Monday, December 23, 2013

Stunning List Of Properties Used For Infantino's Scams

John Infantino is an International Scammer. He's messed up lives all over the world - Thousands? Hundreds of Thousands? Millions? We need to find out. I have been gathering loads of info on him.

From Infantino's Federal Development published pdf brochure Statement of Qualifications, below is a list of properties John Infantino puts forth on the World Wide Web as those that his company is a Master Developer / Property Manager of, or are Completed Projects by him. I know he did not do so for his listing of my local Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Fort Howard, Maryland - where I have been a patient. Infantino created and published elaborate plans for that VAMC Property, had a ground breaking ceremony with powerful politicians and VA officials attending, then he abandoned the project. Which has left my favorite VAMC to mostly rot away. The same has happened to some of the places in the following lists. Others, he had nothing to do with at all.

Throughout the past 5 or 6 years, I have done several intense web searches a year on John Infantino. 99.99% of what is written about him by other people is of him being a scammer. And I have only been able to learn the names of two other people who are or were employees of Federal Development, LLC. The company is nothing more than a virtual entity mostly maintained solely by Infantino. 

During the past several days, I have emailed hundreds of people around the world about what I am doing here against Infantino. More information on his - lowlife scammer - way of life has come to me from within the USA and from foreign countries.

John Infantino may very well be the most accomplished con artist ever. He might be the most massively destructive individual in history, when it comes to messing up other peoples' lives and crippling communites without waging armed war against them. He is a Super Scammer. 

Below is a stunning list of properties all across the USA and further.

The brochure does not have a copyright or other date in it. I believe it is 5 to 7 years old.

This is a long list, and one humongous lie. Note how many are U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Properties.

Master Development Of Large Public Real Estate Assets Current Projects

(Claims to be Master Developer / Property Manager of the following)

Bayside at Fort Howard Baltimore County, MD Public Entity: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Use: Senior Housing, Outpatient VA Clinic, Retail, Marina Size: 100 Acres 1,800,000 gsf Estimated Cost: $240,000,000

New Carrollton Transit-Oriented Development Prince Georges County, MD Public Entity: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Use: Residential, Retail, Office, Hotel Size:10.3 acres / Up to 3,000,000 gsf Estimated Cost: Up to $350,000,000

Rogers Avenue Transit-Oriented Development Baltimore, MD Public Entity: Maryland TransitAdministration Use: Residential – Apartments & Townhomes Size: 9 acres / 215,000 gsf Estimated Cost: $25,000,000 

The Resort at Del Rey Oaks Del Rey Oaks, Monterey County, CA Development Profile: Public Entities: City of Del Rey Oaks & U.S. Dept. of Defense Use: Mixed-Use Development Size: 400 Acres 2.3 million gsf Estimated Cost: $575,000,000 

Castle Commerce Center Atwater, Merced County, CA

The Villages at Beaumont Fort Bliss, El Paso, TX

Camp Navajo Industrial Park Bellemont, AZ 

Monmouth Pointe Fort Monmouth, NJ 

City of Medicine Center Durham, NC 

Snake Creek National Guard Readiness Center

Miramar, FL Inland Northwest Science and Technology Center Spokane, WA

Antigua-Barbuda Resort Complex Leeward Islands, Eastern Caribbean 

Nicelli Airport at Venice-Lido Venice-Lido, Italy

Asset Management Of Public Real Estate Assets Current Projects

Fort Howard VA Campus

Castle Aviation Park

Fort Bliss

Completed Projects

City of Medicine Center Garage Durham, NC United States Department of Veterans Affairs

City of Medicine Center Medical Research Building Durham, NC United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Stanley Hall Historic Renovation Washington, DC Armed Forces Retirement Home

Columbia Residences & Safeway Arlington County, VA  Safeway, Inc. & Summit Properties

United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home/AFRH Armed Forces Retirement Home, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  Washington, DC

USSAH/AFRH Asset Management

San Diego VA Medical Center

San Francisco VA Medical Center

Philadelphia VA Medical Center

Infantino has a website copyrighted 2013, which lists some of the properties that are in the brochure along with several more located in foreign countries.  I will do a post on that website's list later. You can see it by clicking the "Projects" button on Federal Asset Management

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ft. Bliss & Ft. Howard Projects & Infantino Scam

Can you explain to me how John Infantino's Federal Development, LLC was going to work on a massive, mixed-use, multimillion dollar, active military family and military veterans development project in Texas and one for veterans in Maryland at the same time?

John Infantino's website Federal Asset Management contains a page that lists numerous places around the globe where he claims to be an Asset Manager/Property Manager on projects. Federal is known - world wide - to never complete or be a valuable asset to any project. There are Internet published news stories - from all around the world - that verify these hard, cold facts. You must go to Federal Asset Management and click on the link for "Projects" to see the lists, because the web address bar does not show a separate link to them.

In the list is a listing for a project at Ft. Bliss in El Paso,Texas. The Federal Asset Management website has a copyright date of 2013, but Federal lost the Ft.Bliss deal in 2010. Here is part of that listing:

Federal Asset Manager's Role: Asset Manager/Property Manager
Location: Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Tx. USA Beaumont Villages
Public Entity: U.S. Army Market: Commercial, Residential, Educational Use: Medical Research, Medical Records, Apartments, Office, Retail, Veteran Senior Housing  
Size: 90 acres/1.5 million gsf

The development plan, made possible through congressionally authorized Enhanced-Use Lease authority, includes mixed-use development totaling 1.5 million square feet adjacent to the William Beaumont Army Medical Centeer and the VA Clinic.

