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Thread: Unidentified Female, Located March 9, 1981, Glades County, FL

  1. #1

    Unidentified Female, Located March 9, 1981, Glades County, FL

    Unidentified White Female

    • The victim was discovered on March 9, 1981 in Moore Haven, Glades County, Florida
    • Estimated Date of Death: 1 day prior
    • Cause of Death: Blunt trauma to head.
    Vital Statistics

    • Estimated age: Late teens- early 20s
    • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'4 1/2" (65.5"); 125 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: Auburn hair; hazel eyes. Non-professional tattoo of the letter "N" on top or right thumb. Copper colored nail polish on toes, none on fingers. She was a nail biter.
    • Fingerprints: Available

    Case History
    The victim was located face down in a small canal off of County Road 720, in the rural area of Moore Haven, Florida.
    Cause of death was from blunt force trauma to the left side of head.
    Little information has been found on this case.
    May have been at "Uncle Joes Fish Camp" or the "Trucadero Bar" in Clewiston around the time of death.
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:33 PM.

  2. #2

    Victim was located face down in a small canal off of County Road 720

    Location where she was found. Where is in conjunction to everything else. What sort of area is this. Does anyone think that killers are more likely to dump a body closer to their home or farther away?

    I have always thought killers might dump their victims vehicles close to their homes, so they didn't have to walk or hitchhike as far to get to where they themselves were staying, but I don't know about a body. I'm leaning towards farther away to disassociate themselves with the crime. However in cases, for example, Allison Craven, of Pearland TX, the murderer dumped her body on the same property, which was an apartment complex, in a field behind it, that he was living, so I may be wrong, or maybe it just depends on the circumstances.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Uncle Joe's Fish Camp

    St. Petersburg Times
    September 3, 1989
    Edition: CITY
    Page: 1B

    Index Terms:
    article animal

    Loaded for gator

    Author: RICK BRAGG


    Article Text:
    LAKE OKEECHOBEE - The bartender at Uncle Joe's Fish Camp had told the gospel truth.
    ''Tonight, the gators will be so thick in them canals you can walk across the water on their backs,'' Chuck Rogers said Friday afternoon, rummaging in the cooler for another can of Miller. Then he grinned.
    ''I'd watch my backside out there, if I was you.''
    Later that night, three alligator hunters in two small boats glided down the lake's rim canal. Rain fell softly, steadily. The water and sky were black - there was no distinguishing where one began and the other ended.
    Ray Schenck, Buddy Marco and Dan Vinayi, three old friends from Miami, swept the canal with powerful searchlights.
    There, reflected in the beam of light, is a row of orange eyes. They stretch from bank to bank - the canal seems full of them.
    Schenck stood in the bow of one boat as it moved toward a pair of eyes near the bank. The bank is the killing zone. Shallow water is the alligator's doom, because it can't slip away deep enough to hide.
    Schenck raises a steel harpoon. The eyes glow brighter as the boat inches closer.
    Somebody yells, ''Stick 'em!''
    Then the black water goes wild ...
    Watch your feet
    Florida's monthlong commercial alligator season opened Friday at dusk on Lake Okeechobee and 27 other lakes and waterways. It was the second hunt since the state lifted a 25-year ban on alligator hunting last year.
    The state Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission didn't have a count on how many gators the 229 hunters, selected in a random drawing of more than 20,000 applicants, took on the first two nights. But it's expected that as many as 3,435 of the state's estimated 1-million gators will be killed in September.
    At Uncle's Joe's Fish Camp in Glades County, the hunt is welcome. The lake and its surrounding canal have been infested with the reptiles. You watch where you put your feet if you take a stroll anywhere around the giant freshwater lake, the locals said.
    ''I've had to pen my dog,'' said Cindy Massey, whose husband, Ed, runs Uncle Joe's. Uncle Joe has been dead for years, but Massey didn't see any need to change a perfectly good sign.
    Rumors of gator-infested waters lured Schenck, Marco and Vinayi from Miami, where the discovery of mercury-tainted gators forced the closing of their favorite Everglades hunting ground.
    They've done this before. Twice now, Schenck, a Miami businessman, has hunted gators as an agent for lottery winners. Last year he and his friends took 13 gators, two short of the season's limit.
    They don't see themselves as rookies anymore. But to the locals at Uncle Joe's, their base for the first weekend's hunt, the ''boys from Miamah'' look shiny and new.
    The 25-year ban on hunting has not stopped it here, where empty two-lane roads stretch for miles through savannas of sugar cane. Gator hunting here is more than folklore, it is heritage, Rogers said.
    ''These old boys around here learned it from their daddies, who learned it from their daddies,'' said Rogers, stepping around a raggedy poodle named Rambo who has parked himself on the floor. ''These are good boys. Good people.''
    Outside Glades County it might be called poaching.
    Nobody uses that word much around here.
    ''I know an old boy, he just goes up to 'em in his boat and knocks 'em in the head with a ball peen hammer,'' said one man, who would identify himself only as ''Bubba.''
    ''Kill 'em dead,'' said one man, who identified himself only as ''Scoot.''
    ''I can tell you stories, but I can't tell you no names,'' said Rogers. ''Last year, this old boy who'd been hunting gators all his life won the lottery, and he was coming back with his airboat loaded with gators when he saw the game warden. The old boy got scared and jumped in the water to get away, and the whole time the game warden was yelling, 'Whoa, whoa, I ain't gonna arrest you.'
