Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee book download
He did understand why once-trusted former colleagues in the federal law enforcement bureaucracy never alerted him to a murder plot directed against him by the Chicago syndicate. The plot involved a shadowy mob operative of endless fascination named Richard Cain, whose real-life intrigues mirror a John LeCarre spy novel. Newey began investigating rumors that Cain was one of the low echelon figures in an organized crime conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy, for a book he is planning to write, when he learned of an assassination that never took place: his own.
Neither the team of FBI agents assigned to the Chicago office, nor members of local law enforcement who were privy to the existence of a mob plot bothered to inform him that he was placed in harm's way. The information was deliberately withheld from him on orders from J. Edgar Hoover, who desired to polish the tarnished image of the Bureau before the national media by immediately stepping in and cracking the Newey murder based on the secret wiretap information supplied by the Chicago office of the FBI, and Special Agent William F. Roemer, then assigned to the Bureau's "Top Hoodlum Program.
The U. Looking for answers and fresh material for the book he was diagramming with retired Chicago journalists John O'Brien and Eddie Baumann, Newey dispatched his son Arthur, and a trusted family friend, Attorney Philip A. The two men sifted through a raft of declassified documents for answers to decades old mysteries surrounding Cain's involvement in a long-rumored Mafia plot to kill the president. Buried in the reams of yellowing FBI files, Newey and Mullenix stumbled across something even more striking, a series of revealing transcriptions sent to Director Hoover's office in Washington by Roemer.
Of particular interest was the transcript of a secret conversation occurring on January 28, , between Alderman John D'Arco of the First Ward, and two Chicago hoodlums, Frank "Strongy" Ferraro, and Murray Humphreys in which the ways and means of killing Paul Newey were discussed from the back room of a Michigan Avenue tailor shop. Black lined by FBI censors prior to de-classification, Roemer's Washington dispatch retains historical importance because it establishes for the first time clear and resonant links between Chicago organized crime leaders and the administration of the first Richard Daley whose historical legacy among big city mayors has held up amazingly well since his death in In his communique to Hoover, Roemer makes note of the fact that: " During the conversation D'Arco advised Humphreys and Ferraro that he had been in contact the night before with Irwin Cohen [the head of city investigations for the elder Daley] and that Cohen was aware that 'Newey's got those two guys.
But I want to obscene Newey, I said we got to obscene this Newey. He said 'Now I'll do anything. Can't you get him to get these guys to get him to go up to the office? Newey is the guy they can't control. The once valuable component of trust and respect for a governmental institution ass gone now.
Organized Crime in Our Times (Fifth Edition)
Agent Roemer was a "hail fellow's well met" sort of man; affable and outgoing reserving a pleasant greeting for one and all. But he always played it close to the vest, refusing to betray the secrets of his fallen hero and former mentor, J. Edgar Hoover; apparently even when another man's life was at stake. Paul Davis Newey was the son of an immigrant Assyrian minister who conducted a ministry in Chicago and Minneapolis, the city where Paul was born in His grandparents toiled as rug merchants in Chicago, and as a youngster he was taught Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ according to ancient biblical text.
Instilled with deep religious convictions but influenced by Warner Brothers' film noir portrayal of G-Men in a score of low-budget s Hollywood films, Newey enrolled in John Marshall Law School as the first step toward qualifying for admittance to the FBI. With his law degree, and a tough physical and mental comportment, he counted on becoming a "G-Man" one day, but he was dark-complected and did not exactly match the WASP-ish ethnic profile J. Edgar Hoover had in mind when he recruited new agents. In Newey took up with the Federal Narcotics Bureau and the pace quickened.
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He became something of an expert on drug trafficking at a time when the problem was mostly confined to the inner city neighborhoods and downtown "honky-tonk" districts. An early assignment with the Narcotics Bureau landed him in Detroit, where he established levels of trust with a junkie pickpocket named Black Sam who followed the heavyweight champion Joe Louis into every major city and tank town from Maine to California.
