Loud and Clear is the recounting of a search for the truth behind the Don Bolles murder in 1976. The investigative reporter, who specialized in ruffling feathers of organized crime was blown up in his car while at the, then, Hotel Clarendon in Phoenix. The reporter was there to meet with an informant who never showed. The blast from the bomb did not kill Bolles immediately and in the parking lot he named his killer and the organization’s behind it, John Adamson, Emprise and the mafia.
Written by Lake Headley with William Hoffman, the book tells about Headley; who was a private investigator, taking on an assignment from a support group who believed that the convicted Phoenix contractor Max Dunlop was innocent. Included in this was James Robison a plumber who was also convicted of the bombing. The reader is taken through the paces that Headley followed to find the truth.
Finding this book on the non-fiction aisle in the local library intermingled with Pat Garrett’s The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid, The Frontier World of Doc Holliday and Last Rampage meant that it obviously had to do with the Southwest. Anyone who reads the book will find a fascinating and disturbing look at the American justice system back in the 1970s and through the 1980s.
Reading about the p.i. and his search for information on who really killed the reporter is an eye opening experience. While the conclusion of the book had Dunlop out of prison and Headley, along his new girlfriend, recovering from an attempt to destroy evidence kept in their apartment that almost killed the couple, the ending of this “miscarriage” of justice was far from over.
Investigative reporter Don Devereux who was almost run down by a pickup truck early in his part of Headley’s investigation, still writes about the crime and the coverup run by police and local government officials in the state of Arizona. Once the book is finished, head over to the Internet and type in Max Dunlop and James Robison into the search bar to see the end of the story.
Or, conversely just type in Devereux’s name and this will lead you over to his blog.
Both men were railroaded by what can only be described as high-level kangaroo court where they were guilty because the prosecution wanted them to be. The book, Loud and Clear points out repeatedly that the only motive that the state wanted to pursue was the one that made the least sense. It was also the one which allowed known shady dealers and crime figures in the world of gambling to get off scot free. Not to mention a big political name who was already infamous for exploiting Native Americans.
Perhaps none of this is too surprising when one considers that Phoenix has been the haven of retired mafia figures for years as well as a stomping ground non-retired gangsters who have utilized the area for a number of reasons. If not surprising, it is at the very least terrifying to see how a few dedicated men whose pay packets obviously do not come from just the American taxpayers dollars, can usurp the legal system to allow killers to go free.
The late Lake Headley (he died in 1993) and William Hoffman present a clear case of purposeful misdirection and destruction of evidence by the people who are sworn to protect the innocent. While the book itself ends on a somewhat positive note, it was published in 1990, it is the later epilogue of event that chill.
Loud and Clear makes it seem quite dangerous to live in Arizona and reminds the reader to be very careful who they list among their friends if they do live in the “mafia” state. A real five star book for true crime readers who don’t mind that the story was not over when it was published.