    ''Seems this old boy just forgot he was legal. He quit hunting lottery gators not long after that. Said if it legal, it wasn't fun.''
    Behind Rogers' head is a framed picture of Humphrey Bogart - Uncle Joe was a Bogie fan. The 6-foot hide of a rattler is tacked to the wall beside the carcass of a foot-long centipede.
    Schenck shows up and wants to pay for his room with a credit card.
    Cindy Massey just shakes her head.
    'Hold that light steady'
    Schenck, 41, owns his own communications company in Miami. Vinayi, also 41, owns a water purification business. Marco, 35, is an aircraft mechanic for Airwork. They are fishing buddies.
    Usually, it's bass and bonita, tarpon and snook. They joined last year to go after gator because of a lot of things: the excitement, the lore, the danger, and just because it was something so few people ever get to do.
    The money - about $500 for an adult gator - didn't matter much. They don't need the money. After the expense of the trip and making and buying equipment, no one makes much money anyway. Last year, the 13 gators brought a net profit of $2,000, split several ways.
    But just to say you did it, Vinayi said, is priceless.
    ''To say you've done it twice in a lifetime, that's even better,'' said Vinayi.
    Friday at 9 p.m., reeking of Avon Skin-so-Soft lotion - for the mosquitoes - and fortified by several black cherry sodas, they launched their hunting boat and another, smaller boat.
    The second boat was a spare in case the first boat broke down. The Okeechobee canals by day are lush, jungle-like stream lined with Australian pines. At night they can be a dark, remote, mosquito-ridden hellhole.
    ''This is no place to spend the night,'' Vinayi said. The rain lasted for hours, which, logically, should have kept the mosquitoes to a bearable level. Okeechobee mosquitoes danced amid the raindrops, flying into ears, mouths and noses.
    The lead boat was finding gators from the start. They glided down the middle of the canal and lined its banks, easy to see because of the light reflecting from their eyes.
    Over and over, the boat puttered up only to have the gator slip underwater just as the harpoon man was ready to strike.
    Unlike last year, when the gators could be taken alive, this year the gator was supposed to be killed in the water before being loaded on the boat.
    Gigging the gators, taping their jaws shut and keeping them alive that way for days until ready for skinning is inhumane, the game commission decided.
    Last year an airboat loaded with three gators, their jaws taped, sank. The gators, unable to eat, probably died.
    The bang stick
    The new plan seemed simple: Glide up to the gator and stick it with a harpoon, which is attached to a large plastic foam float.
    The gator submerges but can't hide because he tows the float.
    The float also tires the gator out. When the float stops moving, the gator is winded enough to bring to the surface. The hunter slips a noose over its head and kills it with a shot to the spine from a bang stick - a shotgun or large-caliber pistol shell mounted on a long metal pole.
    No one in Schenck's party figured it would be that easy.
    Several times, the harpoon man thrust down hard with the gig into the gator, but it wouldn't stick. The gators got away.
    One the first try, a store-bought harpoon bent in three places.
    Marco threw it down in disgust, cussing.
    The light picked out another pair of eyes; there was another stalk, another miss.
    ''We'll get one,'' Vinayi said. A few minutes later, a shotgun blast sounds somewhere far down the canal.
    ''Somebody got one,'' Schenck said.
    About 1 p.m., the rain stopped. The clouds cleared. The stars, with no street lights to get in the way, were bright and clear.
    The mosquitoes, no longer in danger of being blasted from the air by a big raindrop, came out in even greater force to feed.
    Critics of alligator hunting say it's cruel and inhumane and senseless, a sport to satisfy the macho cravings of outdoorsmen.
    Schenck and his party didn't seem hung up on the macho bit. Schenck hunted in a pair of teal shorts. Marco wore a Hawaiian shirt.
    Men in fatigues and bush gear glided by now and then in their airboats, dressed as if they were ready to overthrow a government.
    Schenck said he and his friends can't take it that seriously.
    If the gator was endangered, they wouldn't hunt it, all three said.
    ''Maybe there's no need for us to be out here tonight. I don't know if what we're doing is the right thing,'' said Vinayi. ''But I know there's just no way I could explain it to someone who has never been.''
    The kill
    After more than a hundred missed opportunities, the men talked less and the mood turned sour. The gators were everywhere. The eyes proved it.
    Then Marco sighted a big gator just off the bank. The boat glides in as if it were going to run aground. Schenck, balanced precariously on the slick bow, leaned far out and slammed the harpoon hard into the gator's body.
    The gator's tail came out of the water and its turning, thrashing body churned up the black water. Then it submerged, but this time the harpoon point held and the plastic foam float was jerked underwater.
    Seconds later the float popped back up and began to glide across the water, following the gator like the angel of death.
    Finally, after several minutes, the float lay ominously still in the water.
    ''He's off,'' someone said.
    ''Nawwwwwww,'' said someone else.
    Marco reached for the float and pulled up the line. Finally the gator's head cleared the water and it snapped its jaws at the boat, the line, anything it could find.
    Marco slipped a noose over its head, to make sure it didn't slip off the harpoon tip and get away. Then he pressed the bang stick, loaded with a .357-magnum cartridge, against the spine.
    Nothing happened. The cartridge was a dud. Marco hurriedly unscrewed the cartridge and put on a fresh one. The stick made a muffled pop. The gator stopped fighting.
    It took two men to haul the still-twitching body into the boat. It turned out to be a big male, about 9 feet.
    Marco leaned over, patted it on the belly.
    The boys from Miamah turned their boat for home.

