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April 11, 2022

Frank Smith - Thief, Bomber, Pastor & Nazi Sympathizer


Frank Smith was more than just a thief. An associate of Raymond Patriarca who was labeled by the press as a "big wheel" and one of the best "dynamite men" in the business, Frank would later be famous for his Nazis in Maine saga and the church he founded there.

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Lara & Nina

Transcript

Lara: 

 

Hi everyone! After three episodes about Teddy Deegan, his murder and the aftermath, we’re moving onto Frank Smith. For our listeners who’ve been following along this season his name should be familiar. Jimmy Flemmi and Joe Barboza had been telling Raymond Patriarca that Frank Smith was the one responsible for calling unsanctioned hits in the Boston area in the mid-1960s. But there was more to Frank Smith’s story than that, and the twists and turns of his tale include more than a few of the men we’ve covered this season. Not only the criminals, but one of the attorneys we’ve discussed a few times, Joseph Sax.

 

But before we get into their stories, I want to thank all of our YouTube subscribers who have taken the time to leave comments on our channel. Nina and I love hearing from you! I also want to thank the guys over at Capable. They’ve shown us lots of love in their recent episodes, so if any of you want to hear more about organized crime in Boston, particularly Stevie Flemmi, Johnny Martorano and Whitey Bulger definitely check them out. I’ll put a link to their podcast in the show notes. 



Nina:

 

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and information with us.  

 

We also have some new and let’s say unlikely characters in our story today, the granddaughter of J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, and George Lincoln Rockwell, the self-proclaimed leader of the American Nazi Party. We’ll also be discussing Sammy Linden in more detail than in previous episodes. Sammy was notorious for being a thief, a bookie and a loan shark, but one of his more notorious convictions was for performing illegal operations.



Lara:

 

And since all roads lead to Maine, Frank’s tale will take us there too.

 

Francis Joseph Smith Jr. was born on December 30, 1920 in Medford, MA to Francis Joseph Smith Sr. also born in Medford and Yvonne Aelbrecht who was born in London, England. Yvonne’s parents were Flemish speakers from Belgium. Francis Joseph Sr’s parents were both from Ireland. Frank had a sister named Florence and a brother named William who would become his partner in crime. Frank’s nickname according to the FBI was “Boston Blackie.”




Nina:

 

I’ll be honest here and say that when we were first reading about Frank in the Patriarca wiretap memos, I thought that Jimmy Flemmi had made him up as a scapegoat for his own crazy activities. But it turned out that Jimmy was not that creative. Frank was real enough and first conviction was on a 1949 misdemeanor charge, and by 1952 he was a member of Harvey Bistany’s gang. Long-time listeners will recall Bistany from previous episodes. 

 

A one-eyed former boxer who was allegedly an associate of Willie “The Actor” Sutton, Bistany’s girlfriend, a woman named Maxine Taylor, decided to turn him in. Bistany had been planning to rob a bookie in Newton who was believed to have $70,000 stashed away in his home. But Bistany was short one man so Maxine suggested her ex-boyfriend who was a member of the Detroit Purple Gang.



Lara:

 

Hey she was getting a twofer! Revenge on both of them at the same time.



Nina:

 

Can you blame her?

 

Anyhow, Bistany drove down to Connecticut to collect Maxine’s ex-beau, Manuel Orfao. Bistany put him up at the hotel where they were staying and paid for his expenses, but what Bistany didn’t know was that he was being tailed by the cops every step of the way.

 

Bistany, Orfao, Michael Mandella, and Dennis Lytwyn Raimondi were arrested on May 5 in a diner on the outskirts of Providence. Of course the men were questioned about both the Brinks and Danvers jobs. 



Lara:

 

Frank’s brother William was arrested in a pre-dawn raid in Medford two days later. A search of his home revealed three suitcases which the cops seized. One contained six revolvers, a machine gun with a chopped off barrel, a sawed-off shotgun, and several boxes of ammo. Another suitcase was loaded with a complete set of burglar’s tools, including electric drills, TNT, blasting caps, cold chisels, hammers, adhesive, and other safecracking gear, including three sets of keys, called “try” keys by locksmiths. The third suitcase had several pairs of gloves, a clergyman’s black hat, bib, and collar. 

