My husband's father, Gerard J. Sniffen, Sr., I believe grew up in Floral Park, Long Island before raising his family in West Hempstead. A branch of his father's Sniffen family went to Connecticut. Gerry, Sr. served in the US Army and was stationed in France during WWII. There were three Sniffen brothers, "Larry, Harry and Gerry" and all three played ice hockey for the NY Stock Market team pre WWII. Gerry Sr. also played semi-pro baseball in NY. Working for Sun Oil Company, he relocated his family to Massachusetts in the 1970's about the same time his eldest son, Gerry, Jr., began his engineering studies at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. He and his wife, Francie, retired to Charlotte, NC in the late 1980's after we had been transferred there from the Roanoke, Virginia area by Norfolk Southern railroad.
They were strange people. They kept to themselves, had no friends to speak of and cautioned me to keep to myself, stay away from neighbors and keep quiet. The only mention of a social life was with their Church and at a point years before they had belonged to the Long Island Republican Club. Outside of family the only friend that was ever mentioned was "Heinzy" the old ice hockey coach of Gerry, Sr. According to Francie, the two old friends spoke on the phone frequently and Heinzy was able to help get the kids jobs after they graduated college. He had helped my husband's brother get a job at Aramco Oil in Houston.
Gerry, Sr. and Francie spent retirement time keeping their yard and home immaculate and watching sports games on TV. They had retired to Charlotte, NC where we lived around 1988. Nearly as soon as they relocated to N.C., Gerry, Sr. announced that he had bone cancer. There was never any chemotherapy, hospitalizations nor extensive treatments, and Mr. Sniffen was able to continue his usual activities. There was no hair loss and there appeared to be little or no pain at all for the five or more years that we remained in the area. His condition was always curious and not characteristic of one suffering from bone cancer.
When we would dine at their home, he would discuss principal and interest, business and money with my husband at the dinner table. There were always cocktails and the tv was on sports. I wondered why they'd discuss those things because to my knowledge they had only owned three homes in their lives. Although they continuously watched sports and ball games, the subject was seldom if never discussed at the dinner table. When I would ask Francie about her husband's cancer problem she'd always say, "He's in remission." They had three children and their daughter once told me how mortified she had become when they apparently had her watched and followed or stalked while dating a man, and they came to the door where she was and escorted her to their car and drove her home. She was a college graduate, old enough to manage her life at that time. They were sneaky, secretive people and tight-lipped. I always wondered what they were hiding and was always suspcious of their secretive demeanors.
Our family was relocated to the Atlanta area in 1993 by the Norfolk Southern railroad and the Sniffen in-laws stayed behind in N.C. There was no love lost between me and my in-laws. My mother-in-law had commented on the intelligence of my grandfather and to this day I have no idea how she knew anything about the man at that time. Perhaps she felt my grandfather's history with the railroad would provide her son a future with it.
Thanksgiving 1997 we visited them in NC and had dinner. They appeared to be doing fine. There was still no mention of pain nor sickness unless I would inquire about the latent cancer. We had offered them free round trip tickets to "the old country" thinking Francie would like to see the area where her family originated. They declined saying they had no desire to see Europe.
January 1998, my husband received a phone call from his father with these words, "Gerry I'm in pain and I don't want to live anymore. Take care of your mother."
My husband was shocked enough by the call and his father's words to mention it to me. A week later Francie called me on the phone screaming, "He's dead!!!"
And so I thought to myself at the time that he must have committed suicide since he pre-announced his own death. We were later told the cause of death was a heart attack but because there was no body at the funeral to view, no relatives attended, and the ashes were never interred, I've always had my suspicious about Grandpa and the fact that more blatant lies have been told in the midst of and after my divorce than I ever dreamed could exist.
