February 6: “Black Caesar,” Drug Kingpin Missing since 1973. Author Talk with Ron Chepesiuk
Ron Chepesiuk will share eye-opening insights into the life and times of Frank Matthews, the first African-American drug kingpin.
Matthews’ intriguing life story ends in an unsolved mystery involving the then 30-year-old drug trafficker who jumped bail and disappeared without a trace in 1973 with a beautiful, teen-aged mistress and estimated $20 million in cash.
In between his birth and disappearance, Matthews, who was known as America’s top cocaine and heroin trafficker in the 1970’s, managed to rise quickly from numbers runner to head of his own drug empire.
Along the way he dared to defy the Mob as well as the Corsican Mafia. Matthews, who rejected threats from the Genovese and other crime groups, was the first African-American crime boss to establish direct ties to the “French Connection” heroin pipeline. Described by a federal prosecutor as “a pioneering giant of drug distribution,” Matthews was arrested in Las Vegas in 1973. By then, his five-year-old criminal organization based in Brooklyn was importing heroin and cocaine from Venezuela and distributing the drugs in 21 states.
The Author Talk will be held Saturday, February 6, at 1 p.m.