    an alligator with its mouth wide open; hunters tend to a dead alligator after they have hauled it into the boat; hunters drag an alligator into their boat; map locating Clewiston on Lake Okeechobee
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:34 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Uncle Joe's Fish Camp

    Sounds like a really fun place.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Uncle Joe's Fish Camp

    The Palm Beach Post
    July 10, 1989
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: BUSINESS DAY 1
    Page: 20

    Index Terms:


    Author: WILLIAM HOWARD, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    On a sleepy Friday morning in the summer, Charles Corbin has time to sit on the wooden bench in front of his Lake Okeechobee tackle shop for some friendly conversation with fishing guide Clyde Shew, better known as Clyde the Guide.
    Quiet time is a treat for Corbin, owner of Slim's Fish Camp on the lake's southeast shore near Belle Glade. Seven days a week in the winter months and 12 hours a day on holiday weekends, he's busy scheduling guides, selling bait and renting boats to anglers who come to the big lake in search of largemouth bass, bream, black crappie and speckled perch.
    Publicized in fishing magazines and on television shows such as Fishing with Roland Martin, Lake Okeechobee fishing has become world-renowned.
    "It gets busier and busier every winter," said Corbin, whose father, Sollie, started Slim's with two rental boats in 1935. "You can't hardly pick up a sporting magazine that doesn't have an article about Lake Okeechobee fishing. We've had people come from Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Japan."
    A 1985-86 study by Florida State University economist Frederick Bell-- the only scientific study of the lake's recreational fishing industry-- showed that sport fishing brings $22 million a year to the lakeside economy and is responsible for 500 jobs in Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties.
    Using 18 marinas, 705 wet slips and at least 40 boat ramps on the lake, Bell said anglers launched 9,200 boats and spent 1.12 million hours on the lake from December 1985 through November 1986.
    Tourists accounted for 51 percent of the fishing hours spent on the lake, and they spent an average of $65.51 a day to fish for bass-- compared with an average of $24.23 a day for Lake Okeechobee residents.
    Jim Wells of Angler's Marina in Clewiston, a student of the lake's economy, thinks Bell's figures are low. Wells estimates that 9,000 boats are launched annually in Clewiston alone, that the lake's recreational fishing industry supports at least 1,000 jobs and that visiting fishermen spend about $100 a day.
    In Florida, fishing ranks with golf and beach-going as one of the most popular activities for tourists, according to car and airplane surveys conducted by the state Department of Commerce.
    Florida's 3.9 million anglers-- about one-third of them tourists-- spend $3 billion a year for fishing-related goods, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service study shows.
    "More money's spent on fishing than on baseball or golf," said Wayne Goble, statistician for the Montgomery, Ala.-based Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, whose 530,000 members include President Bush.
    Nationally, freshwater fishermen spend twice as much having fun at their sport than their saltwater counterparts: $19.4 billion, or $463 per fisherman, in 1985, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
    Around Lake Okeechobee, signs of the fishing economy abound-- from the $125,000 condominums under construction at Roland Martin's Marina & Lakeside Resort in Clewiston to the scattered recreational vehicle parks that accommodate winter residents.
    "We've got people who've been coming for 10 or 12 years," said Wells of Angler's Marina in Clewiston. "They come in November and stay plumb through until the latter part of April."
    The big lake's fishing economy can be measured in hotel rooms rented, trips guided, meals served and crickets sold. Like the better-known tourist economy along the ocean, the lake's fish camps, hotels and restaurants hire extra help to handle the crowds during the season, which spans six months from November through May and peaks in January and February.
    Cash-prize tournaments, such as the Pro-Am sponsored by B.A.S.S. in Clewiston last year, draw hundreds of anglers and spectators to the lake. The next BassMaster Florida Invitational, set for Jan. 24-26 in Clewiston, will bring 300 professionals fishing for cash prizes of $175,000. Smaller tournaments sponsored by local fishing clubs are held frequently on the lake. Guides with boats charge $175 to $200 for a day of fishing. Fishermen who bring their own boats buy gasoline, oil, t ackle, lures, live bait, meals and lodging.
    Sales, service and storage of fishing boats is a side industry. Bass boats range in price from about $2,000 for a simple aluminum skiff with a small motor to $20,000 or more for a sleek fiberglass rig with a six-cylinder outboard motor that can carry a fisherman across a lake at 60 mph. Enthusiasts buy electronic depth finders, radios and electric trolling motors.
    Lakeside hoteliers get their share, too. Winter visitors fill the 22 blue- and-yellow wood cabins at Uncle Joe's Fishing Camp south of Moore Haven, said co-owner Ed Massey. Most of them come to escape the snow of the Midwest. At the Red Carpet Inn in Moore Haven, two-thirds of the rooms are rented to fishermen.
    Bait and tackle specialists sell rods and reels, cane poles and an astounding assortment of artificial and live baits. Ron Heater's Chobee Cricket Ranch in the town of Okeechobee supplies 20 bait shops along the lake with the noisy, grasshopper-like insects used to catch bream and catfish-- up to 250,000 of them a week during the winter months at about $10 per 1,000.
    Sam Griffin, born in a houseboat on the lake in 1937, has always made his living from Okeechobee fishermen. Griffin's latest venture, a four-employee wooden lure company in Moore Haven that can boast of exports to Japan, sold out in January to Luhr Jensen of Hood River, Ore., but will continue to produce lures in Glades County.
    Griffin and many other lakeside business owners are betting on a bright future for recreational fishing on Okeechobee. Mary Ann Martin and her husband, Roland, are investing $7 million for renovation and new construction at their marina complex in Clewiston.
    After selling eight Key West-style condominums on the grounds, they have eight more $125,000 units under construction and plans for another 16. The Martins' motel, remodeled in 1988, is being enlarged to 40 units, and they're installing 40 recreational vehicle hook-up sites on the grounds.
    "We have a lot of faith in Lake Okeechobee," Mary Ann Martin said. "It gets you away from the hustle and the traffic of the big city. We're starting to see a market from people who live over in Palm Beach County and people out of Miami."
    Because the lake serves a variety of economic interests-- including a backup water supply for 3.5 million residents in Dade, Broward and southern Palm Beach counties -- business owners who benefit from the lake's recreational fishing industry are working to make their industry known and to preserve the lake that makes it possible.
    Mary Ann Martin said she and her husband-- who releases his fish on TV shows-- are pushing for legislation that would limit Florida fishermen to five bass a day, half the current limit. Wells of Angler's Marina is considering the formation of a recreational-fishing merchants' association for the lake.
    Low water levels associated with the summer drought have caused lakeside merchants to complain because some customers find it difficult to launch boats or navigate the lake.
    Although recent rains may improve conditions, the 11.27 depth on record for Lake Okeechobee in late June is 2.5 feet below normal.
    "The water level's not being managed well and you don't have to be a biologist or a chemist to understand that," said Ray Higgins, a recreational fisherman from West Palm Beach.
    Ann Overton, spokeswoman for the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach, said regulators must supplement South Florida's public supplies with lake water to prevent saltwater intrusion-- an inland movement of salty water that taints freshwater drinking supplies.

    (1c) ON THE COVER: Bass tournament veterans Mike Horner and Mike Surman fish on serene Lake Okeechobee. Photo by staff photographer E.A. Kennedy III.
    FAMILY BUSINESS: Co-owner Ed Massey and sons Scotty (right) and Eddie Jr. at Uncle Joe's Fishing Camp near Moore Haven.
    (3c) E.A. KENNEDY III/Staff Photographer
    CLYDE THE GUIDE: For 10 years Clyde Shew, a full-time guide working out of Slim's Fish Camp in Belle Glade,
    has taken fishermen to indulge in their favorite pastime on the big lake.
    (4c) FISHIN' FANATIC: Carl Hartman, a retiree from Ohio, returns to Angler's Marina in Clewiston after a trip out on the lake.
    (5c) SLOW DAY: Charles Corbin owns and operates Slim's Fish Camp, where business normally takes a dip during summer months. But `it gets busier and busier every winter,' Corbin said.
    (bw) Sam Griffin and four employees make wooden lures in Moore Haven that have been exported to Japan.
    PHOTO (5C/1BW) / GRAPH / MAP
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:35 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Trucadero Bar In Clewiston

    Area Article:

    Miami Herald, The (FL)
    December 5, 1982
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: LOCAL
    Page: 1B

    Index Terms:


    Author: MIKE BOEHM Herald Staff Writer

    Dateline: CLEWISTON, Florida

    The news brought a sour taste to America's Sweetest City: Almost a third of its small-town police force was under indictment for charges ranging from battery and bribe-taking to finagling evidence.
    It wasn't the first time the savor of alleged police corruption had wafted through Clewiston, the hub of Florida's sugar industry, where a pungent, charred odor from the cane fields bordering Lake Okeechobee hangs in the air.

