Oakland’s Imperial Marines

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Above is a photo of my favorite bar in Oakland ‘The Hut’. I almost got shot here. I was talking to some young punk who claimed his father was the Mafia, and, so was he. He tried to muscle me, impress me as we sat at a table. I told him he was full of shit. I asked him what big crimes his family are committing in the bay area. He told me they sell cocaine. I laughed in his face.

“Anybody can sell cocaine in Oakland. Even high school drop outs. Who needs the mob, who traditionally look down on drug dealers.”

I told him my mother made porno movies for Big Bone’s Remmer who came to my house with his wife. Suddenly thus black dude I don’t like has come up behind me, and I hear the click of gun – that has misfired! This guy shot my fiend here two months earlier. He was at the bar when he was shot in the arm. He told me the last thing he remembers is a smoke-ring coming at him. Again I hear a click, and study the face of the alleged Mafia man. He is – blown away! I start laughing at him.

“Looks like your bodyguard needs a new gun. Or, you need a new bodyguard.”

I got up, and walked out. On the street, my legs began to shake. This was the second time someone put a gun to the back of my head, pulled the trigger, and the gun jammed.

Above is a photo of the University Hotel and the laundry mat I almost died in. I was drinking and doing my laundry. There was a bunch of street waifs there who I bought hamburgers for. I am talking with this young runaway, when this guy comes up to me and orders me to stop talking to her.

“No one tells me what to do!”

And out comes this big ugly gun that is in my face.

“I’m going to blow your fucking head off!”

The young folks hug the walls! I study this bad-ass dude that repeats his threat, and say;

“I believe you are going to blow my head off. But, you are such a lousy shot you might shoot an innocent bystander. Let’s go in the back ally and you can blow my head off there. Besides, you dont want any witnesses.

“Good idea. Let’s go!”

Now, I’ve had a lot of good ideas in my life, and have been in a rage because most of them have been rejected. In the ally, I fall to my knees with arms outstretched, and say “Baba”. I am in the light. He pulls the trigger. The gun is jammed. He tries again. I get up, and walk away.

A week later I see him on the street, and he’s screaming his tired used-up old threat at me;

“Yeah! Yeah! Promises! Promises!”

When I had a falling out with my daughter, she bragged about her boyfriend having a thousand friends. She said I was “so perfect”. She bragged about Bill having a manufactured bar in their house. Big deal. I and my friends took over three bars in my hood, the last one was the Hut. After living on Beacon Hill and drinking in bars in walking distance of my abode (one of them Cheers) I made a rule to take my business to the bar nearest to me. That was The Canteen, and old man’s bar.

In no time me and my friends moved the old men out. The Canteen became the wildest bar in the Bay Area. It had to be shut down. We moved to the Piedmont Lounge up the street, where the old war heroes retreated. We moved them out, and they went to The Hut. We closed the Lounge due to free for all fights where beer mugs were busted over folks heads. Then, my buddies and I headed for The Hut. I founded three great bars in Oakland. At the Hut this guy tells me;

“When you are not here, this place is a real drag!”

Between the Canteen and the Lounge is the Kerry House where I met my daughter’s mother – who claims she was married to the Mob. I drank here with my father – till dawn. When the bar closed, it never closed for Vic, who drove a big pink Caddy and wore garish plaid dresscoats. Vic never went to rehab. I mean, what would he share at a meeting?

“You all are trophy drinkers, I on the other hand, am the embodiment of Emperor Caligula!”

The real big deal in law enforcement was Frank Coakley (the real Hallahan) whose daughter adopted the Presco children. The Coakly family owned much real estate around Lake Merrit. There was a huge oil painting of this lake where Jack London sailed boats on Kay Coakley’s wall. Kay saw the same angel my sister’s saw. When I got sober, I began my autobiography ‘Bonds With Angels’.For surely there was an angel looking over us, because we were forced to bond with real devils!

My bodyguard was an Imperial Marine, Dietrich’s personal bodyguard, who ran away from Synanon who had moved into Oakland’s old athletic builiding. Two of my friends were members of the SLA, and were quationed by the FBI about the kidnapping of Patty Hurst. I have seen more gunplay then most Marines. I am retired from the World of Imperial Bullshit!

