|Hollywood Homicide: Killing the Dead
What’s worse than murder? How about trashing kids’ memory of their long-abused loving mother... after paying the wife-beating/cheating mobster father big bucks to white wash his black deed of having had his wife “rubbed out”? Sound like a Hollywood script? It should. But even if you saw “Casino” you’d never recognize the plot. We’re all familiar with how nicely the fantasy-factories sugar-coat history’s worst moments but even by those standards, they went way too far with this one. To make a Mafia-owned bum into a hero, cast highly-respected Robert DeNiro in the part & give the poor, already-murdered mom the further setback of being portrayed as a trampish, money-grubbing druggie by filmdom’s biggest-name bad-girl, Sharon Stone, just added character assassination to wiping out her life!
When we suspect our government of covering-up bribery, elected officials’ association with organized crime or an assassination, most of us are swiftly up in arms over it. We demand the truth. We even okay spending jillions of our tax dollars to get it. It’s important to us that our elected country-runners not lie, isn’t it? But... when movie moguls do the exact same awful stuff, you pay them to do it, then applaud them, reward them and award them Oscars for getting away with it! And don’t care if it’s true or not. You all disgust me.
I knew Lefty (Frank) Rosenthal, Bob. The guy you palled around with while filming, that you all paid a big bundle to for his version of mob-life and murder, was a wife-kicking, floozy-fucking flunky for the mob, who let his wife be murdered (&/or ordered it!). I knew Geri Rosenthal real well, Sharon. You should never get another good night’s sleep for what you did to her after her hubby & his bosses had her killed for the horrible crime of wanting to be with her kids. She was a good mom who loved her 2 kids (not 1, as in the flick) more than life, but was dumb enough to try getting away from being cheated on & beaten up all the time. Sure, she drank. Who wouldn’t, with what she had to do to for her & her kids’ safety for over 12 years? Nothing else about that damn movie was true! Least of all, how she died. Read “Sin & Sanctimony,” a novel of mine no one dared publish, if you want to know how she really did.
How do I know? Geri Rosenthal was a down-the-street neighbor in a life I, too, left far behind. Our youngest kids were best friends. They played together every day. After Geri had to run for her life & holed up in LA, she called me every week to find out how her kids were, ‘cause Lefty wouldn’t let her calls to them get through and he tossed all her letters. One week she didn’t make her call. I always knew they’d get her. So did she. I guess we both were only surprised it took so long. I wish I was surprised that you buy the lies so easily... & make the rich even richer with the re-murder of a cruelly murdered woman, the killing of a son’s & a daughter’s love for a mommy who loved them enough to die for them. Sadly, I’m not surprised at all.
Yeah, you disgust me. You’d rather buy exciting lies than be handed the even more sensational truth. You pay to be “entertained” by seeing someone who was real... & alive once... be turned into what she never was, while the man who had her killed makes money on it. I don’t know who’s worse, her murderers... or Hollywood and you. This one’s for you, Geri! To Steffi & her brother: your mom always loved you, kids. Somewhere, she still does. So do I, Steff. Don’t believe all the rest of that crap.
Here's how it really was, if anybody but me cares...
Note to readers:
Lori Siegel was Geri Rosenthal/Sharon Stone;
Stan Siegel is Frank (Lefty) Rosenthal/Robert DeNiro;
Tony d'Amato was Tony Spilotro/Joe Pesci;
Andrea was me--maia-- & this is how my friend Geri died/was murdered.
May 26, 1981 - Southern California:
SHE hadn't shown it all in a Vegas spotlight for ten or twelve years, but the ex-showgirl's body could still stop traffic. Especially at high noon, in the parking lot of a West L.A. motel, when it came stumbling out of Room #312 without even a sequined G-string to hide its centerfold proportions. Unfortunately, any aesthetic or erotic qualities of the scene were marred by the woman's cracked voice-- in which, interrupting equally traffic-stopping screams, she pleaded for her life.
"Help me! They're killing me. Please. . . help me!"
Her flailing arms translated the words into semaphore then reached out to grab a passing car. The driver simply continued to pass while his head swiveled-- locked bug-eyed on his best wet dream come true.
"I don't want to die, damn you. . . . why won't some-fucking-body help me?"
Her last discernible pleas were shrieked to no one who wanted to hear as she ran toward Pico Boulevard with a crazily lop-sided, long-legged stride, then suddenly collapsed like Pinocchio with his strings cut. She sprawled between a red Porsche Targa, whose orthodontist owner was enjoying a nooner with his receptionist in Room 221 and a silver Caddy DeVille like the one her husband got blown out of three months later. He'd live. She didn't.
Ronnie Perkins, the motel's assistant day manager ("room clerk" in real English), was on on his way back to the desk with his lunch. He bent over, awkward and stiff with shock, dropping his Taco Bell take-out on the pavement next to one still-perfect, still-quivering breast. A manicured hand reached up and clawed at his belt. She was trying to pull herself up, but he recoiled as if he'd been groped by a hooker in church. The woman fell back hard and looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"All I wanted was my kids. Who'll take care of my babies now?" she asked. Then, knowing it didn't matter to anyone but her, she died.
Embarrassed passersby gaped, then looked the other way; the driver who wouldn't stop for her made another circuit of the lot, his mouth open and his left hand working away in his lap; the room clerk squatted next to the dead woman and tried not to look where his eyes wanted to go, while the ex-showgirl, mobster's almost ex-wife, and mother of Timmy, 5, and Kara, 9, who used to be Jane Marie Schwaverski from Brockton, Kansas, lay naked as she was born-- dead in a California parking lot at the age of 37.
