Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

Dixie Mafia (Stanley Harvey Harris)

Dixie Mafia (Stanley Harvey Harris)

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 07:00

Never heard of the Dixie Mafia? Miami-Dade police has… Back in the 1970’s, a single murder sent a deadly ripple throughout South Florida.

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This is vengeance, this is anger. This was a true, true statement. People in Dave County would terrify. Too many bodies would be turned up. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. I'm Anna Sige Nikolasi, former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation discoveries, true conviction. And this is anatomy of murder. Today's case is a very different case than so many others that we have featured here in AOM. Because it's going to feel like we're going on a journey to a different era. And in some ways, almost like a different world. But on the other hand, it's also going to feel very familiar because there are some aspects of today's story that you have seen in movies and on TV dramas. Many of you may be too young to remember the TV show Miami Vice in the 80s. But you may remember the movie Scarface with Al Pacino. Both the TV show and the movie really highlighted the drug scene in Miami-Dade County in the 80s. And today's case will take you right into the center of it. They said to me, I want you to find out everything you can about these people. So that was my total thinking life and it became known. And if you wanted any information on this organization, I want to go to Guy. We spoke with retired police chief Tom Stone, who was also a detective for the organized crime bureau of the Miami-Dade Public Safety Division in the 1970s. Now, I just see when I entered my law enforcement career in the late 80s, it was the late 70s where the drug cartels started operating in South Florida. And they were really known for enforcing their territories and taking out the competition. And for the general public getting caught potentially in their crossfire, well, that was very real. It was February 14th, 1974, and while many people were planning their Valentine's Day dinner, Tom was focused on something else. President Richard M. Nixon is in town, so they had the whole area blocked off, including where the public safety building was, where I was located at the time. Days before presidential visit comes to town, the Secret Service advanced teams are already planning routes, deciding which routes to block, intersections, and of course, deciding what escape routes they should take in case the president's motorcade comes under fire. All of that coordination is with the assistance of local law enforcement. And so all of that really is going on on this particular day. When all of a sudden a detective rushes in to give Tom the news that a homicide has occurred, and that homicide is going to set off a chain reaction that's going to change how Miami-Dade police, the FBI, and the DEA investigate crime in South Florida. A guy from homicide came up from the second floor and said, Tom, we need you to come right away. They found Stanley Harris and he's dead. A layperson wouldn't recognize his name, but Tom and his colleagues were very familiar with Stanley Harvey Harris and the organization he worked for. We got into the car and we started heading out, and that was a Secret Service agent who said, I'm sorry, you can't go this way. You know, we're the Secret Service. We say, you can't go down the street. He looked at it, he said, we're the police, we're going down the street. We went down the street. The first thing that was noticeable to Tom is when he arrived at the crime scene with Stanley's bullet-rattle black Lincoln town car sitting in the parking lot of the near Pirates Cove Marina. It was riddle, I mean, just riddle with bullets. And just to really lay out what this crime scene is and where things are, you know, we have this restaurant called the Pirates Cove and then there's this field. And then on the other side of the field is basically a marina. And so when they now see the town car, of course, they're going to process the car to see if there's anything potentially of evidentiary value. Lying face up next to the car was Stan Harris deceased shot multiple times. The first detective on the scene was Lloyd Huff. We went over to the Pirates Cove and in the parking lot, Lloyd was walking around and he said, wait a minute. And he looked and he found some chips of red plastic. Investigators began to key on several small pieces of red plastic chips near the body, casings from a 30 caliber carbine rifle, which is a high powered rifle and some projectiles from a 22 caliber pistol. Then he found some what looked like threads of leisure suits. For those of you that are too young, do you even know what this is? It was made basically a polyester and whenever I think of it, I think of the white leisure suit that John Travolta, who was Tony Monero in the Story Saturday Fever War. Not only can I explain it to you what it is, I'm actually going to repost a high school picture of myself wearing one. I'll upload it to my Weinberg or Media Instagram account so you can take a look for yourself. I mean, that is a classic look. I got the pictures in front of me as Stanley and he was in a leisure suit. So, Bay and this is where the kill and took place. And as they were looking around the area and collecting things that might be of value, it became clear that bullets were found that had actually ricocheted off the Pirates' Cove restaurant. You know, I'm just going to ask, with so many rounds being fired, is this one shooter or several shooters? And another