« 'Smart city' | Main | The awaiting »

November 21, 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I am retired from the Kansas City OCB and I have a true crime podcast. Can you pass along my invitation to do a phone interview about their experiences. My Podcast and contact is at www.ganglandwire.com

For some real investigating reporting read: "Down By the River" by Charles Bowden.
Learn why the so-called "War on Drugs" is truly unwinnable.

Yep, i worked the BNDD (DEA) task force when Phil Jordan was the Agent in Charge.
Thats how i eventually established a friendship with Chuck Bowden.

This is absolute drivel. Ned Warren was not convicted of anything by PPD. Ever. Chuck Hyder's Maricopa County Attorney's office sent Warren to the Arizona State Prison by specifically AVOIDING the Phoenix Police Department because of the internal corruption of its Organized Crime Bureau. They convicted Warren of underlying land fraud and the subsequent attempt he made to bribe a County Attorney investigator to destroy the files of the land fraud case. Because of the subsequent charges of bribery, Warren was non-bondable and had to make a deal. When he lied to prosecutors at the County, he was sentenced to 54-60 years in state prison. That was the end of Ned Warren, who died in prison. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) worked these cases along with County Attorney Investigators, because PPD's Organized Crime Bureau was considered unreliable. In fact it was later shown that three officers on that unit were corrupted by organized crime. By 1984 they were gone from that unit.

Police departments dont convict!
The prosecution by Chuck Hyder(currently a federal prosecutor)was a good thing. However the Maricopa County attorneys office investigation at the instruction of interim county attorney Don Harris(who advised he ordered Frank Murray to prosecute the case after Harris took over on the hasty departure of County Attorney Moise Burger, allegedly upon the instruction of Harry Rosenzweig) and subsquent conviction by Chuck Hyder's staff, including Frank, of Ned Warren was also aided by information previously gathered by non corrupt officers of the Federally Funded White Collar Crime Unit that that was attached to the PPD OCB.
Frank has pointed out some accurate things but that does not make the entire column "absolute drivel."
It is a fact that PPD White Collar Crime Sgt. Oscar Long told Warren in an interview, that he would die in prison!
Thanks Frank for your input.

In May of 1979 as a Sergeant in Internal affairs, I/A, I was transferred to the Administrative Sergeants position in the Organized Crime Bureau, OCB. Neither my Lieutenant in I/A or the Captain in OCB at the time knew why. I was instructed to see the police chief.

The chief advised he “had been told by the FBI that a member of the OCB staff had been identified as a Mafia associate.” The Chief also told me there were “files all over the OCB he wanted some order” brought to that problem.

Shortly after I transferred to OCB, the detective file clerk in the OCB Analyst section came into my office and said “you aren’t fucking getting me, I am retiring.” I said “what?” and he repeated himself. Shortly thereafter I discovered the “851” file and the index cards used to find them were not in the file room but in OCB detectives' possession.

I spent the next few months working on the Chiefs orders. Eventually the pressure of investigating my fellow officers (I had already been in I/A and also the pressure previously investigating corruption in the police union in 1975) I asked for a transfer.

I was transferred to the Administrative Sergeant's position in the Chief's office where I served two police Chiefs before going back to Uniform Street Patrol and eventually SAU (SWAT) and I/A again before retiring in 1991 as the Sergeant in Charge of the Narcotics Intervention Unit at Sky harbor Airport.

After my police career I took five years off and then in 1995/96 I “Urban” backedpacked and walked (not hitchhiking but occasionally accepting a ride when offered) across America arriving in Washington DC on Earth Day.

In 1996 I became a Private Investigator and owned a High end Security guard company and a diamond transport business. At almost 78, I continue to work and still believe there is no such thing as a “free cup of coffee.”

Note: For many years I have asked many reporters I know to write that the Don Bolles Murder was not a onetime singular event but a continuation of events that I believe started when Al Capone went to prison for TAX evasion. And this activity continues to this day.

My name is Nancy (Nealis) Smith. My father was Lt. Seymour Nealis. He was a police officer for Phoenix, AZ for 25 years retiring in 1979. He then went on to be Chief of Police in Goodyear for 14 years. Do any of your books mention him? I would love to know if you have heard stories about him. He died in July of 17. I have lots of memorabilia from his time in law enforcement.

