-Caveat Lector-

An excerpt from:
Loud and Clear
Lake Headly and William Hoffman©1990
Henry Holt and Company
115 W. 18th St.
New York, NY 10011
ISBN 0-8050-1138-2


Creating Havoc

George Vlassis lives in Encanto Park in a large, comfortable, Spanish-style
house with a two-car garage full of model boats he built. He and his wife,
Nancy, who was his high school sweetheart, keep a full-size pool table in the
living room and have ten cats they dearly love.

George and I played both ways as guards for the Goshen High School football
team, on a line featuring center Doug Weaver, now athletic director at
Michigan State, and Ken LaRue, business manager for the Los Angeles Raiders.
George spent summers as a gandy dancer for the New York Central Railroad, and
I worked in my dad's grocery store.

We had just finished a late dinner and sat reminiscing about our Indiana
childhoods. He talked about my father, many years police chief in Goshen, a
strong but gentle man nicknamed Modoc, after an elephant in the Ringling
Brothers Circus. His strength, legendary in Goshen, usually made physical
force unnecessary: I don't think he ever had to fire his gun. As a boy, Modoc
had had to forfeit his grab for the brass ring, a football scholarship to
Notre Dame offered during Knute Rockne's recruitment of the legendary Four
Horsemen, to work and support his mother and six siblings.

George talked about my dad; I talked about his. Peter Vlassis, an industrious
Greek immigrant and a bar owner who never drank, always had an abundance of
Cokes and sandwiches for George and the kids he brought around to the rear of
the saloon.

I admired George and his father. The adult George, in fact, represented my
idea of success. A good father and provider, he prospered by helping people.
As general counsel to the Navajo Nation, he enjoyed unmatched respect from
tribal members, becoming a virtual father confessor to any one of them with a
problem large or small.

George helped right many wrongs inflicted upon the Navajos. He'd been
instrumental in negotiating a contract with Peabody Coal—which previously
paid the tribe a paltry five cents per ton for coal mined on the
reservation—whereby the Indians became equal partners. A sizable chunk of the
electrical power for Los Angeles came from energy generated on the massive
Navajo reservation, and George secured them a cut of this income, too.

Much as I enjoyed talking to my fellow Hoosier, he, not I, was working the
tight schedule that made relaxed conversation almost impossible. George knew
the real purpose for my visit, and it wasn't long before he asked my first
impressions of the case.

His eyebrows lifted when I told him about the Betty Funk Richardson interview
with the police.

"The Funks are a wealthy and powerful family in Phoenix," George said, and
certainly he stood in a position to know. A Phoenix insider, Vlassis knew as
much about the city and its people as anyone. But he was also a cautious man,
normally the most discreet and circumspect of individuals. George would, I
believed, open up to me.

I told him I couldn't buy the motive for the murder, that Bolles was killed
because of articles he wrote about Marley. "Still," I said, "Bolles's own
paper said he was washed up as an investigative journalist, that they'd had
to reassign him to the legislature."

"That's a false claim by the Arizona Republic," said George. "Bolles
interviewed me not long before his death about a plane crash on the
reservation, the one in which three Navajo council members died. I found
Bolles rather abrasive, not someone you'd invite to dinner, but very
determined and effective. When he came around asking questions, people got
antsy. He kept digging and digging until he reached the truth, and there was
plenty to sniff out. Lots of back-room deals."

"Like what?"

"Traditionally, land fraud. Lake, this is no exaggeration. In the last
decade, land fraud has escalated to the number two industry in Arizona,
second only to tourism. Remember, we're the fastest-growing state in America,
and Phoenix is the fastest-growing city. We had a hundred and six thousand
residents in 1950, one point two million now, all flocking to the Grand
Canyon State for its great climate and natural beauty. But some of it isn't
so appealing. More would-be homesteaders have been saddled with worthless
Arizona desert than with Florida swampland."

"What about politics? If Robison and Dunlap are innocent, politics must have
had something to do with putting them away."

"The good-old-boy system originated in Arizona, which in many ways is still
part of the frontier. We have the laxest gun laws in the country, restricted
only by a requirement that you don't conceal your weapon. As for political
power, it's wielded by Barry Goldwater and a half-dozen families, not the
least of them the Funks."

"Tell me about Goldwater."

"He's from an old-line family himself, as are the others who run the show
here. From personal experience I can assure you Goldwater doesn't like Peter
MacDonald [the Navajo chairman]. That's why I'm sure the Arizona Republic had
it wrong about Bolles, because I know he worked on Navajo stories right up to
the time of the bombing."

