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TOPIC: Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes?

Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes? 13 Jan 2019 16:42 #1

  • annabelle
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I picked up this obscure book in the bowels of a used book store not thinking much of it except that it may be a bit interesting as a non-fiction murder mystery published in 1983.

It ended up being quite a fascinating read with a treasure trove of information about a range of very interesting topics that would interest the 'conspiracy theorist' minded and those interested in peeling back historical events.

306 pages long and I finished reading it in two days.

description of book:

James Leasor cleverly reconstructs events surrounding a brutal and unusual murder.

It is 1943 and Sir Harry Oakes lies horrifically murdered at his Bahamian mansion.

Although a self-made multi-millionaire, Sir Harry is an unlikely victim, there are no suggestions of jealousy or passion.

Why does the Duke of Windsor call in Miami police and not Scotland Yard?

Leasor makes the daring suggestion that Sir Harry Oakes murder, the burning of the liner Normandie in New York Harbour in 1942 and the Allied landings in Sicily are all somehow connected.

www.jamesleasor.com/who-killed-sir-harry-oakes/


Sir Harry Oakes in 1925

In early July 1943, the world’s attention was diverted from World War II by a shocking murder.

Sir Harry Oakes–Maine native, adventurer, gold prospector, philanthropist, British baronet, and one of the wealthiest men of his time–had been found brutally slain in his bedroom at Westbourne, the mansion on his rambling Bahamas estate.

In the investigation that followed, justice would be stymied by police ineptitude and corruption, the indictment and trial of the wrong man, the shadow of the American Mafia, accusations of ritual killing, and the incessant meddling of officials all the way up to the former King of England.

Despite the number of possible suspects who stood to benefit from Sir Harry’s death, the quest for his killer was inexplicably terminated.

The murder remains one of the modern age’s most fascinating unsolved mysteries.

The Early Years

Harry Oakes’s life would not seem out of place as the subject of a Jack London novel, although his early years gave no indication of the triumph and tragedy that were to come.

He was born to a financially comfortable family in Sangerville, Maine, on December 23, 1874, the third of five children. A decade later, the family moved to Foxcroft to allow Harry and his two brothers to attend the prestigious Foxcroft Academy. After graduating, Harry entered Bowdoin College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He went on to study medicine at Syracuse for two years before he was bitten by the gold bug. At 22, hearing tales of the fabulous strikes being made in the Klondike, he left medical school for Alaska to pursue a career as a prospector.

He had no doubt of his potential for success. According to Maine folklore, Harry confided to a Bowdoin classmate that he expected to gain a fortune and die a violent death “with his boots on.” Oakes’s youthful prediction, melodramatic though it might have been, would eventually prove accurate on both counts.

In the Yukon, Harry fought to survive not only the extremes of weather–it was not uncommon for temperatures to plunge to 60 degrees below zero–but the violent way of life there. The Klondike during the Gold Rush was the last bastion of the Wild West. Crime was common, and gangsters such as “Soapy” Smith, the notorious “King of the Klondike,” ruled.

Young Harry adapted well to his rough-and-tumble environs, but he made no strikes. Restless, he spent over a decade roaming the world on his obsessive search for riches, prospecting in California, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa, before returning to North America after hearing gold was being mined in Northern Ontario.

His quest finally paid off in 1912, when he discovered a massive seam of gold beneath Kirkland Lake.

This strike would prove to be the richest in Canada and the second-richest in the Western Hemisphere, making Harry one of the wealthiest men in the world.

His Lake Shore Mines would ultimately net him the staggering sum of $60,000 per day (the equivalent of $720,000 per day in today’s currency).

Harry set about enjoying the good life that so many years of hard work and deprivation had earned him. On a world cruise in 1923, the 48-year-old Oakes met Eunice MacIntyre, a tall, attractive Australian some 25 years his junior, and they soon married. Over the next ten years, the union would produce five children.

Five years later, he moved his growing family to Niagara Falls, Ontario, where he became a Canadian citizen. He built a 35-room mansion, created a private golf course, and purchased one of the most extraordinary cars of his time. With its 12-cylinder engine and red leather seats, the hand-built 1928 Hispano-Suiza H6B “Sedanca de Ville” was large, elegant, and powered with the same engines used by World War I French fighter planes. In 2008, Harry’s very car sold at a Bonhams auction for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

Harry was magnanimous with his wealth, rewarding those who’d helped him and launching a number of local civic-improvement projects into which he poured millions of dollars. Over time, however, he came to resent what he considered the exorbitant taxes–$17,500 a day–that the Canadian government levied upon him.

