Cherrie Picked – The Disappearance of Cherrie Mahan


On February 22, 1985, a typically cold winter day in Butler County, Pennsylvania, eight-year-old Cherrie Mahan got off the school bus at approximately 4:05 p.m. Three other children got off with her and began walking to their homes on the outskirts of Cabot. None of them noticed anything unusual. Cherrie’s friends saw her walking toward her house, only about 50 feet away, but she never arrived.

Cherrie’s Mahan’s disappearance helped launch a program that has helped locate over 1,000 missing children, but she is not among them. For nearly three decades after Cherrie’s ill-fated bus stop, few leads surfaced, indicating what may have happened to her. During the last several years, however, police have received information claiming to know her fate. Unfortunately, if the tips are accurate, the final chapter in Cherrie’s story will not have a happy ending.

The most promising possible lead in Cherrie’s disappearance was a green or light blue van seen behind the school bus. A snow-capped mural of a man in red and yellow clothing skiing down a mountain made the vehicle hard to miss. No one recognized the van, and despite the distinctive painting, it was never located.

Because no one in the greater Pittsburgh area recalled seeing the distinctive van after Cherrie’s disappearance, police theorized the occupant(s) fled western Pennsylvania after Cherrie’s disappearance.

For nearly 30 years, few leads of substance surfaced. In 2014, police received several tips saying Cherrie was living in Michigan under another name. Investigators, however, determined it was another woman who resembled the computer-aged image of Cherrie.

In 2015, police announced they had received more promising information regarding Cherrie. They would only say the lead was from a person who “would have known Cherrie” and “has the potential” to lead them to specific people. Unfortunately, authorities say the tip makes it “highly unlikely that she is alive.”

In August 2018, Cherrie’s mother received an anonymous handwritten letter saying Cherrie was murdered. The letter, mailed around the time of Cherrie’s birthday, detailed who the author contends killed Cherrie, why they did it, and where her body could be found. The letter ended: “I pray you find some peace after you find her body.” It was signed by someone calling himself “Pastor Justice.”

Cherrie’s mother gave the letter to police who are still analyzing the contents to determine its credibility. They have refused any comment on the letter so far, saying they will discuss it once the analysis is complete. They have also not said if they believe the letter to be related to the information received in 2015 or to the van.

Investigators have said they received another tip, which led them to search an old mine shaft in Butler County and a junkyard near the city of Armstrong, 27 miles northeast of Cabot. Again, though, they have not yet released any information about the findings.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was founded in 1984, the year before Cherrie vanished. In conjunction with the direct-mail marketing company ADVO, they launched the “Have You Seen Me?” program. It helps locate missing children through the mass distribution of the children’s pictures on detached address labels. Vlassis, the company which acquired ADVO in 2007, continues the program today.

Cherrie Mahan was the first child featured on the labels. The program has been remarkably successful. Of the approximately 2,100 highlighted cases, nearly 1,200 children have been recovered. Cherrie wasn’t one of them.

The success of the ADVO program also led to missing children being featured on cardboard milk cartons.

Cherrie Mahan was declared legally dead in 1998. If she has somehow beaten the odds, she would today be 43-years-old.

If you have any information on her disappearance, please contact the Pennsylvania State Police at 412-284-8100.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading: 

Butler Dispatch

Wikipedia

NBC News


Recommended Reading:

Missing

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Mobster Monday: Thomas Lucchese

Photo courtesy of National Crime Syndicate

Thomas Lucchese was born on December 1, 1899, in Palermo, Italy. The family came to America in 1911 and settled into the East Harlem neighborhood of New York. His father entered the cement business, while Tommy worked in a shop as a teenager. At the age of 16, while on the job, he lost his finger and thumb.

Perhaps feeling jaded, Lucchese began to spend more time on the streets following the unfortunate mishap. Fortuitously, he grew up knowing Charlie Luciano, “Lucky,” and started the 107 Street Gang. Under the watchful eye of Mob Boss Gaetano Reina, Lucchese rose in the ranks quickly. Strong-arming for business was his forte, and he punished anyone who refused to accept their wares.

Convicted one time in 1920 for car theft, Lucchese was careful not to get caught again. After a thirteen-month stint in Sing Sing, he was released during the Prohibition years.

