NEW YORK CITY LOST AN ICON ON MARCH 19, 2017: 88 YEAR OLD ‘SON’ JIMMY BRESLIN: AGAIN, I HAVE PERSONAL TIES TO THIS NATIONAL HEADLINE!

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Jimmy Breslin: was well known for this coloful articles on a wide range of topics.  Within this collage, he wrote about the ‘Son of Sam Murders’ of NYC, he wrote about former Mayor Ed Koch and wrote about the passing of John Lennon.  And take note, he actually got a personal note from ‘Son of Sam’ Murderer Berkowitz.
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My Dad & Jimmy Breslin….Together again…in Heaven.

I will first copy and paste information from ‘Wikipedia’. Now, of course we all know that ‘Wikipedia’ really should never be taken as the ‘bible’, since we all know that pretty much no matter who you look up, all the information there is never 100% accurate. However, of course those who write up Wikipedia’s information are always trying their best to get as close as they can to be accurate on whoever they are writing about depending on the page/person you visit, and well, I can surely say that Wikipedia’s information on my own father is about at least 25% wrong, if not more but, at least this ‘on-line investigation tool’ at least will give a general consensus of whoever it is they are talking about:

James Earle “Jimmy” Breslin (October 17, 1928 – March 19, 2017) was an American journalist and author. Until the time of his death, he wrote a column for the New York Daily News Sunday edition. He wrote numerous novels, and columns of his appeared regularly in various newspapers in his hometown of New York City. He served as a regular columnist for the Long Island newspaper Newsday until his retirement on November 2, 2004, though he still published occasional pieces for the paper. He was known for his newspaper columns which offered a sympathetic viewpoint of the working class people of New York City,[1] and was awarded the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary “for columns which consistently champion ordinary citizens”.

Early life

Breslin was born on October 17, 1928, in Jamaica, New York. His alcoholic father, James Earl Breslin, a piano player, went out one day to buy rolls and never returned. Breslin and his sister, Deirdre, were raised by their mother, Frances (Curtin), a high school teacher and New York City Welfare Department investigator, during the Great Depression.

Breslin attended Long Island University from 1948 to 1950. He left without graduating.

Career

Breslin began working for the Long Island Press as a copy boy in the 1940s. After leaving college, he became a columnist. His early columns were attributed to politicians and ordinary people that he chatted with in various watering holes near Queens Borough Hall. Breslin was a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, the Daily News, the New York Journal American, Newsday, and other venues. When the Sunday supplement of the Tribune was reworked into New York magazine by editor Clay Felker in 1962, Breslin appeared in the new edition, which became “the hottest Sunday read in town.”[5]

One of his best known columns was published the day after John F. Kennedy‘s funeral and focused on the man who had dug the president’s grave. The column is indicative of Breslin’s style, which often highlights how major events or the actions of those considered “newsworthy” affect the “common man”. Breslin’s public profile in the 1960s as a regular guy led to a brief stint as a TV pitchman for Piels Beer, including a bar room commercial wherein he intoned in his deep voice: “Piels—it’s a good drinkin’ beer!”

In 1969, Breslin ran for president of the New York City Council in tandem with Norman Mailer, who was seeking election as mayor, on the unsuccessful independent 51st State ticket advocating secession of the city from the rest of the state. His memorable quote from the experience: “I am mortified to have taken part in a process that required bars to be closed.”[7]

Mailer–Breslin campaign button, 1969

Breslin’s career as an investigative journalist led him to cultivate ties with various Mafia and criminal elements in the city, not always with positive results. In 1970, he was viciously attacked and beaten at The Suite, a restaurant then owned by Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill. The attack was carried out by mobster Jimmy Burke, who objected to an article Breslin had written involving another member of the Lucchese family, Paul Vario. Breslin suffered a major concussion and nosebleeding, but survived the ordeal without any permanent injury.

