« True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers

TAMPA BAY ORGANIZED CRIME-Paul Guzzo

2013-04-17 | 🔗
In Tampa in 1948, known gangster Jimmy Velasco was gunned down by a hit man. In the ensuing weeks, when neither the Tampa Police Department nor Hillsborough made an arrest, Jimmy’s brothers took the investigation to the governor, who ordered a grand jury investigation. In February 1949, the findings were revealed. Among the discoveries was a “pay off” list written by Velasco prior to his death detailing the public officials he paid off to remain immune to law enforcement. The public was captivated by the news and rumors swirled over who was named. The grand jury never released the names on the list and it has been locked away ever since. TAMPA BAY ORGANIZED CRIME-Paul GuzzoThis list detailed a who is who of Tampa's leadership, from judges to city councilman to the mayor and sheriff. Some of these names are old hat, exposed years later by the Kefauver Commission. Others are new and previously thought up-standing leaders.
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 in true crime, history and the authors that have written about them: Gacy Bundy, Dahmer, the night stalker Btk every week. Another fascinating offer talking about the most shocking, an infamous killers into crime history through murder, with your host journalist and offer Dan asking. Good evening. This is your host Dan is asking for the programme to murder the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the there's a written about them in temper in nineteen forty, eight
own gangster, 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 may be to take cash out of your home with the Quicken Loans thirty year fixed rate mortgage. The rate today, in our thirty year, fixed rate mortgage is three point: nine nine percent APR four point: zero. Eight percent call us today at eight hundred Quicken or go to rocket mortgage dot com rates of exchange. At one point, two five percent be receive the discount rate, all the concentration in conditions because, like license in all fifty states and one hundred thirty do you need a Lasko was gunned down by a hit man in the ensuing weeks, when either the Tampa police to
farm in North Hills, borough made an arrest. Jimmy's brother took the investigation to the governor, who ordered a grand jury investigation in February, one thousand nine hundred and forty nine. The findings were revealed among the discoveries was a payoff list written by Velasco prior to his death detailing the public officials. He paid off to remain immune to law enforcement. The public was captivated by the news and rumors swirled over who was named. The grand jury never released the names on the list and, and it has been locked away ever since this list detailed, who is who of Tampa Bay's leadership from judges to city councilman to the mayor and sheriff. Some of these names are old hat exposed years later by the CCA, Favre Commission. Others are new and previously thought as upstanding leaders the program,
We're featuring this evening is Tampa Bay, organized crime with my special guest journalist and author Paul Gozo. Welcome to the program- and thank you for agreeing to this interview, Paul thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it well. Thank you. Much very interesting story, we've done quite a few or quite a few months stories, but this is again another little twist. Every city has its dark dark history and yes, the bay is got a chair. Now, let's first off before we do anything else. I like to get a look at your background and and basically after you give you the background that tell us why you felt compelled I will. Why was important for you to write this article and do all the necessary extensive research? Did you would have to be able to do? This
very, very interesting and important article. So tell us about your background and then tell us why this was an important story for you. I've been a journalist in Tampa Bay for about fifteen years and the focus of my writing over the over the course of time. It's kind of morphed into history writing, but not so much boring history. I don't mean to offend people, write his choices, but not so much as in oh and in one thousand five hundred this happened. This happened. I have began specializing in digging up old dirt about Tampa of that old mysteries things that people have just said. This will never be solved, so they forgot about it. I special in digging those up and kind of using a historical rear view mirror that you've got fifty years now facts to work with it. Try to figure out what it is that exactly happened. The main magazine that not employed employment. Doing these, I'm a freelance writer over the main magazine, I've written for doing stories like this. It's called cigar City magazine, Sagacity magazine com and and know
over the years we read about everything from the hill, county sheriff's office having a secret deal with Fidel Castro to run him guns in Cuba in a revolution in exchange for sabotage can't even catch your one, I've written about the first start. Serial killer. History of Tampa, who turned out to be the first african american show serial killer in the history of the US How Tampa Bay is linked to the of marijuana and things like that. I've always specializing kind of digging up things like that. So last August I published my first book on true crime which it going to collection of stories. I've read about over the years, twelve stories about infamous characters and events in history Tampa and One of them that I wrote about was about the murder of a gentleman named Florentino Martinez, He was kind of a you call a low level numbers runner in Tampa Florida, but he, murdered. It wasn't.
