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  • Randy Lanier

    linky:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Lanier
    Jez, this needs to be a movie. If you read further into this, Blue Thunder Racing's speed boat racing team was owned by Danny Aronow, who was one of the inventers of the cigarette boat and had connections to GHW Bush and Noriega. Aronow was murdered by Meyer Lansky's henchmen. Lanier is arrested and sentenced life in prison a year after winning rookie of the year at Indy. INcredible and extremely compelling; from the PINNACLE of his passion to Life in the clink one year later. He's the only person in America doing life in prison without parole for a non-violent conviction. Lanier's story would be a hell of a movie but I'm sure his attorney would have a thing or two to say about it happening since I'm sure he is trying to get an appeal.

    I know there are lots and lots of incredible and tragic story's in Indy racing like Zanardi ( I know, he never ran at Indy) Vuky, Donahue, Bettenhausen, Sachs, ect but this story satisfies the general public's thirst for movies about rags to riches stories about drugs, guns, murders, ect and adds another dimension with the Indy 500 and sports car racing.

    I don't have alot of compassion for him because many, many people (namely the guys mentioned above) have done it the right way and died in the pursuit but this story is just fascinating. Denzel's "The Hurricane" at 220mph.
    "In America, the winner goes to Victory Lane. And everybody else goes to the garage and should soak their tears in their beer and figure out how to be faster next week," Gossage said. "What's next? Certificates of participation for everybody?"

  • #2
    Don't know if it is true, but I like the story about Kelly Petillo. Seems he brought his own car to Indy for the race. Supposedly he shows up at the front door of Miller's garage. He said that the Offy in his car has a cracked head, and could Miller do anything for him. Well, so the story goes, Miller is real busy with Indy being just around the corner. But, he looks at Kelly at the door with his wife and children in tow. So, Miller repairs the head

    Kelly Petillo goes and wins the Indy 500. The next day, Kelly is at Miller's front door to pay off for the repairs.

    Side story, Kelly Petillo escaped from prison. The FBI caught him. Where else, at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the running of the 500.

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    • #3
      I believe Aronow was the original creator of the Donzi line of boats (get it...Don zi). I used to own one. I had heard his murder story before.

      Unfortunately in those days, there were several South Florida racers that bought there way into racing, including some NASCAR races, using money from illegal sources. Crockett and Tubbs helped put an end to that!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LaLaLaLola
        linky:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Lanier
        Jez, this needs to be a movie. If you read further into this, Blue Thunder Racing's speed boat racing team was owned by Danny Aronow, who was one of the inventers of the cigarette boat and had connections to GHW Bush and Noriega. Aronow was murdered by Meyer Lansky's henchmen. Lanier is arrested and sentenced life in prison a year after winning rookie of the year at Indy. INcredible and extremely compelling; from the PINNACLE of his passion to Life in the clink one year later. He's the only person in America doing life in prison without parole for a non-violent conviction. Lanier's story would be a hell of a movie but I'm sure his attorney would have a thing or two to say about it happening since I'm sure he is trying to get an appeal.

        I know there are lots and lots of incredible and tragic story's in Indy racing like Zanardi ( I know, he never ran at Indy) Vuky, Donahue, Bettenhausen, Sachs, ect but this story satisfies the general public's thirst for movies about rags to riches stories about drugs, guns, murders, ect and adds another dimension with the Indy 500 and sports car racing.

        I don't have alot of compassion for him because many, many people (namely the guys mentioned above) have done it the right way and died in the pursuit but this story is just fascinating. Denzel's "The Hurricane" at 220mph.
        Sort of, if you discount the fact that Carter was ultimately acquitted and his case didn't involve drugs...

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        • #5
          Didn't they finally apprehend Lanier after a lengthy manhunt and shootout that wounded an officer or agent? That may have had an impact on his harsh sentence. If that's true, he was lucky to be alive after something like that.
          "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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          • #6
            Recalling from the story as told in Gordon White's book on the OFFY engine. Petillo broke his engine on his 2nd qualifying attempt. Went and secured the first ever Offy engine to leave the shop on a credit arrangement. qualified on his 3rd attempt. The offy house mechanics massaged the engine a bit before the race and he won.
            To me one of the truly great stories from the brickyard. As i recall the story was that Petillo and his wife had $6 between them before he qualified for the race.
            Some People Race For A Living
            I Live To Race
            http://s210.photobucket.com/albums/bb87/Rickysuave44/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dalz
              Didn't they finally apprehend Lanier after a lengthy manhunt and shootout that wounded an officer or agent? That may have had an impact on his harsh sentence. If that's true, he was lucky to be alive after something like that.
              I think you're getting him mixed up with John Paul Sr., who was caught years after shooting an FBI agent.

              The story goes that Lanier made a deal with the Feds to testify against some others, then decided not to...and that was what led to the harsh sentence.

              Oh, and Lanier has already appealed and had it denied.
              "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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              • #8
                Lanier accepted a plea bargain and agreed to testify against his partners, the Kramers, relatives of Meyer Lansky.

                He changed his mind and my read on it is his life without parole sentence was payback for that change of mind. Evidentally, the Feds really wanted the Kramers and Lanier's testimony was essential to their case.

                His wife was also sentenced to prison for money laundering after Lanier had been in prison for years, but she's out now, and their daughter has graduated from college.

                I corresponded with him in Leavenworth a few times. He sent an autographed Indy ROY picture. He spends his time working out and playing chess.

                Years ago he was suspected of plotting to escape so they put him in solitary confinement for three years. His partner, Ben Kramer, attempted to escape by helicopter from a Federal pen in Florida. He also pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges arising from the murder of Don Aronow years earlier, but the state's case wasn't very strong. Part of Kramer's payback was the conditions of his internment.

                Read about it here

                Lanier was transferred from Leavenworth to Coleman I, a maximum security prison in central Florida, when Leavenworth became a medium security prison.

                All his appeals have been exhaused, so it appears he will live the rest of his life and die in prison.

                It nothing else, it's a compelling story.
                "You people worry too much. Strive for change. Root for your favorites. Enjoy the racing. Drop the flag." rev-ed, 3/04

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                • #9
                  Thanks KnockOff, it was your posts that I recalled. Hope I passed it along ok, though not nearly so well as you did
                  "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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