In ’31, a war broke out between two crime bosses, Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. Siding with Maranzano, Lucchese promised the hit of his boss, Masseria. This act of betrayal would enable Lucchese to move in on to Massaria’s cash outlets and a slide into Massaria’s spot as the boss’ number one man. He accomplished the grizzly task on April 15 and instantly became the Masseria Family Boss.

In 1951, Lucchese renamed the Massaria Family the “Lucchese” Family. He quietly governed his men, reinforcing his mob values of making cash, keeping low, and avoiding arrest. He became friendly with Mayor O’Dwyer and ruled Manhattan’s unions with an iron fist.

In 1962, his daughter Frances married Carlo Gambino’s son, Thomas. This union enabled both men to rise to the top of Manhattan’s criminal underworld. Over the next few years, they ruled the city’s airport and their respective unions. No one got in their way.

These years were golden for Lucchese. He hadn’t stepped foot in jail in decades, and he never would again. He developed a brain tumor and died on July 13, 1967, in Long Island, New York.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading: 

National Crime Syndicate

The Mob Museum

Wikipedia


Recommended Reading:

Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


A Prime Target: The Murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme


A Prime Crime

The nation’s Chief Executive is shot while in public and is rushed to the hospital. Doctors work feverishly but are unable to save him. A shocked nation goes into mourning. Years after the assassination, conspiracy theories abound as to who was responsible.

Such an occurrence describes the globally known assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy over 56 years ago. It also describes a murder occurring in 1986, which, outside of Scandinavia, is lesser-known.
The Prime Minister of Sweden is the Nordic country’s equivalent of the President of the United States. Thus, the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme can rightfully be compared to President Kennedy.
A cornucopia of conspiracy claims continues to surround both crimes. One huge factor, however, separates the two assassinations. History has officially closed the book on the Kennedy assassination, but the murder of Prime Minister Palme is still open.

Olof Plame became Prime Minister of Sweden in 1969, a position he held until his murder 17 years later. He was the leader of the left-wing Swedish Social Democrat Party.

Palme’s reign coincided with the escalation of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. He adopted a policy of non-alignment with both superpowers and spoke critically of both countries’ foreign policies.

Palme drew the particular ire of the United States when he became the first Western head of state to visit Cuba following the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. His speech praising the revolutionaries was not well received by Cuba’s neighbor to the north.

Prime Minister Palme valued his independence and was determined to live as ordinary as possible for a head of state. He was often seen in public without any bodyguard protection; the evening of February 28, 1986, was one such occasion.

Despite protests from his entourage, the Prime Minister gave his protectors the evening off as he looked forward to a night at the movies with his family.

That evening Palme and his wife Lisbet met their son Marten and his girlfriend at Stockholm’s Grand Cinema, where they watched the comedy “The Mozart Brothers.” After the movie ended at approximately 11:00 p.m., the foursome chatted for fifteen minutes before the two couples headed their separate ways. Olof and Lisbet Palme began walking toward the Hötorget metro station.

After crossing the street, the Palmes briefly stopped to gaze at some displays in a shop window before continuing past a corner deli.

Several minutes later, officially at 11:21 p.m., according to Swedish authorities, a man approached the couple from behind and twice shot the Prime Minister in his back at point-blank range. After firing a third shot that grazed Mrs. Palme, the perpetrator jogged into the darkness.

Paramedics quickly arrived on the scene and rushed Sweden’s first couple to Sabbatsberg Hospital. The shots had severed the Prime Minister’s spinal column and aorta, and he was pronounced dead. Lisbet Palme was not seriously wounded.

Multiple people witnessed the shooting but could provide only vague descriptions of the assassin. He was generally described as between 30-50 years-old, 6″-6’2″ tall, 185-200 pounds, and wearing a dark jacket or coat. The descriptions varied so much that police deemed them insufficient to develop a composite sketch of the suspect.

The shots were determined to have probably been fired from a Winchester-Western .357 Magnum 158 grain metal piercing revolver. The two bullets recovered from the street were the only forensic evidence as such weapons do not automatically eject cartridge cases.

Based on the bullets’ lack of certain characteristic deformations, investigators concluded the shots had been fired from a barrel not shorter than 4 inches, meaning the murder weapon would have been a conspicuously large handgun.

Thirty-three-year-old Victor Gunnarsson, a right-wing extremist who hated Palme’s polices, was immediately declared the prime suspect in the murder of the Prime Minister. He matched the general description of the assassin. A witness placed Gunnarsson at a bar near the Grand Cinema that evening, voicing his discontent about the Swedish leader to anyone who would listen.

