« True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers

DIARY OF A MOTOR CITY HITMAN-Christian Cipollini

2013-09-04 | 🔗
In february 1975 a case began to unfold like nothing the quaint Detroit suburban area of Orchard Lake had ever seen. In the hours following a near head-on collision between a mysterious sedan and an on-duty patrolman, the frightening truth behind the speeding car's driver would be discovered.The vehicle was littered with weapons, drugs, and cash, yet these items weren't even the beginning. The most menacing item law enforcement could imagine was made of paper.  Found in Chester Wheeler Campbell's possession was a set of meticulously detailed assassin's notebooks - containing the names of unsolved murder victims and a list of planned targets.It was a time when outlandish courtroom drama, gangland executions, corruption investigations, and scandals were all part of the twisted world where a Motor City Hitman could thrive. This is the true tale not only of a murderer for hire, but also the parallel people and occurrances that helped warp a stressed socio-economic landscape of Detroit into a drug fueled organized
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime history and the authors that have written about Gacy, Bundy Dahmer, the night Stalker Dck every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers, crime, history, room murder, with your host journalist and author Dan. This is Nancy good evening. This is your host Dan. Is it asking for the program? True murder, the motion looking killers and true crime, history and the authors of written about them in several
three one thousand nine hundred and seventy five a case began to unfold hi. I'm Jay, Farner, ceo of Quicken Loans, thirty percent of Americans who are planning home improvements of five thousand dollars or more will pay for those renovations with a high interest credit card. That may not be a great idea, a better idea, maybe to take cash out of your home with a Quicken loans. Thirty year fixed rate mortgage. The rate today, in our thirty year, fixed rate mortgage, is three point. Ninety nine percent APR four point: eight percent call us today at eight hundred Quicken or go to rocketmortgage dot com, break. Subject, change one point: twenty five percent of receive this kind of call, Rick, Ross information conditions, equal housing, lender place in office and the number three hundred and thirty like nothing. The quaint Detroit suburban area of Orchard Lake had ever seen The hours following a near head on collision between a mysterious sedan
and and on duty patrolman. The frightening truth behind the speeding cars driver would be discovered. The vehicle was littered with weapons, drugs and cash. Yet these items weren't even the beginning, the most menacing item law enforcement could imagine, was made of paper found in Chester. Wheeler Campbells possession was a set meticulously detailed assassin's notebooks, containing the names of unsolved murder, victims and a list of plan targets. It was a time when outlandish courtroom, drama, gangland executions, corruption, investigations, in scandals will all part of the twisted world where a motor motor city Hitman could thrive.
This is the true tale not only of a murder for hire, but also the parallel people and occurrences that helped warped a stressed social economic landscape of Detroit into a drug fueled, organized crime, controlled underworld. The book that we're profiling this evening is a diary of a motor city hit man, the Chester, Wheeler Campbell story with my special guest journalist and author Christian, SIMPLE Leni, and welcome to the program, and thank you for agreeing to this interview, Christian Christians to believe me good evening christian good evening. Well, he seems to be alive. It says it's a live news call
live good evening good evening Christian here, hi Dan. How are you good? Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. I just did the introduction of an all You could hear it while you were waiting in the queue? Yes, absolutely sorry, I'm here now great. Well, it's good to have you ok. So let's get right to this very, very fine book and fascinating an incredible tale here: diary of a motor city hitman. First off it's a question. I often ask very curious- and I think it's uh it warrants in this case, what bring brought you to this particular story about Chester Wheeler Campbell. How did you come to want or feel compelled to do this story tell us
a little bit of the background who you are and how you came to want to do this and cover this very important story. Well, Chester's name doesn't quite resonate outside of Detroit. I I have heard vaguely about him and really what started Dan. I collect rare organized crime, history, photographs and I had acquired one. There was a picture of him and it just I was drawn into it, I'm like who is this guy? Why have I not heard of him- and I started doing some research talk to a friend in Detroit
Remember it a little bit about the case and it kind of took off from there now the just for before we get into and what I'll do is we won't really deal with this story the same way as you do in your book, and I think it's I love the way you laid it on your book. The will want to go back to as much of the history of Chester Wheeler Campbell that you could on earth and where he was born and and all those details. First before we really talk about who we had and the man he had become the photo that you did views ul describe for our listening audience. What that man look like you for said. Well, I didn't know who this person was. I was curious. Who was this person? How was he dressed? What did he look like
give us a physical description of who were talking about now. Here was a black and white photo in front of me, a man, but I can only describe as having very steely eyes a black man wearing a zebra print jacket, open collar shirt, standing with a couple agents. I use the way he was looking he looked irritated, he looked steely eyed each drew me in he was riding the body and you just the way this photo was taken off him by a reporter. So work, obviously talking about a black man wearing very trendy clothes. For you know, nineteen, seventy four as we're talking about, so that that's pretty much what's
now for our audience. Let's go back because this is part of the incredible research that you have found and some sometimes is very hard to to get. Too many many of these sources who these stories now are a little bit older in length. So let's go back to as much as you could. Where was Chester, Wheeler Campbell born what city? When was that and tell us a little bit as much as you could about his background? Growing up in Detroit Chester was born in Detroit, one thousand nine hundred and thirty. He was one of five kids, six kids, his father had passed away by the time Chester was
