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May 30, 2022

The Plymouth Mail Robbery Trial


Jack Kelley returns to court for only the second time in his three decade criminal career. But this time he's determined not to return to prison.

Episode 2

Episode 17

Episode 26

Episode 35

Episode 36

Episode 37

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All the best,

Lara & Nina

Transcript

Lara:

 

Welcome back everyone! Today Nina and I are going to be discussing the 1967 trial of the Plymouth Mail Robbery suspects and the events around it. By 1967 the Postal Inspectors were at their wits end. The clock was ticking on the Federal statute of limitations. Although State charges could still be brought against the suspects for an additional five years, this was their investigation, and they weren’t going to hand it off to the locals. 



Nina:

 

A complete repeat of the Brinks Heist investigation. But this time there was no Specky O’Keefe to put on the stand. The ace up their sleeve, George William Agisotelis aka Billie Aggie had been AWOL since November of 1966. Listed as a “hunted parole violator” both the defense and the prosecution were believed to have wanted Billie to testify should a trial take place. We won’t get into details about Billie’s background in this episode, but you can hear more about him in episodes 2 and 17.



Lara:

 

As Nina mentioned, Billie was nowhere to be found. F. Lee Bailey stated that Billie had approached him extremely concerned that he was to appear in front of the Parole Board and couldn’t have his counsel present. Bailey said that was the last time he saw Billie. Of course he never showed up at the hearing. According to one FBI 302, dad reported to his handler in late 1969 that Pro Lerner had bragged to him that he had shot Billie in the head with a .45 while they had a casual conversation in Pro’s car.



Nina:

 

Here’s the thing, there are four men who were tied to Jack whose bodies have never been found: Billie, Tommy Richards and two of the Bennett brothers. We both know that Stevie Flemmi claims that he murdered all three of the Bennett brothers. His version of events is that he killed Wimpy Bennett in the presence of Peter Poulos (who he later murdered in the Nevada desert) because Wimpy had stolen from him. We’ll get into that in the next episode, but Stevie has never been able to tell the authorities where the bodies of Wimpy and Walter Bennett are located. 



Lara:

 

As we mentioned in episode 37, some believe that Billie went into the witness protection program, but there is no evidence to substantiate that claim. Billie was never brought into court to testify in the Plymouth case and in those days that would have been a must in exchange for witness protection. We would see that with Barboza multiple times. And truly there wasn't even such a program at that time. The first person to enter the program was Barboza the following year. So why would the government cart Billie off to safety when he had nothing to barter?



Nina:

 

They had no reason at all. And considering what a degenerate Billie was do you really think he could have gone off on his own and not continued to get into trouble?



Lara:

 

Absolutely not. We know dad lied or at the least doctored most if not all of the statements he made to his handlers, but as I’ve said multiple times there was always a thread of truth to his stories. When dad was dying, his filter was gone and his mind not quite right. He spoke several times about how he never expected there to be so much blood when someone was shot. He never said who. He definitely wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger. It was either Billie or one other person that he was with when they were killed. We’ll get into who the other man may have been a little later in this episode.



Nina:

 

I agree that Billie was a danger and had to go. And as Jack always said, no body, no crime.




Lara:

 

And no time.

 

In episode 35, Nina and I discussed what Jack and the boys were up to between ‘65 and ‘67, but we left out one event in particular. If you’ve been following along this season you might recall that Jack banged up the Plymouth proceeds between the boys and the streets, but left $300,000 with Sonny and Mello to run through their gas station and tire shop in order to later be divvied up amongst the crew. Mello had other ideas. Sonny had rented an apartment across from his own to stash the money in, and Mello decided the best option was to burn the building down. Sonny agreed to the plan. While the Postals and Feds including SA H. Paul Rico had Sonny’s apartment under surveillance, Mello moved the cash, and Sonny lit the fire before scurrying back to their shop on Huntington Ave.




Nina:

 

Where did Mello take the money?



Lara:

 

To Maine!



Nina:

 

Of course it was Maine, all roads lead to Maine, but what did Mello do with it there?



Lara:

 

He laundered it through Bobby Gentile who Mello had known since his teens. Bobby was known as a car thief back then. 



Nina:

 

No wonder Richie tormented Mello and Bobby for decades!