Gunnarsson was arrested but soon released after no one picked him out of a police lineup. Nothing linked him to the killing, but he was guilty in the eyes of public opinion.

Ostracized and unable to find work in his home country, Gunnarsson moved the United States, settling in Salisbury, North Carolina, a town of approximately 33,000 people in the west-central part of the Tar Heel state. In January 1994, Gunnarsson’s near-naked body was found in a wooded area about 90 miles from his home. He had been shot twice in the head with a .22 caliber firearm.

Olof Palme’s murder has been called the Swedish equivalent of President Kennedy’s assassination. Gunnarsson was not the likely assassin, and he was not silenced for the same reason many believe Lee Harvey Oswald was killed. Instead, he was shot to death by a jealous former boyfriend of the woman he had recently begun dating.

Regardless, many in Gunnarsson’s homeland still believe his murder was poetic justice. Despite his disdain for Olof Palme, no evidence has been found linking him to the assassination.

In December 1988, almost three years after Prime Minister Palme’s murder, an alcoholic and drug user named Christer Pettersson was charged with the murder after Lisbet Palme picked him out of a lineup as her husband’s killer. Pettersson, who had previously been convicted of manslaughter, was convicted of Palme’s murder, but the verdict was overturned on appeal the following year.

The Swedish appellate court cited several reasons for reversing the lower court’s decision.

• Failure of the prosecution to produce the murder weapon;
• Lack of a motive for the murder;
• Doubts about the reliability of Mrs. Palme’s identification of
Pettersson and her testimony; and
• “extremely gross errors” by the police in arranging the lineup.

In the late 1990s, several people came forward saying Pettersson had confessed to killing the Prime Minister. He allegedly told associates it was a case of mistaken identity. He had intended to kill fellow drug dealer Sigvard Cedergren. Cedergren resembled Olof Palme and often walked along the same route the Prime Minister was walking that evening. However, the claims were made by petty criminals who altered their stories, and officials deemed the contentions uncredible.

Pettersson was awarded about $50,000 in compensation for defamation by the police and wrongful imprisonment. He quickly squandered his windfall on alcohol and drugs but augmented his income through media interviews.

In 1998, the Swedish Supreme Court rejected an appeal to retry Pettersson. He died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 2004, legally declared not guilty in the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme.

As with the assassination of President Kennedy, no shortage of conspiracy theories exist regarding the murder of Prime Minister Palme. Some of the opinions are listed below.

• He was silenced by the CIA for his support of communist Cuba
• As the U.N. mediator seeking an end to the Iran-Iraq war, he was
assassinated because he fell afoul of Iran-Contra
• He was taken out by an operative of the former Yugoslavian security service.
• He was killed by the South African Cooperation Bureau for speaking out against Apartheid.
• His murder was linked with arms trades to India.

• He was killed by Chilean Fascists for granting asylum to leftist
Chileans following the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973.
• He was killed by a conspiracy among Swedish right-wing extremist police officers.
• He was killed by the PKK (Kurdish Worker’s Party) for the arrests of Kurds living in Sweden.

Olof and Lisbet Palme had been married for thirty years at the time of his assassination.

Lisbet did not remarry. She died in October 2018 at age 87, still believing Christer Pettersson was the man who had murdered her husband.

On February 18, 2020, Krister Petersson, the Swedish chief prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, announced a likely assassin had been identified and that further information will be provided at a later date.

Petersson, (different spelling and no relation to Christer Pettersson) also announced that if prosecutors are denied the opportunity to try the suspect, they will close the investigation into the murder of the Prime Minister.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:
Dagens Nyheter
Los Angeles Times
New York Times


Recommended Reading:

Blood on the Snow: The Killing of Olof Palme

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


The 1st RICO Indictment Wasn’t Against The Italians. It was Used against The Dixie Mafia

Screenshot 2019-09-21 at 11.42.03 AM
Screenshot taken from https://www.gatewaymacon.org/top-5-lists/top-5-surprising-facts-5.cms

For those of you who don’t believe in the existence of the Dixie Mafia consider this. Three full years before the R.I.C.O. act was used in New York to take down the Italian Mafia, it was used in Georgia to take down Dixie Mafia Kingpin John “J.C.” Hawkins.