    "A lot of people felt for a long time that things were going on that weren't kosher, but they couldn't prove it," said Gale Yates, a state Health and Rehabilitative Services official in La Belle. Caseworkers dealing with teenaged offenders heard stories and saw signs of police abuse, she said.
    But the suspicions never turned into formal charges until last week, when three of the Clewiston department's 10 officers gave themselves up to state attorney's investigators armed with grand jury indictments.
    "People came forward," said Randall McGruther, the assistant state attorney who coordinated an investigation that began in January. "You get one person in, and they lead you to something else."
    At the end of the trail were Cpl. Terence Deese, Patrolman David Hand and Cpl. Russell Hickmon -- all in their 30s, all northern-born, all relative newcomers to a town of 5,300 people where many families are as embedded as the cane-nurturing muck.
    "It's a rural county and a lot of people have lived here for years and years," said Hickmon, 39, who spent most of his police career in the Chicago area before coming to Clewiston in 1980. "Maybe they were born here. Along comes a group of policemen who weren't born around here, and they're almost outsiders."
    "I'm of the professional opinion that a lot of people here do not like to be police," he said. "If you're going to be a good cop and be aggressive, you're going to run into trouble."
    There was little sympathy for the three at The Clewiston Bar, where Robert Dowd said he was sick of the "hassling" small-town cops.
    "I'm glad they got busted," the truck driver said as he sipped a tall Tom Collins after a day hauling farm vegetables. "And whatever judgment they pass on them, I hope it's so they won't ever be police officers again."
    The charges against the three are enough to ruin careers.
    Deese is charged with trumping up fingerprints to ensnare a
    suspect and with hitting an arrested teenager. Hand allegedly was willing, for $1,000, to erase a drunken driving arrest. Hickmon was indicted for battery in a station house scuffle.
    If convicted, the three face possible jail terms ranging
    from one year for Hickmon to 10 years for Hand.
    Two days after his indictment, Deese was still in uniform on Clewiston's neatly gridded streets.
    The City Council will decide Monday whether he and the other officers who face trials should keep enforcing the law or be placed on suspension.
    Police Chief Robert Dysart says he's backing his three officers. In a small town, people harbor grudges over good, by- the-book arrests, the Ohio native said. He came to Clewiston in 1980, successor to a chief who lost his job after prosecutors investigated complaints of brutality and ticket fixing.
    "Nobody enjoys being arrested," Dysart said. "Sometimes they try to take revenge. Sometimes they go to the state attorney and complain."
    Details of the charges against the Clewiston officers are in a grand jury report that won't be released until next week. It has been sealed temporarily so city officials and police officers named but not indicted can file motions to strike portions of the report before it becomes public, State Attorney Joseph D'Alessandro said.
    Deese's evidence-tampering charge, a felony, stems from fingerprints he allegedly "planted" on a piece of paper to build a case against a suspect, Dysart said.
    "The people from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it didn't look proper to them, but they weren't 100 per cent sure," said Dysart. "Deese has a reasonable explanation."
    Deese said he couldn't comment about the charge.
    The battery count, a misdemeanor, involves a booking-room run-in between Deese and a 19-year-old who had been charged with trespassing and disorderly intoxication.
    Silver Lee Rush, of Clewiston, grabbed Deese by the shirt, then hit him in the chest on Sept. 18, according to a police report.
    Deese, a slender 33-year old with big, tinted glasses and a wispy blond mustache, admits hitting back.
    "He's struck me. I'm human and I feel. I'm not going to sit there with my hands in my pocket and my cheek sticking out," said the Bronx-born officer, who came to Clewiston in 1979 when the department was seeking deputies who could speak Spanish. Deese had served on Puerto Rico's police force after moving to the island when he was 14.
    With an arrest record and a reputation for troublemaking when drunk, Rush is hardly a reliable witness, Deese said.
    Hickmon said he can't remember even taking part in the Jan. 7 arrest that led to his battery charge, a misdemeanor.
    Roommates Gary Bebee, 26, and Buddy Dell Hogan, 34, were brought into the box-shaped, aluminum-sided police station after their arrest for fighting in a parking lot outside their apartment.
    Hickmon helped in the booking. According to the grand jury indictment, he also committed battery on Bebee. A police report says only that he tried to calm the two men down.
    Hand, 34, faces the most serious combination of charges: two felony counts of agreeing to take bribes after traffic stops.
    One involved William Cansler, a traveling salesman from Clearwater who Hand charged with drunk driving after a June 24 accident.
    Cansler already had one conviction for driving while intoxicated, said his Fort Myers attorney, George Harrell.
    "He knew he would lose his license, and it scared him to death," Harrell said. "He was told what it would cost him to get out of this. Monies were delivered."
    When the charge wasn't dropped, Harrell said, Cansler came to him for advice. The lawyer said he put him in touch with the state attorney's office.
    "Dave denied
    the accusation>," the police chief said. "He said yes, this guy did offer him a $1,000 bribe, but he didn't accept it."
    Hand, a Bronze Star winner in Vietnam, could not be reached for comment.
    He also is charged with seeking a bribe after giving an Ocala man a speeding ticket in November 1981.
    Hand, born in Syracuse, N.Y., joined the Clewiston police in April 1981 after working for small town departments in South Bay and Crescent City.
    The last probe of the Clewiston police came in 1978, when a special prosecutor investigated brutality and corruption complaints. No charges were filed, but almost the entire force was fired or resigned, including former police chief Wilbur Miller. Only three officers remain who served under Miller -- a lieutenant, a sergeant and Cpl. Deese.
    map: Lake Okeechobee - Clewiston

    also ran in Plm Bch, Brwrd
    Copyright (c) 1982 The Miami Herald
    Record Number: root
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Trucadero Bar In Clewiston

    Another area bingo hall:

    Miami Herald, The (FL)
    July 4, 1982
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: LIVING TODAY
    Page: 1G


    Author: PATRICIA BELLEW Herald Staff Writer


    Article Text:
    Welcome to a patch of swampland so remote that Okeechobee -- the dusty cattle town 36 miles to the northeast and a morning's journey by pickup truck -- is considered the Big City.
    See the wild boar rooting in the spikey underbrush. Smell the heavy-sweet odor of swamp decay. Hear the triumphant shriek of a small-time gambler: "Bingo."

