Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 10, 1982 · Page 14
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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · Page 14

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 10, 1982
Page 14
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14A Fort Lauderdale News, Thursday, June 10, 1982 Hit squad Continued from page 1A "He was invited to move here." The squad of hit men, which police said ran the Mafia renegade's extortion and enforcement "division," are believed to be responsible for murders all over the country. "I think that a realistic figure, from the paperwork we've got, the lifestyle Hunwick was living and what's been said by Chafin and other informants, is about 100," said Detective Sgt. Dale Adams, chief Broward Sheriff's homicide investigator. Adams said the hit squad has been tied to 14 murders in South Florida over the past five years. Police in four Broward cities confirmed that Hunwick is a suspect in a total of five execution-type killings, and Adams and the state beverage agent said information developed by them has linked Hunwick's group to nine others. Some of the murders Adams and the state agent linked to the hit squad include: Hubert Keith Surgeoner, 37, and Jean Capella, 24, whose bodies were found in Surgeoner's home at 1702 SW Ninth Ave., Deerfield Iirach, Jan. 28. 1980. Surgeoner, a reputed drug dealer, had been shot five times in the head and body with a 22 caliber handgun, and Ms. Capella was shot three times in the head. Deerfield police confirmed Hunwick is a suspect in the killings. Sherry Denise Hyde, 34, stabbed to death in her home at 3601 NW 84th Terrace, Coral Springs on Sept. 4. 1981. Coral Springs police said they had no knowledge of Hunwick or his group. Joseph Oliveti, 43. who was shot three times in the head outside a construction company at 441 S. Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach on Sept. 30. 1980. Oliveti, who knew Miss Hyde, had at one time been a suspect in her killing. IK-erfield police said they did not know of a connection in that case to Hunwick or his group. Joseph D. Testa. 53. killed when a bomb exploded when he started his car to leave the Tamarac Country Club at 2400 W. Prospect Road. Oakland Park, on June 6, 1981 Testa was reputed to Iw associated with some Chicago-based organized crime figures Oak-land Park investigators could not le reached lor comment. Caesar Vitali and his wite, Patricia who were shot several limes in the living room of their home at tiKH K Plantation Circle. Plantation. Feb Hi Plantation police said they wire not aware ol :iny connections to Hunwick or his alleged hit squad Sheldon Levy, who was found shot to death outside a Lauderhill warehouse at 1881 NW 38th Ave. in the early morning hours of March 6. Levy lived at 8432 Forest Hills Blvd., Coral Springs. Adams said Hunwick was a suspect in the killing. Information on other1 murders in Boca Raton, Davie and Dade County was not available. Hunwick's attorney, Fred llad-dad, denied that his client was involved in any -murders: "I don't believe it. They're taking the word of an admitted drug dealer, Chafin, on this." Chafin, a Georgia resident, has told police he was at the Banana Boat to collect' $190,000 in drug money owed to a friend, whom he ' refused to identify. Unknown to Chafin, another Georgia man, Henry Wesley "Scrappy" Duncan, 42, who owed Chafin the money, had paid Hunwick an unspecified amount to kill Chafin so he wouldn't have to repay the debt, police said. Another man has been charged along with Hunwick in the assault on Chafin. Reid Robert Hawley, 29, was being sought by police on the same charges. Police said he is negotiating through his attorney also Haddad to surrender on Friday. Hunwick also was named by Chafin as the man drug dealers paid in an alleged plot to kill Bill, Don and Dale Whittington. The Wellingtons, of Fort Lauderdale, were all drivers in the Indianapolis 500 last month. The News and Sun-Sentinel reported last week that undercover police in Indiana had been assigned to guard the Whit-tingtons during the race because of the information from Chafin about a drug dispute. "Hunwick wasn't named, but (the story) did mention Barry and Bob, and everyone knew that Hunwick and Hawley's nicknames were Barry and Bob, and that's when they called to say that they were suspects in their own cases." Police said the Whittington brothers are not under investigation. A letter found in Hunwick's car detailed one alleged collection scheme and noted the signer's fear. The letter, dated April 18, was addressed to the office of Attorney (ieneral Jim Smith in Tallahassee It was signed by a Fort Lauderdale man w ho slated he was writing the letter in case something happened to him. The letter names "Barry, alias 'The Bear' of Palm Beach" and another man as "the perpetrators of ill fate to myself, my family or my associates." The writer said the second man contacted "Barry, a professional collector bf illegitimate money, to threaten me out of a fabricated drug debt of $100,000. Apparently these -collectors are prepared to use violent measures lo coerce this money from me. "He has stated he 'buys' debts for 50 cents on the dollar and has collected over $3 million from various people recently. "If and when you receive this letter, please rest assured that I (or) my family or associates have met some ill fate at the hands of these above named persons." Police do not know the letter-writer's fate or how Hunwick obtained the letter. Hunwick was arrested in the living room of his home, which was described as extremely well-furnished. Police found seven handguns, silencers, a kit containing- an automatic pistol and brass knuckles, $12,000 in cash, a small amount of heroin, a pipe bomb and plastic explosives. His wife, Patti, a former Playboy bunny who owns the exclusive Patti Bernard's clothes shop on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, and their two children were also in the home at the time of his arrest. Police who leafed through letters and notebooks at Hunwick's home said they found a cashbook believed to detail some of his extortion deals. The book listed the sources and debtors by their initials only, along with the amount owed and Hunwick's apparent percentage cut for collecting the money, police said. For the month of April, a total of $1.3 million in debts was on his list. Hunwick's cut was listed at 25 percent. The beverage agent, who said he first learned of Hunwick more than a year ago, has been conducting an investigation into extortion at bars in Broward. The agent said Hunwick, a former manager of the now-defunct The Monk bar in northern Broward County, was being sought for questioning "about his possible investment in or extortion of bars." Call the pro. 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