in second grade. Roughly he was middle child. Hey is mom, then raise the kids in an apartment building, not unlike a lot of other lower income people talking about the a three four other families in the building, so he grew up during a time when Detroit was supposed to be the promised land. With you know, a lot of southern African Americans coming n to getting the auto industry etc, and those dreams were not exactly realized for a lot of people. Chester went tusk, who made it actually through ninth grade and maybe younger people, don't realize that was a pretty big deal for somebody. You know lower income at that time period. He was very intelligent. Got through the ninth grade and I think the only reason using make it entirely through schools, because that's basically when it became a burglar and
arrested a few times. I that'll injures school career. What was I to is almost immediately he was he was. He was broken and broken and break it entered into our are couple businesses, but they both ended up to be the same kind of business. Tell us what business see broke into at least twice anyway. Well, they finally caught on to him. He was working as a porter for a barber shop, which was shared a skylight with a drug store, so he was repeatedly going in an robbing a drug stores register and, finally, the cops basically stake them out. Now he.
Does get on the wrong side of the line is incarcerated, but despite getting sentences, I guess one of his first sentences of one to fifteen years. He did very little time tell us about his time in in his early criminal career and what, with the results as a result of court cases. Well, you know what Danny it is. Actually his his time in prison throughout his life was was short. He died. He spent most of his life in prison, but his sentences he always seem to get out that carried on through its whole criminal careers, whole life, but
as a teenager. He would, you know, get convicted and be out in really like I put in the book in short order and then move on to the next crime, and he gradually graduated too. You know worse, as he got older right now. Well, at some point he does graduate in terms of in terms of from robbery too much more serious and so tell us about that, and what year is that that he actually is involved in a murder. Well. He by 1950s he was in his 20s. Along with two accomplices. They had planned to knock
over a known numbers. Gambling joint the house in a part of West Detroit that they knew numbers were run through there. So they long story show or they rob the place soon as they're were leaving. They met a little resistance by a man who they confronted in return, Manchester was the triggerman. And the guy was shot in head fell dead on the street. That was his first murder. And he he received a life sentence, but he how many years did he do out of that or maybe get a little bit ahead of myself? He was sentenced and given a life sentence for that murder. Wasn't it yes, he was. He served thirteen years in Jackson
prison, notorious prison in Michigan. He learned a lot while he was in there from people, and he was very well read, figured out. He could plead down one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine. He went before a judge, in pled guilty and they basically then go on time. Sir. It will explain that you're talking about thirteen years and you're talking about time served he He went in with a very tight lipped and nobody talked so he served his time and while he was in prison and he served as a I don't want to say necessarily a model prisoner, but he was well behaved. It is time by one thousand nine hundred and sixty mine he realized, along with, attorney that he could please
out of this and if the judge would go along with, if he play guilty that the judge would then basically say. Okay, you serve thirteen years of your sentence and I will let you go, but you have to admit that you killed this man and you have to tell us who was with you when you did it. Thirteen years ago, Ancestor Chester did reluctantly he did, and he named the two gentlemen that were with them, and so they With with a few formalities after you know, the judge ruled then he was basically walking back into society in one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine, which not to get ahead of ourselves but was also a very tumultuous time in Detroit
that he was walking into, and I mean that in the underworld and in regular society right and we'll talk about that too, and that's another great aspect of your book that you know I mean it's, it's the story, but you also been able to really capture that time and the anxiety in the metamorphosis that America was going through, let alone Detroit, and so we can talk about one thousand, nine hundred and sixty seven as well, but while he was in while he was in prison, is very important to realize that this guy is not only well readies, a avid reader and so he's not reading regular stuff he's reading books like cross examination, and he is reading a lot of books that are preparing him, unlike the other times, probably that he was imprisoned. This time, he's really has a major play:
and doesn't need to understand the law and to better himself, once he's released Tulsa little bit about that, because he really disciplines himself in prison, doesn't it he absolutely does, and then I think anybody in our field knows anybody. Who's worked in law enforcement. Anybody is written books, criminals themselves, they know in prison. You tend to get an education, whether you want it or not from other criminals, and you can utilize library Chester date, both like many people do so he came out very well read knew the law was particularly interested with the spear points of the law and how to use it to his own benefit. So when he got out of prison, he was pretty much ready to go into a Detroit that was heroin rolled is probably the best way to put it, and that was the market that he
is it going to get involved in and yes, he he knew how to launder money. He knew how to purchase real estate. He knew how to manipulate people. He studied everything from hypnosis to murder, almost like an art and science right right now now tell us, while he's in prison and he's learning the finer points of criminal law, an real estate and all kinds of other things that he thinks are really important to understand: the inner working so he's trying to be a real bright guy and trying to when it come.
