Thursday, July 7, 2011

From a Small Town

I came from a small town in Illinois that has a really odd history. I didn’t grow up in this specific town but from an even smaller town in the same county. I moved there during my sophomore year in high school. Because of the cliques that reign supreme there, I was not part of the “in” crowd. Of course, I’m glad I don’t live there anymore in addition to the fact that I am not part of the crowd.

You see, this town is not on an interstate and is about three and a half hours straight south of Chicago. It is not a drive that someone just undertakes in a day. This town is also the largest town in the county but is still under 10,000 people. It has stayed, more or less, the same population since I can remember. The nickname of this town, however, is “Little Chicago”. Here’s a list of why.

It is the home of a really nasty motorcycle gang. There are unsolved murders and disappearances. One of the members of the Sicilian Mafia lives there and was part of an FBI case called the “Pizza Connection”. It has been the home of many drug operations and stings by both FBI and state police. And, lastly, the major shareholder in one of the oldest banks in town is suspected in both drugs and a couple of the murders.

During the ‘70s and ‘80s, the motorcycle gang was the feared group that you did not want to run afoul of. They meted out their own justice for any perceived wrongs. At least three of them are in prison for murders of local residents. They have been and still are ruthless. And they are still suspected of running drugs for the Mafia. In addition, they are suspected in the disappearance of two men who were also involved in drugs. Two of their members were tried and acquitted for their murders. Of course, the trial took place in this town.

The local pizza store owner was part of a major FBI case called the “Pizza Connection”. He was the nephew of the major player of the case, Don Tano Badalamenti from Palermo, Sicily. The Don died in prison. This case also involved drugs.

During the “90s I couldn’t even begin to count how many meth production operations there had been. There were so many that the DEA, the state police, and the FBI were all spent an inordinate amount of time on the investigations. Some of these people I knew in high school.

There is also the case of the “Newlywed Murders” that happened in 1986. For me, it is the most personal. I was only a year younger than the woman killed in this case and, at first, we knew there was a killer out there. I knew these two victims. The girl worked for the banker in question at his dog food plant.

We didn’t know if there was more than one for some time. To this day, the prosecutors say it was two men, but the investigation shows it COULD have been only one. In the meantime, two men I knew were arrested and convicted of the crime. One went to Death Row and the other life in prison. Those of us who knew them did not believe any of it. And today, they are both out of prison because of the issues regarding this case.

The latest news out of there involves Casey Anthony, of all people. That case has been and still is a world-wide sensation. At the time I write this, the news states she will only spend six more days in jail being released on July 13. So here’s the news on that.

Vivid Entertainment is the leading porn producer in the country. They have offered her a starring role in a porn film when she gets out of jail. How, do you ask, is this related to the small Illinois town I came from? Well let me tell you.

The co-owner and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment was a classmate of mine that I graduated with in the small town I have been talking about. Forgive me this but, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!! I cannot stop laughing about that particular tidbit.

I just hope that at some point the authorities will really look into and clean up this town. Somehow I doubt it, but I can always hope.

3 comments:

  1. Well, as you well know, I come from the same small town. We may never have been in the "in" crowd, but we managed to have some fun now and again, didn't we!?

    I did not know this last litte tid bit about Vivid....kind of sick if you ask me. But, from what I've heard even if he is laughing all the way to the bank, he's become a bit of a joke back in our little town.

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  2. God, I wouldn't want to live in that small town. I would be too scared. Yeah, I'm a scardy cat. don't look so surprised.

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  3. Wow.

    I guess I should be happy with my boring little town....where nothing EVER happens......

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