For a Southerner like myself, seeing someone like Grandpa Sniffen was like watching a guy from a mob movie. He had the dialect accent, spoke like a mobster, seldom laughed, stuck to business and consistently wore a flat Ivy cap. The cold-hearted attitudes and hatred he and his wife projected lead me to believe they were capable of anything. They didn't appear to have consciences or to have compassionate hearts. They used words I didn't even know the meaning of and had to ask, like "wop,""guinea" and "kike." I didn't let my children around them much because I didn't want the hatred and darkness to rub off or influence them.
We attended the very quiet, private funeral in NC and it was held at a Catholic Church in Matthews, NC. There was no dead body there to view, nor was there a casket. Few attended to pay respects. At the memorial service were his children, grandchildren, his wife, the priest and one neighbor. It wasn't the kind of funeral I'd ever attended where the body was presented in a casket and there weren't friends and neighbors besides extended family. Yet it was much like the funeral they held for my son and Grandpa's namesake nearly a year later in Georgia: a memorial service with no body to view. At the time of our son's Georgia funeral, Alabama records show the actual body was still in storage somewhere in Alabama–– by some accounts in the Mobile Morgue, and others at investigating Deputy Hoss Mack and Coroner Huey Mack's - Mack Family Funeral Home.
Maybe 20 or 30 relatives from Long Island had come to our Blacksburg, Va. wedding in 1976 yet, when this man died not one came South to say goodbye. It was very strange.
Francie told my husband we'd all go up to Long Island in the spring and bury his ashes in the family cemetery. When spring came it didn't happen and I asked my husband about it. He said, "Mom feels like he's still with her with his ashes on her fireplace mantle." Knowing the lies they have been capable of, I've always wondered if she had him hiding–– very much alive–– in the closet the entire time.
To me the entire story was sketchy. They were devoutly Catholic and the religion dictated certain things about death and procedure. It didn't appear the rules were being followed. Gerry Sr. had pre-announced his death and announced that he did not want to live any longer. It appeared to be a plan of some kind beginning with the phone call–– maybe even before. Because we had separated in 1996 and reconciled, I had a strange feeling that later when my husband decided to pull the plug on the marriage for good, he had some very powerful family support from his parents and their Long Island connections along with his railroad, fraternity brothers and legal connections. If I am wrong, it would be pretty surprising.
If I am right, they had an underground army in place to pull everything off. It didn't go as smoothly as they hoped. From the day I backed out of my driveway I knew I was up against criminals who had lied to police and manipulated the system to their favor and it continued for months and years.
The year went on and it was October when my husband began carrying out his plan for divorce. I was ordered on the streets for my "birthday present" and the Christmas Eve gift was our son's funeral. New Years Eve and the following week for me that year was spent in the state hospital by court order, arranged by my husband who used my family members against me with his lies. Other posts in this blog give those details.
At some point Francie moved into my house and apparently "helped" go through my personal belongings. It wasn't the first time she did it. She'd rummaged through drawers and closets whenever she visited our home and was left alone. She even took the liberty of changing kitchen cabinets contents completely rearranging everything. Some of my personal items were missing including a letter from Ronald Reagan, an original drawing my dad had drawn, and some railroad antiques given to me by my brother. When I received what they had packed, they left out part of a set, one Franklin Half Dollar (the most rare & valuable) was missing from the set; several sheet sets were missing bottoms, one lamp, one table. They kept a match and I believe they did it for pure meanness.
They wanted to provoke anger and get a reaction. It was a part of their plan. She was going to witness against me in the harassing phone call charges and her summons was mailed to our address in Georgia. The "harassment" was probably when I called my home she answered my phone and I told her she wasn't welcome there.
My husband had a mistress, Dale Tilinski. After our son disappeared and the funeral was over, in March 1999 my husband moved into Dale's home while we were still married. There, they started a business, "DT Consulting" and he became an officer for the business along with her sister, Dorothy Shields. He had waited until our daughter had turned 18, so the he could not be accused of child abandonment and he left her alone in the home to finish high school. It seems odd that he had falsely accused me of abusing her yet he played his cards to avoid any "legal" issues in his abandonment of her. He played the game well.