Lara:

 

As we said before Jack never forgot or forgave anything nor did dad. But as you keep telling me we have to wait for that story! Ok, take us back to the recap of episode 35.



Nina:

 

While Jack and his crew were on a robbery spree between 1965 and the summer of 1967, the Postals were still gathering evidence to make their case against them. In August 1966, the Boston Globe noted that there was one year left on the Federal statute of limitations. The Postmaster General claimed that the investigation had been “pretty much completed since June 1965.” 

 

Boston’s Chief Postal Inspector William White agreed, “Our job is investigation and referring the results to the US Attorney.”

 

But the interim US Attorney Paul Markham claimed that he needed more time, “I want to thoroughly familiarize myself with the matter. It is still undergoing continuing investigation.”

 

Markham had been appointed to replace W. Arthur Garrity as US Attorney when Garrity was made a judge and colleague of Charles Wyzanski’s in July 1966.



Lara:

 

Thank goodness Garrity moved on!



Nina:

 

More Fed Magic!

 

In February of ‘67 the Boston Globe ran a piece by Robert Kenney with the opening line:

 

“If the Federal Government had put Fort Knox in Massachusetts, it would have been a bad mistake. It would have been cleaned out.”

 

Lara:

 

Where’s the lie?



Nina: 

 

The pressure was unbearable for the authorities. The Boston Strangler Murder trial was taking place that month and Kenney went on to recount the Plymouth Heist, the 1950 Brink’s Robbery and Elmer Trigger Burke’s escapades in the aftermath of the Brink’s case.

 

On March 13, 1967 Judge Charles Wyzanski swore in Paul Markham as the new US Attorney. Markham had previously been the Assistant US Attorney. He’d represented the US Postal Inspector John Donahue in Tommy’s case against the government.



Lara:

 

On March 27th it was announced that the Grand Jury would be impaneled on March 31st. US Attorney Paul Markham was to represent the government and Judge Anthony Julian would be presiding.

 

And while the Grand Jury was sitting, a Skelley armored truck was taken on April 1st for $200,000. 



Nina:

 

Hey, the Postals claimed they were curbing crime with their investigation!



Lara:

 

Yeah ok! That was the fifth armored truck heist since January of ‘65 netting over a million dollars. We covered those heists in Episode 35.

 

On April 15th, the Globe ran another piece blasting the authorities. The headline read “Justice Department Has Weak Plymouth Robbery Case.” James Doyle said that if the case ever went to trial the Feds would feel more scorn than glory from the public, and that convictions would be elusive.



Nina:

 

On May 7th, it was reported that the government was seeking a Specs O’Keefe type witness for the case. The Feds and the Justice Department were doing everything they could to find an informant. Jerome Sullivan went into detail about the search for Billie Aggie. “Where is Billie?” was the subheading, and even his wife had no answer. Sullivan pondered how Billie could have just vanished. The rumor was that the authorities were hiding him in order to ensure he testified in front of the Grand Jury.



Lara:

 

But that wasn’t to be. If you listened to episode 36, you might recall that Jack was assaulted by two postal inspectors while leaving the Scene in Brighton along with dad and Tommy Richards. In my mind the postals were pissed off that the Grand Jury wasn’t going as planned. On June 5th, the Postmaster General announced that their investigation was complete. At this time Jack and his wife’s civil suit was being heard, but would be dismissed. On June 21st the prosecutor announced the final round of the Grand Jury hearings would begin in July. 







Nina:

 

On July 24th, Sonny Diaferio and his wife were subpoenaed while they were resting at a motel in Plattsburgh, NY. Patricia had been arrested for interfering with a Custom’s Agent’s investigation. She was freed on $100 bail. With their car impounded, they flew back to Boston. 

 

Upon their arrival at Logan Airport, reporters were there to question the couple about the subpoenas and their upcoming appearance in front of the Grand Jury. Sonny told reporters that he would be represented by his attorney F. Lee Bailey. Bailey said that his client was one of several men under constant surveillance and harassment by the Postal Inspectors.

 

Patricia testified that she had been told by relatives and friends that she would face death or imprisonment if she didn’t cooperate with the investigation.



Lara:

 

On July 31st, just two weeks before the Federal statute of limitations expired, Jack, Patricia and Tommy Richards were indicted. 