The master development plan incorporates retail, residential rental apartments, senior housing, professional office space, and medical offices to support hospital services, TRICARE (military family medical insurance) providers, medical suppliers, training and educational facilities, mixed-use, and veterans senior housing.

John Infantino Federal lost that project in 2010. Here is an excerpt from an article about John Infantino Federal loosing that project:

Fort Bliss project lease canceled
By Vic Kolenc \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted:   07/16/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- A proposed $100 million-plus housing, office and retail project planned for 93 acres at Fort Bliss apparently is dead.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers canceled the 50-year lease on the Fort Bliss property with Federal Development, a Washington, D.C., company.

John Infantino, CEO of Federal Development, said he was not aware the lease had been canceled.

"We are contesting it if they say they are terminating it," he said in a phone interview.

Infantino said he had secured financing for the project. He said he had letters of commitment for $48.7 million from the New York office of Morgan Keegan, an investment firm based in Memphis, and the Dallas office of Raymond James Financial, a financial services company. That money would finance the project's first phase of 400 apartment units, he said.

The Villages at Beaumont would have provided about 1,000 apartment units, offices and retail space in an area where historic but dilapidated buildings stand. Part of the project included restoring some of the buildings. Last October, Infantino said that the company wanted to deliver the first 500 apartment units by the end of 2011.

Jean Offutt, a spokeswoman for Fort Bliss, said if the project was built as planned, "it would have made a big difference in providing housing for our soldiers and families.

An earlier article contains info on the scheduled beginning of the project:

The Villages at Beaumont: Project to fuel Fort Bliss growth
By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times
Posted:   05/02/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- A Washington, D.C., company is scheduled to begin work in June on a $200 million project that will transform a historic, but dilapidated 93 acres of Fort Bliss property near Beaumont Army Medical Center into a mixed-use development of apartments, offices and stores.

Federal Development, a privately held international real estate development company, plans to build 953 apartment units aimed at Fort Bliss soldiers but open to anyone, 150 apartments for retired military veterans, 404,000 square feet of office space and 114,600 square feet of retail space.

The project, named The Villages at Beaumont, is on land that begins at Dyer and Fred Wilson. It will be built in phases and will take five to 10 years to complete, said John Infantino, Federal Development CEO.

The company in 2003 decided to submit a proposal to the Army for the project because it foresaw expansion opportunities at Fort Bliss, Infantino said. About 50 contractors from around the country competed to develop the project.

In 2006, Federal Development signed a 50-year lease on the property with the Army, with options that could extend the lease an additional 30 years, Infantino said. Besides lease payments, the company will share revenues with the Army, he said.

OK. So here's the legal loophole: Infantino Federal says nothing about them completing that project. Only that they created a set of plans.

The question is: Does Infantino Federal use their website to show people how good they are at making plans for projects (they never complete), just to say they can make you some nifty (but worthless) master plans, or are they using their website to fool potential clients/victims into giving them monies for future projects that they are never going to complete?

For a legal question and a moral question, there may be two different answers.

Note: The May 2009 El Paso Times article is about the beginning of the project. That project had been in planning stages since at least 2003. The lease was signed in 2006. During that time period, here in Baltimore, Maryland, John Infantino Federal was 'working' on a similar project - for our local Fort Howard VAMC Property. He came to us in 2005, created the Bayside at Fort Howard plans, for which there is still an active website with a Priority Application Form for sending in deposits of Bayside rentals, and was fired by the VA in August 2009. Here is an article from our local newspaper:

Veterans Affairs 'dusting off' Fort Howard options Wednesday, 27 April 2010
by Randy Leonard/Dundalk Eagle

Federal Development, headed by John Infantino, lost its enhanced-use lease agreement in August after the VA determined that little had been done on the project over the four years that the company was involved with the property.

The company had disputed a determination from the VA that the project would be subject to tax and needed to comply with Baltimore County regulations, limiting the project to about 560 units

AND NOW!! IF YOU ARE NOT YET SO ANGRY YOU CAN'T SEE STRAIGHT?! Here is a link to Infantino Federal's still active website with a downloadable pdf document full of photos for Ft. Howard's Nov. 2006 groundbreaking ceremony. There's plenty of powerful politicians and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials aboard for it- with John Infantino Federal right in there with them in a bunch of shots:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 2013 Infantino International Scammer Info Email

I am sending out copies of the following email. I am leaving in the links back to this website, in case you need to make copies of this and share them:

John Infantino International Scammer

John Infantino is an International Scammer. He's messed up lives all over the world - Thousands? Hundreds of Thousands? Millions? We need to find out.

I have been gathering loads of info on him. He has so many Federal this and that LLC names - with superbly constructed websites - it's taking me hours and hours and days to locate and count the ones I've found websites for. He has self promoting web pages on 8 - 10 business promo type websites, where lots of people are listed. His site Federal Asset Management ( ) contains a page listing numerous places around the globe where he claims to be a property and/or asset manager on successful projects. If he was in the website business, building them for others, he'd make a comfortable living. I know he isn't what he says on most of them, and I intend to investigate and report on the facts of each one. If he did any good anywhere, I'll tell about that too. Any web savvy, well trained and experienced investigator will take at least one full work day to find and confirm what I have.