They like like was the evening, but there were dozens of witnesses around to watch this. He was murdered in front of everybody, and The police showed up, nobody saw thing and it became an self Burger, but everybody in town knew that the murder was boy Alaska. So when I wrote the article purpose of the article is kind of really show how corrupt Tampa was that somebody could be murdered out out broad right right out the streets like that that yet the police city, on. Everybody would just kind of get together and say: let's just cover this up, there's no need to solve this crime because the person who hi is kind of on our side. So when I wrote about this, you I figure Roy Velasco is the guy who did it. The book comes out a few months after the comes out. I get an email from some they'll just say, is anonymous source with a stand with weight with to scan pieces of paper from the nineteen forties, and he said you probably won't know what to do with this and that turned out to be the infamous payoff list, which I write about in this article that revolves
got a mother of Gimme the Glasgow and that kind of how I got two story. Ok, you does it. You ve now add to that question why you would feel compelled to do this. We already have that tell us the name of your book is of that book. It called the dark side of sunshine I guess. If you're out of town, it is available on Amazon COM and, like I said, it's twelve stories not criminal stories I write about is a criminal. So I like to say twelve infamous stories revolve, rang and surround the city of Tampa from murdered and serial killers to gangster to Cuba. Evolutionary to the advent of the Strip Club here in Tampa, I covered all So if you ever want to know how much dirty law- one city can have in so many different areas pick up this bucket, even if you know from Tampa. If true true, if read it look, I'm you enjoy these stories. Absolutely it's very colorful city to say the least. Now the thing is to these, you mentioned cigar city Maggie
and for those people will know. I'd I didn't know it is, is that in a moniker, a nickname for Tampa basic our city? Yeah care a campaign it's called cigar city, because at one point in the height of campus cigar cigar in the thirty is anyone in the 20s, thirties and 40s. We were the cigar capital of the World hundreds of millions of hand rolled cigars, came out of Ebor City and West Tampa, which of the two latin districts in Tampa every year, so Tampa even we're no longer the cigar capital of the world we've for been known as cigar city at the big Apple New York, a cigar city go now so that I know you got to watch as a guard at night. We do have to guard stories out. Obviously we cover the issues in our industry and we interview a lot of cigar aficionados because at the end of his which a car industry but Cigar City magazine it's it's a history magazine that, over the years, like me, has morphed into covering some of the more fascinating and unsolved. True crime stories in Tampa yeah great
and the thing is this is on the advent of of the article being published and it's a major article, a very important article featured article April fifteenth of just recently. So yes, okay, I'm so I at that time. Yeah. I lost you for a second, I'm sorry yeah. I know I was just gonna say that the article in Cigar City magazine, it was just pop, on April 15th right. So it's just the advent of this being published this article. Yes, this is the one that came out on April, first and yeah, and it's gotten tremendous attention. You know the cities been buzzing, this list that I write about, which we get into a little bit, had been locked away and and some of the old go around four have even said to me: we ve always who's on that list. Thank you and the people who are needed, a savage it all, my god, we ve known tamper with corrupt, and a lot of people have about Tampa corruption over the years, but this List really does show that everybody in the city
dirty. There was no such thing as somebody who is not getting a little extra couple dollars CUP stuff desktop the back pocket at the time oh, go ahead. Sorry, go ahead! all I was going to die. You know yeah, I got you tell you a little bit about Jimmy Velasco. Well, that's what I was going to say: let's, let's go back for our audience and let's get a little background on the main character of this story, really Jimmy Velasco, tell come we when it comes back Baxter, I don't know What about that? Yet, although his family read this article and I'm supposed to be meeting up with them, hopefully in may to get a little more on him, but Jimmy Glasgow is actually missing. Is town there's not a photo of him. My friend Scott did you who wrote the defining book on the Tampa Mafia, a mafia, Yokota, Garcia City Mafia, his book, I even this guy, who spent illegal decade, investigating the Tampa mafia for his book cannot find a photo.
Jimmy Velasco. That's how mystery is this guy yet, but what people seem to know is Jimmy the last go broke into numbers industry early on around. You know the nineteen with a gentleman named Charlie Wall, Charlie Wall, is known at the dean of the tap underworld? He's a man who organized unorganized? Who organ what was been organized crime in Tampa. He wasn't italian, he was a he was What you would consider an Anglo had irish blood, but Carly Wall had the distinction of being able to fluently, speak spanish and English plus he came from one of the most blue blooded families in this city, one of the fathers, but rather than using his wealth to do good things he did to go into crime, so he became legacy first, we'll dawn of the city of Tampa Jimmy Velasco. Broke into numbers industry. We Charlie Wall Work working at his casino. You know like playing a card games, running numbers for him and one
Charlie wall, where great I. What kept him in power was. Charlie wall knew how to fix election Weatherby ballot box stuffing whether beep paying homeless people to vote is paying poor people to vote or just knowing how to put money behind the right candidate and he knew by fixing the elections all of his numbers games to be taken care of 'cause. You, don't you don't bite the hand that feeds you you know when be, would be elected in the city Council or they knew you protect, protect wall and he'll, get you elected so Jimmy is learned from the master. He learned from the best how to fix election, so Wall retires in the nineteen 1930s and Jimmy Valasco kind of takes the reins in he. Became the man to go to the election, so in Canada to ensure the victor. They went to him and how exactly he went about in the election. You know obviously, like I said there were the old things of stuffing ballot boxes and paying people off. Nobody knows:
actually what his favorite thing was. But it has been said it from some of the old timers at Jimmy Glasgow promise you you'd when election, you want an election children that became his main play was even so much to casino games anymore. It was he made money, bye, bye. helping candidates win elections. Gangsters would pay Gimme the lash go to our to get their candidates in office. So he became that type of guy, but in the nineteen forty he decided retire. I thought you, I think the story goes and I'm so meeting meeting with his daughter may so I'll be able to find out. This is true or false, but he would just getting a little worried. It's a stressful life, I'm guessing being being in India in the underground. So he decided to retire California. Stop worrying, welcoming a snatch power away from him. With one bullet and open up a restaurant, there he left the main p who are in power were Santo, Trava Cante, which
A lot of people know if you're a fan of mafia history sent to one, of course helped establish the casinos in Cuba. A lot of people pinpoint him as perhaps being the mafia member behind this assassination of JFK so fell on. A pretty well known guy? At the time travel Cante was not the man he shared power with another man with another family the Italiano family and together they begin. Pulling the resources with the sheriff and the police chief and other people to kind of solidify their power. Now as time on the top ones in Italian, had a war and a Tropicana family one and they became the prevailing family, but at the time it was the topic And the Italian is sharing power here in Tampa, so nineteen forty and it was an election come and it was selection where people are saying what cleaning City Hall, everybody in City Hall was Peter whispers that they, corrupt, and they said we need