"Who should I see about that?"

"Claude Keller. He's a lawyer I've done a few favors for, including putting
him to work for the Navajos when nobody wanted to give him a job.
Coincidentally, Keller moved into Neal Roberts's office a few days before
Bolles got bombed."

Now I recalled. It came from a police report, dated June 24, 1977, which I
had read.

According to the report, Claude Keller said he had seen Joe Patrick visiting
with Neal Roberts on several occasions. Keller also said he sat in on a
meeting between Patrick, Harry Noy, and Neal Roberts some time in May 1976,
and at that time Patrick was involved in an anti-MacDonald campaign on the
Navajo reservation, which he was doing for a politician. Keller told the
investigator he wasn't sure, but he believed Patrick was working for Barry
Goldwater. Roberts himself told Keller that he had frequent conversations
with Senator Goldwater.

"You should also talk to Keller about Neal Roberts," Vlassis continued, as if
reading my mind. "And about how Roberts and Goldwater wanted MacDonald
replaced as tribal chairman."

I asked him to tell me what he knew about Roberts and Goldwater.

"Goldwater considers himself a friend to the Navajos, and he's sold himself
to Senate colleagues as the top expert in the country on Indian affairs. He's
not close, not by a long shot, but he sincerely believes he is. Anyway, a
long time ago, Goldwater invited MacDonald to a social affair the senator
considered important, and MacDonald didn't show. Goldwater openly proclaimed
this an affront—you come, no questions asked, when an old-line Arizonan
summons—but a more weighty reason for his animosity is that MacDonald is a
man he can't control. There's uranium, coal, oil, and gold on the Navajo
reservation, a vast fortune. Goldwater planned to replace MacDonald with a
person named Tony Lincoln, and his first step was to insinuate an old air
force buddy of his, Joe Patrick, onto the reservation as an advisor, in
reality a spy. You'll want to interview Patrick, and I can help you with him.
But don't forget, Neal Roberts is part of this whole effort. And Adamson."

"How's that?"

"Roberts wanted my job. As you know, not much happens on the reservation that
I don't hear about. I've made a lot of friends these last fourteen years, and
a few enemies. The Navajos come to me with every conceivable problem, from
financing a car to getting their kids into college, and I try to help them. I
knew about the plot to oust MacDonald long before Bolles got killed, and so,
I think, did Bolles. Roberts had arranged for Adamson to create havoc on the
Navajo reservation. If Roberts and Adamson succeeded, Goldwater could say
MacDonald had lost control of his people and arrange to replace him with Tony
Lincoln. Lincoln intended to appoint Roberts to the post of general counsel,
my job, enabling Goldwater's big business friends to cut sweeter deals for
the Navajos' natural resources."

"And you think Bolles knew about this?"

"He either knew, or was in a position to find out. After the plane crash,
Bolles interviewed me, Claude Keller, and Joe Patrick, plus a lot of people
on the reservation. If Bolles prowled the vicinity of a story, he got it. He
was a real badger."

"What did you mean about Adamson 'creating havoc'?"

"Those were Adamson's words, printed in the Arizona Republic. Roberts planned
to send Adamson onto the reservation to blow up some things, including
MacDonald's car, and the campaign began with the attempted dynamiting of the
Indian Health Services building."

This failed bombing in Phoenix, one of many. crimes for which Adamson
received immunity, resulted in convictions for Robison (as in the later
Bolles murder, fingered by Adamson because of his knowledge of explosives)
and Roberts based solely on the con man's testimony. The convictions were
later reversed.

"That building," I said. "How does it connect with the reservation?"

"There's a common misconception that the Navajos own the Indian Health
Services building. In fact, Roberts partially owned it. If the bombing
succeeded, it would work two ways: Roberts would collect the insurance, and
the Navajos would receive the heat. Creating havoc also meant inciting civil
disorder to make it appear MacDonald had lost control."

"How did you find out all this?"

"Shortly before the Bolles bombing, Roberts met in his office with Adamson,
Tony Lincoln, and half-a-dozen tribal councilmen to discuss the plan." George
smiled. "One of them is a good friend of mine."

"What happened to the plan?"

"Adamson chickened out. He didn't like the idea of driving around the
reservation with dynamite in his car. Too risky, he said. So they chose the
Indian Health Services building in Phoenix."

Back in my room at the Westward Ho Hotel, I returned to my treasure trove of
discovery documents and found another gold nugget: the police report of an
interview with Mary Adamson, the killer's wife, conducted shortly after the
bombing. Mary told the police she didn't know where her husband was but
suggested they "look for him at the Apache junction dog track, because he
works for Emprise." She would later deny making the statement, but the police
officer, Harry Hawkins, said he was quite sure he had heard correctly.