He ripped off my local veterans community here in Baltimore and still maintains a website "Bayside at Ft. Howard"  for his plans, and there is a page ( ) on there for sending in deposits ( ) on future homes he said he'd build at the Fort Howard, Maryland VAMC for American Military Veterans. He lost that lease in 2009. And his newest websites are copyrighted 2013.

My blog "The Way That I See It Is..." ( ) has fresh posts about what I'm doing now against Infantino. He must be stopped and stomped on. I intend to give the world a great gift = John Infantino's head on a platter and backside in a red hot skillet.

This war requires all the help I can get from anywhere it comes. The entire truth about him must to be dug up from everywhere it sets, and be shared worldwide. People need to know how far and wide he has scammed people. All together - we will womp him down to where he deserves to be.

I have been contacting foreign embassies in Washington DC, governments and elected officials across the USA and around the world, media entities, companies Infantino claims as partners, and more.

The most recent news is that Federal went bankrupt ( ).

He must be stopped and stomped on.

WEBSEARCH HIS NAME ALONG WITH THE WORD FEDERAL, and see what I am talking about.


Photography and Writings by
David Robert Crews {a.k.a. ursusdave}


John Infantino's Kafkaesque Trial

Just found this 9-month old published info on John Infantino, Federal Development, the guy who used Ft. Howard VAMC in his scams. He is an International scammer. 

A quote from the article linked to below: "In what's become a particularly Kafkaesque trial, Federal's own attorney quit the case Monday morning because he said representing Federal would put him at odds with the California Bar Association's code of ethics." 

Go look at that article.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

International Scam Artist Must Be Stopped

The company named Federal Development LLC, Federal Asset Management LLC, and other LLC names presents itself as a successful property development and management firm, but is a complete scam. Simply do a web search for Federal Development and John Infantino, and you will easily see. He has been scamming and hurting people all around the world. You will not find one news article about his projects being completed. All media about him tells of what he says he is going to do, and maybe about a ground breaking ceremony. Except for what Infantino writes, nothing is on the World Wide Web about him ever completing a project. He has never completed anything his web sites say he will or has.

On Infantino's websites, he consistently declares that he got his start in a family business named First Public Trust - FPT - a "real estate management firm which incorporates a 60-year history of developing over twenty master-planned communities on the East Coast and the Midwest."  BUT! For several years, I have periodically web searched for info on FPT; there is not one bit of FPT info on the Internet - anywhere!

I am a writer and photographer in Baltimore, Maryland doing an investigation and story on John Infantino & Federal Development LLC - Federal Asset Management ( ) and his use of a supposed projects world wide. Websites, which Infantino maintains,  put forth the idea that he is a successful partner in various international property development projects. Infantino is using numerous projects around the world as examples of why his company should be hired, but not one project has been completed by him. Some, he had nothing to do with and/or were never begun by anyone.

He got us here in Maryland by promising to rebuild our local Ft. Howard VAMC, but he did little more than take veterans' monies for deposits on future homes and some of those vets had their lives messed up in the process. Some got their deposits back - not all - and some sold their long-time homes to be able to move to Ft. Howard. Infantino Federal Development, LLC, held a lease that was terminated in 2009 after a protracted lack of progress on the project. Now, four years later, he still maintains a website for it - Bayside at Ft. Howard ( ),  which has a page for sending in deposits for housing applications ( ). That causes me to suspect that he is still taking deposits from American Military Veterans and others.

John Infantino has info on his websites about other veteran and even active duty military housing community projects he declares to be working on, but he isn't doing anything good and right.

I have been working on this off and on for years, and Infantino must be stopped. He is messing up lives all over the world. He is an international fraud. Yet he puts forth the idea that he and various partners are doing well together on numerous projects.

I am hoping people, companies, governments, towns, cities, counties, etc. who are falsely declared to be satisfied in their working partnerships with Infantino will force him to stop using their names as a good reference.

I wish to see international news media outlets publish fully investigated stories on what he is doing.

John Infantino is in a lawsuit with Del Rey Oaks, California ( ) and yet he maintains websites saying his Del Rey Oaks project is going great.

John Infantino must be stepped on and squashed. I am asking anyone and everyone to help end his internationally fraudulent activities and World Wide Web Con Games.

I have been collecting a lot of information about the harm he's done. I shall publish that soon. For now, all you have to do is web search his name along with the name Federal Development.

John Infantino Federal Development

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Maine Guide Murdered in 1969

This post is a reply to a comment left on another blog of mine. It is too long for a comment reply. That blog is actually a poorman's website I created using free blogger service, and I don't want to add any more posts to it.

The comment:

shaun said...

    I came across your blog in search information on my uncle who (Leon Roy)was also a hunting guide and was killed in a supposed hunting accident in 1969 as a guide. Any information you may have or have heard may help.

    Thanks. Semper Fidelis.
    November 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

The page this is on is here:

Here is my reply:

In 1969, in and around the Patten, Maine area, there was one Maine Guide killed. He was buried the day I entered the US Army - November 17, 1969; and though we were but friendly acquaintances, who buddied around a few times, the facts I know of his death hurt me back then, and still do some today.