 

Nina:

 

The getup reminds me of Teddy Green’s escape from Maine. Remember? He was dressed as a clergyman and managed to get past the police checkpoint. The police also found recently stolen license plates and another pistol hidden in William Smith’s home.



Lara:

 

At first Bistany pleaded innocent to the charge of carrying a concealed weapon, and was held on $100,000 bail. But he later changed his mind and waived examination. The judge found him “probably guilty” and held him for a grand jury. Meanwhile, Massachusetts was seeking to extradite Bistany for the other bank robberies, and the motel robbery in Westport.

 

Orfao pleaded guilty to the charge of carrying a concealed weapon, but the judge entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Bail was set at $50,000, and he was held for trial until May 13.

 

Dennis Lytwyn Raimondi’s lawyer told the judge that his client had only met Bistany 10 days before their arrest. But a cop told the court that Denny had told them that he, Bistany, and Orfao had come to Providence “to stage a holdup”. Denny was held on $10,000 bail on a gun carrying charge. All three men were taken to the State Prison at Howard.



Nina:

 

A few days later on May 10, 1952, eleven men were picked up as suspects in a string of armed robberies in and around Massachusetts, and a series of safe breaks in Connecticut that had employed the use of explosives. A collection of dynamite was uncovered at William Smith’s former place of work in Melrose.

 

Bistany later claimed that he turned state's evidence because Teddy Green had double crossed him by committing the robbery in Maine without him. But the truth was that Bistany faced a long prison sentence, or even the death penalty, for the murder of Arnold Shuster in NY a couple of months earlier, and flipped to save himself. 

 

In addition to the eleven who were arrested, Bistany gave the police the name of Robert Duff, a self-styled private eye from Roxbury, MA. On the run were Frank Murray, escape artist Teddy Green, and Frank Smith. They were wanted not only for the Westport motel robbery, but also for bank robberies in Norwood and Medford.






Lara:

 

Bistany was also suspected of a near fatal robbery of a bakery in Worcester. In the following days the authorities announced that Duff was being sought as a material witness in a $30,000 robbery that took place in April of the National State Bank in Newark, NJ. Duff’s home was raided by the BPD, and police caps and badges were found in his home which the police believed might have been the same ones used in a recent Somerville bank robbery. Frank was labeled as a “European voyageur” by the authorities, and the prime suspect in the $17,000 Medford Savings bank holdup earlier that year.



Nina:

 

On May 14, Frank was arrested in a Back Bay apartment following a raid on his mother’s apartment in Medford where weapons and burglary tools were recovered. His profession was listed as a boxing promoter, he gave an address in the West End as his residence, and said he was divorced with two children. 

 

Frank “Dogie” Murray, David Jacobanis and the rest of the Bistany Gang were charged with the $17,000 robbery of the Middlesex County Trust Bank in Medford that had taken place on March 10th of that year. 



Lara:

 

Jacobanis needs at least his own blog post if not his own episode. But Nina and I will argue about that later. Bail was set at $25,000 for Frank Smith in June, and a trial date was set for July 19th. But Smith’s trial was postponed numerous times including in January of 1953 because of the Brink’s investigation. Meanwhile in NYC a Grand Jury indicted Sammy Linden and Frank for the attempted murder of attorney Sol Rosenblatt. The botched hit had taken place on March 10th of ‘52. At last on February 3rd the bank robbery trial began.



Nina:

 

To the surprise of Smith and his three co-defendants, Jacobanis and Bistany were scheduled to testify against them. On February 13th the four defendants were acquitted, but none of them were freed. While three of Smith’s co-defendants were facing another armed robbery charge, he was facing a possession of a machine gun charge in Middlesex County, and attempted murder charges in New York for the shooting of Sol Rosenblatt.





Lara:

 

Their girlfriends were also busy testifying against them. Frank’s ex-girlfriend exotic dancer Anna Silver, took the stand to tell her tale of how they were all literally rolling in dough after the last robbery that Green and company pulled off. And Bistany once again testified against Teddy Green, Frank Murray and Bernie Domanski. But once again Smith skated. 

 

In November of 1953, his trial in NYC began. A detective testified that Rosenblatt had picked Smith out of a lineup at the Charles Street Jail. Two others were facing charges with Smith: Sammy Linden and John Seeley, who was scheduled to testify against Smith claiming that he helped Smith steal the getaway car that was used in the attempted hit. 