question would be, did the victim potentially return fire? And if so, was his weapon removed from the scene by the shooter? You know, it's likely the fact that so many rounds were fired, you know, we're going to have some both ear and eye witnesses in the area. When looking at the various places that this crime occurred and they really figured out that there was more than one, there's going to be a second crime scene here, all that really means is that for detectives, there is more to figure out. You know, were things happening where they found them, had things been moved. These are now these extra steps that they need to delve into. But what they wanted to do first was speak to people who had actually been inside the Pirates' Cove at the time of the shooting. They did have witnesses from inside who were luckily forthcoming about what they had heard as far as the gunshots. People heard the multi-gunshots. We could pretty well pinpoint it down to right about 6.30 a.m. We've been talking a lot about the Pirates' Cove and to a regular person, it didn't mean much, but police knew about its reputation. It was a popular hangout for gangsters. When you went into Pirates' Cove, there was a matriety who would steal light in the grab at Thunder. And if you were part of the organization, a part of the bad group, you went on one side of the bar and if you were like a patron, that happened to wander in there aimlessly, they put you in a different section of the restaurant. It really does sound like something right out of a screenplay. To me, it's like Scarface meets Goodfellows. But it was very real back then at the time and here. You know, it's pretty well known this is a real OC or organized crime hangout. And these types of cases really do find their way to Hollywood's grips. You know, it makes these movies, these TV shows, these dramas, you know, so much more realistic. And you know, sometimes people say, well, wait a second. If even the police know that the criminals are hanging out and is particularly establishment and they know who's who and what they're up to, why can't they just shut the place down, you know, or arrest them? And again, it's not that simple. It comes down to evidence. And not just there's no such thing as being prosecuted for being a bad guy or bad girl. There has to be some specific crime. And same thing for a restaurant. There's no crime in letting people that have committed crimes come in and patronize your establishment. So it really comes down to what they know about specifics, not who's hanging out where. So for investigators knowing the victim's reputations as they did, the first two theories was this arrival gang going to make a statement, perhaps fighting for drug or turf war, or members of Stanley Harris's own crew trying to move up the ladder. After his body was removed from the scene, Stanley Harvey Harris's body was sent to the medical examiner. The medical examiner found 23 bullets. And what was the reason behind this overkill, rage, or perhaps it was a message? You know, so the obvious thing is, well, who was Stanley Harris? And this does all kind of come back to the area that we're talking about. And it's time Stanley was killed. He was 26 years old. He was a fairly big guy. Very bright. She had a horrible reputation in South Florida. When I say South Florida, I mean the Palm Beach's Broward, Dave County, the Keys. But he was an enforcer in the Cravera organization, which was a criminal enterprise well known by law enforcement at the time. She was mean, he was arrogant. But his trademark was a baseball bat. If somebody knocked on your door at night and it was Stanley Harris, he would usually have a baseball bat and he used it quite effectively. That would not be good for whoever opened the door. And Asiga, forgetting just for a one moment, how Stanley Harris lived his life, likely that did play a role into the homicide, what do you think? Tom says that he's arrogant. He's not just this tough guy who is hurting people for a living, but that he thinks a whole lot himself. So you start to wonder, well, wait a second. We know that people are always looking to move up in these organizations. You know, at least that's what the movies tell us. And those of us in the know, we actually see it within these crews when we worked in this world. But you do start to wonder if it's something like that that played in and led to his death. You know, Tom did have a lot of experience in dealing with organized crime cases. In the early 1970s, Tom was deep undercover in Miami as a security guard at a Ritzie hotel where the criminal organization members would frequent. And he said, well, we'll make your security guard at a hotel over all the beach, give you the apartment in Miami. Sure, strip all your identity, give you new identity, and you live away from your wife and family for a while while you work this case. In the 70s, South Florida was a hot bed for tourism, perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and people from all over the country wanting a slice of that lifestyle. Behind the scenes, it was becoming a safe haven for organized crime crews from the Northeast, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, seeing lots of opportunity to set up shop. Miami would be the place where the wintertime, the guys from up north and so forth, come down there and settle the differences we'd find them in the Everglades. So it was like a free vacation, like a club bed for, you know, gangsters. What they were starting to see at the time was that the Colombian cartels were starting to take a foothold with cocaine. And for those of you that don't know Miami and those of you that do, you know, there's a lot of canals all throughout the city, which is a pretty decent place to get rid of weapons. Certainly it was back then in the 1970s. You know, they also had lots of small little landing strips, right? So as a member of law enforcement, you're finding these locations and you're thinking, okay, this is the next spot, but they've already been there. It was really a cat and mouse game back in the 70s and the 80s and really difficult to track. You know, we can't talk about the crime that was going on there at the time without also noting that there was also a lot of corruption. So the smugglers would find viable cops and, you know, put $10,000, $20,000, one of them, they paid $50,000 when they came up on the load in cash and say, you know, you want to get if you want to die, one of the two, they chose after one. You know, on a figure there is no reason to sugarcoat this throughout history. Some who are sworn to enforce the law are bribed or even take upon themselves to use the power of that oath to profit or even some who do the so-called dirty work for criminals. And when possible, they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And we see that all the time. I knew about Stanley Harvey Harris and the Kavero organization prior to the homicide because of the type of assignment I was on over on the Miami Beach. Based on the way Stanley Harris was killed, detectives believe that his own crew had turned on him. We knew that Kavero and his group, that's the way they killed, if they wanted to kill like that because of other bodies that we had found involved with organized crime and the Kavero organization. But we didn't have the pieces to put the puzzle together. So who is this Kavero crew? The Kavero crew eventually became associated with what was referred to as the Dixie Mafia, an organized crime syndicate that stretch all the way from Missouri down to Miami. And for those of you out there, had you even ever heard of the Dixie Mafia because it's certainly not the first few things that I would say if you asked me to talk about various organized crime families that I've either dealt with. Or certainly heard of around the US. Of course, if you look them up, you can find things about them. But that also talks about the quietness of their work while it's no less criminal or no less lethal. They did work at least for a while under the radar more a bit. They partied at the par at the coal where Stanley got killed and the other place was exactly plugged. So let's get a bit into the players who were around Stanley Harris when he was alive. So if you're able to sit down, sit down and get ready because it's going to be more than one, two, or even three different names. At the time, the leader of the crew was named William Andres, otherwise known as Billy the Kid. He was sort of low key. He did all his business low key that Billy would hurt you. He was in it to make money and he was a smuggler. Billy the Kid even had a police sergeant that lived in his building who was willing to play ball. In the back of Billy's house in the city of Miami, he had a garage apartment and that's where the detective sergeant from Miami beach lived. And between the detective's garage and Billy's bayonet house was actually a pool and Billy would sometimes put an alligator in the pool. Well, where did that finally turn up? Where did you see police with the alligator in the pool? Miami Vice. First car face, now Miami Vice, Crockett and Tubbs. If you remember, just cue the Phil Collins in the air tonight music. The next is Richard Douglas Cravera who went by Ricky and will think of him as the frontman of this crew. Richard Douglas Cravera was an outlaw from the time he was conceived. A tough guy had the persona about him. Erigan in charge, walk into a place and be like part of the sea. You know, naturedies move people and things like that. He had that type of persona about him. To while Billy was pulling strings from the back, Ricky was the guy out in front. Ronald Clifford Chandler was Ricky's number two. He was the henchman. Sort of goofy in some respects. Didn't have a lot of brain power, but he had a lot of following power. In other words, when I say following power, whatever the master Ricky said, Ronnie would do without question. As far as being a thorough independent thinker, he was not. And the next two were really going to refer to together and one is Bobby Greenwood and the other is Paul David Jacobson. And they're both really the smugglers. Bobby Greenwood was a career criminal who started as a jewel thief, but he ultimately became a smuggler as well. And Paul David Jacobson, the other smuggler, well, he was known as Jake the snake and that really says a lot. He was a small time smuggler with the talent for alluding the police. He would do whatever task were needed out to him. The killing got so bad, people have to understand that this was a terror organization. Everybody was susceptible to that wrath. Even if they got the hit that you could interfere, you were dead. Detectives were pretty sure that it was going to be someone from within their crovera crew that had ordered a hit on Stanley Harvey Harris, but now proving it was going to be an uphill battle filled with obstacles. Working the streets for as long as Tom did, he already knew that there was trouble in Billio the Kid's crew. It had been a little rumbling on the street that there was some trouble in paradise. You know, everybody wants to climb to the top of the mountain. Now Tom better than most really understood the nature of this crew remember. He'd been working on the inside as an undercover. And so he understood not only the crew but this world and he warned