In 1935, he left Canada, taking his wife and children to live in the Caribbean city of Nassau, on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas.

In those days, Nassau was the quiet backwater capital of the British colony and a bastion for well-heeled whites in a place where abject poverty existed alongside fabulous wealth.

As he had when he first arrived in Niagara Falls, Harry set about improving conditions on the island for both its native poor and its privileged whites. He built an air base, polo field, country club, and golf course. He also purchased and improved the local hotel. He added a wing to the hospital, provided public transportation, employed a large number of the locals, and initiated programs to address the poverty in which many of the islanders were living. For his largesse, the Crown awarded him a baronetcy, whereupon he became Sir Harry Oakes.

Sir Harry Oakes was murdered on the night of July 7, 1943.

The Night in Question

A violent tropical storm struck the Bahamas, drenching Nassau in thick sheets of rain. It was while this tempest was raging that a person or persons brutally slew Sir Harry Oakes.

While Eunice and the children traveled ahead to Maine to enjoy the cool breezes at “The Willows,” their summer mansion in Bar Harbor, Sir Harry was still wrapping up some business in the Bahamas, rattling around alone in the vast emptiness of Westbourne, except for the servants and a longtime island friend, Harold Christie. Christie, an island investor and would-be real estate mogul, had been staying at Westbourne overnight. According to his own account, he entered Sir Harry’s room early the following morning to wake him for breakfast, whereupon he made a chilling discovery.

Sir Harry lay dead upon his bed in a grisly state. His body had been doused in gasoline and set alight, but the wind and rain gusting through the open window had put out the flames before he was entirely consumed. As it was, his face and body were badly burned and blistered, and he was haphazardly covered with feathers from a pillow, as though to make it appear a ritual slaying.

His face was bloody, and near his left ear were four puncture wounds which reportedly fractured his skull. But curiously, the blood had run up his face rather than down onto the sheets, indicating that he had not been killed in his bed.

The Aftermath

Immediately after he discovered Sir Harry’s body, Christie reported the death to the governor of the Bahamas, who was none other than the Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India. The Duke of Windsor had stunned his nation by abdicating his throne in order to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, and his well-publicized Nazi sympathies had proven a further embarrassment to his country. He was reportedly given the governorship of the Bahamas in 1940 as a gentle way of exiling him from Great Britain.

Inexplicably, the Duke of Windsor seemed more interested in keeping the murder under wraps than in solving it.

Word got out, however, and–pressured to take action–he called upon Miami police captain Edward Melchen, whom he knew from a previous trip to Florida. Bahamians could not understand why he hadn’t turned to the local police force or even to Scotland Yard. But if his intention was to compromise the evidence and muddy the investigation, he couldn’t have chosen a likelier officer than Melchen, who arrived in Nassau with fellow captain James Otto Barker.

The murder scene was rife with evidence. The walls showed bloody hand prints, as did a lacquered Chinese screen. Muddy boot tracks led up the stairs into the bedroom and back down again. The detectives, however, made no immediate attempt to examine the evidence or to protect the crime scene from disturbance as people came and went freely, touching objects within the room. Nor did the officers initially try to collect fingerprints, claiming the weather was too humid.

Nonetheless, within days, they honed in on a suspect: Sir Harry’s son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny.

Pointed Fingers & Family Feuds

Count Alfred de Marigny was not a popular figure in Nassau. Arrogant and self-important, he’d managed to alienate both the locals and the privileged whites, who considered him–not without justification–a gigolo and a social climber. His detractors included the Duke of Windsor himself. But perhaps the man who most disliked de Marigny was Sir Harry Oakes. At 32, the penniless, twice-divorced count had eloped with Sir Harry’s 18-year-old daughter, Nancy. Although Sir Harry tried initially to accept the situation, he rapidly come to abhor his son-in-law after Nancy had an abortion.

When questioned by the two detectives, de Marigny offered a sound alibi for the night Sir Harry was killed, accounting for all but half an hour of his time. On scant evidence, and in apparent haste, de Marigny was booked, indicted, and imprisoned, spending the next four months in Nassau’s dour stone jail while the world speculated about his guilt. When de Marigny requested the best attorney in the Bahamas, he learned to his dismay that he’d been pre-empted in his selection by the prosecution, so he employed two young barristers to represent him during the 25-day trial that held the Western world spellbound.