Agent Newey "turned" Black Sam into a reliable informant who helped him build cases against drug movers preying on the poor and indigent. Black Sam also taught him an essential truth about the character of his old hometown, Chicago. It is the only town I know of where the cops will pick your pockets clean after a pinch. In any other town, once they found the needle tracks on my arm, I would be locked up for the night with enough money to leave town the following morning.
But in Chicago they would not leave me enough money for carfare. That's how greedy the cops were in Chicago. The veteran criminal investigator and licensed attorney was reluctant to discuss the specific nature of his work with the C. Adamowski was a maverick Republican from the Polish wards of the city's far Northwest Side. Foiled in his attempt to move forward in Democratic circles and philosophically opposed to his former friend and colleague Richard J.
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Daley, Adamowski bolted the party in to run for office as a Republican. His upset victory that year angered Daley and caught the Democratic Party apparatus off-guard. Thereafter, the open antagonism existing between the Mayor and his former pal festered into political warfare. Newey was thrust directly into the line of fire, literally and figuratively.
Paul Newey came on board as an investigator in , with primary responsibility for uncovering graft and investigating allegations of organized crime tie-ups in City Hall in order to expose the Daley Machine and shore up Adamowski's shaky political base in a "controlled" town.
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One is the State's Attorney's office and the other is the Sheriff's office," Newey added. But I avoided using Chicago policemen and I'll tell you why," Newey explaiend. As a result they would have to suffer after we left office. On that basis I rarely used them. They were high profile for the time and were known in police circles as "heater cases" for the excessive publicity they generated. In Newey secured an indictment against a kidnapper based solely on hypnosis evidence. After completing a course of instruction at the Hypnotism Institute of Chicago, he was the first investigator in this country to utilize truth serum and hypnosis as a means to solve a puzzling kidnapping case.
The victim, a year-old airline stewardess, described the assailant who was later identified and charged. However the evidence against the defendant was excluded and the trial ended in acquittal. By , Ben Adamowski's campaign to clean up Chicago had stalled and his ambition to eventually unseat Daley as mayor of Chicago appeared out of reach. For nearly three years Newey and Adamowski had tried and failed to convince apathetic Chicago voters of the stench emanating out of the bastions of Democratic Machine power, beginning in the Traffic and Criminal Courts, where the First Ward Democratic organization and the mob tapped their single greatest source of power and prestige.
Pre-dating the Operation Greylord investigations by nearly twenty-four years, Paul Newey hired an undercover mole who spent three months prowling the corridors of Traffic Court uncovering evidence of bribe taking and collusion between defense attorneys and judges. When he figured out what was going on and reported back to his superiors, Adamowski demanded accountability from Irwin N.
Thirty four Traffic Court fixers were named in a true bill, including one indignant municipal court judge who berated Adamowski as "power-crazed politician" who practiced "gutter politics.
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The evidence of this million-dollar-a-year ticket fixing scandal was overwhelming," he said. Thwarted at every turn by the hand-picked Democratic judges loyal to Daley and his army of ward heelers spreading Machine propaganda far and wide, and facing likely defeat in the November city election, Adamowski and his team groped for fresh evidence of crime and corruption to lay before the voters of Cook County. They decided that the weak link in Daley's armor worthy of attention might well be Irwin N. Cohen, the Mayor's point man on city investigations and public accountability.
Cohen sat still during the Traffic Court probe, even with a mountain of paper evidence lying on his desk pointing to systemic graft in the local judiciary. That is where Newey believed the traffic investigation foundered. We were interested in knowing what the Mayor's top paid investigator was doing to earn a salary which at the time was more than what the State's Attorney was getting," Newey recalled, down to the last detail. The gambling, the payoffs, and every other illegal activity was kept under wraps because the First Ward controlled the action and the First Ward was politically important to the Machine.
The voice on the other end of the line kept saying: "I just read your brother's obituary in tomorrow's paper. To understand the apparent willingness of Daley's man to alert Chicago's criminal cartel to an intrigue hatched by political rivals; for any bureaucrat to sanction contract murder in order to spare the nation's most powerful big city mayor a political black eye threatening to topple his administration, it is necessary to backtrack to January , and examine the collapse of the "Big Nine," a minority coalition of liberal reformers within the Chicago City Council who were attempting to end long-standing criminal alliances.
