Peterson Investigations report (1959)


After hearing Beatrice Carmichael's comments about Howard Hadley, Detective Nelson tried to determine Hadley's movements after the Bowlan Glove Factory layoffs and to ascertain whether Hadley had any connection to Howard Hammack.

Lee Santos of Phillips Aviation in Detroit faxed the following information to Detective T. Nelson on June 1, 1998, along with a letter describing Howard Hammack's work history with the company.

Surveillance Report

Peterson Investigations - Confidential
Surveillance Report

Investigator: Reardon
Date: November 9, 1959
Subject: Phillips Aviation Local 252 and Menzzini Crime Family Affiliations

Case History:

Phillips Aviation has requested discreet investigation of Local 252 employees and Phillips management to determine if there is an association with the Menzzini crime family in Chicago.

Line taps on phones of union small-timers have revealed some information about the Local 252 and uncovered an association with the Menzzini organization. This family is believed to be involved in investment scams with various factory unions in Detroit and Chicago. Recent actions by Local 252 indicate involvement in Menzzini investment operations.

Progress Report:

Information gained thus far suggests that Mohr agreed to involve Local 252 in a profitable investment circle which includes hotels, casinos, resorts and other property in Atlantic City through Boss Menzzini in Chicago. Local 252's investments began six months ago. Union members have been kept in the dark until recently when some of the bottom tier members were cut in on profits in return for serving as enforcers to keep the membership in line and quiet.

Heavies like Fats Menzzini and Mets Menzzini, who keep a penthouse in Highland Park, Detroit, as well as Chicago union heads Todd Bush, Elliot Perch and Marco Riglioni have been meeting with Local 252 leadership in recent weeks. We have been unable to infiltrate that group at this point. However, our belief is that Phillips Aviation is likely to be drawn into an FBI fraud and racketeering investigation.

Top tier Local 252 members believed to be linked to investment scams include: union president Jim Mohr, vice president Toby McCalahan and treasurer Willis Ketchum.

Bottom tier members involved are: Ray Balboa, Ernest Bello, Marco Bennett, Bob Duffy, Howard Hammack, Tony Kief and Nando Tuckett. E. Bello, Bennett, Duffy, Hammack, Kief and Nando were tapped, transcripts attached.

Tap transcripts reveal little about the investment scheme, although reference to "Mr. P" in the Bennett/Hammack conversation suggests involvement with factory president Franklin R. Phillips. This is valuable information worth follow‑up investigation for the protection of Phillips Aviation interests.

Peterson investigators learned of a proposed action to eliminate Julio "Jeans" Bello by the Menzzini family using members of Local 252.

Mention of a "rally" means an attack or physical confrontation, no doubt here meaning Julio "Jeans" Bello. This "rally" is a cover-up for bigger action, we believe the planned hit on Bello by Local 252.

Our intelligence indicated that Howard Hammack was targeted to do the hit. This was a test for Hammack, a known roughneck who has so far not been part of the inner circle. He has received no money from Atlantic City investments that we know of.

Small timers like Bello are usually dealt with swiftly by the Menzinni family in operations like this.

The action was planned for this past Saturday, November 7th. As you are aware, the FBI ran a sting and took Jeans Bello into custody. Duffy, Hammack and Tuckett took a powder Saturday and were not arrested.

Our informant states that on Sunday they met with Mohr and declined further involvement in the Menzzini connections. We think the information is reliable, and they got scared out of it.

We will continue surveillance and progress reports.

Phone Tap #1

Peterson Investigations - Confidential

Line Tap Transcript
Howard Hammack with Marco Bennett
Recorded: November 6, 1959, 6:14 p.m.

Hammack: Yeah, Marco? That you?
Bennett: (Noise, chatter in the background) Yeah, listen up here. I'm down at the pub knocking back a few with some of the guys, and the big Chicago boys come in.
Hammack: No kiddin'?
Bennett: Yeah, some of the big boys from the local are down here, makin' a lot of noise about this fellow Jeans Bello. You know the one?
Hammack: The wop from the Chicago outfit, Ernie's brother?
Bennett: Watch it, Hammack. Yeah, that's the guy. Get this. You know all the buzz about kickbacks to the union agent, right?
Hammack: (Child crying in background) Hey kid, pipe it down and shut up! I'm on the phone here.
Marco, kickbacks, yeah? What are they into him for?
Bennett: No, no. This guy ain't givin' kickbacks. He's takin'. Word is, he's taking more than that too. Got a girl on the side.
Hammack: A girl on the side, so what?
Bennett: She happens to be Fats Menzzini's girl over in Highland Park.
Hammack: No shit?
Bennett: Yeah. Word is Menzzini's hot as hell over it. It's bad news all around. These guys are saying the investments in Atlantic City could be in jeopardy. You know about that, right?
Hammack: Over a broad?
Bennett: Well, who knows what all it's over? Bello is big buddies with those reds from the Chicago plant. Something ain't right about it. Mr. P. and Jimmy Mohr are up to their necks in it. They've got these Chicago guys up here, some of Fats' people too.
Hammack: What do I have to do with this?
Bennett: Menzzini's looking for some muscle. They're talkin' about holding a rally.
Hammack: A rally?
Bennett: You're goddamned right a rally. They want Bello to learn a big lesson. The guys want to know if you're in on it.
Hammack: Hey, I busted a skull or two in my day. It's a fast, cheap way to get some sonuvabitches' attention, I can tell you that. Quickest way I know.
Bennett: You know, you're wantin' to move up. This is your red carpet, buddy.
Hammack: You give 'em the green light from my end. I'll go down to that bastard's place tonight and stick a fork in him.
Bennett: No, no. You just lay low, sit tight and tone down the juice. They aren't gonna want you all juiced up. I'll see you a little later.
Hammack: Yeah, thanks.
(Line disconnected)

Phone Tap #2

Peterson Investigations - Confidential

Line Tap Transcript
Howard Hammack with Jim Mohr
Recorded: November 6, 1959, 9:36 p.m.

Mohr: Hammack, that you?
Hammack: Yeah. Who's speaking?
Mohr: Jim Mohr, from the local.
Hammack: Sure, sure Mr. Mohr … (slurred, unintelligible) …
Mohr: I had drinks with some of the boys this evening. Marco Bennett told me you two had discussed the rally.
Hammack  Yeah, that's right. Says we got a pinko with his fingers in too many pies.
Mohr: That's the ticket. You're in then?
Hammack: Yep … (extended pause, then unintelligible) … falling down on the job. We all got interests to protect.
Mohr: Right. If this business escalates, we may have to take action.
Hammack: Hey, I busted a skull or two in my day. It's a—
Mohr: Yeah. We're likely talking something permanent. I hear you got some experience?
Hammack: Damn right, I'm your man.
Mohr: We'll keep that on ice for now. I just needed to know if you were in for this, for whatever we need.
Hammack: I know right where the bastard stays
Mohr: Sure, sure. Hey, don't get ahead of yourself there, Hammack. And don't let on with the boys that anything's out of whack, all right? We gotta step lightly.
Hammack: I— no, of course. I know how to keep my mouth shut.
Mohr: Good. We have a meeting scheduled with the investors tomorrow. We'll know how to proceed after that. Got me?
Hammack: Yessir, Mr. Mohr. This means I'm in for some investment options, don't it?
Mohr: We'll get you square, hear?
Hammack: Sure.
Mohr: All right, see you at work. And Hammack, lay off the heavy booze 'til this is over.
Hammack: Sure, sure thing, Mr. Mohr.
(Line disconnected)



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