Mafia No: “Organized Crime,” Si!

I bought your December issue specifically to learn “Who’s Behind the Mafia in Dallas’?” Mr. Atkinson gives a detailed account of Carlos Marcello’s sordid career; but Marcello’s in New Orleans, so, I ask, who’s behind the Mafia in Dallas? Mr. Atkinson moves on to Joe Civello and Joe Ianni; but both were small potatoes in the underworld and both have been dead for years; so, I ask, who’s behind the Mafia in Dallas? Mr. Atkinson then speculates on some others, but never turns up anybody. When he finally decides to look at men who are not of Italian descent, he at long last names some living Dallasites who do seem to be running the show. In simple truth, your cover story was a misleading slur on ItaloAmericans, and should have been entitled, “Who’s Behind Organized Crime in Dallas?” Of course, that might not have sold as many magazines.

Frank Dello Stritto


Another Facet

Tom Peeler’s article on buying diamonds in Dallas (December issue) was both informative and disappointing to me. In his second paragraph he states that there is no universal system for grading diamonds and that the American Gem Society was established in 1934. The Gemological Institute of America has been in existence since 1931 and their grading system is recognized and respected on every continent in the world.

Ronald Ashcraft, President

Ronald Ashcraft & Associates,

Diamond Importer Dallas

Tom Peeler Responds: I ran across this organization, of course, in my research on diamond grading. But not a single one of the seven major Dallas jewelers surveyed uses the GIA system in dealing with the public. What value, then, could knowledge of the GIA system be to our readers?

The Price of History

In your article “Would You Pay $40,000 For This Home?” (Up Front, December issue), the house photographed and appearing in your article is not listed at $40,000. and it is not in the Historical District as you indicate. The owners of the property feel that they have been ridiculed by your headline.

Since my involvement on Bryan Parkway as an agent for the Henry S. Miller Company, there have been twelve listings, not eight. Of these, four have been sold, not two. One property which was owned by an absentee landlord is in the process of renovation, and the owner will reoccupy the home. Another has been taken off the market by the owner, who plans to renovate and occupy his own property. Of the remaining six properties, one is in the Historical District. There are at least seven other properties for sale on Bryan Parkway not listed by the Henry S. Miller Company.

As for Mr. Mabry’s comment that Henry S. Miller people were trying to get people to sell: On all the properties listed, I was either contacted by the seller or buyer to start negotiations. A Realtor never establishes the price. Only the seller can state the worth of his property, and then it is up to the laws of supply and demand as to whether he receives his asking price. In fact, I have been instrumental in getting prices lowered for some of these properties, a fact which can be documented. In all of my transactions on Bryan Parkway, I have never been given a $30,000 renovation figure. Someone needs to find a new remodeling service if that’s what they are paying.

Celeste P. Silkett

Realtor Associate

Henry S. Miller Company


Editor’s Note: We are truly sorry if the owners of the house photographed feelthat they have been ridiculed. No ridiculewas intended by the article, which merely attempted to point out that historicaldesignation increases property value.The fact that the house in the photographis only a block away from the HistoricDistrict, in which comparable houses arebeing offered at $40,000, serves to reinforce rather than to weaken the point ofthe story. The figures on area listings inthe story were supplied to us by Ms. Silkett.The $30,000 renovation figure was an estimate by several people who have renovated houses in the area.

Willard Jackson States His Case

I have read with interest the letter written by Russ Ormesher (December issue), and have the following comments.

The prosecutor neglected to state in his letter the fact that the two juries didn’t hear the solid factual evidence that would have been instrumental in securing an acquittal because it was suppressed by the prosecution’s efforts. If the prosecutors were really interested in convicting the person who did the crime, they would not have concealed from the jury the fact that on two other occasions I was mis-identified as John L. Lewis.

Also suppressed was the clothing taken from John L. Lewis and his home by Dallas detectives. The clothing matched the description given by the victims. Lewis’ clothing was probably stained with the blood of the victims. When we asked for them we were told that they had been lost or misplaced.

The hair said to be found at the scene was suppressed for two years. Only during my second trial was the defense bushwhacked by the surprise hair testimony. When the defense asked that the gloves be tested the prosecutors were given the courtesy of having their expert observe. But the prosecutors ran the hair test secretly to prevent a rebuttal by the defense. In other cases, experts have shown this test to be faulty. Had the defense expert not been suppressed, the jury would have had a different insight on this “neutron activation analysis.”