In 1977, at the height of the Son of Sam scare in New York City, the killer, later identified as David Berkowitz, addressed letters to Breslin. Excerpts from the letters were published and used later in Spike Lee‘s film Summer of Sam, which Breslin, portraying himself, bookends. In 2008, the Library of America selected one of Breslin’s many Son of Sam articles published in the Daily News for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American true crime writing.

In 1978, Breslin, without significant acting experience, appeared in Joe Brooks’ feature film If Ever I See You Again in a main supporting role playing “Mario Marino”, the assistant to two Madison Avenue jingle composers.[13][14] Breslin’s performance received a Golden Turkey Award nomination for “Worst Performance by a Novelist”.

In 1985, he received a George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting. In 1986, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

In 1986, Breslin revealed that Donald Manes, the Borough President of Queens, was involved in a kickback scheme. Manes later committed suicide.

In October 1986, Breslin landed his own twice-weekly late night television show on ABC, Jimmy Breslin’s People, in which he was seen interviewing poor New Yorkers at home. Some of them were incarcerated. Because many network affiliates had already had committed to syndicated programming for Breslin’s time slot when the new season started a month earlier, Breslin’s show was often delayed or preempted altogether; even the network’s flagship station WABC pushed it back from its midnight slot to 2 a.m., and would occasionally only air it one night a week. Disgusted, Breslin took out a full-page ad in The New York Times announcing that he was “firing the network” and would be ending the show after its December 20 broadcast (at which time his 13-week contract expired).

Controversies

In May 1990, after fellow Newsday columnist Ji-Yeon Mary Yuh described one of his articles as sexist, Breslin heatedly retorted with racial and sexual invective. Asian American and anti-hate groups forcefully decried Breslin’s outburst. Breslin appeared on the Howard Stern Show to banter about his outburst and Koreans in general. Following this controversial radio broadcast, Newsday managing editor Anthony Marro suspended Breslin for two weeks, who then apologized.

Author and former FBI agent Robert K. Ressler has stated that Breslin “baited Berkowitz and irresponsibly contributed to the continuation of his murders” by trying to sell sensationalist newspapers. In Ressler’s book Whoever Fights Monsters, Ressler condemns Breslin and the media for their involvement in encouraging serial killers by directing their activity with printed conjectures.

Personal life

Breslin was married twice. His first marriage, to Rosemary Dattolico, ended with her death in 1981. They had six children together: sons Kevin, James, Patrick, and Christopher, and daughters Rosemary and Kelly. His daughter Rosemary died June 14, 2004 from a rare blood disease, and his daughter Kelly, 44, died on April 21, 2009, four days after suffering from cardiac arrhythmia in a New York City restaurant. From 1982 until his death in 2017, Breslin had been married to former New York City Council member Ronnie Eldridge.[26]

Death

Breslin died on March 19, 2017 at his home in Manhattan, aged 88. The cause of death has not yet been released. At the time of his death, he had been recovering from pneumonia.

Ok…now, its time for the ‘personal part’ of this colorful character/reporter, Jimmy Breslin. Yes, he knew my dad personally, and actually interviewed him inside a New York City Taxi! I will post the actual article for all to read – and I may even try to ‘write it up’ here from the article itself, since even I had some difficulty reading it, due to both the age of the article by the time I scanned it, and the outcome of the ‘scan copy’ its self.

Here is the article Jimmy Breslin wrote about my father:

TOWERING TROUBLES OF SMALL BANANA:  Jimmy Breslin

Roy Furmark came out of his apartment house at 200 hicks street in Brooklyn Heights and stood in a wet gloom of a late sunday afternoon with two big batterted suitcases.One held two copies of the Tower Commission Report, which he was taking to Adnan Khashoggi in Paris. Both Furmark and Khashoggi are part of the report. Now a busted down, two door car from Cobble Hill Car Service pulled up to take him to Kennedy Airport.The driver asked us not to smoke, and then lit up a cigarette.