Unfortunately, my books don't mention him.

Jon and Nancy,
I worked for Lt. Nealis three times, Once in Narcotics, once in Night Detectives along with Sgt. Wild Bill and once in Internal Affairs prior to Chief Wetzel transferring me to Organized Crime. Nealis was a great guy and a great supervisor.

Nancy, I knew your father. In 1964 and '65, I was a young cub reporter for The Phoenix Gazette. I was assigned to the police beat to work with a seasoned reporter, Thurman L. "Johnny" Johns. The entire Police Department was housed in the brown stone building that's between Washington and Jefferson streets and between First and Second avenues. The Detectives Bureau where your dad worked was on the elevated first floor (most people would call it the second floor). Across the hall was the I Bureau (or Information Bureau) where massive machines held 4 x 5 cards on rotating shelves. The Detectives Bureau was divided into units, such as Burglary and Robbery. Your dad headed another unit, "Crimes Against Persons," that investigated assaults, murders and suicides. At that time, Phoenix was a relatively small town, just beginning to experience explosive growth. It was several years later that the city had grown large enough to warrant a homicide unit. As I recall, your dad didn't care much for his given name, Seymour, so went by the name of Steve. Your father was a good guy, willingly helping a young reporter learn his way around. Every morning, we would have to read the stack of DRs (Detectives Reports) from the night before. Your dad would help me understand them and would point me in a direction that he thought would make a good story. I'm 76 now and my memory is not what it once was. But I recall your dad being rather tall. I think Jon Sellers was assigned to Crimes Against Persons. If I remember right, so was a detective named Gilliland, and maybe Ron Gailard and Eloy Ysasi. In 1965 I left the Gazette and joined UPI and I had only occasional contact with your father. After your dad retired and became chief of police in Goodyear, I heard that while doing yard work at home, he injured himself with a chainsaw while trimming a tree. Is that true? How serious was the injury? I heard he had a nasty injury to his leg.

I have just gotten back on this site and seen the misleading comments of Cal Lash last year. PPD had almost nothing to do with my convicting of Ned Warren of land fraud, and later, of bribery. I worked these cases quite independently in the 70's: not with any "second chair". Chuck Hyder, who also deserves a lot of credit, stayed out of my way, facilitated my efforts, and even came to Judge Thompson's Court to support me when the defense attorneys (predictably) conjured up every way they could to get me on the stand. This was their standard "trick" at the time.
We worked with a small unit at DPS under Lt. Norm Beasley, and the U. S. Attorneys' Office's former strike force attorneys and their expert CPA's, along with the FBI. It was the U. S. Attys - Joe Keilp, Joel Sachs and Paul Corradini - who first showed me the 302 Reports on the corrupt PPD OCB unit. They made excellent witnesses for me at the Hearings in from of Judge Thompson.
We already knew something was very, very wrong with PPD, because, despite there being a few good men in this unit, something always went wrong when you tried to do a case with them. Still, there was also a long line of wonderful guys in OCB.
It was my County Attorney investigator that Ned Warren tried to bribe "to burn the files in Frank Murray's office" (not that that would have stopped the case). His attempted bribery while on release from my fraud case, made him non-bondable, and he was done - when he agreed to "cooperate," we knew he wouldn't. When he lied instead of cooperating, we revoked the agreement and a few weeks later he was in Florence - permanently.
The people nominated for praise by the police (such as Cal Lash) should be received with a thick grain of salt. Don Harris had something to do with the case against Ned Warren? Laughable. Harris was County Attorney for 5 months. I had spent months working up the Ned Warren case before Harris got there in August of 1976. He visited me twice, total. First time he met me, he said something rather odd (not unusual for him). "You're doing the Ned Warren case. You're probably untouchable." Bizarre. I said nothing. I charged Ned Warren of 20 counts of land fraud in East II Justice Court on September 22, 1976. The only other time Harris talked to me was towards the end of his tenure, in the winter of that year. By then he had apparently bothered to read the charges and found out that the Mesa car dealer Jack Ross was involved in the land transactions. "we're going to charge Jack Ross and Aquanetta with those counts" he declared to me as he saw me in the hallway. I quickly responded: "no, we aren't going to charge Jack Ross and Aquanetta!" I allowed myself a faintly sarcastic tone. No one in that office paid any attention to Don Harris, the five month county attorney. Bill Schaefer and I shared many observations at his expense. He didn't have the long-run interest in mind of anyone, except himself.
I never sought publicity - to me that got in the way. But I was the Bureau Chief of Special Operations, and, before that, a trial group supervisor. I carried the number 3 badge in the office. I liked to try cases, did so often, and tried them by myself.
Just as I did Warren.

