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It's around seven p.m. on July 30th, 1984. If anyone saw U-Haul driving south on a five, nothing would seem unusual. Three young men sit in the cab, normal cargo in the back. But if someone, cops say, would have pulled them over to take a closer look, they might notice how tense the man in the middle is or they might open the back and see the dead body. Dean Kanae is the guy in the middle. He stares at the radio dial squeezed between Joe Hundert the Wheel and Ben Dosti on his right.
They've been driving south on Interstate five for hours. The sun is low on the horizon, blasting through the passenger side window in another life. This would have been Dean's perfect day. He's with his best friends cruising down the California coast at sunset. But not today. Dean steals a glance at Joe. He looks infuriatingly calm given the situation. Dean is convinced he can smell Eslami final hours, the vomit, chloroform, piss and saliva coming through holes, he punched through the top of the trunk trying to give the guy air when he was still alive.
The sounds of the man's cries still echo in his ears. Dean thinks this must be what madness feels like, this was supposed to be just a kidnapping they were supposed to pick up raises farther from his home in San Francisco, bring him down to Los Angeles and get him to tell him where his money is. He wasn't supposed to end up dead, at least in Dean's mind. He wasn't sure. Joe told him they probably kill rasas, father after they got what they wanted.
But Dean was sure Islamiyya would cooperate. And if he didn't, Dean thought he could talk Joe out of it after they got the money. Too late for that now. And they don't even have the money. Rasas father died for absolutely nothing. Dean's thoughts race. Who has he become? He's not a murderer. He's a good guy. And Joe taught him that the ends always justify the means. Sometimes drastic things have to be done. One can kill and still be good.
That's the paradox philosophy. But right now, Dean still hears the echoes of the dead man's cries and still smells his fear. The silence in the cab is killing him. Finally, Joe breaks it. This isn't a problem, we'll figure out how to get his money. Dean takes a deep breath. Of course we will. Joe always has a plan. Everything is fine. It's around 10, 30 p.m when they get back to Los Angeles, Dean Durex, Joe to the safe house off Beverly Glen that he rented to hold Hidayat Islamiyya Raisen gym, pull into the driveway behind them.
Reza Dean almost forgot he was there. What must he be thinking? Murder was never part of the plan. Reza doesn't look upset. He doesn't know his father's dead yet. Joe tells him, hey, Jim, take Reza home. We're good here. Dean watches them leave. Joe instructs Ben and Dean to help grab the trunk containing the body they struggle to get it into the house. Dean surprised how heavy it is. Islamiyya isn't a big man, but as a corpse, he feels twice as heavy.
Once inside, Ben snaps out of whatever trance he's been in for the last few hours. He becomes frantic, speaking in rapid patter, and Dean can't calm him. What are we going to do with the body? What are we going to tell? Everyone shut the fuck up.
Joe snaps Dean and Ben freeze. This is the first time they've seen Joe lose his patience. Joe taps his temple as if he's willing his brain to work. Maybe they can get Breza appointed conservator of his father's assets. Then they'll essentially have control of the 30 million. Or maybe Reza knows where the money is. But first, the body. There's no reason to destroy the corpse. Joe says even if it's found, the police will suspect the ayatollah and the Iranian regime.
Let's just dump it and be done, he says. They'll drive north to Soledad Canyon, where Joe and Jim buried Ron Lhevinne. No one's found anyone yet, so it stands to reason they won't find Islamiyya either. Joe and Ben lay out a big blue tarp in the living room and struggle to tip the trunk. Eslami near tumbles out to Deanne's horror. Islamiyya stays curled up, stuck in the fetal position. Rigor mortis. Joe says he sounds disturbingly calm for a man handling a dead body.
He tells Ben to search Eslami Niu's pockets for anything that could identify him. Then they lift the heavy corpse and put him back in the trunk, then takes the brunt of it, trying not to look for gag while cradling a dead man in his arms. Then they fold up the TARP double check. They have everything from the living room and carry the trunk back out to the U-Haul.
Ben is now ghostly white. He looks like he's going to be sick. Ben, you can leave if you want to go. Says. Ben practically runs to his car and drives off lightweight Joe says, as he and Dean climb back into the U-Haul cab. Dean wishes he could leave, too, but he feels the need to look strong in front of Joe, so he chuckles and agrees. It's well after midnight when Joe finally turns off the freeway onto a dirt road climbing high up into Soledad Canyon, the U-Haul strains up the steep hill.
At a crest, Joe pulls over and cuts the engine. The boys drag the trunk out of the back of the U-Haul into the lip of the cliff. They open the lid until the temporary coffin until Islamiyya rolls out and over the side of the hill. His body rolls down the steep hillside until he disappears into the darkness of the canyon.