Nina:

 

Here is where we get the first twist in the failed Rosenblatt hit story. The granddaughter of J.P. Morgan, Mrs. Mabel Satterlee Ingalls took the stand. Rosenblatt had been the lawyer of her late sister, Eleanor Morgan Satterlee. Before Eleanor passed away she made Rosenblatt the beneficiary of her will. In a separate court hearing Mabel was contesting the will stating that Eleanor was not in her right mind when she changed the beneficiary of her estate to Rosenblatt.

 

Now, there was another twist that just adds to the madness! Attorney Joseph Sax who some of you might recall from previous episodes. He acted as both defense counsel for Richie and later became a defendant because of Richie. Sax was involved in a paternity suit with a nightclub singer named Virginia Sommers. Miss Sommers, who claimed Sax was the father of her child, was represented by Rosenblatt at the time he was shot in the hip. Rosenblatt withdrew from the case a week after the attempt on his life. Sax was questioned several times, but nothing ever came of it.

 

On November 21st, 1953 Smith was acquitted along with Sammy Linden who at the time was serving a sentence in Massachusetts for running an abortion ring. But Smith was immediately arrested by New Jersey authorities on old bank robbery charges.



Lara:

 

Since we’ve promised more about Sammy should we give a little background on him before we move on with Smith’s story?



Nina:

 

Sure. Why don’t you start with Sammy then I’ll also share a bit more about Sax.



Lara:

 

Samuel Linden was born in 1899 in Odessa, Ukraine. He and his family immigrated to the Boston area when he was a child.

 

The first arrest I could find was in 1932 for helping a suspect in a Dorchester Savings bank robbery escape from an apartment he was hiding in. He coasted on those charges but in 1934 he was picked up for scalping tickets and taking bets outside of a Red Sox double header. The case was noted in his file but there was no conviction. The following year in April, Sammy was arrested for being part of a hi-jacking ring that had stolen over $100,000 worth of furs and leathers, and was held on $7500 bail. Sammy was acquitted in that case, but found himself locked up again in July of 1936 for an armed robbery in Somerville. Once again the charges were dropped. 



Nina:

 

But his luck ran out the following year when Sammy was arrested for robbing $125,000 worth of jewels from the home of William J. Kennedy. In February of 1937 he was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in State Prison.

 

Sammy was picked up for questioning just hours after the Brink's job in January 1950. But he was promptly released after he produced witnesses who testified that he was not in the area when the heist had taken place.

 

We’ll continue on with Sammy’s story a little later, but let’s talk about Sammy’s defense attorney, Joseph Sax. Sax was also born in Odessa, Ukraine. He immigrated to the US in 1904 with his parents, Joseph Sax and Rose Utchenick, when he was just a baby.



Lara:

 

There are some discrepancies around his birthdate. On his father’s naturalization paperwork his birthdate is listed as March 12, 1904 and on other documents it’s listed as May 30th. But considering they entered New York harbor on June 1st, it would make sense that the March 12th date is the correct birthdate. 

 

Either way he was running for local office and practicing law by 1936. Sax defended a variety of people from porn producers, inmates and socialites. One of our favorite Sax stories is when his 17 year old daughter eloped in 1950. He flew to Pittsburgh to track her and her 27 year old groom down, but only found the groom’s roommate who Sax then had an altercation with. Eventually they returned from their honeymoon and all was fine.



Nina:

 

It made the newspapers! Who needed Facebook? Or Instagram?



Lara:

 

Tell me about it. I have newspaper clippings about who my grandparents went to visit for lunch and what they ate. So silly. 



Nina:

 

In January 1955, Sax sued Barbara "Bobo" Rockefeller and her ex-husband Winthrop for $100,000. His suit contended that he had negotiated a settlement of the Rockefellers’ differences in November 1952. Sax said that Bobo Rockefeller had directed him to negotiate the settlement and promised him $500K for the consummation of it. Winthrop Rockefeller had agreed to all of Bobo’s terms. But the reconciliation did not take place. Instead, Sax accused Mrs Rockefeller of “insulting and scandalous conduct and vile language”. The stage-trained Bobo climaxed the scene by physically assaulting him, her ex-husband, and his shocked lawyer. Sax further alleged that Mrs Rockefeller had staged the scene with the intent of depriving him of his payment. 