Looking poised, elegant, and mature beyond her years, Nancy appeared in court every day to testify and to support her husband. Firmly convinced of his innocence, she also hired a private detective to investigate further and provide the defense team with whatever information he could discover.

For two weeks, the prosecution presented its case, citing family disputes and lust for his father-in-law’s riches as de Marigny’s motives for the killing. Sir Harry’s widow testified against her son-in-law, and for physical evidence, the Crown offered a single fingerprint that Capt. Barker claimed to have obtained from the Chinese screen.

So certain was the prosecution of a conviction that the government ordered the rope for de Marigny’s execution.

But when the defense cross-examined Capt. Barker, the tide in the packed courtroom began to turn. The detective admitted that he’d lifted the crucial fingerprint without having first photographed it on the screen. So questionable were Barker’s methods that defense attorney Godfrey Higgs had little trouble casting doubt on his testimony. He directly accused Barker of lifting the print from a drinking glass that he’d given de Marigny during questioning, and of later planting the print in Sir Harry’s bedroom.

Nor could Barker come up with an explanation as to why neither he nor Melchen had fingerprinted the dozens of people entering and leaving the bedroom–after initially lying by stating that they had. And when Nancy testified that Barker had told Lady Oakes of finding de Marigny’s print several days before it had been identified as de Marigny’s, the jury’s doubt deepened.

Further undermining Barker’s evidence was the testimony of Capt. Maurice O’Neil, a forensic expert for the defense, who swore that de Marigny’s print had not been taken from the screen at all, but rather from an entirely different surface. According to O’Neil, a print lifted from a drinking glass would display no background texture, but a print taken from the Chinese screen could not be lifted without carrying the background texture of the screen along with it. If it doesn’t print, you must acquit.

In the absence of any evidence other than Barker’s perjured testimony, the jury took less than two hours to free de Marigny. The courtroom, full of a crowd who until recently had wished him hanged, erupted in cheers. There was a rider to the verdict, however: de Marigny was banished from the Bahamas, effective immediately. This was the jury’s concession to a single morally minded member who refused to vote for acquittal unless the fast-living de Marigny was removed from the colony.

Who Killed Sir Harry?

There’s no lack of armchair theories about this juicy case.

According to various researchers, the American Mafia kingpins Charlie “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky were interested in building gambling casinos and hotels in Nassau, and some chroniclers have suggested that both the Duke of Windsor and Harold Christie were in league with them, almost tasting the shady money.

Author Marshall Houts points out that Lansky and Christie had known each other since “the rum-running days of Prohibition” and claims, “It was well known that [Capt. James Barker] had been on Meyer Lansky’s payroll for a number of years.”

But the irresistible force of Mafia money ran into an immovable object in Sir Harry Oakes, who was unwilling to see his island idyll turned into a gambling den.

In order for casinos to be built in Nassau, the Bahamas’ no-gambling laws would have to have been formally amended. And as time proved, the removal of Sir Harry Oakes did not suffice to further Lansky’s plan. Only after Fidel Castro’s regime expelled the mob from Cuba was casino gambling introduced into Nassau two decades later.

None of this is to say that the Duke of Windsor didn’t have an ulterior motive for burying the case; from the very beginning, his handling of it was nothing short of abysmal.

When he called in the American detectives, his specific instruction to them was to find evidence of Sir Harry’s suicide, when the most perfunctory glance revealed the deed to be a brutal murder.

After de Marigny’s arrest, he ordered the local police to thoroughly clean the murder room, thereby destroying all forensic evidence and any future hope of identifying the killer.

Finally, as the trial demonstrated, the two captains had illegally attempted to railroad a man to the gallows; they wouldn’t have done so without the tacit approval of–and instructions from–their employer, the Duke of Windsor, who despised de Marigny and saw him as the perfect scapegoat.

Another possibility is that Harold Christie–soon to become Sir Harold Christie for his contributions to the island’s economy–committed the crime, or had it done. It was Christie who originally persuaded Sir Harry to move to the Bahamas and, according to author William Boyd, owed Sir Harry a considerable sum. When Sir Harry–who was considering a move to Mexico–called in his marker, Christie canceled both the debt and Sir Harry in a single blow.

Marquis also points to Christie, who he posits was in league with a crooked, status-seeking Florida lawyer named Walter Foskett.