They don't say a word as they get back in the truck and head for home. A stop at a trash bin on the side of the road takes care of the tarp. A dumpster in Sylmar is the final resting place for the trunk, the rest of the supplies go in a gas station dumpster in Van Nuys. Outside of their condo at Wilshire Manning, Joe Parks, the U-Haul on the street, he's been quiet the whole ride back. Now he finally speaks.
Dean, you did a good job. I'm really proud of you. Even after everything, Dean finds himself blushing, he's glad it's too dark for Joe to see Joe's approval still means everything to Dean. We get support from Audible, we're all fatigued from screens, and listening is a great way to occupy your mind while giving your eyes a much needed break.
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I promise you, there's something for you on Audible to start your free 30 day trial, visit audible dot com slash boys club or text boys club. All one word to 500 500. Again, that's audible dot com boys club or text boys club to five hundred five hundred. From one, I'm Tracy Paten with Timothy Olyphant, and this is Hollywood and Crime Billionaire Boys Club. On our last episode, a botched kidnapping left the boys with another body in their count.
That's two men dead at the hands of the BBC and they have no money to show for it. How long will Joe Hunt and the rest of the BBC be able to get away with it?
This is the third episode in our six part series, The To Do List. Here's Timothy Olyphant.
It was December of 1983, and the newly formed BBC was settling into a groove, Dean would play delivery boy, unpacking lunch orders from Spago, passing them out to the boys seated around the walnut conference table in the BBC offices. Joe paid for lunch for the BBC Boys almost daily. Dean never looked at the receipts. He didn't need to. He knew Spargo was pricey, but Joe was always generous with money.
The boys usually wandered into the office sometime around 11:00 a.m. and sat around shootin the shit.
If it wasn't Spargo deliveries, the boys would take long lunches at the Hard Rock and call them meetings. They'd sit around working. Then they'd go out to expensive dinners and swanky L.A. parties. Joe Hunt was the exception. He came in every day at seven a.m. and stayed long past dark. He called meetings and set the agenda.
This December day, as the men dug into risotto with braised veal tongued Joe rattled off a list of new companies they created in the last few months. Their most promising venture was called Micro Genesis. It struck a deal with an inventor, Dr. Browning, a few weeks ago to develop a machine he invented called the cyclotron. The machine was designed to crush large rocks into microscopic pieces, but Joe saw additional possibilities, like producing silicon chips and glass lenses and millions of dollars for the BBC.
If all went according to Joe's plan, they had new investors bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars each quarter. Dean could feel the excitement in the room as Joe talked up their acquisitions. It'll be millionaire soon. They were a winning team.
Joe looked every member of the BBC in the eyes. The room fell silent. I just want to congratulate everyone on all your hard work, we recruited a lot of new investors, but that doesn't mean we can relax. We need to work harder. We need to think bigger. I want investors who can put up millions, no more, 50000 dollars here, 100000 there. Come on, guys. Think who do we know?
Someone in the room tossed out a name, Ron Leverne. Never heard of them, Joe said. Ron was a wealthy Beverly Hills businessman who was known for throwing around money when it came to investing, a couple of guys heard rumors he was gay, but the few who actually knew him clarified.
He was more like the kind of guy who would rather be seen with a bunch of handsome young men than actually sleep with them with a group of handsome young guys. Dean chimed in, This should be easy.
The group laughed until one of the other boys warned Joe and Dean that they needed to be careful.
Levin had a reputation as a scammer and a bullshit artist, but Dean wasn't worried Joe Hunt could handle a scam artist with his eyes closed. Two days after his father's abduction, Raises sits in the BBC's break room, sipping an espresso he's reading the San Francisco Examiner headline reads, Missing Iranian leader feared dead or held by Khamenei. Their plan worked.
Every paper is reporting that his father was kidnapped by the ayatollah. No one would ever suspect he was kidnapped for his money. With the help of his own son, Reza feels the slightest pang of remorse, but only for a moment. He's pleased. Raises father is finally getting what he deserves. He's imagined his father in the basement of the safe house for the last two days. Reza doesn't want to actually witness the torturing of his father. He's not a total psychopath.
But knowing it's happening feels amazing and so will spending his father's money. Just then, Joe walks into the break room and sits down across from Razif. Joe's eyes are so dark, Reza can't tell his pupils from his irises. Reza, your father is dead. Things didn't go exactly as we hoped. He died during interrogation. Reza stares at a crack in the linoleum. He's surprised by the emotions that flood through his head. Reza secretly wished for his father's death for years.
But now, hearing that he will never see his father again raises frozen conflicted. He would have never guessed he'd feel anything about his father except anger and hatred. He tells Joe he wants to see the body. He wants to make sure he's dead. Joe considers for a moment, and I'm sorry, but it's best you don't know where the body is. But regarding your father's estate, let's go to my office. Razor blindly follows Joe into his office, he's still holding the newspaper in his hands, but realizes that he's crumpled it into a ball.