others within the department that things were going to unfortunately probably get much bloodier before they got better. This is going to be bad. When somebody shoots up standing like this, this is vengeance, this is anger. That many shots making that bigger statement. Somebody saying we're here to take over. This is not where you just bring him aside like Billy was going to do in his house and put one in the back of the head and dump his body in the Everglades. This was a true, true statement. Now there's always pressure to solve any homicide but here where because of the nature and why they think this happened and they just think it's going to lead to much more bloodshed, the pressure is really on. And police are obviously anxious to prevent more homicide or more hurt from occurring. Once details of the execution style murder came to light, the Miami Herald jumped all over the story with screaming headlines calling it the Valentine's Day slaughter. The first step for Tom and his partner already are going to do what most would do. They're going to go to those that they think will be cooperative and give information. So that's very obviously going to be friends, family here next of kin. So they go to see Stanley Harvey Harris's girlfriend Renee. And no to five or eight, it's Stanley had been killed. She was just vow. I mean, vow if you can imagine vow. That threw us out the house for the longest time refused to even talk to us or cooperate in any method whatsoever. Common already knew that based on the world that the victim operated in getting potential witnesses to come forward would be no easy task fearing that they would be concerned just about talking let alone potentially testifying in the future. Still the pair visited well known hotspots of Stanley's crew hoping to learn something or anything about his murder. We were putting extreme pressure. I mean, we were hitting these bars and all the associates convincing them to talk will take a ton of work. The closer we would get to some people and get them to where they think they might want to talk to us or point us in the right direction. The next thing you know, we wouldn't hear from them anymore. We need to find them when they disappear. We never heard from them. And we say disappear. This was leading to much more crime. A chain reaction murder started to happen all around them. And every time already now we're get close to somebody on that side of the fence, there would be a body that would turn up. Here it was happening over and over again. There was actual murders that this organization was making very clear to anyone around them that no one was safe and they were going to make very sure that no one would talk. But people in Dave County were terrified because Ricky and the boys were walking around as even more kings of the mountains. You know, whatever fear factor they had prior to February the 14th, it went up tenfold. So think about it not only from the police perspective, but the community as well and how terrifying this must have been. There were some just innocent people. Might be a bar maid. They thought might have heard something. And all of a sudden these people disappear. You can't find any rhyme or reason. The homicide guys that got to the case were called, already announced. You all don't think about this person. We said no, we don't. But she used to work at the executive club. Bingo. Police were able to connect these cases with the Stanley Harris murder. And investigators began to worry if these were potential witnesses who were being eliminated before police could even identify. Or even question them for information. Did she hear something? Did she see something? Things look bleak, but they were about to get a big break. Tom and Arnie approached a man named Lester Holt and no, he's not the NBC News anchor. But this Lester Holt was an enforcer for the Corvera crew. Lester George Holt was a pretty bad guy. And this is it very important. He spoke one cigarette right after another. We approached Holt, already not found him, but in some of the compromises and positions, a weakened position one night. And so you know when Tom talks about that he was in this compromised position, while I'm assuming he's talking about either under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And ultimately that's going to let his guard come down a bit. And he was scared. He said, you know, I think they're going to kill me. He was scared. And so what he makes clear to them is that he is so scared that he's actually thinking about switching sides and helping the police to then hopefully save himself. You know, normally a tough guy like Holt would never go to the police for help. So the threat to himself, he must have really felt the heat. And to prove he was worthy for the protection he was asking for, Holt dropped a bombshell. You know, I know it was Ricky and Ronnie and Bobby that killed Stanley and had you know that because he told me. And now let's remember who these guys are that he's talking about. You know, there's Ricky who is the main player, the tough guy. And then you have Ronnie who's basically his henchman. And these are the guys that Lester is now talking about to the police. And so we started cultivating Holt. It was the first time that we had somebody who was in the organization who was talking to us. We talked that one up as a victory. This is a true insider. You know, they have many names from members of these violent drug crews who cooperate with the police. Somebody who may be like Lester. They call them rat, snitch, canary. And to members of law enforcement, we have a term as well. It's called shaking hands with the devil. Meaning you are