Our divorce was finally final when the judge signed the papers in January 2000. My husband married his mistress in March in Hawaii. He invited my two remaining children for a vacation there and after the plane had become airborne, he announced to them they were attending his wedding. They took plenty of pictures and gave sets to our children. I happened to find some of them in my home.
Soon after that trip my ex-husband, his wife, and his mother took my daughter with them to Europe and there they went to Paris, Switzerland and Rome. I recall thinking Switzerland? It must be where they hid the money. These people were very money oriented and had always seemed driven by it.
I found a friend who had suffered as I had with the judicial system in Georgia and we struggled to help each other understand the criminal aspects while attempting to unravel and compare the common elements we shared. She had some Long Island connections in her story, too. Besides both of us fleeing Georgia, what we had most in common is that she was being locked away in Cobb County to prevent her from knowing details with a land deal that involved the Braves stadium, and I was being locked away to keep me from identifying my son's body. So with the arrests and false accusations, in both our cases the justice system, jails, courts and law enforcement were used to destroy and silence us while protecting our criminal opponents.
My ex-husband and his wife retired in Florida in 2005. Curious about the retirement move to Florida I was encouraged by my friend to check out the real estate transactions and in so doing I found the most amazing piece of information yet. Public records show Power of Attorney had been given to Dale Tilinski Sniffen to purchase the home which was sold by a boy named Justin P andal. Justin had the exact same birth date as my son only one year different, 1977 instead of 1978. He also was involved in music like my son. The most amazing thing about Justin is that at some point he lived about a mile from Andrew and Bobby Kollmer, my husband's NYC narcotics cop uncle, and the grandfather Andrew Kollmer home in Long Island. Justin P andal's parents lived there too.
When I found this I nearly could NOT believe it. A 28-year old boy went to Florida, purchased the Vero Beach home my husband would buy and walked away two months later with about $70K profit. He was a lucky guy! And it was totally out of character for my husband to get "ripped off" that way. He never would have paid that for a house knowing it was being flipped for that kind of profit. He never would have paid full price. So who was Justin P andal?
It seems Justin's grandfather, Mr. Richman, had a shipping or freight associated business, Service by Air, in Long Island. Justin had given his grandfather's Palm Beach condo address when he purchased the home. I remember years ago after my husband started his positions at the railroad we would dine and socialize with the Long Island railroad counterpart at social affairs. There was an immediate connection. Plasser American, a corporation that entertained us, also is noted in articles as having given gifts to some of the LIRR managers.
After the divorce, my husband had purchased a Grady White boat and named it "Miss Dale," after his new wife. I was told the boat was docked in West Palm Beach, and not in Vero Beach where they lived which was a curiosity in itself. And soon after that he purchased a tiny house in Vero Beach that was for nothing more than storing the boat. It was a nice, quiet "hideout" area but according to his explanations nobody ever lived there. It was for the sole purpose of storing the boat. Soon, just before making yet another real estate purchase where his widowed mother would live, he had the small home demolished.
Palm Beach came up more than these two incidents, in that shortly before he died Tommy Schlette mentioned Mark Foley. I didn't know who Mark Foley was at that time but soon discovered he was a Congressman after seeing his stories splattered all over the news. And not so long after that, Mobile, Alabama Commissioner, Steve Nodine was accused of murder in Baldwin County, Alabama where my son allegedly had committed suicide. Both Mark Foley and Steve Nodine are from Palm Beach, so I had to wonder if they had anything in common with yacht/boat storage, where my husband was keeping his boat. And a few months before my son disappeared, Dr. James Downs had been appointed Director of Alabama Forensics. He had been at U.S.C. during the Amy Frink autopsy gone to Alabama, then left there to become a part of Georgia's G.B.I. Forensics team. From there he was called to testify in Nodine's trial, his expert opinion was homicide. Downs also ruled "suicide" in the bizarre death of Tom Sublett a Glynn County Commissioner in Georgia. Sublett was found with his hands tied with zip ties, a gunshot in his head, the gun was never found and he was found floating in the water.I have always wondered why my husband paid such an exorbitant price to dock boats anywhere at all. We could only get away a couple weeks out of each year to go to Ocean Isle Beach. The annual price of dry storage wasn't cheap for that boat and I struggled to make ends meet with my allowance and raising three children. Later he docked a brand, new Grady White in West Palm Beach two hours south of his home when Vero surely has plenty of ocean front? It was all so strange. Whom–– or what–– was he hiding?
