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Authors: Adela Gregory

Crypt 33 (33 page)

BOOK: Crypt 33
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When she returned, Pat went on the government payroll as an information specialist in motion pictures for the U.S. Information Agency. Reporter Walter Winchell broke the Newcomb story. She was working in an office adjacent to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. Once it was discovered her civil service form was incomplete, Pat was dismissed. Then she joined Bobby Kennedy's staff after he resigned his office of attorney general to run for the Senate from New York. When Pierre Salinger, a former Kennedy press secretary, ran for the California state senate, Newcomb joined his staff.
Newcomb now defensively attempts to diffuse the evidence to the contrary, claiming, “The Kennedys never gave me a dime, never offered me anything, and never made a job available to me.”
Reporters were barred from inside the Westwood Mortuary services. Even the journalists who had been close to Monroe had been ignored. Joe's old ally, Walter Winchell, who had attempted to bribe Whitey into taking a photo of Marilyn's body in the funeral parlor, was excluded. Once close to the DiMaggios, Winchell had lost favor with Joe. Though he withheld the Monroe/Kennedy affairs from the press while she was still alive, he was the first reporter to suggest that the Kennedys were responsible for her death.
Investigative reporter Dorothy Killgallen attempted to crash the ceremonies, but failed to do so. Later, she spearheaded an investigation of Marilyn's death and later the assassination of JFK. She was found dead from “natural causes,” but foul play was suspected as she died of a drug overdose.
Few of Monroe's acquaintances in Hollywood were granted entrance, but masseur Ralph, chauffeur Rudy, and Fred Karger and his mother, Mary Karger, joined the few mourners in the chapel. The press photographers and reporters were barred from the entrance.
Inside the chapel, Lee Strasberg read a prepared eulogy remembering the actress for “her luminous quality,” while her favorite tune, Judy Garland's rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” played on the hi-fi.
Arthur Miller had refused Lionel Grandison's request to claim the body. His flowers were among the hundreds sent to the funeral.
Chairs had been set up for the guests for the burial service. The minister solemnly intoned the familiar last rites, “earth to earth, ashes to ashes,” and then sent Marilyn Monroe's coffin to a lawn crypt. With the personal support of his son, Joe Jr., and friend George Solotaire, and a few of her closest friends, Joe DiMaggio closed the last chapter of the life of Marilyn Monroe and laid his former wife and friend to rest.
25
The Hit Men
I
n the first week of December 1962 a missing persons report on Eugenia Pappas was filed with the Chicago Police Department. Family members suspected foul play but received little assistance from overworked detectives who were busting organized-crime figures and in some cases protecting the Mafia. The disappearance of a young, attractive manicurist was of no significant concern to the Missing Persons Bureau.
Several days passed and the police told troubled family members that no trace of the young lady's whereabouts could be found. Her brother consulted with relatives, and they agreed to report why they suspected the manicurist was in danger or maybe even dead. “Her boyfriend is a contract killer, working for the Mafia,” the brother volunteered. Chicago cops then expanded the search.
The girlfriend was told by her lover, according to the brother, “I do what I'm told to do, never question the judgment of my boss.” He admitted to her there would be times he would eliminate people who were inconvenient and, justifying his actions, he added, “They are no good anyway. They are better dead. ”
But when Eugenia Pappas found out about Marilyn Monroe from her boyfriend, she wondered why the star should have been killed. Not knowing the reasons behind the hit, the manicurist became frightened of her “killer fiancé.” She told a close friend what she knew.
Word of the manicurist's “slip” reached the Mafia hierarchy. “She must sleep with the fishes,” her lover was told. Eugenia Pappas's lips were to be sealed forever, and the contract to murder her was given to Frank “the German” Schweihs and other organized crime figures. He did not challenge the orders; he was a professional. It had to be done. Eugenia would die.
There was no Christmas tree in the family home that year. It was not a time to rejoice. Ten days before Christmas, their prayers unanswered and as suspected, they received the unhappy news. Eugenia's body had been found floating in the Chicago River. Eugenia, the manicurist, had been shot through the heart. News reports of her death were buried in the back pages of Chicago newspapers.
In fear of reprisal, the family remained silent for twenty-four years. A family member (believed to be Eugenia's brother) came forward in 1986. He was then in his mid-forties, approximately five eleven and about 170 pounds, and spoke with a Greek accent.
For years, he had followed Speriglio's investigation into the death of Marilyn Monroe. Now it was time for him to identify Monroe's killers. “These bastards killed her,” he said, removing a handwritten chart from an envelope. He agreed to have his conversation recorded.
Sam Giancana's name was at the top of the list. “He ordered the hit.” The informant would only say a family member of his had been murdered by one of Monroe's assassins because of what she had heard. He himself was not a member of the Mafia, or a criminal, but he was well connected with the underworld. All he wanted was for “justice to be served.” Subsequently, independent sources, all with organized-crime connections, confirmed the killers' names and asked that their own identities be withheld, for obvious reasons.
The common denominator between Giancana and Jack Kennedy, Judith Campbell Exner, mistress to both, who had passed vital messages between them, is now living on borrowed time, suffering from metastatic breast cancer, with a lung removed and a malignant tumor spreading to her spine. She is no longer silent. “Marilyn was killed,” Exner established, adding, “I'm a reluctant witness to what went on in history—so many cover-ups have existed within our government. The truth has to be out there... ”
Now surviving on the drug Taxol, living in solitude and seclusion, she admits her own cover-up. Her 1975 testimony at the Frank Church committee was not complete. Frightened for her life, she had lied. She had good reason—two weeks earlier Sam Giancana had been murdered. She was fearful the committee would discover she had been the conduit between Kennedy and Giancana.
Marilyn Monroe's diary had mentioned the government's plot to assassinate Castro. At the Church committee hearing Judith admitted, “Jack did know about the plot because I carried the intelligence material between Jack and Sam.” She confessed, “The Mafia was going to take care of killing Castro with Kennedy's approval.... Jack never called it an assassination, just an elimination.” Marilyn was not killed, she was
eliminated.
The underworld-connected informants confirm that Phil “Milwaukee” Alderisio was assigned by Giancana to plan the hit, working in conjunction with Johnny Roselli, the “Angel of Death.” Phil was born Felix Anthony Alderisio, often called “Milwaukee Phil” or “Philly.”
Identified as one of the assigned killers of Monroe was Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro. “Spilotro and Schweihs work as a team. They murder together,” the informant asserted.
Alderisio had been one of Giancana's most trusted men. He was a dominant figure in narcotic traffic, loan sharking, gambling, and contract killing.
Tracing his criminal record back to 1929, it was discovered Alderisio had been arrested thirty-six times. His rap sheet included auto theft as a teenager and later more serious crimes such as extortion, narcotic sales, loan sharking, and homicide. He was never convicted of murder, but was suspected in at least fourteen killings.
The man who planned Monroe's murder was involved in the CIA-Mafia connection in the Bay of Pigs operation during the Kennedy administration. His associate was Chuckie Nicoletti, a mobster with whom he had previously done Mafia hits.
In the late 1960s Alderisio was elevated by Tony Accardo and became the absolute boss of the Chicago Mafia. His reign would last but a year. Milwaukee Phil was convicted of running a prostitution ring. The judge threw the book at him and sent him to Marion Federal Penitentiary.
Before going to jail, he named replacements to run the Chicago group. One was Tony Spilotro, a Monroe assassin; the other was Patrick “Patsy” Ricciardo, who ran a porno operation.
When the Mafia went to Hollywood, the “casting directors” were Roselli and Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, formerly of the Charles “Lucky” Luciano gang. Underworld character Mickey Cohen, based in Los Angeles, would later move in. Once in control of the movie studios, Roselli took care of “strike breakers” for the producers; Siegel had clouf with the union movie extras; Frank Costello was close to Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures and George Wood of the William Morris Agency. Producer Bryan Foy handled numerous gangster movies at Warners, often employing Roselli as a consultant.
Johnny Roselli became close friends with many movie stars, including Marilyn Monroe. The hit on the actress was made by the Chicago Mafia; because of Roselli's friendship with Marilyn and because he was the Los Angeles overseer for the mob, he was suspect. Former Los Angeles police inspector Joseph Shimon said, “Roselli met Miss Monroe socially, knew lots of her friends and close business associates.”
The informant said that one of the killers was Frank Schweihs.
“Schweihs was in Los Angeles with this family member of mine. He was here doing the job he was here to do, ordered by Alderisio.”
He went on to explain: “Schweihs was not alone; he always operated with Anthony Spilotro and Frank Cullotta.” Cullotta was now a federally protected witness who testified “against people in Las Vegas and Chicago. Schweihs was a hit man, a finger man. Spent most of his time as a burglar.”
Asked if Marilyn's killers left town right after the murder, he quickly replied, “Immediately. They had a round-trip ticket [Chicago to Los Angeles and back].”
The informant continued, “My family member died within three months after Marilyn was killed.” When asked how she was murdered, he responded, “Gunshot. It was by gunshot.”
The informant's family member was with Schweihs that fatal night but he declined to disclose the relationship between Schweihs and his sister. He kept track of the suspect. “He travels between Chicago and Florida, spends most of his time in Florida, but has family in Chicago” (the family he spoke of was blood related, not the Mafia.) “He was protected by the police in Chicago, including the Cook County sheriff Richard Ogilivie, who later became governor.”
 
Sam Giancana was killed on June 18, 1975. “It was around eleven at night, I found Mo's body,” Joe DiPersio, then age eighty-one, recalled. For three decades Joe had been a close friend of Giancana's and had also worked for Al Capone. During Giancana's final years Joe had many duties: housekeeper, gardener, chauffeur, and part-time bodyguard.
“I was upstairs in my room, watching Johnny Carson on TV,” he remembered. “I called down to Mo, asking if he wanted anything before I went to sleep. He didn't answer me.”
It was soundless in the godfather's extravagant home at 1147 South Wenowah Avenue in Oak Park, Illinois. DiPersio walked quietly downstairs to investigate. “Mo, Mo,” he called. “Mo. Oh my God, Jesus, are you all right?” He saw Sam lying on the basement kitchen floor. First thinking the boss had had too much to drink and passed out, DiPersio moved closer, then almost fainted. Giancana's brains were splattered everywhere and the floor was covered with blood.
The godfather had been shot in the head several times and silenced forever. Just a foot away from his body, on top of the stove, was a large frying pan filled with olive oil, Italian sausage, green peppers, and spinach, seasoned with garlic. It was fried to a crisp. Three slices of Italian bread were cut.
Giancana was never convicted of murder but was deprived of his “last meal.” Johnny Roselli was the chief suspect in Giancana's murder.
Eugenia Pappas's brother changed the subject back to Frank Schweihs. “He was just an operator—that's all, a juice man, strong arm, hit man. He would never be brought into the confidence of the upper echelon. He was not even Italian.” He was more concerned about Schweihs than Marilyn Monroe. He went on to say, “I tried to get pictures of him—I was personally interested in knowing all I could about this individual.”
He then talked about Anthony Spilotro. “I saw him a few years ago, up close, for the first time. Short fellow, nothing outstanding, good-looking, clean face, clean shaven.”
The informant was questioned as to who had hit his sister. “Could have been Giancana or it could have been Milwaukee Phil Alderisio. He was captain under Joey O'Brian Aiuppa and Giancana.
“Schweihs was interviewed by the Chicago police numerous times and the Miami police also. He has friends in the right places, and nobody ever puts a finger on him. Most recently Frank was suspected in the killing of Allen Dorfman. He was connected with the Union States [Teamsters] Pension and Welfare Fund.” The fund is known in the underworld as the Bank of the Mafia. Jimmy Hoffa had selected Dorfman to control the funds, which were used to make loans for racket-connected projects.
Other informants, who asked not to be identified, confirm that Alderisio had planned Marilyn's homicide and Spilotro and Schweihs were the soldiers who enforced the order.
Schweihs could never become a captain, capo, underboss, sotto capo, or godfather. He was not a member of the Mafia, just a soldier—a hit man. Frank did not take the oath of silence, known as the code of Omertà. He would “sing” someday, without violating the secret trust that restricted mob members from revealing “family” information, informing on other members and associates, and prohibited them from coveting the wives and girlfriends of fellow members.
Schweihs was a part-time “insurance” salesman for the Mafia. He sold nondeductible business-protection policies. The insured would receive an absolute guarantee that his business would not burn to the ground; there would be no business interruptions. The “policy” had an endorsement clause: owners and employees would not be harmed. The “insurance commissioner” did not govern the amount of “premium” that could be charged. This insurance was also known as “street tax,” something every business was expected to pay or else. The rates were set by his employers.
Over a period of time, Schweihs collected $21,450 in street taxes from Old Town Videos. The cameras recorded every second. The German was caught in the act on the FBI's candid camera. This video was played in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Ann C. Williams. In February 1990, the verdict came in. “I sentence you, Frank Schweihs, to thirteen years in federal prison,” she declared.
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Knight said, “Schweihs is one of the most violent people ever to stand before this court.”
Schweihs was not in court when the sentence was imposed; he was too ill. He was soon released from jail and sent directly to the federal medical center at Rochester, Minnesota, for treatment of kidney cancer.
The
Chicago Sun Times
reported on February 4, 1990: “If federal agents have their way, Schweihs' prison cell will become known as Canaryville.” Our informant never realized that someday Frank could become an informant himself. Schweihs, age sixty-one in 1992, would be interrogated by top FBI organized-crime investigators, the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, in the hope that he would help to clear up at least forty unsolved mob murders.
BOOK: Crypt 33
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