Before calling it quits at the end of a long day, I also skimmed through a
book George Vlassis gave me just before I left his house-The Arizona Project:
How a Team of Investigative Reporters Got Revenge on Deadline, by Michael F.
Wendland, published in 1977. Wendland had been one of the so-called IRE team,
the letters standing for Independent Reporters and Editors. Headed by Bob
Greene, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner from the Long Island newspaper
Newsday, this crew of thirtysix, professing shock at the murder of a comrade,
came to Arizona with two goals.

First, the team attempted to pay tribute to a slain colleague by finishing
what he had started, by getting to the heart of the political corruption and
organized crime in Arizona that had made Bolles's killers believe that murder
was a logical response to a reporter's work. Second, by clearly demonstrating
the solidarity of the American press, the team effort would reemphasize the
old underworld adage: "You don't kill a reporter because it brings too much

Wendland ends The Arizona Project with the convictions of Robison and Dunlap,
and the words: "The media had done their job. Arizona's ills had been
exposed, and justice, though not yet complete, was slowly being done. It was
the future that was the story now."

Done their job? I wanted to vomit. Their self-proclaimed job involved
finishing what Bolles started. How could they possibly accomplish this when
they bought the Arizona Republic's line that Bolles wasn't doing anything of
merit? How can you finish a job when you don't know what it is?

In the course of doing my job, I would investigate these investigators and
become increasingly disgusted as I learned that many members of the IRE team
spent much of their time playing celebrity, claiming to be knights on white
horses, and getting drunk and boasting to other patrons of the Adams Hotel
bar. Of course much worse was the team's decision, right from the start, to
leave the question of who killed Don Bolles up to the police. That subtitle
of Wendland's book about getting revenge made me feel like laughing and
crying at the same time.

I had breakfast the next morning with Claude Keller at the Gaslight
Restaurant. A tall, heavyset man, the crusty Keller said he would be happy to
cooperate with any friend of George Vlassis. Keller had worked in Roberts's
office right up to the time of the bombing.

"Neal," said Keller, "had this redheaded English secretary, Eileen Roberts-no
relation-who got Barry Coldwater on the phone. After Roberts talked to him, I
heard him tell Eileen that Goldwater asked, 'How much is this going to cost

"What tie did Goldwater have with Roberts?" I asked Keller.

"The Navajo reservation. It stuck in Coldwater's craw that MacDonald, through
George Vlassis, had a strong hand in Indian business deals with big
corporations. They waged an on going war with Peabody Coal to increase the
Navajo share, and Goldwater took static from the Peabody bosses."

"Is any of this-what was going on between Goldwater and Roberts—a matter of
general knowledge?"

He smiled. "Depends on what you mean by 'general knowledge.' Hell, publicly
Goldwater and Roberts deny even knowing each other. But there's one thing I'm
sure of. Don Bolles was following the story very closely."

"The Arizona Republic says Bolles only covered the legislature."

"Nonsense. I knew Don. He wouldn't have accepted that humiliating beat
without something on the back burner. He was hopelessly addicted to
investigative reporting. I know he did articles for the Gallup Independent, a
paper in New Mexico. Why don't you give their editorial office a call?"

Leaving my car in a handy loading zone-which provided me not only with quick
access to the Westward Ho but also a total of sixty parking tickets during
the investigation—I phoned New Mexico and reached John Zollinger, publisher
of the Gallup Independent.

"Mr. Zollinger, my name is Lake Headley, and I'm looking into the Bolles
murder for the Max Dunlap Committee for Justice. I'd like-"

"Another investigator? Won't that thing ever go away?"

"If I do my job right, maybe we can put it to rest. That's why I'm calling."

"What can I do for you?"

"I've been told your newspaper ran stories by Don Bolles about the Navajo
reservation almost up to the time of his death."

"Yes, we did."

"What was his capacity?"

"Free-lance journalist. He sent us good copy."

"Did the Arizona Republic know Bolles was writing for you?"

Zollinger became huffy, as if I had accused him of violating Fourth Estate
ethics. "What kind of operation do you think we run here? Of course the
Republic knew. I called his editor and received an okay. I can tell you,
also, that Bolles was stringing for Newsweek."

"The national magazine?"

"The same. Bolles was a good journalist."

Newsweek. An expose in that media powerhouse could plant fear in anyone.

"What did he do for Newsweek?" I asked Zollinger.