Really better himself and we'll talk about that a minute, but that there are the famous riots in turmoil in America and each right tell us what's brewing in Detroit in the the old neighborhoods that Chester Wheeler would of walked in and will be walking soon enough again what's happening on the streets of Detroit in in the in in the streets of America. At this time, while Chester was in prison, Get towards the late 60s, it was definitely brewing. Minorities, lower income people were feeling the pressure of police brutality to an extent there were certain groups that were really tough on them. You add real estate redlining, which is basically you know when city councils decide. Okay put the poor people here, but you know
Everybody was moved out, there were no the jobs, even though people think of the auto industry going down the tubes the early seventies. It really things were going bad economically before that, so I ended up having uprisings our major riots in nineteen sixty is another one. In nineteen, seventy five Chester was walking into a world that was also not just like us, illegitimate folks upset about the way, things were going. You also had a criminal underworld. It was shifting major shift at the exact same time, which was the heroine controlled. The heroin business was controlled by the italian mafia, using african american dealers,
Some of those dealers realized they could be doing this on their own and that there was a big shift. Their Chester walked into two completely giant chasm's in Detroit when he got out of prison in sixty nine. Yes, now right, When he gets out he many people may be at least give the semblance that they're rehabilitated may get a straight job. What exactly does Chester Wheeler do will almost immediately after getting out how what what does he do in terms of pretending that he's leading a straight life or not,. Well he opened some legitimate businesses. He had a body shop, he also
had some financial interest in night club, a roller skating, rink. He he he he he put his money into some which truly illegitimate businesses But behind the scenes he was immediately going to work as an enforcer for particularly West Detroit Drug Lords cause. There was so much turmoil already, and he was well versed in what was going on before even got out of prison. He got into that and was almost immediately identified is one of the most reliable enforcer type of people.
And even though he you'll put on the front, which was also for money laundering purposes, he did run a few business and yeah. I had some real estate investments for shore, but his main source of income was enforcement for basically the heroin trade. Now when we talk about enforcement, so two people to understand that this is not just a. I got as a bouncer. There was talk again in the community, regardless of the of the. Fronts that he put forward the business legitimate business that you tried to use as a front for his real real business? He was loosely connected or talked about in terms of about ten drug related murders. Wasn't at that time. Yes, shortly after he was out of prison police in Detroit,
started running a few grades on its businesses, they'd find heroin or they find evidence of he may have been involved with some drug dealers. That's particularly drug dealers. There were about ten. By one thousand, nine hundred and seventy five that were allegedly installed and they thought Chester had something to do with Becaus, which probably interject between nineteen seventy one thousand nine hundred, and seventy two was what they called the Dope WAR era. That's when the war between african american dealers, an african american dealers and the italian mafia was really going on. That's in Chester was doing a lot of work during the wars period. Cops were on
onto it, but somehow for roughly five six years he was walking around pretty free and clear, even though they thought he was involved in about ten murders. Now part of this walking around flying under the radar is that he really didn't belong to a family. Did he was more of a freelance guy? Wasn't it yes? He had some association that were more solid than others, but for the most part he was a freelancer when you're talking about from seventy to seventy, Five. There may be an african drug Lord, who says: ok, we need somebody to collect this off. Somebody won't pace, ancestor then. At the same time there were some african Americans who were,
very loyal to the mafia spill, and they would say, hey, you need something done. You call Cesar and, of course, you're talking about a time. It was racially right. It still, and I always say that the Italians probably didn't advertise. They were hiring a black man to do some of their work, but they like them and they knew he was good at his job. So yeah Chester worked pretty much whomever was paying. And as for running under radars to probably mention it was very, very corrupt time to them with police. And even higher up in government, so it wasn't that difficult to have people paid off to be able to run a little more free in Chester was well versed in who was taking pay offs. Now, at the same time as this and in previous to this, there was
a decorated police officer named Henry Mars at and yet he began his career in a very dramatic way and tell us a little bit about the hero cop and what the hero cop eventually does that whole fascinating story, because it's very important to this particular story chess server. When I, when I say about the turmoil in the underworld, most of that was spearheaded by hand. Remarks at what Chester walked into was a war that Mars at basically starting Henry Mars. That in the fifties was a young black cop protege to
