Almost Midnight: An American Story of Murder and Redemption by Michael W. Cuneo

By Michael W. Cuneo

Darrell Mease grew up within the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri, in a slice of rural the US the place faith flourished and culture thrived. every person acknowledged he used to be a great child: a little a clown, possibly now not too fascinated by his reports, yet candy and type and fast to make acquaintances. while, as a clean-cut teen, he signed up with the military, the folks of Reeds Springs, Missouri, anticipated to listen to not anything yet great things approximately R.J. and Lexie Mease's eldest son.

It wouldn't determine that means. Darrell Mease might prove at the entrance strains of the Vietnam battle and could come domestic a drug addict. Over the for my part tumultuous, drifting many years that undefined, he'd make a brand new identify for himself within the Ozarks: as a tricky drug broker. Then, in 1987, he gunned down a 69-year-old meth kingpin, his spouse, and their 20-year-old paraplegic grandson. After a determined cross-country break out, he was once captured, hauled again to Missouri, and sentenced to demise for his crimes.

In penal complex, Mease skilled a spiritual conversion, and he made a surprising prediction: he will be kept via dazzling intervention.

No one believed it can ensue. however it did.

On January 27, 1999, Pope John Paul II visited St. Louis and spoke to Missouri's then-governor, Mel Carnahan. It was once an analogous date that professionals had set for Mease's execution. The pope requested that he be spared. Carnahan agreed.

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He called Freddy Mayo, reached Jimmy Heimerle instead. Heimerle would serve as well, for he and Mayo were sometime partners. Tor-tora was sending two guys to Florida on a job, he told Heimerle. " No trouble, Heimerle assured him. The airline tickets would be prepared and delivered in plenty of time. Indeed, there was no reason why Heimerle or Mayo would have any difficulty supplying two airline tickets, or a thousand if they were asked for that many. That was their business, among other things.

He was somebody very important, indeed. Rizzo never stayed at the club long, only long enough to make his presence felt. When he left, he invariably headed for Jimmy's Lounge. The police had not suspected it was a hangout for the organization; but that function came clear to Coffey almost immediately. Rizzo was using it as an office. He was in and out several times during the day and long into the night. He met people there and on the street outside. He made and received a steady stream of telephone calls.

Rizzo never stayed at the club long, only long enough to make his presence felt. When he left, he invariably headed for Jimmy's Lounge. The police had not suspected it was a hangout for the organization; but that function came clear to Coffey almost immediately. Rizzo was using it as an office. He was in and out several times during the day and long into the night. He met people there and on the street outside. He made and received a steady stream of telephone calls. And those who frequented Jimmy's Lounge were men Coffey recognized, men on the middle and lower levels of the syndicate.

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