a new candidates in here. It is time to clean this place up new candidates. Who are not on their payroll and who are not buddy buddy with the mafia? Of course that's worrisome because If you don't control city Hall, then they can shut your games down, so they needed to make sure that the guys they wanted to win win the election, so they they called. They called their old friend the last going to please come back. We need your help. So I think they offer them enough money that he could not say. No, so the man who is supposed to be retired in California or safe, came back to Tampa and he fixed the election. Well, he made sure but their candidate won the election, but what happens is when he fixed the election. These candidates, even though Tropic for patron. Sixty election, they kind of saw
traffic content Italiano. They have the power, but this man can help us stay in power and he kind of realized what we call Charlie Wall around anymore. This is kind of an open city, with my abilities, I could probably control the city guy and getting some delusions of grandeur? Thinking I'm going to become the in the city. I've been working for the people for years, helping people on. Maybe it's my turn to be the boss, the and returning California. He stayed in Tampa and he began running his own games yeah, paying people off, and so now he had he had the people office, they more or less owed him, the favors. So I've got the Italian who were in charge. They kind of all their power slipping away a little bit. They kind of saw this guy to Alaska, who they brought in taking some of the power and they began getting a little worried that he was going to become the main power figure in the city of Tampa, so he needed become
care of heads on the night he was murdered. Now, let me ask you just a couple of questions here, because it's fascinating now. From the article it or in from from the way I read it, it almost sounded like okay, so he's retired. He wants to leave now. That's pretty unusual for the mob to just you just get to retire right. That's that's unusual, so that's sort of a gift and they asked him to come back to these very valuable. Yet on the he doesn't he supposed to do and and like you say, everybody realizes hey this guy, this guy's valuable. In fact he goes to his own head now. It almost sounds like that. He thought for for a moment against this kind of foolish that the people that he knew that were legitimate. I guess you
all the politicians and the police law enforcement. Those kinds of people were actually people that ran things well, like you say, Trafficante in in in the in the US and Italian, or bring them in and they're pretty offended by this, and obviously that's why. But if this is for a second, as he actually believes that there are more powerful people then these gangsters that that he knows very very well. I don't think it it's that. I think he wasn't done to the game, but it it's kind of a here's. How have operated back then everybody everybody in Cahoots, the gangsters works worker. The politicians and I've always get the politicians elected the politicians would say we turn turn a blind eye to everything. Doing doing one the thing things they turn a blind eye to is now the gangsters giving the police and giving sheriff's office money by giving them money by giving the police and the sheriff's office money
this day they also turned a blind eye. Make said running, running illegal game, we don't see, and then on top of that they would also any end of your competitors that they would shut them down so sacred If I'm running a game and Java kindly said to me, given a portion of your game, and I said no, the next nectar the come and come and down in the meantime, the meantime which might come in the neck they open up, a casino right where I got shut down and open up the police should let him go on top of that. Gangsters loss also pay off the attorneys and by paying off attorney but prosecutors, defense and then judges You even wielded more power. Now, please come in and they arrested competitor he's gonna go to court, the defence. The judge is obvious since he's on your payroll and you're, giving them a little extra money is going to say, of course, this guy is guilty. The prosecutor is going to prosecute him a little extra hard and if you secretly have defense attorneys in your pocket now my hire that defense attorney now that defense attorney won't even defend into the best his abilities because
he's on your payroll as well. So the gangsters were only as powerful the money they were bringing in and because they were powerful as the people they would have bought pay off. So the power came through money, these people we're going to be there they were going to back, whoever they talk and make them the most money. So the last that blind to this so after he helped everybody get knew that knew that wasn't enough, so he started paying people off as well giving money giving money the judges. They are giving money to the police and he he would buy them. Christmas presents liquor and diamond ring for the wives and buy them cars and do for the judges in the politician to everybody making his own power play, and he was doing the same thing to talk. Italiano, family family were doing, but he had one up on them. He could get these people re elected. They could not do it without him. So is that where they got worried, he had the money, and he had did he had that
political knowledge. So after he won after he came in win the election in the following election, they said: can you help us again? He said sure, so he helped he helped the guys they wanted win election for one thing: they they were back in one candidate for governor, and he said I one governor. I I wanted differently to win Governor Warren and back governor worn through their happy the and governor worn one. So now not only did he have low power that he was sharing with them, but now he was the only gangster in town had the ear of the governor, which now him even more powerful our over them joke. He would definitely on verge of taking over when he was murdered. This this will to atop this. What
a local thing, he was controlling power on every level, all the way up to the state. That's how crooked these things where everybody was in bed with the gangsters now just before we talk about the events that happen shortly after this we got to talk about, and people probably know this, but and this code used to exist it doesn't seem to exist anymore, but once upon a time you did not. If you were going to assassinate somebody, and this Velasco must have thought that this must have been at least a remote possibility at some point that they don't do it in front of your family so continue? But I wanted to mention that, because I think that's important as well yeah it was you know they did that there was a this error in Tampa that one from the twenty two, the flaw in the forties was known as the error of blood. During that time it was about two dozen murders, our industry. You know- and I don't mean murders as in they snuck into someone's house, and it's a close to two dozen people were gunned down in the street to campus at Tampa. Specific,
more city, which was their latin district, so hit were not. They were not strange, people are getting used to them, but you didn't go after people's fair, please it will just needed touch them. They weren't involve you your beef. Wasn't then them you use as weapon it. It would just consider little dirty, but the guy that the that was higher too the last go. He apparently didn't care because the last one and we were visiting a friend anymore city that evening and as the leaving he's getting into his car and a gentleman ran out of the shadows wearing a trench coat and a big hat to cover up his face and the gentleman came firing and he wounded Glasgow. But the last go pulled his gun to shoot back and while he did that hit man pulled last good wife in front of him as a human as a human shield. So at that point what he do, except you accept your that you're going to kill your wife, so
actually not a nice man. You know with a gangster and you know- and you guys are you know the more you read about them. They were like they're, not like they weren't tv or the movies, the the, not nice people, but he was in so much of a come back that he was going to endanger his wife. So he got murdered this guy to use the woman as a human shield, which is about as low as you get and that's really besides him getting killed. That's one. I think the really angered Glasgow's brothers. It wasn't just that they brought their brother, was assassinated, but day off endangered, his delightful Jimmy, his wife and his daughter. Who is there as well, so it kind of went a little above and beyond what was normal protocol so again, do we Alaska, like I said he, he people that we was paying off and these people acted like they were his friend, the police chief, the share of the governor of the prosecutors. He thought these guys were on his side. He got them elected.