    Only if you're lucky. But the intoxicating dream of a lucky night -- and a chance at the $9,500 jackpot -- is enough to jam the Seminole Indians' countrified casino here four nights a week.
    To a red, sheet-metal shed deep in the Everglades stream as many as 350 fishermen, dairy farmers, housewives, orange pickers and retirees, a crowd that more than doubles the reservation's population on bingo nights.
    Each one will plunk down $10 to play 15 games of bingo in a smoke-filled hall, where the strongest drink served is Coca-Cola and the costliest item at the snack bar is the $1.50 sausage roll.
    No Las Vegas nightspot is this. No glittering chandeliers, no slot machines, no stand-up comedians, no scantily attired waitresses.
    Here, the lights are flourescent. The chairs are metal folding. The snack bar's specialty, much relished by these plaid-shirt low rollers, is catfish stew.
    But what this barren bingo hall lacks in glamor, it more than makes up for in a forthright commercial appeal: "BIG CASH PRIZES," blinks the hall's lighted sign into the still night air.
    Here, winners see $75, $100, $250 cash peeled off, by a blue jean-clad hostess, from a thick wad of worn bills flashed before their very eyes.
    And that's money never to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, say small-town gamblers with a wink.
    So from farms and retirement communities as far away as Tampa, 120 miles to the northeast, bingo players come for some serious gambling, Seminole style, and for a crack at the one game a night that could pay off in 95 $100 bills.
    "If I won that money," says an enormous, florid-faced man who identifies himself only as "Big Daddy," because he says he doesn't report his winnings to the IRS, "I guess I'd go to Vegas for the big time, that's just what I'd do with it."
    Clutching talismans for luck and crocheted buckets full of bingo chips, they come by the carload to the Brighton hall, 10 miles west of Lake Okeechobee.
    Jonny Hopper, a 50-year-old Winter Haven mechanic, brings his 88-year old mother, Lizzie Hopper, and her friends to the bingo hall twice a week in his battered 1974 Plymouth.
    "Momma wouldn't miss this for the world," says Hopper, gesturing toward a frail old woman bent studiously over a half- dozen bingo cards. "She won $75 once and started such a racket whoopin' and hollerin' ... I couldn't get her back here fast enough the next night."
    Busloads lumber down the two-lane highway into the rutted parking lot of the bingo hall hours before the doors open at sunset.
    Some, like 75-year-old Blanche Earl of Clewiston, who sits primly with her nitroglycerine pills before her in case of a big win, come so often that "I just hop in the back seat of the car, and it knows where to take me."
    Wednesday through Saturday bingo starts at 6 p.m. sharp after the lines file in, and ends promptly at 10 p.m. This, after all, is a working-class crowd.
    Inside the hall, there are few other sounds but the crackle of the electrified bug zapper and the flat call of the numbers caller.
    "I-25," Art Diller intones. "N-17."
    "Bingo." comes the excited cry from one corner, and a ripple of sighs passes over the crowd.
    "I haven't won a thing for six weeks," says one iron-haired matron, wistfully watching the happy commotion half-way across the bingo hall.
    There, Charlotte Harvard's mother-in-law snatches the newly won bills from the girl's hand and brushes the money over her right arm, her shoulder and her face before handing it back.
    "For luck," the old woman mutters to herself. "Please. Next time, me."
    Even more than a window into the high-stakes hopes of these farmers and housewives, the bingo hall is testimony to the new commercial spirit among Florida's Seminole Indians.
    So aggressively entrepreneurial is the tribe that Indian affairs specialists such as Florida Atlantic University professor Harry Kersey calls them the "button-down" breed of Indian.
    Josiah Johns, the 41-year-old Seminole who runs the Brighton bingo hall for the 1,500-member tribe, is a good example. Johns, a rodeo-circuit cowboy for 20 years until a few years ago, is a cattleman and fishing guide by day, and runs a rodeo for tourists in Hollywood on Tuesday nights.
    For him, bingo is no mere game.
    "We're not just playing around here," Johns says bluntly. "We mean business."
    Johns and his wife, Lucy, a beautician, built the sheet- metal shed for $50,000 in 1980, originally planning to open a beauty shop for her and hardware store for him in separate
    sections. The two live in a modest bungalow under beards of Spanish moss next door to the shed.
    But after borrowing on their 130 head of cattle to build the shed, they had no money to buy the tools to stock the store.
    Johns considered a score of other uses for the shed: a roller-skating rink, a video game arcade with a go-cart track out back, to name just two.
    But he settled happily on bingo shortly after the Seminole tribe discovered they were a loophole in Florida's gaming laws.
    State regulations, which limit bingo jackpots to $100 and games to two nights a week, didn't apply to Indian-run bingo games because the Indians are considered a "sovereign nation," a federal appeals court decided last October.
    The Brighton hall now is one of three Seminole-run bingo parlors in Florida. A new bingo hall opened last month in Tampa. The 1,200-seat hall in Hollywood has become a bingo lovers' attraction in South Florida because of its jackpots, which can rocket up to $15,000 a night.
    In bingo, Johns and the Seminole Indians have found a business bonanza. Big prizes draw big crowds even to out-of- the-way swampland casinos.
    Serious bingo players smoke a lot, too, and the Indians cheerfully encourage that habit by selling patrons cut-rate cartons of cigarets: $5.75 a carton, about 75 cents less than the going retail rate. State taxes are not levied on cigarets sold on the reservation.
    In fact, this tiny tribe would be laughing all the way to the bank, if there was a bank on the Brighton reservation.
    Bingo playing at the bare Brighton hall has put $150,000 in the tribes' coffers since it opened 18 months ago, Johns says, and nearly that much in his own pocket. (Tribal business rules typically hold that the tribe gets a 51 per cent cut of the earnings of any business on the reservation.)
    By that measure, bingo is probably the No. 1 industry for Brighton. The new prosperity of the 35,000-acre reservation --called "Acres-of-Swamp-Cabbage in the native Indian tongue, Creek--isn't flashy, by any means. Bingo receipts helped build a gymnasium for the tribe's youths, but little else has changed.
    As for the tribe's newest gambling tycoon, Johns still mans the microphone on weeknights, impassively calling out a seemingly endless series of numbers to the anxious crowd below the caller's stage.
    "Pay them cash and keep them happy," he says. "They'll keep coming back."
    color: Brighton Seminole Bingo Hall; b&w: playing
    bingo (3), Josiah Johns; map: Seminole reservation
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:31 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Trucadero Bar In Clewiston


    Miami Herald, The (FL)
    March 22, 1986
    Edition: PLM BCH
    Section: PLM BCH
    Page: 1PB


    Author: YOLANDA W. WOODLEE Herald Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    Just three days ago, Willie Gray, the last tenant at the infamous Fred's Motel, had the toughest test in 20 years as a security guard at the migrant labor camp.
    Gray had to be the one to tell Jesse "Pee Wee" James Gardner, a friend and popular elderly tenant, that he couldn't cross the huge rocks blocking the driveway in front of the deserted buildings at Lantana Road and U.S. 441.
    Fred's Motel is closed.
    "I know he misses it, " Gray said. "This has been his life. So he comes here, walks to that end and then to this end, and he just stares."
    Gray, 65, said he felt the same sense of loss when Pee Wee, a man almost 75 years old, and some 200 other tenants were forced to leave their homes -- even though they were just small, rundown rooms without bathrooms or kitchens.
    Watching Pee Wee mope around the border of the property was harder, Gray said, than trying to scare drug dealers away from the camp.
    It was tougher than finding new homes for the eight elderly tenants when the owner decided to sell the 14-acre property to build a shopping center.
    And it was certainly tougher than deciding what to do with his four chickens and three geese when his own home -- a blue and white trailer that has sat next to the motel for the past decade -- has to go.
    "I just worry about what it's going to do to the common people," said Gray, who is nicknamed "Munk" and wears a 10- gallon straw hat.
    "It's just one of those things we can't help and (the Palm Beach County Commission) can't help."
    In July, the County Commission changed the zoning of Fred's Motel from residential to commercial, allowing the owners, Anthony LoCastro and Clyde Moore, to sell the 120 units and the mustard-yellow and brown building that once housed a grocery store, bar and disco.
    Fred's, a rent-by-the-week haven for poor and elderly blacks and Haitians, was once a social hub for farm workers on the Rangeline. It was a place where anyone could jump on a truck and get a day's pay for farm labor.
    Over the years, though, its reputation was tarnished by crime and poverty. It became a thorn in the side of developers as they built subdivisions for affluent buyers west of Lantana.
    Drug dealers gathered in front of the motel, flagging down motorists in search of a quick-stop drug deal. Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies would plot stings and arrest carloads of dealers.
    For most, the closing of Fred's is a godsend. But for others it may be beginning of new problems.
    Christopher Berris, who owns Sam's Grocery about five miles south of Fred's Motel, said the drug dealers are hanging out now at his business. They run up to every car that stops at the market, where the words "No loitering and no drugs" are painted in bright orange.
    "I've lost a lot of customers," Berris said. "Everything is going on outside, but I'm not going to close this place. This is the only way I've got to live."
    One drug dealer, who stood with five others across U.S. 441 pretending to repair a Chevette, said he'll just move back into Lake Worth or Lantana. He said Fred's wasn't nearly as dangerous as its reputation.
    "Dealers came here because on an average Friday you could make $1,800," said the man, who wouldn't give his name. "Regular people would stop by here after work because it was out of the city, less trouble and stop and go. You didn't have to worry about the police."
    The one person dealers worried about was Gray, he said.
    "Munk scares a lot of them," he said. "I heard about his reputation -- he does a pretty good job."
    For Gray, Fred's was more than a job, it was his home. He met his wife, Marlene, a Haitian immigrant, there six years ago and they bought her 10-year-old daughter, Jean Yanick, to live at Fred's.
    "It was fun living here," Jean said. "There were lots of people to see and talk to. I never got lonesome."
    Gray, who is paid $288 a week and parks his trailer free, isn't sure where he'll go after construction on the shopping center starts. He paid $440 for a pressure cleaner, just in case he needs a job.
    But, Gray said, he may retire and move to Clewiston where his friend, Fred Mimms, the original owner of the motel, owns a few bars.
    Migrant camp is a way of life for him, Gray said. He was born in a camp in Broward County and went to school only enough to learn how to read a letter, count and pay his help.
    "I loved this life," Gray said. "I was born in it and I was raised in it. You just can't wipe it out overnight."
    photo: Ten-year-old Jean Yanick sits with her father
    in front of their trailer on motel property (s), Geese,
    oblivious to the sign behind them, walk around Fred's Motel (s),
    Willie Gray leans on a stack of doors that have been removed
    from the units at Fred's Motel (s)
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:29 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Trucadero Bar In Clewiston