Furmark may be associated with Khashoggi, an Oil and arms dealer who flies around in private planes, but Furmark appears to live and travel far from Adnan’s wallet.

Last month when Roy Furmark was subpoenaed by the Tower Commission and House and Senate Intellgence Committees, he went to lawyers in Brooklyn Heights who work for the big Manhattan Law Firms. They all told Furmark to take the Fifth Amendment, but to do this properly, he had to have a lawyer right there  with him in front of all  the committees. Work for such importance could not be done for less than $50,000.00, the lawyers felt.

Roy Furmark, would not pay $50,000.00 to be President of the United States.

“I said. Well, I will just have to go down on my own, and tell them what I know”, Furmark Said.

He took the shuttle to Washington alone. When he walked into the Tower Commission he remembers Ed Muskie’s mouth flew open. How could anybody dare appear at such a prestigious committee without bringing a costly lawyer? Roy Furmark could.  (look at above video of CNN Breaking News of Dad entering the room to testify) He testified for 3 and half hours in front of the Tower Commission.  He spent about the same amount of time with both the House and Senate Committees. He saved $50,000.00. And by walking in without a lawyer, he was regarded as an office boy.

“They dropped my name from the list of major players”, Roy Furmark said happily as he rode in the battered car to the airport.

Roy is 55, with brown hair in need of a haircut and a goatee that has white in it. He comes out of old Finn Town Brooklyn. He spent weekends at 108th street Rockaway Beach, playing basketball, and then drinking beer in the old McGuire’s. And now here, suddenly, he is involved in momentus events. And as you see how Roy Furmark got into it, the Iran Arms story suddenly seems as simple as it was stupid. And that from now on, it becomes merely another police case of following the money and catching the thieves.  If the thieves happen to be prominent, and a national administration falls – and it most certainly can, for the most soaring, thrilling of speeches serve as no explanation for stolen money -that still does not make the case as anything more complicated then the apprehension of thieves.

On the ride to the Airport Furmark said: “I’d ask Schultz and Abrams about how many countries gave them money for this thing. So far they said, Saudi Arabia,  gave them what,  I read $20 Million and the Sultan of Brunei gave them $10 Million. Do  you mean these are the only countries to pay? You have the secretary of State and his right hand man Elliot Abrams around asking countries for donations. Who would say no to them?”

The cab raced into Queens and Furmark now said; “You can’t be sure anybody else broke laws. Maybe nobody sent any money to Nicaragua. Maybe they just skimmed all the money in Geneva and it could turn out to be all legal”.

“How good a party did they have”? he was asked.

He held out his hands. “How can you tell? he said whistfully. “You hear $60 Million missing. I think that’s only small part of it”.

“What did you tell them in Washington”? he was asked.

“Its all in the Tower Report. I had nothing to hide. I was an accountant at Touche Ross and I met John Shaheen.. He told me to come into the Oil Business. He had Bill Casey for a lawyer. So thats how I met Casey. While I was working for Shaheen, I also met Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar There is no mystery to it”.

Shaheen died.  Furmark has since tried to get rich in Oil with Khashoggi, and Ghorbanifar, who is an Iranian who also deals in arms.

One day of 1986, Furmark, hanging on the fringes, was on Khashoggi’s Yacht “Nabila”  (“Nabila” was later sold to Donald Trump, who then later sold it to Madonna) at Marbella, Spain. Adnan talked about putting up a million dollars to test a ‘back channel’ .  Furmark also remembers being at Ghorbanifar’s Condominnium  in Nice, France. The condominnium overlooks the water. He had lunch with Ghorbanifar’s wife and three children and as Ghorbanifar talked, Furmark remembers asking about “obstacles”. “What obstacles”?, Ghorbanifar said. “There are no obstacles. North gets all that done”. It was the first time Furmark heard the name Oliver North.  Furmark also heard about a General named Secord, who believes in strong attacks on money.

