In the recent post on this blog, “What Game is Xi Playing”, my friend MikeW brought up Person X.

At night, Person X would spend HOURS at night on the phone with Asia. He had run up on the order of a $100K phone bill when $100K was a lot of money. I asked why the phone company hadn’t shut down the service.  He said, “The FBI has a Title 1 running on the line. They won’t let the phone company shut it down. (Title I of the ECPA, which is often referred to as the Wiretap Act)

At this point in time, among other things Person X had been involved with the Phoenix program in Vietnam, an Investigator for the US Senate, to wit, Senator Frank Church (D-ID), who was a force to be reckoned with in the Senate in his glory days. He’d also been the head of the Philippines Anti-Kidnapping Police, and Special Assistant to Vice President Joe Estrada (Philippines) – amount other things. To be fair, he was chatting with the great and near-great on the phone. He’d do something provocative from time to time to keep the wiretap renewed so that he didn’t have to pay for the phone.  He owned a brick factory in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon and had other business interests and needed to stay in touch.

MikeW, how long did the ex-SAVAK guy drive for him? A few years, I guess.

If you run around Asia long enough (and often it doesn’t take that long) you run into ex-pats that share some of the characteristics of Person X, but rarely somebody who has lived a more colorful life than Person X. There were characters in that crew that included the (in)famous WoFat, Tom from SF, MikeW, and so forth.

I recall one time, Person X called me at about 2 am and told me that he had barricaded himself and that the Garden Grove (CA) Police Department. SWAT Team had his place surrounded. I asked him why and he replied, “because they’re cocksuckers.”

In those days, I rarely had a full night’s sleep and I pulled on my clothes, got in the car, and drove there from home (about 45 minutes with no freeway traffic). It didn’t take long to find the command post and yes, the GGPD SWAT team had deployed around the condo where Person X lived. The neighbors had been evacuated and the PD gave them blankets. They huddled with sleepy eyes.

I flashed creds, “What’s. going on?”

“He was shooting out streetlights from his condo.”

I offered to contact the desperate man and arranged a surrender.

As I recall, Person X was working as a defense investigator for the late Alan M.May, esq. at the time. May was a defense attorney who had served in the Nixon Administration as a legal counsel. Person X made a lot of money defending organized crime figures. and drug lords. When May died in 1991, he went to work for noted mob lawyer, Oscar Goodman (later mayor of Las Vegas) and played himself in the 1995 movie Casino.  Oscar got a few more seconds than Person X on screen. Much of their part ended up on the cutting room floor.

MikeW, I don’t think that Person X showed up in Chicago – so you must have not had your room invaded. I’m trying to recall that. Was he in prison at the time for burning Ping’s whorehouse down?

I monitored activity associated with Person X and noted that his fourth (or fifth) wife, Linh, reported a handgun that had been registered to her, stolen. I asked Person X about it. He said, “She did that because she’s planning to kill me with it.” I asked why she’d want to do that and Person X gave me a long (really long) list of motivations. I later spoke to Linh about the stolen handgun and she said that she had it and she reported it stolen because she planned to kill him. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when he arrived home in the early hours of the morning, drunk, and rather than void his bladder in the toilet, he voided all over her. Linh herself was a gangster chick from a gangster family.

I have never seen somebody go through money like Person X. When MikeW said that he would be a millionaire one week, broke the next, and a millionaire the week after, that is precisely the case. He bought a red Jeep when he lived in Irvine, CA, in Turtlerock.  He had a magnetic sign that he put on the side and he’d go out and steal vegetables in the fields under the guise of agricultural research. I brought groceries because if I gave him money, he’d drink it away. Then one day he had a new red Mercedes that he paid cash for. He pulled in $150K for a defense investigation fee. A week later, he was back harvesting vegetables. All this is 100% true.

Love was a battlefield to Person X. He was often married to more than one woman at the same time. He appeared on the reviewing stand next to Mayor Oscar Goodman with Linh, Ping and Wiena on the occasion of the Las Vegas Independence Day celebration.

He had one or two white wives with kids before Anh. Then came Linh. After Linh came Ping, and when he was released from prison (from burning down her whorehouse in Vegas), the Bird Lady, then a Thai woman that I never met. There were girlfriends, one of which was a real gem who set him up. He spent a year in federal custody and was exonerated. After that, the Vampire lady who he is with today. I think that he’s found peace.



  1. “because they’re cocksuckers.”

    This actually explains a lot about the world.
    I dunno about GGPD in particular, but generally speaking it often boils down to exactly this.

  2. I’ve read that a common thread among millionaires is that the real trick is learning to make their first million. After that, it’s pretty common for them to lose it all, then make it all back. Usually many times.

    Hint: you don’t get there working for someone else for a living – unless you’re big athletic or other entertainment star.