"I don't know, but I'm sure the Republic could tell you. Bolles wouldn't keep
secrets from them. He was the most upfront person I ever knew, nothing
devious about him."

I thanked Zollinger, said good-bye, and released the phone receiver from an
ever-tightening grip.

There it was! Right out in the open. A revelation that left me more angry
than satisfied. I grew' hot thinking about the ridiculously weak bill of
goods the police had sold as Kemper Marley's motive, and the Arizona
Republic's deliberate evasiveness about a reporter who gave that newspaper
fourteen years of his life. Oops, I thought, glimpsing The Arizona Project on
my night table, and let's not fall to stuff the IRE into this mental punching

Before returning to the parking ticket downstairs, I cooled off and made
calls to Dunlap Committee members more familiar than I with the overall scope
of the case.

What I learned from them placed the Arizona Republic in an even more shadowy
light: Bolles had written stories on Emprise, on the Funk family, and
particularly on Bradley Funk, linking him to organized-crime control of
Arizona dog tracks. Funk had sued, and as part of the lawsuit settlement, the
Republic-which up to then had backed Bolles's well-documented storiespromised
to take its star reporter off the investigation of the Funk/Emprise racing

But Bolles didn't stop, I learned in going back over the discovery papers.
His widow, Rosalie, told the police that right up to the time of the bombing
he pursued "the involvement of the Funk family into organized crime." She and
Don, Rosalie said, "were greatly concerned" about the Funk investigation.
Said the police report: "Mrs. Bolles explained that this particular
investigation was a continuous one for her husband, and since the
investigation started, they have received numerous threatening phone calls."

In just a few days I had uncovered concrete inconsistencies that cried for
further investigation, but the information didn't help if it remained locked
in my head. I had to relay it to the public, and to do that I needed an ally
in the media.

I could forget the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, the area's major
papers, both hostile from the beginning to Dunlap and Robison, but Dunlap
Committee members had mentioned the Scottsdale Daily Progress and its
publisher, Jonathan Marshall, as potentially receptive to new revelations on
the Bolles case.

The more I thought about the Scottsdale paper, the more ideal it seemed. It
served a rich, influential community, and its circulation extended to
Paradise Valley, home of Barry Goldwater. I suspected the Progress also had
readers on the Arizona Supreme Court, now considering the appeals.

Committee members provided some background on Marshall. He came from a
wealthy eastern family, with an industrialist father and a progressive mother
with outspoken ecological views. The elder Marshall may have assessed his son
as less than a shrewd financier, but Jonathan had exhibited an aptitude for
journalism, so the family bought the Progress for him. Possessing a bit of
his father's business acumen, combined with his mother's feisty outlook,
Jonathan Marshall had done a good job with the newspaper.

"Mr. Marshall," I said after introductions, sitting across from him at his
working desk, "the Dunlap Committee is firmly convinced Max Dunlap had
nothing to do with killing Don Bolles. I've interviewed Robison and Dunlap,
and I have doubts about the guilt of either man."

"What makes you say that? I've followed the case from its inception, and I
believe Robison is guilty, though I admit grave reservations concerning
Dunlap. The prosecution withheld evidence, I believe, specifically a
statement from that secretaryEileen Roberts-about her boss Neal Roberts
raising money for Adamson's defense. Also that one-legged gambler. And James

Clearly, Marshall had done his homework. "Who is James McVay?" I asked.

"You haven't come across him yet? McVay was in the Maricopa County jail with
Adamson, after the arrest but before that disgraceful plea bargain. McVay
said Adamson told him he was going to frame Dunlap. There's no question the
entire story of this murder hasn't come out."

"I agree."

I intended to agree with Marshall about a lot of things, and to that end I
needed to size him up rather quickly. Medium height, slender, balding, with
his glasses askew in typical preoccupied professorial fashion, I judged him
to be a practical intellectual, someone to whom a combination of reason, a
cause, and potential profit would prove irresistible.

The bottom line: Dunlap and Robison needed fair, nonbiased press attention.
If I started out challenging Marshall's belief that the police did a thorough
job, I could close a door I needed kept open. But I felt on safe ground
shoveling dirt on rival newspapers. I approached the subject obliquely. "Let
me say this, Mr. Marshall. The motive doesn't make sense, that Bolles got hit
for previously written articles. I think he'd more likely be killed to stop a

"What story? He covered the state legislature, hardly a beat brimming with
cloak-and-dagger material."

"That wasn't all he worked on." I looked at Marshall, waited for him to bite.

