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Black Caesar
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Print Version: USD $ 18.95
The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin
In 1973, Frank Matthews, history’s first African American drug kingpin, jumped bail in New York City with $15 to $20 million and ostensibly a beautiful girlfriend. Nearly four decades later, the fate of Frank Matthews, the money and the girlfriend, Cheryl Denise Brown, remain a complete mystery. “It’s as if Matthews dropped off the face of the earth,” explained Mike Pizzi, a retired U.S. Marshal who was involved with the hunt for Matthews, the fugitive, for several years. Now, in a new book, Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin, journalist Ron Chepesiuk investigates one of organized crime’s most intriguing mysteries. The book explores several intriguing questions: how was Matthews’ been able to operate for several years without being detected? What was his relationship with La Cosa Nostra? Why did the CIA get involved in the Matthews investigation? What happened to Cheryl Brown? Why has the mystery of his disappearance been so difficult to solve? Born in 1944 in Durham, North Carolina, Matthews left his hometown when he was a teenager, going first to Philadelphia and then to New York City. By the early 1970’s, Frank Matthews had become America’s biggest drug kingpin. His organization, headquartered in Brooklyn, stretched across 21 states, and he became the only Black gangster to establish direct ties to the French Connection heroin pipeline. To quote William Callahan, a federal prosecutor assigned to the Matthews’ case, “Matthews was a pioneering giant of drug distribution.” The $15 to 20 million dollars he disappeared with is roughly equivalent to $100 million in today’s cash. The book explores various theories about the fate of Frank Matthews, and the author offers his own conclusion about the mystery. “Despite one of the largest manhunts in US history, there is no proof as to whether he is alive or dead,” said Chepesiuk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3QSFd6-47s
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