari was a Colombo soldier who became one of Long Island's top loansharks. A Deer Park resident, he was indicted for robbery, criminal negligence and bookmaking. In the 1960s the mob used criminal fronts to charge exorbitant amounts on credit cards like American Express and Diners Club. Eventually the businesses were driven into bankruptcy before being seized by crime family mobsters.
In February 1981 Genovese mobster Michael Clemente had discussed Mafia payments to International Longshoremen President "Teddy" Gleason. As early as 1952 Clemente was targeted by a probe conducted by Kings County District Attorney Frank Hogan. Hogan described Clemente as the "lord of the downtown Manhattan docks." By the late 1970s the Gambinos and Genoveses had separate spheres of influence.
In December 1920 the New York State Board of Health established a measles quarantine to counter the aggressive spread of this extremely contagious virus. Quarantines were enacted for seven to ten days to counter the virulent contagion. None of the children of an infected family was permitted to attend school. In 1914 a code requiring the placing of placards in windows was adopted in New York.
The case of Gregory Cruz was extensively covered by reporters and editors of the New York World Telegram. Writers like syndicated columnist Murray Kempton contributed their thoughts on an incident that smacks of racial profiling and discrimination. At the very least the shooting of Cruz was merely a case of mistaken identity. Shot 3 times, the Cruz's plight was probed by a New York Grand Jury.
Career criminal Joseph Curcio is an intriguing profile of union politics. He was one of three union officials who organized fake Teamsters locals that gave Jimmy Hoffa complete control of New York City in this major workers' union. My e-book looks at Curcio's criminal career and the deceptions he orchestrated to achieve his goals. Curcio was once a cellmate of mob turncoat Joseph Valachi.
Allison Parks, Playboy's 1966 Playmate of the Year, was one of the men's magazine's most beautiful models. A natural and wholesome beauty, she had a smattering of freckles between her shoulder blades. My ebook looks at the fantasy projection bio that Playboy had crafted for Parks. An inquiring reporter discovered some details about Parks that differed greatly with the magazine's invented portrait.
Charles Gargotta and Kansas City political boss Charles Binaggio were assassinated in a political headquarters meeting house in the early morning hours of April 6, 1950. Binaggio had taken firm control of the North Side political racket once managed by boss Tom Pendergast. Gargotta was involved in criminal activity in Kansas City as early as 1939. Missouri Gov. Stark described this extensively.
The 1918 Spanish influenza was the most virulent strain of the H1N1 flu virus ever. Originally, however, it was no more virulent than the 1957-1958 Asian flu or others that have since followed the Great Flu Epidemic. The 1918 flu's potency was acquired via mutations as it spread from person to person. German-born virologist Jeffrey Taubenberger studied 9 fragments of viral RNA that he sequenced.
My e-book looks at the tragic and mysterious demise of hotel heiress Elva Statler Davidson. Found slumped on the running board of her parked car, her February 27, 1935 death was attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Her husband received the lion's share of her $500,000 estate. Two of Elva's relatives had appealed the verdict that was pronounced by a Pinehurst, NC coroner's jury.
Jack McGurn is most often linked to the notorious St. Valentine's Day Massacre of February 14, 1929. The execution of seven members of Bugs Moran's northside Chicago mob, has never been completely solved. Jack was interrogated and released by Chicago Police detectives. His primary alibi was a blonde lover who later became his wife. She vouched for him, saying that she'd been with him in a hotel.
Fred "Killer" Burke committed crimes in Illinois, Missouri and Michigan. In St. Joseph, Michigan he was convicted of killing a policeman. He was given a 100 year sentence in prison for this crime. He was taken to Chicago and personally interviewed by FBI Chief Melvin Purvis. Later he stood trial for the policeman's slaying. There is mystery surrounding the crimes of Al Capone's Outfit.
Originally from Port Said, Egypt Frank Frigenti was born of Italian parentage. Among the mob persons that Frigenti is most often linked with is Charles "Lucky" Luciano. According to the stories that he told, Tough Frankie and Lucky were very close criminal associates. Frigenti is still tied to some participation in the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Perhaps many of his boasts were exaggerated?
Photogenic Dolly Read is an English-born former Playboy Playmate and film actress. She made headlines in 1970 when she appeared nude in the highly publicized sexploitation film "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". Meyer, who starred busty beauties in his motion pictures, had hoped for an R-rating for his film. However "Dolls" was eventually rated X. Read also married comedian Dick Martin of Laugh In.
In February 1959 Chicago Local 134 official Fred Tom "Smitty Smith" was linked to shakedowns in the coin machine and jukebox industries. Mafia thugs insisted on controlling records played by radio station disc jockeys. They also violently opposed independently installed jukeboxes in taverns. In lieu of violence, the mob began to send in plants to gum up non mob jukeboxes and vending machines.
Convicted on obscenity charges, publisher Milton Luros was fined $25,000. His publishing businesses had three different names but they operated out of a single office building in Northridge, California. In November 1965 a U.S. District Court Judge had reversed a ruling in the convictions of eight of Luros' co-defendants. Luros was convicted of mailing porn to Iowa.
Teamsters lobbyist Sidney Zagri studied at UCLA before moving on to Harvard. Before he came to Washington, DC permanently in 1959 Zagri had stayed two months there in 1956. During his first stint in DC he worked with Oregon Democrat Wayne Morse. Together they had promoted an investigation of the National Labor Relations Board. Zagri joined the NLRB in 1941. By 1943 he had moved to the West Coast.