"What do you mean? The Arizona Republic said he was strictly state

"That may be true for the Republic, but he didn't work solely for them."

"What are you talking about?"

"I called John Zollinger at the Gallup Independent, and Bolles free-lanced
for him on Navajo stories. He was also stringing for Newsweek magazine."

"You sure about this?"


Marshall leaned back and thought. I waited. "I'm sure the Republic didn't
know about this," he finally said.

"Wrong, Mr. Marshall. They knew. Zollinger talked with Bolles's editor at the
Republic. Zollinger was very sensitive about this point."

Marshall let this perk. "Well, that means ... geesus, that means the Arizona
Republic lied."


"Why would the newspaper lie?" he asked, more to himself than me.

"I don't know the Republic's reason, but this is just one of several things
I've stumbled onto that I want to share with you." With which I opened my
little can of worms.

Some of them he already knew. I told him about the Betty Funk Richardson
interview with Detective Marcus Aurelius; here was a real motive, I
emphasized, unlike the Kemper Marley story. I told him about Rosalie Bolles's
concern about the ongoing investigation of Bradley Funk; Neal Roberts's "loud
and clear" remark uttered several days before Bolles got bombed; and that the
reporter might have been digging into the Navajo reservation story involving
Roberts, Adamson, and possibly Barry Goldwater. I could have told him more,
but he interrupted to show his business side.

"Lake," he said, "I don't have time to retry the murder in this office.
Frankly, I'm only interested in one thing."

"What's that?"

"As you probably realize, no one has ever interviewed James Robison. We got a
scoop of sorts interviewing Dunlap, and I must say the man impressed me. So
do his friends, the people who call me and assert his innocence. But
Robison-nobody has talked to Robison. You claim you have access to him. Well,
if you can arrange an interview, we might take a fresh look. Remember,
Phoenix has been inundated with Bolles stories. People are sick of them. But
something new-an interview with the silent man, Robison-could be good for us."

I suspected Marshall played a hard-to-get game, and I should return in kind.
"That's a pretty tall order, Mr. Marshall," I said.

Actually, I figured it would be no sweat. Robison and Dunlap needed fair
press coverage, and the Scottsdale Daily Progress fit the bill perfectly. By
making an exclusive with Robison seem difficult to arrange, I might put
Marshall in my debt. "I'll sure give it a try," I said, certain that Robison,
if for no reason other than self-interest, would agree.

But it turned out not so easy. Robison also had a demand: a guarantee of
accurate quotes.

Wonderful, I thought. How can I control what someone else writes?

Ultimately, my own promise to be present all through the interview, plus the
Progress's assurance that their piece would stick strictly to the truth (What
else would any newspaper say?) persuaded the prisoner to proceed.

"Robison's agreed to the interview," I said, back in the newspaper office a
few days later. Marshall wore a tie-he always wore a tie-in combination with
a tweed sport coat.

"You sure? I guess you are."

"That's what you wanted. Will you conduct the interview?"

"No. I'll send a reporter named Don Devereux. He's an expert on the Bolles
case. Don was a member of the IRE team. You'll like him."

Marshall turned out to be correct, and then some, though at the time I
couldn't imagine liking anyone who had been on the IRE team.

"I'll have to accompany him to Florence," I said. "They won't let him in
without me."

"Okay. I think Devereux is here now. Let me get you two together."

In his late thirties, slender, light brown hair with a graying beard,
Devereux turned out to be one of the heroes of the Bolles investigation. And
his wife, Naomi—a brilliant, good-looking, extremely well-educated lady who
concocted crossword puzzles for The New York Times—would also play a key role
in our murder inquiry.

Don Devereux, I would learn, was a true investigative journalist, one of the
best. He'd left his job at a Santa Fe paper to join the IRE team, outraged by
the murder of Bolles. Extremely idealistic, his specialty had been uncovering
the disgraceful conditions endured by migrant laborers in the Southwest.

Quiet, though with a fire burning inside, especially when relating the plight
of braceros Devereux didn't smoke or drink, and his devotion to Naomi and
their four children was total. Obtaining riches didn't appear anywhere on the
list of Don's priorities, and he possessed the admirable qualities of rigid
honesty, integrity, and a workaholic's total attention to detail. During the
course of our long relationship, he made me think that if Don Bolles could be
said to have a successor in Arizona, he was named Don Devereux.

pps. 45-58

Aloha, He'Ping,
Om, Shalom, Salaam.
Em Hotep, Peace Be,
Omnia Bona Bonis,
All My Relations.
Adieu, Adios, Aloha.
Roads End

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