I am revisiting the Don Bolles' murder and the basic facts set forth by Dave Wagner in "The Politics of Murder: Organized Crime in Barry Goldwater’s Arizona” as background for my work in progress: “The Battle For Armory Park.”

Wagner continually refers to "The Phoenix Network" and public officials who violated their oaths of office to “keep the lid on” and protect the “vested interests” of the pioneer families: the Goldwaters, Marleys Rosenzweigs, Brophys, etc., as well as the “vested interests” of the professions in which they were employed.

Posted here are many comments made by those who have knowledge of, or who participated in, many of the events documented by Wagner.

I would GREATLY APPRECIATE any additional commentary, supportive or in conflict with Wagner, regarding Arizona’s history, based in crime and corruption, which continues on today.

Mr. Warden,

Wagner is solid. And I'll be on the lookout for crime/corruption today. Mostly the old-fashioned land fraud has gone away or is legitimized by sprawl without adequate water that is green-lighted by regulators anyway.

To Cal Lash and Rogue Columnist:

Can ANYONE share personal recollections regarding Lonzo McCracken, whom Wagner features prominently as the guy who "pried the lid off Phoenix based Organized Crime?"

Was he a "stand up" kind of guy (like Frank Serpico) who refused to "go along to get along?"

Was he a gregarious, story telling backslapping kind of guy or was he a loner, a brooder, who kept to himself?

Wagner says he had an ulcer. Can that be a result of the frustration McCracken must have felt with PPD "higher ups", and getting anything done regarding high profile criminals (like Warren) and establishment figures, (like Prosecutor Moise Berger), who seemed to protect them?

Did McCracken die as a result of his stomach issues?

Did he smoke or drink, swear or pop Di-Gel or other medications to deal with his ulcer?

Any personal insight would be appreciated!!

Which Wagner are we talking about.
My email is [email protected]

Mr. Lash:

Dave Wagner who wrote "The Politics of Murder." Thanks for your email address. I will respond in a day or two.

You are RIGHT about "all this activity continues to today."

You (MIGHT) be SURPRISED that, as Dave Wagner wrote, "Mob" related activity was (and still is) the LEAST important component of the corruption of Arizona institutions, including Arizona's criminal justice apparatus (lawyers and judges) who thrive upon processing cases related to illegal entry, and don't want the flow of illegal entrants to stop.

Talton. I'm not sure, "land fraud" went away. Like prostitution it's still with us.
It just has a different appearance.
Hiding behind political manufacturing to give "Developers,"cover.
The Sajuaros of the The Great Sonoran Desert keep being replaced by buildings and asphalt.
That said, eventually like those "who are gone" before us, the desert will win and grass will grow thru the cracking man made roadways.


Don Bolles murder, I Squad member Lonzo McCracken, Cal Lash who worked with McCracken and reports that corruption continues in Arizona today:


Bolles Murder: Lonzo McCracken, Cal Lash and other I Squad members stood UP and tried to protect the public interest, while "higher ups", including superior court judges and the Maricopa County County Attorney, continued to "lie, cheat and steal" and otherwise break the law to protect The Phoenix Forty, the Arizona Establishment and ongoing institutional supported crime, which today includes "Open Border Policy" and the source of Arizona's cheap Mexican labor force.


Looking to contact Nancy (Nealis) Smith or any of Seymour Nealis friends or family to discuss a story that includes him. Please send a your contact information to [email protected]

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz