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A Dash of Speilberg and Houston

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My client Vyra Vixel pays me quite well. She does not want to listen or can’t bring herself to understand that David Addley does not exist.

When I received the file from the previously engaged private investigator, I believed I could nail this guy. But now, no way. I went over everything the original investigator did, twice. And I constantly go over everything I’ve done. This guy never existed, I now finally realize that. This is truly a cold case with no suspect.

When I wanted to end it, Vyra used all her feminine charm to keep me going on this case. Then, out of nowhere, she amazingly relented and we amicably ended our professional relationship. I thought she finally accepted David Addley did not exist. But there was more to Vyra. I found out there always is.

This is her story:

Who is Vyra Vixcl?

Vyra Vixcl was a millennial Madonna without the rock star obnoxious pretense. She was Sexy, Sleek, slightly Skanky, but yet quite alluringly sheik. It was her distinguishing and electrifying persona that invited curious observation. That same hypnotic persona triggered an impulsive sexually gravitational pull both men and women were unable to resist.

Vyra’s name at birth was Jane Roman. She enjoyed a pedestrian lifestyle and grew up in a small community in Upstate New York close to the Canadian border. At the age of sixteen, her parents were allegedly killed by an unknown and obviously non repentant drunk driver.

It appeared their car was forced off an icy down hill road. Gravity and ice conspired as both the Romans and their car went flying out of sight from the road into the dark woods and to their deaths.

It was assumed it was a drunk driver that caused this horrible incident. John Roman was known as a careful and cautious driver. There was no alcohol registered blood levels or drugs in either of the Romans. Their Range Rover was in mechanical top shape.

The New York State Police never found who left the Romans to die in the cold snow.

The amount of time until the Romans were found in that deserted upstate wooded area hampered the investigation.

The Romans were missing for days. The ice melted, then refroze. Evidence lost. The two had just dropped their only daughter off at her Aunt Beverley’s house in a nearby town. The couple were heading downstate to New York City for a New Year’s Eve week long getaway mini-vacation. They were not immediately missed.

 

Jane Roman stayed on with her mother’s sister, Aunt Beverly, until she left for college. Jane’s hefty trust fund kicked in at age 21. She was now independently wealthy.

Jane missed her parents and inwardly suffered quietly with the agony. Intimately dealing with MADD, her perception of others that are suffering similar situations increased her own pain.

This confluence of shared suffering slowly was evolving into an emotional and visceral desire for revenge. Increasingly, it seemed that revenge was becoming the only course for amelioration.

Jane hired the best private investigators, they met with with negative results. The authorities say there is no evidence of foul play. It was an unfortunate one car accident.

Their opinion was unacceptable to Jane.

At the age of 22, after graduating college Jane Roman immediately changed her name. She took the name Vyra which means truth. As her surname, she chose Vixcl which is a forgotten name for a type of dicarboximide fungicide used to control diseases. “After all, they call alcoholism a disease,” She reasoned.

There became, Vyra Vixcl.

Every aspect of her life suddenly changed. Her wardrobe, her make up, her hair, the addition of the tattoos and especially her attitude.

Vyra used my services as one of the top private investigators in the country to make herself disappear. Instead of my usual tracking down, I picked up tracks. Jane was gone and Vyra lived on.

In the eyes of the law and in her new appearance Jane Roman transformed overnight into Vyra Vixcl.

I did the traditional investigatory work to find the person responsible for the death of Jane’s parents. And Vyra did her own type of investigative research, but for a different result.

Unknown to me, she found ten people involved in Alcoholic Vehicular Homocide in diverse locations through out the United States and Canada.

Similar to Jane’s situation, both innocent victims in each incident were killed and all were parents of an only child. The children were all 16 year old girls at the time of the occurrences, as was Jane.

None of these killers received incarceration. Some did probation. The nightmare was over for all of them. Most claimed they felt remorse.

If the death of the responsible party brings relief to these girls or families, great. If not, the Murderers get what they deserved anyway, Vyra reasoned.

 

Even after our contractual obligations ended, I kept my interest in Vyra Vixcl. I was drawn to Vyra Vixel. Is that why I finally realized that it never occurred to me that David Addley didn’t exist?  Was I always in the fascination field of the Vyra Vixel cloud? I wanted what she wanted.

I’m re-reading Dashiell Hammett’s classic private eye crime thriller “The Maltase Falcon” and re-watching the great 1941 Humphrey Bogart movie adaptation for some insight.

Why?

Hey, I never claimed to be a Humphrey Bogart Sam Spade or any other Film Noir tough guy detective. I’m not Hard Boiled. I started out as an auto insurance adjuster.

Director John Houston’s Mary Astor as Bogart’s Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon couldn’t hold a candle to my Vyra Vixel. Vyra would make any of those similar 1940‘s Femme Fatales melt. Vyra was so hot, and at the same time so cold. Bacall, Crawford, Davis...Eat your hearts out!

Sam was so cool, how would he have handled Vyra?

Vyra was the real deal. I now realize I was unknowingly drawn not only by an unrequited sexual desire, (breaking one of my hard fast rules about clients,) but intellectually as well. Anyway, she’s no longer one of my clients. So, now, I’m in this on my own.

In California, Vyra ran with a fast crowd. She met Evan Stephen. Evan was drawn to Vyra like most people were. “Did I mention she was quite disarming, luscious and vivacious?”

But who is Evan Stephen?

Evan’s real name was Santino Vittorio Rocco. He was “connected” to an Italian-American Organized Crime family back east. His organized crime connections became dangerously tenuous quite quickly.

This is his story:

Santino was a young man on the Organized Crime Fast Track. His father and mentor Charlie “Rocky” Rocco had plans for his only child since he first saw Baby Santino in his Sonogram photograph. His son Santino would become an even bigger Wise Guy than he was.

Rocky was a big shot in the Mob. From his numerous Police Mug Shots, Rocky looked like a tall version of Joe Pesci from “Goodfellas.” He had that evil sneer of contempt in each and every Mug Shot. With him, Looks did Kill.

Rocky’s wife Angie died soon after Santino’s second birthday.   Rocky was unexpectedly made a single parent. The father and son grew even more closer and closer.

Santino was schooled at an early age in the nuances of “The Badda, The Bing and The Boom.” He eagerly devoured everything Rocky exposed him to and was a fast learner. The politics of the Mob can be very tricky.

Santino strived to live “The Life” through Rocky’s prism.

Rocky admonished Santino during his school years not to let  book education get in the way of real education. Interestingly enough, Santino did well in traditional school and graduated near the top of his high school class.  He learned to operate in both the “street life” and “the chump life.”

Over the past thirty years things inevitably change. The USSR dissolved and the Russian Mob flooded America. They became more ruthless and dangerous than what was left of the Italian Mob after the Federal government decimated it with The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, aka RICO.

Rocky amazingly held off the Feds. He didn’t give an inch to the Russians. They had an uneasy peace. But it cost him. The Russians pulled a Jimmy Hoffa on Rocky.

Rocky left home one afternoon with a trusted Mob associate for a meeting and they never returned. No trace, like they were abducted by Aliens.

Well, they kind of were, Russian Aliens.

Before the Russians could do anything, Santino immediately and viscously retaliated and brutally killed a Russian Mudryy paren' (Wise Guy.) That confirmed the Russian hypothesis. The Malen'kiy ital'yanskiy (Little Italian) had to be slowly and painfully killed.

Santino knew he had to split, forthwith. He vowed to return and eliminate all the primary Russians involved. (And a few more for good measure.)

Santino vanished and left no trace. His secret and well financed route to California was a circuitous one; Traveling through Europe and the Far East. Every familiar step covered and erased by two new nondescript steps. Remembering what Rocky always said: “You gotta be able to disappear at the drop of a hat, and when you do -  TRUST NO ONE.”