The Duke of Windsor helped cover up the murder, since he and Christie were friends and probable business partners, and Foskett was his legal advisor.

The debate over other possibilities still rages on.

Pointing to the feathers on Oakes’s body, some have claimed it was a ritual slaying carried out by the native population, but this is highly unlikely. Sir Harry had worked diligently to improve the lives of the island’s inhabitants and was widely respected by them, nor is there any reported history of a pattern of such slayings on the island.

According to another theory, the shadowy Swedish industrialist and Nazi spy Axel Wenner-Grenn (the inventor of Electrolux vacuum cleaners), who was purportedly involved in a money-laundering scheme with the Duke of Windsor, slew Sir Harry to prevent him from revealing the Duke’s involvement.

Nonetheless, over time, the most persistent allegations have continued to swirl around Sir Harold Christie. Defense attorney Higgs declared in open court that Christie’s account of his actions on the night and morning of the murder was “implausible.” During the trial, Christie testified that he’d spent the entire night inside the mansion, but a Nassau policeman who knew him by sight stated that he’d seen Christie driving downtown that evening.

Despite the fact that it brought Christie’s credibility into question, this discrepancy was never pursued. Christie also claimed to have been ignorant of any disturbance in the night, even though his guest room was next door to Sir Harry’s bedroom and there almost certainly would have been significant noise. His account was indeed implausible.

There have been numerous attempts to unearth further evidence over the years, many of which have been met with violence.

In April 1950, a Washington attorney named Betty Renner arrived in Nassau for the express purpose of solving the murder. Two days later, she was bludgeoned and drowned in a well.

Marquis calculates that in the 16 years following Sir Harry’s death, investigators researching the Oakes case that Nassau’s power elite failed to solve were murdered at the rate of one a year.

Many years after her father’s death, Nancy Oakes de Marigny–long since divorced from “Freddie”–issued a heartfelt entreaty that read, in part: “For justice and for decency, [the government] should insist on a vigorous effort…to clear this up, regardless [of] who might be affected by the truth.” Her plea was met with silence.

www.portlandmonthly.com/portmag/2017/06/murder-in-paradise-sir-harry-oakes-the-bahamian-yankee/

The prime suspects range from a German born millionaire with links to the Nazi party, to figures from America’s gangland to the British Royal family itself in the guise of the Duke of Windsor.

The core of all the theories share one main common denominator, which was the potential lucrative business of casinos and hotels that were proposed to be built in Nassau prior to Oakes’ murder.

FIRST SUSPECT: WENNER-GREN

Oakes had become friendly with the rich Swedish born businessman Wenner-Gren who lived on the island with his American wife and had acquired the largest yacht in the world as part of his millionaire lifestyle.

Gren was an astute and wily businessman who had made a fortune through selling light bulbs and household electrical equipment. He was known to be a close friend of key Nazi figure, Hermann Goering as well as many other infamous figures. One theory is that Gren killed or had Oakes murdered because the victim had unearthed several secrets about him including information that he may have been a spy for the Germans.

SECOND SUSPECT: HAROLD CHRISTIE

Oakes good friend also came under suspicion due to his association with mobster Frank Marshall who himself was linked with the notorious Mafia boss Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano. Christie, who had become a wealthy man in his own rights by purchasing land in Nassau and becoming a real estate broker, had big plans for the island and the Bahamas.

He envisaged a lucrative tourist trade that encompassed golf courses and hotels. Christie became involved with Frank Marshall who wanted to build casinos on the island despite the prohibitive laws preventing such developments.

However, Marshall had reckoned with the influence of Christie’s prominent friends such as Oakes and the Duke of Windsor, they would be able to circumvent restrictions. But Oakes was said to be displeased with the idea and his refusal to co-operate angered Christie who saw his old friend as an obstacle to making millions.

THIRD SUSPECT: FRANK MARSHALL AND THE MOB

Marshall himself was known to have had a great deal of pressure put on him by his American business partners, who were more than likely Mafia figures. It was believed to be Mafia mobster Lucky Luciano’s idea to build casinos on the island and who realized that with Christie and the Duke of Windsor’s influence and help he had the means to do it.

Therefore it may not be too difficult to imagine Luciano’s frustration and anger with Oakes who refused to take part in the scheme.

Oakes violent and bloody death seems to fit the kind of grisly end metered out to victims by mobsters of the day.