If you let me know that your Uncle Leon was from Patten and was buried on that day, I will rewrite this with his name used. I'm 999.99% certain it was your uncle, but I can't remember the guy's name anymore.

The evening of Nov. 16, 1969, I clearly recall riding around in Patten and going past a home full of folks mourning the young man's death. I recall the house being on the right side of the Island Falls Road going east. It was a big, old, well kept home with large front windows. The house was lit all up inside, and you could see it was full of family and friends sitting all around the front room.

I had driven past with a pretty Patten girl on the passenger side of the pickup truck. The girl pointed to the house, and spoke of her sad feelings about the tragedy. Neither her nor I were close enough to the mourned young guide - though he and we were all 19 or 20 years old - to feel comfortable walking into the home full of mourners. The truck was moving at about half the in-town speed limit, and we could tell that there were young kids and older folks in there sharing love, condolence and warm conversation for each other.

The young guide and I had enjoyed a few fun times together. He was always happy and full of fun. We mostly talked and joked around in Earl Guiggy's Esso Station (Patten General Store). That was a great place to hang out and socialize. I do know he and I had drank some beers together somewhere else around town, maybe two times or three. Mostly, I've always remembered him this one time walking down the side of Main St. Patten near the post office, smiling, waving and calling to me. I stopped and spent some time there with him, on a real neat Saturday night in town. I'll never forget how his entire face always glowed a great smile.

I also ain't ever forgot the details I heard about the "hunting accident" that took his life, or the half-ass court hearing that let the shooter - an Italian hoodlum type New York greaser - go back to N.Y. City a free man. The Patten teenage boy was guiding three New York Italians - three close friends who may have been a brother or cousin of one of the other. One thing is certain - if any of the three committed a crime that any of the other ones knew about, they'd conspire to help the criminal get away with it. 

In movies and TV shows about life in New York City back in the 1950s-60s, there are usually characters involved who: wear pointy toed, Cuban Heeled (loud on sidewalks), black shoe polished, street hood style shoes; tight, sheeny-shiny slacks; gaudy looking shirts topped by a skinny tie; and their hair is oiled/greased slicked back and up badass style. Petty thefts, major felonies, switchblade knives, cheap pistols, beehive hairdoed dumb bitches they screw and screw over are what they're into. Those male characters are usually sad disappointments to their hard working, church going, good hearted family members. Those slick haired, criminal characters usually get their just punishments by the end of the movie or TV drama.

My Uncle Finley, who owned Katahdin Lodge where I lived and worked, was amazed that the New York City Slickers' lawyer allowed them to go to court in small town life Maine dressed in full, big city hoodlum style regalia. Finley figured the lawyer would have advised them three to show up in front of the judge wearing conservative, unflashy, mens suites. I was in the army at the time, but I think Finley went to watch the court proceedings. Or he just heard about the details from Maine friends of his who had attended the trial.

You gotta take into consideration that Finley and I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore City, and there is a Little Italy neighborhood in Baltimore. It's basically one of the safest areas in town. Lots of great restaurants. No one gets robbed going to and from Italian businesses there. But you could get robbed and beaten by blacks just a few blocks away. But, in 1968, when Martin Luther King was assassinated and Baltimore Blacks rioted and burned buildings all over town, in Little Italy the residents sat on the front steps of their row homes and businesses with loaded firearms across their laps. No rioters went in there. All us white guys who weren't from Little Italy knew, though, that we were welcomed there to buy meals if we behaved ourselves; but if some guy went in there talking trash, getting drunk and rowdy, or maybe just peacefully trying to meet Italian gals, them Italian guys were infamous for using their Cuban Heeled shoes to stomp some other guy's face and head into the gutter.

Once, when I was about ten-yrs-old (1960), Finley, his brother Nelson, my father and I were in dad's car driving past Little Italy when Uncle Fin told us about some teenage kid he knew who one time was just walking through that area going somewhere else and some street tough teens there jumped that unlucky kid just because he was not from the neighborhood, put his mouth onto a cement curb, kicked him in the back of his head and knocked most of his teeth out. Plus, Finley had served in the army during the Korean War of the early 1950s, had traveled around the world some, had served with Italian toughs from big cities, he never had a direct problem with any, but he sure didn't like them. That's the same kind of experiences with me; so when I was up in Patten, at Katahdin Lodge home on leave from the army, and my Uncle Finley told me about neither of those three Italian New Yorkers receiving justice in long jail sentences for one of them shooting one of Patten's hunting guides, and Finley gave me a brief description of how those three murderers were dressed, I fully knew what they looked like and how slimy they were.

In Nov. 1969, for one week before I reported to US Army Basic Training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, I was visiting my Uncle Fin, Aunt Martha, and me finest-kind-of Mainer friends in the Great North Woods. That was after spending a few weeks here in the Baltimore suburbs, where most of my family and friends lived. I had guided bear hunters in Maine that previous summer and fall season, but I wasn't qualified to guide deer hunters, and during Novembers Katahdin Lodge was full of deer hunters. So I got to go out in the woods everyday hunting four legged deer, and every night hunting two legged dear. Get my drift? I pursued venison from daybreak till sunset, and pursued sweet country girls' affections, along with good times hanging out with my Mainer buddies, for a few hours every evening.