Raisa takes a seat and Joe calls for Dean to join them. Then the two of them walk Raisa through a detailed plan to take control of his father's assets. Again, we are very sorry for your loss, Dean Biggins. Raisa knows he should be listening, but he can't focus all this planning and they didn't get his father's money. We want to appoint U.S. conservator of your father's estate, Dean says.
This gets raises attention. The BBC in-house attorney, Jerry Eisenberg, is preparing conservatorship applications as they speak. Evan Dicker will notarize a backdated power of attorney certificate with a forged signature. They'll backdate the certificate to April 14th, 1984, four months earlier.
No one will be the wiser. Not even Evan will know the truth. Joe told him the original was lost and they're just replacing it. Evan didn't ask questions. Joe smiles. You'll finally get your father's money just like you wanted. Raise looks down at his shoes, trying to process. He feels foggy. Is this what he wanted? He did right. He led Joe and Dean to his father.
He hates his father and he does need money. Raziel looks up at Joe and Dean, OK? He finally says, I'll do whatever you want.
Joe wasn't sure what to expect the first time he visited Ron Leverne, he brought his right hand man, the original BBC members, Dean and Ben, with them. It was winter of 1983, and whoever he was imagining wasn't even close to the guy who opened the door of the posh Beverly Hills duplex. Levin was tall, middle aged, with striking white hair, he wore a crisp white bathrobe and white velvet slippers, his legs were bare. He smiled like the Cheshire cat welcomed boys.
The whole picture screamed enormous wealth and casual confidence. Or it was all a sham. Joe wasn't entirely sure, which was a wee early? Joe asked sheepishly. No gentleman, Levin said, sweeping them into the room. I've been expecting you.
Ben and Dean followed Joe into the living room, and he saw it was money to Joe took in the darker leather couch, raw silk chair, casting carpeting.
He picked up a golden egg from the chrome coffee table.
Is this Faberge? Levin smiled and plucked it out of Joe's hand. What else would it be? I picked it up in Europe last summer. The furthest Joe ever traveled was Chicago. But he could play confidence just as well as anyone.
Sit down, boys. Scotch. Levin poured himself a glass, almost daring them to say something, it was, after all, nine thirty in the morning. No thanks, Mr. Levin, Joe said. But I do appreciate you seeing us this morning. Joe was looking forward to this meeting. Four weeks after Joe had heard about Levin. He did some recon and then Levin talked to Joe on the phone bragging about graduating first in his class from Harvard Law School, his impressive career as an attorney at an L.A. law firm, and his dramatic ousting when he was accused wrongfully, of course, of tax fraud and disbarred.
Joe made some calls and learned that none of this was true except for the tax fraud, Joe could sniff out a liar when he saw one. He himself was one of the best. After all, 11 crossed his legs and spread his arms wide across the back of the couch.
So what can I do for you, sir? We've heard a lot about you. Levin waved him off. This time, whatever you've heard, don't trust what they say about me, boys. I'll tell it to you straight.
Joe, Dean and Ben all settled in. Levin told the boys stories about his scheming. He once needed extra spending money, so he leased a BMW 533. I then sold it for 20000 dollars in cash. He once pulled his Rolls Royce up to the front of a Louis Vuitton store and asked the salesman how much luggage would fit in the trunk. He insisted they fill his car as a test, and then Levin drove off with the luggage. He once convinced Panasonic to lend him one hundred and thirty thousand dollars worth of camera equipment to be used as props in a movie and instead opened a video production company with the equipment over refills of Scotch.
Ron Levin even bragged about the constant lawsuits against him. He had five or six going at any given time, even enjoyed playing plaintiff in bogus suits he initiated himself. Ron changed his phone number practically every week to avoid the horde of bill collectors. The last time he filed for bankruptcy, Levin said his petition to the court listed 750 creditors. That's the honest to God truth, Levin said. Any questions? Joe was stunned. He'd never met someone so proud of his felonies or someone so self-possessed by his own ego and arrogance.
Joe knew he met his match and mentor in Levin. Over the following months, Joe was relentless about getting someone to invest in the BBC, Joe played to flirtatious side and Levin lapped it up. Over lunch one afternoon, Joe told Levin his suit looked amazing. Amaney sure knows how to make a man's ass look great, he added. Joseph, the price of you checking me out is worth the price of our money alone. I want to take you shopping after lunch.
My treat. I think you look great and Hugo Boss, if Joe saw someone as a target for money and intellectual jousting partner, Levin saw Joe as a plaything. Yet there was a tacit understanding they were playing the same game. Now, all Joe had to do was get Ron Levin to invest some serious dough in the BBC. So far, so good. Shouldn't be too hard. Just thought. Change is always a constant, but these days it feels like there's something new to grapple with every day, we may be adjusting to this new normal, but it's still stressful and it's important to talk about it and seek support.
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It's after hours and the BBC offices are empty, except for Jim Graham, resident bodyguard and in-house attorney Jerry Eisenberg, Jim Porres, Jerry Ascott from the minibar in his office, Jerry's sitting behind his desk feet up, leaving Marks on the desktop. He lights a joint. It's been a year since Eisenberg joined the BBC in August 1983. Jerry Eisenberg was 24 and a recent graduate of Loyola Law School. A buddy of his mentioned this hot new business called the BBC.
Jerry was confused. What's the British Broadcasting Corporation doing in Los Angeles? Not that BBC is friends said this place is better. He agreed to set up a meeting with their founder and CEO, Joe Hunt.
On a hot August afternoon, Jerry wandered into the Hard Rock Cafe and spotted the boisterous group amid celebration. Their confidence was magnetic. A well-dressed boy with perfect hair in a movie star smile approached Jerry. Jerry, hey, the boy stuck out his hand. I'm Dean. Let me introduce you to the guys. Dean led Jerry over to the table. I'd like to introduce you to Jerry Eisenberg, everyone. He just graduated from Loyola. Dean seems like the cheerleader of the group.
And then there's the leader. Jerry doesn't have to be told. He can just tell there's a young man sitting back watching everything unfold around him. The boys are loud, rowdy, shouting out drink orders and insults. But this guy looks like he's sitting at the beach. This is our founder, Joe Hunt. Dean said. Joe stood and shook Jerry's hand. Welcome, Jerry. Our waitress should be around soon. Get whatever you want. Joe orders himself a cheeseburger medium well and a mineral water.
Then Joe starts in grilling Jerry. He asks Jerry what he knows about partnerships, taxes and real estate. Jerry has an extensive background in all of the above. Joe seems pleased. Jerry's impressed with Joe's knowledge as well. For a guy without a law degree and he's so damn confident, Joe finishes his burger and wipes his mouth with his hand, he turns to Jerry, I can pay you 1500 dollars a week cash for 20 hours of work per week.
You'll get an office secretary expense account and percentage of profits from any deal you work on. Give me an answer in 24 hours. No hard feelings either way. Jerry doesn't need 24 hours. It sounds too good to be true. Sure, he wants to change the world, be a lawyer to do good. But actually, Jerry's interested in one thing making shitloads of money and the BBC seems like a good place to do it.
Not too much ice, Jim. Jerry says here, Jim, hands them the glass. It's been a crazy year. And just like Joe promised, life is good at the BBC. He's making money, closing deals and has a great group of friends and a lot of weed. Jerry takes a hit and passes the joint to Jim. His favorite time of the day is after everyone's gone. It's quiet. Jerry Downs his scotch in one gulp. Over the last year, Jeri's watched Joe make a lot of money and really grow the BBC, but he's also been privy to more information than he bargained for.
He's watched Joe do sketchy stuff with investors money, and he's encouraged Jerry to commit a few questionably legal moves. Thankfully, nothing's been too bad. He walks across his office to the mini bar to pour another drink before he heads home. Did you know Islamiyya is dead? Jim says. Oh, shit, that's bad. Jerry Freese's mouth of the decanter hovering over his glass. What? Jerry asks, how do you know that? Jim tells Jerry they kidnapped Islamiyya to get his money.
He tells Jerry that Islamiyya died while they were working on him. At least that was Joe's story. I was only there for the kidnapping, Jim says. And Islamiyya was very much alive. Jim was only there for the kidnapping.
Jim, I can't hear this. Jerry puts the Scotch down and rushes to pack his briefcase. He collects papers off his desk, not even looking to see what they're about. He's determined to get out of there as fast as possible. I'm a lawyer and I want to keep being one I can't hear anymore. Jim stays in his chair finishing the joint. See you in the morning, Jerry. It's a few days after Jim's news, and now Jerry and Dave are sitting in a red leather booth at Dupas Restaurant.
Thanks again for having lunch with me, Dave. The waitress hands them gigantic plastic menus. It's 11, 30 a.m. and the place is empty. Just one older man sits at a bar stool, drinking burnt coffee and reading the paper. Dupas is a quaint old diner that's been around since the 30s.
They serve their food on red and white checkered plates with paper napkins. A BBC member would never be caught dead in the place. It's the perfect place for a covert meeting. Dave and Jerry have become close friends over the past year. They often go out to lunch together, trading grievances about the BBC. Things are really getting weird around there, Dave says over his burger and fries. Jerry laughs. You don't know the half of it. Jerry works on his tuna mountain tab.
They complain some more dancing around what they're each here to discuss. Jerry hopes Dave can corroborate Jim's story about Flaminia, but he can't just bring up murder over lunch. And he doesn't want to drag Dave into this if he's not involved. So Jerry's ready to wait. He's a lawyer, after all, and trained to get the truth out of anyone. Jerry orders dessert and coffee, determined to stretch their lunch hour well into the afternoon. Finally, Dave Caves, did you know Joe killed Ron Levin?
Jerry is stunned, his bite of coconut cake stopped just before it reaches his mouth, he manages to croak out. How did you know? He announced it at a private meeting a few months ago. Dave says Jerry feels the color drain from his face. Two murders in two months. Are you OK? Dave asks. Jerry can't speak. What the hell kind of place is this? What is he got himself into? Jerry puts his fork down and wipes his hands on his napkin to try to hide how much they're shaking.
He asks Dave if he's all right with all of this. Hell no, Dave says, I already told my dad he's getting me a lawyer. I can't condone this bullshit. We're going to the cops. Ron Leverne slipped his credit card into the snakeskin billfold at Mr. Chow's, an upscale Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills. When the 350 dollar tab came, Joe tried to pay first, but Levin flashes Amex gold card and insisted it's hard to get a reservation at Mr.
Chow's. Usually there's a two to three month lead time, but Ron Levin just walked in. You could tell Joe was impressed and Ron enjoyed watching his young protege impressed, the two had been spending a lot of time together since they met four months ago. Joe reminded Ryan of himself 20 years ago, cocky and conniving, able to get people to do what he wanted. The waitress brought back the billfold and placed it in front of Ron as he signed the check.
Joe shifted the conversation to the cyclotron and his company, Micro Gen.. Joe set his briefcase on the table and started pulling out papers. Take a look at this report, Ron. I think you'll Joe Levin cut Joe off. Let's wait until after dinner to talk shop. Joe around. Come on, kid, I don't want to get soy sauce on the papers, Levin smiled. Ron, I'm not going to let this go. It's a huge opportunity for you.
Levin laughed. OK, fine. Tell me how much money you're going to make me. Joe showed Ron marketing reports and news articles about the invention. At the end of his pitch, Joe mentioned that an investor put up one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for optioned rights to the machine. Levin was thrilled. He laughed harder than he had in a long time. Joe puffed out his chest, proud he finally got Levin interested in the cyclotron. When he stopped laughing and said, give me the name of the guy, if you can convince him to put money into that thing, I could sell him the Brooklyn Bridge.
Ron, this is a great opportunity, Joe urged someone cracked open his fortune cookies, scattering crumbs all over Joe's papers. I'm not interested in the cyclotron, Joe, but I liquidate investment at E.F. Hutton this afternoon. I put some money in a commodities account for you to trade. Joe sat up straighter, but his face stayed blank, kids got a good poker face left and thought. How much money are we talking about? Joe asked. Five million, two hundred and twenty five thousand one hundred eighty seven dollars.
And 50 Cent's. Joe cracked a smile. While reliving the glory days of our favorite teams was fun, we are all thankful that sports are finally coming back in partnership with the athletics All-Star team of local and national sports reporters. The lead is a daily sports podcast that keeps you updated on the biggest stories in sports.
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Detective Less Zola pulls at the collar of his shirt and takes a sip of his coffee from the to go copy picked up at 7-Eleven, he feels out of place in the expensive attorney's office. But this is where Tom and Dave May wanted to meet.
It's August 9th, 1984, Carol Levin first called him on June 7th, Zola had been officially assigned to the Ron Levin Missing Persons case on June twenty third. In early July, Zola sent Levin's dental records to the Unidentified Persons Program in Sacramento. The pathologist commented that Levin had extensive dental work, distinctive and expensive. Out of the 3500 John Doe's reported in the past year, none matched 11 up until a few days ago, Ziller was still convinced Ron Levin skipped town to avoid the litany of felony charges against him.
But the call from the Mae Brothers attorney made it clear he might be wrong.
May's attorney has been keeping them waiting for 20 minutes. Zola sits in the attorney's office with Tom and Dave, me and Jerry Eisenberg. As soon as Dave told Jerry about the murder, he joined forces with the brothers. They called the police and set up this meeting with Zola. Sorry to keep you waiting, gentlemen, Mee's attorney says as he enters his office. He gestures to Detective Zola to speak.
A murder investigation under ordinary circumstances is like gathering grains of sand to assemble a boulder.
Zula says to Dave, But you dropped a boulder on me with this one. Dave glares at Soula, the Beverly Hills Police Department sure took its sweet time with the sand collection part of the process. Dave says he hands a copy of the Micro Genesis contract to the Detective Joe for someone to sign this before he killed him. This would explain the one point five million dollar check from Levin to the BBC. Zollars studies the contract for a moment. It's time to search Ron Levin's apartment.
