A mysterious murder exposes a dangerous crime lord. In this fascinating work, both sides of a decades-long case are explored and uncovered. Tulsa computer tycoon Roger Wheeler discovered that he was being defrauded by a group of organized criminals in Boston led by Whitey Bulger. When Wheeler acted against the criminals, Bulger's gang took matters into their own hands. Wheeler's murder sparked events that led prosecutors across the country in search of the truth. This riveting true story lays out how the unrelenting efforts of the family of the murdered Oklahoma businessman led to this crime boss's downfall.
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An idyllic day at Southern Hills Country Club was shattered by the sound of a gunshot. Roger Wheeler, wealthy, ambitious, and influential, was found spilled into the front seat of his Cadillac. Although he ran World Jai Alai, known for its vulnerability to corruption and appeal to organized-crime syndicates, Wheeler didn't appear to have any criminal ties. The family of the murdered tycoon pushed for answers, but none were immediately forthcoming.
Wheeler's childhood in Boston was of similarly modest circumstances yet in stark contrast to that of James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger, a lethal gangster who had become head of the notorious Winter Hill gang through murder, coercion, and the complacency of crooked lawmen. Bulger also worked as an FBI "liason," and he believed himself immune from criminal prosecution. When a Winter Hill gang wannabe approached Bulger with an opportunity to skim World Jai Alai profits, Bulger knew that Wheeler would investigate. Bulger hesitated but authorized a hit on Wheeler, dooming himself in the process, and soon he went into hiding. His apprehension in 2011 was a result of thirty years of persistent investigation by a few dedicated detectives, Wheeler's family, and a national appeal to help find the man who had terrorized Boston for decades.
From Wheeler's meteoric rise to wealth to Bulger's brutal maneuvers for power, this book takes readers on a journey through the underbelly of American justice and includes a full chapter on Bulger's 2013 trial and sentencing.
Laurence J. Yadon, an attorney with more than thirty-five years of experience, has appeared on numerous media programs, including National Public Radio, to present on legal issues, Oklahoma history, and crime history. He assisted the Department of Justice in litigation before the United States District Court and helped prepare successful arguments for presentation to the Supreme Court of the United States. Yadon earned his BA in history and political science from the University of Tulsa and JD from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his family.
A History Channel commentator, Robert Barr Smith is the author of more than ten books and ninety articles on military and Western history and legal writing. His articles have appeared in Military Heritage, World War II, and the Oklahoma Law Review. Smith earned his BA and JD from Stanford University. He is an emeritus professor of law at the University of Oklahoma. Smith, a retired United States Army colonel, served more than twenty years in the Judge Advocate General's Corps and earned the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit. He lives on Missouri's Table Rock Lake.
Yadon and Smith are frequent collaborators and have several titles to their credit with Pelican, including Outlaws with Badges; Old West Swindlers; Arizona Gunfighters; Ten Deadly Texans; 200 Texas Outlaws and Lawmen: 1835-1935; and 100 Oklahoma Outlaws, Gangsters, and Lawmen: 1839-1939.From the Back Cover:
This fascinating story of greed and death examines the lives and conflicts of murdered computer tycoon Roger Wheeler and organized-crime boss Whitey Bulger: contemporaries from modest backgrounds who grew up fifteen miles apart in suburban Boston. A legendary entrepreneur, Wheeler amassed a fortune before buying into lucrative World Jai Alai-but friends and associates of Bulger's Winter Hill gang also had eyes on the company's profits. Their path to the cash was murder.
Although Wheeler employed several retired FBI agents and believed himself safe, he was assassinated in 1981. Crooked lawmen, dangerous mobsters, and false identities helped Bulger avoid justice. It was only through the dogged efforts of Wheeler's family and a persistent Tulsa detective that Bulger was finally apprehended-thirty years after the murder.
This innovative dual biography includes a detailed chapter devoted to Whitey Bulger's trial and verdict. It also includes revelatory information on the much-maligned and still mysterious H. Paul Rico, the former FBI agent who died while awaiting trial for his possible involvement in Wheeler's murder.
Laurence J. Yadon is an attorney, mediator, and arbitrator with a lifelong interest in Oklahoma and criminal history. Yadon has investigated litigation issues for the Department of Justice and helped prepare cases successfully argued before the Supreme Court. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Robert Barr Smith, a History Channel commentator and published authority on military history and legal writing, is a professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Smith, a retired US Army colonel, lives on Missouri's Table Rock Lake.
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Book Description Pelican Publishing, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111455618195
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Book Description Pelican Pub Co Inc, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 248 pages. 8.50x5.75x1.00 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1455618195
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