But I found out everything on Santino, yes I did. To protect Vyra and satisfy my own curiosity, I made it my priority. Fuck the FBI. Amateurs, yes they are.

As Evan Stephen, Santino fashioned what appeared to be a totally different look and life. Gone were the flashy $5000.00 suits, imported Italian alligator shoes, ostentatious wrist watches, diamond clustered pinky rings and the other numerous accruements of his Italian Wise Guy past.

Evan now drove a Prius, forsaking his love of Cadillacs. His wardrobe sported clothing from J. Crew and Vineyard Vines.  He even dyed his hair blonde. Evan wore blue contact lenses to change his eye color and non prescription different colored and stylish designer glasses. No knock-offs, those were for chumps.

Mobster to Metrosexual, seemingly overnight.

Evan spoke with a new laid back and measured speech pattern. Gone were the des, dems and dose. Limited use of the four letter verb to copulate was strictly enforced. No more “Not for Nothin,” Also gone were the other numerous identifying wise guy expressions.

His identity as a “Trust Fund Baby” was complete.

Then Evan met Vyra. This was one amazingly serendipitous meeting.

As the couple became better aquatinted, Evan broke and finally told Vyra why he involuntarily had to change his name and why he mysteriously left his hometown. It was the danger of geography, appearance, notoriety and death.

Even the FBI believed the Russians did a Jimmy Hoffa on Santino. But I knew better. Once again, Fuck the FBI.

“Why Evan Stephen” Vyra asked.

Because I always get even” Evan seriously said. “You Know, Even Steven - Evan Stephen?”

I think a little more creativity may have been in order with his name change. I mean, Evan Stephen/Even Steven? ...... Really?

But, Evan is the one bruising Vyra’s lovely muffin, not me.

Vyra then confided her own story to Evan.

“Vyra means truth and Vixcl is a poison,” she said after relating the trek from Jane to Vyra. “I seek the truth, to administer the poison.”

Vyra knew Evan was more than serious about his penchant for getting even. She realized she could use his expertise in the furtherance of her goal. Getting even with the ten identified Murderers Vyra has targeted is one of her ambitions. She calls it her “Fuck-it List.

All this while still tracking down her elusive, but I still believe imaginary, David Addley.

Evan knew Vyra was a unique resource who can get close to those slimy Russians. They are big pussy hounds and love the exotic and alluring type.

Vyra fit the bill. Her attraction was overpowering, especially for those trashy Russian slobs. Vyra could easily manipulate them into a compromising situation ripe for their assassination.

Evan believed he was falling for Vyra. Vyra knew she was falling for Evan. They decided to lead their new lives together as Evan and Vyra while completing the business of their old lives.

They had the cash, the talent and the motivation.

Evan and Vyra were driving along the California Coast Highway discussing their future plans. “So none of these investigators could find anything on the guy who caused it” Evan mentioned once again as they cruised exactly at the speed limit in his Prius. “No, this guy just up and disappeared, my investigator say he does not exist, but I say he does.” She said with absolute determination.

“At least I know who I have to eliminate, we can do your list while we identify this David Addley, but first let’s do the Russians” Evan proffered.

“Sounds good to me” Vyra purred and laughed.

Evan and Vyra started to plan their offensive on the Russian Mob. Mastering every finite detail, they were perfectly and delightfully injected into the master plan dubbed: “Trotsky.”

David Addley, how did that name become the only lead in this six year long search started and financed by Vyra Vixcl?

Here’s how:

Methodically, the New York State Police, and then the private investigators, questioned anyone they could find in that small town and the surrounding area. And they were all re-interviewed. But not a trace of the name David Addley ever came up in the initial canvas and continuing investigation.

Then an enterprising young reporter on the local newspaper hit what seemed to be pay dirt. A J-School grad from SUNY Binghamton at her first job, Maggie McTuchinn made a discovery about three weeks after the incident.

Maggie was going through the 1950’s old magazines and other assorted items at the VFW to write a human interest story. She found what appeared to be a Visitors Log that went back at least sixty years.

Upon further questioning of some Vets present for their scheduled interviews, Maggie discovered that any veteran is welcomed at any VFW outpost anywhere in the country.

An old and outdated custom was to have a Visitors Log. Maggie perused the pages of the old bound log for anything interesting. “Maybe Dwight Eisenhower drank here?” She silently thought.

The name David Addley was scrawled in the Visitors Log under the date of the Roman incident. That caught her attention. The time was within range of the incident judging from the signatures before and after this David Addely scratch. She knew all the people in this small burg, she had never heard of a David Addley.

Maggie did a search of the Roman incident files. Negative results for a David Addley. She immediately wrote the front page story: “Who is David Addley?”

The police and the investigators jumped right on it.

The only VFW person there on that cold night was John Miller. He was manning the post. John served during World War II. He was an commissioned officer in the Army.

The signature above David Addley, Ronnie Goldman, left before David showed up. The signature after David Addley left was John Di Pinto. Both Old Timers did not remember anyone else. They were both alone with John Miller at separate times at the VFW that night.

But they must have signed the Log just to humor their Old Timer buddy John Miller. Both Di Pinto and Goldman were wasted enough that night to forget about mentioning signing the log in their initial interviews with officials.

John Miller usually kept the Log to himself. To most of the VFW, existence of the Visitors Log was not common knowledge. John only used it for visitors and other old timers at the VFW. He was not to thrilled about the new crop of veterans. To him PTSD meant Please Take Some Drugs. He was also cold to the Viet Nam vets for some reason.

But John Miller suddenly died three days after serving whoever passed himself off as an alleged VFW member named David Addley. Unfortunately John was never interviewed by the police or the investigators.

It seems the only person to see David Addley was John Miller,  and he was now dead.

Needless to say, the police and the private detectives checked every record with the Veteran’s Administration. They came up with nothing. No person named David Addley ever served in the Armed Forces of The United States since 1898.

The name was then continually run through and through. There was a Canadian solider from World War I named David Addley, but he’s been dead since 1918. His name remains only on his gravestone and town memorial somewhere in Canada.

There are people named David Addley. They’ve all been checked out, and re-checked out. Both in the United States and Canada. Most Addley’s, Steven, Tom, Dick and Harry were checked out as well.

All with negative results.

But Vyra believes David Addley exists.

That’s the thin thread strung out for the past six years.

So Vyra and Evan must have orchestrated this big Russian Mob massacre that’s all over the national news. The FBI is calling it a “Pre-RICO Rub Out.” The United States Attorney claims thousands of hours of surveillance and investigation are now useless. The targets are all dead. He was talking salvage operation now.

The Five Russian Mob Bozenko Brothers and ten of their Russian Organized Crime associates were massacred in a highly unusual meeting of their entire organization. “We never thought they’d all be in the same place at the same time, especially that place” a shocked group of law enforcement officials said in a joint press conference.

It will take a long time and many investigative hours to piece together what really happened and why Justice and the FBI didn’t see it coming.

Vyra used her charm and all her powers of psychological sexual persuasion. The Russian dolts were no match for her. Evan and Vyra’s plan was simple: Mass Extermination for Mass Media Consumption.

The couple expended a considerable amount of time and quite a sum of money to set this “party” up.  First step: Vyra made the scene at all the Russian Mob’s hangouts over a period of time.

I was utilized to create the “New and Improved” Russian friendly Vyra and Evan. A perfect fit for what Evan and Vyra had in mind. I knew nothing of the ultimate massacre, but I thought something big was up. They left me out of it for my own protection.

