Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Lufthansa Heist Revisited

Edward's Demise -- The First of Many

The van that Edwards failed to dispose of was found on Wednesday night, two days after the robbery. For reasons known only to Edwards, he left the van on a Brooklyn street in a no-parking zone. The van had been stolen from a Long Island couple, who had parked it in Flushing, Queens, the day before the robbery. Fingerprints had been discovered on the interior of the van and on Kerry Whalen's wallet, which had been left behind.

The day after the van was discovered, there was a Christmas Party at Robert's Lounge. Paulie Vario, who had been living in Florida, flew up to attend and was joined by two of his brothers. Hill points out, "Everybody was there except Tommy DeSimone, because Paulie didn't like Tommy around."

Despite the fact that the discovery of the van was a hot topic, Edwards attended the party. Hill recalls, "Stax was crazy. We're all having a good time when Stax Edwards sees my wad and starts to do his 'black dude' number. 'How come I'm fucking broke and all you whities from the May-fia got the money?' He starts joking about the 'May-fia guys who got all those millions from the airport'"

Hill vividly recalls, "I knew that Stax had signed his death warrant that day."

For his indiscretion of not taking the van to be destroyed, Edwards became the first murder victim of the heist. Edwards was shot in the back of the head on the night of December 18, in an Ozone Park, Queens, apartment where he was "lying low." In The Heist, Volkman and Cummings claim a Lucchese family "emissary" met with Tommy DeSimone to convince him that because he was a friend of Edwards', he was the best man for the job because Stax trusted him. When DeSimone balked at the request, the "emissary" allegedly said, "You can be made on this." Whether this is true will never be verified. Hill claims that a few days after the party DeSimone and Angelo Sepe visited Edwards. They found him in bed and left him there with six bullets in his brain. However it went down, there has been no argument to the allegation that DeSimone put an end to Edwards' life.

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