  3. Ok, you remade my point..amazing stuff. Reality – as above – is tangibly more cool than fiction.

  4. I’ve known some pretty strange and interesting people, but never anybody that far off the reservation.

    Close, but nothing on an international scale….

  5. I worked for several years for a professional bull rider who followed the same trajectory as Person X, just on a much smaller scale.

  6. Well, he was bound to be drunk and broke every other week if he was married to more than one woman at a time!
    What an interesting character. Still, people who can do these sorts of things are usually “extra” extreme.

  7. Larry. Answering your questions.

    I think the ex-SAVAK guy drove Person X for three or four years. However, having said that, I am not exactly sure. Sometimes, when he arrived at places, I was already there, or arrived after he did, so never saw who was driving him.

    With regards to Chicago. No, Person X was not there. I did, indeed, have my hotel room to myself or, at least, did not have it invaded by Person X. I am not sure where he was, but, from memory, I don’t think he was in jail at that time. It was, I am sure, before the Great Whorehouse Fire. I do remember that, at one stage though, he had problems travelling, as he had no credit cards.

    A couple of incidents from Chicago stick in the mind. One was that, going down for breakfast one morning, it was snowing heavily, and this was in, I think, April. Coming from much warmer climes I had no winter clothing. The second was when you and I went to the Sears Tower. We went to join the queue, like normal people, and the uniformed Chicago PD guy, pulling duty at the security checkpoint, called us over and, never having seen either of us before, and not knowing us from Adam, said “You guys don’t have to go through that crap”. He then opened a small gate and let us through, and then put us on an elevator that took us straight to the top. Obviously, we didn’t look like Islamists.

    There was a young, late teens/early twenties, white guy who showed up at Person X’s and Ping’s nuptials. Arrived late and left early. Person X said that said young white male was his son. I had never seen him before, nor have I seen him since. From memory he never spoke a word the whole time he was with us.

    The others there, besides myself, were Mark H, who rented a room at Tom’s house at onetime when he (Mark H), had been temporarily kicked out by his wife, for fathering a child with a Chinatown cocktail waitress, and two youngish San Francisco PD guys, one was named Wong, I think his first name was Wesley, but am not sure, with the passage of time. He had been a protégé of Toms. The other one, whose name I cannot recall was, I think, Wong‘s current partner.

    One thing Person X had, and probably still does have, I not having seen him in several years, was a magical way with words. I remember the beautiful eulogy he gave, straight from the heart, using no notes, at Tom’s funeral, that had tears running freely down my cheeks. Wofat, who had been like a brother with Tom, was particularly affected, as were a number of others, and these were hard men, some very hard.

    The church was packed to overflowing that evening, with many mourners being forced to stand outside, as they could not fit in. Inside, the right hand pews were filled with those on the “right” side of the law, albeit with many of us operating close to the line, in the “grey” zone, and those on the left were filled with the “cream” of San Francisco’s Chinese and Vietnamese criminal fraternity, along with business people, bar hostesses, cocktail waitresses, normal people, and others who, I believe it was Waylon Jennings, called “girls of the night”. These were real, top tier, gangsters too, not your street level gangbangers. Bosco was there, accompanied by both his wife and his then, main mistress. The service was conducted by the San Francisco PD chaplain, assisted by a naïve looking, younger, priest.

    Tom had two daughters and, at the church, the elder of them, for some reason, attached herself to me, and the younger, who was a bit of a “wild child”, attached herself to Person X. The older one later joined the Coast Guard as an officer and, after she got married, I never heard from her again. What happened to the younger one I don’t know.

    The wake was held in an Irish club and, like the church, it was packed. Our small group was standing by ourselves, off to the side, when we were approached by the naïve, young, padre. I remember his opening words were “You people look different than the others, so I came over to see why.” As most of us were drinking Jamison’s Irish Whiskey, we offered him one. He accepted, requesting a small one with plenty of water. I approached the barman and passed on the padre’s request. “Is this for the priest?” said the barman. When I answered in the affirmative, the barman said, “Well, we know he really means it the other way round,” and proceeded to pour out a very large shot, with a couple of drips of water in it. After three or four of these, the last being straight Jamison’s, and listening to our conversation, the padre said, “Yes, you people certainly are different” and staggered off. After the wake our group adjourned to Bosco’s bar. for the remainder of the evening.

    How we got to Bosco’s I don’t remember, as I know I did not have a car. Nor did I know where I was when I woke up in bed mid-morning. All I knew, was that it was definitely not my hotel room. Strangely, there was no one else in the apartment. I found out later that it belonged to a hostess from Leon and Traci’s bar on Noriega who had taken pity on me and taken me home. I am not sure of the name of the bar now, although Amazon comes to mind. When she had left for work that morning, she had decided not to wake me. Leon had been Toms partner on the Asian Gang Task Force and, after his retirement, had bought the bar and married Traci. Unfortunately, the bar no longer exists, at least under their ownership, and I have lost track of them.

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