Everyone has heard how the U.S. Attorney’s office used the R.I.C.O. act to attack the Italian Mafia and ultimately take it down. Although it still exists to this day, the Mafia isn’t nearly as powerful as it was back in the early 1970s. Even Wikipedia claims the R.I.C.O. act was first used in 1979 to take down the Italians.


Screenshot 2019-09-21 at 11.39.44 AM
The screenshot is taken from Wikipedia

While diving deeper into my research of the Dixie Mafia, I found a startling truth. The R.I.C.O. Act wasn’t used first on the Italians. It was used against a Dixie Mafia Kingpin named J.C. Hawkins out of Georgia three full years before the highly-publicized case in New York. Although the Dixie Mafia doesn’t have the structure and organization of the famous Italian crew, this grassroots criminal enterprise spans the southern states like weeds in a garden.

The term “Dixie Mafia” was coined in the 1960s by Mississippi State Police investigator, Rex Armistead. He hoped it would draw the attention of police and the media to the connections between the criminal factions. For decades everyone argued over the existence of the Italian mafia before it became indisputable. Now the same pattern is happening about the Dixie Mafia. While they have been called everything from the Cornbread La Cosa Nostra to the Hillbilly Mob, the fact that there is a criminal organization in the south should be indisputable. Why are people still arguing over this point? I contend Hollywood glamorized the Italian organization and they haven’t touched the southern counterpart.


More about the first RICO indictment:

The R.I.C.O. indictment case out of Macon, GA started with a rock group called the Allman Brothers band.

The_Allman_Brothers_Band_(1972).jpeg
Photo courtesy of Capricorn Records – itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39713595

They were called the “Godfathers of Southern Rock,” but now drug dealers with ties to the Georgia faction of the Dixie Mafia will destroy what’s left of the band.


The Allman Brothers Band had reached the lofty heights of stardom by 1976, but those heights were hard to maintain with ties to Georgia’s faction of the Dixie Mafia. Drugs, band member disputes, lavish living, and one giant push by law enforcement spelled the end of the famous rock group.
The band that would be later known for hits like Ramblin Man and Midnight Rider was formed by two brothers Gregg and Duane in 1969. The next seven years would be plagued with trouble, but they would finally scratch their way to the top. Things started falling apart, however, when the eldest brother Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. The band somehow kept it together and seemed stronger than ever, but it wouldn’t last long.


Gregg Allman’s former bodyguard and now road manager, John “Scooter” Herring was allegedly supplying the band and others with narcotics. His activities and his ties to Dixie Mafia Kingpin J. C. Hawkins had come under scrutiny by law enforcement. Scooter’s supplier was a pharmacist Joey Fuchs. At one point Fuchs found his pharmacy stock so obviously low, that he staged a robbery to cover the drugs he had stolen and sold to Herring.
Scooter Herring and Joey Fuchs were arrested and indicted on May 30, 1976. Witnesses were called in from around the music industry including Gregg Allman. Everyone in the band refused to “rat out” their friend, but Allman facing charges of his own agreed to testify against his former manager. This action was the final straw that broke up the group.


The feds were happy to take down Fuchs and Herring, but their main target was the big boss J.C. Hawkins. They would get their chance in a much-publicized RICO trial in July 1976. Hawkins and the crew were convicted of several racketeering charges, drug charges and much more. During the trial, the rockstar Gregg Allman had to be under heavy guard. Hawkins, who had a history of taking out witnesses, had put a price on Allman’s head. $100,000 was a lot of money back in 1976, and that’s what the kingpin was willing to pay if someone took out Allman.


Scooter Herring was convicted of five drug charges and sentenced to 75 years in prison. Herring who had also been a former bodyguard for J.C. Hawkins was now behind bars. He refused to snitch on anyone, but Fuchs and Allman didn’t share his sentiment. Viewing Allman’s testimony as an act of betrayal, the band officially broke up. They would reunite on a few occasions over the next few decades, but they would never achieve the same level of success as their first run in the early 1970s.


An appeals court later overturned Herring’s conviction. He would face another trial in 1979 where he would plead guilty to lesser charges and receive five years. Eventually, Scooter received a presidential pardon from Jimmy Carter, and he ended up serving only three years. Many believed he took the rap for Allman, but there wasn’t any proof. Several southern rock groups performed charity concerts and raised the money to foot Scooter’s legal bill. Scooter went on working in the music industry and was beloved by all who knew him. No one will ever know if the allegations were true or false, but Herring spent the rest of his life on the fringes of Rock and Roll as a manager for different bands.