He was giving them money they're supposed to defend him, that the the money was used for, but when the wife went to the police and they identified with the murder look like and she did with the sheriff No, we was arrested a week went by ten days. Nobody was arrested so the brothers. At that point they realize what was going on, they realized the topical. In Italian, family, probably offered the police and the sheriff and everybody else a little more money saying we're taking care of Alaska. We don't want him in charge, we're taking our claim and If you back, I, it's gonna be dead, no matter what so it best. If you back us and turn a blind eye to what we're going to do, and, of course, they're going to do it, he was he dead. There was nothing to do to stop it so, of course you're to back to winning horse. So when brothers realized what was going on and that nobody was going to investigate the brothers murder day, basically said fu you to everybody if our brothers going down without any
paying the price war, bring everybody down with us. So they went to the governor and they said to the governor. Are these you? It could get yeah you went to our brother for help. We're coming you for now. We're gonna think we're gonna, help you but anything they want to know about Tampa organized crime. I will going to point finger point, fingers name named and say everybody who you think is good, and on the right side of a long held on the wrong side and that's when they wrote the statement, they wrote this long same same? Was you on Cigar City magazine website with the article and they were, the statement saying everybody who you know what they call the syndicate, which is that match making of organized crime long for in an politicians and how they formed again what they called it indicate, which is the power structure in Tampa, which is making everything corrupt and they and find the brothers old payoff list, which specifically says how much his brother was paying people who he was paying, what kind of gifts he was
them and they take that as well, expose it to the public, and they is here. And everything you need to know here. All your you're, you're and shining armor, yet they're, actually just bad guys like us and. Before the list. Are you re released to the public a got put before a grand jury? You know, and and in the grand jury said, this list is B s. This is fake. Somebody wrote this this one give me. Also list, somebody wrote us after the fact of the murder, to get back at people to. You know, trouble for no reason, and so we're not going to allow this list to get released and they locked up in a safe to ever be seen so for this The headline who's on the list who on the list and people are crushed, nobody found out and then, like I said a few months ago, I got the list but you start looking into the names on the list. First thing I did. Obviously I just you know you go to archives of newspapers and you're. Looking up and you see oh, they said this list is bs, so I
Maybe I don't have anything this guy gave me this list at a grand jury at is so what good does this do me? I looking at the names. The first thing that happened and what the City Council, the lifts, the owner, they came out. City councils have organised a full investigation of this list to know everybody on this list, but before we say we this list with to we. We have to investigate to make your sure and then you look at the list, the entire city council on the list, the the police, the come in a day. We're gonna have to get the names on this list. We're gonna find out many people cook it, the police, chief and the and the shops are on the list on the list. So the state prosecutor said I'm gonna get the bottom of it too. I'm gonna do my own investigation and then you, you see the day prosecutors on the list, so the accused were investigating they're the accusation against them. It was it just three days, but because the public didn't know who was on the list, they let this fly
and they just okay. These people said B, bs of probably be after that, realizing that all these people are doing what was protecting them, but to let you know, and so when I see the list, I think it's easy to find out or to see in retrospect that this list was not otherwise the city council. The mayor would have said: hey, look we're on this list these guys, it up, we're not crooked. Instead, they bury this. Nobody would say who is not who's on the let to show you how Crookedest City, what the entire city council, with taking bribes with they can pay off in the mafia, the mayor, the police chief, the share of the state prosecutor, the county prosecutor, you adding two or three different judges, a handful of eternity. There was nobody at the top of the power structure in the city. And in Hillsborough County, which is the county at that. Tampa is part of that was not the back pocket of the mafia. Everybody was grow.
Everybody was dirty. Nobody was looking out for the best interest of the city own looking up the best interests of themselves and that what that this list expose people always knew how To see what I mean, the people we do see was club, but I don't think people realize how corrupt it was, who you could trust? No one. You know that the what they did have to do, the the good benefit, though having prohibition, drugs and all kinds of stuff that nicely extort of all yeah, so there's other ones other the you know. The thing is, if you, if you don't really take the money, there's just somebody's gonna find out of whatever whatever you're doing on the side. If anything then use that to to their advantage as well, so one way or another, I think if I think sometimes, if the, if the, if somebody came to and made a request, it is it's you either say yes or you understand what saying no means.