two William Frank: the to eliminate some of the most major most major of of narcotics throughout the, but by the later 1950s they had realized. They could make more money as drug dealers and that's what they and Mars at Sir some time after they finally figured out was going on. This decorated cop goes to prison. Does some work for the mafia in prison? He gets out in the MID nineteen, sixty relatively on bothered by police or the press and became one possibly the the biggest
Narcotics kingpin it, it leaves it was an anomaly, but he probably was the biggest one Detroit ever had in terms of setting up his own system from top to bottom. But that's what? Because the Italians to get us because Mars ET was getting all of heroin were talking mostly heroin sure there was cocaine and marijuana and pills, but heroin, big money marzette. I could set up parcels of land in the Caribbean grow my own poppies. I don't need the Italians, why don't you all come with me to the other? You know lower tier drug dealers, half of them said yeah. Let's do that half said no, we, you know we work for the Italians and I should even say half because Mars that even irritated some
just in general because they do want anybody telling them what the deal and you know who are ill type of thing in any car. That is this two year, though, for the Chester walked right into and then Mars at or that had his reign only lasted till one thousand nine hundred and seventy two, though now the result of the Dope WAR itself, with the battle with the Italians and the African Americans over control of independence to be able to sell Heroin was that of a benefit to Chester Wheeler when he got out of prison and what I mean by that it was it Benef. Special to the black faction. In the end, this two year battle did they gain any ground in that two year battle uh, eventually. Yes, you think about in terms of getting to the late seventies and a be sure all we had like murder row. Frankly, usher then
young boys and groups like that. Even later, yes, eventually by the late nineteen seventies, the Italians had very very little control over the Herald entry. You have very little control over the cocaine trade. So yes in those terms it did. But you have to keep in mind that it wasn't really many of the italian dancers doing the fighting in the dope wars, what it was with their loyalists, who are african American against Marzette faction, Nevada and American. So it was yeah. I mean is very detrimental to the minority community in general, and there was a lot of collateral damage, as you can imagine. You know during that period, so lot of people suffered for the drug trade. That's for sure.
No Chester Wheeler is again in in the in the 70s he's a well dressed guy he's got. It throws his money around he's. A legitimate businessmen tell us how he carries on in terms of his social like is it a social animal. Tell us about that. A little bit personality Wise Chester list about business almost all the time, even in his social activity, it was. It was a business type of persona. Soft spoken anybody that Severn known him our account or he and said they he was very soft spoken- could be very polite, sort of demanded respect without even saying it. He was eighty Masterman,
the leader of people, even in social settings, and that includes being a womanizer. He he was not being a psychologist, but when you think of Narcissus most gangsters who get higher up in in the underworld setting usually have some sense of invincibility and narcissism and in their opportunists so- Chester in his personal and professional life, he was somewhat plan
Lance like the finer things, but very soft spoken on less. He was getting somebody to do what he wants. That includes women. That includes his associates as friends. Now things are continuing, but the Detroit is changing. So what happens? What brings this whole party down and tell us about the event that leads up to the four panel sort of fall for Chester, Wheeler sure by early one thousand, nine hundred and seventy five. He had several warrants out for his arrest in Metropolitan Detroit, but, as I said, earlier. He basically told around the way he wanted uh.
On a chilly February night. He was on his way to his steady girlfriends house, who lived about thirty miles North Detroit in very, very picturesque part neighboring county. She was a funeral home owner, CO, owner and uh he was on his way up to visitor or three three, Twenty in the morning, he almost hit a police officer had on he veers off. It keeps going the officer call for back up through the round balls and pulls up and there's this man standing outside his car. Assessing the damage Does he had damaged his car a little bit on the escape and I'm not even sure he was escape because he just pulled over, and then there were cops swarms on him, and that was started
when they realized. You know who is this guy in the flashy suit? You know speeding around three thirty in the morning up in the suburbs and that's when everything began to either you can say: fall apart for Chesterton come together for a long force yeah now they had Orchard lake because it's a different county in in Detroit. It's there totally and- and these are just regular, beat cop. So at first the they don't know anything other than this is a suspicious man that didn't stop on the road with a big fancy car and then so then, are they almost got an accident, so they turned around and followed and and we're suspicious one ask them some questions. What did they find in the car it just looking in and and and what did they do.
