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Blood Betrayal is a big city mafia crime story that cuts to the bone. It feels all too real because it is. Mafia Don Nick Scarponi is back from prison and orchestrating the bloodiest reign of mob killings in Philadelphia history. The visually gritty story that leaps off the page and grabs you by the throat is crafted by someone who knows the art of cinematic pacing—acclaimed Director Robert Child.
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Blood Betrayal by Robert Child
Published by Robert Child at Smashwords Copyright 2012 Robert Child
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by means of any information storage retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Smashwords Edition License Notes: This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Works published and produced by Robert Child can be obtained either through the author’s official website: www.robchild.net or through any online retailer.
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Rush On, Boys: Hamilton at War
How Canada Won the Great War
Weather and Warfare
Gettysburg: Voices from the Front
The Wereth Eleven USS Franklin: Honor Restored
Silent Wings: The American Glider Pilots of WWII
Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom
Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny
Gettysburg: The Boys in Blue and Gray
*More information about all these titles is available at www.robchild.net
This book is dedicated to my children Jamie, Josh, Chloe and Michaela.
A man could not ask for more to be grateful for. Thank guys!
Blood Betrayal is inspired by the memoirs of retired FBI Special Agent, Charles “Bud” Warner, who received numerous commendations throughout his thirty-three year FBI career that began in Boston and ended in Philadelphia where he retired.
This story is based on a real FBI investigation Warner led which drew national media attention and a personal commendation from Attorney General, Janet Reno. It is not a blow-by-blow historical account but a fictionalized story, which uses dramatic license to enhance the drama and suspense. Within the dialog are liberal uses of profanity, which reflect the mafia accurately and the language of the street. In addition, in this section of Philadelphia, the term “youse” is a heavily used pronoun.
Blood Betrayal began life as a narrative screenplay that went on to become a top ten finalist at a prestigious international screenwriting competition in Los Angeles in 2011. A short time ago Bud Warner and I decided that we wanted the world to read this story and so we adapted it into the digital novel you now hold in your e-reader.
Bud and I also decided to expand his most compelling case files into a continuing crime series featuring the Frank Murray (Warner) character. If you ever have the honor of meeting Bud Warner, in person whom the Philadelphia papers labeled, “the FBI’s Stand Up Guy”, you’ll instantly recognize that he and Frank Murray are one and the same - a real life, no nonsense crime fighter who put his life on the line every day for the citizens of this nation.
It was a privilege to write this story and I hope you will look forward to future installments in the “Agent, Frank Murray” crime series. Shortly we will be publishing, Felony Express about a multimillion-dollar drug smuggling ring, which operated out of the Hollywood Palladium by way of a global shipping company. An excerpt from that forthcoming novel is contained at the end of this book as well as a link to purchase.
Thank you for purchasing Blood Betrayal and I hope you enjoy it!
LA TUNA FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, ANTHONY, TX, 1984
In the blistering brown nothingness of far west Texas, the fortified gates of a federal prison glint in the sun. A motorcade of six luxury rental cars idle a short distance down the main drive at the curb. Guards with automatic rifles poised survey the scene from 20-foot towers behind barbed wire. A mechanical latch on the main gate clicks, and the steel mesh doors begin to separate.
A short, dark-haired man, 55, blue windbreaker, permanent smirk, Nicodemo Scarponi, glides towards two menacing guards near the front gate with rifles cradled. The guards flank 45-year-old warden, Frank Handy. Handy, in standard issue brown suit, has seen them come and go but few as colorful as Scarponi. Still, Handy’s stone face and eyes reveal no emotion as he watches the released prisoner approach.
Scarponi’s grin widens.
“Be seeing ya, boss,” Scarponi says as he finishes a mocking salute.
“We’ll leave the light on for you Nick,” Handy dryly retorts.
Continuing to walk, Scarponi can’t stifle a sarcastic grunt as six young Italian men wearing high-end designer running suits and coifed hairdos, known in Philadelphia as “Nicky-dos”, emerge from the dusty motorcade. Scarponi waves to them and picks up his pace to arrive at the curb. In an unspoken ritualistic pecking order, the men formally kiss Scarponi on both cheeks, one by one. Scarponi finally steps back, opens his arms and tilts his head to the side.
“Now, get me the fuck outta here.”
Instantly relaxed, the young mob soldiers pat “Little Nicky” on the back as they jump in behind the wheels of their rented limos. Nick takes one last hard look at the place he’s called home for the past three years and remembers his promise. That bastard is gonna pay.
PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, 2 WEEKS LATER
A click of a latch and a gate door opens to reveal a curvy USAir flight attendant trailed by Scarponi, eyes glued to her ass. Nick, properly cleaned up in a Brioni suit and long dark overcoat, leads his posse back home. First behind him is his nephew underboss pretty boy and cold-blooded killer, 25-year-old Phil Leoni. Sal Vestra, womanizing capo thug with feathered-back disco-era hair, follows him. Sal’s got used to running the show in Nick’s absence. The remainder of the entourage is comprised of four other “made” mob soldiers carrying luggage and garment bags.
Sun-guns flash on the waiting television cameras, flooding the gate area with harsh yellow-green light. Reporters shout and elbow their way toward Philadelphia’s returning mafia kingpin.
Scarponi, now rested and tan, waves to the crowd. The shrill voice of attractive blonde reporter cuts through the din. It’s Cheryl Kennedy from Channel Ten.
“How’s it feel Nick, being back in Philly?”
Scarponi stops, smiles.
“Hey baby, it feels great.”
A bearded, crusading male reporter, loyal NPR listener, sticks a silver microphone through the crowd of bodies. “Nick, Mark Stein, Channel Six. Can you comment on all the recent violence downtown? Some are calling it a new mob war.”
The smile leaving Scarponi’s face, he scans the crowd and shouts to no one in particular.
“Yo, I’ve been on vacation.”
A smattering of laugher erupts as reporters jot down the one-liner and Nick continues.
“I don’t know nothin’ about it.”
Stein prods. “So you’re saying this violence is going to continue, citizens gunned down in the street in cold blood?”
Scarponi’s eyes narrow on the plaid-shirted reporter, and his voice rises.
“Hey, I said I got nothin’ to do with it. Didn’t you hear me right? Ain’t you got ears?”
In the hanging silence, Scarponi pushes past Stein and the other reporters swinging his arms to clear a path and ending his news conference with the comment, “No more questions!”
Scarponi’s soldiers fall in behind the don, shoving the reporters back hard.
Stein shouts one last follow-up, needling for a reaction.
“Three years is a long time, Nick. Must have scores to settle?”
Scarponi slows but does not turn as he thinks, Only one.
ARCH STREET, PHILADELPHIA, WEEKDAY MORNING
A jet-black-haired white man, 40, mustache, in a brown Taurus flashes his ID to a Deputy U.S. Marshal as he enters the government parking garage. This same man later leaves a street vendor, holding a large steaming coffee. Continuing to walk, he grabs a Daily News out of a red vending box. The headline reads: SCARPONI BACK FROM VACATION
Spying the headline, he shakes his head and walks past an embossed emblem on the facade of a brown building that reads ‘FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION’.
FUGITIVE SQUAD ROOM, FBI HEADQUARTERS, PHILADELPHIA
Early morning din is peppered with comments about last night’s Flyers game as agents continue to arrive and remove their suit jackets. Special Agent Frank Murray, Black-Irish Catholic from Boston with accent and temper to match, enters with his large coffee and Daily News. Sean Jones, a younger agent, new to the Squad, calls out to him.
“Frank, hey Frank, New York on line two.”
Murray eyes the phone, knowing these calls never mean good news. Reaching his desk, he picks up the receiver of a beige blinking phone and punches the button.
“Got another one, Frank, need your help.” It’s Agent Stan Mancini from the New York FBI Office at Federal Plaza. He’s gazing at a folder full of graphic black and white crime scene photos.
Murray frowns, reddens. “Look, I’m done doing favors, Stan, I–”
Mancini interrupts, “Six-year-old, strangled, sodomized–”
Murray holds up his hand, as he tries to stop Mancini, as if he can see him in New York. “Mancini, stop sending me these. I’ve been trying to get off this damn squad. Call another agent.”
“Can’t. I want to keep my job. And face it, Frank, these cases are what you were made to do.”
Mancini makes it personal, “Look, Frank, the guy killed a kid. A little girl.” And I got a phone lead on him in Philly.
Silence as Murray ponders how much evil he has seen in the world. The fugitive squad was a constant parade of depravity and dirt bags, always the next guy worse than the last. It had taken a toll. But Frank survived by becoming a criminal’s worst nightmare. He did take it personal, and his methods had gotten him in hot water more than once. To him – it was anything to get the job done. That’s why they kept him around.
“Alright, Stan, send the Air-Tel. I’ll find him.”
“God help this guy when you do,” Stan mutters.