Gregg Allman wrote a book titled My Cross to Bear in later in life. He says he was told by Scooter to pin everything on the big guy. Of course, there is no way to verify this claim. Was the ex-bodyguard still trying to protect the drug-addled celebrity, or was he actually guilty? Who knows? Whatever the case may be, the feds ended up taking down their man Hawkins with the first RICO trial.


THIS OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

gangsterreport.com/

sofa-king-cool-magazine.com

recoveryunplugged.com

wikipedia

openjurist.org

groups.google.com

gatewaymacon.org

texarkanagazette.com

newspapers.com


This week’s Recommended Reading:

My Cross to Bear

Dixie Mafia Gangster: The Audacious Criminal Career of Willie Foster Sellers: A True-Crime Story


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


Recommended Reading:

“There is no other group anywhere in the country as mobile and as well organized as the Dixie Mafia” – Agent James Duff, Georgia State Organized Crime Intelligence Unit (1974)

Deep in the heart of Dixie lies a hidden evil. It’s tentacles stretch from state to state, from county to county. The Dixie Mafia has produced infamous outlaws, bank robbers, and murderers. The story contains tidbits from each of their lives and even includes the story of a famous sheriff, but this book is not about them.

Silenced by the Dixie Mafia is about a big sister who has fought for answers for over five decades. It’s about a father who was an ex-alcoholic turned into a gambling addict. A father’s decisions would lead to the death of his disabled son and eventually lead to his own demise. Now left alone to find answers and make sense of the chaos is a brave little southern belle named Phyllis. 

Tying back to the ambush of Sheriff Buford Pusser on August 12, 1967, this story will change history as we know it. The world knew nothing about the Dixie Mafia until the murders of Judge Vincent Sherry and his wife Margaret in 1987. This public assassination brought this band of ruthless criminals into view, but the truth was still hidden until the death of the Andersons. 

A portion of the profits of this book will go to support the Missouri Missing Organization.


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Screenshot 2019-09-21 at 11.42.03 AM

Mobster Monday: Greg Scarpa

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The mobster known as the Grim Reaper was born on May 8, 1929, in New York, New York. His parents immigrated from Italy some years before and raised their family in Brooklyn. As a young man, he found work with his father in the coal mining industry. Fatefully, at some point, his older brother Salvatore is rumored to have introduced him to a life of crime. 

Scarpa married a young Connie Forest in the 1950s. They went on to have four children, three sons, and a daughter. One son, Greg JR., would eventually follow in his old man’s formidable footsteps. Like many gangsters, Scarpa was not faithful in his marriage to Connie. He fathered two children with his girlfriend, Linda, with whom he maintained a thirty-year romance.

Stylish and flashy, Scarpa loved money and violence. Scarpa’s crimes ranged from loansharking to hijacking. He was also involved with counterfeiting and robbery. In the 1960s, he was arrested for armed robbery. To save his skin and avoid spending time in the Big House, he chose to rat on other criminals. This incident began Scarpa’s third long-term relationship. His mistress? The FBI.

His reputation for confrontation and brutality perked ears at the agency. They allegedly approached him with an offer he couldn’t refuse. In 1964, agents in Mississippi hit Scarpa up. They wanted him to shake down a certain Klansman who had been rumored to know the whereabouts of three missing civil rights workers: Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. Allegedly, the FBI hooked him up with a gun and the cash to do the job. The target, a man named Lawrence Byrd, was kidnapped and beaten at Camp Shelby. Here, Scarpa himself is said to have extracted the information from Byrd by thrusting the pistol into his mouth. Byrd sang like a canary.

Although the FBI never confirmed this story, and after allegedly helping with another case involving the KKK, Scarpa and the agency had a falling out over reward money. They did not work with him again until the 1980s when Scarpa became involved with Lindley DeVecchio, an agent with the FBI. He and his wife, Connie, had separated in 1973. He allegedly gave the FBI minimal information on the Colombo Crime Family before ultimately being arrested by them for credit card fraud. To help him escape a lengthy sentence, DeVecchio reminded the agency how much information Scarpa had given over the years. It paid off, and Scarpa skated by with probation and tiny fine. 