Yeah- and it really wasn't until throw up my it really wasn't almost delete. Sixties early seventies at the city finally got cleaned up. I mean that long term development of it ended in afford the in in fifty the keep all commission, which was this a committee to investigate organized crime throughout the nation came in in the international report they finger. Tab is one of the most corrupt cities. They could not believe how everybody was in did everybody here and they release just report and things still, and clean up, even after that, any really wasn't until the late thicket early companies with a sea really finally said. Good. Bye the numbers running goodbye to it all and they finally started electing officials based on credentials are not based on who could do a favor
the family I mean to get back to the the the last- did not even truly understand how how deep this, because they were thinking relieved. His lip everybody's going go down, so they gave a too One of the friends friend is on City council, and did you release it and if you really it, even though your name on the list, you're probably get impunity for giving yourself up, and so he, but he got he got played himself. Could they didn't realize that everybody from they thought they knew the police chief, a new city. Then they knew the sheriff or against them, but they didn't really Did you an entire city council which our on them? They did? We like to state prosecutor, who they considered a good friend, would turn on them and when they finally even told the governor the state prosecutor, we believe
it against this as well, when they finally did arrest somebody and and charged him with the murder of the brother, the governor then name the prosecutor, who the brother said against us to prosecute the brothers murder, the murder so obvious. He wasn't. A do, is best job. So at that point he realized even the, governor, is against us and again it came down to the and traffic counties probably said wearing in. Now the last goes dad you either join with us after you left me outside Europe. That point you know, I don't have proof of this conversation on just guesstimating it, but I would get the governor of course would say you of course, come with you. Otherwise I'm left out in the cold, and you know I need your help. So everybody back back the the family a family years later they did try to get their own children. Then they had this Cobb hated murder plot to basically kill everybody. I just named. I kept them with a murder plot to take care of the police chief the sheriff of
the mayor of just a host of the county prosecutor. The state prosecute to just eliminate. Everybody who screwed them and they ended up getting caught. But, of course, the things they got. They get acquitted well that is helping go interesting, fascinating, actually and so now, Howard Cigar City magazine, Were they worried at all about the implications of, even though it's so we're talking about one thousand nine hundred and forty eight? Now we're talking about two thousand and thirteen, it was there any what was their safeguards its They could publish something like this with what I impune in terms of people pressing charges against you? That would be the we are concerned, but I dont make anything up everything that I write his factual based on fact. I never disquiet, make blind assumptions. I think when you read the article you'll see everything that I I believe it's true I can. I can
which argue that I'm right in terms of just you know, people, seeking their own of revenge on us. We weren't really worried about that you this took place so long ago, most of the the ancestors of even the crooked is not like. The answer to these people are gangsters there. All respectable members of the community, now you know fathers and grandfathers- might have been on the wrong side law but they're, but there people respectable people the way, would was hurting feelings. I guess it is. It's always top writing something about the somebody's grandfather. Call him like hey, guess what you love your grandfather, but he was dirty. He was having people murdered and you know he was allowing illegal numbers running to go on, and he would allow murder to take place. You hate like that, but at the same time, if you break the wall sooner someone's going to call you on. It is really no such thing as getting away with a crime. Anymore is even if you committed
crime two centuries ago, somebody can dig up an interview. Proved that you're guilty, and until we did come up with the other, and it's not our fault, that the people were corrupt, we're just writing about it know you always need to expose the truth. The negative last Alaska family did call magazine. Publisher LISA got a little worried like not that they're going to come after, but they're going to yell at her when she figured, but it said they loved the article mated Nectar, don't happen there hoping may. If not, then this but but how we may they want to meet with us and give us a little more info. They said we got most of the story correct. They had a few small things that we here we might have got it wrong. I might have some info you know give us a little more detail. So there will be a follow up article. Hopefully after we meet with the family. I guess you were relieved after that yeah yeah I some people before I I've been bothered before
because, like I said all, I do at least one of these articles every couple of months, because they take a few months of research and I've been bothered by some people before show is a little concerned, but usually just can phone call late at night by somebody you just get out feel like bothering you sell, but I was a little worried when she said they got the call, I'm glad they like the article and I'm glad this. I got most of it right yeah. I know that's a that's a really a lot of validation, actually that that yeah, you know some of the things that you put together like two into does add up to four. But but you have to make some, I guess inferences right, based on all the information that you have. So it's good that you put all that to and they were in agreement with that. It is and yeah and I think if they were had any problems you've heard of you would have heard about it. So that's interesting and it's interesting when you might find out in terms of additional information from those guys, I've, I've, hoping
I I'm not sure if they said that one of the brothers is still alive and they might be here or one of the brothers son. I know the daughter is still alive. Who, on the night of the murder no they're going to tell us who knows what else yeah. What I do for a living. I dig up old secrets and you expose them so anything else they can tell me will be exciting. The article got such great play around here and there's so much buzz that I'm hoping that I'll, get a little more info and get people even more excited so we'll see, though
who knows maybe email, maybe that maybe they can tell me everything off the record, which is always the worst type of interview, hell yeah, but it's interesting. Not every city really celebrates its history, even though it's it, especially if it's a criminal history, where some cities really you now have good friend, run friend cell has books. It basically tour guides crime to our great guide. You know young, with GPS coordinates to be able to tell people here are some historic crime locations. Basically, now, in terms of this article that came out in this list, this makes the again to talk about half of baby in dirty. How is the city reacted to this new information? Yeah I, this city is, is pretty good about when they're learning about it about they're all corrupt away. I don't think anybody anymore get upset about. I think it was a time where people when when I was in
Tampa, is writing about probably crop one thousand, probably about fifteen twenty years? All it be people, people start digging up somebody old skeleton and a lot of people the time you know that I wish you talk about those things. What are you doing up talk about those things we want people to know, we used to be like they're trying to hide their dirty laundry, but time is going on. It's it's kind of become a calling card of the city having people kind of proud of it. It's it's something interesting when towards them and how they can be. Like you said you, They can go and look at some of these are all crime point. I think you know shows like this approach. Stuff kind of made story like this kind of cool and effective centre top Cante was, you know like the main calling card of the city in terms of mafia and he's so no nationally, so people offended by it anymore. They actually get kind of excited about when they get when the new stories come out. I mean a perfect example would be when a few years ago I got proved that to help County Sheriff's office, which again Tampa
located Hillsborough County Florida had a secret deal with Fidel Castro four gun running, and I heard it on tape. I've got a month actually, the old head of the child Bill County Vice Squad, which was the division with the shaft that was charged, bringing out organized crime in the old head of it. While he was on his deathbed literally, I mean he had an oxygen tank on him, so he could breathe have you said: well, we made a deal Fidel Castro, Fidel Cash is before he came to power before we defeated between Ethan became president of the country. He actually came the camp at a rate, money for it revolution and he did raise a few thousand thousand dollars. Any any form formed a fundraising group here that was charged with Rick continuing to raise money, doin it when he went off the cuban revolution. Collecting medical supplies, in clothing and even doing little gun running, and so they would send the guns to Cuba so apparently Alice Clifton ahead of the vice squad made this deal with cash to while he was here is like look. I know
had the they topical David. The time was heading up the the industry in Cuba. It was him in my Lansky, the two main guys and as long as a country with a Cuba, beheld localities, county sheriff's office, could not in any crimes on him. They knew he was headed the criminal syndicate here they knew he was one funding all the operations, but as I He told me there were too many people and too much water between me and him to have charging. I needed to get him out of Cuba into Tampa where we can tell Then we can arrest him. So he made a deal with that. Fidel Castro will help you get and when you win and you finally topical today from Cuba, you you know you, you give me a call and you let me be the one who greets him at the port. So I can arrest him right then, and there and that's what happened Castro one obviously and he kept content in prison, a few months paid him. You know, I think, few
a thousand dollars to get released, and then they call Alice clicked in they said he'll be at so and so for my and you can go get him and he went there with an arrest warrant for a murder that they thought they were going to pin on him with the murder of that in New York City, you, famous mafia murder, mafia murder. Unfortunately, the his picante attorney, Rob Organo was there and he said? Actually your warrant has been canceled. You cannot arrest him, but because Castro did expel Tropicana, as promised Alice. Clifton was able to tell him and stay on him. All kinds of finally got got day. The eyes Adele Cookin said just gave augmented take it that really any any here anymore kind of moved operations away from Tampa. But are we wrote? You know we were expecting a big uproar from the sheriff's office work using them a secret deal with with an enemy, the United States and what I call them for a quote said out. That sounds kind of cool.