 

Bailey said later that he didn’t really think they’d be indicted since the investigation was so sloppy and he didn’t think that the government had a case. But he conceded that he’d been wrong. He also didn’t realize that the Postals had zeroed in on Patricia instead of Sonny until he was getting ready to go meet Paul Markham at the Commissioner’s office.

 

Each surrendered and bail was set at $25,000 for Jack and Tommy, and $5000 for Patricia. 



Nina: 

 

According to Bailey, Jack was good-natured about the whole thing, but gave him a hard time about his opinion that they wouldn’t be indicted. When Jack asked later what Bailey thought would happen next, Bailey replied, “I think that I would be wise to keep my opinions to myself. I didn’t do so well last time.”

 

Jack quipped, “Well, you’re just a young fellow, and you’ll make mistakes from time to time. Stick with me, though, and I'll make a good lawyer out of you yet.” 



Lara:

 

Judge Charles Wyzanksi was assigned the case by drawing lots according to him. The judge said that he would confer with attorneys Bailey and Balliro before setting  a date for the arraignment. If you want to hear more about Bailey and Balliro check out episode 26, The Defense Never Rests.

 

Now before we move on, I know that Nina wants to tell us all about Judge Wyzanski.



Nina:

 

Charles Edward Wyzanski was born in 1906 to Charles E. Wyzanski Sr. and Maude Rebecca Joseph. The Wyzanskis had arrived in the US from Poland just before the Civil War, and gotten into real estate. His maternal line was from England, by way of Australia. 



Lara:

 

I assume you mean the prison colony otherwise known as Australia!



Nina:

 

Yes! They were sent there because of The Great Gold Dust Robbery of 1839



Lara:

 

Oh, he was the perfect Judge for Jack despite his nickname “Ivan the Terrible”! 



Nina:

 

Wyzanski was the most sympathetic judge Bailey and Jack could have dreamed of or hoped for. Bailey said in his book that Wyzanski was given their case because he was the longest serving judge on the bench. But Wyzanski claimed after the trial that it had been luck of the draw. 



Lara:

 

I don’t buy that whole drawing lots thing, but anyhow continue about the Gold Dust!



Nina:

 

Wyzanski’s maternal great-great grandfather, Ellis Casper, was supposedly the mastermind of a scheme to steal gold dust that had been sent to England from Brazil. Ellis had inside knowledge about everything related to the delivery through his son who worked for the delivery company. They arranged for a friend to pick up the packages before the real courier arrived. However, the whole thing fell apart because to use the cliche: “there’s no honor among thieves”. All the participants in the crime tried to steal from one another, and in the end, the Caspers ended up with nothing from their efforts. Ellis Casper and his son were found guilty after a trial that lasted 8 days. They were transported to Australia. His son died of Scarlet Fever soon after they arrived, but the rest of the family who joined them seem to have done ok for themselves. Wyzanski’s great grandmother married a Rabbi and eventually moved to New York City with him and their children.



Lara:

 

The Rabbi was stuck down in Australia too?



Nina:

 

Yes! But I can’t find anything about how he ended up down there. Maybe he was ministering to the criminals and their families.

 

Wyzanski graduated from Harvard in 1927 and then Harvard Law School in 1930. His mentor at Harvard was the future Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter. Frankfurter recommended Wyzanski for a job at the Labor Department in 1933, and Joseph P Kennedy made sure his appointment was approved by Congress. While in DC Wyzanski wrote the legislation that created the Works Progress Administration, among other New Deal projects. After 8 years in DC, President Roosevelt appointed Wyzanski to the federal bench. He was sworn in on January 26, 1942. 18 months later, he married Gisela Warburg, the daughter of Max Warburg. 



Lara:

 

Judge Wyzanski had quite the pedigree!



Nina:

 

Interesting for sure.

 

Jack and F. Lee Bailey couldn’t have asked for a better judge. Bailey said later, “he is the kind of trial judge whose mold should be saved.” But he would say that since Wyzanski let him have everything he asked for and more!



Lara:

 

Let’s get back to the case and the lack of an arraignment date.

 

The reason no date had been set for the arraignment was that Wyzanski was on vacation in Europe! The US Attorney Markham said there was no rush now that the indictments were returned.

