Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Family Blood" by Marvin J. Wolf

ON SALE for $0.99
Family Blood:
The True Story of the Yom Kippur Murders
by Marvin J. Wolf

Author Marvin J. Wolf stops by today to share an excerpt from Family Blood: The True Story of the Yom Kippur Murders, which will be ON SALE for only $0.99 for a limited time.
For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Rotten Apples: True Stories of New York Crime & Mystery.

Gerald Woodman, an Englishman and an Orthodox Jew, came to American penniless and hungry for the good life. By 1980 he had gained and lost two fortunes, had built his plastics company into a cash cow that supported his large extended family in great luxury.
Killed in 1985 along with his wife Vera, the police asked Vera's sister if the Woodmans had any enemies, she replied, "Yes, their sons."
Family Blood follows the investigation of these murders and reveals a story of the American Dream gone wrong. Gerald, behind his facade of charm, piety and filial warmth, was a ruthless, amoral businessman, a philandering husband, a ferociously abusive father, and a compulsive gambler. His sons, Neil and Stewart, inherited his charm and business principles. This is the story of the hidden dynamics of an outwardly successful American family that came to a shocking and violent end. It is also the story of a clan of whose menfolk guarded a dark secret from their wives - and everyone else - for three generations. Further it is the chronicle of two dogged police detectives who exposed the Woodman's sordid secrets to the light of justice.

All four Woodman sons (Neil rear left, Stewart front right).

Seven-thirty. Time to rock and roll.
While Sonny and Jesse went to urinate, Steve tossed three singles on the table for a tip, nodded to the waitress, then strolled to the cashier and paid the bill. Sweeping everything into his pocket, he scarcely noticed if the change was correct, his mind racing nervously through his plan for the night.
Steve wished he had better radios. Those damned walkie-talkies the Professor had loaned him were next to worthless. Maybe he’d better try them one more time before the job. They might work better at night.
Mike Dominguez was at the motel, a few blocks away. Steve decided to pick him up about eight-thirty.
Dominguez, sometimes known by his prison handle, “Baby A,” was a fleshy, olive-skinned, dark-haired man of average height who appeared younger than his twenty-six years. He was a burglar, but occasionally worked as a roofer.
Steve decided to go over things with Dominguez one more time, just to make sure he had it right. Mike was a good man, within his limitations, but he didn’t always understand things the first time.
Dominguez didn’t do a lot of deep thinking. He hid his shallow intellect behind a wall of silence, earning a reputation as an enigma. Unlike Steve, who rarely missed a chance to expound upon his many adventures, Mike did not boast about his night work. In fact, he said very little about anything.
Steve liked that. Dominguez’s silent quality gave Steve confidence that no matter what dirty job Mike was asked to do, if the cops ever nailed him for it, Mike would never roll over and snitch on Steve, not even to save himself. Steve seldom bet, but he would put his life on that.
On the other hand, Steve knew that Mike wasn’t up to handling a big job on his own. He’d fucked up the hit on that broad in Vegas, put five into her boyfriend and the guy just ran away to call the cops. Mike was lucky to have gotten away with that, but he had cost Steve a fat fee. So Mike’s punishment was to be demoted to lookout for this one.
Before picking up Mike, Steve decided, he’d have to deal with Jesse. Now that he’d gone and rammed that car, Jesse was out for the actual hit. No way he could let him near the condo when it went down—Jesse had to stay away. That meant Steve and Sonny would be in the underground garage with no lookout. No warning.
They’d have to risk it.
Finally, Steve reminded himself to double-check the guns.
After a brief huddle in the restaurant’s narrow parking lot, Sonny, following Steve’s orders, went across the street to Steve’s rented gold Camaro, took one of the Professor’s radios from the trunk, and handed the other two to Steve. Steve climbed into the passenger seat of Jesse’s battered blue-green 1960 Buick, shoving empty cardboard boxes into the backseat with the others.
“How the fuck can you live like this?” growled Steve, angry again at how his brother managed to screw up everything he touched. “When are you gonna get rid of this damn trash,” he raged, indicating the boxes piled high in the backseat.
Jesse mumbled something about recycling, then wisely shut up.
Driving the Camaro, Majoy pulled up behind the Buick, ending the conversation, and Jesse made a right out of the parking lot onto Purdue, then stopped at the corner of Santa Monica to wait for the light. The boulevard was jammed, as usual, and it took them almost five minutes to reach Sepulveda, less than half a mile away. Threading their way through the heavy traffic near the Federal Building, they turned north and drove stop-and-go alongside a freeway still choked with traffic headed for the Valley.
With the Camaro following, the Buick turned right on Moraga Drive, then swept up the long, curving street until they reached a set of massive wrought-iron gates some twenty feet high. A uniformed security guard, a revolver in his polished leather holster, was visible inside the booth.
Jesse drove almost to the booth. Without stopping, he pulled the car into a U-turn. Majoy followed. At the bottom of the street, Steve told Jesse to turn left into the parking lot of the Chevron station next to a restaurant on the southeast corner of Sepulveda and Moraga. Jesse parked the Buick while Majoy got out of the Camaro, walked around, and eased into its passenger seat.
Jesse got out of the Buick and Steve handed him a walkie-talkie. He ran Jesse through the routine again: when he saw the beige Mercedes turn south on Sepulveda, he was to call Mike on the radio.
Steve slid behind the Camaro’s wheel. In his mirror he watched Jesse standing in the parking lot, the radio crammed into the pocket of his shorts, with only the plastic-coated antenna sticking out. It looked like a cellular telephone. Jesse looked like a bull kicked out of a china shop.

The scene of the crime - Brentwood Place, Los Angeles.

Praise for the Book
"Really interesting book. Hard for me to put down. Just when you think you have heard it all you READ something like this and realize you surely have not." ~ Judy L. Webster
"I loved this book. Could not put it down. So much deceit and dishonesty and greed that it was almost hard to believe sometimes. The authors did a masterful job of telling a very complicated story." ~ Bob Tobin
"Amazing what family members, who feel they are behind the eight ball will do for money. Also shows to what length adult children will go to 'free' themselves of what they consider an 'unfair' parent/s." ~ deedee
"I read this book when it first came out, stumbled across it and just re-read it. It's a marvelous, detailed and nuanced account of the murders of two decent, intelligent human beings by their slimeball kids. Marvin Wolf is a terrific writer: [...] A first rate journalist and author who never ceases to dazzle. Loved it as much the second time." ~ SeattleSal
"This book was one of the most interesting I have read in a long time. My daughter and I came to totally different conclusions regarding the family. She thought the murder was justified, I absolutely disagree. What do you think?" ~ Judi Hiscox

Brothers, Robert Homick, a Westside attorney, and Steven Homick, a one-time Los Angeles police officer, were arrested for being the alleged hit men.

About the Author
The son of a junk man and a mad housewife, Marvin J. Wolf worked as a dishwasher, sold encyclopedias door-to-door, taught hand-to-hand combat in the US Army Ranger School, served as a basic training drill instructor, and as an infantry squad leader - all before his 21st birthday.
In 1965 he reenlisted and maneuvered himself into a combat photographer's assignment. In Vietnam he was decorated with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, and awarded a battlefield commission, one of only 60 men to be promoted to officer rank in the combat zone. Over the next eight years he served as a company commander, a senior staff officer, and as the Seventh Infantry Division Public Affairs Officer.
Following his discharge, Wolf spent the next decade as a photojournalist. After gaining sole custody of his teenage daughter, Wolf segued into writing, beginning with magazine work. His first book, The Japanese Conspiracy (Empire Books, New York, 1983), led to a career switch and more than a dozen more books, including collaborations with ABC Television founder Leonard H. Goldenson, Native American leader Russell Means, and former South Vietnamese prime minister General Nguyen Cao Ky. In 2001, Wolf took up screenwriting (Ladies Night, USA Network, 2005). In 2011 he wrote his first novel, For Whom The Shofar Blows.
He lives in Los Angeles with his now forty-something daughter and a snobbish terrier-chihuahua mix.

Also arrested were two alleged lookouts - a Reseda man, Anthony Majoy, and a Las Vegas man, Michael Dominguez.