Again it was fifty. It was a long time ago and even people who really know cuban history. We even know that everyone in making a deal with communist dictator, the time know Fidel Castro anybody knew he was communist communism and the key issue, overthrow with his bloody dictatorship came so even something which would that with that scandalous yeah seem to get excited about so that it about past crimes, because there's no danger, I'm not gonna write about current criminals. They can come after you, these guys can fit from the thirty forty s and fifty they can't come after me. It seems to be a lot of reminiscing by gangsters mobsters about the past as well too, because I've had a few programs where I ask that kind of same question, basically and you're not really concerning uh. You know, things change over time. So it's not serious one of my friends again is an author you. I would like to promote
this stuff as well. He wrote to Gar City Mafia and he wrote this island on which is kind of like the big book on Travel Conte. He get He writes a lot about gangsters from all over the country, so he's always interviewing them and he says, look very tired, the game at one point They were. They were movie stars they they were. You know the world revolved around them them and now passed, and so of course they want to after some their glory. I guess, and are you nobody, but most of my research. I've always done come to law enforcement records, and things like that. I I've talked to a few retired gangster. But I I my main source for years with the gentleman Alice Clifton Good, because I was before he passed away. You know he really sat down and let me and my brother filming it really dig and get a lot of info from him, and I was able to use a lot of the things he told me to build on a lot of store the written over the years. So
I haven't really interview a retired gangsters, but you know there You do get hold of now willing to talk, give it all. You know, now. All I do is, I think a few of 'em are just hiring you know getting writers and writing their stories. I don't. Basically you know, get it out there at his heels, live out that a couple times where guys are just there's We did some information in here. It is and so that there's lots of tales a so. This is a very a fascinating now, the one I want to ask you a hopefully this is a right. The gambling game that you had you just threw the name in, and I have to look it up to see what it was. But you can tell us about this game is, is a is a called the legal bill, a billion after actually even yeah? That's you know that my article, because it mostly for camp audience here in Tampa people, don't believe it is so it's not. I I write really describe too much in my article, but I believe was, we is what the lottery is based on, if it wasn't for the
game of believe you would not have a modern day lottery and what Belita was is they took a hundred, wooden. Wouldn't this is how originally started it would take a hundred wooden balls, put them in a sack and people would gamble. On a combination of all you could bet on anywhere from on it too three balls like if you're betting on a horse race. You can bet the tri fact. You know you've got to try to check a box. Everything like that to you bet it with the ball. He would take the sack of balls and they would throw it across the room, and one guy would catch it and he would he would try to catch a ahead for balls, and then you would slowly just grip three balls through the sack so we come come with a pair of scissors and they would snip it and whatever three he would holding in his hand with the winning numbers and utopia for anywhere from eighty five to one. What were at what the best eighty five to one. So, if you hit the jackpot, you do a lot of money. Evl went yeah, you get anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, but we're talking early nineteen One hundred really
blue collar immigrants in our world cigars all day tell for them in a couple one hundred dollars or something like that, you know I was huge, and this is the game that overtook Tampa. It became the biggest pursuit in the city. It's all people want to do this with their most popular pastime. Was this game and it first started off. People would just play it. You know but not for they would bet on it. But it would just be a couple of guys hold a game and people would on and then a guy, I I to early with Charlie Wall. He came in and at all, if I organised this game and started, taking all the games a lot of money to be made in this, and so he organized and start really. The first numbers running, racket and people Lily would run numbers. They would you have one guy, he would walk walk, they had multiple guy bombs one guy would walk into the barbershop and you say: hey I'm selling numbers for Charlie walls, game down on and fifteen tonight who wants in and people, okay, I'll I'll take three forty
five, then sixty seven remember what I went box and they write that down and you know then he'd keep list of everybody take a money collected, bring it bring it to the game that night and then they pull the numbers and whoever. You know that numbers would win and then over the years it evolved where they didn't even use the balls anymore. When law enforcement started to really catch on. They couldn't really have like these big games in elite you know anywhere when log four to start cracking down they, are doing things like whatever three should we run in the races today, one two and three, those are the numbers or they would. You know they would do stocks like they would they would pick three ran a spot. A spot in the stock market, and they say those are the winning numbers today or whatever the score, the baseball game is in the third inning will be the first to numbers and then the number-
Who is opening up the next inning that'll be the third number and they would come with these clever ways to do it till finally, Cuba STAR, the national lottery, and even at that point they would just whatever numbers were announced on the radio, because Tampa could pick up Cuba's airwaves this time. Whatever the cuban NASH, no lottery numbers worth, the time would become campus belita numbers, and that was the game. You, like I said, that's burger, organized that was where the money was that people were making millions of dollars year by controlling these games. I think in nineteen twenty five: maybe they should twenty seven million dollars bet on the game in the city of Tampa. The really show you know how big this was okay, looks the modern day lottery. If you're talking about there's all kinds of ways view talky, even as it is, is a halt into horse racing. It was a way out of the of the mobsters and having the advantage or making the advantage making it advantageous for themselves. I believe it was the
better, because it's what you talked of a weighted balls and all kinds of the army at any of the stage in the early days that the sixty games in a day, don't let go. I let's say number wow and they came back and is said boy we about fifty people bet on the number fifteen tonight and, of course, I derogatory the one number fifteen drawn he wants to win money. I don't want to lose so they would do things to make sure they could pull the right numbers by putting maybe heavier both in the bag. So when the person grab them, you feel ratified the heaviest bag not want or they put empty one then sometimes They would do it where they would freeze three different balls so that when I, the by he feel the know, so they always of fixing the games to make sure that the right numbers that they needed got pulled it.
When you read these stories about some of the clever way. These guys came up with it. Yeah yeah. It was a hand over fist money because everybody was accepted thing so that people world all doing it. It was accepted part of society and then had all kinds of and ingenious ways of making even more money out of the deal so early size. One of my friends who, who owned a little store anymore city, explained to me, said this. This is another reason why these gangs became so powerful. Is these people owe these gangsters? Rennie games more than anybody else, because some people did when the game show. It say you know The old MRS Rodriguez, around the corner, she's been here for two generations of families never been able to own a home because they're just blue collar immigrant, they can't afford anything nice
and then one night. She decides to bet two dollars on the game and she hits it and suddenly, the next day she got enough money to put a down payment on the house. Even though the game of chance- and it was like that she one whether the game was rigged or not a rigged in her favor, but she wins she now, whoever ran that game she's looking at them as the greatest person in the world because of their game, she got to buy a house, so it is good so the last ghost story, when I mention how Roy Velasco at the very beginning of when we start talking on Roy Velasko murder, this guy Florentino Martinez. So if there are witnesses it out, there and will end Roy, ahead had a gambling house, and some and people depended on his gambling house to win money and help pay their bills who are they going to give? You know they're going to give in the guy who's? Helped him buy a house, or are they going to look at the guy who got murdered and say this guys? Never done anything for me. So let's just turn
turn my head, and this is one of the reasons crime was able to flourish. Here is because these people, you know this- was their chance that this is a chance out of the poor house. Is there chance out of the lower class and you don't what you don't want to kill that chanted, because ones handling disappears. Your dreams are shot you're, just going to have to be keep working and stay in your spot forever. Long ago, these games of chance, you always have a of one day, fulfilling show me your dreams, and so they could these guys with every them add had either from the government controlled casinos. These days, you write the same goals. That's why they end up coming with the lottery, because I don't think it was just Tampa that did these types of games. I guess. Finally, the government said: look if people are going to be gambling, we might as well make the money off of it, but Another great example again would be the Roy of Alaska when he murdered the guy Florentino Martinez The reason nobody said anything is: could he murdered him in the most popular casino, anymore city at the time?
Eldorado. It had the best games best liquor. The best women and the police knew the place yeah what they were doing there, but you didn't go inside the police. And go inside as and longer walk inside and see what was going on. They good have to bus to place because they would have. We ve never been in there. We hear legal things gone, but we have no reason to go in there check it out, but if something murdered inside the club, the police have two. You have to go. Investigate a murderer. There's no way around that. So this guy Florentine is murdered inside the club. They drag him out to the curb and when the police show up, everybody says, are we even It was the inside out Dorado. Now we did seem in we don't to widen I think he was just laying on the curb dying already because if they say was murdered inside the Eldorado please have to go in, they have to shut the place down and- everybody in Tampa is going to lose their favorite casino. So they cover up. Murder because they wanted to keep going there and gambling and drinking you a the
operated sure yeah. It is. The thing is to that of of of the for the other people in America. They know of a Miss Korea. Cities like Chicago, where you know, judges were paid off, the lawyers were paid off and and any kind of mobster was getting out of a powerful mobsters were getting decisions that seem really actually ridiculous, but basically because everybody was paid off, they got acquittals on. You know major import charges, but we're not talking about the Tampa Bay's. If it seemed to go much later because we're talking about nineteen forty eight, when this happened in in things didn't even really have a whiff whiff of impropriety till nineteen sixty when the former commission came the Tampa so blue, so it should be a little bit later. I'm not some not incorrect. What Tampa in terms of organised crime and crime, and
role in it nationally never really did get the respect deserve. I think think, because people did try to keep it hot hush for so long remember all organized crime figures at the time in the the 40s and 50s and into the sea, we're funding their money into into the cuban casinos, because that the way of avoiding the government, they take the money they would invest in and things going on in Cuba. I so that where they were laundering their money camp out now. Miami it is is closer to Cuba than anyway United States, because the Selwyn so. Topic on day, because of his role and Tampa bigger and bigger rolling Cuba with one of the most powerful organised crime figures in a country. So if you want to do anything in Cuba, you needed to have some sort of friendship in Tampa. So Tampa was playing at the time. The biggest well organized crime, United States, bigger than Chicago
go big in the New York it everything I had to go to Tampa in order to make it to Cuba. I am especially yeah and it became especially important when you know the sixties, when cocaine or seventies yeah okay became real prominent, it became even more important as a you know, mob controlled city for sure and what you know. I've talked all law enforcement officers may say, probably a really unpopular school thought for human, here in the US to here, but they say the most important the best thing ever happened, or law enforcement in the US was Fidel Castro They said he expelled all the gangsters and all the casinos and without anywhere to launder their money anymore and without a safe haven to run their crime syndicates. They had so the the us- and they say from point on those individual really start losing their power and it was kind of the death of you.