Vyra became Natalya Nadusky. Orphan of Jewish Russian immigrant parents who died in Israel during a terrorist attack when she was three years old. Natalya was a child of Israeli Social Services and was bounced from foster home to foster home. She made it to America just a few years ago.

Evan became her volatile and ruthless orphaned cousin, Alexi Dworkin. He too, a part of that same Israeli Social Service System. He was cast as her glorified pimp. Most Israeli orphans make this type of attachment with each other in “The Life.”

Luckily both Vyra and Evan had an ear for languages. They spent a good three months at Hebrew Language emersion centers in Israel. They sounded like native Israelis.

Let’s just say, I got friends all over. When Vyra needed this, I just couldn’t resist. I’m still in that Vyra cloud. I did it all, no questions asked.

Of course, the entire gory event was recorded and was carefully and non-traceably posted on the web by Anonymous and WikiLeaks. Millions of hits followed.

While Vyra and Evan were over in Israel prepping for “Trotsky,” I had a lull in my business. I decided to go check again on Vyra’s obsession: The non-existent David Addley.

 

What sparked my interest was this random coincidence I noticed when I re-watched Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.

Tom Hanks played Captain Miller from Addley, Pennsylvania.

After the movie, I leisurely went back to check the case folders on my laptop. Where had I seen the name Miller in relation to the Army? and Addley?

Then I found it. I seemed to forget about that connection. Good reason, the connection was dead.

The old man at the VFW who was the only person to actually see this non-existent David Addley was JOHN MILLER.

But again, he’s dead. That’s a tough interview to swing.

Wait....What? Another Cinema reference. Anyway.........Still fascinated........I decided to leave no stone unturned..for Vyra.

I returned to that small upstate New York town and dug a bit deeper into John Miller.  All I knew is he was a widower and lived alone. His story stopped there with the police and the other investigators, including me.

Further investigation by me revealed he spent most of his time at the VFW. Even there he kept to himself. John Miller died three days into the investigation, natural causes. All the info on his death checked out and it was all legit. I double checked that again.

I spoke to the town’s only barber, Joe. He confided in me that John Miller was not only in the first wave at D-Day, but he was an Captain in the Army Rangers.

Just like Captain John Miller in “Saving Private Ryan.”

I asked about his wife. “John was left alone and heart broken when his Sophie passed away years ago.” Joe the Barber said as he swept his practically hairless floor. “What about kids?” I then queried.

Joe The Barber stopped sweeping, lowered his voice and said, “John never mentioned his son John, Jr. after he ran away to Canada in 1970 to avoid the draft.” He continued, “No one ever mentioned it again, some folks here think John and Sophie never even had any kids, Sophie died that next year.”

I had a hunch. What if David Addley is John Miller, Jr? The records show John Miller Jr. did not take advantage of President Carter’s Amnesty program for draft evaders after the Viet Nam war ended. He probably stayed in Canada.

This was interesting. I decided to find John Miller, Jr.  A difficult and sparse background check gave little or no direction on his location. After all, 1970 was a while ago.

I would imagine John Miller Sr. would not want any part of his perceived sons dishonor and probably disowned John Jr. That’s the vibe I got from Joe the Barber.

But who was pre-1970 John Miller Jr?

John Miller, Jr. was born to John Sr. and Sophie Miller. He led the normal pedestrian middle class life in Buffalo, New York.  The Miller’s moved to this smaller part of Upstate New York when John Jr. started college in 1969. John Jr. really had no roots in this small town, since he graduated High School in Buffalo and went directly to college in Ohio.

John Jr. was an intelligent boy, but did not fare well in the traditional educational system. He flunked out of College in 1970 and was then eligible for the draft during the Viet Nam war.

John Jr. was afraid and didn’t want to go into the army. John Sr. couldn’t phantom the fear in his son. He found it repulsive.

One night, John Jr. left. The note told his parents he loved them and was leaving with a group of friends for Canada to avoid the draft. John Sr. caught him on the way out and told him to never come back.

