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-- the fall of 1963.
Frank Sinatra was on top of the world.
The legendary actor and singer was the leader of the glamorous rat pack which featured the likes of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis junior.
His records regularly made the charts and his movies we're still doing big business at the box office.
He was in the middle of filming another rat pack movie Robin and the seven hoods which co starred Barbara -- who also happens to be my mother had.
You know my name.
What was it like there on the set working with Frank Sinatra.
He'd -- -- Dean Martin and they those two were so funny together because I think dean not -- -- and intimidate -- back at the ball well.
But -- -- just love the way dean was.
Celebrity has always come with a price and for the Sinatra family that price would be a three day nightmare after crossing paths with an unemployed 23 year old stockbroker named Barry -- Down on -- -- he didn't calculated that he needed 240000.
Dollars in today's money around one point seven million.
To get is once thriving career back on track.
-- trying to think of anything connecting came up.
-- it's twisted mind it made perfect sense just grab a celebrity's kid and hold them for ransom.
They'd have the means to pay big bucks to get their child back and -- believed he would later paid back the ransom money with interest in your head this is just going to be.
Yes that's exactly start making a list.
People -- bombs bullets through very original.
Include Bob hopes on polio and dimension.
And finally settled on Frank Sinatra junior.
The nineteen year old son of old blue eyes was attempting to -- his own career as a crooner and had recently begun singing with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.
-- -- -- -- Song 27 year old John -- played trumpet in the orchestra fox files tracked him down to his home in Maine he just wanted to be -- him.
But what made the younger Sinatra such an appealing target for -- -- He was slight of build so if you tried to run or something we could contain him without hurting him.
And and I whose father was well known for being a tough guy and hanging out with the -- And -- I thought he could handle the stress so.
So writing a business plan for the sister -- I called the plan of operation.
Just like I would -- doing a real -- Do you -- his new plan of operation would require some seed money.
But Keenan was broke as the result of a car accident.
It's disable me pretty significantly and I've got addicted to pain medication.
Already an alcoholic.
Hand so my thinking was not very clear.
Very -- and may have been down and out but his good friend dean -- was flush with cash.
He and his singing partner -- -- had just have a number one hit the previous summer with their song surf city.
Keenan approached -- with his new business plan.
I'm not to say anything until I had finished by presentation.
It was here underneath the statue of Tommy Trojan on -- campus of the University of Southern California where dean Torrence was a student studying graphics.
That he and very keen and would meet to discuss -- bizarre plan to make some fast cash.
We had done business deals together in this post in my mind just another opportunity.
Did he tell you he thought you -- crazy.
But -- what did you say.
I said you know all I'm crazy -- lines should loan me 500 dollars and won't Molly and lets you met your class.
And he gave you more than one check throughout this whole anybody -- Three or four.
Keenan used the money to hire some help with the kidnapping plan.
The first call went to his mother's ex boyfriend up 42 year old house painter named Sean -- He had fallen on hard times when I was making a lot of money and I sent him and his family -- housing and car and so DOD the ideal -- and so I called letting him.
And so he reluctantly agreed -- on.
-- and began -- Sinatra and discovered that Sinatra junior was appearing at the Arizona state fair in early November of 1963.
So he and -- -- -- Phoenix with the intention of snatching him there.
But realizing they had made some key mistakes including leaving their fingerprints on a hotel phone they decided to abort their mission.
Arizona's Arizona was around when ball went on so forget about Keenan did.
Forget about it hell bent on pulling it off -- recruited another front a 23 year old shellfish diver named Joseph chancellor to help them with this plan.
He talked -- -- into rejoining the team and they -- plans to -- and opera from Los angeles' ambassador hotel.
The day they picked Friday November 22 1963.
The same -- president John F.
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Was weeping and he was completely.
Joseph was devastated as well and they were all done and a.
It wasn't long before Keenan was thinking about his next move.
-- -- So the hardest part was to get either George on to even answer my phone calls.
But eventually prevail and I knew if I mention anything about the abduction.
That Joseph would walk off so it's -- -- let's -- late -- and look for jobs.
In early December -- -- and chancellor wrote to Lake Tahoe which straddles Nevada and California.
But chancellor got the -- he had been duped when that you drove past Paris Club.
There's Frank Sinatra junior and Helen -- on the -- with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.
And -- almost hit me I can't say I'm.
In this interview with the -- expletives that he had came out it was but he was very upset and you didn't want -- upset Joseph because he was.
Very tough guy.
I said don't worry about a week just a coincidence.
So eventually calm down.
-- we ran out of money.
We have to -- -- and after you get back to LA.
At around 9:30 PM on the freezing night of December 8.
Keenan and a very nervous JoAnne Wheeler crept up two rooms -- seventeen Ed Harris is outlawed.