Dean sat in Joe's office, Joe was on the phone. Dean listened in, this is bullshit, Joe said.
He slammed down the phone receiver, knocking papers to the floor.
Joe was usually so calm that Dean something must be really wrong. What's going on? Dean asked as he picked up the papers from the floor and put them in a neat stack on Joe's desk.
Joe got up to shut the door, but he didn't sit back down. He paced the room behind Dean. Our commodity firm is threatening to liquidate our account, Joe said. Why? Because we're not covering our losses like they want us to. But they don't need to be concerned. The numbers will go back up and everyone will be happy.
Dean was afraid. Joe was playing fast and furious with their new investments, just like he did last year in Chicago. But he didn't tell Joe that Joe didn't seem worried, which is Dean's mind a bit. Ron Levon's recent five million dollar investment gave them both new hope, a fresh start. They'll be playing with substantial big boy money now. When do we start trading Levon's five mill? Dean asked. I have a call with a broker today at two, Joe said.
Ron had one stipulation for trading his money. He wanted Joe to use his own guy. Ron set up his account at Klayton Brokerage with a broker named Jack Friedman. Jack, this is Joe Hunt. Hello, Joe. I've heard a lot about you. Ron tells me you're a hotshot young trader.
Dean listened as Joe did his magic on the phone with Friedemann. Dean silently cheered him on. Joe was charming, persuasive, and by the end of the call, Friedman was eating out of his hands.
Dean clenched his fists triumphantly over his head as if Joe won a marathon. Dean was constantly blown away by Joe's finesse and expertise with Friedman. Joe was in his element. Tom May's phone rarely rang. In fact, he could count the number of times on one hand that his BBC line actually rang. He picked up it was a broker from the BBC's Beverly Hills commodity firm. Why are they calling me? Tom wondered to himself, what can I do for you?
The broker was direct. Mr. May, I'm calling about the BBC's trading. We're going to need a deposit of one point five million by the end of today or we'll be liquidating your account. Tom was confused. I'm sorry. Why are you calling me your names on the account? Tom slammed down the phone and marched into Joe's office. Joe tried to calm Tom down, but he was upset. He and Dave each gave Joe every cent of their remaining inheritance money, nearly 100000 dollars each.
And Joe blew it all. OK, the bad news is I've lost all your money, Joe said. But the good news is that if you just hang in there, I will pay you back three hundred thousand each.
Joe went into a wild explanation of how the losses were not his fault. He blames some antiquated policy of the brokerage firm. He told them he'd make it back with Ron Levon's five million. Joe gave Tom his word. Detective Les Zola sits at Ron Levin's desk in his sleek, monochromatic bedroom, a white Rothko hangs over the king size bed. The whole room is white, the carpet, the furniture, drapes, pillows, all white, except for two glaring exceptions, the green bedspread and the yellow stain in the carpet where kosher pede the detective scan, stacks of papers and bills, and Ron Levon's Home Office.
The number of creditors coming after someone is mind boggling. Jewelers, caterers, art dealers, car dealers, computer salesmen, three accountants, six lawyers, even a haberdashery.
It seems Ron Levin owes money all over Los Angeles or has cheated many out of money. Zola has never seen anything like it. There are even criminal and civil charges from a bank in Boston, but none of this is news to anyone who knew. Leverne newspapers described him as a con man and a thief. In stories about his disappearance, Zola wonders how Levin slept at night. Can I get you water or anything? Detective Marty Levin appears in the doorway.
No, thank you. Zola was initially met with resistance from Ron's stepfather, Marty, when he requested access to Ron's duplex, Marty was worried the police were investigating his stepson's crimes. But Zola assured him he was only interested in Levon's disappearance. He wanted to find out what happened to him. I found these papers on the floor next to Ronnie's desk, Marty says, as he hands seven yellow legal pad pages to Zula.
I don't know what to make of them. I wonder if they have any significance. Zola glances at the papers. Lewyn to do list is scribbled at the top of the first sheet. He scans the pages close blinds, taped mouth, handcuff, kill dog. Detective Zola drops the pages on the desk. He doesn't want to get more fingerprints on them. This is evidence these pages contain a murder plan. Zola looks back at Marty. Yes, Mr. Leverne, these do indeed have some significance, probably significant enough to get an arrest warrant, Zola thinks, to himself.
Hey, BBC listeners, by now, you know, Joseph Hunt would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. Not lying, not kidnapping, not even murder, but how many bodies would he buried before the truth came out and how did he get away with murder?
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By August 2nd, 1983, only a few weeks after Joe began trading Levon's five million, the account was down to four hundred and sixty two thousand dollars. Joe had been trading aggressively. He pushed his luck too far again. But Dean still believed in Joe.
Dean brought Joe an energy drink. As Joe took a call with Jack Friedman, Dean gestured to put Friedman on speaker. Friedman didn't sound as encouraging as Dean hoped. In fact, he seemed to be reprimanding Joe. Giving him a lesson and trading a standard rule of thumb for trading an account worth a million or more is to keep at least half in reserve. You put nearly 100 percent of your capital at risk. Friedman went on to explain that even a 10 percent drop in the margin would wipe them out entirely.
Sure, Joe was cocky, but he wasn't an idiot. He listened to all of Friedman's advice. Joe agreed with Friedman's assessment. They discussed the best moves to make next. By the end of the week, the account was back up to five million. Dean knew Joe would turn things around. By August 17th, the account had climbed to 13 million nine hundred ninety seven thousand four hundred twenty eight dollars fourteen million dollars in two weeks. Levin was thrilled and decided to quit while they were ahead.
He closed the account from further trading. The profits would be split 50/50. That's four million dollars in the BBC coffers in just two weeks.
Dean handed out champagne to everyone in the office.
He couldn't stop bragging about his best friend and brilliant business partner, Joe. Ben passed out copies of the brokerage statement showing the nearly 14 million dollar balance. Joe watched the celebration, but stayed out of it. The Dean. There was one big difference between Joe Hunt and Ron Levin. Humility is BBK brothers high fives and popped open more champagne. Joe watched and listened as they cheered and made calls bragging to their friends about the BBC's windfall.
Now rolling in cash, Joe felt it was time to up their image. Dean couldn't agree more. In early October 1983, Dean signed his name to a two year lease at the Wilshire Manning, an elegant high rise condominium was how the brochure described the slick residential tower along Wilshire Boulevard, the cost of elegance, seventy three thousand five hundred eighty four dollars for a two year lease.
Dean slid the sign papers across the desk. The agent slid back their keys. Dean turned the key and stepped into the marble tiled foyer, which led into a massive living room. The three bedroom condominium looked like something out of The Great Gatsby.
From the balcony on the 15th floor, they could see downtown Los Angeles to the east and all the way to the Pacific Ocean to the west. Dean, imagine the amazing parties they would throw, they'd screen movies and rub shoulders with Hollywood's elite. Julie Andrews live right next door with her director husband, Blake Edwards. So what do you think? Dienes asked. Do you like it? You darn good, Dean, Joe said, nodding in approval as he looked around.
I have a favor to ask, Joe said. I was thinking to ask him, Brooke, to move in with me. Are you cool with that? The three of us? This took Dean by surprise. Joe and Brooke had only been dating about four months, but they were inseparable. Dean like Brooke, but he missed the early days of his and Joe's friendship. And with the BBC, Joe was so busy all the time. Dean wanted Joe for himself.
Of course, Dean said he swallowed his feelings. Be great. He couldn't start off his cohabitation with Joe on the wrong foot. Besides, Brooke always got what she wanted. That's something she and Joe had in common, Brooke was beautiful and she knew it at 17 years old. She was the California girl next door with a mean girl reputation, never afraid to put someone in their place. Brooke was quick to criticize and judge. She was instantly smitten with Joe, captivated by his self-confidence and Suadi good looks.
Joe seemed to be taken with her as well. Her father was Bobby Roberts, a successful record movie producer. Brooke's privileged upbringing in a gated section of Bel Air couldn't be further than Joe's, but her attraction to Joe was a testament to how far he'd come since his nerdy, impoverished high school days. Brooke's father was livid when she moved in with Joe and Dean, but Brooke didn't care. In fact, she enjoyed pissing off her father from time to time.
You guys should take the master suite, Dean said. Thanks, man. Joe waited outside someone's front door, he was fuming.
It had been two weeks since Joe traded Levin's account up to 14 million dollars and two weeks since he last heard from 11 of that 14 million. Four of it was Joe's. That was the deal. Levin had claimed the money was in the works. He'd wired soon. And when Joe and the boys pressed, Levin was condescending. These things take time, Joe. Joe headed back to the office. Word spread fast about his miraculous multimillion gains and just two weeks.
And he was itching to do more. The BBC's most loyal investor, Steve Weiss, was so excited by the news, he brought in 10 new investors. That was 40 people. Steve Weiss alone brought in to the BBC. Someone jokingly suggested that instead of Bombay Bicycle Club, from now on, BBC should really stand for billionaire boys club. Detective Zollars starts a string of arrests with the bodyguard Jim Graham, it turns out Jim had nine outstanding warrants for his arrest in Virginia under a different name, grand theft and some other lesser crimes.
One evening, late September of 1984, Zola arrest Jim Graham for his role in the disappearance of Ron Levin. Later that day, Dean Carney is sitting alone in his office praying that no one will knock on his door. Everyone in the office is talking about Jim Graham's arrest. Jim's arrest wakes up. He needs to protect himself. He's not sure what to do. Dean wasn't there for Levon's murder, but he's been haunted by Islamic Ania's for weeks.