Later my ex-husband purchased another home in the same Vero Beach neighborhood and the home was in foreclosure. He and his wife were active in the homeowner's association, and he got a great deal on the house. The poor guy who had bought it at an incredibly inflated price, Shane Onderlinde, had committed suicide. Francie, the widow of Gerry, Sr., my former mother-in-law moved into the house to be near her son in her old age. I was really surprised to find Shane had been in trouble in Ft. Myers, Florida years earlier. I had lived in Fort Myers in 1972 and would never go back to that area. Another suicide, like my son's alleged suicide and like my daughte'ss best friend and hairdresser, Jaime who died just two years ago the same way.
Death surrounds us and so much so, that besides suicides, some of the deaths or accidents that seem to be natural–– in my personal opinion probably aren't.
Francie had announced she only had 6 months left to live in 2011. I remember thinking at the time, and even said it to some of my family members. "She's not going to die, she's going to move." And move she did. Within a year she moved from NC into the late Shane O nderlinde's Vero Beach house that her son had gotten such a great deal on. I remember thinking, since he had collected about $130000 of my railroad pension money, it was a comfortable purchase for him.
It was funny when I heard later from my family and relatives he had expressed such sorrow for what he did to me. I asked them, "Then why doesn't he give me my money back? And if he's so sorry, then why doesn't he say he's sorry to ME?" He had a way of playing games behind my back and had become quite good at fooling everyone. Being a successful railroad executive, why wouldn't they all honor, respect and believe his every word? The railroad used him, completely outside of his job description, to negotiate with labor unions and surely they would not appoint a kind soul with a compassionate heart to do the same.
Why did marijuana keep showing up everywhere? So many people and things connecting to my story after 1998 seemed to have marijuana traces one way or another. I even found a potential link from O -nderlinde to Richard Sext-on of Harrodsburg, Ky. Richard had lived in Daytona and shared ownership of a home there with a man who had also lived in Goshen, Indiana where Shane was from. What a coincidence.
Was this where the Bluegrass Conspiracy would meld with the Ft Myers/Naples people at last? One native New Yorker and D.A. in Fort Myers has been there more than 30 years retiring a few years ago - through it all and the drugs have kept flowing. Bonnie Kelly is still in prison there and everyone else who wasn't killed walked. Roanoke native, Darrel Blackburn still lives in Naples and I knew him to be in Ft Myers visiting my first husband in 1972. Anybody who's "anybody" in Kentucky has a home in Naples. Nokomis? Attorney George Childs might recognize that town name through his client Shirley Stall ings connections who are in the collections businesses.
Naples is where Comair crash victim Charles Lykins and Attorney Mike Conover had homes. Conover is a preacher/lawyer from Kentucky who was rumored to be in trouble with marijuana in Washington County, Ky. Lykins lived there but came home to Ky often to visit. He lost his life on Comair Flight 5191 much like Tim Snoddy - both having boarded a plane against routine, flying out on Sunday instead of the usual Monday flight. Snoddy had a curious connection to Bennettsville, SC. and according to online records an alias name. Tommy Schlette was connected to Bennettsville through family. So was Michael Jordan's late father–– it's where his body was found. Snoddy had offices in Asheville, NC; Lexington, KY, and Stuart, Florida. Stuart is where Tommy Schlette worked as a security guard at the Stuart airport for a company called Vought Aircraft. That's when he contacted me while working as a Pinkerton security guard. About three months before the Comair crash, Schlette was found dead, I was told of a drug overdose. Others believed it may have been a heart attack. His body lie decomposing for two weeks before it was found in the wooded area behind the home he rented.
The COMAIR crash never made sense and not far from my farm in Kentucky a man who worked for Comair (Chris Hunter) committed suicide while visiting his in-laws. This gun to the head crap was going on EVERYWHERE. How often does that happen to one person is continuously surrounded by this kind of news? But the same kind of thing was happening to my other Georgia jailed friend. People were dropping around her like flies and she was scared.
It all began to look like a great, big circle - a network that decades ago may well have included some folks from my home town. With the real estate situation, drug implications with my son and others, the "Robo lawyers" Kass & Shuler involved with the Vero property, and my former father-in-law's interest in homes, principal and interest... it was all very curious. And if it was what I suspected, it was an old, established organization that seemed immune from any kind of federal investigations. As time goes on even more pieces seem to fit.
Tommy Schlette, the man who told me my son was still alive, had Long Island connections. He had said he'd moved fireworks for the Sicilian mafia. I believe he was born in Floral Park where Gerry, Sr. had been born. Tommy had mostly lived in New Jersey. He had another connection to the Amy Frink story in that his former sister-in-law, Beverly Marines, had worked at the same Horry County, SC sheriff's office that investigated Amy's and Crystal's murders. Rumors have circulated that Amy stumbled on the wrong drug deal. Is it true?
When Amy's murder was solved it was soon after I had contacted authorities in 1998 giving them information. What they did was go up to New Jersey and get a killer and put him and another guy on trial. Three suspects were never even tried or arrested. The N.C. Brunswick County sheriff's office I spoke with, Sheriff Ronald Hewett was tased to death a year or so ago while in federal custody. About 2 weeks before he was tased to death I had called and left message on Hewett's answering machine hoping to get more answers about Amy Frink. He never returned my call. Like Tommy Schlette, Hewett's life had gone awry the years before his death. He knew too much, obviously.
Since so many have died including Tommy with such strange circumstances (his body was found decomposed behind the house he rented in Grant, Fl.), what exactly is going on?
Crystal Todd was dead in 1991, Horry County, SC, A book written about her says a Michael Jordan hat was found in the back of her car. The author of the book about her was found dead in the river. Then Amy Frink's death about 6 months later first announced in the Brunswick Beacon in 1992, then reported again elaborately in newspapers as 1994. Many of the same investigators and authorities in the Todd death spoke out in the Frink death.
I spoke with a close church member and friend of Amy's family who confirmed I was right in knowing the first death announcement was 1992. Theresa attended the same church with the Frink family and sent me a photo of the church's memorial. She was shocked that the church has removed the plaque with the actual dates.
Then 5 months before my son disappeared, Cobb County Judge Adele Grubbs daughter, Alexis, according to newspaper reports, had a single car fatal accident when her tire blew out and the car slid upside-down into a telephone pole. Now, nearly 20 years later, her death is being reported as a collision with a drunken driver. Judge Grubbs held our divorce trial in Cobb County September 1999. I had less than 24 hours notice to be in court that day, and was located 400 miles away at the time I received the notice call from my attorney.
All the deaths that have happened with youth that have touched my family and children: - Alexis, Anna, Amy, my son, George Eric James, even Jason Knapp - and Tommy Schlette, Jaime, Scott Robinette and others including Bill Fox (VP Coal Sales) and Gatewood Galbraith, my Ky. attorney–– and all I have endured to be silenced have suggested foul play and criminal activities in so many ways. I've wondered how many of these were connected in some way other than association with our family or by geography and/or similar circumstances and details.
It's difficult to get the truth about anything these days in a world where canaries who could tell the truth or expose it so often find themselves in jail, prison, falsely accused, discredited, institutionalized, sick or–– dead. Worse: we live in ongoing fear for ourselves and our families.
Before it's over, who knows, they may even find Biff Halloran from the Bluegrass Conspiracy–– if they want....
To be continued....