Inside frank junior and trumpeter Jon fox had just finished dinner before that night's show.
I raised my hand to knock on the door and Joseph -- no Kerry know and I -- -- That's why we're here knocked on the door and Frank -- took command.
Security -- -- package for frank junior.
Rory -- Darren.
Put the box down on the floor.
Really straightened out refuse.
Glove off the error -- small.
Revolt in his pocket from junior's face things.
Analysts and nobody -- don't do get hurt and at that point here.
Made -- grow wider on the floor.
Talk -- John fox and then pension and you know would you take mr.
-- down the car.
I am so wanted to -- -- hit me overrated big losers rightfully he wanted me out of commission.
-- -- object error him he didn't want to hurt and wish I was grateful for.
After hustling Sinatra into the back seat of their car and blind folding and -- and chancellor began the 450 mile drive back to Los Angeles in a blinding snowstorm.
And I ran downstairs.
And banged on the door and manages the motel and are convinced him that he needed to.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The police quickly set up roadblocks to try and -- the kidnappers.
We did give -- sleeping pill and some miscues I knew that we would eventually run into roadblocks salons and different appearances.
There may be allowing him play and if you do your part there's no reason for.
And you're just going to be sleep and all.
And you actually made it through roadblocks this that was set up specifically to Frank Sinatra junior that's correct.
So we've got back to LA and the rest is history.
It caused it pretty irritable for.
All thing -- -- And.
With a dazed and runs a nineteen year old Frank Sinatra junior in the backseat the kidnappers I -- their -- in the early morning hours of December night.
The kidnappers held Sinatra captive here at this house in the Los Angeles suburb of -- -- -- park.
-- don't park.
Inflicting for a place that didn't have neighbors your mind I -- -- -- junior.
While we were doing the deal.
When he got the news of his son's kidnapping I was stunned and frantic Sinatra abandoned the Robin and the seven -- production.
And immediately flew to -- on Sunday night.
A snowstorm prevented him from getting to Lake Tahoe so we established his own command center at the Mapes hotel in Reno.
The FBI was called in and this man 44 year old FBI agent.
I have two questions had to ask him right.
One -- what young frank who's this.
Just to get some publicity they said -- in.
It would never have been published rather than actually mask and do you think they're the mob has had -- -- connection with the kidnapping.
He said -- On Monday morning in Los Angeles my mother -- -- barber rushed.
Arrived on the Warner Bros.
lot to resume filming Robin and the seven.
Well it's the choreographer came out and she's had -- of something has happened.
Is just not to have believed.
I had heard on condition that seemed today.
And this was a musical number that I said Burnett could be good today she said no because frank junior had been kidnapped.
I smitten with.
Is it that Frank Sinatra's.
Has -- -- that you must be joking.
That morning crazed kidnapper very -- and decided to drive the nearly 500 miles back to Lake Tahoe.
To check out of his hotel and get rid of any lingering evidence Frank Sinatra junior remained in the -- -- -- parked -- out with -- Zeller and -- -- It was blindfold and almost entirely.
And it was he mistreated.
Not mistreated now -- John and -- assured.
Frank Sinatra junior but as long as he cooperated they would protect him from the higher ups would we have these mythical higher Serena come and beat him out of he did.
During that time they became close all three of them.
22 hours after his son was kidnapped Frank Sinatra got his first called from the kidnappers.
Only told him that junior was safe and to expect more -- The next morning at 11 AM they called again and Sinatra was instructed to go to a pay phone in a gas station in Carson City, Nevada.
And -- yet another call.
I kept telling him that.
Once we got them on the phone I want you to keep them on the phone -- long as you can.
To Trace the call.
They were able to Trace the phone from Los Angeles and he did doctor frank just to.
Find out but he was safe they told us -- That they wanted to -- 240000.
-- -- -- was told the next call would come that night at ex wife -- home in Bel Air California.
Sinatra chartered a plane to get them back to LA.
In the coming days Elson and his team turned -- -- not run home into an FBI command center.
Sinatra's daughter Tina who was then fifteen years old told fox -- exclusively about the family's ordeal.
And what it was like having the FBI living in their home.
They were -- and ever polite but they would not.
Indulge in conversation.
And how they would jump -- the sound good.
What Frank Sinatra like I mean was he composed was he -- -- he would call home.
He talked to -- -- -- It then Sinatra got the call he was waiting for the kidnappers told him to go to -- Texaco station near Bel Air -- was at that point.
Older -- -- call would be taken by the person carrying.
The money one of Nelson's FBI agents actually made the ransom drop at around 11 PM that night.
A series of phone calls led the agent to a parking lot filled with school buses.
Where he left the bag that contained 240000.