Several days before the young Patten Deer Hunting Guide was killed, I had deer hunted the very place his tragedy happened. It was up on this low, a little bit steep, mountain side. There were some old, mostly unused logging company roads. I'm an ace at four-wheel driving, but the road that the shooting happened on was so washed out - with big rocks sticking up everywhere - that I left my pickup truck down further than I planned on. It was all logged out up that section of the woods, so the lumber company what owned those woods had no reason to maintain that road anymore. The road had two ruts where many logging truck tires had traveled. When it rained or snow melted, those tire track ruts became gushing rivulets and the flowing water carved those previously passable ruts deeper and deeper. It were rugged walking, you stumbled a lot, then made your way off onto the side and into the woods deer hunting. Rocks that rolled underfoot, boulders too big to lift by hand, muddy dirt down in the ruts, loose topsoil in the middle of the road, all made any kind of travel there no fun at all. I love going way up into the wild woods, even when it becomes that aggravating.

The story of the "hunting accident" tragedy given by those three New York City Slickers began with: them and the young guide were drinking beers. This is true.

For some men, deer hunting trips are traditional times of heavy alcohol consumption. Sometimes they don't hardly go out hunting, they stay at a lodge or cabin - way far away from disapproving family and friends - drink booze, eat a lot of food, play cards or dice, often gambling, watch TV, lay about lazily, hang out getting drunk in some bar where no one they know will be, and do bunches of joking and laughing to rude humor amongst their hunting buddies there.

At Katahdin Lodge, as with most professional outfits, there's plenty of joking and laughing, some jokes getting a little rude but not too rude for any women present, there's card playing, dice throwing for Yahtzee and other games, but no gambling, moderate alcohol consumption is allowed, lots of great food gets chowed down on, and there's plenty of relaxing without being outright lazy. No booze drinking at all is allowed in the morning before or all day during hunting times. Absolutely no playing with guns at any time. Clean them, shoot them over at the shooting range, unload them before entering any building or vehicle, show your unloaded guns to others who know how to handle them, enjoy the look, feel and design of firearms, but do not point any gun at anyone at anytime.

Somehow, one of the hunting rifles being used by those three New York City Slickers got pointed at the young Patten Hunting Guide, the trigger got pulled, and the resulting shot put a large caliber bullet right through my Patten town buddy's - your uncle's - head.

The next part of the story of the "hunting accident" tragedy that came from those three New York City Slickers went like this: they and the young guide were shooting at empty beer cans. The kid had walked up the incline of the washed out woods road to place a few more empty beer cans as targets on exposed rocks in the center of the road. The "deer hunters" claimed that one of them was setting down into firing position with his feet in a road rut and placing his butt upon the less washed out center of the road, his foot stumbled on and slipped off of a rock, and as he fell to the ground his rifle "accidentally went off". And the Maine kid fell dead.

I was just a kid myself. He and I were growing into our full manhoods, but his got knocked down dead. Killed by a group of mean-streets minded individuals who were playing with loaded guns - drunken fukin around with firearms - up in the woods where they didn't belong. The kid had maybe done a little beer drinkin' and target shootin' with other Patten Mainers, and they hadn't shot anybody. He figured it was OK. He had lived nearly everyday of his life in Northern Maine, with no serious experience learning about hoodlum types who held not a smidgin of concern for his life. Or the lives of any other country folk. I reasonably surmise that those three stinking slime balls never held any concern for anyone not closely associated with them in their hard core city lives. And they'd be apt to deliver brutal revenge upon any relative, friend, business associate or partner in crime who did not do what any of them three wanted done. That country kid thought he was having a great time being bought beer by his three deer hunters from the city who were lots of fun. They had been joking and laughing all the time, with your uncle not picking up on the fact they were steadily revealing themselves to indeed be slime balls. If that young man had lived a few more years, he probably would have learned to spot such slime ball types - city or country bred - they way most adult Mainers I knew could.

The other professional woodsmen and the women in their lives who I knew up there back then in the Patten area, who I had shared conversations with about our young man being shot by three New York City men, believe this: the Italians from NYC were as full of shit as can be. Their version of this story is pure bullshit.

I had wonderful times up in Maine listening to tale tales told well. No one was supposed to believe it all, just enjoy the telling and companionship of other listeners and the teller. Good, fictionalized stories. One aspect every good exaggerated story told has is a nearly unimpeachable false fact. In a tall tale, it's all for fun and entertainment. "Swattin' flies and swappin' lies".

In a stinking bullshit story, the intention is to get away with having committed some grievous act. The nearly unimpeachable false fact in the NYC Slickers' story is them saying that one of them slipped on a rock in that rough, washed out rut of the dirt road.

Us professional woodsmen and the women in our lives who talked about the shooting possess solid reason to believe that as our young Maine Hunting Guide was setting up those final beer cans as targets, the steadily beer drinking, increasingly intoxicated, worsening hard core city slicker attitude infested shooter - murderer - shot the country kid after either betting the other two city slicks that he would do it or after being bet by the other two city shits that he wouldn't do it. Not necessarily a monetary bet, more likely a macho meat-head, badass Italian, New York low life "you ain't got the guts to" kind of a "I dare you to," or a "I'm gonna show you two just how fuggin badaas I am" kind of "do you dare me to? You think I won't? Watch this, muddafuggas."