By the time of Daley's first election in , Chicago was a poorly policed and dangerous city; stagnating under the crushing weight of a corrupt cabal of politicians known as the West Side Bloc who had exerted influence in the Illinois State House and nine West Side wards since the days of Al Capone. Syndicate hoodlums became cops. Underpaid by the city, Chicago Police solicited bribes from motorists in order to make it to the next payday, and sometimes crossed over and became mobsters themselves.
It was not uncommon in those days for a "sponsored" police officer coming on the job through the influence of a West Side politico, to be assigned a walking beat on lower Wacker Drive, directing traffic at midnight. In other words, a no-show job, or what we now call a "ghost pay roller. Republican legislators and Democratic aldermen formed alliances and served their syndicate overseers for common purpose; to further the aims of the Chicago mob and to feather their own political nests.
In his rise to prominence in the criminal underworld, Al Capone forged his own alliances with politicians on both sides of the aisle. He consolidated his power at the ward level, appeasing the good-government types with promises of violence-free elections in return for non-interference. Testifying before the Kefauver committee hearings on organized crime in September , Phil D'Andrea a deputy bailiff who served writs and carried a gun for Capone, enumerated his former bosses' political allegiance. He was a Republican when it fitted his clothes I guess, and a Democrat otherwise.
On February 6, , a retired soft-drink executive named Charles Gross was cut down in a fusillade of syndicate bullets as he walked to a political meeting near Kedzie and North Avenue. Gross was the acting 31st Ward Republican Committeeman, but he had defied a recent standing order from the West Side Bloc to avoid meddling in gambling operations. The crime was a shocking one, even by Chicago's infamous standards of gunplay first, and questions later. The attending newspaper publicity surrounding the murder of this businessman turned politician and a wave of public indignation that followed, led to the appointment of a nine-member investigating committee known as the "Big Nine" to end the greed and violence threatening the underpinnings of Chicago.
For nearly four years, the "big five" Machine aldermen and the "little four" reform faction sparred over technicalities, point of order procedures, and bickered over the direction of the inquiry. Irwin Cohen, reserved and small of stature, was admired by top Democratic insiders for his Northwestern Law School pedigree and a "sensible" middle of the road approach. Cohen succeeded Attorney Charles A. Bane as legal counsel to the Big Nine after Bane resigned in disgust in August , over the lack of progress. Bane accused city policemen of collecting graft from organized crime.
By a vote of , the City Council successfully blocked his efforts to require the cops to fill out disclosure statements revealing their sources of income and personal wealth. The Big Nine's swan-song report recommended to the mayor the creation of a Department of Investigation to oversee ethics reform and maintain vigilance, but vigilance is largely a matter of who watches the store. Cohen was granted extraordinary latitude to investigate any city employee, city licensee, or city department, and "dig into any official department records or documents," but he did nothing.
Where Cohen and his staff failed to uncover examples of fraud, corruption, and waste to satisfy the timetables of the Republicans, Adamowski and Newey went out and found evidence of it everywhere. Bringing it to the forefront of public opinion in order to stir civic outrage was an entirely different matter however.
In an effort to trace the Traffic Court graft and the protected gambling back to Cohen, a rising star in the "Young Republican" faction named Richard Buell Ogilvie offered to lend assistance to Newey. As a special assistant to the attorney general in charge of organized crime investigations in Illinois, Ogilvie had won a stunning conviction against Chicago's top mob moss Tony Accardo in a complex tax case, but he was reversed on appeal and Accardo walked. Nevertheless, Ogilvie had all the earmarks of a successful rackets buster and his advice carried weight in state law enforcement.
Newey said he had no choice in the matter. I didn't want him to think we were uncooperative," Newey reluctantly admits. Wilson warned Ogilvie about them, but they were only ones who were willing to help him out during the Accardo investigation. Hoey warned Newey of the dangerous consequences of bringing these two characters in, street reputations being what they are. But Cain had a near-genius I.
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