Book Details
RON CHEPESIUK
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Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin

In   1973,   Frank   Matthews,   history’s   first   African   American   drug   kingpin,   jumped   bail   in   New   York   City   with   $15   to   $20   million   and ostensibly   a   beautiful   girlfriend.   Nearly   four   decades   later,   the   fate   of   Frank   Matthews,   the   money   and   the   girlfriend,   Cheryl   Denise Brown,   remain   a   complete   mystery.   “It’s   as   if   Matthews   dropped   off   the   face   of   the   earth,”   explained   Mike   Pizzi,   a   retired   U.S. Marshal who was involved with the hunt for Matthews, the fugitive, for several years. Now,    in    a    new    book,    Black    Caesar:    The    Rise    and    Disappearance    of    Frank    Matthews,    Kingpin,    journalist    Ron    Chepesiuk investigates   one   of   organized   crime’s   most   intriguing   mysteries. The   book   explores   several   intriguing   questions:   how   was   Matthews’ been   able   to   operate   for   several   years   without   being   detected?   What   was   his   relationship   with   La   Cosa   Nostra?   Why   did   the   CIA get   involved   in   the   Matthews   investigation?   What   happened   to   Cheryl   Brown?   Why   has   the   mystery   of   his   disappearance   been   so difficult to solve? Born   in   1944   in   Durham,   North   Carolina,   Matthews   left   his   hometown   when   he   was   a   teenager,   going   first   to   Philadelphia   and   then to    New    York    City.    By    the    early    1970’s,    Frank    Matthews    had    become    America’s    biggest    drug    kingpin.    His    organization, headquartered   in   Brooklyn,   stretched   across   21   states,   and   he   became   the   only   Black   gangster   to   establish   direct   ties   to   the   French Connection   heroin   pipeline.   To   quote   William   Callahan,   a   federal   prosecutor   assigned   to   the   Matthews’   case,   “Matthews   was   a pioneering giant of drug distribution. ”The   $15   to   20   million   dollars   he   disappeared   with   is   roughly   equivalent   to   $100   million   in   today’s   cash.   The   book   explores   various theories   about   the   fate   of   Frank   Matthews,   and   the   author   offers   his   own   conclusion   about   the   mystery.   “Despite   one   of   the   largest manhunts in US history, there is no proof as to whether he is alive or dead,” said Chepesiuk