Dollars between two parked buses.
Were at the FBI not not not keeping an on on this in case.
Apparently they could not get close enough to it and he was ordered did win.
Drop the ransom money and it they told him after he left.
Then they would drop it on frank off -- that he would be released.
Chancellor should -- where the drop that chancellor suddenly passed Joseph he solely FBI guys.
Until little of that offense of the veterans cemetery so I had to go pick up the money myself -- never did cover.
Them coming out of that.
Parker not with -- and I got away got away at that point yes.
Following a call from -- and -- -- -- drops and knocked her junior Roth at the Mulholland over passable for a five freeway near -- later at around 2 in the morning when frank started.
Walk and every time he would sit -- of it would inducted into the bushes.
-- you thought maybe the kidnappers.
Would come back and pick it up and than his soft patrol corkum.
And -- killed.
Took it back this.
Answers about -- Everybody was -- -- -- publicity stuff.
The first thing we all wanted to do it hug and kiss him everywhere we were all worried that they started it.
After the kidnapping my mother Barbara Rush and Frank Sinatra never did get to do the musical number in -- and the seven highlights that you tell very -- -- that he might fail.
They thought it would be another singing in the rain and they have -- a lot of numbers including one -- my mom was going to be -- and she's better.
A lot of people get hurt from these kinds of crimes and and that we're totally innocent bystanders and I'm very sorry for them.
-- the first time I've ever heard about it.
The day after junior was returned home the Sinatra's had a party for frank senior who turned 48 years old that day.
But frank wasn't the only one receiving gifts.
I cannot take a present.
It is against the law and they said well open the box.
And take a look at it -- -- this.
-- -- watch and on the back they have.
For dean we love you -- some doctors.
You can't give it back to us.
After writing this letter to FBI director.
The day after Sinatra's birthday the case was cracked wide open went on her when -- involvement to his brother who alerted the FBI.
Within hours -- and chancellor were also in custody.
-- -- -- -- And sales.
-- -- Despite having given -- money for the plot dean Torrence was never charged.
When -- -- -- Laura and -- -- trial began in February of 1964.
The defense took the strategy of blaming the victim to dizzying new heights.
Ever the manipulator it was -- the Dubai.
Their at bats every time I talked to a lawyer who was that and truth not publicity stunt everybody -- Them.
But that gave me the idea.
All three have their own lawyers John Orleans attorney was the flamboyant Gladys route known for wearing outlandish hats to court.
She was a -- -- this month in her opening statement Gladys reclaimed the whole thing was a hoax orchestrated by frank junior purely for publicity.
In this trial transcript obtained by fox -- -- label the kidnapping quote an advertising ski.
And plan contractual agreement the Sinatra family was outraged.
I remember it mostly being -- extended and and -- the lawyer Gladys route she knew that that once you ring that bell it's it's wrong.
In his opening statement Keenan's lawyer Charles crowds also blamed Sinatra.
Saying that quote the actions of Frank Sinatra junior our suspect up chicanery from start to -- it.
It's -- on the front page of the papers from the -- news kidnapping hoax.
And little no realization how much grief it would -- frank junior.
It would really -- Like it that there are think are great.
But the jury did it why it -- -- pre trial and found guilty.
Joseph and I were sentenced to life plus 75 years.
And John who was not in the physical kidnapping was sentenced to sixteen years -- months.
But none of those sentences were actually -- down.
No the story takes another strange twist when a series of evaluations and appeals got their sentences drastically cut.
So that they were all back on the street by 1968.
Very keen and would -- want to become a very successful and sober real estate developer had to happen.
Dean Torrance comes back into the picture when I got out of prison he through a fund -- party -- And I use that money -- -- get back in the real estate business.
In the ninety's -- and tried to cash in again with the making of a movie about the kidnapping.
In 1998 so not -- citing California's son of Sam law which prohibits criminals from profiting from their crimes.
The fact that you might think of a barricade and his movies.
Re victimize -- Frank Sinatra junior.
That's when the first amendment's most important.
-- lawyer Steven Brody took the case all the way to the California Supreme Court which overturned the law in 2002.
There are times when that speech is unpopular.
Under the First Amendment we're gonna defend free -- Almost five decades later Frank Sinatra junior who declined our request for an interview is still performing at age 68.
John Irwin and -- -- are deceased and very Keenan is 72 years old.
You're not the same -- -- you -- that -- -- maybe soldier too little crazy but I'm not insane if -- and it was obviously a -- insane.
Act if Frank Sinatra junior was sitting in my chair right now what would you want to say.
Heartily sorry for the this whole.
On going mess that never has gotten resolved.
-- really violated my dad he believed in our legal system and yeah it.
I think it would something that we deeply what they can't.
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