Jon Presco

On March 20, 1978, a former member of Synanon was severely beaten (for being a “splittee”) during his honeymoon when he took his bride to show her where he had once lived at the Walker Creek Ranch.[14]
Synanon is heavily implicated in the late-1972 or early-1973 disappearance of Rose Lena Cole, who was ordered by a court to enroll in Synanon before she disappeared. She has not been seen or heard from since.[15]
During the summer of 1978, the NBC Nightly News produced a news segment on the controversies surrounding Synanon. Following this broadcast, several executives of the NBC network and its corporate chairman allegedly received hundreds of threats from Synanon members and supporters.[16] However, NBC continued with a series of reports on the Synanon situation on the NBC Nightly News.
On September 21, 1978, ex-Synanon member Phil Ritter was severely beaten by two Synanon members, which fractured his skull and caused him to fall into a coma with a near-fatal case of bacterial meningitis.[17]
Several weeks later, on October 11, 1978, two Synanon members placed a de-rattled rattlesnake in the mailbox of attorney Paul Morantz of Pacific Palisades, California.[18] Morantz had successfully brought suit on behalf of a woman abducted by Synanon. The snake bit and almost killed him.
Six weeks later, the Los Angeles Police Department performed a search of the ranch in Badger that found a recorded speech by Dederich in which he said, “We’re not going to mess with the old-time, turn-the-other-cheek religious postures…our religious posture is: Don’t mess with us. You can get killed dead, literally dead…these are real threats,” he snarled. “They are draining life’s blood from us, and expecting us to play by their silly rules. We will make the rules. I see nothing frightening about it…I am quite willing to break some lawyer’s legs, and next break his wife’s legs, and threaten to cut their child’s arm off. That is the end of that lawyer. That is a very satisfactory, humane way of transmitting information. I really do want an ear in a glass of alcohol on my desk.”[17]
Dederich was arrested while drunk on December 2, 1978. The two other Synanon residents, one of whom was Lance Kenton, the son of the musician Stan Kenton, pleaded “no contest” to charges of assault, and also conspiracy to commit murder. While his associates went to jail, Dederich himself avoided imprisonment by formally stepping down as the chairman of Synanon.
Much of the violence by Synanon had been carried out by a group within Synanon called the “Imperial Marines.”[19]

You heard about that big mob bust late last week on the East Coast? Well, NBC went to local crime author and retired policeman Kevin J. Mullen to find out why we haven’t had any real, juicy mob activity out here. Mullen says that Al Capone sent emissaries out to San Francisco in 1931 to case the joint, but decided it was “too tough” a town to crack. That may just be a proud cop talking, but Mullen says it’s an easier town to police, given its size and geography, and the transcontinental railroad terminated in Oakland, after all.
NBC and Mullen neglect to mention that the mafia’s historic stronghold out here was Emeryville, where they set up shop with a figurehead mayor, a chief of police, and their very own little harbor, ultimately headed up by mob boss Elmer “Big Bones” Remmer, who worked for Lucky Luciano. Remmer controlled a number of after-hours joints, gambling parlors (the Oaks Card Club in Emeryville is a latter day remnant, grandfathered in under city law since it’s been there since the 1890s), brothels, and loan-sharking operations around Oakland, Emeryville, and S.F. Remmer’s S.F. headquarters was the Menlo Club, and at least one source credits Jerry Brown’s dad, “San Francisco Attorney Edmund Pat Brown [with helping to] incorporate Bone’s La Costa Nosta operation.” So maybe it’s just that the mob was better connected and operated in relative quiet out in crazy S.F.? In Emeryville, a reported hangout back in the mid-twentieth century was The Town House Bar, so named in part because it’s where the “mayor” sat and drank all day while Remmer had free reign.
The Alameda County D.A.’s office prosecuted a bunch of cases against noted mob figures in the 40s and 50s. Also, reportedly, Jack Ruby (Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassin) once worked in the Menlo Club in S.F. for a gambler named Eugene Shriber, an employee of Remmer’s. (And this blogger guy claims to be the son of one of Remmer’s prostitutes.)
So what’s that again about the mafia never being in San Francisco?

Vicki was adopted by Kay Coakley whose father was the District Attorney of Oakland. Frank Coakley allegedly looked the other way when the Mafia moved into the Bay Area. Did he know Rosemary was a one woman crime spree? We called her Ma Barker. We were her boys. She loved the title.
Above are photos of Rosemary at the Rucker Company office party. Rucker had a plant in emeryville, and helped put men on the moon. Rosemary forever sought the limelight, and was not willing to share it with any of her children – especially her to gifted, artistic children! She attacked, or threatened the life of our lovers. She owned the momopoly on sinning in our house. We were fobidden to be sinners and competer with he in her area of expertise.
After a hard day at the office, Rosemary would stop in at the Key Club in
Emeryville and have herself a drink. It was here she met that nice elderly
Italian couple who were members of a Mafia Family who had long ago founded the
city of Emeryville and made it a wide-open town, it famous for its Cat Houses
and Gambling Joints. Though several crack-downs had taken place, there were two
Card Rooms in Emeryville and the Key Club was once of them.

San Francisco County’s resident Lucky Luciano’s La Costa Nosta crime boss was a man called Elmer “Big Bones” Remmer of Emeryville.  Bones Remmer controlled all the after-hours joints, brothels, gambling houses, extortion, loan-sharking, bookies and Murder, Inc. in Emeryville, Oakland and San Francisco. Along with witting politicians, cops, and various shady lawyers and bagmen, Big Bone’s mob operations remained unmolested by local law enforcement agencies in Alameda and San Francisco County.
 
In San Francisco, Bones was the proprietor of a gambling and bookie joint called the Menlo Club. [9] San Francisco Attorney Edmund Pat Brown, former D.A. of San Francisco County, former California Governor and father of former governor and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, helped incorporate Bone’s La Costa Nosta operation.
 
Big Bones also ran the notorious Cal-Nevada Lodge in Lake Tahoe with Frank Sinatra, and in association with the legendary New York Mobster Sam Giancana. [10] Big Bones had close ties to infamous criminal figures like “Baby Face” Nelson and “Pretty Boy” Floyd, both of whom reportedly stayed in the cottages below the Lodge when they “needed to get away.” [11]Bones was also a friend of Jack (Rubinstein) Ruby, the infamous assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, the patsy in the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
 
During Jack Ruby’s six year stay in California, he was employed by a gambler named Eugene Shriber, who worked under Big Bones. Shriber came to California from the Chicago mob in 1933 and managed a San Francisco card room for Bones and employed Ruby and Eva Rubenstein, Jack’s sister, as dealers. [12]
 
Fed up with crime, corruption and Murder, Inc. in Alameda County during the 1940-50’s, the California State Attorney General had to come to Oakland to try to shut down the mob’s operations. The Attorney General’s office indicted and proceeded to prosecute some of Oakland’s mob figures. Under D.A. Coakley, the La Costa Nosta just didn’t exist in the county. Just imagine of all people that could have showed up in Oakland to defend the mob, it was the who’s who of Mafia Boss Meyer Lansky’s crime syndicate, another infamous underworld character by the name of Murray Chotiner. The noted Author Dan Moldea reported that Murray Chotiner, and his brother Jack, handled 249 cases of mob figures arrested or indicted between 1949 and 1952. [13]
 
Chotiner was also the campaign manager of Richard Milhouse Nixon and Former Alameda County D.A. Earl Warren. [14]  Warren also attended UC-Berkeley graduating in 1912. He then also attended Boalt Hall School of Law School graduating in 1914. Earl Warren was Alameda County District Attorney from 1926 to 1938, Attorney General of California from 1939 to 1943, and Governor from 1943 to 1953. In September 1953, Earl Warren was appointed Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court by President Eisenhower. Murray Chotiner was the political public relations man for Earl Warren during his gubernatorial campaign in California.
 
Murray Chotiner had been associated with Nixon since 1946. When Nixon became the Vice Presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 1952, Murray Chotiner served as his campaign manager. In 1966, Murray Chotiner was called before Senator John McClellan’s committee investigating organized crime. Congressional investigator Robert F. Kennedy questioned Chotiner about his client, New Jersey mobster and Philadelphia crime syndicate leader Marco “Small Man” Reginelli, and demanded a list of Murray Chotiner’s other mob clients. [15]

My great Uncle was a gangster who was a notorious gambler. His name was Czar Elmer Bones Remmer who operated card rooms in San Francisco and unincorporated areas of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. While he managed the Cal-Nevada Lounge at Lake Tahoe in the 1940’s, the Nevada state commission warned him to “put square dice and new decks on the table.” In the mid-1950s, Remmer attempted to open a card club at the La Rue Restaurant on the first floor of the Ritz Hotel in Emeryville, but was thwarted by the city council. He was subsequently sent to prison for income tax evasion. After serving his sentence, Remmer sold used cars for his brother William, who was co-owner of a lot in Oakland. When Bones died in 1963, the underworld mourned the loss of the “big daddy of Northern California gambling.” People wondered why I have been a gangster since day one. It is in my blood. I used to have such a bad temper my mom would take me into the garage and give me a hammer to beat out my aggression. I would help her do art. She must of known from the very start that I had a sickness. Now that I look back at it, it was a giftness. My mom used to do some amazing art yet my parents ruined my heart. All of their fusing and fighting enabled me to learned the words nigger, whore, money grubbing, lying, and cheating, all because my parents weren’t acting like adults and were misbehaving. They are the ones who need the counseling. My dad was a square and my mom was never there or at least that’s what I was taught. It is unfortunate they created my box.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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