Or, possibly, one of them shot without saying anything to the other two. Then they all three made up a story that would get them all out of Maine without doing any penitentiary lockup time. Some city people get way out in the woods and begin to act dangerously and dumb. Ask anyone who works in the Great Outdoors providing services to city folk, and the outdoors folk will tell you that sometimes city folk act crazy and stupid out in the woods.

To be perfectly fair, there is a tiny sliver of a chance that the hunter did accidentally shoot his hunting guide. If he had, it was because of that hunter's negligence in handling the firearm. No one I knew figured it that way, though. I don't. No one I know of ever spoke of those three from NYC being obviously sorry and any kind of apologetic. Their demeanor and dress at the trial showed no indication of honest sorrow, shame, remorse for what happened. The showed little to no respect for those hurt by the death of Leon Roy.

In November of 1969, a really nice kid from Patten, Maine was shot by a man from New York City. The Mainer kid died because he was too nice. I realized this the very moment I heard that he - a buddy of mine - had been killed and how it happened. He was guiding three deer hunters from NYC. Those three individuals didn't have what it takes to be deer hunters in the vast woods of Northern Maine. They got bored at trying to be hunters, influenced the gullible young man guiding them to instead get a little drunk and use empty beer cans for target shooting with high powered deer rifles. He was too nice, not worldly enough, a fellow to understand what kind of people the city men were. A hunting guide can only be nice to his paying hunters to the point where the hunters begin to take control of the day and act dangerously. Then the guide needs to 'step right on them', and set their thinking straight. If they don't straighten up and act right, order them out of the woods and send them back to where they came from. Or leave them out in the woods and go get help from more experienced guides who are plentiful in Northern Maine.

The Patten, Maine man wasn't shot because he allowed three inexperienced hunters to get drunk, handle firearms unsafely and one fell down and accidentally discharged his firearm. He was shot because he had not yet fully learned to spot trouble brewing in the people he was with. As the three New Yorkers became intoxicated, the mean streets of New York City came out in them. Then one of them - most likely along with the other two - decided to kill the one person there none of those three gave a flyin' flip about. It happened because there were no witnesses to testify against a solid bullshit story they knew they could concoct to tell in court to beat a murder rap with.

Young Leon Roy was probably murdered solely for the evil thrill it gave the murderer or murderers.

Shaun, you are correct in saying it was a "supposed hunting accident".

For anyone out there who says this story is full of bull - go shit in your hat. And wear it. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

Victim of A George Thorogood Sneak Attack

I was a victim of a George Thorogood Sneak Attack! And that beer swiggin’, guitar slingin’ and rockin’ Blues bombasting son of a gun kept me up half the night, when I had to go to work early next morning. It all happened thirty years ago, in West Chester, Pennsylvania - at Joe’s Sportsman’s Bar.

Joe’s was a regular old neighborhood bar, set there - comfortably - on a residential, small town, side street of slender row houses. And it was just a few blocks from where I was living. I’d been in West Chester less than a year, but had enjoyed some fun times at Joe’s. There were good, friendly, happening people to drink with, swap stories and share laughs. Sometimes, live, local bands played there, and they always kicked out solid sets of good rockin’ music.

I was in there early one, midweek, evening, wanting to get a beer buzz on then head home in time to get a good night’s sleep before work next day. When I arrived at Joe‘s, I went in through the frequently used backdoor, across the side of the small dance floor, past the rarely used little bar on the left, saw a white guitar on guitar stand behind that bar, but did not know what that meant. Then I walked over to the far end of the main bar - an oval shaped bar, and sat down two stools away from three guys drinking beers to my right. There were two more patrons down the other side of the bar, and one bartender. It was two or three hours before the place normally became nicely crowded.

As I was drinking my first beer, some smiling dude comes in and stands at the bar a short ways over to my left. He was wearing gloves that had their fingers cut off and sporting a snakeskin looking jacket. I thought, “Well, now, that’s either a fake snake skin jacket and he’s a wannabe, self styled nobody with his cut off gloves on, or that jacket is made of real snakeskin (I wondered what kind of snake) and that cat’s a real deal of somebody mighty interesting, who’s very good at what he does for a living.”

Before I could strike up a conversation with the snakeskin clad dude, as was easily done among most strangers in Joe’s, some casually dressed, successful businessman looking, tall fellow comes in and snakeskin guy and businessman greeted each other as good friends. They began talking, and then snakeskin guy reaches in his pocket and pulls out a rolled up, clear, plastic baggie full of something dark brown leafy looking. As he unfurls it, I’m thinking, “It’s a bag of reefer, I don’t and probably nobody else here cares if he has it, but it’s not cool to see it out in public view.” But before I could slide over with a friendly warning about that baggie of brown, snakeskin guy pulls out a nice, fat, fresh cigar from it, and I saw that it was all cigars in there. I was quite relieved, because the guy and his friend sure seemed to be nice people, and I didn’t want them to be booted out of there by the bartender. Them two fellows then each held a cigar, took cigar lover’s, savoring, sniffs of the premium tobacco tubes, and they skillfully lit ’um up.

I stepped off into the men’s room, and as I stood at a urinal, one of the three fellows setting two bar stools away, when I came in, walks past me and says, with a big grin on his face, faking mild anger in a comical way, ”My brother just gave George Thorogood my beer!” I knew who he meant got the beer - snakeskin guy, but I didn’t know if it was George or the guy just looked like George Thorogood. I had heard George’s music on the radio, but had never seen a photo of him.

When I was back out at the bar, not wanting to interrupt an apparently great conversation going between George(?) and his friend, I never said anything to them as they each had a drink or two, while smoking their cigars. Then they left.

In comes a band who set up their equipment over against the back wall across the dance floor. One of them was an acquaintance of mine, and he told me about them just forming up a Rockabilly group named One Four Hundred. They kicked out a tight set of songs, the bar about half filled up with patrons, the band “passed the hat”, everyone put in a dollar or two, and I figured after a nice surprise like that live music on a weekday evening, plus I’d had some friendly talk with other patrons, and the five or six beers I’d drank, it was time for me to split. As the band packed up its equipment, equipment for another band was being set up. I thought about staying for some of the next group’s set, but I knew I’d best get home to bed. On the way out that, now steadily busy, backdoor, that white guitar behind the little bar caught my eye again; but I still didn’t know what it meant.

Outside the backdoor, the bar’s small, row home sized, backyard was used as a little parking lot. Patrons parked in the alley too, and some used to use the side yard of a neighboring house across the alley for parking. Not liking that parking in their yard (who would?!), the neighbor had laid a telephone pole down between their yard and the alley.

As I moseyed out the backdoor and through the bar’s backyard, a lot of people were pouring into the bar. When I got a clear view past the incoming bar patrons, I see this car backed up part way over that prone telephone pole and seven or eight incoming patrons had stopped to try and help the car’s driver get the vehicle off that pole. One rear wheel was on each side of the pole, with the rear axle cockeyed across the darn pole. The right rear wheel had gone over the pole and was dangling in mid air over the neighbor‘s yard, and the left wheel was barely touching the ground on the alley side of the pole. Everyone was heaving and hoeing, like a railroad work gang in unison, trying to pick up the trunk end of the car and lift that one rear wheel back over the pole into the alley. Before I could get my hands on the car to help, loud, live, hard rockin’ music comes blasting out of the bar’s backdoor, and the helpful work gang looks at each other, then at the unfortunate woman who had been driving the car, and one person said for all, “The music’s started. We gotta go!” The pole hopping woman looks around pleadingly, but, in a few seconds, only I was there to be seen.

That was fully fortunate for her. I had been taught to be a backwoods driver up in Northern Maine, where the roads get real rough or ain’t none even there where you need to go. So I know how to get unstuck out of some bad spots. All I asked her was if she had a bumper jack; she had, and I told her the car’d soon be off that pole easy enough.

She was wearing the kind of black leather jacket women who ride on the back of a motorcycle often wear. She had blue jeans on her kind-of-long legs. Her brown hair was parted in the middle and cut just above her shoulders - no great styling to it. She wore no makeup at all. Was quite a trim gal, but solidly shapely. Not a real good looking woman, but not bad looking at all. Didn’t strike me as being a good cook or meticulous housekeeper, but she was a nice person.

The car was a plain, danky dark green, budget model, six or seven year old Chevy - no chrome, no extras. I knew that hard core bikers usually put every bit of their money made for nice stuff into their motorcycles. In those days, a biker’s car or pickup truck was rarely customized or prized like their motorcycle.

I took the jack from the trunk, and snugged it up firmly under the rear bumper. Then I got into the driver’s seat, started the engine, and carefully - quite skillfully I must say - eased the car forward as far as the dangling rear wheel could go up onto the prone telephone pole. Got back out, jacked it up a little more, then got back in it and throttle tapped it on over and off that pole. Knowing that if I moved the car too fast, the jack would go ka-sproinging off into the air like a missile; so I had warned her to stay clear, whilst I was hoping the jack didn’t fly against the neighbor’s house or through one of their side windows a short ways away. But I done right good, like I figured I would.

That leggy, not bad looking gal happily jumped up and down all grabbin’ and huggin’ and thanking me. She insisted she buy me a beer, saying, “You don’t know how much trouble you saved me.” But I did, because I knew that her hard core biker boyfriend would have given her all kinds of hell had he needed to come there with his biker buddies to get his car off that pole she’d - ditzy-dame - put it on. She was a bit ditzy, but a nice woman no doubt.

I tried to refuse that beer she was insisting she buy me, repeatedly stating that I had to get some sleep and go to work early next morning. Besides, I truly enjoy challenges like getting vehicles unstuck, especially when the technique to do it works as easily as it had that night. I had won that game of skill in real life. Considering that win, her warm gratitude, plus I had spared her a bad time from her man but never mentioned it, I was satisfied; but she insisted on buying me a beer. I agreed on one, and we went into Joe’s. 

That was when I saw that white guitar being played by that snakeskin clad dude, and realized that there they was: freakin-aye-right, George-friggin-Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers were blasting out Blues Rock like there was no tomorrow. Right there in my closest neighborhood bar. The place was packed, and the dance floor was rockin. It stayed that way, as the band played for the next two-and-a-half hours, until fifteen minutes past legal closing time at 2AM. I know, because I had checked the time as I reentered Joe’s, thinking I best not stay long, and then looked at my watch as I left and knew it was worth it only having a few hours left to sleep. Because I realized I had experienced the very best damned bar band I ever will. Absolutely.