In terms of stopping him? And what was the procedure right after that? What what do they do in terms of questioning and stopping and what did the observing a car in immediately immediately while you're at, but within minutes, you had all four officers from three different jurisdictions on him: they they one speaking to him at the back of the car he staying very little. The other ones were looking in the car because the car door was open so the your light is beaming down on a loaded. Forty five cal. Or with the numbers drilled off of it right next to the armrest that right there. So you know they didn't warrant, they immediately arrest him he's like. I want to see a lawyer. They put him in one of squad cars. They start looking around the rest of the interior, their stuff scattered everywhere, which could have been from
Eating near accident- or you know just there kind of disorder organization type. He had money everywhere papers everywhere, envelopes with suspected narcotics everywhere they pulled out everything that could tell you a little bit about. I am, as you said, they were just beat cops. They had no idea what they were getting into that night with this guy. It was a little odd to them that this again flamboyant fancy dress. Black man was in probably the widest part of town. That late at night with a loaded gun on the seat, and there were more guns under the seat in the back seat. It wasn't until they booked them that they I get a warrant and search the trunk proper,
only because they had a feeling there was more in the trunk and they were very correct. Now they also found would I found they must have found very important as well as that there was four different caliber cartridges bullet cartridges in that villa. As well, including a shotgun cartridge, so they were very anxious. They. They thought very much that they would find a shot gun in that trunk and we'll talk about the contents of the trunk in a little bit. What else do they find in the car? He said it was all kinds of papers. It was all kinds of household items. Look like he was living in this car a little bit very much like a salesman, but much not like a salesman, but what else did they find in this vehicle that they will become? Very important, but obviously they didn't didn't recognize as so important immediately. This is the most the most crucial thing the police found it
First, they didn't realize the importance of it were little notebooks lots of, of course, at the time, the media sensationalizes, like one notebook with all these names of people, who were going to be assassinated. It wasn't quite like that what they found were about a dozen little notebooks nineteen cent, notebooks filled with all kinds of notes. It took a few hours couple days really for them to realize what all this was chess there's some notebooks that were scattered through the car contained everything from witness houses were it uses were being tapped. The comings and goings of political figures had some just Add phone numbers somehow that money that was owed from
drug dealers, of course, any got more serious when they started wreck niessing names of every major drug dealer in the book Chester had noted all of his own convey since he noted everyone he was associated with and he had license plate numbers. Numerous numerous vehicles. And, of course it was really the odd when in the trunk- and I don't want to get ahead of ourselves when they found grand jury testimony which,
you have to understand, nobody publicly should have access to this Chester bid. Again, everything made of paper ended up being far more frightening. Two people in Detroit Ann the suburbs once they realized what all this was telling them about this guy now investigators in orchard take this little suburb where Chester's girlfriend was, they immediately call Wayne County where they would be more familiar with this guy. Potentially You talk too. I believe a man named Walshe what did walshe tell them and know about and have record of by interaction with this guy. What did he tell these Orchard lake cops about. Twelve, just was the Orchard Lake Corporal. Who was the head of this?
When they busted Chester Walshe- and I just want to interject Here- Walshe ended up becoming a real thorn in Chester. I. In fact, I would have your holder chest they're, actually, eighty Walsh, because of all this, but what happened is walls minute to call to Detroit talk to Alfred. James, I believe, was the guy, tells Molly Chester, Wheeler Campbell Well, he's known to Kerry Shotgun with them. We've been looking for him. There's a few warrants out all of sudden. It's like. Ok, we have all these cartridges and guns, but we have a mysterious shotgun shell with no under match. We know some things in that trunk Ann. I just talked to a guy from Detroit Police says this guy carries a shotgun. They took that right to the judge. Judge gives him a warrant. The lock take. The car
open, the trunk and there it is mapped shake case with a sawn off shotgun in it that among other weapons, but that was the one that they were looking for and now describe that that sought off weapon, because we're talking about really sought off so tell us give us the dimensions of that radiates normally is known as the Trench Gun box. Thirty inch barrel, he had the gun cut down to about fifteen inches over so you're talking about something that could be fit in at Tascha case an it. I put the book. There's only really a few reasons why you would have that and can see, moment. Maneuverability are the main ones. He Corvette serial numbers drilled off of most of the weapons, and you know they use in possession of uh. That gun