I finally found John Miller, Jr. He lives in a homeless shelter in a small Canadian town right across the border. He has lived within miles of his home town since he left in 1970. John Jr. has never returned home and never contacted his parents.

When I asked why, John Jr. gave me one of the most anguished and downtrodden look I have ever seen. “I loved and respected my dad so much I could never again take the shame and contempt he had in his eyes for me again.” He then cried and put his unwashed natty haired head into his fingerless gloved hands.

“So you never saw your father again?” I asked, hoping for the answer I wanted to hear.

John Miller then told me a fantastic story. He claims that  about six years ago he was working a low wage job and even had a room in a half way house. He was trying to break his cycle of homelessness and drug/alcohol addiction.

The concern he worked for closed for the holidays.

John Jr. had heard that his mother had passed away many years ago. He knew his father’s time was short and just wanted to see him once. Maybe just a glance at a distance, without speaking to him.

There was no direct bus service to the small hamlet. John Jr. really had no money. He didn’t even have a drivers license, so he never owned a car. His plan was to sneak across the border on foot and make the snowy trek to see his father.

John Jr. arrived in town and remained in the shadows. He saw the family house was empty and figured his father was at the VFW.

When John Jr. came through the door the VFW was empty except for Captain John Miller, proudly wearing his VFW cap behind the bar.

John Sr. did not recognize his son. He immediately said “I’m John, glad to meet you, what are you doing out on a night like this?” Thinking fast, John Jr. made up some story about being dropped off and waiting to be picked up and was just killing some time. He noticed the VFW was open, and decided to stop in.

“You a Vet?” asked John Sr., suspiciously eyeing this stranger.....“Do I know you?”

“No sir, I’m not from around here, but I sure do respect Veterans.” was John Jr’s immediate response.

John Sr. then invited his guest to have a drink on the house and asked him to sign the guest book. John Jr. almost froze.

Thinking on his feet, John Jr. remembered the Canadian War Memorial in the Park he lived in when he was homeless for three years. The first name on the alphabetically listed war heroes was David Addley.

John Jr. had his drink, thanked his father and said he had to leave to meet his ride.

I told him John Sr. passed three days after their encounter.

“What’s this all about anyway?” John Jr. finally asked.

“I’m writing a book.” I slipped him  a hundred dollars.

So that’s that. The coincidences of a fictionalized movie to real life gave me a hunch. Finally, that’s the basis for the non-existent David Addley.

This is where I’m at:  There was a David Addley at the VFW that night. But he didn’t have a car and he didn’t have anything to do with Vyra’s parents unfortunate situation. David Addley didn’t exist, but he did exist.

This is my conundrum: I report all this to Vyra and burst the bubble she has been living in. The one and only lead in this case is another definite dead end.  Really, the last dead end.

We will never find out what happened to the Romans. Vyra has not ruled out foul play. Will she ever? She needs someone to blame and someone to hurt. Maybe that diverts or eases the hurt in her.  Hey, I’m no shrink.

Is it the hope and process of finding this non existent entity keeping Vyra alive? Will Vyra Vixcl cease to exist and become Jane Roman again with this new information? And if so, how will that play with Evan? Did revenge work for him?

Will Joan and Santino ever be as happy as Vyra and Evan?

These three lost souls, bound by the dastardly commonality of death. Did my love for Vyra make me more empathetic, or am I getting old?

Not Hard Boiled, but Soft Boiled?

Epilogue

Last month Vyra and Evan invited me to meet them in South Beach, Florida for a mini vacation.  They seemed to be a differently happy couple. Full of life and living “La Vida Loca.” They never mentioned anything about their plans but I noticed something very telling.

The tattoo on her lower back that was now removed.

It once said “I don’t get mad, I get even.”

For a more diverse selection of stories visit http://www.frankieneptune.com

 

 

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