The biker’s gal had bought me that beer, and I wisely stayed away from her after that. Couldn’t have anyone think I wanted more of a reward from her. If she’d been single, I would have bought her the next few beers and probably asked her out. I was fully satisfied with what I’d done out back, and fully rewarded by her hauling me reluctantly back into Joe’s Sportsman’s Bar to learn what it meant by that white guitar being in there on a guitar stand behind the bar.

It meant that George Thorogood was going to do, what he called, “A Sneak Attack.” He had come up in his music career by playing small bars and clubs, etc. in the Tri-State, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area. Thirty years ago, George and his band had reached the top, and they did not forget the local fans who helped them make it to the top. Free “Sneak Attacks” was how George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers showed their appreciation for the folks who loved them first.

Weeks later, I saw George in Downtown West Chester. He was coming out of the local army surplus store, with two other guys along and a bag of blue jeans in his hand. But I just didn’t think he needed me to say hi at the time. Eventually, I met and befriended George’s guitar technician, plus a former roadie of the band. The two roadies shared a large house with a very good friend of mine - a struggling, talented artist named Kevon Snyder. Kevon and his girlfriend, she played keyboards in bands, and the roadies had a place where beer was traditionally kept on ice in a cooler, and a bottle of good vodka was kept in the freezer of the refrigerator. We all pitched in on quite a few a cases of beer. Those roadies had traveled the world with George and the Destroyers opening up for the Rolling Stones. Basically, I am now, will be and have always been a Rolling Stones Fan. It was a highlight of my life to have my two roadie friends in West Chester show me photos of themselves backstage with a Stone or two. And the guitar tech told me that George always bought his blue jeans from that army surplus place. He also told me that not only was I never going to see George with a bag of reefer, if anyone in the band or crew brought any around him he'd fire them. I was lucky to be given a few rides in one of George’s three world famous old Checker Cabs, which he had had restored and painted black and let his guitar tech use.

Kevon and I became friends partly because I was a struggling photographer, and he a struggling artist. In the early 1980s, West Chester was a great place for people like us to live. It probably still is, but I haven’t been there for years. One day, I was heading out to the western edge of town to do some sunset photography. I was hustling to catch the colors, knowing the sky would soon go to yellow, then orange, then go grey. I suddenly thought of a house several streets over that had great looking yellow trim. That trim, with yellow sunset light hitting it and a yellow lens filter I had would make for a “Maximum Yellow” photograph! I made it there just in time, and got what I was after. Later, I showed a print of the “Maximum Yellow” shot to Kevon. He said, “That’s Pat and Billy Blough’s house.” I said, “Who?” He replied, “Pat, you know her, she tends bar at the Cabaret Club, and her husband Billy is the bass player in George Thorogood's band.” Jeezums. When I wanted to watch a good band play at the Cabaret but not get beer buzzed, Pat always gave me free orange juices after buying one. I worked as a security guard for the bank where Pat and Billy were frequent customers. Billy drove one of the three Checker Cabs that George had bought. Billy is a fairly quiet man, not a wild rock star at all. I had conversations with many bank customers, made friends and good business contacts there, but I was so embarrassed and felt too uncool in my security guard uniform to speak to the exceptionally hip looking guy in the real cool Checker. I had taken the photo before Kevon had moved into the roadies' house, and hadn't met them two guys yet.

After Kevon told me whose house I’d photographed in “Maximum Yellow,” I told Pat about it, and she told me to just go ahead and talk to her husband. He and I ended up becoming casual acquaintances. Sometimes, when he’d drive past me walking somewhere, he’d stop and we’d chat for a bit. I was in the Blough’s home twice, for very short visits. I gave him the photo and negative for “Maximum Yellow,” so that he could print it if he got his home darkroom set up again. Plus, I told Pat about how their street address numbers being gold colored against a yellow background made them a challenge to photograph right, but I had gotten the numbers to show nicely. She told me they had planned it so the numbers weren’t easy to see, because her husband, “Signed hotel registers all over the world. And you never know who might come looking for him. He is, after all, a Rock Star.” Billy stopped by at Kevon and the roadies’ house for two Halloween parties I was at and a 4th of July picnic. But he didn’t stay long, because he wasn’t a partying drinker like the rest of us there. He had been invited and is such a kind gentleman that he came by to say hello, honor the invitation, and then politely left. I doubt he ever drank much booze at all.

On December 18, 1982, George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers performed a sold out, one band concert at the Philadelphia Spectrum. They had previously traveled the USA and the rest of the world as the opening act for the Rolling Stones. But George figured he had made it to the top and could sell out a huge venue in his home territory. He wanted no opening act, just to see if only his band could fill the house. The bass player Billy Blough’s wife Pat’s best friend - a fine young lady named Julie - worked in the bank where I worked. Pat had given Julie and her husband two tickets to the sold out show, but Julie couldn’t go and told her husband to see if I’d like to use her ticket. So I was fortunate to attend that fantastic event in George Thorogood and the Destroyer’s careers.

I saw George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers - as they peaked way up onto the top of the music business - in a small neighborhood bar then several months later as the only band at a sold out Philly Spectrum show. For free! Sometimes, I’m just flat out, full steam lucky. Ain’t I!?!

David Robert Crews {a.k.a. ursusdave}