Gertrude Henschel, 56, was found dead at her Miami Shores home on June 9, 1962. A widow, Mrs. Henschel had been out playing cards at a friend’s house and returned home about 11:30 PM when she was assaulted. She died around midnight, hands and feet tied with curtain cord and mouth tightly gagged. A ring had been violently taken from her finger and her house had been ransacked.
Mrs. Henschel was found the next afternoon; she had been multiple bruises and had suffocated on the gagging. The Dade Sheriff’s Office handled the homicide investigation.
Mrs. Henschel’s dog, an aging cocker spaniel named Bonnie, normally barked frequently, but neighbors heard nothing that night. Bonnie was found in a locked bedroom with a pan of water.
We noticed that the were commonalities between what happened to Mrs. Henschel and what we had found in other cases from the same area and time period. Here is some of what we uncovered.
Miami Shores Police had received an anonymous tip about a prowler at Mrs. Henschel’s address soon after midnight, but a patrol car did not see anything amiss.
A similar call was made following the burglary, tying and gagging, and homicide of Estelle Oddo on October 23, 1966. Someone entered the sliding glass rear door of Mrs. Oddo’s apartment and left her bound and gagged. She suffocated. Two doors down, lived George DeFeis and Joe Cacciatore. A voice print analysis of the call received by the Dade Sheriff’s Department revealed that the caller was George DeFeis. Not even the detectives on the case were informed of the results until the ‘posse’ informed them in 2013.
Someone had left Mrs. Henschel bound and gagged in 1962. Same for Mrs. Oddo in 1966. Someone had also left Aaron and Sally Goldman bound and gagged following the kidnapping of Danny Goldman in 1966. The kidnapper entered the Goldman home through the rear sliding glass door.
Although there were a number of “suspects” in the murder of Gertrude Henschel, including Tommy Griffin, no arrests were ever made.
The information, links, and physical evidence that indicates culpability on DeFeis, Cacciatore, and others named on this site, have yet to be officially acknowledge by local, state or federal authorities.
The volunteers’ investigation into the kidnapping and disappearance of Danny Goldman has led to significant findings and revelations in numerous other cases, all linked in various ways to the same people and course of events. The context of all of the cases combined enables a new understanding of each individual crime, how this all transpired, and why it was covered up. To see the whole picture, read through the entire site.
The extraordinary effort of a small team of volunteers has turned into a historic event in itself. Never before has a private, pro bono, public service, volunteer effort become a huge investigation and exposure of organized crime. Discovered in the previously hidden web of these cases are the Mafia, the Syndicate, organized crime leaders and associates with many common familial and organizational ties to Brooklyn, to New York City, to Tampa, to Chicago, and of course to Miami. Their reach and managed activities extended across the United States and to Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and throughout the Western Hemisphere. Answers that had been considered eternally elusive have been found by the volunteers and provided to family members of cold case victims. The information on this web site is a public report of findings at this point in time, and the work continues. Cold cases involving organized crime are often in a protected mode, with official action long foreclosed as “administratively closed” and even before that, the cases were effectively derailed. However, citizens dedicated to truth and justice – and accurate history and public awareness – can clearly make a positive difference for the present and future of communities and the good of our nation.