Having lived such a stressful and dangerous life, Scarpa developed stomach ulcers. In 1986, during one of his many blood transfusions for this ailment, he contracted HIV. He tried to hide his illness by claiming he had cancer. 

Scarpa’s illness progressed. In 1991, he faced another deadly problem. Because he had ratted on the Colombo Crime Family during his time as an informant for the FBI, the Colombo boss, Victor Orena, decided to seek vengeance. While Scarpa was driving his car, he was ambushed by hitmen sent by Orena. He managed to escape and quickly sought revenge. Although he was quite ill by this time, he still hunted down his attackers. Deranged by anger and illness, he carelessly murdered several innocent people who he thought were involved.

In 1992, Scarpa was arrested on firearms charges. Not long after, he was also indicted for three murders. Right after Christmas that same year, he lost an eye while battling it out with a couple of Lucchese Family mob boys. They were out for Scarpa’s son, over drugs. 

After this incident, which landed him back in prison for defying his house arrest order, Scarpa quickly began losing the battle with his health. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to three murders and conspiracy. The feds sentenced him to life in prison. He didn’t suffer there for long. He died from AIDS-related complications on June 4, 1994.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading: 

Wikipedia

National Crime Syndicate

Cosa Nostra News


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


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ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


The Oliver Munson Disappearance

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A man’s love for restoring cars leads to his disappearance. What happened to Oliver Munson after he unknowingly stepped into the middle of a chop shop ring?


A neighbor thought nothing as he waved to Oliver Munson on the morning of February 13, 1984. The 39-year-old bachelor was presumably on his way to the middle school, where he taught Industrial Arts. Little could the neighbor have known, he likely was the last person to have seen Oliver alive. When Oliver rounded the corner, he drove into oblivion.

Oliver Munson disappeared the day before Valentine’s Day, and his story involves love, not the love of another person, but the love of a hobby which likely led to his death. The beloved shop teacher may have been done in by a man running a different kind of shop.

Oliver Munson was an industrial arts teacher at the now-defunct Ellicot City Middle School in Catonsville, Maryland, 13 miles west of Baltimore. His colleagues respected him, and “Mr. Munson” was well-liked by his students.

Oliver’s hobby was buying and restoring run-down cars. In January of 1983, he eagerly bought a fully-loaded used, but classic, 1973 Datsun 240Z, from a man named Dennis Watson.

As a teacher, Oliver was strict about his students doing the homework he assigned, but he didn’t do his homework on Dennis Watson.

Dennis Watson had not sold the Datsun to Oliver in good faith. Watson was the ringleader of a car theft ring, and he had stolen the Datsun three months earlier, in October of 1982. The car garage Watson owned was a cover for his “chop shop,” where cars were dismantled for parts, or resold with fake papers. Watson had done the latter with the Datsun he sold to Oliver.

For several weeks, police had been gathering information and building a case against Watson. On March 16, 1983, they raided his shop and arrested him and his associates.

In searching the shop, police discovered illegal car titles, partially dismantled autos, and stolen vehicle I.D. tags. Oliver Munson’s name was found in the confiscated records.

Police confiscated the Datsun Oliver had purchased from Watson. After speaking with Oliver, the police were convinced he had no part in the operation and believed he had purchased the car, thinking it was legitimate.

Oliver reluctantly agreed to testify against Watson. Legal wrangling delayed the trial for eleven months, but it was finally set to begin on February 16, 1984.

On February 13, the neighbor saw Oliver, driving his regular Ford Pinto, depart from his home at 7:50 a.m. He turned onto the road leading to the Ellicot City Middle School, never to be seen again.

Three days later, on the day he was to testify at Watson’s trial, Oliver’s car was found parked on another road two blocks from his home. The right front tire was flat. Oliver’s touring cap, school papers, and a sack lunch were found on the front seat, but there was no evidence suggesting what had happened to him.

Dennis Watson became the focal point of the investigation into Oliver’s disappearance, and authorities discovered an ominous similarity to two other people associated with Watson.

Ten years earlier, in 1973, a man named Clinton Glenn was scheduled to testify in an armed robbery trial against Watson. The day before the trial, Glenn burned to death in a car registered to Watson.

Based on the testimony of another witness, Watson was indicted for the murder. That witness, however, soon died of a drug overdose investigators called “suspicious.” The murder charges against Watson were dropped.

On February 27, 1984, two weeks after Oliver disappeared, a man named Hilton Solomon contacted police. His car had been stolen only a few hours before Oliver vanished on February 13, and he happened upon it parked on a residential street.