 

Mrs. Rockefeller denied the allegations and issued a statement: “At Mr. Sax’s solicitation, I retained him upon his representation that he could effect a reconciliation with Winthrop Rockefeller in November 1952, which he was unable to accomplish. He was dismissed upon this failure. A check was sent to him in the full amount previously agreed upon for his services. The check was returned without comment by Mr. Sax.”

 

Sax had also previously sued Winthrop Rockefeller, charging him, Virginia Sommers, and another man with freezing him out of a tv deal that he had negotiated.



Lara:

 

Let’s not forget Sax also defended Spike O’Toole during the Georgie McLaughlin trial and one of the mothers of Spike’s kids, Dorothy Barchard. Also Stevie Hughes and Stevie’s father in a b&e case in ‘57, and Dad in the DeSisto home invasion trial that same year. Come to think of it Sax was juggling more than a few major cases at that time. Oh and he was defending Tempest Storm the famous burlesque performer was suing her married lover from Newton who lied to her about his marital status and gave her a 7 carat engagement ring.  Her paramour threatened her with bodily harm, and she refused to give the ring back!



Nina:

 

A woman after your own heart! 

 

Lara:

 

Hey don’t fault me for my multiple engagements!



Nina:

 

Sax should have done a better job on Richie’s case. He would have saved himself the stress of being pinched for being part of a multimillion dollar heroin ring.



Lara:

 

As I’ve said many times, there was always a thread of truth to dad’s stories, so I suspect Sax had at least a small role in that saga. Sax was allowed to practice while he was out on bail and was eventually acquitted.

 

Ok let's get back to Frank Smith. 

 

Smith dodged conviction in New Jersey and returned to Massachusetts. But on May 13th, 1957 Frank was arrested again, this time on charges of bombing the home of Everett Bixby of Woburn. 

 

Frank was picked up in an outdoor telephone booth on Main Street, half a mile from Bixby’s house two hours after the building was shaken by the explosion of six dynamite sticks planted on the back steps. The blast wrecked the outside rear stairway, a hallway, the pantry and kitchen. A long piece of wire used to detonate a cap was found near the stairs. 

 

Police said Frank was wet to the knees, indicating that he was the suspect that they’d chased earlier through swampy Forest Park. The police chief and two officers identified Smith as the man they saw dash out of the alley near the Bixby home just before the blast at 12:30. They chased the man believing that he was a burglar. But they abandoned their pursuit when the blast at Bixby’s occurred.

 

Frank told the cops that he was a prize fight trainer and was out doing some early morning road work, which he interrupted to make a phone call to a friend. He was wearing no shoes, and his car was found parked on First Street, a mile and a half from the Bixby home, in front of the house of Louis Venios. 






Nina: 

 

Venios had a record for gambling dating back to 1944. It was a family business run by him, his brother and father out of their Woburn home. In December of 1954, Louis Venios was brought before the Massachusetts’ Crime Commission along with Walter Bennett, Vincent Costa, Anthony Pino’s brother-in-law, and Pino’s son-in-law, Richard Cunningham to testify about the Brink’s robbery. Venios was questioned about his illegal gambling activities, and like the other men refused to answer any questions. Louis and his brother were fined $1000 each for bookmaking. In November 1956 Venios was arrested along with 10 others in a mail fraud scam involving dummy corporations. He was sentenced to eight years in Prison on May 25th, 1957 just 12 days after the Woburn bombing. 



Lara: 

 

You have to assume that the Woburn bombing was somehow connected to Venios. Either Bixby owed him money for gambling or Venios believed Bixby ratted him out in the mail fraud case. 



Nina:

 

Joseph Sax, of course, represented Frank. He made a plea for a bail reduction from $20,000 to $5000, stating that the amount “should be commensurate with a man’s record and should be what he is able to raise. The man’s only conviction was for a misdemeanor in 1949.” The probation officer handed the judge a copy of Smith’s criminal record, and the judge said to Sax: “There’s no reason why I should make it $5000. I’m going to make sure he’ll be present.”

 

Frank pleaded innocent on May 27, but was held on $20,000 double surety, with no trial date set.