    Area article:

    St. Petersburg Times
    August 27, 1988
    Edition: CITY
    Section: TAMPA
    Page: 1; 9

    Index Terms:
    history animal food industry lifestyle

    Cracker cattle drives // The roundups are over, but the hands remember


    Dateline: RUSKIN

    Article Text:
    RUSKIN - Cattle grazed along the roadways of Hillsborough County 60 years ago. They walked slowly, nibbling grass along the way, returning from the tall grasslands of Clewiston and other southern Florida towns where they had spent months fattening up, getting ready to be driven to the slaughterhouses of Tampa. It took as long as a week or more to make the trip, a 180-mile journey along the ''beef trails.''
    Up until the early 1940s, land south of the Alafia River was all open range. Then the state Legislature passed fencing laws and closed the land to cattle drives, thus ending the era of the Florida Cracker Cowboy. Trucks replaced the cowboys, hauling cattle from one place to another.
    ''One of our last drives went right through Brandon right down Pauls Drive up to Temple Terrace,'' said Leroy Thompson, as he and four other cowboys reminisced at a reunion one afternoon this week at the Ruskin Coffee Cup restaurant.
    ''We crossed the Alafia River right there in Riverview. There were about 200 cattle in that herd.''
    During those days, in the late '20s and '30s, there were 32 cowboys who worked for J.B. Hendry and Lykes Brothers, the biggest cattle producers in the state. Now there are only seven of them left. They're all in their late 60s and 70s. The oldest, who goes by the name of B. Peacock, is 80.
    ''B. has probably got more hours on a horse than any other person in the state,'' said Jim Sumner. ''Everywhere he went, he went on a horse.''
    Stories flowed around the table like heavy syrup as the men laughed at the recollections - some probably grown glossy with the years.
    Cattle were stampeding through a camp along the line one night when Peacock had two men help him saddle up to try and round up the animals.
    ''The cattle tore the fence down and were running everywhere, and it took two men to hold my horse so I could saddle him,'' Peacock said. ''When I put my foot in the stirrup I told them to turn 'em loose, and he went around the head ones about a mile and a half from there. It was dark I couldn't see nuthin'. I got them kind of quieted down by whistling and a-hollering and a-moaning to them.''
    Peacock said he told the others to stay quiet and try to herd the cattle around to the right and back to camp. Then one of the drivers ran through some small pieces of dried-out wood in the dark and ''caused such a racket it got them cows all stirred up again and they split in two different directions.''
    '''Bout that time, a fog set in and I couldn't see nothing at all and we must have been five miles from camp,'' he said. ''I couldn't tell east, west, north or south. I couldn't see a star to even tell directions. So I just turned that ole horse loose and he went right back to camp as straight as I could have shot a rifle.''
    Peacock said they never did catch any of those cattle.
    ''Back in 1926, we drove a bunch from Moody pasture, out by the fire tower on 301, to the Clewiston sugar mills,'' Peacock said. ''We drove them down there to get fat on that grass. You couldn't see those cows out yonder a 100 yards from you - the grass was so high you know.''
    That was the year a hurricane hit four days after Peacock rode his horse back to Wimauma.
    ''In Moore Haven more than a 1,000 people died when the lake came up over the town from that storm,'' Thompson said.
    ''I was tickled to be home,'' Peacock said. ''We rode at night when it was cool.''
    Life on the range was hard. At the end of each day all the men wanted to do was just rest around a campfire and occasionally pull a practical joke on one another.
    Uncle John Colding was a deacon in the Baptist church and, according to Sumner, he was always trying to save their rough, tough cowboy souls.
    ''He was always on to us about our bad language,'' said Sumner. ''Well, one Fourth of July, at a line camp, we had the womenfolks join us with fresh vegetables and some nice fryers they raised.''
    After the meal, the men settled in for a 30-minute nap.
    ''While Uncle John was asleep, someone, we'll never tell who, took a stick and drug it through a fryer crate and rubbed that stick against Uncle John's mustache,'' said Sumner.''He slept on for a while and when he woke up he said, 'Boys, I think I smell hen litter.' He said that a time or two, when one of the boys said, 'Uncle John, I believe it's in your mustache.' ''
    Colding rubbed his finger back and forth through his mustache said, ''G--d--- if it ain't.''
    The men howled at the memory.
    For their work the men made $25 a month. Top hands made $30. Food, bedding and horsefeed were provided. They slept in bedrolls with mosquito bars (netting with lifts) tucked under the bedding to keep the mosquitoes out and rattlesnakes from crawling into the bedding.
    Thompson said if you liked beans, bacon, syrup and biscuits, the food was good.
    ''It took a bunch of dogs, good men and horses to get the cows to do what they wanted them to do,'' said Thompson. ''It would take about 15 to 20 men to start 'em and then five to six men for the first hundred cattle and then one man for every hundred after that. As long as the wind was blowing in their face they'd keep going, but if the wind blew in the other end they'd stop.''
    Thompson said they had to be careful how they approached the cattle because if the cattle smelled them coming they would take off.
    ''I was telling some folks this one day and one of the women spoke up and said, 'If you smelled that bad that those cattle could smell you a mile away, why didn't you take a bath more often?''' he said.
    Fourteen-hour days were not unheard of on the range.
    One drive they recalled involved herding the cattle across the Manatee River at sundown and on up to Balm by moonlight.
    ''We didn't lose but one ole stag,'' said Thompson.
    Times and lives have changed over the years, but the biggest change, these cowboys agreed, was ''the influx of people.''
    ''Especially Yankees,'' said Jim Sumner. ''We Southerners were closer, better neighbors, better friends who cared, who still care about one another.''
    They remembered when there were about four people per square mile.
    ''They were Southerners, native Florida Crackers and they had a deep feeling for one another,'' he said. ''I remember one of our neighbor's house burned and we all got together and built him a new one. Now there are 400 people per square mile,'' he said.
    Jim said they didn't even have lawmen at that time.
    ''We would have an arbitrator if there was a problem,'' he said.
    The men look back on those times with fond memories. If they could, they all agreed, they would like to live them over again.

    a scene from the Cracker cowboy days in Florida (ran in TP only); cowboys Joe Sumner, Jim Sumner, B. Peacock, Billy Wilson and Leroy Thompson reminisce about their trail days at the Ruskin Coffee Cup restaurant (ran in TP only)
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:43 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Trucadero Bar In Clewiston

    More About Fred's:

    Miami Herald, The (FL)
    September 30, 1984
    Edition: PLM BCH
    Section: PLM BCH
    Page: 1PB

    Index Terms:


    Author: LISA G. BAIRD Herald Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    It seems few things change at Fred's Motel.
    Wet laundry hangs on a makeshift wire fence to bake dry in the hot sun, as it has for years. A woman washes a saucepan outside her room, as have the countless women before her.

    At mid-morning, a man lies idle on one of two twin beds in a tiny room filled with clothes hanging from a line strung from the ceiling.
    "No work," the man says.
    One of the men's rooms is closed off, awaiting repairs. The stench of human waste pours from the door when it's opened. It has been that way before.
    County health officials recently slapped a $6,300 fine on the owners of this treeless complex of flat buildings with communal bathrooms, a bar, restaurant and grocery store on about 8 1/2 acres at the corner of Lantana Road and U.S. 441, west of Lantana.
    The violations that led to the fine are much the same as the ones inspectors have cited at Fred's for years.
    Violence occasionally stirs at Fred's, most recently two weeks ago in three shootings that left two men injured, three robbed and four arrested. Nothing new about that.
    No, in the nearly two decades of its existence, Fred's has not changed much.
    But the world around it has. The "Rangeline" -- as U.S. 441 has come to be called -- is not quite so far west as it used to be. Once the domain of farmers and truckers, the route is becoming part of the mainstream of urban Palm Beach County.
    "It's an oddity now. It won't survive. It's just out of place. It's a dinosaur," said Anthony J. "Tony" LoCastro, Fred's owner since 1978.
    The saga of Fred's Motel started 20 years ago this month, when a woman named Alice McCormick Barnett Thornton sold the property to a company called Farms Investment Corp. Farms Investment secured a promissory note for $100,000, with monthly payments of $1,214, to buy the land.
    Migrant labor was being bused in from throughout the state in those days and housing was in short supply.
    Farms Investment announced a year later it would build four rental housing buildings and a commissary on the property.
    It leased the commissary to Robert Fred Mims and the residences to Florida Farm Management Inc. in May 1965. Mims later bought the property and finished the construction. He also bought similar migrant housing near Delray Road called Farmer's Motel.
    And the problems began.
    Mims, 52, now living in Clewiston, calls the camp "a bad situation for the people, and it's a bad situation for the man who owns it. It's a steady drain.
    "Nobody on the outside understands that, or seems to want to understand it."
    County health records don't go back to Mims' days at the camp, but he said he had problems with the Palm Beach County Health Department from the beginning.
    "There's no cooperation. There never has been. They don't seem to want to come out and try to work with the man," Mims complained.
    "We don't go in there on a friendly basis," said environmental health specialist John O'Malley. "We're only there to enforce the code. (The) camp has been habitual and we're going to stay on it."
    "We've always had problems there," said environmental health director Charles Rhodes. Because it wasn't built for everyday living and because of its population, "you can almost rest assured that it's going to take a lot of camp maintenance."
    Fred's owners do not maintain the place unless the health department is there to insist, officials say. Inspection records, available from 1979, show the same problems over and over again: stopped up toilets, urinals and laundry tubs, standing water between the buildings, broken light bulbs and electrical fixtures in the bathrooms, litter, broken windows and torn screens, a general need for cleaning and new paint inside and out, missing shower heads, no hot water, ceiling leaks, bathroom doors that don't close properly, an abundance of flies, leaks, stained fixtures.
    LoCastro said he fixes the place up, the residents keep it clean for awhile and then destroy the property again.
    "The repairs are astronomical and continuous," LoCastro said.
    Health inspectors said they are aware of the management problems, but "in no way does that alleviate that owner from the responsibility for that camp. He's the one who applies for that permit. He's the one who makes the money from it," O'Malley said.
    LoCastro said Fred's is a bad investment, making only about $6,000 in profits yearly. The property is valued by the county's property appraiser at $502,000, but LoCastro calls that figure ridiculous.
    He said he takes in about $3,300 a week in rent -- about $171,000 annually -- but spends about $17,000 a month, or $213,000 yearly, on the camp. It is the bar, he said, that makes a profit.
    The Rev. Thomas Wenski of the Catholic Archdiocese in Miami, who works with Haitians throughout the state, said camp conditions need not be as bad as they are at Fred's. He offered a comparison to In the Pines, a migrant camp managed by a not- for-profit group, including Ernesto Gonzales of the South County Migrant Coordinating Council.
    The two are about the same size. Fred's is authorized to have 200 residents. In the Pines can have 204, but Gonzales says he keeps it below that.
    At In the Pines, near U.S. 441 and Atlantic Avenue west of Delray Beach, residents pay either $150 or $180 for two-bedroom apartments that include kitchens and bathrooms.
    There are recreational and educational programs, such as English classes, playground equipment for the children and a tenant council.
    At Fred's, a 10-by-10 room, which houses one or two persons, rents for $34 a week, or $136 monthly. A double apartment, which includes kitchen facilities and running water, goes for $59 a week, or $236 a month.
    All the bathroom facilities are communal, located in the center of the four, brown and white buildings spaced across the sandy grounds.
    The tenants share 32 toilets, 28 sinks, 12 urinals and 28 showers.
    Fred's has a restaurant, a disco and a grocery store, but no tenant council and no organized programs other than a mass on Saturday evenings offered by a Haitian deacon.
    Resident Brulan Joseph, 30, like many other tenants, sits outside his small room in the afternoon, facing a small fenced pond frequented by white geese. When he is not working in the fields, there is nothing for him to do but "just sleep, eat, sleep," he said.
    Wenski insists that even a for-profit owner must offer at least a minimum of amenities.
    "Fred's Motel doesn't seem to respect that limit," he said.
    In the May inspection of Fred's that led to the fine, inspectors cited such conditions as overcrowding in 19 rooms, holes in the walls of shower and toilet rooms, broken or ill- fitting doors in five rooms, two men living in vehicles, a lack of hot water in some fixtures, litter, plumbing violations and inoperable lighting in bathrooms and apartments.
    The fine, which LoCastro is appealing, was levied because although LoCastro made all the repairs, he missed the deadline by as much as five weeks on some.
