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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:59 am 
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Descriptive Information, Herman Lavelle Butler
Full Name: Herman Lavelle Butler
Alias: Honey Babe
Places of Residences: Dallas, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Crossville, Tennessee; Denver, Colorado
Birth Date: 30 Dec 1927
Death Date: 28 May 1971
Social Security Number: 359-12-4116
Comments: Request all information on Herman Lavelle Butler. Pilot of a private plane, Aero-Commander tail # N601JJ, owned by Colorado Aviation Corporation (Aspen, Colorado) which crashed on May 28, 1971 killing all occupants including Audie Murphy, Raymond A. Prater, Claud D. Crosby, Jack Blaine Littleton, and Kim Reed Dody. Possibly connected to Fiore Buccieri, a well-known organized crime boss out of Chicago. Request all information on Herman Lavelle Butler and any relationship between Fiore Buccieri and any other racketering / mob organization. Possible organized crime connections in New Orleans. Also request any and all information regarding the relationship between Herman Lavelle Butler and Audie Murphy, Kim Reed Dody, Claud D. Crosby, Herman Lavelle Butler, and Raymond A. Prater. Request any information in the relationship between Modular Properties or its subsidiary Modular Management (Atlanta, Georgia) and Herman Lavelle Butler. Request any information between Herman Lavelle Butler and Michael James Fitzgerald, President of Colorado Aviation Corporation, Aspen, Colorado, and President of American Western Plastics.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:41 pm 
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It's looking pretty good so far. The one thing I will note is that there is some evidence for Colorado Aviation-the outfit that Butler and the AeroCommander belonged to-being tied to the New Orleans mob in a roundabout way, rather than to the Chicago mob. So, I don't know what would come out of asking for Buccieri cross-references on the crash victims, but it can't hurt to ask.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Sounds good. After I add the last victim (Butler), I want to look a little bit at the plane and the company that owns it. I think there could be a trail there. I am going to add that as a separate research project. The New Orleans connection really interests me. I am wondering if the fellows on the plane should be cross-referenced to that organization as well. Can you share the details on what you know about the New Orleans mob connection?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Because of the enormity of the potential results that we may receive, I want to split this thread into new threads. For this reason, I am going to create new threads on each of the airplane individuals. As we collect new data on these fellow, and/or acquire their FBI files, I would like to post the files and data to the new threads. This will facilitate easier discussion and analysis of the individuals.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Re: Colorado Aviation, and Herman Butler, it looks like you've done part of the homework already. Michael Fitzgerald was named in the wrongful-death lawsuit Pamela Murphy initiated with regard to her husband's demise. So was American Western Plastics. Here's a legal appeal filed by Michael Fitzgerald and Dalton Carl Smith with regard to some financial chicanery they got convicted of, relating to American Western Plastics: http://vlex.com/vid/america-dalton-carl ... s-37634081

Dalton Carl Smith, or D'Alton Smith, had mob ties, being the son-in-law of New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello and having been involved in various attempts to get Edward Grady Partin to recant his testimony against Jimmy Hoffa. You will find Smith's name mentioned in connection with Murphy's attempts in that direction, for instance.

Re: the FBI files, I just want to reiterate that FOIA requests are reputedly very slow in being fulfilled, so it could be a year or more before we see any results on that front.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Good news!

As it turns out, Dave Phillips has already requested all of these files and is waiting to hear from the FBI. It should come as no surprise to anyone either. Dave has always been an amazing researcher. Always on it, always digging.

I just communicated with Dave, who is back very briefly from Africa. He let me know that he has already requested all of these files back around February 26, 2011. In fact, Dave told me about this when he made the request but I forgot it. I guess the quake rattled my brain ... or maybe the fallout did. Regardless, Dave is on it.

For this reason, no need for anyone to sponsor any requests... particularly since there may be costs involved.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Christie wrote:
Re: Colorado Aviation, and Herman Butler, it looks like you've done part of the homework already. Michael Fitzgerald was named in the wrongful-death lawsuit Pamela Murphy initiated with regard to her husband's demise. So was American Western Plastics. Here's a legal appeal filed by Michael Fitzgerald and Dalton Carl Smith with regard to some financial chicanery they got convicted of, relating to American Western Plastics: http://vlex.com/vid/america-dalton-carl ... s-37634081

Dalton Carl Smith, or D'Alton Smith, had mob ties, being the son-in-law of New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello and having been involved in various attempts to get Edward Grady Partin to recant his testimony against Jimmy Hoffa. You will find Smith's name mentioned in connection with Murphy's attempts in that direction, for instance.

Re: the FBI files, I just want to reiterate that FOIA requests are reputedly very slow in being fulfilled, so it could be a year or more before we see any results on that front.
Thank you for the link Christie, and the information. I haven't seen this before. It's very interesting. Also, the information on the mob ties is appreciated.

No problem on the file requests either. My previous email and message was posted before I saw your reminder on how long it takes to receive these.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:37 pm 
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OK, quick update: my request for information on Claude Crosby came back as "no records found." I'm not a hundred percent sure whether that's truly the case or just the result of me framing the request badly, but in any case I'm going to focus on requesting case files by number for a bit and see what happens. A word of advice to anyone interested in requesting FBI files on Murphy's associates: be sure to ask that the FBI search "the central indices and any and all additional indices pertaining to criminal investigations before 1974."

Anyway, this gives any interested party a rough timeframe for how long it takes the FBI to determine whether or not they have files relevant to a request (6-7 weeks). Obviously if they'd actually found something, they'd have to review it to figure out what they were going to charge for processing it, and what they needed to redact, send a release form for the requester to sign, get the form back, physically send the information out, etc. Which would all take longer.

And while we're on the subject, you can't make FOIA requests pertaining to the old US Customs Service (Department of the Treasury) from its successor Customs and Border Protection (under the Department of Homeland Security umbrella). Just looked into that today.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:20 am 
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Sent in a request to the FBI for info on Herman Lavalle Butler, using the SSN Richard had dug up. Two weeks later, got back a note saying about the same thing as the response on my Claude Crosby request. So, actually having an SSN did speed the process up quite a bit at least.

I've also done some requesting of the case files whose numbers I located in Murphy's FBI file; those are going a bit better, insofar as the FBI seems to be actually finding them and figuring out what parts they're willing to release, instead of just saying "nope, can't find them in the central indices, nope, not gonna look for them anywhere else." Haven't actually seen anything from them on this yet though, this is just based on the online status-checking feature on their FOIA website.


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