The car was returned to Hilton, and while cleaning it, he found a hat that did not belong to him. It was determined to have been Oliver’s. Hilton also found several receipts from a video rental store that were signed in Oliver’s name.

Investigators examined the car and found a spent cartridge case beneath the track of the right front seat. They also found a red-brownish stain on the driver’s side and red smudges on one of the video store receipts. Tests revealed the stains were human blood, type O Positive. These findings suggested Oliver had met with foul play, but with no records showing his blood type, and no other hard evidence, the investigation stalled.

Police say despite the advances of DNA technology, the blood sample is now too deteriorated to be tested for a potential match.

Clinton Glenn was murdered the day before he was to testify against Dennis Watson. Oliver Munson disappeared and was likely murdered three days before he was to testify against Watson. Authorities did not think either event was a coincidence but could not make a case against Watson in either instance.

The witness who fingered Watson in Clinton Green’s murder was himself murdered, and Watson refused to talk to police about the disappearance of Oliver Munson. The only thing on which Watson could be charged was on running the auto theft ring.

Oliver’s disappearance had no apparent effect on the outcome of Watson’s trial. He pled guilty and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was paroled in 1989, after serving half of his term.

Though his body has never been found, Oliver Munson was declared dead in 1985, ruled the victim of a “presumptive homicide.” Investigators believe the man who taught shop was murdered by those who ran a chop shop.

Oliver Wendell Munson has been missing since February 13, 1984, when he was 39-years-old. At the time of his disappearance, he was 5’10” tall and weighed 160 lbs. He had black hair and brown eyes. He would today be 75-years-old.

If you have any information on the disappearance of Oliver Munson, please contact the Baltimore County (Maryland) Police Department at 410-887-3943.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

Unsolved Mysteries

Baltimore Sun

The Charley Project


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.

Gifts For All Those True Crime Fans:

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If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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Something Afoot – The Disappearance of Bryan Nisenfeld

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Something Afoot

Steven Nisenfled was puzzled by his son’s report card after he returned home for the winter break of the 1996-97 school year. Eighteen-year-old Bryan had been an honors student in high school, but his grades after his first semester of college were a different story. Bryan told his dad he was changing his major from Architecture to English and assured him he would do better in the second semester.

Steven was concerned by his son’s struggles. That concern soon escalated into panic and then into horror. Something other than the rigorous academic material was weighing on Bryan’s mind, and it may have led to his death.

Bryan grew up in New Jersey. He was well-liked, although he was an introvert who had few close friends. He preferred writing poetry over attending parties and proms.

Bryan had done well in high school, but his first semester at Roger Williams College in Bristol, Rhode Island, was a different story. The classes were more challenging, but Bryan’s struggles may have been compounded by another problem, the nature of which is unknown.

Shortly after midnight on January 30, 1997, an agitated Bryan called his father Steven and, with his voice trembling, said that another student was harassing him and threatening to beat him up.

Steven telephoned the Roger Williams campus security; they then called the student adviser in Bryan’s dormitory. When the adviser went to Bryan’s room, Bryan had calmed but again said he had received a threatening telephone from a former student he refused to name. Bryan assured the adviser he was alright. Bryan then called his dad again and assured him he had overreacted and did not need to come to Rhode Island.

Eight days later, on February 6, 1997, Bryan attended his afternoon literature class. He was not doing well in the class, and the professor attempted to speak to him regarding his struggles. Bryan, however, brushed her off. The professor said something appeared to be weighing heavily on him.

The following day, a Friday, Bryan failed to attend any of his classes. The weekend passed with no word from him, and he was a no-show for classes on Monday and Tuesday of the following week. On February 12, six days after Bryan was last seen, the college notified Steven of his absence.

Steven searched Bryan’s dormitory room. Other than being uncharacteristically messy, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Steven thought it appeared as though Bryan had stepped out briefly intending to return.

Six months passed with no sign of Bryan until a very troubling and puzzling clue surfaced.

On Labor Day weekend, as Lori Vales and her daughter walked along Hog Island Beach, only three miles from Roger Williams University, they noticed a shoe on the sand at the beach’s high tide line. After picking up the shoe, Lori was astounded to discover a human foot inside. Another bone lay nearby. Tests determined it was a human shinbone.