He can't get the image of his dead body curled up inside that trunk out of his head. He killed the man. The fact that Jim was arrested for his involvement with Ron Levin's disappearance, not Islamiyya, is no consolation. It's only a matter of time before they come for him. Dean leaves his office and walks down the hall into Joe's. He closes the door behind him.
I think I'm going to move out of our apartment, he says to Joe. Dean's voice is unsteady. You don't need to worry. I'm not going to the police or anything. I just feel like I need some space. Joe studies Dean without reaction. His poker pokerface scarers. Dean It's always hard to tell what Joe's really thinking. I trust you'll do the right thing. I wouldn't want to hear that you're telling stories. I promise I wouldn't do that to you.
You should know that by now, Joe. A few days later, Dean packs up and moves back in with his parents in the Hollywood Hills. At 10, 45 in the morning on September 28th, 1984, Joe drives his jeep out of the Wilshire Manning garage. On his way to the office, he heads east on Wilshire Boulevard. Within seconds, flashing red lights catches eye in the rearview mirror. He pulls over, Detective Lessler approaches his jeep.
Are you Joseph Hunt? Zola asks Joe suspected this was coming? Yes, Joe says cautiously. I'm Joe Hunt. Zola flashes this badge. Then, Mr Hunt, you're under arrest for your involvement in the disappearance of Ron Levin. At the Beverly Hills police station, Ziller confiscates Joe's combination lock crocodile briefcase Zola makes Joe hand over his Rolex. Ron Levin gave that to me. We were friends. He wants to lay the groundwork that he and Levin were close.
This kid seems cocky. Zola thinks he might be tough to crack.
By Labor Day of 1983, Joe was thoroughly fed up with Levon's games, Levin owed him four million and Joe decided it was time to pay up. But Levin was avoiding him. Levon's made Let Joe in the duplex. One afternoon, Joe sat on the couch for hours, just waiting for someone to return. Joe stood up as he heard the key in the front door. He tried to look intimidating. Levin didn't look surprised when he opened the door and saw Joe.
How'd you get in here, your maid? I've got a reason. A good reason. Levin jumped in that I've been slow to pay you. I'll be the judge of that. Joe shot back. Levin told Joe that he reinvested the entire 14 million in a shopping center in a Chicago suburb and he doubled their money. A Japanese investment company just offered Levin 30 million for the property. Ron Levin turned Joe's four million into ten million. Levin smiled.
He was pretty pleased with himself. Detective Les Zola reads Joe Hunter's Rights, the interview room at the Beverly Hills Police Department is small, cramped and imposing.
The cinderblock walls are unpainted and there are no windows if you don't count the two way glass. Joe appears calm and collected as he sits across the table from the young detective. Zola asks Joe when he last saw Ron Levin. I saw him in early June. If I had a calendar, I could be more specific. We were extremely good friends, Joe volunteers. In fact, they were negotiating a business deal the week he disappeared. Zola keeps the conversation cordial.
Did Ron Levin give you a check for one point five million dollars?
Joe says yes. Ron purchased a company I own Micro Genesis. Has the check been cashed yet? Zola asks. No, the bank refused it. Have you ever been in Levin's house? Zola asks. Sure, a hundred times.
Then Zola goes in for the kill.
What do you know about these Zola slide's copies of the seven page to do list across the table? Joe reads the pages and silence. Finally, he speaks, I don't know anything about them. Did you write them? Zola asks, Joe hesitates. I think I should confer with my attorney. And that's when Detective Zola notices Joe is sweating for the first time since he was arrested hours ago, Joe Hunt looks nervous. Next time on Billionaire Boys Club, the bodies are piling up and the cash flow is still down then and raise a fly around the world to search for Eslami Ania's money, Joe learns that even in death, Ron Levon's a step ahead.
But Joe has a plan. He always does. This is episode three of six in Billionaire Boys Club from Hollywood and Crime. If you like our show, please give us a five star rating and a review and be sure to tell your friends. Subscribe on Apple podcast, Spotify, the Wonderly App or wherever you're listening right now. Join 100 plus in the wandering app to listen ad free. You'll also find some links and offers from our sponsors in the episode notes supporting them helps us keep offering our shows for free.
Another way you can support the show is by filling out a small survey at wondering dot com slash survey. And just a quick note about our scenes. In most cases, we can't know exactly what was said, but everything in our show is based on historical research. I'm your host, Tracy Pat. This episode is written by Michael Selvidge and produced and edited by Leah Sutherland, recorded by Julianne Nicholson at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood Sound Design by James Morgan and Kyle Randall for Bay Area Sound.
Executive producers are Marshall Louis, Stephanie Jenns and Ernan Lopez for wondering why.