FOURTH SUSPECT: THE DUKE OF WINDSOR

The former King of England himself did not escape suspicion when one theory arose that Oakes may have discovered possible evidence of the Duke’s dealings with the Nazi party and Wenner-Gren that threatened to expose the Duke as a traitor and spy.

To date the murder of Sir Harry Oakes remains a mystery that has yet to be solved.

www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/sir-harry-oakes/trial
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Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes? 13 Jan 2019 18:48 #2

  • Flare
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^ Hmm... looks interesting.

However, it also looks a bit like a story to smear Edward VIII as being a criminal for obvious reasons....



Last Edit: 13 Jan 2019 18:48 by Flare.
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Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes? 13 Jan 2019 23:40 #3

  • annabelle
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Because of the Hitler-Duke of Windsor connection you think he is being smeared about his obvious, proven misconduct in covering up the murder??

If the Duke of Windsor had gotten his way, an innocent man would have been put to death by hanging.

The facts of the case as it relates to the Duke of Windsor and his behavior surrounding the murder is not something that has only been written about in the book I read, written by James Leasor, but by numerous sources and investigators involved with the case.

I would suggest you read the book posted at the top of my post as it goes into a lot of details that cannot possibly be posted in a thread. It really is a fascinating read for quite a number of reasons, the Duke of Windsor being only one of them.
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Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes? 14 Jan 2019 00:18 #4

  • Gaia
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Ah interesting. I was always fascinated with these crime stories and that didn't stop with waking up; it lead to shining a different light on these stories fed to us, uncovering them as I go.

Some video material about this curious case:



A list of books, the one listed by annabelle in bold:

- DeMarigny, A. & Herskowitz, M. (1990). A Conspiracy of Crowns: The True Story of the Duke of Windsor and the Murder of Sir Harry Oakes. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.
- Houts, M. (1972). King's X: Common Law and the Death of Sir Harry Oakes. New York, NY: William Morrow.
- Leasor. J. (1983). Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes?. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
- Marquis, J. (2006). Blood and Fire. Kingston, Jamaica: LMH Publishing.
- The Murder of Sir Harry Oakes, Bt. (1959). Nassau, Bahamas: Nassau Daily Tribune.
- Owen, J. (2005). A Serpent in Eden. London, England: Abacus.
The Only Limit is Your Own Imagination
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Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes? 14 Jan 2019 16:29 #5

  • annabelle
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Thanks for the footage. It became clear during the trial that it would have been impossible for Count Alfred de Marigny to have committed the crime. He was clearly set up to take the fall but the so-called evidence at the trial was so compromised and flimsy that he ended up being acquitted despite the fact they had already bought the rope to hang him with.

One thing that it goes into in the book is about the Sicilian/American mobster Lucky Luciano and his associate in crime Jewish gangster kingpin Meyer Lansky, known as 'the Mob's accountant'.

Lucky Luciano is considered to be the 'father of organized crime'. In 1936 he was sentenced to 50 years in prison and his appeals were turned down. He would spend the rest of his years languishing in prison, or would he?

He was very much still the mob boss from prison, still running things from the inside.

In an effort to obtain a release from prison, which he never gave up on, he put out to 'the powers that be' that he would be willing to use himself and his connections in the war effort against the Germans.

This didn't garner a response.

While Luciano was in prison, running his operations, the SS Normandie was seized by U.S. authorities and renamed USS Lafayette.

In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized onto her port side and came to rest on the mud of the Hudson River at Pier 88, the site of the current New York Passenger Ship Terminal.

Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in October 1946.



It was initially promoted that German saboteurs/agents must have been responsible for the destruction of the SS Normandie despite the lack of proof, eventually it was blamed on an american welder working on the ship, the very efficient fire protection system had been disconnected and the internal pumping system had been deactivated .

It was after the burning of the SS Normandie that Luciano again offered his help to the U.S. authorities to be of service in the war effort against the Germans. He offered to use his many contacts to keep U.S. ships safe along the docks.

Luciano and his mobster cohorts controlled the docks so mobster eyes and ears could be put to use against any type of suspicious activity or possible sabotage by (pro) German undercover agents/sympathizers.

In return for this help. Luciano had one demand, to be released from prison.

During talks with 'authorities' while in prison, Luciano was asked if he would be willing to use his connections in Sicily to help the allies as the U.S. were planning to invade Sicily in an operation code named 'Operation Husky'. This was to be a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers (the Kingdom of Italy and National Socialist Germany).