working with someone who you know probably has done some really bad things. And even in some cases commit a murder. But you need them. So you need to offer them some type of deal. And this is going to be huge for them because very often when you end up getting information from someone on the inside, it's because now they themselves are in trouble. And there's usually that means with the law. So they're trying to help themselves. Here, this guy is so petrified that he's going to wind up dead or missing next that he's willing to help the police for that. But here's the thing. It's not like they're just going to say, hey, meet us down at the precinct and tell us what you know. No, you know, it has to be a completely stealth operation. You know, he's going to meet him somewhere that they don't think anyone's going to figure it out. They're going to get information here and there when they can. Because it's so important for the rest of this organization, particularly when you're talking about organized crime, to not think that there's anything amiss because that will make sure that something happens to him, which is exactly why he was scared from the beginning. Tom got one person to talk, but could he get others? He made the decision to put a wire on luster hold. We were getting ready to wire him up and were pretty optimistic about what hope could do for us. But before he could, Tom got a disturbing phone call. I got a call and audio now went to the medical examiner's office. He says, I need you to help perceive you can identify this body. Tom is now called down to the Broward County Medical Examiner's office to identify a body. He's brought into this room where they have an individual obviously dead and that person is wrapped in blankets, chains, and extremely disfigured. But I looked at his, saw his right hand and you could tell how he would hold cigarettes. The skin was dark. They confirmed that the victim was their only informant, luster George Holt. When I was reading the section of the report, I believe that word got back that Holt was working with the police and then it happens. Holt was found, he was taken out, he was murdered, and accomplishing two things as I see it. Solancing a potential witness, which probably was very important for them, and while also sending a very serious message to anyone who was also thinking about working with police. I think that's exactly it. You want to silence him, you could just do it with one gunshot wound. This was a message to anyone else out there. Don't you even think about doing what this guy was about to do. But things didn't really totally grind to a halt for Tom and Arty. They may have been discouraged, but they didn't stop applying pressure and then it paid off. The morning of the homicide, that was a security guard. It was working in the apartment complex, at about seven o'clock in the morning, he was out doing what security guards do. He saw three well-dressed people standing on the bank of a canal, and they were throwing stuff into the canal. Throwing something into the canal, really. And then we set a dive team up there and recovered some of the guns that were used. Tom and Arty were insistent on not letting up. We were putting a lot of pressure, I mean, to a tremendous amount of pressure. It was even getting to Ricky, remember, the main player, the tough guy, and his behavior even started to become erratic. Ricky could get crazy. If you looked at him wrong, sometimes people would go by by. And the next thing you know, there were some people turning up in the keys. On his orders, people were even being blown apart by dynamite. You just can't make this stuff up. It's again, something out of the movies, because we all know, based on what you don't normally hear, is that most homicides are not committed using explosives. It does happen, of course. And there's a lot of movies, as we know, especially the mobster movies, when someone gets into a car, turns the key, and then the car blows up. Here it seems to be part of the, everything is bigger and bigger, and it's more brutal. It's more violent. It's going to be taking all the resources they have at their disposal. And apparently, dynamite was one of them. But the reality is, explosives can be traced, and there are some great technology that's been developed to identify types of explosives. Identify a trigger mechanism that may have been used. And outside of an improvised or a homemade explosive, the industry is so tightly regulated that leaving a solid paper trail for investigators makes it the not go to weapon for bad guys. So Ricky, the main player, is terrorizing anyone and everyone who could even potentially be a problem. And that was not limited to only people on the outside. It was people on the inside too. Anybody who was involved or thought to be involved or had any information, they started running scared. And anytime the police would contact them and word would filter back. So we had to be very, very careful. So even those on the inside started to get wary. And that's why the house started tumbling day home. In a surprise move, Billy Andrews, aka Billy the Kid, reached out and said he had had enough. Billy said, look, they could soon turn around and kill me and kill my wife. And he had a daughter who was severely disabled. And it's time for me to get right with the Lord. And so now once they have him, federal authorities take him in and they really want to talk to him about all their narcotics muggling. This was great news except for the feds as it happens through up a roadblock. And according to Tom, it seemed like the DEA were more interested in the drugs smuggling part of this case than they were about the murders involved in South Florida. Different agencies don't always play so nicely one another. I'd like to say that I think it's getting better and I do think it is overall. But it certainly has been one of these age-old problems from time to time and it certainly seemed to be on this case here. You know, one of the main goals of the DEA, and I'm quoting from their website, is the investigation and preparation of prosecution of criminals and drug gangs who perpetrate violence in our community and terrorize citizens through fear and intimidation. And this sounds exactly what Billy the Kid's crew was operating in. You know, but it's a push and pull between these federal and local cops. But the department wanted to make it very clear that this was urgent because it wasn't one homicide. It was many at this point in the killing wasn't going to stop until they got everyone held accountable that had been involved. So it got to the point where we had to say to the feds, we're getting all of these bodies turning up. We need to solve these, get the killers off the street. The feds held one of the keys to the key of the counter because the witness protection program was brand new at the time. It's called by various names, Whitsack, Witness Protection, and it dates back many, many years. But in the 70s, it was something that was brand new. And Billy the Kid was probably the first of a dozen of its kind offered protection and potentially relocation for their cooperation. It doesn't take too many conversations between Tom and Billy Andres, or remember who were calling Billy the Kid, that they have this instant rapport and Billy starts telling him all about the plan to kill Stanley Harvey Harris. Billy Andres, Ricky Cavarro and Ronald Chandler had decided that Stanley had to be killed because they got word to Stanley was going to kill Cavarro and possibly Andres. So he would be the king of the mountain. So a plot was put into place about a week before Stanley actually got killed where Billy was going to have him come to his house. And then he and Ricky remember the main player. Well, they start talking about that after they kill Stanley that they're going to start to kill his family too. They said they have to kill his wife and child. And that's when the light bulb went off and Billy Andres had he says, we're not killing women and children. You know, we're going to kill Stanley. And that is when that plan that night was stopped. Now enter plan number two. Stanley had a very, very attractive lady. I mean, she turned his wherever she walked in that thought. So I was like, so like you'd see the movie or whatever. Stanley had a beautiful girlfriend who was being hit on by a man by the name of Sammy. She told Stanley that this guy was after her to bed or down and so forth and so on. And Stanley was quite upset about that. And so that worked into the plot how he was killed on February the 14th. Stanley's telling everyone that'll listen that he's on his way to go out and kill Sammy. And that's now opening the door for the next set up on February 14th. Bobby Greenwood, who's one of the smugglers call Stanley and tells him that Sammy is going to be a pirate's cove. When Stanley got to Pirates Cove, Ricky the tough guy running the henchmen. Bobby and Billy of the kid were all there waiting for him. And he walked up to him and there was some high how you doing. You know, I've got to remove a part of Sammy's body. And the next thing you know, the gunshots started out. There were two other men that were hired by Ricky to help with the homicide. But to this day, they've never been identified at least not officially. They lit up the car with bullets and once the smoke cleared, one of the unidentified men moved the car to a field just across the street from the marina. And he pulled Stanley out of the car, laid him on the grass and then robbed the body. Why move the body? What was the message that was going on there? Potentially was moving the body, taking the heat off from the owners of the pirates, Cove, who were pretty friendly with Stanley's crew. And why rob him of his wallet and his jewelry? Maybe there was a thought that it may look like a robbery, but that doesn't only make sense considering how many bullets were fired. So the robbery of Stanley after he was dead, obviously may have just been a crime of opportunity. So with this evidence, the dominoes are falling, but detectives know that while it's time to get these outlets off the street, they aren't ready at least not quite yet. Do you remember the two witnesses that were from the pirates Cove who had actually heard the gunshots? Well, they just might be more involved than they originally let on. The pieces were beginning to fall into place. I mentioned two ladies earlier. Barbara and Mary were two women who had heard the gunshots on the night that Stanley was killed. Two nights prior to the homicide, the 12th and 13th of February, Ricky had gotten them to rent hotel rooms. So they all could party, a party that also included planning Stanley's demise. The night of the murder, the two women were more than just ear witnesses. They'd actually seen the men walk out of the club to meet Stanley in the parking lot. With an arrest warrant in hand, Hamid's partner took a few officers up to Browell County and arrested Ricky at his Haundale Beach home. You know, he was so arrogant, he gave no resistance to anything like that. He was very vocal, but none of them gave any resistance when we arrested him. After his arrest, other gangsters also began to fall. When it started to come, it's a lack of a better term. We already an hour on the roll, and people trusted us and we're talking to