 

On August 15th the arraignment took place. Balliro and Bailey moved for dismissal since the Postals had dragged their feet in getting the indictment. But Wyzanski rejected their appeal and a trial date of November 3rd was set. During the hearing Judge Wyzanski set guidelines for press coverage during the trial and what the attorneys could disclose. He also ordered the prosecution to give the defense attorneys the testimony from the Grand Jury.

 

The following month it was announced that the trial would be moved to San Francisco. Jack said that although he’d like to visit California, it would be a burden on him to have to fly all of his witnesses there. When Bailey and Balliro found out they would lose Wyzanski as their judge, all requests to move the trial were withdrawn.



Nina:

 

And Judge Wyzanski wanted to preside over the trial too. 

 

Jack was hospitalized on September 18th when he collapsed during a hearing at which Judge Wyzanski said they would move the trial to NYC. The doctors said Jack suffered a mild pulmonary embolism. All of that diner grub had started to take its toll.



Lara:

 

Being the tough old goat that Jack was, he recuperated quickly. But this was not the first embolism rather his second. Jack kept that a secret except from his immediate family and dad. 

 

While the stress of the trial might have been the reason Jack was under pressure, he also had to worry about the men in his crew. Roy was preoccupied with a pair of brothers he had defrauded, so Jack didn’t worry too much about him. Sonny was laying low since his wife Patty was on trial with them and in turn Mello Merlino was also staying out of trouble. The only two who might be creating mischief were dad and Pro Lerner. Dad was concerned that he would be picked up any day as there were still the secret indictments lingering over their heads. Bored out of his mind, Pro showed up at dad’s apartment around 3 in the morning. Dad heard a horn beeping and looked out the window to see Pro’s Thunderbird at the curb, so he threw on his robe and headed downstairs. As dad hit the sidewalk, Pro was at the passenger’s side of the Thunderbird. The closer dad got to the car Pro yanked the door open and deposited a 400 pound hooker in front of dad while screaming, “I’ve got a gift for you.” Dad was screaming “fuck you” and Pro took off burning rubber as he sped up the Jamaica Way!



Nina:

 

Oh that must have been hilarious. 



Lara:

 

Dad loved telling that story. Despite the stories he told Comen and Rico about Pro, they had a good relationship.



Nina:

 

Don’t get into that now! Save it for later this season.



Lara:

 

And the next one.

 

Ok, back to the trial. Bailey and Balliro submitted a motion to dismiss the charges against the defendants on the basis that Jack and Tommy were subjected to an illegal investigation. The initial hearing was postponed until October 23rd along with the other pretrial motions. The press were given an update but no access to the courtroom.

 

And the Plymouth suspects weren’t the only ones in court. On October 31, the Boston Globe reported that John Makris had filed a federal lawsuit against his book publisher for breach of contract. According to him, the publisher had told him in August that there was not enough interest in a book on the Plymouth job. He also alleged that they’d made the decision to cancel the contract three days before the indictments were handed down. Makris was seeking damages of $1.5M. 



Nina:

 

Poor Makris!

Jury selection began in early November. Judge Wyzanski culled the herd of 200 men and women who had been summoned for jury duty in less than an hour. Bailey commented in his book, “Even though in most cases Massachusetts jurors are picked without screening by counsel, Judge Wyzanski helped us by summarily dismissing all those who had the slightest degree of prejudice or personal interest in the case.”

 

The judge then announced that the jury would be sequestered for the duration of the trial. Wyzanski noted that in his 26 year judicial career he’d never once “locked up” a jury. He promised them that they’d be allowed to go home for the holidays if the trial lasted that long.

 

Of course the media named every member of the jury, their addresses and their professions.



Lara:

 

With the trial set to begin on November 6th, Tommy Richards was nowhere to be found. His wife stated she hadn’t seen him since November 1st. Tommy was staying at a motel in West Attleboro in an effort to give his family some peace. Their lives had been turned upside down once again with the upcoming trial. He was last seen at work on November 2nd around 4 pm when he clocked out for the day. 

 

In the meantime Tommy’s wife was convinced that dad and Jack had killed her husband. She turned up at Jack’s house first on the morning of November 6th at around 2 am.Jack was a light sleeper and was at the door in a matter of seconds when she rang the doorbell. There she was shaking her finger in Jack’s face while hissing, “you murdered my husband.”