“I don’t think God will have anything to do with it,” Frank says as he hung up the phone and picked up his newspaper again. Scarponi’s tanned smiling face smirks from the front page.
D’ABRUZZO’S FLOWER SHOP, SOUTH PHILADELPHIA
Scarponi, in his signature windbreaker, walks determinedly down the sidewalk with another man, heavyset, carrying a spiral notebook. Nick “The Crow” Consiglioni, 42, con-man supreme who’d sell his firstborn to the highest bidder, wears a golf shirt and sweatpants. The men reach a flower shop and Scarponi enters while The Crow hangs outside for a smoke.
Older, dapper Frankie “Flowers” D’Abruzzo, 60, rushes around from behind the counter for a proper greeting. He kisses Scarponi on both cheeks.
“I heard youse was back in town. Youse in all the papers.”
Scarponi nods, “Frankie, I need to do a special delivery.”
“Anything, anything,” D’Abruzzo pants as he reaches for his order book.
Outside, Consiglioni throws down his butt, grinds it into the sidewalk, and looks in the store window. Scarponi points to some white chrysanthemums as Frankie looks at him oddly. Consiglioni turns back to the street, smiles. It was good to have “the little guy” back.
FUGITIVES SQUAD ROOM, FBI HEADQUARTERS, PHILADELPHIA
Young agent Sean Jones hurries through the squad room with a piece of paper and arrives at Frank’s desk.
“Frank, that trace came back, you were right, North Philly.”
Murray grabs the paper, scans it and smiles.
EL BOHIO TAVERN, NORTH PHILADELPHIA
At the corner of a dreary line of row houses in the Puerto Rican section of Philadelphia on North 5th Street, a bar with red curtains drawn open has a small cardboard “open” sign hanging from a nail inside the door.
Short, sweaty, foul-mouthed tavern owner, Raul Gomez, 30, with a half-finished cigarette hanging from his mouth, watches a Phillies Game. At a beat-up table in the corner, three rough Hispanic men, wearing all black, play pool.
Murray pulls up into a space in front of the tavern. Alongside him is a younger agent, Jose Diaz, 28 and eager.
“That New York fugitive used a pay phone in this building. Now, Diaz, follow my lead. You’re only here to translate,” Murray says, finishing with a nod that asks, “got it?”
As Murray and Diaz enter, Murray surveys the room in the way that only an experienced agent could. Then, he directs his attention to Gomez.
“Afternoon Ra-oool. How’s the game?’
Gomez starts shaking his head.
“Ah you motherfuckin’ feds, ain’t ya got nothin’ better to do, man? I’m sick of you bustin’ in my place.”
A loud click of switchblades echoes from the corner of the bar. The three Hispanic men have suspended their game. Diaz opens his jacket slightly, revealing his waist holster, but Murray waves him off.
Gomez continues his rant.
“I told you I run a clean place – no drugs. You scare away all my customers.”
Murray, smirking, slowly looks around the virtually empty room.
Gomez reaches for a wooden baseball bat under the bar.
“I see a few dirt bags – I don’t see any customers. Agent Diaz, you see any customers?”
“None,” Diaz icily replies.
“Ah, jódale y su compañero pequeño de asno!” Gomez counters.
Diaz’s face reddens and he steps forward, but Murray turns and stops him short.
“Care to translate?”
Diaz, coldly, “You don’t want to know.”
A crack cuts the air. Gomez pulls back the bat he just slammed on the bar.
Murray and Diaz instinctively draw their .357 Magnums.
Diaz covers the men near the pool table and shouts, “FBI! Drop the knives. Manos Arriba!”
Clinking blades drop to the floor as the men raise their hands.
Murray leans in to Gomez.
“Raul, you and I need to chat,” and he waves his Magnum in the direction of the men’s room. Complying, Gomez throws the bat on the bar. Murray grabs him by the collar and pushes him hard into the filthy bathroom. Inside, Gomez turns back to Frank with a blank look.
Murray slides his gun back into his waist holster.
“Baseball bat, nice touch – even I reacted.”
“Just curious, what’d you say in Spanish?’
Gomez, embarrassed shakes his head as Murray pulls a photo from inside his jacket. It’s a Hispanic-looking man, stringy hair, tank top – the escaped fugitive from New York.
“Have you seen this guy? He raped and murdered a six-year-old kid. Traced his number to a pay phone here.”
Finding a cigarette in his pants and lighting it, Gomez confirms the trace.
“Yeah, he’s been livin’ upstairs about a week in number five. Think he’s out some place now.”
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