The LAPD, after checking with their counterparts in Las Vegas-- listed as the woman's home address-- and then getting a surprisingly speedy callback following their routine FBI notification, settled on "self-induced accidental prescription drug and alcohol overdose" as the cause of death, discreetly missing any connection between the decedent's finale and two flashily-dressed male visitors that Ronnie Perkins, manager-on-duty, dutifully reported having seen enter her room an hour before she "went on."
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THE ABSENT Stan Siegel was senior member of the "Mob" division, in charge of all revenues from the various operations Tony ran. It was Stan who saw that everyone came up with the right percentage and no one skimmed more than the small sticky-finger piece he expected-- and quietly allowed. Common in Mafia hierarchy, Jews handling their money was the norm, though never quite kosher to hot-headed young real Mafiosi-- the third or fourth generation Sicilian-Americans.
While he didn't want much, if anything, of what his wife had to offer, neither did Siegel want anyone else laying claim to "his property." That Tony had the hots for Lori, was as foolish as it was incongruous. The ex-show-girl's unbelievable tits sat at just the right height for Tony to imagine resting his chin comfortably in their bottomless canyon. Besides having six inches on the Sicilian stature of her would-be swain, Lori had six years on him as well. Neither taller nor older impeded "Tony the Tiger's" hot-blooded heart-- he'd gone completely pazzo over the lady.
As far as all but her husband knew, his ardor was expended unrequitedly. It didn't matter to Stan. Even a covetous thought in the vicinity of his personal possession was as much a betrayal as its consummation would have been. And so he'd taken appropriate steps. Half of them, anyway. The other half could wait. He wanted time to really savor the exacting of that second piece of justice.
The men were assembled to discuss Lori's too-close-for-comfort deal with the feds, who'd offered to get her kids away from Stan for her; the hit that had made necessary; and its subsequent major risk to security. The partners' complacency had been badly shaken, when they'd realized how seriously Stan's marital problems had threatened their operations. That leak plugged, business had returned to normal.
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For Better & For Worse
LORI WAS younger than Andrea by a few years, maybe five or six, maybe as much as ten or twelve. The last years had taken a toll on her spirit, if not her face and body. Those she'd had to keep up, just to keep what little hold she had on Stan. Her blond hair was cut short, but she was so much woman from there on down, it didn't have the masculinizing effect it would have on most. Her tan was from outdoors not, like a lot of Vegas wives' "bronzing" salon version. She played golf and tennis (it made Stan feel respectable), her boy and girl were active in outdoor sports and she was a good mother, so she spent a lot of time watching them at their lessons or in games and competition.
The blond looked natural and her eyes were blue, large and a little on the almond shaped side. Though one hundred percent "Polska," her features were sharply defined, the nose straight, forehead strong and chin sharp, not the usual flat and round Polish face. On the other side of the round oak table, Andrea was also on the other side of the spectrum physically. Andrea Wallensteen was a small, sultry, sensual brunette. They'd had more in common than Andrea had realized up till then.
All she'd thought they shared was being unappreciated wives-- and mothers of girls who were playmates. Andrea and Earl's 11-year old Gretchen was two years older than Lori and Stan's daughter, but the girls were close friends and spent a lot of time together. As a matter of fact, Kara was almost one of Andrea's kids, she was at the house so much. Her brother was a royal pain and the kid escaped up the street as often as she could get away with it. Ettie, their housekeeper, knew to call the Wallensteens first, whenever Kara went missing.
Skewed as it was, their household and family seemed more "normal" to the girl than her own, with mom's bruises and dad's frequent absences. That she should see their neighbors' mess as a "happy family" improvement over her own, spoke volumes about how bad things were at the Siegel's. But with the lessons soon-to-be-dead Lori had added that day, came the waker-upper that others had already made the rules. And from what happened to Lori only two months later, it was obvious that the rulemakers didn't tolerate them being broken.
Lori had called her friend, as she'd been doing once a week ever since she got an escort to the state line, to find out how the kids were doing. Stan wouldn't let her even talk to them on the phone, and what was worse, had told them their mom skipped out all alone because she didn't want to be bothered with them, and was shacked up with a black doper in Venice (the Southern California version). Lori had confided she was meeting later on that day with the two feds who'd been bugging her ever since she left. They'd finally gotten through to her that she wasn't going to be in any more danger if she told all she'd seen and heard in twelve years with Stan, than if she didn't. At least, if she spilled what she knew, he'd be tied up in court for a good while and they'd promised to get her kids back for her and put them all somewhere safe. She wasn't so sure there was anyplace like that, but couldn't stand thinking of her kids growing up believing their mommy didn't want them. And getting sucked into the cesspool their daddy made his living in, like she had.
The Mafia crap was bad enough--she sure as hell knew all about that, what with Tony drooling and babbling "Mr. Bigshot" shit around her all the time and all she heard going on with Stan. But this private little deal d'Amato and their hubbies were in, could even be worse-- if the mob didn't know about it. Those bastards they were married to wouldn't stop at much to keep their game going and not get caught dealing from the bottom. Well, someone didn't stop at helping poor Lori overdose "herself" with a line of almost uncut coke, a fatally healthy hotshot of "H" and a really superfluous couple of shots of high-test brandy. "The family"? Or maybe just her family! [excerpted from Sin & Sanctimony ©1990 jvt/maia]
Whether the hideously Hollywood-disguised Geri or the factual-fiction Lori, she's really only one more murder victim to feed the hungry public's need for excitement at the expense of others. Hey! You Hollywood money-grubbers and all who buy tickets to feed them-- you who turn a piece of filth like Larry Flynt into a hero & a loving mother like Geri Rosenthal into a monster-- guess what? YOU are the monsters. And accessories before and after the fact to Murder One/Felony Homicide. So much for law and order, and the American way!
"Go see a movie today… it's great entertainment!"