it's frightening in and of itself and yeah I ate it was made to be about the size of a large pistols what he wanted to kill it. Now you talked about the the media, see being very interested in this case and running with this set list of suspected hits. So tell us about how the media responded to this and Chester Wheeler and how how everybody interacted with each other, the media police in Chester. Well, first, of course, again your newspaper media list, the primary source of information and you, the headlines. Hitman file. And you know, prosecutor L Brooks Patterson, aim in the hit list, eight, they gave Brooks Patterson
Extra security- it was a big scary incident and it was at its core of who you are dealing with Chester look genuine. And what his profession was. However, again looking at the notebooks, as I wrote the book A lot of these names were simply scrawled in the notebooks didn't say: hit list Now there were more obvious notations where Chester would point out so and so lived here. His brother in law says he can log that's a little more obvious. But in the case of l in one of the cops that here came into the picture. One of the more honest cops are dilly, honest cops
He had a lot of notes, written about him, his comings and goings, his kids, what color car he drives that more lately frightening. So just through genuine, it's just the press. With what parts were the most frightening? Did the media have any access to the? I guess the dip at this The claim that not the claim that the statements that he made at the original murder trial, where he had to admit his crime, because we did skip over that in terms of if there was any relevance in terms of the psychology of the man contained in those statements how he actually made the statements about the actual murder. Did the prosecution have any access to that to those statements at all
utilized that in any way they did layer uh, one of the worst enemies of a criminal is the habitual. So if a cuter wants to label you as a habitual criminal, you can it and if it works as a as a somebody under fire, you are definitely looking at no parole, yeah right. Eighteen, a tribute to work a bit short criminal to you. So, yes, the prosecutors brought out everything they could on his psychology, his criminal history, to use it for him, because I wanted to keep him in prison for a long time, because it wasn't just the guns and drugs.
In Orchard Lake. It was realizing that he had some witnesses killed. There were so many things at one time by one thousand nine hundred and seventy five. This guy was shuffled from courtroom the courtroom, because. There were witnesses ready to sing like birds against him. He had the notebooks with enough information to condemn himself and friends, so it was. It was multiple things going on at the same time, but, yes, the cops wanted to use it all this, a habitual criminal, no parole now Wheeler must have chest. Hair must have enlisted a powerful defense lawyer. An attempt to save his own skin here. Tell us
well this criminal defense lawyer when or team just forgot busted in one thousand nine hundred and seventy five. He had a lot of money still an he was able to hire a team of some very flamboyant entertaining lawyers Albert Hatchet Milford Rice, and these guys were also well. We tasted Woolford Rice was also an admitted personal friend of Chester's. These guys walked into a courtroom. You were going to get a shell, they thought pretty hard and uh. It got to the point, though, where there were actual shoving matches in courtrooms. There were accusations of racism
It was. It was so much going on in every time. Chester's name was brought up in a court of law with these guys and if they did, they did win him. Some river really I would say, but in the even in the short run, then it didn't really work and Chester ended up running out of money. Pretty quick where all that he, because he was so well versed line. He. More or less started writing a lot of his own legal motions sure, and so how did? How did things proceed in at trial. Well, there were really three going on: they had him for the guns and drugs in Orchard Lake than in Detroit. They wanted him for
nineteen. Seventy two murder of a of a man named Roy Parts is now I was actually out of character. It was you said: Jay lethal witnesses were saying it was a revenge kill in Chester was even present. He basically paid off a drug addict to Lord this Parsons into a car where, to his other, bodies will be waiting to kill him and it was all over an argument that happened. You know a couple of years before that, where Chester got shot in the leg, an going to get revenge, so they had I'm on trial for that, but he, of course, is wacky. Courtroom drama goes one with one of the defendants.
Twenty witnesses say he wasn't even in town that day and of course, you have cases where witnesses all of a sudden end up dead. So you sound just their stated on a few things. There was the giant conspiracy trial at one thousand nine hundred and seventy five, where pops in a precinct were bringing drugs in front born out the back door and protecting certain drug dealers. Chester was involved in that, but he got dropped from that case, so he actually out in a lot of ways. Just because of you know the red tape and how the legal system is in perfect thing at, but eventually they did get him with a visual criminal and he he officially started serving time in one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven though he had been in jail the whole time because they jacked his bond. So high.
You know he wasn't going anywhere for two years and then he officially started serving for the drugs and guns yeah. I found it interesting with his bail because they had said well: listen we're going to give you one hundred thousand dollars bond and then suddenly, by the time he was trying to raise the money they said yeah, but for every charge, so it'll be four one thousand yep yeah. They started slapped. It's doing pretty good in that. If you're in fury- made him and his lawyers, one of the judges who he was abroad before had told me that he walked in. Where, where in two thousand dollars alligator shoes and a very cocky attitude, she said he had actually been leaning on him and it didn't even give him the highest one, but by the time he went to the next couple judges He wasn't going anywhere. You know, there's this don't
kind of money laying around even him, so he decided he was going to try to sue do this judge and another one for the the bond issue which didn't happen didn't go his way and he ended up being stuck in jail, like I said for quite some time yeah. So obviously he made some appeals of the eventual criminal uh. Designation and to no avail. My crack, he had a few drug one is by this time, he was doing his own motions and he he got a court appointed lawyer to help, and this attorney told me he said that He went in there as young lawyer and help Chester get some of it thrown out. He said so should serve a longer time. Had they not gotten a few thrown out- and you know they were successful in a couple
Well put it this way: Chester wasn't getting rid of everything they had am on too much, but he just go. To see the light of day. That is what they succeeded. In doing I see yeah, which is which is very successful yeah. I special terms what he was doing to get short now. This thing, would you do you see a diary of a hit man? We really haven't spoken about the cold cycle path, a cart you have to have to be able to be a
it man per se, because there are people in in organized crime that certainly will kill at different times. It may be asked to kill as a show of loyalty or trust, but the person out of all of the family are all the members of organized crime that is able to be a hit. Man is still very rare. Isn't it yeah there's? Definitely a certain psychological profile of that type of person. You'd have to be it's a rare thing. Not everybody can be so cold and callous and just go about their day. I tried to make a distinction that okay, there wasn't a serial killer, but when you look at some thing about him, it's similar to what they do- and it is you said, diaries model get into that. I called the book diary of Motor City hit me and
for two reasons number one from a personal aspect after a year of research, I seem to know this guy better than I know myself and it felt like. I was writing my diary of him. You know going through all the evidence and hundreds of pages of documents, but from the aspect of Chester he kept so many mementos and notebooks and photo albums and scrapbooks. It was like a diary that he kept, but not in the traditional sense of You know today is a sunny day. I'm having a good day, wasn't like that. It was more like I keep every momento. Everything going on in Detroit Underworld from newspaper clippings. Two following this story to certain reporters drawings and break some sort of peoples houses the photographs.
Of his conquests, this guy just love to keep little bits of everything, and you kind of tribute at two like stories you hear about serial killers, you know keeping so sort of trophies. So it was your cat diary in traditional sense but Chester to me it was like his dire. Yes, he had. Yeah a lot of letters and Polaroid pictures of just this guy kept everything that was related to his personal and professional existence. Well, eighty or you say it's a real test and to the narcissistic behavior of these guys, which is very again very similar to the serial killer or the person that again right out of television fiction with it keeps the newspaper clippings puts it in a scrapbook takes as polaroids keeps careful, notebooks and
into a lot of people there, just a normal, regular, fun, loving guy. Nobody would suspect really this darkest of dark sides to these people. No, because he could you're absolutely right. He could put on the front, he could walk down the street and you think you know it was just Just a guy, I mean sure, even at the time, maybe a little flashy sometimes, but you know that from He was at that. Wasn't that uncommon you know where he lived but yeah he could put on. He compartmentalize Very well, he was uh you're right. Not everybody can do that. I think that's why p or in the underworld, found him so reliable for the jobs, and on top of that he was such a master manipulator. He could get people to do the for him.
And there was a lot of work- the yeah it's just there was- he was definitely a narcissist, an opportunist and yet be later. I don't think you could be successful at that. If you weren't and when I say success- I you know, I I say that an almost one bite my tongue because he did go to jail yeah. He he was his own worst enemy by keeping such meticulous records and the the others. The other person Mars that Henry Mars that he died in prison, Disney no Mars that did not die in prison, more that was it was at the tail end is not so war and he had he had in this role because it is you he had kidney disease hi. In my mid forties, I see so what is the report on what? What was the final story on Chester Wheeler?
See allies he did in prison now, Chester is no longer with Us Chester passed away in two thousand and one while in prison. Because he did get out of prison after all, the excitement in the early 80s he got out of prison and it was entirely different landscape of the underworld that he went back to work and they finally brought in the feds in DEA to take him down for good and they were successful, he goes to jail. And I don't want to give it away- it's not quite the climactic ending you think of a typical gangster story, but I think it's so applicable to reality how he died and I don't want to give it away it's, but it's it's like all. I would have never thought yeah. I guess what model gangsta go into hiding or get killed.