He agreed on condition he be released from prison.

The operation in Sicily started on the 9th July 1943 and ended in August. It was hugely successful.

.... the Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the Sicilian island and the Mediterranean sea lanes were opened for Allied merchant ships for the first time since 1941. The Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was toppled from power in Italy and the way was opened for the Allied invasion of Italy. The German leader, Adolf Hitler, "canceled a major offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy", resulting in a reduction of German strength on the Eastern Front. The collapse of Italy necessitated German troops replacing the Italians in Italy and to a lesser extent the Balkans, resulting in one fifth of the entire German army being diverted from the east to southern Europe, a proportion that would remain until near the end of the war.

Operation Husky was a fast and huge success for the allies due in large part to the cooperation of Sicilian mobsters, and hence the general population, in Sicily who were given word by Lucky Luciano and his mobster cohorts in the U.S. to do everything in their power to help the allies.

This cooperation and help was given with the expectation that Lucky Luciano, the 'father of organized crime', would be released from prison.

There was one thing the U.S. authorities didn't know.

It was Lucky Luciano who had ordered the destruction of the SS Normandie/USS Lafayette.

He was the one responsible for destroying the ship on the New York docks that had been renamed the USS Lafayette that was being re-fitted into a troopship.

It had been part of his scheme to obtain early release from prison.

If the SS Normandie was destroyed, his powerful connections and mob boss standing would carry more weight in obtaining his release by the need to secure the docks that he and his mob cohorts controlled.

Their plan worked out perfectly. They had not expected to be asked to help in Operation Husky, the allied attack in Sicily, but that had worked out brilliantly as well...........and all for a price.

It was only for a price that the mafia helped the allies.

After Dewey (one of the authorities who had been negotiating with Luciano) was elected governor of New York, he commuted Luciano’s sentence in 1946 in return for Luciano reportedly using his contacts in Sicily to aid the advance of Allied Forces during World War II.

How does this all tie in with the murder of Sir Harry Oakes?

Jewish mafia kingpin Meyer Lansky who was a cohort and strong 'associate' of Luciano, had established powerful gambling institutions in Florida, New Orleans and Cuba. It was Lucky Luciano who opened up the mob to Jews and the Irish. Lansky stepped out of his usual gang activities to (along with his associates) physically attack and intimidate people who attended pro-German rallies, breaking the rallies up.

During World War II, Lansky was also instrumental in helping the Office of Naval Intelligence's Operation Underworld, in which the government recruited criminals to watch out for German infiltrators and submarine-borne saboteurs

Lansky helped arrange the deal with the government (via a high ranking Navy official) that would obtain the release of Luciano from prison.

After his release, Luciano secretly moved to Cuba to run Mafia operations there, he also ran a number of gambling operations in Cuba, until the U.S. government successfully pressured Cuba under the Batista regime to deport him.

Batista offered Lansky and the mafia control of Havana's racetracks and casinos in return for kickbacks. Lansky also had an annual salary of $25,000 as a 'gambling minister' in Cuba.

Anyhow, back to Sir Howard Oakes...

One theory put forward by a number of people, including in a book, which was a biography of the Duke of Windsor, expanding on the work done by Houts a decade earlier, is that Oakes was murdered by associates of mob boss Meyer Lansky, after Oakes resisted Lansky's plans to develop casinos on the Bahama Islands.

Lansky, together with other major organized crime figures, already had extensive casino interests in neighboring Cuba. Early in his career, Parker had worked as a journalist in the Bahamas for several years, and dug into the Oakes case quite deeply. The two Miami police detectives (who the Duke of Windsor had immediately contacted and specifically chosen) were suspected of being on Lansky's payroll (one of the detectives later proved to be on Lansky's payroll..... with the other one still suspected), and the Duke had warned them off instigating a more professional investigation.

Parker goes so far as to draw potential business connections between Lansky and the Duke, who had earlier met in Cuba.

Parker wrote that the Duke had tried unsuccessfully to impose press censorship of the case from the start. The Duke directed the murder investigation from the beginning, but he and the Duchess of Windsor contrived to be visiting the United States during the de Marigny trial, so the Duke was not called as a witness. The Duke kept silent about the murder for the rest of his life.

www.revolvy.com/page/Harry-Oakes
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2019 16:43 by annabelle.
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