Hey they organised crime is a you know. Cuban Americans would never want to hear in the agenda one. Fourth and people are saying that cash or with a good person, but they said if cash had never. Spell organized crime I mean my God is that those parts your families and nose? Enterprises could have grown compose larger ever imagined because they had a safe haven and they had a place to put their money. It went out it they lost a lot of their power. Thou art, a bank Fidel Castro for bringing it all to an end as very interesting, very interesting. I guess they would wish something like that might happen in Mexico right now. That's sir! So much bigger threat Well now you now have been the main issue haven't of the crime is human trafficking. I think, where think is third biggest hub in the in the country for human trafficking and Tampa Bay, the leader in that. So I guess we have to clean up the city too much. Is it
thousand agrarian- oh yeah yeah! It gets worse and dumb with the name of your book that you did about the type of a dark city to sort out Sattar sunshine of the dark side of sunshine, and you know I'm I I know your show the late at a lot of true crime on and DDS itself isn't serial killers over serial killer history. The first african American here serial killer nation, the US is from Tampa and I have his story in it, and then there was an murder murder, an act, murder story and in went in which destroyed him, murdering his family of five, with an axe leading to the first. Ization of marijuana laws in in United States right. So you can people who are mad that they got a high smoking joins. You can blame an ax murder from Tampa and my story. I run that for the book and then making high times a few months ago.
the kind of wrote about the that book do so. If you're into that stuff up my book for you are organized crime. I do tell the complete history of Charlie Wall, who I've mentioned go to the cuban revolutionaries and know the I deal with Castro and then I move into the strip of industry. As you know, Tampa you might know, Tampa at one point with the Strip Club Capital of the world. We went from being capital world to the Strip Club Capital of the world. Ninety, no. I tell these stories as well. A lot of prestige going on okay, sure right, yeah, I I don't you read about crime. I read about nice things too, but you know whatever you write good stories. Nobody seemed to care. You read about a murder and, and many internet hits on those websites really pile up there. It's it's it's fun to read, you know yeah, absolutely yeah and they, like you, say, you've been featured in your freelance journalist, but you but featured in the cigar city magazine quite a bit and they've been very supportive in in sort of your and
investigation into organized crime in town, yeah, Cigar City magazine com. I do a lot of writing for them and then the gentleman I mentioned a few times got ditch does a lot of writing for them if you're in the true crime, I want to learn more about Cuba and and Tampa organized crime go to Cigar City magazine com, there's a lot of other stuff on there, but you'll find a lot of stuff a lot article written by myself, and I got Dickie know always. We I we all right small article. These are one thousand word article. These are and death long articles like a like chapters in book and a potato. You guys website spent hours on it, and indeed you have that scans of the articles themselves as well for people that are really into that as well. These, the authenticity of of the of the time as well and read the headlines and see everything there, and so it's great some great yeah. At least it does a great job laying out the magazine and they don't want the website as well. You know you she scanned all the all the article in you can kind of see what the headlines of the times were well
kind of looking back on these times in history yeah. It's very interesting. It's kind of similar to a magazine that involved with there's is crime magazine and very, very testing and, and there forever as well to not. You know it's great now that, like programs like this are our interview will be archived and probably available indefinitely and sees a special when people can download it, and so it much better than terrestrial radio. I think for you know who, who was that? Can I remember you know you're able to listen to it over and over again in outlook, neither one of the first things I ask. Any publication asked me to write for them. I like to see myself in print and hold it, but I just You also want to know the website. Traffic is because we internet, like you said, is there forever and an article magazine, just people in Tampa can read, but we put these things online and suddenly people from all over the country are reading. I mean I've gotten comments from people in England on some of my articles before so. The internet is the way to go yeah I can at least there's a desert
in a world audience that's interested in America, because America always looks inward America, often even romanticizes criminals over fifty or sixty years after the fact you Know- or at least at least what Hollywood does with these characters. You know so it's America has this fascinating reputation and the world is drawn to stories in America, not that you know America created serial killers or America created gangsters, but America created the ability to look at them. Selves Anne, not shy away from it. You know and that's what I think- people throughout the world look at and
again and fascinating information like the little nugget that you just talked about where you said that did the da or or you know, officials in in America said thank God that Castro booted out the mobster. Yes, so that America, with its you know over achieving law enforcement, could get their hands on him and basically squeeze the life out of him because, like you say, if they, if they would have been able to remain in Cuba and just flourish, the amount of power that comes with all that money. Really does affect everything so yeah yeah people- people, I d- call terrorists they now, but if they gave to get it to get here, still there being run by organized crime. Cuba would been I mean it actually would would have been a danger. I know yet my people anger. He was not a terrorist act, people like a sand there not a threat to us, but if I would stay there and they were all out, it would have been a rich country by criminals with
in an hour plane flights. Then it really would have been dangerous, yeah. Absolutely absolutely well Paul. I want to thank you very much this interview and for the great article and the great read- and I want to thank you very much- do have a a website or can people contact via Facebook? Facebook is other ways of of on Facebook. I've if you look for the dark side of Sunshine Tampa is my books, Facebook Page or you know you can contact me to Cigar City magazine dot com as well. If you go on there, you can find my email address and contact info and again my You have got a dollar value on on on Amazon, docs out of sunshine, to go to cigar City magazine dot com. You can read a lot interesting stuff and you know I get I get all my contact. Information is on there well great. To thank you very much and please get in touch with me on any kind of new developments on this story and whatever else you're going to be working on in the near future.
It was great having you on. Thank you very much. Thank you. So much for having me on. You have a great night. You, too good night, bye, bye, hi. It's Jamie progresses employee of the month two months in a row leave a message at the Hi Jeannie hit me Jamie. I just had a new idea for our song with the name, your price tool, so when it's like tell us what you want to pay hey, the trombone goes blah blah blah and you say, will help you find options to fit your budget. Then we just all do finger. Snaps will acquire goes. Statements was coming after they've coming at Jeff. Yes, no, maybe anyway, see your practice tonight I got new lyrics for the rap break, progressive casualty, insurance company, affiliates price pricing coverage match limited by state law, and now I found from Geico Motorcycle. It took fifteen minutes to take a spirit, animal quiz online. Please be the cheetah we be the cheetah and learn your animal, isn't the cheetah, but before appealing blub fish,
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Transcript generated on 2021-06-10.