As for the lie detector test, the polygraph examiner, who was part of the investigating team, didn’t ask me if I did the crime or not, only if I had knowledge of the crime. On at least three occasions we asked the prosecutors to give me a polygraph by a neutral party and they refused. I even wrote a letter asking for a truth serum examination and it was denied. John Lewis said during the trial that he would be willing to take a polygraph test; he was also denied a test.

The court records will show that the bowling league I was in moved from the Cotton Bowling Palace to Hart’s Bowling Lanes. While I was bowling at the Cotton lanes, John Lewis was confined in prison for rape. I never saw the man until the day he appeared in court in July 1972. I’m willing to take a test to prove that.

The other items listed by Mr. Ormesher are at best opinions and unproved theories. Had the juries been able to review the evidence the Court of Criminal Appeals viewed, they too would have reversed their decisions. Just for the record, the Court of Criminal Appeals twice reversed the convictions because of unfairness and suppression of important evidence.

In the words of the American Bar Association’s Code of Professional Responsibility, “The responsibility of a public prosecutor … is to seek justice, not merely to convict; … in our system of criminal justice, the accused is to be given the benefit of all reasonable doubts. With respect to evidence and witnesses, the prosecutor . . . should make timely disclosure to the defense of available evidence, known to him, that tends to negate the guilt of the accused, mitigate the degree of the offense, or reduce the punishment. Further, a prosecutor should not intentionally avoid pursuit of evidence merely because he believes it will damage the prosecution’s case or aid the accused.”

Willard B.Jackson

Texas Department of Corrections

Coffield Unit


New Lift

I noted with interest the item in your December “Up Front” regarding the Dallas American Civil Liberties Union plans to file an action suit against the #3 Lift. This did receive mention in the newspapers, radio, and TV. However, such action would be against the former owners and not myself as I have had the #3 Lift only a brief time. The former owners operated under the name of the #3 Lift, Inc. and Aynergy Inc., neitherof which I have anything to do with.

The dress code infraction is no excuse for not admitting or serving mixed couples. We do reserve the right to keep anyone out regardless of race if we do not feel they are up to our dress code. We receive many letters in this regard, and we are sorry people are offended because they cannot come in our club in whatever they see fit to wear.

We do not mind mixed couples in our club. I cannot answer for the former owners of the Lift nor do I intend to try. We allow anyone into the Lift at this time that is dressed according to our dress code. We allow them to remain in the club if they conduct themselves according to our controls set up by the Liquor Control Board. We do not allow anyone under 21 years of age.

Robert B. Lamb

#3 Lift


Re Joyce

Jo Brans’ review of Marina and Lee (January issue) was excellent, but her remembrance of things Joyce is awry. Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus said history was “a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” God, said Stephen, is “a shout in the street.”

Patrick Allan


Editor’s Note: Ms. Brans’ knowledge of Joyce is excellent, and she has taken her managing editor severely to task for rewriting her lead paragraph and misquoting Joyce under her byline.

Miss December

For a magazine that prides itself on catering to the educated, affluent, acquisitive Dallasite I fail to see the significance of printing an article on a young woman whose major accomplishment in life has been to display her private parts before millions of Playboy readers. I’m referring to “Portrait of a Playmate” (January) where Ms. Cox is glorified not because of her mind or her contribution to society but for the simple fact that she poses nude in a “classy” magazine and earns a tremendous amount of money doing so.

I am disappointed that D Magazine did not choose a young woman with different aspirations – perhaps one in the arts, medicine, psychology or business. A magazine of your stature should help to promote a more positive image of women today – independent, intelligent yet sensitive rather than contributing to the already prevalent picture of woman as sex object – which places a premium on physical beauty.

As a 22-year-old college graduate I would hope to find more relevant and thought provoking articles in the future than “Portrait of a Playmate.”

Carol Haugh


Editor’s Note: There are 18 highly accomplished women and an entire girls’ soccer team in our ’’ 78 People to Watch in ’78″ and a profile of a woman photographer on page 64 of the same issue.

Burning Issue

Thank you for your interesting and informative article ’’A Fireside Chat” in the January issue.

I would like to add one other caution as to what is burned in pre-fabricated fireplaces. That is. what should not be burned: artificial logs. The Heatilator Company advises that these artificial logs burn at a very high heat and can cause a buildup of resin in the flue, thereby creating a serious fire hazard. It is also recommended that you have your fireplace inspected by a local fire marshal before prolonged use.

Katherine Phifer



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