Lara: 

 

This was the fourth in a series of bombings that had taken place in the Boston area starting in late June of 1954 when the home of a boxing promoter named Sam Silverman was bombed. No one was in the house when several explosions took place a little after midnight. The Silverman family had gone to Salisbury Beach for the day and decided to stay in Revere Beach rather than return home. Luckily, the other occupants of the building were also out for the evening. 

 

The bombs were fashioned from primer cord, and contained either cordite or TNT. The primer cord was set off by a fuse, and a Chelsea police sergeant noted that it was similar to bombs used in demoltion work in the War. Four devices were planted at intervals around the foundation of the home. Part of the foundation of the house was ripped away. Hundreds of windows in the neighborhood were shattered.

 

Nina:

 

Silverman reportedly had several attempts on his life before this, including a drive-by shooting the year before, where his wife was shot. The authorities suspected that it was a New York outfit trying to muscle in on Silverman’s business, and nothing seemed to come of the investigation.

 

The next bombing was in mid-May 1955 when the car of an East Boston labor official named Vincent diNunno was bombed. His son-in-law was critically injured when he started the car in their garage on Saratoga Street in East Boston. This time ballistics showed that the explosives and wire used were the same type used in construction jobs. The theory was that the attack was due to an investigation that diNunno was conducting into the AFL. Again, nothing seems to have come of the investigation.



Lara:

 

A little over a year later, another bombing took place. This time at the Medford home of a theatrical agent named John J. Sullivan. Like the first bombing attempt, this one also took place in the middle of the night. Two bombs had been planted but only one went off. Sullivan smelled smoke, and woke up to investigate, only to discover a six-pack of dynamite on his front porch. While his wife called the police, Sullivan moved the package to the sidewalk and turned a garden hose on it. 

 

Two cops arrived within minutes, but were unable to disable the bomb before it exploded. Sullivan and the cops were hospitalized, suffering minor concussions, punctured eardrums and flash burns. A second bomb was later found under the gas tank of the car that was parked in the garage beneath the house. It was not attached to the car, and it failed to go off because the fuse line became defective 30 seconds from the detonation point. According to ballistics experts, if that bomb had gone off, Sullivan and his family likely would have died. 

 

What are the chances that those bombings weren’t linked?



Nina:

 

I definitely think they were all the work of the same men. They even all took place in the same six week period every year. The other thing I’d point out is that Frank’s brother had all those explosives when the Bistany crew were arrested in 1952. But nothing came of the other bombing cases.

Frank went on trial for the Bixby bombing in November of 1957. But his story had changed in the six months since he’d been arrested. At the trial he claimed that on the evening of the bombing, he and his friend Louis Venios had gone to a bar in the South End and returned to his apartment around 1:00 am. He decided to do his laundry then drive Venios home to Woburn. After dropping Venios off he stopped to call his wife when the police arrested him. He attributed his wet pants to wringing out laundry earlier that night. That story didn’t fly with the jury and Frank was convicted on November 28th. The judge sentenced him to 15 to 18 years in State Prison.



Lara:

 

Frank was released from prison in November of 1964, seven years after he was sentenced. 

In early January of 1965 Frank made a trip to Providence to meet Raymond Patriarca at the Coin-O-Matic. The main reason for his visit was to get permission to put a few extra thousand dollars on the street for his loan sharking operation. Patriarca consented but told Smith that it couldn’t interfere with his people’s operations. 

 

Frank told Raymond that he was closely associated with George Linclon Rockwell, the American Nazi Party leader. As a child, Rockwell had spent his summers in Maine. After Rockwell graduated from Atlantic City High School, his father enrolled him at Hebron Academy for the 1937-38 school year, hoping it might help him gain admission to Harvard. He didn’t get in but was accepted at Brown University, but left to serve as a naval aviator in World War II, primarily in the Pacific theater. 

 

Smith had just returned from Rockwell's headquarters in Virginia and described the physical layout of the operation to Raymond including many individuals dressed as stormtroopers at the entrance to the headquarters. Smith said Rockwell had intentions of running for Governor of Virginia as he was well received there.