By their enemy. It's there are other things that can happen. Things on their lifestyle. Yeah, there's a that's one! That's one thing about this: Chester Wheeler he really defies description Descriptional all along the way. You know he just really does not fit this. You know who lynskey the Iceman animals at all. I wouldn't consider most cycle killer in any means He really didn't have scores of people talking about how badass this guy was his whole life, either so kind of unusual, to say the least, yeah He was, he was again I'll use. The word anomaly, I I mean for multiple reasons, but yeah I eat. I stories the comparison to the ice man. Yes, he wasn't like that. He was more like. I want to call me. It was like the double o so
one of underworld hitmen. To me, I mean the way he was a master spy and so intelligent could work for the lights of the blacks and if this guy, just he crossed over everything, you would think of a hitman that you can only make up in a movie. You know not typical gun telling he was but tell if it was easier to get somebody sales you and I don't want to say easy. He was good at doing that too. So yeah he was. He was a different paper character and then, honestly, the only reason why I don't think the rest of the world knows about Chester is because in the same summer that he got busted Is the same summer, an area where Hoffa disappeared so that took the news right. You know that's why the world hasn't heard a Chester until now, and I think being big impact even beyond Troy, to talk about this guy.
Yeah, and how long is this book been been out? When was it released, press I It was released the end of July. So really it's only been out for a month now, little over yeah and so houses reception been in Detroit is I they seize done. A few interviews but tell us what the reaction has been so far so far the reaction has been good. You are now the young. And this is my first full length book, the ultimate journalists for awhile and yeah. This is my first four pray into, and I picked a tough subject for sure, but the reception is been good and I base that on this fact right after the book came out I had more than a few people contact me saying: hey I grew up in that neighborhood. I can offer you some more to that or thank you for.
In some blanks yeah I makes I'm glad is dead. I hope somebody get something from eight in Detroit. They seem to really like it and it's gotten to the point then we'll think we're going to put out an expanded addition may in a few one hundred, maybe by summer, with extra chapters with like any total stuff coming from people. Who you know, are offering more info. So yeah, I feel like the reception, has been good. I hope people get something good out of it, though, about the entire story. You know it is not just about Chester's, you know, The whole social economic underworld, evolution, if you will CNN is these books are, are are popular right now too, because I think there's been enough time passed it. It seems that fax can come out a lot more readily when a certain amount of time has passed.
Yeah, oh yeah! Oh, I think- and I you know in in terms of for our international audience what I think that that they're listening. Too because we have a lot of fans in Australia and England and Canada lot of their countries. What they find is America is not shy about its own history it's not going to sugarcoat it, and so you're getting a lot of, and that's what I always say about true crime, really folks, people say well my my friends think I'm weird for reading true crime, but really its history, its current events than its history, and it really is. When you read these books, you really get a cultural context to these stories as well, which just adds an incredible flavor and reality to these very, very compelling stories. I want to congratulate you on this book Chris. This is your first, it's a heck of a start and for those listing we've been talking about diary of a
city hit man to Chester, Wheeler Campbell story by Christian Symbol Beanie. So I want to thank you very much it do you have a website and how can people contact you if they would like to engage or just facebook? You are a tell us how we best to contact you sure diary of the Motor City hit man. Dot com is the website. We have a contact form on there, I'm always checking it. We're we're. Actually, you know pretty approachable here as Facebook page for the book is that free of Motor city hitman book. You can purchase the book everywhere from Amazon or the even walmart dot com has it so you know you can end it I do have some. If anybody wants find copies, we have a few left from the website diary of Motor City hitman sure any
Or is anybody comments, questions criticisms we welcome it yeah that sounds great, and what are you working on next other than promoting this as much as you possibly can, but it you have something in the works yeah I managed to fit in I I was asked to be one of the expert consultants on biography channels, gangsters, America's most We also I'm in a couple episodes the two most recent ones, but yeah, I was really excited, it was. It was a good experience and I'm also for the same publisher going to be part of an anthem G Series called gangland mysteries. My book, my inclusion, will be on Charles lucky Luciano. Yes, topic. That's been covered a million times before, but we're going to give it a little modern spin, so not great with yeah. Well, that's sounds like a lot of work and a lot of really fun work for you, who is very passionate about this sub
So I I wish all the best and hope to talk to you real soon for any new project as well. So I wish you the best and thank you very much for coming on to the program and and talking about your diary of a motor city hit man. Thank you for much Christian thanks Dan appreciate. You have me on thank you and have a great night didn't bye, bye connect, let's say you just bought a house. Bad news is, you are one step closer to becoming your parents, you'll, probably mow the lawn and ask if anybody noticed you mowed, the lawn tell people to stay off the lawn compared to your neighbor's lawn and complain about having to mow the lawn again good news. Is it's easy to bundle home and auto through progressive and save on your car insurance, which
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-06.