“I never heard anybody say the contras got money”, Furmark said.

Furmark said Khashoggi and Ghorbanifar dont know anything about arms except about how to sell  them. “I know for sure Adnan has never seen a missle neither have I”.

Last Spring, Khashoggi put up $15 Million and never got $10 Million of it back. Last fall he went to Furmark.

“Adnan asked me if I could see Bill Casey about the money.  I called the Central Intelligence Headquarters in Virginia and asked for Casey.No, I have never done a thing like that before. They asked me what I wanted and I said it was a personal call. I left my number. I get a call back from Casey. You know, Bill is a nice guy. He likes to help friends. He told me to come down to see him.I saw him on October 7 at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va. I told him:  “You owe Khashoggi $10 Million”, Bill said to me, “Its not my operation, maybe its an Israeli operation”. I said to him: “Listen Bill, its North and Poindexter handling this thing. Its not Israel. Lets get somebody from here to pay”.

Casey said: “Lets get Poindextet”. He put in a call to Poindexter, but Poindexter wasn’t in. So Bill told me to come back and see his chief assitant Charles Allen. I came back and saw Allen. And when I was finishing up – it was late in the day  – Bill Casey dropped by and said he was flying up to the Al – Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria and he’d give me a ride in his plane. We talked on the way up.

“I told him, ‘Bill, do a partial shipment of the weapons or refund some of the money. But do something to keep us alive on this , will you”? He said to me: “I’m trying”. Then we didnt walk about it anymore. Bill had his wife with him”.

” I saw Casey for the third time on November 24 He looked great. We went over the money in detail.Bill got on the phone and said: “hey, Ollie, we have a man here who says you owe him $10 Million” – When bill hung up he said: “He said you have to see Iran or Israel’. Bill asked me if I wanted to see Ed Meese on this. I said to him: “you’re the goverment  as far as we  are concerned. Its in your hands’. The next morning Meese and Reagan announced that there had been a diversion of funds to Contras, that took care of that”.

“And Casey got sick,’ Furmark was told.

“Casey got sick ,”he said solemnly.

“Do you think Casey had the money”?

Furmark spread his hands. At the Airport, he checked one bag. He kept the one with the Tower Reports. He asked for a rear seat in the tourist section. “When its empty back there, you can get four across and sleep. I’m flying here on my own money. Sometimes I’m on Adnan’s private plane. Sometime he picks up the hotel bill in Paris. Other times he doesn’t”.

He went to the bar and had a bottle of beer. “The United States Goverment has to make good on the money. More than $10 Million now. Adnan had to pay 10% interests. It’s nearly a year.

“If Adnan gets his $10 million back, what do you get out of it”? Furmark was asked.

He shrugged. “Oh. I’m in so many deals with Adnan – I just need one of them to come in.  This is just a thing I am doing for him. I’m just looking for one deal to come through. I’ve had pieces  but never a whole deal”.

Then he began talking about other people and he mentioned having dinner one night in Washington with Michael Ledeen, who was some sort of consultant to the National Security Council and I just remembered reading something about Ledeen.

“Did you see in the Tower Report that North sent a memo saying that Ledeen was going to get $50 for each missel the Iranians were going to got”?

Furmark’s eyes widen. Then Furmark’s body moved as the bayonet went into his ribs.

“where was that”? he said.

“Its in the Tower Report”.

ROY FURMARK looked at the suitcase at his feet, the one holdging the reports.He wanted to make sure it was there At this point, Furmark’s plane was called . All across the Atlantic on Sunday night with the Tower Commission Report in his lap, Roy Furmark of Hicks Street , Brooklyn , could read and reread this memo from Oliver North about paying Ledeen a bonus for missles. Read this while flying tourist on his own money. Of course this is a banana republic.  All Roy Furmark wants is one of the bananas.

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Jimmy Breslin/ Roy Furmark
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Jimmy Breslin/Roy Furmark
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