 

Jack phoned dad and told him that Tommy’s wife had just shown up and accused him of killing Tommy. Jack warned dad that she was probably headed his way. Rather than wait for her to ring the bell and wake everyone up, dad went down and waited for her. Within 10 minutes or so he heard her noisy rattling car pull up. In a repeat of what she did with Jack, she approached dad with her finger extended, “you murdered my husband.”

 

She drove off and called the police and named Jack and dad as her husband’s killers. Within an hour the local police hauled dad and Jack in for questioning. Bailey went to demand Jack’s release and Ronnie Chisholm to retrieve dad. Both attorneys told the authorities to charge them or spring them. They had no choice but to release them.



Nina:

 

Tommy’s case was severed from Jack and Patricia’s and a bench warrant was issued as Judge Wyzanski believed that Tommy had become a fugitive. Bailey told the court that Tommy was probably kidnapped and being pressed for the location of the money of which he was sure Tommy had no knowledge. 



Lara:

 

The trial began with the testimony of the Postal guard, Patrick Schena, who had been kidnapped by Jack on that infamous day in August of 1962. He stated that one of the thieves held a shotgun to his head. Schena said he reached for his gun but he froze with fear.

 

During the cross-examination, Bailey asked him, “did you not six days after the robbery tell Captain McCarthy of the Massachusetts State Police that you would not know the robber “Tony” if you ever saw him again?”

 

“I don’t recall,” Schena admitted.

 

“You told the postal inspectors that you went directly from Boston to Hyannis?” Bailey asked.

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

“But that wasn’t true,” Bailey charged.

 

“No, sir.” Schena conceded.

 

“Why did you make a false statement to the inspectors under oath?”

 

“Because I thought if I told them I would lose my job.”



Nina: 

 

He would have lost his job because he’d been drinking on the job!



Lara: 

 

After lunch, it was the second kidnap victim, William Barrett’s turn on the stand. Barrett identified Jack in the courtroom as one of the men who carried out the robbery. Markham said he would prove that Patricia was the woman on the bridge just south of where the robbery took place and that the man with her on the bridge was the now AWOL Tommy.



Nina:

 

Tommy was the woman on the bridge and the man with him was Roy!

 

Barrett claimed that Jack was the man who had told him to open the door of the truck and threatened to blow off his head. He also testified that he visited Jack’s favorite Watertown diner in June of ‘64 to get a look at Jack who was by then the Postals’ main suspect. He sat in the back, watching the door. 

 

“Kelley came in, stopped, and came toward me. He went to the end of the counter and took a seat.”

 

“Did he give you any indication that he knew you?” Bailey asked.

 

“He did not.” Barrett admitted.

 

Barrett said he remembered the shape of the face, the mouth, the complexion. “I knew that Kelley was the man… in the mail truck.”

 

But Bailey questioned how Barrett was able to recognize Jack since Jack was wearing sunglasses, but Barrett insisted that Jack was the same man. Then Bailey played another card. He asked Barrett to look around the courtroom to see if he could identify anyone else who was in the diner that June day three years before.

 

Lara:

 

Of course, Barrett couldn’t and had to admit it. Bailey then went to stand beside John Makris, the journalist who had given Jack the inside scoop on the Plymouth job. “Do you recognise this man?” 

 

Barrett had to concede that he did not.

 

While the prosecution witnesses came forward the press was more concerned about Patricia’s wardrobe. She had taken great care in choosing her tailored outfits, selecting eight of them including a light blue wool suit with a fox collar and a patterned silk dress to enjoy her acquittal in style at the Ritz Carlton. 

 

One witness who identified Patricia as the woman on the bridge, later admitted that he had seen her poolside at a motel that summer. And let’s not forget, she didn’t become a blonde until 2 years after the robbery and had been a lifelong brunette until that point.



Nina:

 

And of course there was my favorite scene when Balliro had Patricia stand up so that a witness could identify her cleavage! When the witness said that maybe it was her blouse that made her look less well-endowed than Tommy on the bridge, Balliro and Bailey had Patricia leave the room and change into a tight fitting sweater with no bra. 



Lara:

 

Can you imagine pulling that stunt today?



Nina:

 

No way! But their strategum worked, and the witness was forced to concede that it probably wasn’t Patricia who he’d seen on the bridge.

 

The other witnesses' testimonies were similarly torn apart by Bailey and Balliro. Their timelines were off or their descriptions of who they’d seen had changed from their initial reports in 1962.

 

Wyzanski also told the jury to disregard the testimony of Dr. Freeman, a dentist from Westwood. He identified one of the postal inspectors who had previously interviewed him for an hour and a half as Jack. But the real reason that Freeman’s testimony was dismissed was that his ex-wife had contacted Markham and told him that the Doctor had been drunk the evening of the Plymouth job. Markham moved to strike the testimony and Wyzanski agreed.



Lara:

 

That weekend Pro had another one of his motel room TV incidents. 



Nina:

 

I still like to think Pro pulled those stunts to have an alibi.



Lara:

 

Nah, he was just a little temperamental I suspect.

 

Anyhow, he wanted some alone time to watch the Sunday football game, so he rented a room in Brookline. After losing $7000 on whatever game he bet on, Pro ripped the TV from its secured place and hurled it out of the window, luckily not hitting any passersby, but the TV was toast.



Nina: 

 

Back to the trial. Dr. Freeman was the last eyewitness. Markham introduced the few pieces of physical evidence he had, and then rested his case. 

 

Bailey and Balliro made several motions to dismiss the trial but Wyzanski refused, saying, “I could rule on those motions now, but I think it better for both sides to have a jury decide this case.”

 

The judge’s instructions to the jury lasted nearly an hour

 

“You have been told by the government that these were disinterested witnesses. Do you really believe there were disinterested witnesses? Many of them knew there were rewards of up to $150,000 offered for a solution to the case. Is this not a situation in which motive must be weighed?”

 

“The defendants don’t have to prove anything. It is up to the government, and the government knows that from the beginning.” Wyzanski reminded his audience.



Lara:

 

The jury took an hour and ten minutes to reach its verdict of not guilty.

 

Wyzanski delivered another speech:

 

“I agree with and thoroughly applaud your verdict. Hearing only the evidence admitted before you and weighing the arguments of counsel and the charge by the Court, you have reached what seems to me the only just result according to the law.”

 

He then launched into an invective against the press for their coverage of the case, the trial and Wyzanski personally. He said that he’d considered bringing contempt charges against the Boston Herald Traveler specifically, but decided to explore other avenues. Three days later, the Associated Press reported that Wyzanski had threatened to bring the Boston Herald Traveler before a Federal Grand Jury on charges of financial malfeasance and connections to the mafia.



Nina:

 

Tommy Richards was never found. The search for him and his remains went on for months. In December the Quarries in Quincy and woods around the South Shore were searched. Watson Pond in Taunton was dragged, but not so much as a shred of evidence was uncovered. 

 

On January 3, 1968, Tommy’s car was found in the parking lot beside the helicopter pad outside the Holiday Inn in Dedham on Rte 1 near Rte. 128. It was the first clue in the case of Tommy’s disappearance. No one seemed to know how long the vehicle had been parked there, but the authorities believe that it was at least since New Years Eve because there was at least four inches of snow on the roof. Inside the car were an automatic shotgun, electrician’s tools, and some clothing. But no blood or any other evidence to indicate that Tommy had been murdered.

 

He was eventually declared dead in 1986. 



Lara:

 

The location of Tommy’s car is interesting. Dad used that as a meet up spot for years. I always just assumed because of its location to the highway, rte 1 and rte 1a. Maybe it was something else. I believe that the person dad saw killed was Tommy. From what dad was describing in his last days, dad was in the car with two other men. Dad was in the backseat, the shooter in the driver’s seat and the victim in the passenger’s seat. I tried to question Bailey about this, but he muddled up Billie, Rasmussen and Tommy’s cases. Again, I have nothing concrete, but I believe dad was there when Tommy was killed. Also, dad had nothing to do with Tommy’s wife later unlike everyone else from those days.



Nina:

 

I think you’re right about Tommy. Maybe if we ever get the rest of Richie’s FBI file there might be more answers. 

 

You would think with the trial behind them that Jack would lay low after the trial, but nope!



Lara:

 

This is a story that I cannot confirm, but definitely believe to be true. After the trial was over, the Postals still continued to pester Jack and the boys. Jack couldn’t resist plotting revenge against them one more time. Jack, dad and Pro concocted a scheme to return the Plymouth loot in exchange for immunity and the original reward money.



Nina:

 

Oh gee what does that story remind you of?



Lara:

 

Dad wandering the streets with his letter of immunity from the Department of Justice in the Gardner Heist.




Nina:

 

Yeah, that story!



Lara:

 

Don’t say it, I’m not going to say any more.



Nina:

 

You do that deliberately to bait our listeners into listening to future episodes.



Lara:

 

That and to aggravate you!

 

Anyhow, the feelers went out and word came back that the authorities were willing to play ball. Jack arranged a meeting with the authorities in Kenmore Sq where Comm Ave and Beacon St intersect. It was a perfect blend of chaos and escape routes, should the authorities try to pull anything. There Jack waited at 11 in the morning. One postal inspector, SA Gerard Comen and a rep from the State Attorney General’s office pulled up. Jack greeted them in his typical calm and reserved manner. After shaking hands he slid in the backseat and went for a spin to discuss his terms. Although they all wanted to bring Jack down, they also were in awe of his professionalism and considered him a worthy adversary. 



Nina:

 

They reminded Jack that although the Statute of Limitations had passed for the Federal Charges, and they could negotiate immunity on the State charges, the IRS could always come after them for income tax evasion. Jack told them clearly what he wanted, the $200,000 reward and immunity from any further prosecution in exchange for the return of one third of the total haul, roughly $500,000.

 

The authorities griped about that not being enough, but Jack sold them on the idea that the crime would be solved and that he was the one taking all of the risk. As a collaborator he would likely have to flee town with his family in order to stay alive.



Lara:

 

Allegedly, Comen told Rico about the agreement and Rico told him they were all crazy. But the authorities went ahead with their agreement and set up a meeting for three days later. Jack purchased a used 4 door Chevy. He took the car to Mello and Sonny’s garage to trick out the engine for maximum speed, and a few other customizations that Jack needed including extra wide rims and tires for the rear of the vehicle. While the car was being overhauled to Jack’s specifications, they had one more meeting during which Jack relented and said he would settle for $100,000 in good faith since he was only returning a portion of the loot. A final meeting place was agreed upon in Brookline. SA Comen and one Postal inspector would meet Jack who would be driven by dad to make the exchange.

 

The following morning dad took the car for a test run with Pro. Even Pro who was an excellent wheelman himself was impressed with the souped up Chevy and dad’s skills. Dad picked up Jack and headed to the meet, but not before disconnecting the rear tail lights entirely. The agents were waiting, along with an armored vehicle to transfer the money to, once the exchange was complete. 

 

Just as Jack had promised a banged up old Chevy appeared right on time. Dad was visible to the agents, but Jack was not. They must have assumed he was slumped down and out of sight. Comen with the satchel full of cash in hand approached the vehicle first. Dad raised his left arm and motioned with his thumb to the backseat. Comen opened the rear door and as he was about to step into the vehicle the rear seat dropped down and there was Jack coming out of the trunk with a .12 gauge shotgun pointed straight at Comen. “Drop the money and run!” Jack snarled at Comen and with the $100,000 safely in the back dad took off like greased lightning.



Nina:

 

Poor Gerard! They broke him! But he did manage to hang on for another two years. Until Pro really broke him for good. And just like that Jack added a $100,000 to the Plymouth score and recouped a portion of what Sonny and Mello had stolen from him.



Lara:

 

And just like that every law enforcement officer was gunning for them. But the authorities had to keep the theft out of the press. The embarrassment was too much for them. Word was spread that Jack was armed in their last encounter, so should it be necessary to shoot him no one would think it unreasonable.

 

Jack’s house was raided once again without a warrant. $290 was taken from his closet along with two money bags from the Shawmut Bank, probably the only bank that wasn’t robbed in the past ten years. 




Nina:

 

But Jack and Richie were nowhere to be found. They laid low for a while, but not long enough.



Lara:

 

Shhhhhh!

 

Next week we’ll be discussing the Bennett brothers in much more detail than we have previously, and of course their murders and our theories about the unsolved mystery of where the remains of two of the brothers might be. 



Nina:

 

Only a couple of more months before we wrap up season one!



Lara:

 

Can’t believe it! Time flies when you’re having fun.

 

Thank you all for listening. Please leave us your comments or email us. We love hearing from all of you. Share an episode with someone you know, subscribe and consider making a donation!



Nina:

 

The link is in the show notes!



Lara and Nina:

 

BYE!!!!