Nina:

 

Raymond also had to suffer through listening to Frank’s travel itinerary which included stops in  Dallas and Los Angeles on behalf of the American Nazi Party. Frank rambled on about his trips to Canada and Chicago promoting the ANP and his desire to furnish funds to them. He even went into detail about how Rockwell intended to avoid tax problems, which included Frank finding a location in Maine where the ANP could open a seminary and thereby become known as a religious organization. And that’s how Frank would eventually find himself in Maine surrounded by Nazis.



Lara:

 

Later that same day, Jerry Angiulo and Peter Limone also visited Raymond. Raymond, of course, had to tell his visitors about his conversation with Frank. And Jerry had to tell them what he knew, mentioning that Frank Smith had a machine gun, as he had shown it to Jerry.

 

Raymond spread the gossip about the seminary that Frank was going to open in Maine and said it would be called the White Church of America of Maine. But Frank wasn’t just focused on his new found insanity and racism.

 

On March 3rd, 1965, Wimpy Bennett contacted Patriarca and stated he brought down Jimmy Flemmi and Joe Barboza. He said Frank Smith had been giving orders to Jimmy to “hit this guy and that guy.” Raymond was pissed off at Frank for giving such orders without his approval and made arrangements to meet Flemmi and Barboza at Badway’s garage shortly thereafter. Raymond said that he didn’t want Flemmi or Barboza contacting him at the Coin-O-Matic.



Nina:

 

That makes no sense considering Jimmy and Barboza were supposedly both picked up on the wiretap at the Coin-O multiple times after that. 



Lara:

 

Hey you know Raymond liked drama and intrigue, so who knows what the motive for the elaborate scheme was.



Nina:

 

As we’ve mentioned before, Raymond continued to meet with Jimmy even after he was made aware of the fact that Jimmy was ratting to Billy Stuart at the BPD. Raymond didn’t know that Jimmy had been one of Rico’s pet CIs since he had gotten out of prison. 



Lara:

 

On March 10th, Frank and Joe Modica aka Don Peppino asked Raymond for permission to open up a gambling establishment in East Boston. Raymond refused to give his blessing until it was cleared with Michael Rocco. It appears Rocco shot them down. 



Nina:

 

Five days after that meeting, and three days after Teddy Deegan was murdered in Chelsea, Smith was also targeted for assassination. 

 

Frank drove up to an address on Cedar Street shortly after 12:45 in the morning on Monday, March 15th. He was dropping off a girlfriend, and as they were saying goodbye, two men appeared from a doorway and fired point-blank at him through the window of his car. His girlfriend later told the authorities that the two gunmen ran in the direction of Elm Street and disappeared into the darkness, and she was unable to identify them. Frank was shot five times in the face, chest and left shoulder. Two bullet slugs believed to be from a .38 caliber pistol were found in the car. Glass from his broken spectacles had showered his left eye leaving him partially blind. His right eye had previously been removed. The police found him slumped over the wheel of his car, and rushed him to Somerville Hospital. He was later transferred to Mass General where he was placed on the danger list. 



Lara:

 

Smith had apparently been able to get one shot off at his assailants. A .38 caliber Smith & Wesson was found in his car, with only five bullets left in the six shot revolver. A warrant charging Smith with carrying a firearm was issued at Somerville District Court and served to him in the hospital.

 

He was conscious but refused to speak to the police, saying only: “I’ve been a good boy since I got out.”

 

When the officers questioned him about recent incidents, Smith began humming a tune, ignoring his interrogators. 

 

Two days after the attack, Raymond told Sammy Granito that he had been interviewed by the police the previous day about the attempted hit on Frank. Raymond was disturbed that the police had known about Frank’s January visit. He lied to the cops and said that he’d never met Smith, claiming that he always had visitors and people coming and going, and that he didn’t talk to everyone who came into the Coin-O-Matic.



Nina:

 

Raymond repeated the same story to Henry Tameleo when he came in later. The three men came to the conclusion that Frank had talked too much when he went back to Boston. 

But according to SA Kehoe, the BPD had not heard about Frank’s visit to Providence from Frank. As usual, the Feds hadn’t bothered to inform the BPD either. But instead the information had come from Jimmy Flemmi, who likely reported it to Detective Billy Stuart.

 

Sammy Granito stated that Jimmy Flemmi had an argument with Frank Smith and was speculating as to whether or not Jimmy was responsible for the murder. But SA Kehoe claimed that Jimmy definitely wasn't responsible in any way for the shooting of Smith. 



Lara:

 

On his visit to Raymond’s on May 3, Jimmy also mentioned the fact that Frank Smith had referred to the Italian element (including members of La Cosa Nostra) as “guineas”. Raymond became enraged and stated that Smith was moving too fast and should have been killed.

Flemmi made the statement at this point that if he ever did run into Smith again he would finish him off. Raymond gave his permission in the event circumstances permitted.

 

Jimmy also told Raymond that Frank had a 65-year-old man named “Colonel” riding shotgun with him all the time. Frank was spending a considerable amount of time at his farm in Maine, which consisted of either 300 or 600 acres.

 

How the hell can you not know the difference between 300 and 600 acres?



Nina:

 

It was Jimmy! He was probably stoned! 



Lara:

 

When wasn’t he high?



Nina:

 

And I don’t think he ever really left Boston until he went up to Maine himself when he was on the lam in the 1970s.



Lara: 

 

A few days later Henry Tameleo told Raymond that Joe Lombardo had told him that he received information that Joe Barboza, Ronnie Cassesso and Jimmy Flemmi had gotten the OK to kill Sammy Linden. The reason for the request was that Sammy Linden, who was collecting loan shark debts of Frank Smith, was an ally of the McLaughlins and was bankrolling them, so they could continue their efforts to wipe out the McLean Group.

 

Tameleo was questioned specifically by Patriarca and claimed he didn’t know the source of Lombardo’s information. Tameleo did say that Lombardo told him to immediately contact Joe Barboza and Jimmy Flemmi and instruct them to forget the hit on Sammy Linden as “he was connected with one of our group.” Tameleo made efforts to contact both Flemmi and Barboza but was unsuccessful in doing so. Yeah, like he put a lot of effort into that search!



Nina:

 

Hey, he was busy!

 

Lombardo also instructed Peter Limone to contact Flemmi and tell him to forget the hit on Sammy.

 

Raymond told Tameleo that Jimmy had been down to see him a few days before and had asked permission to kill Sammy Linden. Patriarca told Flemmi that he would check out whether Linden did give money to McLaughlin strongarm Stevie Hughes. If Patriarca discovered that Linden did in fact “bank roll” the McLaughlin group, he would ok the hit on Sammy.

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald Traveler interviewed Rockwell about Frank Smith. “He's the one they refer to as ‘The Father’,” Rockwell said. “He's a religious guy. We're thinking of making him chaplain.”

 

Lara:

Why do you say these things? These people were all insane!

 

Nina:

Wait! I’ve got another great Rockwell quote for our listeners at the FBI. Rockwell was once asked: “What’s your answer to the rumor that the American Nazi Party is an agent of the FBI – to act as a clearing house for nuts?”

Rockwell answered: “Well, they said the FBI was an agent for Bobby Kennedy too. Actually I have no quarrel with the FBI. I have always found them to be square. We are a legal organization and we believe in acting within the law.”



Lara:

I suspect there have been more than a few such ops in our lifetimes.

Back to Frank.

On one of Frank’s trips to Virginia he took up with Rockwell's secretary, Claudia B. McCullers, who was 20 years his junior. The couple were married in Maine in September 1966. They were living in Ellsworth, Maine where Frank had purchased property for Rockwell’s church, and Smith transferred half of the property into Claudia’s name. Later that month Sammy Linden and Stevie Hughes were killed. We’ll be covering their murders in the hit parade of 1966 later this season.

 

Nina:

Smith entertained mobsters and even invited a State Police detective to his home for drinks. According to author Frederick Simonelli, Rockwell’s wife, Barbara Von Goetz, lived with the Smiths in Ellsworth when she was pregnant with Rockwell’s child because she was afraid to tell him she was expecting as they had lost their first child. She remained with them until she gave birth to a girl. Francis J. Smith and Barbara Von Goetz were listed on the birth certificate as the girl’s parents.

