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The Murder of Speedboat Builder Don Aronow

September 18, 2007 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 257 Comments


Miami has had more than its share of sensational crimes. When you are the murder capital of the United States for nearly a decade at least one or two will have interesting stories behind them. But perhaps no murder, at least no murder that was solved, contained more intrigue and mystery than the shooting of speed-boat builder Don Aronow.



A self-made millionaire by 28, Aronow moved to Miami from New Jersey in 1961 and began racing power boats for fun. By the next year he had formed his first boat company, Formula Marine, and began to race his boats around the world. His first mega success, The Cigarette, gained him worldwide fame and is still the generic name used for any large, high powered speed vessel. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, he became known as the God of speed boating, starting and selling several boat makers and racing teams and creating what was known as Thunderboat Row. This dead-end stretch of NE 188th St in what is now Aventura became the home of nearly every top speed-boat maker and racer in the Untied States. It would also be the last street Aronow saw alive.


As is customary in a world dominated by speed, money and worldwide travel, Aronow had friends ranging from mobster Meyer Lansky to former president George H. W. Bush. His social circles were the wealthy and powerful from all walks of life, both in legitimate and illegitimate businesses. He sold boats to King Hussein of Jordan, Baby Doc Chevalier in Haiti, former President Lyndon Johnson and just about anyone with a lot of money and a love for speed. For better or for worse, many of these people were involved in the drug business.


The combination of his location in the drug-smuggling hub of North America that was Miami and his penchant for making the fastest, toughest boats in the world made him an obvious vendor for the nefarious characters who populated our region. His boats were the vessel of choice for dope smugglers bringing product into South Florida, and Aronow was well aware of his reputation. In order to make up for his contribution to the crime wave, Aronow built a series of boats for the Drug Enforcement Agency and Customs officials called Blue Thunder. These boats were faster and more powerful than the models being used by the drug-runners and were applauded by the government as a valuable tool in the war on drugs. It was no coincidence that among the first riders in the Blue Thunder was then-Vice President Bush himself.



On the afternoon of February 3, 1987, Don Aronow was in his office on Thunderboat Row when a tall stranger walked in and identified himself as Jerry Jacoby. Jacoby claimed to work for a very rich man who wanted Aronow to build him a 60 foot boat. According to Aronow’s longtime assistant, Patty Lezaca, when Jacoby was asked what he did for this mystery man, he replied, “I’d do anything for him. I’d even kill for him.” As Aronow prepared to leave the office, the tall stranger abruptly left.


The boat mogul drove his white Mercedes a few blocks to the offices of Apache Performance Boats and his former protégé Robert Saccenti. After a brief social meeting, Aronow drove out and was approached by a dark Lincoln Continental with tinted windows. The driver exchanged some words with Aronow, and then shot him several times from the wrist into the jaw and the groin. Bobby Moore, a friend, found Aronow nearly dead a short time later, the engine and air conditioning of his car still running. He dies soon after.

Authorities searched for this mysterious Jerry Jacoby, and came up with little of use. One was a chauffeur, another was an associate of Aronow’s who was not the man in question, and another was in prison in Cuba. Lillian Aronow, Donald’s wife, offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of his killers, but little of use surfaced. Because of the somewhat-shady company that the speed boat magnate kept, the possibilities were endless.



For years after the crime, the Miami-Dade homicide division kept all of its information top-secret. As a result, the public and the media developed a variety of theories as to why Aronow was killed. Some believed it was a jealous husband or boyfriend of one of Aronow’s various mistresses, despite Lillian’s assertions that he was faithful to her for the duration of their marriage. A notorious ladies man, this was not such a far-fetched theory, although most close to the boat builder insist that had he been involved with a married woman they would have known. And they didn’t.


Because of his time in the “construction business” in New Jersey, many assumed that he had strong ties to organized crime. It didn’t hurt, either, that he was close friends with mob financial brain-trust Meyer Lansky. While Aronow’s family insisted he made all of his money honestly, others surmised that he had taken his millions in the early 1960’s and fled to Florida to avoid the Mob. Authorities gave this theory some investigation, but quickly discovered that while he did in fact know many of these people, he was not in trouble with any of them.


Others believed that, because Aronow made such a point of cooperating with authorities, drug dealers were trying to silence him. Did he know what his high-speed boats were being used for? Of course he did. But that knowledge would hardly be enough to convict a drug kingpin. After all, it’s not like George Bush was using his Donzi to run Cocaine from the Caribbean, right? No, the theory was that the feds were using the cash purchases of expensive boats to build a tax evasion case against some of the nation’s biggest drug lords. So, in order to eliminate any complications arising from a boat purchase, said Kingpin would just have Aronow rubbed out. Again, this scenario seemed far-fetched. Since there was only knowledge of one case where Aronow spoke to the government (on a totally unrelated issue), it was unlikely anyone would slit their golden goose to avoid evidence of a boat purchase.


While those theories made for the most sensational and media-drawing cases, the one that held the most weight for detectives was that of Benjamin “Barry” Kramer. Kramer was a rival boat builder and racer who had purchased USA Racing Team from Aronow in 1984. In exchange for the company, Kramer gave Aronow land, assets, a helicopter and some cash. Cash that was, apparently, under the table. When the company was sold, it was in the process of developing Blue Thunder for the federal government. They, of course, believed USA Racing was still owned by Aronow. When the feds found out he had sold the company to Kramer, they began to second guess their contractual arrangement with the company. Kramer, you see, was convicted in 1978 of smuggling large amounts of marijuana and distributing it throughout the United States. Not exactly the sort of guy Uncle Sam likes to do business with. At least not publicly.

Fearing a cancellation of his government contract, Aronow bought back USA Racing but Kramer lost out on the deal.  The generally-believed story among those on Thunderboat Row is that Aronow returned the land, assets and helicopter, but kept the undocumented cash. This left Kramer with no legal recourse to claim his losses, and few other options. Miami-Dade investigators looked hard into Kramer, who had again been indicted on drug charges shortly after the Aronow killing, but could not make any leads stick. The case became a long, drawn out whodunit.



In May of 1988 in Oklahoma, Metro-Dade detective Mike DeCora was investigating a tip from federal authorities that claimed to have a shooter in the Aronow investigation. A man in custody for drug charges had told many inmates that he was the one who had shot the speed-boat king. His name was Robert Young, a career criminal who was also wanted in Florida in connection with the death of “Dixie Mafia” character John “Big Red” Panzavecchia over a drug deal gone bad. A couple of years later, Young also shot Army Vet Craig Marshall in a dispute over a sailboat, although Scott survived the incident. Young was arrested but skipped out on his 6-figure bond in Broward County. In April of 1988, a federal grand jury in Oklahoma indicted Young in a drug-trafficking case. It was there where investigators found he may be the shooter they were looking for.


Among his other aforementioned contributions to society, Young had also once been convicted of smuggling drugs to Cuba. He was caught and thrown in prison, only to be released in 1984 in a bold political move by the then-Presidential hopeful Jesse Jackson. Along with Young, 21 other Americans were freed as well as 26 Cuban political prisoners. Among those not freed: Young’s partner in his ill-fated dope-smuggling trip Jerry Jacoby.

It is not known whether this was the same man who walked into Aronow’s office the day he was killed, but it has long been suspected that there were two shooters involved in the crime. Police began to build a case against Young, but they knew someone else had to be involved.



And then came Marvyn Kessler. Kessler had represented Young in the mid-80’s for some of his countless violations of the criminal codes. By 1989, however, Kessler was unable to continue serving his client as the attorney himself had recently been found guilty of a drug-conspiracy charge. His co-defendant in the case: Ben Kramer.


Kramer, as well as being a speed boat aficionado, was also a big-time drug dealer. He was convicted, along with Kessler, in 1989 and sent to a federal correctional facility in South Dade. It was there that he attempted one of the most noteworthy escapes in Miami history, standing out in the middle of the athletic field and being picked up by an old Bell helicopter. The chopper, unfortunately, hit a snag on the prison’s barbed wire fence and crashed. Kramer was taken back into custody. No word whether this was the same helicopter he had once sold to Aronow.

Kessler told authorities he would testify that Kramer implicated himself in the 1987 Aronow shooting.



On June 12, 1990, Robert “Bobby” Young was formally charged with the murder of Don Aronow. At the time, authorities refused to state whether they had plans to implicate or arrest anyone else, as they remained as tight-lipped as they had throughout most of the case. Because he was already serving time for the “Dixie Mafia” murder and the Craig Marshall shooting, prosecutors took their time in building the case.

In 1993, the State of Florida indicted Kramer who, like Young, was serving a life sentence for his drug conviction. Because of his escape attempts, however, he got to serve his time in Dade County Jail rather than the more pushily accommodated federal facility. His indictment was the most heavily guarded in the history of the Dade County Courthouse, inviting dogs, federal agents, aviation support and bomb searches. Wisely, Kramer did not attempt to escape.


In October 1995, after 5 years of investigation and case-building, Bobby Young finally pled No Contest to second-degree murder, sparing him the possibility of a death sentence and, more importantly, keeping him from having to testify against Kramer. Young may have been a lot of things, but a rat he was not. The deal also allowed for the defendant to possibly be out of prison before he died. Young received 19 years for the crime, running concurrently with the time he would serve for his federal convictions. That sentence, however, would not begin until the 17 years he got for his murder and abduction charges were over.


Even without Young’s testimony, prosecutors still believed they had a strong case against Kramer. But as time went on, it began to weaken. Marvyn Kessler’s testimony, mainly which Young admitted to killing Aronow on Kramer’s orders, was ruled inadmissible as attorney-client privilege. Statements Young had made to Metro-Dade police were also ruled inadmissible because he had not had a lawyer present. The rest of the case was based on testimony from inmates and phone conversations, not exactly an air-tight conviction.



Fortunately for prosecutors, the horrid conditions in Dade County Jail eventually forced Kramer’s hand. Perhaps it were the sub-freezing temperatures, or maybe it was the lack of bedding, or even beds for that matter, but after several years at DCJ Kramer finally agreed to plead No Contest, as Young had, and received 19 years. Years he could spend, mercifully, in a real prison rather than Dade’s downtown facility. His attorney, Jose Quinon (yes, the same Jose Quinon who was sleeping with Humberto Hernandez’s wife while he was on trial) said it was not an admission of guilt. But for the Aronow family, it gave them some closure.


For ten years, it seems the most sensational and drawn-out murder case in Miami history has been exactly that: History. But some say there is more out there that we do not know and probably never will. Two guys who already were spending most if not all of their lives behind bars pleading to a crime nobody could solve? Seems a little too convenient. Most associated with the case are happy with the results, and that is likely enough for any casual observer. Will we ever know what really happened that February day in 1987? Thanks to a couple of No Contest pleas, probably not. But in a world populated by boat racers, drug dealers, mobsters and world leaders, anything is possible. And, more importantly, anything is possible to cover up.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

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257 Comments on

"The Murder of Speedboat Builder Don Aronow"

drugs and alcohol says:

Such a strange turn of events. I’d never heard of the murder before I was doing a paper for my university on the history of murders Miami has and some how missed this one. I got a C in the end but a story like this to write about would have given me an A I’m sure. Testimonies from inside a prison can be more convicting then you would expect though.

Posted on 04/21/2008 at 7:29 PM

BrainGun64 says:

Aronow was the embodiment of legendary speed boat racers on the rapid-fire waters of the world… a man of on-the-beach, in-his-face magnitude and amazing feats of action who loved the water as much as the people who enjoy swimming on the beach.

Posted on 04/21/2008 at 8:34 PM

Marie says:

Where is Ben Kramer and Bobby young now?

Posted on 11/03/2008 at 9:08 AM

Taylor says:

You never mention the probable killers of Aronow—Wayne Bock & Frankie Schweihs, the latter of whom fit the witness composite almost to a T and the former who fit the description of the tall, blonde stranger who came into Aronow’s business right before the murder. Also, what about the ever-changing, schizoidal claims made by convicted drug smuggler Tommy Teagle who was responsible for initially pointing the finger at R. Young as the killer, and who claimed that Aronow and JEB BUSH! were involved in drug smuggling and that’s why Young was hired to shoot Aronow? There is a lot more to this story and its long black arm reaching effects into the Bush “legacy” than anyone is willing to discuss. They’re all dirty

Posted on 01/10/2009 at 9:27 PM

No Name says:

Robert “Bobby” S. Young died today, March 31, 2009 in custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons at 1:30 PM.  How do I know?  There was more to life for “Bobby” and he did get out of prison.  It was then that he married my sister.  I don’t feel good about anybody dying.  I don’t feel bad about this though.  Just thought you might want to know…...

Posted on 03/31/2009 at 3:03 PM

Jason says:

Hello No Name,
Did you just state that Young got out, married your sister, and later got put back in and then just died two weeks ago in custody? What did he tell your sister, if anything about the Aronow case? How old was Young? I would very much like to know more about Bobby Young. Please contact me. Thank you.

Posted on 04/14/2009 at 11:25 PM

No Name says:

He did get out of prison around 1999 or 1998 maybe 2000….married my sister and was out a few years before going back in for more charges (VOP) was actually found guilty of a bogus charge in January 2009 and finally died mysteriously (after may mysterious things) on March 31, 2009.  He was hooked into too much.  my email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you want more.

Posted on 04/15/2009 at 7:18 AM

noname says:

jason, no, he didn’t kill don aronow he had to take the rap but he didn’t do it sometimes you just get in too deep

Posted on 04/17/2009 at 10:37 AM

noname says:

I’m an eighties, Ex-Miami Marijuana Smuggler who served time and became close friends with Bobby.
I’m not going to say that Aronow got what he had coming, though Bobby, in his owned way was the Happy Hero type, who had his own way of deciding what was right and what was wrong, who deserved to die and who deserved to have himself-Bobby, kill for them. Bobby was all about respect and word of honor, who believed himself to be a realist.
Aronow, was a shroud legitimate business man, who was respected by many, though, would leave a bad taste in the mouth in others. The type of guy that one would say ” sooner or later, that guy will run into somebody who ain’t gonna take it nicely ” and obviosly, he did.
Aronow wanted to play gangster, who ran into a real one.
RIDDLE: It’s all about pussy.

Posted on 05/24/2009 at 9:49 AM

noname says:

would that be pussy Kat? If you know Bobby, you know what I mean…

Posted on 05/26/2009 at 6:21 AM

Michael says:

Actually, I did not mean it in that context, though, it is about someone he called katdancer. Yes, Bobby and I were best friends at Coleman Medium in 96’ I have a picture of him and I in the rec yard.

Posted on 05/26/2009 at 2:06 PM

noname says:

Yep his ex wife.  Michael, he didn’t kill the guy.  Besides the fact that he admitted he didn’t kill the guy, the forensics prove he could not have killed the guy.  He was in the process of writing and there was someone who was producing a movie.  I don’t know if this movie will ever be produced.  I don’t think the gov wants the truth out there.  Could be why Bobby is dead.  The official “natural causes” is not what he died from.

Posted on 05/26/2009 at 2:19 PM

nnoname says:

Interesting reading:

Posted on 05/26/2009 at 2:33 PM

Michael says:

Perhaps, he really did not kill the guy, mabye…? though he was certainly capable of doing it. As close as I was with Bobby, he would not lie to me, though all of his true stories that he told me were accompanied by half-truths. Bobby was as crazy as a fox.
I don’t believe Bobby’s death was a subject of conspiracy. Even though Bobby was involed up to his eyeballs in dealing with alot of suspicious characters, he was helpless in prison. Powers to be were in no need to worry about what he could do or say. Is this Katdancer that I’m talking to ? At any rate, at least Bobby got out for a few years, and had some sense of enjoyment before his death.

Posted on 05/26/2009 at 3:38 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Man, this is easily the best comment section of any article I’ve ever done. Seriously, this is why online writing is so cool. That exchange is way more interesting, to me at least, than the main article.

Posted on 05/26/2009 at 6:23 PM

noname says:

No, this is not Katdancer.  I don’t even know her but I know of her.  You’re wrong about the conspiracy.  There were many things, such as 2 years ago they beat the shit out of him ... well another inmate did it while a guard watched.  Since you know Bobby “inside” you know that people inside like him.  Also, he was left paralyzed by this but should probably have been dead..he was stabbed multiple times.  Anyway, it’s over now.  I realize you know him because you’re right about his honor and his word.  He wasn’t all bad.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 6:41 AM

Noname says:

Matt, Real articles about real life are good.  In this particular case, we will never resolve the “who dunnit” of Aronow.  We do know a few things like the impact that one man (Aronow) had on a presidency (Bush sr) and his “phony war on drugs” to his own demise.  But we’ll never know the truth.  If the “powers that be” want the world to believe it’s dead and burried with Robert “Bobby” Samuel Young so be it.  Finally Bobby is at peace.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 6:52 AM

michael says:

I was released from prison about two years ago, so I was not privy to information within the prison system in regards to Bobby getting hurt and paralyzed. This was unfortunate. Again, nobody is doubting your viewpoint, though you must realize that in a high-security penn, attacks on inmates from other inmates happens regularly. And if two prisoners are having a death fight, any and all prison guards will call for back up before they jump in. Secondly, its sad to say, that race in prison is a major factor. In many cases if a black prisoner is winning in a fight against a white one, and the guard on watch is black, he’ll let the altercation go on a length of time before he sounds the alarm.
Regardless of this, yes corrupt powers have the abililty put anybody in jail for as long as they desire, but as far as the outside world pulling strings within the prison system - like placing a hit on an inmate - not likely. They look at it like sticking someone in prison for life is like killing them - they don’t lose any sleep.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 8:34 AM

Noname says:

Locked in a room (only the three of them - 2 inmates and a guard) while the altercation is in progress?  I want my tax dollars back if this is how we treat anyone even prisoners.  As far as a “hit” goes….lets just see if the movie ever comes out.  My bets are that it doesnt.  Too many “elite” would be exposed.  I don’t care either way, really.  Bobby came into the life of my family like a bad storm, stirred up the shit and went to prison and now dead.  I’m just saying .... he’s human too.  Katdancer was a real pain in the ass to my sister (his second wife) too…..her name is Kathy.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 8:44 AM

noname says:

It ain’t about you…..

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 9:04 AM

noname says:

No.  It’s about the corruption.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 9:32 AM

noname says:

No, its about you misdirecting everybody for your own selfish reasons. You don’t even belong in this discussion.
It is what it is - you set up Bobby and put him back in jail. Figuratively speaking - you killed Bobby.
You weak piece of shit.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 10:21 AM

Noname says:

I don’t really know what you’re talking about.  Bobby put himself back in jail by doing what he did to violate his parole.  Nobody set him up.  You’re the weak piece of shit, really.  Why dont you use your own handle?  Why do you have to use mine?  I just don’t think it’s right that anybody should be treated the way he was at the end.  No matter if they are in prison.

Posted on 05/27/2009 at 4:02 PM

John Panzavecchia says:

This shit burns me up. You people talk about this “Bobby” like he was an honorable guy??? WTF!!! He gets out of Cuba because of that moron Jesse Jackson then has some business with my father “Big Red”. Apparently there was some plan to screw my dad so like a coward he kills him from behind while he was in a chair, (from what I heard) then steals his rolex, (A known fact, he was arrested wearing it. Where is the “honor” in that? He was fucking thug with no respect whatsoever. I am so glad I just found out tonight that he had gotten out before. I have a life and family now, but back then I would have flown back to check in on him. I guess I am better for it. My father knew you live by the sword you die by it but saying someone like Bobby Young lived by word and honor sounds like some hollywood movie crap to me. And yes, If I get down that way again I will find his grave and piss on it!

Posted on 07/21/2009 at 1:39 AM

Nell says:

Wow - I never read comments but these read like a story ready to be written.  I have always been fascinated by the Aronow story.  My father knew him way back in the day and he had him make a custom Donzi for him.  But nothing in any of the stories I have read match this comment exchange.  For every theory the reality is out there -

Posted on 08/04/2009 at 8:04 AM

Monrad says:

Are you still investigating this case?

Posted on 08/20/2009 at 8:16 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I am not. I can’t speak for anyone else.

Posted on 08/21/2009 at 10:41 PM

Grant Allen says:

Why is there nothing on Bing Goode. He was Patty Lezaca’s boy friend and Pres. of Cigarette. Where did he go?

Posted on 08/27/2009 at 1:45 PM

Monrad says:

So then it’s pretty much accepted as to who killed Aronow?

Posted on 08/28/2009 at 8:12 AM

Monrad says:

Second question is it true that Chris Parciello is back on the Miami Beach scene?

Posted on 08/28/2009 at 8:14 AM

Grant Allen says:

Ben ” Barry” Kramer is in the Terre Haute, In. USP Maxium level prision, serving a life sentance. You can find him on BOP.GOV inmate locator.

Posted on 08/28/2009 at 9:08 AM

Nell says:

Chris Paciello is in Hollywood, CA last I heard.

Posted on 08/28/2009 at 10:55 AM

Monrad says:

I’m interested in knowing if he’s back in the club business in Hollywood.

Posted on 08/31/2009 at 7:38 AM

Nell says:

Restaurant business

Posted on 09/03/2009 at 7:44 PM

andrew says:

Matt great article, never heard about Aronow until i went to the lake of the ozarks and seen all the donzi boats . I went to my friend who works in the boat business and asked him about donzi and he told me the story behind aronow so i am the type of person who likes to look into it for my self and i think these comments from all these people are part of this real story. I would love to see this movie if it ever comes out. But reading about the bush family ties to Aronow I dont think it will ever happen.  Sad

Posted on 09/12/2009 at 2:09 PM

John Panzavecchia says:

Bush family ties only make it MORE likely for a movie to come out. Liberals who run hollywood will take any chance they can get to pop a shot at one of the Bush family. The only thing that may stop the project is if they don’t think there is enough $$$ in it.

Posted on 09/12/2009 at 3:46 PM

Richie Rich says:

Amazing how small the world is…i knew Ben Kramer as well…did time with him at FCI Miami back in the 70’s.Stashed some weed for him as he was untouchable there. he could get ganja, which he smoked voraciously, anyitme, even in the hole. I recall him as a little wiry haired rather ugly little jew with fluent spanish and sharp as a tack. one of his lawyers was a family friend, an ex FBi agent, and he related that Ben had more cash than he could imagine.

  He was an extraordinary smuggler and loved the ganja he brought in in massive loads. Money was no issue for ben kramer, and his fathers marriage to lansky’s relations didn’t hurt him or his Dad jack one bit as far as business went.

As an old Miami boy, born and raised there and on the waterfront for many years, and also knowing some of the aranow family ( son Mike, crippled at a young age, lived in the Palm Bat Towers, where I worked as a young man. Super guy…always felt terrible that Don was murdered, but the players in that game tolerated no obstacles to business or in other areas either.

  i imagine Bn Kramer, at whatever federal joint he is in,rolling a joint with his fingers stained brown from tar oozing from the ends, as they always were..wondering if he will ever again smell salt water. in a way I hope ben gets out and does not die in stir…he is a smart man and vastly clever, and whatever he may have done in the past he deserves respect.

Posted on 11/03/2009 at 6:55 PM

Grant Allen says:

As I recall Mike Aronow crashed a SHELBY GT 350 Don had bought him out on the Florida Turnpike at around 150 MPH. Story was that tire blew out and Mike lost control and flipped the car.

Posted on 11/03/2009 at 10:47 PM

Monrad says:

I know these guys I’m just trying to find out what happened to them

Posted on 11/03/2009 at 11:25 PM

Grant Allen says:


Posted on 11/18/2009 at 6:40 PM

Fountain Designer says:

Thanks for all the additional info via the comments.  I’m a former Fountain Powerboats designer and have always been intrigued by the Aronow story.

The link provided that implicated connections between Aronow and the Iran Contra Drug/Weapons trafficking is very interesting indeed.  This and some of the alleged connections between the Bush family and the JFK assassinations certainly has to get one thinking of the possibilities.

At my time at Fountain (founded by Reggie Fountain) the rumor around the plant was that Aronow had agreed to “glass in” special transducers or the like to allow boats sold to suspected drug runners to be tracked by the Fed’s.  The theory here is that once the drug lords got wind of this they had Aronow’s card pulled.

Question:  Anyone know if Jacoby is still in Cuba?  If so, his presence there may have actually kept him protected from getting whacked - he may be still able to answer some questions.

Thanks again for all the great info everyone!

Posted on 12/01/2009 at 1:55 PM

Grant Allen says:

Hey Fountain designer, I am the son of the Excalibur Dealer who was in the circle when Reggie bought his first 31 footer from Bill Farmer and Don Able. I heard Fountain was in Chapter 7 or did it go 13??

Posted on 12/01/2009 at 5:53 PM

Fountain Designer says:

Grant Allen… “Don Able” now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a looooong time.  I left Fountain back in the 90’s and at the time Reggie and Don Able were big buds.  He had Don Able (and his wife and dogs) employed to merely walk around the plant and stick their noses in everything.  What a pain.  They literally lived at the plant in their RV!

Didn’t Reggie purchase molds from Don Able to get Fountain started?

Yes, Fountain filed a couple months ago.  They purchased Baja and had the audacity to think you could move such a company (machinery, molds but not personnel) to NC and operate it in the Fountain plant.  They choked on it and went teets up.  Word is now that Hustler (NY?) is going to buy them (not sure if Baja will be spun off).

Well, if Don Able is still around it would be interesting to get his take on the ol’ Aronow story.

There was another engineer there who used to work at Lake X (Mercury/Mercruiser’s “secret” testing lake in FL).  I don’t want to share his name since he’s not a public figure but he has been associated with the inner workings of a lot of this stuff for many many years and might also be someone to speak to.

Grant Allen if you want to email me feel free - heathmunATyahooDOTcom

Posted on 12/02/2009 at 8:50 AM

Grant Allen says:

Don Able and Bill Farmer did sell Reggie the first molds. They were for the 31’ and Reggie called it the Executioner. Able and Farmer are still living in Fla. I talk to Don now and then and both via internet. I will email you.

Posted on 12/09/2009 at 8:17 AM

Grant Allen says:

Don and Bill still live in Fla. I talk with them now and then, mostly via interent. Charlie McCarthy has his ideas. Don got him started with the 24’X 8” Mold and they called it the Banana Boat Company. is Charlies address.  I will email you.

Posted on 12/09/2009 at 8:27 AM

Steve Yakes says:

I was reading comments 1 though 15 and then stopped to say let’s get it right, it was Robert Samuel Young, Jr.  He was named after his father Robert S. Young, Sr.  And, the family will never allow a movie to be made!

Posted on 12/10/2009 at 6:09 PM

John E. Panzavecchia says:

The family could not really stop it. If so the family members of John Wayne Gacey, Ted Bundy, Lee Harvey Oswald, etc. would have stopped movies from being made. I am John Edwin Panzavecchia after my father John Emanuel Panzavecchia who was killed by Bobby Young, and I could not stop a movie if I wanted to.

Posted on 12/10/2009 at 7:01 PM

Noname says:

Who is this guy?

Posted on 12/11/2009 at 12:28 AM

Noname says:

What’s this link have to do with anything?  And why are you using my handle?

Posted on 12/11/2009 at 7:45 AM

Skippy says:

I picked up on this post by accident. I didn’t know Pop found Don after he got shot up. I worked in his old plant and heard a lot of stuff.  “Chy Guy” was my supervisor. He told me Pop got the Feds to release his tool box, and Pop put him to work. He was the best rigger ever. He built a many of World Champions “Spirit of Amazon” to “Nuff Respect”

I do know that Uncle Sam didn’t like the fact Don sold out to Bennie. I heard about Don not returning the cash. Why would a guy that has loads of cash miss a couple thousand “Benjies”.

I remember going up to the “love Nest” in the East building at Don’s old plant. Amazing, a true work of art. I feel that all of the players went away and got out, even me. Let it lie as it is. Don is dead, Bennie went away and that is it. Whoever pulled Don’s card is probably Passed on or in “Lazy Days Lodge”

Interesting stuff though I want to see the movie.

Posted on 03/08/2010 at 6:07 PM

Noname says:

The truth is that Bobby always did pride himself as not being a rat which makes me believe Kramer is full of crap:

Posted on 03/24/2010 at 4:02 PM

John Panzavecchia says:

Rat or not I say good riddance.

Posted on 03/24/2010 at 6:43 PM

Noname says:

Why? Because one thug killed another and stole his rolex?  I say good riddance to all the thugs.  Him and all those he killed.  Aronow was a thug, too.  He just rubbed elbows with the bigger thugs and got away with it up to a point.  He was a “hero” because of the boat racing world.  But he was really just another thug like the rest of them.  You lie down with dogs, as Aronow did, you get fleas. 

“Not six months later, Young plotted a drug deal with John “Big Red” Panzavecchia, 39, a member of the “Dixie Mafia.” Panzavecchia ran guns. He kept newspaper clippings about unsolved murders in his house. At least one he had committed.

The drug deal went bad. Panzavecchia took a shot at Young’s car.

Read more:

Posted on 03/24/2010 at 7:04 PM

John Panzavecchia (I show my name) says:

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Even my father knew that. He always wanted me to avoid getting into his line of work, and I did steer clear of that whole lifestyle. What aggravates me is that some here think of Bobby as a honorable guy because he “did not rat”. At least no one knows if he ever did. So he did not rat, but he did try to screw someone over, and while he had his confidence, killed him from behind while he was asleep. That is a fact.

Posted on 03/25/2010 at 9:09 AM

Noname says:

He committed murder.  Would you call that “honorable” no matter who he killed?  WTF?  Just don’t go trying to pretend that your daddy didn’t try to kill him and that your daddy didn’t kill people because he’s just as much a thug with no honor as the rest of them.

Posted on 03/25/2010 at 9:29 AM

John Panzavecchia says:

I never said that. There was nothing honorable about the way either one of them lived. My dad did bad things as well, and there is no justifying them. That was my whole point. People should not honor someone who did those things just because they did not rat on someone else about it. BUT, if we are splitting hairs, if you are in that “business”, at least don’t cut the throats of the people you are working with. There are levels to everything.

Posted on 03/25/2010 at 9:45 AM

Noname says:

So what does that mean?  Would that sort of translate to “honor among thieves” but in this case thugs?  Do you realize how screwed up the statement you just made really is?  I do feel sorry for you because you were raised by one of these people so you probably just don’t know any better.  “At least don’t cut the throats of the people you are working with?”  How about leave the innocent alone and kill each other.  That’s my feeling.  One less thug.  Now two less thugs.

Posted on 03/25/2010 at 9:55 AM

John P says:

I was not raised by him. I lived with him for the year or so before his death. I also don’t think that he was innocent or honorable either, and never said that. He died because of how he chose to live his life. Even he would admit that he probably deserved to die for the things he had done. My only point is that Bobby was not an honorable guy for not being a rat. End of story.

Posted on 03/25/2010 at 10:08 AM

missing him says:

John, I understand what you are saying about Bobby, yes he is not honorable just because he didnt rat. He’s just that-NOT A RAT! However, since you obviously knew your father, I am sure that you can say that he was really not a BAD man, he was probably loving, honorable, respectful, funny etc to the people whom he loved…. Just like my uncle Bobby. It was unfortunate that I was only able to spend so little time with him since he was mostly in prison most of my life (and his). Even though he may have done bad things to make money and killed people who played in his lifestyle i will always remember him as the man that taught me how to drive, picked me up from school and took me to the hospital when a girl beat me up, hugged me all the time, made me laugh constantly and cried when my other uncle stole from me because it hurt him inside that my own uncle could do that to his neice. Robert young was great person to me and anyone else who was family or friends (not business partners). Im sure he was good to some of those partners too because he was obviously friends with them when he got out of prison. I guess people get whats coming to them no matter who you are. I am glad that i was at least able to have him in my life. John Im sure you have great memories with your dad and thats what you need to think about dont dwell on my Uncle. Even if he is dead now, i hate to think about where he is. You always say to someone when a person dies, they are in a better place and sadly i hate to think about where he is. You know what i mean.  My uncle had a heart too! That is not a rational thing to say that if you knew he was out that you would have paid him a visit, why open closed doors? let it go, it was between them. I understand that you were hurt that your dad was killed at all and mostly on the way it was done… that was between them not you and him or you and i. It was nice reading the posts from the people who served time with him, im sure you guys will never forget him

Posted on 05/16/2010 at 1:37 PM

missing him says:

Oh yea, Sara wasnt bobbys 2nd wife. im pretty sure she was his 5th.

Posted on 05/16/2010 at 1:53 PM

John Panzavecchia says:

To - Missing Him: I am over it now. Just reading all the crap strred up a lot of old memories in me. Like I said it is hard to be a hippocrite since I know ne did some pretty bad things as well. I guess it needs to stay where it is…. in the past. At least I live my life the way my dad wanted me to, which is far away from that whole lifestyle.


Posted on 05/16/2010 at 9:19 PM

JW Reed says:

The intrigue of all of this is never ending.  It goes back to my high school days in Miami where a classmates father was a federal judge who actually tipped off marijuana smugglers who were being watched by the DEA.

We were running small 23’ Formulas out to pick up packages and unloading at Kings Bay in Miami. I could not begin to tell you how many of these guys were all connected to the boating business in some way or another. Ironically, there were two main distributors (one in south Miami and one in north Miami) Aronow lived in south Miami (Gables) and the business was located up in north Miami. This was purely coincidental, but the leadership took great pains to keep us apart.

In any case some great memories here about the runs out to Andros and the thrill of bringing back all those bales without ever getting caught and nobody getting hurt…

Michael Aronow did in fact wreck that Shelby as stated above. There was another guy in the car with him named Stu (Stuey Fisher) that actually walked away from it.

Posted on 05/21/2010 at 9:49 AM

smugglers cove says:

no one ever brings up the fact that aronow built fast boats for smugglers, then faster boats for the gov’t, then faster boats for the smugglers, then faster boats for the smugglers- see the trend here- someone just got tired of having to pay a monthly fee to don for the faster of the boats, then it was rumored that with his arrangement with the gov’t, he would put tracking devices on the smugglers and get a payout from the gov’t for the bust when he tracked the boat from the bahamas or mother ships off-coast.  the 70’ and 80’ were fun and i knew don’s wife and they had their fingers iin every pie going in south florida (and that’s all i got to say about that !!)

Posted on 06/04/2010 at 12:23 PM

Honest cop says:

You guys never talked to the cop that actually arrested Bobby Young,at his home in suburban West palm beach,along with his female companion who was also arrested on Kidnapping warrants, Some cop was on AE lying about arresting him. He went without a struggle,and stayed locked up.He was more worried his female companion then himself. He was located with credible information not bullshit.

Posted on 06/12/2010 at 3:28 PM

cigman says:

I have read all the books about Don’s death and have been facinated by the whole story- I even went to “Thunderboat Row” back in 1997 to visit the very spot where all the action was.  My wife then could not beleive that I purchased a Cigarette boat in memory of him.  I don’t think anyone will ever know who pulled the card- BUT there is too much going on- I looked back at where I was on Feb 3 1987-  I was sitting in english class in 9th grade- I would have never guessed that day would be a big deal to me at that time- but today I still can’t imagine with todays technology they could not have found the “real” person behind the dark blue window of the lincoln-  The movie to come out- put it on the big screen- it will be a big hit no matter what- we love drama in the US- maybe Mr. Cameron should get his hand in it- Avatar just might be blown away- )  Happy Cigarette boat racing yall !!

Posted on 06/14/2010 at 9:38 PM

Grant Allen says:

1997?  1997? 9Th grade??? Listen young man, you would have to be born between 1930 and 1960 to have been through the REAL TIMES of Aronow and all of us living in So. Florida owning , driving, crashing, and partying on various DEEP VEE offshore boats. That life will never happen again in that fashion and that array of Thugs to Blue Bloods. I am glad you find it exciting and so did we. But like anything “GREAT”, it took blood, sweat and tears, and cash. If someone could gather all the TRUE stories of all the players in those days from Coral Gables, Old Cutler Bay Coconut Grove, Kings Bay, Key Biscayne. 188 St. to Jupiter, it would be a best seller for years. We all came within an inch of our lives on many a night and didn’t even realize it. Sometimes tragic but mostly great once in a life time moments.

Posted on 06/15/2010 at 6:57 AM

jw reed says:

Grant, well spoken….You touched all the places….It’s true there was a real diacotomy of individuals who knew, partied and mingled with the Aronow’s, Cary’s and others…..The times were unique like a window of time that will not be repeated. 

I would love to help write this up, but I could not capture enough of the detail on my own.  There is really so much and so many different people that played in the game back then.  I was one of the south miami boys and had little contact with the north miami guys at the time, but here’s a little tidbit to those of you in the know…...Remember Ed ‘mark em down’ Lane? If you do, then you could probably associate that NM circle with the SM boys I ran with…All our boats were Formulas and Cary’s….We ran across the straights at night through Caesars Creek and north through the Featherbeds at speeds that would scare the living crap out of most people. I will never regret any of these experiences as they taught me some valuable lessons about life….

We should try and write this book!  It would be a great read….

Posted on 06/15/2010 at 10:19 AM

Grant Allen says:

Amen JW. Yea, one of the Cary kids was buddies with a friend of mine (Butch Brickell) Never met Ed. I am a Key Rat of Key Biscayne. We ran that Fowey light (6 miles out) to Stiltsville, Cape Florida to Nixon’s house and across to Gables estates scene. Tahiti Beach at the circle… I know Caesars Creek. Got those two marker’s hard left than hard right. Sand bars on both side’s. Ocean Reef days running through there. Hell I ran aground twice off the Seaquarium just bar hoping at night. If you cut it to close to the sea wall headed for Bear Cut you’re done. I was running so fast on one night, and cut it to close.  When we came to a stop she was leaning on one side of the vee. Threw the girls sitting on the engine bulkhead bench on the floor.  We drove Formula’s, Excalibur’s and Checkmate’s. Let’s not forget hose crazy nights were not always in boats. hahaha I was a passenger in a 27 foot Excalibur in March of 1980 that hit the seawall just south of Dirty Nelly’s. Ft Laud. at 70 MPH. Very bad crash. Driver error. Cant say more than that. Nobody died but we were all really badly injured. Book would be fun. I told my Dad to write it when he turned 70. He said people would think it was fiction.

Posted on 06/15/2010 at 11:27 AM

cigman says:

Grant-  thanks for the words- Yeah- I wish I was just a little older and hung in that area back then- Im sure it would have been fun- many people out there would love to hear of the “secret stories” in the night- Yeah- life was a bit more simple and life on the edge had a different feel- I like the stories so far- keep them coming- )  my only story is a blown engine- how exiting to hear the roar die down to a sputter and watch smoke climb out from the hatch- there goes 20K- fun- fun- 
maybe one day we can get Bennie on here to tell of the Kramer stories and chime in-?? I hear the prision system is letting their hair down-)  or just bring in a chopper again and do round #2-

Posted on 06/15/2010 at 3:11 PM

jw reed says:

Grant, don’t know your age (i’m 59)but we may have some mutual acquaintances. the Rebozzo’s and O’Malleys lived out on the Key back then.  I knew Billy O at the time.

South Biscayne Bay was my stopping ground as I lived off Old Cutler and 144th.  My ex wife lived in Old Cutler Bay. As a matter of fact, when we were in high school, we drove our small runabout directly towards the Nixon compound until the SS would chase us off….

I could go on and on with the stories from back then….We had some remarkable times. Sank one of our Formulas 40 + miles offshore going to Andros.  Got picked out of the water by some guys heading north up to Bimini in a sport fish.  Probably the drunkest I’ve ever been that night in my life as I thought it was over.  Being in the water out there is pretty humbling to say the least. That last minute radio distress we got out probably saved our lives! 

We were making runs out to Andros every couple of weeks to pick up things that were dropped by airplane…Exhilarating work and paid well at the time…

Posted on 06/16/2010 at 9:56 AM

Grant Allen says:

I know Billy. Have not seen him since 82. I am 52. He was always flirting with my girlfriends back in High School. We both did very well in that department. John O’Malley and I worked together (legit) as Life Guards at the Royal Biscayne. The old ITT Sheraton….long gone… Ritz Carlton there now. I know that feeling you experienced when boat went down. I ran alot to Bimini (BIG GAME). Had impeller take a shit on port 454 and felt very alone out there. Cant imagine sinking.
Old man Rebozzo’s son was not in my crowd. Difference in age. Saw them last at America Concert at Miami Marine Stadium in 1974.

Posted on 06/16/2010 at 1:30 PM

Grant Allen says:

JW, the Feds Drove 27’ Magnum open fisherman deck’s (Aronow’s) out in front of Nixon’s house. They had 4 of them. 2 out and two in at all times. Hoists and Mechanic’s on duty 24/7. We skied in the mangroves next to KB Yacht Club and Nixon’s was right around the corner. Just for grins there was an unmarked piling that we would cut the inside of on purpose just to watch the bow of one of the magnum’s lift up and head in our direction. We would head out toward Vizcaya and they would settle back in to their constant patrol status at idle. Some of us Key Rats got to know the agent’s driving the Mag’s and when Nixon was not home (mostly in DC.) they would let them ski in front of the 3 house’s in the compound. Water was always glass there. Man, the memories are flowing…....

Posted on 06/16/2010 at 3:23 PM

jw reed says:

Grant…great stuff! My ex’s home was in Old Cutler Bay at the time and we just blasted across the bay towards the Nixon compound. You’re dead on…the minute you crossed that proverbial line in the water, the nose of those magnums would lift up and begin to charge…

Another favorite spot for us was out in Stiltsville.  We speared fish and caught plenty of lobster out there in the stretch between Biscayne Channel and Fowey Rocks Light.  Again, no end to the many stories from those days, including back when the Light at Fowey was actually manned by the Coasties.  We used to go out there and chat them up with cigarettes and beer.

Miami was quite different back then and is even more so today.  You still a boater?  I leaving for the Bahamas in a couple of weeks.  Big Game just re-opened last month after two years…Bimini is not the same either…

Posted on 06/17/2010 at 7:22 AM

donzi hornet says:

don’t forget the Richie Sutphen/Don Aronow ties from Jersey

Posted on 06/20/2010 at 11:05 AM

cigman says:

What ever happened to the APACHE 47 ?? What a kick butt boat

Posted on 06/20/2010 at 8:18 PM

X Davie Trainer says:

Well, I was just a kid when I “Hung” out with Ben. I remember at the age of 15, I saw Ben and a guy named Randy Lanier pull up in a yellow and black Porsche 935 slant nose. Randy was a race car driver.

So from 1983 - 1986 was an interesting time for a very young high school kid. As soon as I saw this car I knew I wanted to become friends with both of them. As time went on I realized what was going on with the both of them and how they “Got” their money.

Then in about 1986 Randy had told me that he needed to get big real quick and wanted to know how to do that. Now even at my young age of 14 I was muscular and looked older because of my muscularity and so when I was at the age of 18 when Randy and Ben got arrested - I looked pretty good for an 18 year old and drug free. So, at that time Randy asked how to get big quickly - I said that steroids is the only way that I knew of but had never took them myself but knew about them because I researched about them for possible use.

Of course now I know why he wanted to get big quickly. He had left a week later, after I took care of him. Then I found out that he got arrested in the last quarter of 1986.
And the rest is history…

I have more stories to tell but it would end up becoming a novel. Maybe that not a bad idea.
I remember it like it was yesterday.

Posted on 06/22/2010 at 12:17 AM

Grant Allen says:

Fort Apache Boats show up on eBay now and then. Kramer’s company…. Molds might be sitting behind some warehouse in Davie west of 95. Probably destoryed. Sutphen was a pretty good product. Powered right, they could hang in that 65 to 75 MPH range. good looking too. @ JW, Coasties where gone by my time. Used too stay up all night on Columbian Crude and then at 7 am ride out to Stilsville and rob Lobster out of Pots. Dive 25 feet all jacked up. Cant beleive I did’nt die of a heart attack on the spot. I used to know a bunch of girls that lived in Old Cutler Bay. (Ransom Everglades School) Dana West and crew ring a bell? Don Aronow had a house in there. Beautiful Villa way back on the bay. Joe Di Maria (The Collection, Bird Road) was a friend of my Dad’s. I worked for him a couple of years. He lived back in OCBay. Moved to Gables Estate’s. Hey JW, did you know Tico Moralas???

Posted on 06/22/2010 at 8:03 AM

donzi hornet says:

You’re missing a large part of the story…..Richie Sutphen/Don Aronow jersey conections from the OLD days in Jersey…..late 50’s , early 60’s

Posted on 06/22/2010 at 10:06 AM

redfromchicago says:

There were several men that saw the shooting. The Metro Dade police never followed up on their statements. The FBI told me that they the local police were on “the take” FACT: A FBI agent talked to them and said they were afraid to talk, for fear of death. FACT: A FBI agent, in 1989 found the Dark Blue Lincoln, it belonged to a man that lived in Fox Lake Illinois. He had loaned it to Frank Schweihs for several weeks, (Frank was known for using cars belonging to other people). The agent talked to the owner of the car, who said Frank Schweihs borrowed the car a week before the murder. The FBI traced the car, that had been sold to a new owner in Indiana. The FBI talked to the new owner in Indiana and took photo’s of it and showed several people that saw the shooting. The car was said, by the people that never were followed up by Metro Dade, to be the one that they saw. I saw all the photo’s and was questioned about Frank and Wayne Bock’s location at the time of the murder. Frank was a “person of interest” in the murder of Don. He not only was the alleged murderer of many people in the Chicago area, but was an alleged contract murder from New Jersey To the L.A. Schweihs sued the publisher of “Blue Thunder” and the authors of the book. The judge ruled in favor of the Publisher and author’s. As for one of the authors, he is in whiteness protection the last time I checked. If you Google up Frank Schweihs you can see the history of the murder’s that he was accused of, the first in 1962. On an undercover tape he asked me once, “Hey Red, do you want an Italian Ice Machine?” “I know this (greeseball) in New Jersey who will ship one to you no cost to you” I met Frank in 1972. When we were on video tape he made a statement in 1987, “you know my reputation precedes me son”.  And I answered, “yes Frank I know”.

When I asked questions to the agent that took the photo’s of the car, he told me, “I can’t talk about that”.  In my opinion there are many facts in the book, “Blue Thunder” that are true.  Political, local and federal, interests were involved. Jeb Bush was written about and his father was Vice President of the United States.  Later to be The President.  A former CIA section chief.  The whole thing reeks of corruption.  But I do have one question???  Why would someone get a sweetheart deal for claiming to murder Don Aronow and not get the death penalty?  WOW what a deal.  Now the case is closed.  Frank Scheihs is dead.  Who knows where the people that saw Aronow get murdered?  You think you have the answers?  I often wonder what Jeb Bush Knows, the former Governer if Florida. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Posted on 06/22/2010 at 2:38 PM

Monrad says:

Frank is dead and so is Wayne Bock I believe but there must be a few that know about what happened.  The one thing is certain is that if you lay down with dogs you wake up with fleas.

Posted on 06/28/2010 at 8:02 AM

Cigman says:

You know what is really crazy—Wayne Bock was a Pro-Football player in his time-

Posted on 07/02/2010 at 8:45 PM

Monrad says:

Yes he was I believe he played some for the then Chicago Cardinals.  He was associated for sometime with David Yaras

Posted on 07/03/2010 at 6:15 PM

cigman says:

I have not been to the famouns 188th st in about 8 years- anyone know what is there today?  I wonder what Don would think of the boats today- new designs- prices- speeds-

Posted on 07/03/2010 at 7:19 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Those of you who commented - and those who talked about a potential movie - we have another Aronow article that summarizes the comments in here and talks about an upcoming film…

Posted on 07/04/2010 at 8:57 PM

daily-reader says:

Kramers attorney mule just got busted trying to smuggle 52 grams of heroin to him in Terre Haute, In fed prison.

Posted on 09/03/2010 at 12:40 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Pretty sure that’s not true, daily-reader.

Posted on 09/06/2010 at 11:58 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hmmm, well, shows what I know. My apologies DR.

Posted on 09/12/2010 at 4:59 PM

Noname says:

It’ll never die, Matt.  Not until all the players go the way of Donzi…....Interesting and informative

Posted on 09/13/2010 at 7:00 AM

daily-reader says:

Thats okay, Matt . Drew happens to be from my home town. I found your article when they mention kramer I enjoyed your articles very much.

Posted on 09/13/2010 at 9:43 PM

Monrad says:

Hey redfromchicago you have obviously had some extensive dealings with operators in the “outfit” was wondering what you new about the “Jayne’s Gang” in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Posted on 09/14/2010 at 8:27 AM

Monrad says:

Okay all this talk is bringing back a number of memories…all mostly good.  I remember hanging out at a restaurant/bar called Mike Gordons.  You could dock your boat right up to the restaurant.  There was also a bar in the old Castaways Hotel in the north area of the beach that was frequented by Miami Dolphin players and some of the North Area Miami boys. Anyone remember those haunts?

Posted on 09/14/2010 at 10:51 AM

Lake Girl says:

Mikey it this you?  I’m Uncle Bobby’s niece.  I think I met you when I went to visit Uncle Bob with one of my friends. You sat with us until you had to leave.  He was in Coleman Prison at the time.  WOW, where did the time go. If this is you Mike, let me know.

Posted on 11/05/2010 at 4:30 PM

Madman says:

Blown away! Can’t believe the public talk. Born in 1952.  Used to be friends with Ben’s brother.  Anybody know what happened to him after the helicopter crash? They used to live in same neighborhood as Meyer in Hollywood. Friends with John Gordon, stripped 18 ft Donzi with bored out Holman Moody 289 and ate at Mikes almost everyday. Saw Don on 79th off of Little River often. Did security and had to deal with competitors more than legal. Worst disaster became biggest windfall. Still have the figures on paper.  Dont think you mean the father, Ed Lane, passed away years before, however, very tight with Phil, rip.  Great, Great family.  Ever use Star scopes and scanners for CG and feds in the 70’s?  Cylinders dropped at Cat Cay? Then to Key Largo and after it got boring right under their noses. What ever happened to Michael Cary?  Small world….Burt you out there?

Posted on 12/06/2010 at 5:58 PM

Madman says:

From a North Miami Bay Rat to the South Miami boys. JW, I feel like I must know you…......

Posted on 12/06/2010 at 6:36 PM

jw reed says:

Madman, you nailed it…..I was talking about Phil as Ed was his Dad.  We met a few times…You asked about Burt so I am assuming Sibley.

Posted on 12/08/2010 at 4:50 PM

jw reed says:

Monrad, when you say Castaways, you mean the Wreck Bar.  Remember Johnny Pachevas? He was the guy who ran the big karate school in North Miami and bounced at the Wreck. He was one tough sob…

Posted on 12/08/2010 at 5:22 PM

Monrad says:

That’s exactly it JW “The Wreck Bar”.  I do vaguely recall Pachevas and your right he was very effective…..

Posted on 12/08/2010 at 5:28 PM

FreshWater says:

Wow this is facinating stuff.  I grew up with boat magazine pics of Apaches and Donzis plastered on my bedroom walls.  We went to the Miami boat show in 89 and the scene and city was eye opening for a kid from Minnesota.  Thanks to those that are sharing the stories, great reading.

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 12:12 PM

MADMAN says:

JW, It’s been a long time and alot of great memories.  I didnt want to mention his name but would like to get in touch with Burt. That Cary was a sweet boat Any news about him or Pat L. or Micheal Cary?  Supposed to get a link for Ben Krammer Productions?  Movie I think? TF

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 2:49 PM

jw reed says:

Madman, sounds like we must know or at least met at some point.  You obviously know the same people.  How did you know Pat?

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 2:57 PM

MADMAN says:

Pachevas, Power house!  Best Marshal Arts training in my life with Ridgley Able, still in S.C. I think.

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 3:02 PM

MADMAN says:

Here is one for all you thirsty listeners.  Just got back from Bogota to find out Phil set up a rendevouz with a Jamaican shrimper.  Waited 2 to 3 days in Hollywood for his arrival.  Late at night I hear the deep rumble of diesels only to look out the window at the dock with my eyes climbing upward to to see the Jamaican trawler itself with it’s Jamaican flag pulling up.  Phil never found them.  The Captain said “If the tide was higher I would have ripped the top off under that bridge, we couldnt wait out there any longer!”  Well then the crew comes in the house. The mechanic on the boat was missing a hand and the Captain was kissing his ass up and down for constanly fixing the engines. Another guy stares at me while shoving a pistol in the seat of a chair in the den.  We were only supposed to get part of this load and now the whole thing is in our laps.  Well now the bucket brigade starts through the sreened in pool through the den into the 2 car garage, bails staked like bricks.  Just enough room for a van to squeeze in marked “Robert King High Camp For The Mentally Retarded”  (before the kind terminology “special” or “challanged”). Anyway, all of a sudden “Stien” who had money in this, starts running around the house shutting off lights. I asked him whats the matter and he says there is a cop outside with a flash light.  Yep sure as shit, so Im chasing Sient aroung the house turning the lights back on and I turn UP the music so it looks like a party.  Well I had to grab Stien and put my finger in his face and talked the language he only knew.  “If you don’t do what I say you are going to loose this load.”  So I look out the window, the cop with the flashlight in the lot next store shining the light on the deck of the

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 3:45 PM

jw reed says:

Madman, I was in Bogota in 70 working with one of Phil’s guys down there.  Did you know Nano?

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 4:02 PM

Grant Allen says:

Geez, MADMAN, you last sentance hit a patch of ice. WTF happened next?

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 4:16 PM

MADMAN says:

deck of the shrimper.  A bail on the deck and a crew member feet away just behind a waist high wall.  But the cop turns and goes back to his car and pulls away. Now we think the cavalry is about to arrive.  Sooooo. we send out the van EMPTY without incident.  Well we are busy till dawn. Sweap up 5 lbs.  Not over….next morning stormy weather breaks the trawler free, with it’s Jamaican flag and water line painted obviously to deceive, and gets stuck in the sea wall.  Coast Guard Auxilery comes buy to offer help.  No thanks…..Several weeks later two treasury agents come by the house….Sorry, I have to respect someones privacy here and also no statute of lim.
P.S. “Stien” was part of the disaster I mentioned earlier that turned into our biggest windfall.  We fronted “Stien” a load to take to New York in a DC 3 full only to get busted upon landing in a field. Remember how Dolphin games were a perfect time to be active?  But thats another story…..

Seperate mission JW…stayed with a guy whose father in the UN.  Diplamatico, get it….well thats anoother story…..

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 4:36 PM

Grant Allen says:

I got a story about Great Harbor Cay that started at port everglades ended up in Boynton Beach Inlet.
No casualties but alot of “HOLY SHIT! DID THAT JUST REALLY HAPPEN?” And “HOLY SHIT” HERE THEN COME AGAIN! Ending in a quite 6AM ride back down ICW to spot off Las Olas.
I think I’ll save it for the scrip writer’s.

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 5:08 PM

MADMAN says:

Grant, this goes way back before Bush. Where do you think the Secret Service got their gofast boats to guard Nixon’s southern White House.  Rebozzo was his neighbor. CIA involved with Aronow? If Meltzer digs enough everyone is going to find out who really killed John Kennedy. 
H. Hunt went to my church.  He knew Liddy and the Cubans.  The same Cubans that planned…....?

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 10:26 PM

GA. says:

MM. Way back before Bush. Blue thunder was a almost 2 decades after this subject timeline.
I would think Gordy is on a sworn affidavit of silence for the rest of his life.

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 10:36 PM

Cigman says:

I just got finished wishing Benny a Merry Christmas Card-  I sent him an old piece of the Apache Warpath debris we collected from a 1987 race and near crash.  I wonder if they will allow that on the cell walls as “Art” or learning material?  I miss Don- Benny- Jerry J- Thunderboat Alley—Where did the 80’s go? Those were some good times—) 
Yeah-  that private investigator is still on the case- I still think a “few” people know what really happened and yes - Gordy very well could be one of them-)  good reads

Posted on 12/09/2010 at 10:59 PM

MADMAN says:

Aronow simply knew too much and with playing both sides he got squashed. Nobodys gonna risk a murder charge over a woman or just to punish someone.  It’s all about the money.

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 7:22 AM

jw reed says:

To Madmans point on 107 post, those secret service boats were Magnum 27’s…I think Don started that company….LOL

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 10:16 AM

MADMAN says:

Another general comment. My people knew Ben when he was at S. Broward and watched him grow.  I’m not going to make excuses but we all know when you get cracked you double your efforts to pay your bills.  Therefore, in a way, you can blame the government for driving this whole thing.  When you look at all the players, you know how the system works, with all the corruption from the tremendous amout of money involved, you have to look at the Feds. I may be pulling stuff up decades before Blue Thunder but Aronow, and for that matter Ben, could of very well known more than some very powerful people were comfortable with. 

JW, Phil and I were in Tampa and got cylinders from Burt through Pat.  Pat eventually got sqweezed out because we started taking the whole load and Phil became partners with Burt.  Thats why I said earlier, “I had to worry more about our competitors more than the law”.  Pat and his people tried to rip us off all the time as he knew our m.o.  Would love to have breakfast with you. Although it is nice to share these adventures you have to feel somewhat uncomfortable talking about this stuff in public.  It goes against all that I contributed back in the day making everyone feel somewhat safe.  This stuff is still alive with “Gordy” still kickin around and a PI still on it and you don’t want to piss off Ben.  I still carry my little friend around everywhere I go without this shit, I dont want my card pulled too.

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 10:25 AM

jw reed says:

Madman, I hear what your saying…..Interestingly enough, Pat claimed he was being ripped off and I know for fact that he was.  On two occasions we had B&E’s that relieved us of a large quantity. Very few people knew where these houses were located due to the very nature of the business, but I can tell you it did happen.

We had theories as to who may have done this, but could never prove it….Prior to the second incident, we took a big hit from someone we knew and trusted and it resulted in a serious setback.

Breakfast is a good idea…..we should do this..

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 10:36 AM

GA says:

JW, Don started Formula, Magnum Marine, Cigarette, Donzi, (the name the girls called him) “Donzi baby”,
and Squadron, boat companies. He sold Charlie McCarthy a mold to a 24’X8’ and Charlie started racing and building “The Banana Boat” Co. The Cary’s and Richard Bertram were friend’s of Don’s and a large influence on him pioneering the Deep Vee “Go Fast” boat concept. Yep Yep Yep. MM. That was the thought of the day back then. Fear of old business connection’s robbing you or snitching more than if the Federales were watching. Probably still is..Lol.

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 11:42 AM

jw reed says:

GA, I am fully aware of it….My comment above was purely sarcastic..Sorry.

Charlie McCarthy was one of Don’s favorites. I knew the Cary’s as well and Dick Bertram is another legend. One of my closest friends father was head of engineering for Bertram for over 20 years.

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 11:59 AM

GA says:

Jw, yea sorry, no disrespect. I kinda went Huh? JW, knew that. Duh? I misssed it.

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 12:14 PM

jw reed says:

GA, not a problem….it’s really pretty amazing that we have come together on this site like we have.  MM you have to be loving this!

There is so much depth in characters involved in Don’s life and on those that were on the edge of it…..Lot’s of good stuff being shared here…

Posted on 12/10/2010 at 12:33 PM

MM says:

JW, GA, CM Hawks Cay FPC 1-28

Posted on 12/11/2010 at 5:50 AM

JW says:

MM ?  Not getting this one….How about WYU 6114…

Posted on 12/12/2010 at 8:42 AM

MM says:

Cig, JW, GA Ever do the poker runs? Dont want to use this medium for our personal chat. Switch to another? Hawks Cay weekend 28th, 29th, 30th Florida Power Boat Club.

Posted on 12/12/2010 at 1:43 PM

Cigman says:

I live in MD and only do the one here on the Chesapeake.  I wish I was in Fla for those-

Posted on 12/12/2010 at 1:53 PM

GA says:

I live in Carolina MM. Hey Cig, I have run 2 Poker Runs out of Richmond, Va. Big local Offshore goings on there.Just Goggle. You dont have to live in Fla.

Posted on 12/12/2010 at 2:42 PM

GA says:

Thanks anyway MM. Sounds like a beautiful ride.

Posted on 12/12/2010 at 2:46 PM

MM says:

Cig,would like to hear about Mark. JW, we have to get in touch?  GA…keep thinking two decades way back before Bush, LOL, Its been a pleasure, good luck and stay safe. Feel like a bunch of old hens but its been real…

Posted on 12/12/2010 at 3:34 PM

MM says:

Want to clarify some pionts made earlier before I bail out.  I didn’t mean to paint a picture of a Jamacain mechanic running around the house with a bloody stump.  He was a one handed Jamacain mechanic, go figure, that had lost his hand some years prior.
Also, “way before Bush”. Maybe it’s safer to spill all this out. It has been documented, through wire taps, that a group of Cubans planned the assasination of JFK in Miami, but Kennedy went to Dallas instead.  It’s not to much of a stretch to think that those Cubans were the same or at least knew the Cubans (it’s a small world in South Florida, look at this forum) that were involved with Liddy who worked for Nixon.  Aronow worked with Nixon’s Secret Service, who know more than a room full of Presidents. Those black Magnums were so intimidating.  The Blue Thunder boats, I think, were weighted down Cats that were ineffective in the rough ocean.  I believe were nothing more than publicity for Bush.
Who benefited from the death of JFK?  The Louisiana and Tampa Crew?  Rebozzo was Nixon’s neighbor.  The Republican Party, Nixon ran against Kennedy and was the first Republican in the White House after JFK’s death. The CIA?  Aronow, “Gordy” and CIA all seem to be linked. There are still 55,000 pages of classified documents that haven’t been disclosed yet.
Did Aronow know something?  Its funny the two biggest players in South Florida are out of the picture. One murdered and the other blamed for it. You can marinate on that for awhile.

    As for the romantic life.  We should tell it’s not all racing the sunrise and the tide across the flats, not daring to let off the throttle of your V hull for fear of running aground.  Its also out in the stormy Gulfstrem in a pitch black moonless overcast cold wind trying to dicide whether to ride up and down the insanely mountainous waves and risk getting swamped or to pick up speed and risk cracking the fiberglass hull completely in half.  The horrendous injuries that can’t be reported.  Mosquito infested canopyed mangrove channels.  Bullits flying over your head as you lay in sand flie infested beach grass daring not to move.  God bless all of us that are still alive!

Posted on 12/13/2010 at 8:52 AM

jw says:

Gents, the last paragraph from MM’s blog defines the reality of what some of us knew all too well.

As I reflect on these memories, I can remember being scared to death on more than one occasion.  Countless hours of back breaking work hauling 100 pound bales across a barren island infested with sand fleas and mosquitos. Looking for our boat well offshore late one night in the pitch black when the masthead light had failed. Lot’s of exhilirating times and excitement culminated with fear and exhaustion. Over now, but the memories remain.

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Posted on 12/13/2010 at 10:10 AM

MM says:

Ever watch your bales wash up on shore on the 6 o’clock news?
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Posted on 12/13/2010 at 11:26 AM


Monrad, you asked about my dealings with the “outfit”? I knew them all from LA to Las Vegas to Kansas City, to Phonex to New Orleans and Tanpa, in all 72 made guys. I know this, the tapes I made for the FBI will never be seen by anyone in full, some of the parts of them were shown in court. As far as Jayne goes, back in the 60’s George, then I saw Sy for the first time, I drove several times to meet with Frank SR. the brains of the family.

Posted on 01/14/2011 at 1:02 AM

Katie says:

Don Aronow was a great man

Posted on 03/28/2011 at 7:52 AM

MM says:

Ben Kramer.released from prison?

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 6:52 AM

Monrad says:

No I don’t believe Kramer will ever get out of prison.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 10:06 AM

MM says:

Recently heard some family reunited in Tennessee, probably another rumor….anyone in touch with him? Still looking for Portnoy and Mark…

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 10:48 AM

MM says:

Monrad…maybe you can shed some light.  Two documentaries, Thunderman has George Morales (who I believe knows) and Miami Drug Cartel Documentary his name is Fernandez???? SAME GUY!  Testified Iran/Contra…

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 11:01 AM

Red says:

Bejamin Kramer inmate number #32655004 is still in prison. I was just told that he was in for life and the only way he would not be on the inmate locater is if he was dead.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 11:03 AM

Red says:

Local Attorney Faces Drug Charges
Posted: Tuesday, August 31st

  MARION—A long-time attorney needs representation himself. Robert Drew is accused of smuggling drugs into a federal prison.

Robert Drew is now in custody at an Indiana jail. Drew, 68, of Marion, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, and intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Officials say they found a package of marijuana and 52 grams of heroin taped to his body. They claim Drew was headed to a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, this past Saturday to deliver the drugs.

Investigators believe this is not the first time Drew has tried this. In fact, they believe Drew has successfully transferred illegal drugs to inmates in Terre Haute on at least three or four occasions.

Drew has represented a lot of high profile clients since he moved to Marion in 1976. The private attorney is originally from Maine, but spent most of his career wearing different professional hats in southern Illinois. He was appointed as a judge to the First Judicial Circuit on August 1, 1995. He lost the seat following the 1996 election. Drew also held posts within the Williamson County Democratic Party, in addition to his private practice.

Drew told police in Vigo County, Indiana, this past weekend that he was delivering marijuana and heroin to a federal inmate because he and his family had been threatened. That inmate is Benjamin Kramer, a king pin in a 1980s drug ring that trafficked several tons of marijuana into the U.S. through shipping ports, netting Kramer more than $60 million.

Before an Indiana judge Monday, Drew said he hid the drugs in his Mercedes, and drove to Evansville with his wife, where they spent the night at a casino. He then drove to Terre Haute Saturday morning, and stopped at a gas station so he could tape the drugs to his body.

He hid the 52 grams of heroin in two condoms. Drew said other packages had been mailed to him in the past. He then smuggled those drugs into the prison, following orders he received from anonymous callers.

Drew’s colleagues in Williamson County are not commenting on his arrest, or the charges against him.

Drew faces state charges in Indiana right now. A spokesperson for the U.S. District Court in Indiana says federal prosecutors have received details about the case. However, that person would not confirm whether they would transfer it to federal court yet.

Drew told News 3 recently he is retired, but still representing a few clients in ongoing court cases.

By: Jeff Stensland
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Posted on 05/26/2011 at 11:16 AM

Red says:

Who benefited from the death of JFK?  Jimmy Hofa, the Chicago outfit, the CIA, and the list goes on Vice president Johnson, BB Robso, Trafficana from New Orleans, arms dealers from New England. Nixon, Bush and all other’s from the CIA. Kennedy wanted to pull out of Viet Nam. He wanted To disband the CIA. Too many people were getting rich off of the CIA and the games they played. A book is comming out about how and why it happened Oswald was just a CIA patsy, all he ever did was shoot a Dallas Police officer who was trying to kill him. While he was waiting for help from the CIA he was murdered. The shot that killed Kennedy came from a man that is still alive. He was 21 when he did it, before that he was a snipper in Laos. As far as “The Dixie Mafa” they rode on the tails of the Mafa from Buffalo New York and several other New york family’s. But who cares? There won’t be any trials, the big fish died or were murdered. The smal fish went to jail all for greed, or murdered each other. Cuba promised that the mob could have their Cassino’s back with Kennedy gone. Everyone was promised something by the CIA and they all got nothing, however the CIA is intact. And that was their goal, the rest is window dressing.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 11:51 AM

MM says:

On the money Red.  Trafficante, Marcello, Morales, you know how many Iran Contra players disappeared the same time Aronow was hit?

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 12:11 PM

Red says:

Yep I sure do, it was a wll payed out plan, and it worked. I specialize in the closing the case on murder. We don’t find many to prosecute.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 12:49 PM

MM says:

I was working when Ben was selling Lids on Hollywood Beach.  If he followed through on everything that came out of his mouth he would have been gone long before. What a perfect patsy…No one ever mentions he is related to Meyer’s wife and who helped Don when he fled New Jersey…..Meyer.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 1:06 PM

MM says:

Cigman, any thoughts on 132 ?  Talk to him lately?

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 1:27 PM

Monrad says:

There have been rumors about a Rey or Ray Fernandez possibly being involved but it’s mostly rumor. 
Regarding the Lansky rumors helping Aronow that’s a strong possibility.  There were rumors saying that Alvin Malnik was involved as well.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 2:11 PM

Red says:

Lansky was always involved from day 1 the CIA needed him.

Posted on 05/26/2011 at 11:56 PM

AH says:

Read the book ,Mr. New Orleans,.....All the chatter & info here is interesting. Some of these theorys in the book . Ya’ll read and post comments.

Posted on 07/27/2011 at 11:05 PM

wouldntulike2kno says:

has anyone heard of a marijuana smuggling boat called the jemara im not sure how to spell it but i know it existed

Posted on 09/01/2011 at 2:38 PM

Annonimous says:

Did anyone know for what his high-speed boats were being used for? Traffic of marihuana. So we know why he was likked

Posted on 09/11/2011 at 6:41 PM

jw reed says:

They were used for many reasons; including smuggling….Most everyone knew this..

Posted on 09/16/2011 at 9:21 AM

Monrad says:

I believe that may have been the primary motive behind the killing…

Posted on 09/16/2011 at 9:30 AM

Mike Thaler says:

Just came across this and brings back alot of memories. I worked as a mechanic for fort apache. I was there when Aronow got shot infront of apache landing. and when Apache was shut down by the DEA. I will never forget seeing Aronow laying in the middle of the street. I have lost track of everyone over the years and have wondered where they are now.

Posted on 10/16/2011 at 9:19 PM

RED says:

Mike, I never will forget and I didn’t work for him.  But I do have the police photo’s of him laying there, and several other’s of the scene, including a telephone booth.

Posted on 10/16/2011 at 10:05 PM

Cigman says:

That must have been quite a day— I visted the very spot back in 1991—- what is being built there now on the alley? I have not been back since- what a place

Posted on 10/17/2011 at 11:14 AM

Monrad says:

He seems to have been involved in some rather shady dealings…..

Posted on 11/08/2011 at 7:56 PM

GA says:

WTF!! Hey,  this is the third planet from the sun. Go back to where you came from. Get off our site. This is holy ground to most of us poster’s and it is dedicated with respect to all those dead or alive who have come together here or back in the day. Most of us are ether interested or somehow linked to the great Don “DONZI Aronow. Let’s keep it that way. If you don’t like it,    ROLL the F OUT !!

Posted on 11/08/2011 at 8:22 PM

Jeff says:

I Remember the bails washing up on soldiers key and kb beaches
In the 80’s, It seems like a lot of folks ended up in the car business, real estate business or Harley Davidson dealers.

Posted on 12/30/2011 at 11:03 PM

thomasam says:

HEY Grant this may not be completely reliable. (Due to minor memory lapse) within the 2or3 years some info i stumbled onto is to the effect of Apache. Performance. Boats was fairly recently owned by Bobby S. APACHE MARINE was purchased. By some dude. THAD, I. Can’t remember his last name . Supposedly. THAD has the original 41 mold. I think i read that he may have bought it from M Mc. Bobby S. also builds Chief marine engines. I’m pretty sure i could dig this stuff up again if i had to. I know i got some of this info off OSO forums

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 1:50 PM

thomasam says:

Are you the MM that if i remember correctly now owns. DONZI

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 2:21 PM

thomasam says:

Hey cigman,you probably already know by now.  Considering i can’t figure out the year on your post, inquiring about what’s been built on thunderboat alley. Mostly rezoned residential, mostly canal front condos. Three to five story complexes. I think I’ve seen some fairly recently at prices under a 100k . I’m not sure but there’s a big marina there that may be part of the old Apache compound.

Posted on 02/03/2012 at 6:32 AM

thomasam says:

Wayne Bock might actually still be alive. Apparently he always kept up his physical /exercise routine, and he’s77 or78 in Leesburg Fla.  As of about 12/18/2011

Posted on 02/03/2012 at 6:59 AM

Pooper2 says:

Tico Morales??  Had a huge crush on him in 7th grade…Palmetto Jr. High WTF?
Too many people on this page that I know…  Lots of players and people that really know the answers

Posted on 06/02/2012 at 9:38 PM

UGH says:

Im Guessing Taylor has been watching too much Chicago Mob Wives..UGH..Defamation law suit in order…Obviously a reference to Taylor Street or they are a stripper.

Posted on 08/01/2012 at 12:10 AM

GA says:

Hey pooper2, I have not seen Tico in 25 years. Saw his little sister about 20 ago.
Did you ever get to know him? I went to Oxford academy with him.
During the Brain Salad Surgery years..

Posted on 08/01/2012 at 4:54 PM

jw says:

Bobby Saccenti bought what was left of Apache back in the mid to late 90’s.  I went up to the plant and he had a 36’ and a 40 or 41’ under construction.  Not sure about the size, but he told me thinsg were really slow and they were struggling

Posted on 08/06/2012 at 9:09 AM

Thomasam / Arodontknow says:

Is that JWREED,isn’t.Bobby S doing Chief engines,and rigging currently?

Posted on 08/06/2012 at 12:23 PM

Thomasam/Arodontknow says:

Hey Matt are you ever going to post any details from the BK letter. A simple yes no or maybe. I’m not trying to. be a pain in the ass ,but it’s not the first time I’ve asked.Just starting to feel like the BK letter post was a topic motivator tool, but that’s just my opinion.

Posted on 08/06/2012 at 12:49 PM

Thomasam/Arodontknow says:

You probably already know (JWREED) , but I think Bobby S pops in over at Serious Offshore, to settle disputes / rumors. I think they are trying to get Bobby on as a tech writer / mod.(I guess so!)

Posted on 08/06/2012 at 1:10 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Honestly I never read the letter. I was addressed to someone else so I never opened it and I never asked her what it said. So who knows.

Posted on 08/06/2012 at 2:44 PM

jw reed says:

T/A….I have not spoken to Bobby in years and have basically lost touch with him.  When I visited the Apache plant he had acquired, I got the impression that I was basically looking at a carcass of what had been something truly special.

That said, I would always favor the Cig over the Apache for pure looks and legacy.  Both great boats and Don would be amazed to see the success that Cigarette has achieved over the years even after his passing.

Posted on 08/07/2012 at 10:11 AM

jw reed says:

Hey Pooper, did you go to Palmetto Senior?  If so, we may know each other as well.

Posted on 08/07/2012 at 10:14 AM

Thomasam / Arodontknow says:

Matt,  well that explains that,and I guess it also proves I’m ignorant. I never did the math / connected the dots well enough to consider the fact that you stated the letter was not addressed to you, and that it was to be delivered. My apologies, for the semi -blatant insinuations. I also believe the last time I asked about the letter, it was in a different topic (off topic)and I simply. never went back to look for a reply.

Posted on 08/08/2012 at 6:32 AM

Pooper2 says:

Hey jw…..I moved to Pompano. ...that’s where I met Bob Young and later on..Ben Kramer (in Hollywood) One of my friends was married to Bob. He was a creature feature…but was always nice to me luckily. I only went to PJH in ‘68 and ‘69. I used to live right behind the Sunniland Shopping Center. My Uncle used to take me sailing in the bay on weekends. I even caught part of the infamous Doors concert at Dinner Key. I didn’t really know what was happening, my Uncle made me do all the work on the boat. I prefer motors…...blow boats were way too much work!

Posted on 08/08/2012 at 2:45 PM

richie says:

I grew up in NMB
road the dirt mounds of the newly developed Aventure Mall when it was being created
grew up knowing all the drug dealers from the speed boat days
knew matt’s girlfriend back in the 90’s
she gave the signed copy of “speed kills”
new a few others that got indicted with Ben
one of the best explanations of why killing him was explained like this:

aronow truly brilliant but not very nice
how many times did he sell a company that did not include a “non compete clause” and he immediately went and competed directly? Aronow liked the power feeling of sleeping with associate’s wives (why do you think he was shot in the groin?) lastly Aronow thought he was smarter than anyone
yes, sold drug dealers boats
but who knew that he was installing a new technology that was never heard of back then the new technology was called a GPS tracker

Posted on 09/03/2012 at 10:11 PM

Red says:

@ thoasam   Your right Wayne Bock is alive.  Someone asked about the “Jayne Gang?”  Uea, I knew a few Jaynes, the first one I met was George.  Years Later it was Silas, Frank Sr.  Joe LaPlaca and the whole crew that made attempts on Georges life.

Posted on 09/03/2012 at 11:49 PM

Robbie Dobbie says:

Bobby Young was a rat. He did get out of prison in 1999 and was arrested again in October of 2001.  I was with him a week before he died. I knew him more than I wanted to.

Posted on 10/14/2012 at 12:26 AM

Thomasam/Arodontknow says:

@Red, My father always told me,crime doesnt pay   unless youre really good at it.

I personally have no ill will towards WB he obviosly takes good care of himself.
I have no choice ,but to respect that.

Posted on 10/14/2012 at 10:10 AM

slim says:

Does anyone know what Booby Young died of?

Posted on 10/22/2012 at 2:53 PM

JW reed says:

Richie, I want to clarify your comment about the GPS installs.. Are you saying Don installed them secretly on boats to unknown buyers?

I find this hard to believe..

Posted on 10/28/2012 at 6:37 PM

JW Reed says:

Anyone hear of any connection to John Flynn?  His name was mentioned during the investigation early on.

Posted on 11/16/2012 at 3:57 PM

Cocaine Cowboy says:

Jon Roberts had the Arrnows killed because he disrespected him.

Posted on 12/08/2012 at 4:57 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

Does anyone in the post remember a person named Eugene Hicks? He purchased boats from Thomas in the 1980’s?

Posted on 12/27/2012 at 3:29 PM

anonymous says:

I have been told by someone that they killed Aronow and Bobby Young did not.  I do not know what to do with this information, but it has been haunting me.  I believe he is telling the truth.

Posted on 02/19/2013 at 11:30 PM

Thomasam/Arodontknow says:

@ Anonymous, I’m with you, on thatâ„¢
If anything,B.Y. may have played an organizational / distraction role at most.
Not thatâ„¢, he wasn’t capable, just wasn’t his JOB ¡

Posted on 02/20/2013 at 7:36 AM

jw reed says:

Anonymous, you need to give up more than that…Who claims to have killed him? 

Too many people out there that want to take credit for it to get their moment of fame.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 8:22 AM

Monrad says:

I agree JW we need more information, so far we have B.Y., Jon Roberts and a host of others allegedly involved in this murder.  By the way have you read Roberts’ book?  Hard to believe most of the stuff in it.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 9:38 AM

KingofDiamonds says:

One word describes these post- LAME! This site is filled with detectives and wannabes.  My father was murder when I was little and knew all these jokers.  Someone knows something and never came forward.  Pussys!

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 10:13 AM

JW Reed says:

Monrad, I have not read his book. What is the name of it?

Roberts sold product to one of my partners up in NMB.  I never met him, but know who he is…

King, who was your father if you don’t mind me asking?  I may have known him as well.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 10:31 AM

Monrad says:

JW it’s called American Desperado and came out in 2011.  It’s in paperback now.  You might know some of the individuals in the story.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 3:38 PM

Kingofdiamonds says:

Eugene Hicks “Hicky” was my father, his partner was James Monaco (Monaco is sitting in jail for ordering a hit on the US State atty at the time -Barbara Petra) My father was found stabbed to death in our home in Golden Isles. Some one has to know something.  The cowards should come forward…

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 3:46 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

So - “Reed” Do you work for the Hallendale Police Department? If so, take a break from eating donuts and playing on internet.  So many people will forever be impacted by these cowards that still till this day won’t come forward.  If these people are so big and bad, speak up!!! What a bunch of pussys!

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 3:54 PM

Red says:

I would guess if you approve of murder for profit, you just might respect WB.  I have no respect for anyone that kills anyone for money or a position in life that will let him enjoy the finer things in life.  If you do, more is the pity. 
We all have a little dirt under our finger nails, you just have to dig deeper to find it on some people.  But to take a human life, as has been done on a number of locations, is just plain wrong.  I give more credit to the people that bring them to justice.  If they can.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 4:02 PM

KingOfDiamonds says:

And… All the no-names and ex-smugglers on these string of post. If your not full of shit and were around back then- SPEAK UP. You will know his name and what happened to him.  You lived - he didn’t. I was a little child and went through so much - I pray one day someone will come forward.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 4:02 PM

Red says:

Most people know who did it and why.  The reason is because of all the people that covered it up that it was never solved on the books and never will be.  I let this thing go until I got the same E-mail you did.
No one stood up and talked after he was murdered.  They knew, but they never talked.  When the book was written about his murder, all the bad guys sued the publisher.  I helped the publisher, Tom a co Auther, went into whitnes protection.  This blog never solved anything, except getting the old guys back togeather to talk.
The one up in Tennasee can’t come back to Florida, because of the New York mob.

It is what it is…................

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 4:26 PM

JW Reed says:

King….Not even close, buddy..I was in the business back in the early days.

I’m talking about 69 through 74.  We were some of the first to get organized and my partner was a NMB guy, lived in what was called Ojus.  I was down in South Miami.  He had his people and I had mine. We sheltered the business from each other for our own reasons.

I went to school with Aronow and Cary.  That’s how I became interested in this scuttle along with my time on the water doing what was real easy back then.

Sorry about your father. The business got very ugly shortly after we got out.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 6:04 PM

robbie dobbie says:

Bobby Young died from Hepatitis C. He was feeling ill after losing trial the month prior from another case. He stopped eating and working out. He was trying for a few days to get medical attention, but was ignored. He eventually came up with a plan to fake passing out when the warden came into the unit. Unbeknownst to me he was sicker than he led on. He never made it back to the unit. He died at Jackson Memorial Hospital in ward D, where prisoners are taken. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 6:43 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

@ Red - I wish I could let this go, but I can’t it was my dad.  You don’t think someone will come forward one day? Who do they think did it and why? I have thought of ending my life many times over all of this.  The pain is to deep to hold anymore.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 8:35 PM

jeff says:

the #1 theory is kramer killed him, ordered young to do it, its about the $500k he never paid him back on the repurchase of the boat deal

Posted on 02/23/2013 at 12:02 PM

JW Reed says:


KBIII would be a prime suspect in the murder.  You would likely know this, but apprently you’re not convinced.

Opportunity and motive are more than circumstantial.

Posted on 02/23/2013 at 10:33 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

@Ron - The system you work for worked against you.  Please contact me if I can ever help. I was not the enemy when I reached out and contacted you.

Posted on 02/24/2013 at 11:20 AM

JW Reed says:

Ben Kramer is really the key to this…...He will never get out of prison,but he knows the truth as far as Bobby Young is concerned…..

There are few if anyone else that is left alive that can bring clarity to this case.  If Young did not kill Don, then it’s really anybody’s guess as to who did.

I have always had my doubts about it…..

Posted on 02/26/2013 at 8:53 PM

Don says:

I’m a writer and would like to talk with anyone who has intimate knowledge of the people and events at Cigarette Racing Team from 1997 through 2002…especially anyone who worked there.  Recollections, anecdotes, FACTS not fiction.  Thanks, Don

Posted on 03/14/2013 at 11:24 AM

Don'twasteyourtime says:

The people writing / commenting on these post are all FULL of CRAP- Don. Trust me. Don’t waste your time

Posted on 03/14/2013 at 11:53 AM

jw reed says:


There are a few people on this site that have “intimate” knowledge about the events and anecdotes you refer to above.  What are you looking for?

Posted on 03/19/2013 at 7:46 PM

King of Diamonds says:

@JW Reed - why don’t you re-question Monaco? If no one would talk then why did you try again with KB2? There has to me some piece of evidence that can be tested now that there is forensics. If so many people know bring them back in for questioning. Is there anything I can do to help?

Posted on 07/28/2013 at 12:59 AM

JW Reed says:

King,  I am not LE or associated with them in any way, but I do know there is no statue of limitations on a capital murder charge. 

I never spoke with KB2 and frankly don’t even know him.  KBIII would be my primary focus.  Where is he now?  I know he worked for your father at some point.  As far as Monaco is concerned, who knows what he would or would not reveal about this.

Posted on 08/02/2013 at 2:35 PM

JW Reed says:

King, its been a month and I have not heard anything from you…..I have been in email contact with JC and he prefers to remain anonymous.  He was close with Don and that’s the only reason I am mentioning this.

I really suggest you look at KBIII….Send me some contact info at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  I want to meet and discuss.

Posted on 09/02/2013 at 5:45 PM

Red says:

What you guys don’t understand is Frank Schweihs is dead, Wayne Bock is dead and the secret never dies with them.  Frank told me on video tape, “I won’t see you guys, I got to go somewhere, I got a hit to make, I’ll be out of town for a while, I’ll catch ya when I get back”.  Then he goes.  When he comes back he is talking about hot it was in Florida.  Then he goes on to tell me how he drove down and back because he didn’t want to be traced going back and forth.  He chuckles and tells me it was an easy job.  “I just poped the guy in his car, and went home to my house in Hollywood and stayed there for a week and drove back here to get with you guys”.  Part of that tape was played in court but not the whole thing.  After “Family Secrets” he was in prison with cancer and died there, with the FBI knowing he did it.  Not Bobby Young.  He sued the publisher of “Blue Thunder” and the author’s before he died back in the 90’s and lost.  When you know someone like Frank, you know what he said was true.
As he to9ld me many times at the end of a conversation, “Case closed Mo”

Posted on 09/04/2013 at 8:01 PM

Thomasam/Arodontknow says:

Hi Red, i thought we agreed Wayne Bock was still alive.
As of 7 days ago, i still have him as alive.

Posted on 09/04/2013 at 10:36 PM

Red says:

Nope he’s dead.  CBS news in Chicago, confirmed it.

Posted on 09/05/2013 at 4:13 PM

Daryl & Tracy Ringabell says:

Knowing everybody mentioned here - I can tell u there’s a lotta bs floating, and most of it in words right here, not on the bay - including Grant’s bs smuggling stories and his subjective memory of the “accident” in March 1980 - yea yea - we all did your gf Selena back in the day Grant

Posted on 10/01/2013 at 3:53 PM

Not ringing a bell says:

Selena? HA. She was everybodys gf back then. If you’re posting her as mine, sorry you got seconds, or twenty seconds.
That was 32 years ago. I had a different gf each week.
Hell,  we all did each others girlfriends in front of each other. Hahaha..

Boat crash 1980. WTF? Seawell just south of Dirty Nellys. I left it alone but the inexperienced drivers name was Robert Halprin. Look it it !

It’s been 33 years. Why don’t you post your illicit days on world wide web… I never said I was a smuggler of anything.

Have a nice day.

Posted on 10/01/2013 at 5:27 PM

Ringing the bell. says:

Hey Daryl, I heard Selena had some kids.

You may owe a boat load of child support sharp shooter..

No pun intended.. Haahahaha….

Posted on 10/01/2013 at 7:22 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

@JW REED - are you RB?

Posted on 10/23/2013 at 6:24 PM

Smith Brother says:

@kingofdiamonds : have u considered your pops old partner “The Pope” a/k/a Michael Paskow? He fled S FL for the greener pastures of CA in the early 70’s and never returned until the late 90’s…..just sayin’...

Posted on 10/27/2013 at 9:33 AM

J.smith says:

I know for a fact that Wayne bock is alive and well….except for knee problems….he’s as scary as ever

Posted on 10/28/2013 at 12:28 PM

J.smith says:

I know for a fact wayne bock is alive and well expect for some knee problems…..hes as scary as ever

Posted on 10/28/2013 at 12:31 PM

JW Reed says:


Don’t know what you mean by RB….

Send me an email and lets get together sometime.

Posted on 11/10/2013 at 9:01 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

JW Reed - my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 11/10/2013 at 10:30 PM

formerfiancee says:

Kingofdiamonds. Don’t have any idea about most of these people, but my parents and the Aronows were long time friends in the 60s era. I was engaged to your dad Gene, “Hickey”, in 1973 for about 6 months. He then married Marta N…and so on…Your dad and I went to NY together and I met some of your family. I knew your uncle Pauly too. I adored Gene, I loved being with him. He was the most fun guy I ever knew. My folks figured out what “line of bizz” Gene was in, and made it so hard on us that we broke up. I was a flight attendant and retired in 2001. I remember lots of his buds, including Frankie Pasquale. Whatever happened to him..I wonder… When I heard Gene was murdered I was sick. We all choose a path, I changed mine, he didn’t live long enough to do the same. God bless his soul~

Posted on 11/27/2013 at 8:10 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

@ FormerFiancee - Everyone makes bad choices in life, he unfortunately never got the chance to turn his life around.

I’m happy for you and others that were not murdered during that time era. Most are dead, in jail, or changed for the better.

I thought Paul was the coolest thing when I was little. I’m guessing the situation and other circumstances drifted us apart. I use to ask my mom why he stopped coming to see me.

Hope you enjoy the holidays. Thank you for the message.

Posted on 11/27/2013 at 9:33 PM

formerfiancee says:

Hi KoD, I, too, am more than blessed to have gotten away from all the danger that these lifestyle choices presented. I hope Paul had a chance to turn his life around. I remember one night driving to Paul’s apt in NMB and wrapping my green MGB around a telephone pole and not even realizing what a mess my car was until the next day. So many times, driving under the influence….God sure had my angel working over time to protect me from myself, and others! Did you live in Miami or NY? I visited NY with your dad a few times and we sure had a great time back then. Fond memories…..

Posted on 11/28/2013 at 11:25 AM

Civilian says:

Wow. This stuff is crazy. Is there any credibility in the book about Aronow’s murder: Speed Kills: Who killed the Cigarette Boat King?

Posted on 05/01/2014 at 4:01 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

It’s as credible as anything you read on Aronow. Nobody who wasn’t directly involved knows a whole lot.

Posted on 05/14/2014 at 7:21 PM

JW Reed says:

For anyone that has any interest in the sport itself, I would suggest getting a copy of SEARACE by John Crouse. 

This is the most formidable text that outlines the history, people and places that may legends and heroes in the sport of Offshore Power Boat Racing.

Crouse did a phenomenal job capturing the sports most salient moments and the people who made it happen.

Of course Aronow has his place among the greatest, but so many others are often overlooked and even unknown when it comes to the celebrity factor. 

If you have any sea salt in your veins this is worth the money and should be a part of your library.

Posted on 11/29/2014 at 12:41 PM

Lawrence rivers says:

Did anyone work for Harry Peg?

Posted on 12/30/2014 at 10:59 PM

rob says:

My father was a fellow speed boat racer and smuggler. He and Bobby were personal friends, in fact i am named after him. Bobby was in fact the trigger man form the stories ive heard. And this is coming from a guy who was partially involved. He took it to his gave. I am one of the only people whos heard the true stories.

Posted on 12/31/2014 at 6:04 PM

Civillian says:

What role did Rick Fidlin play in this? It was his Star 1911 .45 that was used to kill Don. Fidlin is a scumbag.

Posted on 01/02/2015 at 9:11 PM

jw reed says:

I am assuming your talking about Bobby Young, not Bobby Saccenti?

Posted on 01/03/2015 at 10:02 AM

rob says:

Yes, Bobby Young.  Im not sure what role rick played. I know I’ve heard his name before though.  I was always kinda of skeptical of his stories. After his passing i started reading into a lot of it. Then I coinsighted the stories and stuff I read threw his old friend at his services. I even asked my mothet is she remembered bobby and the first thing she said was “god, I wish they would of kept him in cuba.”

Posted on 01/03/2015 at 12:58 PM

jw reed says:

Civillians comments above aptly describe Findlin.  I attempted to resurrect some of his old friends; one of which I knew and he denied knowing him.

I knew this was a lie, but I thought it was worth the effort. He also denied knowing another associate of Findlin’s and again, this was pure bullshit. 

Findlin left SF shortly after the drama unfolded and moved to the northwest.  I heard from another poster up that way and he confirmed Findlin was still running a scam up there and would be exposed for it.  His gun was indeed the likely murder weapon and this has been confirmed by Miami PD..

Posted on 01/03/2015 at 9:29 PM

Civilian says:

So Tricky Ricky Fidlin rolled on Young and bounced out of a long term federal sentence. Does he have more to say about Young and why he murdered Don? Makes me wonder. Fidlin has never given a straight answer in his life.

Posted on 01/04/2015 at 4:30 AM

KingofDiamonds says:

@Civillian I know the author who wrote the book. Some parts are pretty accurate. Parts of my fathers murder was featured in it and the info written about what happened to him was spot on.

@Former fiancé  - where are you located? And are you in contact with anyone from back in the day?

Posted on 01/05/2015 at 2:37 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

@ Smith Brother Did you know “Hicky” ? Do you have “The Popes” contact info or know how to get in touch with him?

Posted on 01/05/2015 at 2:45 PM

Fomerfiancee says:

Hi KoD, no I have not had contact with anyone for decades. I live in TN now and am retired. I would love to know whatever happened to Marta Nemeroff, his fiance after me, did her marry her eventually? And the others from the early 70s era. I wonder if Pauly is still alive. And Hickey’s good buddy Michael Paskow. Any of these names tick a box?

Posted on 01/08/2015 at 11:09 AM

KingofDiamonds says:

@ Formerfiancee

What part of TN? Leave me a number and I will call u

Posted on 01/08/2015 at 1:57 PM

Fomerfiancee says:

Hi, I’d rather not post a phone number here. I’m sorry. You can email me though. Thanks.

Posted on 01/08/2015 at 3:08 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

I also live in TN. If you would like to talk or meet up. Send me an email.

Posted on 01/09/2015 at 9:31 AM

dannyscrima says:

i knewur dadbackin the 70s hewas loads of funwe used tohang atfat cats anight club in miramar fla   i ve been with him on his boatking of diamonds he was a coolmyself n my cousin tony scrima wereat his service

Posted on 01/16/2016 at 5:37 PM

KingofDiamonds says:

@DannyScrima I would like to connect with you. Send me a message .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 01/16/2016 at 6:03 PM

KingofDiamonds says:


You mentioned KB and the guy in TN who has the initial GW. I know they killed my dad. Who hired them? Does one of your inmate connections know where KB tossed the gun?

I am not sure who you are, you haven’t revealed that. Yes, I would be willing to meet up with you.

Send me a message with your number. We can arrange a place to meet in person.

Posted on 01/16/2016 at 6:30 PM

dannyscrima says:

kodiamonds uwere a baby i always wqnderdhow things worked out for you iwill emailj mjss hickey he was a good guy

Posted on 01/17/2016 at 2:08 AM

fat cat says:

i knew all of em tracy darrel tonytoots hickey muff hippiejoe aultivola

Posted on 01/17/2016 at 4:18 AM

danny scrima says:

hickey truly was the king of diamonds   rip old friend

Posted on 01/17/2016 at 2:41 PM

Nancy S says:

Does anyone know what happened to his son Mike ? We were friends at UF, I know he wrecked his car and was in a wheelchair

Posted on 01/23/2016 at 11:02 PM

fat cat says:

do u remember tonyscrima danny scrima nancy

Posted on 01/25/2016 at 6:36 AM

Nancy says:

no—doesn’t sound familiar—

Posted on 01/25/2016 at 8:34 AM

Lauderdale Local says:

Nobody says much about Monaco-Hicky/Darrel/Tracy were called the Smith Brothers back then. Monaco was on TV all the time and in the papers for suspected murder of a DEA agent. There is nothing to be found anywhere on that trial. His wife’s name was Cori. What a looker for such an ape! He was in Florence Supermax for the hit on DA. Got moved to lesser security since he’s senior citizen. He’s rotted in prison since ‘91.

Posted on 04/07/2016 at 4:29 PM

LauderdaleLocal says:

Anybody know what happened to Billy Watson,whose boat was found empty out at sea and the body never was found back then? He dated Monaco’s wife before he went missing.

Posted on 04/07/2016 at 4:49 PM

RedMachine says:

Monaco is an ice cold killer! Anyone who crossed him got crossed out.

Posted on 04/08/2016 at 3:46 PM

LauderdaleLocal says:

He never got convicted for anything substantial until 90 with the heroin ring bust in Deerfield. Never the mayhem he metered out. Big Red Machine was his Corsa. You sound well versed in James Ronald Monaco.

Posted on 04/08/2016 at 6:58 PM

Cold Case Sleuths Miami says:

Anyone remember the Tanglewood triple murder of Oct. 1972?  Involved a pot rip of about 600 lbs. with one dead dope dealer and two dead party girls.

Unsolved, but not forgotten.

Posted on 05/10/2016 at 7:47 AM

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