Help me Solve a Mystery
Posted in the Mafia Forum
#1 Nov 12, 2017
On August 31, 1965 I was sitting in the terminal at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey waiting on a bus to take me to New York City. I was an 18 year old Marine with a weekend in New York before boarding a flight to Rota Spain, and then to Kenitra, Morocco where I was to serve as a Marine Corps Security Guard for 14 months.
While sitting on the bench, a black Lincoln Continental pulled up and a couple maybe in their 60s got out of the backseat. Their driver carried their luggage in and the couple walked down through the terminal. The driver then returned and walked over to those of us sitting on the bench awaiting the bus to NYC. He asked if any of us were headed to the city and offered us all a ride. All the others kept silent or just said no thanks. I was thinking about accepting and said something silly like, "I've already bought my ticket". The driver replied with "so, what, keep it as a souvenir". That made sense to me and being a young Marine, I was afraid of nothing or anybody. So, I accepted the offer of a ride.
We started to NYC and after a few minutes the driver started talking....a lot. He told me that the man he had just dropped off was over all the "bookmaking" or "numbers" in the East (I cant recall exactly what he said). He said he was a veteran entitled to fly military charter, and was boarding a military charter flight to Europe That really meant very little to me as I was an 18 year old from a small farming town in north Missouri ! He then went on to say that he (the driver) had a little business where he (the driver) purchased a new Buick Riviera each month, drove the Buick to Florida where he boarded a ferry and took the Buick to Guatemala where a paid off Customs official let it in without duty costs. He then sold it , returned with the profit and repeated the trip each month. The driver actually talked non stop during the trip back but I can't recall most of the conversation.
As we approached NYC, he asked me where I was staying. I told him I had no place yet but I'd find a place. He said, that was no good but he would drop me at a nice little hotel in Manhattan where I would be safe and treated well. We were approaching a tunnel and he asked if I had any change on me. I did, and he borrowed some change for a toll.
The driver then pulled over at a cafe in Manhattan and said he needed to stop a minute and get some change so he could pay me back for the toll. I told him that was not necessary, but he insisted on paying me back the change.
He then dropped me off at the hotel and wished me well. That was around 28 August 1965.
All these years, I have wondered who the passengers in the black Lincoln were and wondered who the driver of the Lincoln was. He never offered me a name that I can recall.
After the service, I went into law enforcement in Missouri and earned a M.S. in Criminal Justice. I became familiar with the Civella Crime family in Kansas City as I worked nearby. After several years in law enforcement, I departed for the corporate world and retired a few years ago after working abroad most of my career.
Ever since that weekend in NYC, I have wondered who those people were. I know this story may sound unbelievable. But it's the truth, I swear. Anyone have any ideas ?
#2 Nov 13, 2017
Hard to say, but my money is on them being connected to the Genovese family. A lot of people don't know is but there was a lot of military veterans from WW1, WW2 and Korean associated with the crime families. WW2 being were a lot of them joined up. What you described about the driver offering you all rides into the city sounds like what Mathew Ianniello and Venero Mangano would do for service members. Both were made into the Genovese crime family and saw action during WW2. I have a feeling the driver or the old couple did not look Italian, in that case, it was an associate of Lansky.
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