The boot was consistent with a pair owned by Bryan that was not among the items found in his dorm room. DNA tests identified the foot and shinbone as his. No other remains were found, but the finding all but assured that Bryan was dead.

The remains found were not enough to determine how Bryan had died or how his foot had become separated from the body.

Reporter Jody Ericson wrote a series of articles about Bryan’s disappearance.

After talking to Bryan’s parents and reading some of his poetry, she concluded he was questioning his sexuality and detected undertones of a homosexual relationship with Josh Cohen, a former Roger Williams University student.

Jody says whatever the nature of the friendship was between Bryan and Josh, it abruptly ended in late 1996 or early 1997. She believes the falling out may have occurred because Josh was going to expose their relationship, and Bryan did not want anyone to know he was gay.

Josh admitted he had made the harassing phone calls to Bryan, but claims they were only made in jest and that Bryan had made similar calls to him. He also said they were only friends and that there was no homosexual relationship between them.

The police are satisfied Josh had nothing to do with Bryan’s disappearance and likely death. I could not find a picture of Josh.

Jody Ericson theorized that anti-homosexuals might have learned that Bryan was gay and killed him. Authorities say there is no evidence to support that theory.

Bryan spent many hours alone, writing his poetry while sitting on the Mount Hope Bridge at Hog Island Beach, only a few miles from his campus dormitory.

Investigators have found no evidence of foul play in Bryan’s probable death and believe he either took his life by jumping from or accidentally falling off the 285-foot-high bridge.

Bryan’s parents do not believe he would have committed suicide, but they concede he may have accidentally fallen from the bridge. However, they lean toward believing their son was murdered and that Josh Cohen knows more than he is saying.

Bryan’s mother, Marianne Brown, said she received an anonymous phone call saying a Roger Williams University Administrator and two faculty members were withholding information about Bryan’s case.

The University denies the claim, and authorities found no evidence the college officials were not forthcoming.

Unless the rest of Bryan’s remains are found, the cause of death may never be discovered.

The chances of finding his remains are remote as they likely long ago decomposed in the Mount Hope Bay.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:
48 Hours
websleuths
Facebook
Unsolved Mysteries 


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.

Gifts For All Those True Crime Fans:

SignsAndTagsOnline Insured by Mafia You Hit Me We Hit You! License Plate Funny Mafia Auto Tag

If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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Mobster Monday: Joe Profaci

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Giuseppe Profaci “Joe” was born on October 2, 1897 in Sicily. His early life included a brief stint in a Sicilian prison for theft. In 1921, Joe immigrated to the United States. Making his way to Chicago, he tried to make a living on its tough streets. Finding no success, he ventured into New York, where he found himself prosperous as an “Olive Oil King”. Having the fortuitous friendship of Gambino family boss Vincent Mangano, he began to delve into the counterfeit currency enterprise. By 1928, Profaci was head of one of the largest crime rings in New York. Even after an arrest in 1928 for bootlegging, Profaci pushed forward with his business dealings.
Although Profaci was a hard crime boss, he did provide much needed employment in desperate communities with his success in the olive oil industry. However, he was known to evade taxes whenever possible in order to keep more than his share. In 1950, he was sued by the IRS but was never punished for his crimes. Profaci was also implicated in drug smuggling, but was never indicted due to lack of evidence. It seems as though Joe had a knack for slipping through the cracks.

In 1959, Joe was mixed up in a nasty murder hit that ended up in his own men revolting against him. A friend of Profaci, Frank Abbatemarco, was murdered under Profaci’s direction. He then ordered the man’s son murdered in order to not face the music, but Profaci was faced with a mutiny of sorts. His men, including Joe Gallo and brothers, ended up trying to take over the organization by refusing to do the job. After many murders and much mayhem, Gallo was sentenced to prison for ten years. Although Joe Profaci escaped being murdered and doing hard time, he soon had to face his maker. He died on June 7, 1962, following a very short stint with cancer. He is buried in Queens, New York.


Further Reading:

https://americanmafiahistory.com/giuseppe-joe-profaci/

National Crime Syndicate


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Recommended Reading:

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

Giovanni’s Ring: My Life Inside the Real Sopranos


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Synova Ink would like to welcome our newest guest blogger. Karen Reep is a new true crime writer learning to spread her wings on our Mobster Monday posts. Look for more of her writing in the near future.


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.


Check out Synova’s Work on Amazon Here

ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED