Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mr. New Orleans

Mr. New Orleans
When I first started writing it was on a blog known as Crimeman Blog, which was a first person account of life on the streets of Brooklyn as it was happening.  The FBI found out and I wiped it off the internet.  A couple of years later I was bored so I started writing the Hollywood Mafia Blog.  I started writing about some of the people I knew in the different crime families across the country.  

A man named Mike Pontarelli contacted me and we started talking.  He introduced me to a couple of his friends, one of whom had known Pete Milano since they were kids.  One day Mike called me and asked me to meet him in San Diego.  The meeting was at a hotel in the Gaslamp district.  I went to the suite and as I was sitting there this kid walks in and Mike says, “Kenji this is Matthew Randazzo. Matthew this is Kenji Gallo.”  He then said, “You two should write a book.”  Mike walked out with his girlfriend and my buddy Frank.  Matthew and I spoke for a few minutes and I knew I liked this kid.  He was sharp and I didn't need to bring him up to speed on the mafia.
He was from New Orleans, the Big Easy, the birthplace of La Cosa Nostra, the mafia in the United States.  Matthew had not written a book yet, but he had a book in mind that he would call Mr. New Orleans.  

I had stacks of legal binders that I had used for notes.  I had a rough story of my life.  Things came up with both of us but we continued to work on my book.  The first version was impossibly huge and suffered as a result of trying to throw everything into it.  We started cutting it down and people started getting cut out.  Important people, like Jack Roush, the author of “From the Cartel to Christ” didn't make the cut.  Then we tried to sell it but that is another story.  

The whole time Matthew is telling me stories of Mr. New Orleans, aka Kent “Frenchy” Brouillette, a mafia connected pimp in the Big Easy.  I was fascinated by Carlos Marcello, not because he was a mafia boss, but because he was involved in the Kennedy assassination.  There is no doubt because he had a long feud with Robert Kennedy who was his brother’s Attorney General.
I spent many years and a lot of my money doing research on the assassination.  I tried to track down leads on the street.  I sought out guys like Russell D. Matthews, the Dallas gambling kingpin, who was the first guy to see Jack Ruby after he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. I also corresponded with Charles V. Harrelson, who worked with Russell D. Matthews and Carlos Marcello. He killed a Federal Judge with a rifle and he was paid $200k upfront in Las Vegas to do the job based on him being the gunman on the Grassy Knoll.  When Charles Harrelson was arrested for killing the judge, he had Russell D. Matthews’ business card on him.  

Carlos Marcello and New Orleans are the convergence point of the assassination.  Robert Kennedy had Carlos Marcello kidnapped and dropped off in the jungles of Guatemala.  This was something that Carlos would not take.  

Lee Harvey Oswald had an Uncle who was a Marcello bookie.  When Oswald was handing out flyers for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee it was in New Orleans and the address he used was the same as Carlos’ private detective. I could talk about this all day.  One interesting note.  One man was arrested in Dealey Plaza after the assassination of the President and then later arrested in Los Angeles a few blocks away when Robert Kennedy was assassinated.  That man went by the name Eugene Hale Braden.  He had an office in Carlos Marcello’s building.

This brings me back to Matthew and Mr. New Orleans.  We finished my book and it became Breakshot.  He then started working on his book, “Mr. New Orleans.”  This is a great first person account of life in the Big Easy Underworld according to Frenchy Brouillette.  It is gritty and disturbing even to me.  It has great Jim Garrison stories which you have to read if you enjoyed the movie JFK.  Jim Garrison was not Kevin Costner.  

Frenchy lived the hedonistic lifestyle of a mafia connected pimp.  Some of his court cases come up and one is when he ran an interstate call girl empire in the 1970’s!  
Frenchy lived high for 30 years and he was well connected.  Frenchy has a first cousin who ran the state, Edwin Edwards, served four terms as governor of Louisiana, from 1972 to 1980, and then from 1984 to 1996 until he was convicted of racketeering and went away to serve his time.

Frenchy lived the life and he ended up like many mobsters who play the game long after they are past their prime.  He fell on hard times and he was no longer able to hustle like he used to when he was young.  Carlos Marcello was sent away and died not knowing even his close family.  The once powerful New Orleans family became a small crew.  Frenchy, born in 1936, was murdered on Saturday, December 5, 2015 in the St. Roch neighborhood New Orleans.

Rest in Peace, Mr. New Orleans.  

Another old timer is gone and with him his knowledge of Carlos Marcello and the zenith of the Mafia.

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