us. And that's how it all came down because people weren't to live. The investigation and subsequent conviction eventually led to solving approximately 30 additional homicides. So now we have so many different players, you know, to keep up with, you know, how would you approach the prosecution in this specific case? Well, I was already thinking about it as I was starting to list it out because it's a case like this that I would really start with all the small pieces. And I would want to make it clear to the jury that you don't need just to rely on the testimony of Billy Andress or Billy the kid. Because remember, he's so on the inside, he's actually the top of this organization, but he's being used as some of the major evidence against these other guys for the homicide. So yes, you're going to use him, but it's like you want to make it clear that it is all these various pieces apart from that that also prove their guilt. And then when you put this guy on the inside, that you need so that you really understand how all the pieces fit together. Well, then it's like, you know, one, two, three game over, no matter which way you look, it is guilt beyond any reasonable doubt as to them all. Billy was given immunity to testify, Ricky the tough guy and Ronnie the henchman they stood trial and during that trial, Stanley's girlfriend testified the press packed the courtroom and to their delight, she really put on a show. She came in like, you know, look at the knives and all that and took to stay and she laid her part of it out, which certainly substantiated Billy's story and the other witnesses that we had to put them there to homicide. The jury ultimately came back with a verdict of guilty and then in the sentencing phase, they voted seven to five in faith, were at the death penalty. However, they were judged ultimately reverse that decision and instead impose life. Now, I know this happens in a lot of different cases on a single, what's the thinking there? What's potentially in the judge's mind? This is always kind of a tough one for me to talk about because we have a different system in New York. You know, we don't have it that it's bifurcated like this and that the jury is going to come out in the same way that the judge can then just overturn it. But again, you know, we're talking about the death penalty and we don't even have that New York. We had it for such a short period of time, but you know, there is a reason that they've given judges this type of discretion because they look at the evidence differently. And all I can think of is whether it's because of the quality of the evidence or some other factor that the judge felt that the appropriate punishment was life without the possibility of parole and not sentenced these people to death. There was also a federal agency in the wings watching this trial and when it was over, the DEA had their shot at putting Ricky into federal prison. DEA loaded him up on smuggled charges, conspiracy charges. We put him in federal prison and they went in federal prison and the military will finish their sentence in federal prison. They will remain the back to Florida custody. Everybody got a piece of them. In a separate trial, Kenny Townsend and Paul Jacobson, they were acquitted. And the story wasn't over here because amazingly 20 months into his life sentence, Ronnie Chandler actually escaped from prison. You know where the dumb guy went right back to the day, Charlie. Again, I picture something out of the movies and he basically, he just doesn't leave town. He stays the place that he knows that he's been the big shot for all these years. So of course they're going to find him. It's a very big country, but he stays local. Ronald Clifford Chandler was not a brain surgeon. He didn't have the cunning of the smarts that Ricky had. They're both in prison in Florida right now. They're in separate prisons. They're probably late 70s, 78s, 79 years old. And by the way, he did that more than once. He did it twice. So after his first attempt, he was ultimately recaptured by a task force of federal and local authorities. And yes, that happened the second time too. As a result of the Stanley Harris homicide and the insuant investigation into the cavera organization, it had a big impact and changed some of the crime picture in South Florida and enhanced a lot of people's quality of life. There's the saying that we've all heard it doesn't matter where you fall on the religion scale. Thou shalt not kill. And that goes for everyone no matter what the life is that they've led. And Stanley Harvey Harris obviously led this life of crime. But Tom and his partner and all those in the department will they handled this case as vigorously as they would any other. Tom would be a police chief at several agencies around the country. And now after more than 46 years of law enforcement, he spends his time lecturing law enforcement executives. And I'm sure telling some pretty colorful stories along the way. But you know something to note about this homicide was that it was the domino that really helped take this organization down. You know, unfortunately so many other lives were upended and lost as part of Stanley's death. But it was his murder that ultimately helped investigators take this crew and their carnage out of play. I think if this had continued the way it was going, it would have had a horrific effect if it hadn't been stopped. Tom, thank you for your service. Kune in next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio-chuck original. Produced and created by Weinberger Media and Frisetti Media. Ashley Flowers and Sue Middavid are executive producers. So, what do you think Chuck, do you approve?