    In a letter to the county's Environmental Control Board, which he sent to the health department, LoCastro states, "I and the people who work for me have never stopped working to accomplish this major undertaking to correct violations."
    Those efforts were expanded after the violation notice, but rain slowed the work, LoCastro wrote.
    He submitted 21 pages of bills and canceled checks and gave a figure of $4,582 for some of the repairs.
    "All of the people with whom I deal feel that I am doing a proper job and have their interest at heart," LoCastro wrote. "The tenants feel and know that I am fair and am doing my utmost to run this operation in a clean and orderly manner. It is a staggering responsibility with ever-increasing expenses and problems."
    Tenant Joseph, who has lived at Fred's about a year, said LoCastro is wrong to blame the residents.
    "It's not true. The people take care of where they live," he said.
    Another man said some residents cause problems, but certain things are the management's fault, such as the frequent lack of shower water.
    The man would not give his name because he fears the authorities, he said, especially after recent violence at the camp.
    The Sheriff's Office is called to the camp three or four times a week.
    Capt. Richard Grimes remembers patrolling the area 14 years ago.
    "Years ago, when we had problems with Fred's, it was mostly among the residents. Domestics -- a man and woman having an argument," he said.
    "They'd be outside shooting dice, craps, and drinking and dancing inside," Grimes said. "Years ago, the violence was alcohol-related. We'd get three or four calls out there in a night because of some drunk."
    The violence is still there, but police say most of it now is drug-related and usually caused by outsiders.
    Outsiders either sell drugs on the premises or supply a resident who then resells them. The residents can buy a bag of marijuana for $4 and resell it for $6, said Deputy Matt Eisenberg.
    He said the dealing is fairly heavy there.
    "In the time it takes to arrest somebody, I've seen three or four cars pull up," to make buys, Eisenberg said.
    Eisenberg said residents have told him they sell marijuana when they cannot find work.
    "What they told me was this was the first or second time that they've done this. I need the money and I've got to do something to get it," Eisenberg said.
    The drugs and the gambling lead to fights and shootings, deputies say.
    "It seems to be getting a little worse," Grimes said.
    In August 1984, the Sheriff's Office handled 15 calls at Fred's, compared to 14 calls in September 1983.
    But last month's calls included shootings that left four persons injured, a couple of assaults and a disturbance. There were no shootings last September.
    A computer check showed that some 90 persons wanted by law enforcement officials have at one time listed Fred's as their address.
    Unlike health officials, Grimes said deputies get good cooperation from LoCastro, who often calls them himself.
    Other unsavory influences invade the camp, officials say.
    The Rev. Wenski recalls seeing prostitutes brought to the camp on weekend nights when he has visited to conduct services.
    "On one side we were doing mass. On the other side, the girls were doing business," Wenski recalled of one night a few years ago. The rate then was $10 for three minutes, Wenski was told.
    Peddlers also fill the parking lot on weekends, Wenski said, selling radios, blue jeans and other goods.
    "There's some of everything out there," O'Malley said. "Last time I was there somebody tried to sell me a driver's license."
    The Rangeline was full of life in 1958 when LoCastro, then a beer and wine distributor, starting selling to Mims at his Rangeline Corner Store near Delray Road.
    "There used to be 15 places for people to buy beer and wine" along the route, LoCastro said.
    In 1972, LoCastro lost the company he and his brother had started with a truck and a van when his supplier took over his route. With a leftover panel truck, he started Abra Services, supplying paper goods, condiments and bar supplies to his former liquor customers.
    But his wife, Gina, urged him to get into something less strenuous, so LoCastro studied at Palm Beach Junior College at night to become a real estate salesman.
    He went to work for a commercial realtor. Mims was trying to sell Fred's and the Farmer's Motel.
    "I just got sick of the whole deal over there. I just got tired. I don't need all that," Mims said.
    A developer bought Farmer's, and LoCastro took the Fred's listing.
    "I tried to sell this thing for a year and six months," LoCastro said. "Nobody wanted to operate it. They were afraid, scared to death."
    LoCastro was looking for an investment, so with some help
    from financial backer Clyde Moore -- his co-owner -- and Mims, he bought it in 1978.
    "So here I am 50 percent owner of this thing. Six years ago. And when I got here, you wouldn't believe the abject poverty. The buildings were gun metal gray and it really looked like a prison barracks. Everything was in terrible shape," LoCastro said.
    Today, LoCastro wants out. He said he is just waiting for a good offer.
    LoCastro said he knows no one will mourn the passage of Fred's Motel. But before anyone cheers, he wants someone to ask where the residents will go.
    Fred's can no longer be called a migrant camp in the truest sense. Most of the residents now are Haitians, and although many still engage in farm labor, most stay in the area rather than travel the migrant circuit. Fred's is home.
    Baked chicken wings lie on a foil pie pan on one of two small tables inside Frank May's pastel blue room.
    "It's been so long now," the old man says, and one is not sure whether he is referring to his age or how long he's been at Fred's.
    May worked the fields once, but now he spends his days sitting in his tiny room, watching a loud black-and-white television that sits on a makeshift table next to his cot.
    He is happy about the new pink sink that LoCastro recently had installed in his room. LoCastro charges May $108 a month for his room -- a $28 discount he gives to the older residents.
    James Gardener, 57, said Fred's is "an all right place. There's nothing wrong with the place."
    He has been at Fred's five or six years, and out of work most of them. These days, he spends his time with a small group of other men his age, most of whom live on disability payments.
    "I just sit around," he said of his days.
    LoCastro said he cares about these people and their fate without Fred's, but he is tired of the pressures of running the place -- internal pressures, hassles with the health department and the hostility of nearby residents, 90 of whom recently signed a petition complaining about Fred's.
    "I want to live my life quietly," LoCastro said.
    But even without the pressures, he knows the end is near for Fred's.
    A few years ago, O'Malley's office licensed about 50 camps in the Rangeline area. Now, there are 25. LoCastro envisions razing the camp to make way for a shopping area to support a growing residential community.
    Fred's is "an anachronism now. You've got Sherbrooke (a golf and housing complex) right down there, all those developments going up and it's the same old labor camp," O'Malley said. "It's a thing of the past. That day is over, or it's at least in its sunset."
    photo: Fred's Motel and residentsd (5), Frank May;
    map: Fred's Motel

    FRED'S MOTEL: A SAGA OF SQUALOR; see also sidebar
    Last edited by Starless; 08-14-2009 at 12:43 PM.

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