But things weren’t quiet for long. On Aug. 25, 1967, Rockwell was killed outside of an Arlington, Va., shopping center by a disgruntled member of the ANP. John Patler, who had been thrown out of the party that April was arrested. Smith testified as a defense witness at Patler's murder trial. Patler was convicted of killing Rockwell and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Smith’s choice to testify would have repercussions. Seven months after Rockwell's murder,  Smith and his wife narrowly survived an assassination attempt by the new leaders of the ANP. A neighbor saw a car crawling back and forth on the road in front of the Smiths' house, and telephoned to warn them. Frank grabbed a rifle. He and Claudia climbed into his black Cadillac and chased the strange car. The gun battle erupted as Smith overtook the vehicle. He and his wife sought refuge behind a dirt embankment. The Ellsworth police reported that a gunman fired 55 shots at the Smiths during an hour-long gun battle near the couple's house.

 

Lara: 

A high-ranking member of the ANP, Christopher Vidnjevich, was arrested at the scene and charged with attempted murder. The attempted murder charges were dropped against Vidnjevich who was later convicted of assault and fined $1,000.

Smith told authorities that he and his wife were targeted because of their efforts to prove that someone else may have been involved in Rockwell's murder.

And the story gets weirder. Claudia and Frank Smith sold their property to Brian J. Sarault on Aug. 31, 1970. Sarault a resident of Providence who had only just began practicing law after graduating from Suffolk Law in 1969.

 

Nina: 

In 1977, Sarault donated the property to Smith’s church because of "the good work done by and the religious purpose of The Church of Christ of Israel." Claudia Smith set up a trust naming Sarault as the trustee. Claudia said she inherited money from her family who owned oil wells. 

In the meantime, Sarault and his partner Paul Schwab formed Aquidneck Properties and converted an historic mansion on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI into condominiums. Now where did he get the money?

 

Lara:

The Smith Trust Fund!

Sarault withdrew the money from the trust fund to finance the property development. There was no record of how much was taken or if it was ever paid back. Sarault claimed it was only a few thousand dollars. The RI State Ethics Commission held a hearing in 1989 about Sarault’s dealings. The concern was that as an elected official he should have filed annual statements regarding his debts. Sarault did and the debt holder was Frank Smith, but no amounts or reasons for the loans were given. To add to the drama, Sarault’s law partner, Charles J. Rogers borrowed $25,000 from The Church of Christ of Israel. A fun side note, Rogers was also one of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci’s attorneys. There is no record of the loan ever being repaid.

 

Nina:

Oh I’ve got another twist to share! The Church of Christ of Israel had three cars registered to the Pawtucket address of Patriarca associate,  Albert J. "Albo" Vitali. And of course since the “church” owned the vehicles they were exempt from any local taxes. Claudia’s drivers license wasn’t a Maine one, but rather a RI one also listed under Vitali’s address. There was an investigation into Sarault and his relationship with the Smiths and the Patriarca family. Frank was served with a subpoena to appear in front of a RI Grand Jury. Just before that a reporter arrived at Frank’s house. Frank quizzed the reporter about his heritage and spewed some anti-semitc trope. He continued onto espouse his white supremacist views before saying that his wife no loger resided with him and that Sarault was a good man.

 

Lara:

When Frank appeared in front of the Grand Jury he wore a clerical collar!

 

Nina:

Stop!

 

Lara:

Hey, I’m only telling you what Rogers, Sarault’s attorney said. After his appearance, Pastor Smith sent a video by mail to the AG’s office in RI entitled "Heirs Of The Promise." Which needless to say was an ANP production.

Let’s jump ahead a little. In 2019, Frank Smith was still alive and kicking up in Ellsworth, Maine albeit blind and partially deaf. By then Frank was a Bishop in his church.

 

Nina:

He told the journalist what the prerequisites were to join his congregation, “You’ve got to be a descendant of Adam and you’ve got to be white.” The so-called church still enjoyed tax exempt status and was funded by local taxpayers whether they liked it or not. To the best of our knowledge Frank is still alive and in Maine. Lara couldn’t find an obituary. He would now be 101 years old.

 

Lara:

Well if anyone knows if Frank is still up there in Maine, let us know. Next week we’ll be covering the hits of 1965. It will be two parts as we’ve decided to dedicate one episode to Buddy McLean and Punchy McLaughlin’s murders. In that episode, Nina and I will include more about their backgrounds and their crimes than we did in episode 13. We hope you listen in next week to hear more about the hit parade of 1965.

Again, thanks everyone for listening and please share an episode with someone and leave us your comments.

Nina & Lara:

BYE!!!!