Florida's dubious history told in true crime series

Jul 12, 2018

South Florida From Crime To Crime -  A look into South Florida's unqiue true crime history. 

A WLRN Original Production  COMING SOON  

Since the latter part of the 19th century, people have flocked to Florida looking for adventure and opportunity. Out of this vast untamed swamp land came a tropical oasis so seductive it's nickname became The Magic City casting a spell on all things good and evil.  From pioneers with shady business deals to the iron fists of mob bosses and from corrupt politicians to rogue drug dealers, South Florida has had its share of dubious deadbeats. These are stories of the darker side of the Sunshine State as we delve into the complicated, yet fascinating past of South Florida from Crime to Crime.    



Catering to those who are seeking a different kind of history lesson, we feature the Crime Tours Museum in Fort Lauderdale, the nexus of notorious behavior.  Here you can put yourself at the scene of the crime and learn the twisted history of South Florida from the super sleuth of lawlessness, Chris Mancini. His experiences as a longtime attorney and his love of history is what led to opening  the museum. It has floor to ceiling displays, exhibits, original newspapers, and artifacts that will give you insight as to how South Florida rose to fame through the many illegal activities that took place.     



The Case of The Clinking Brassieres

A 1950's theft ring in which women who worked in the counting room of Miami's Southern Bell Telephone Company would stash rolls of quarters in their bra.  The money was stolen before it was placed in coin counting machines, which made it almost impossible to determine how much had been taken.  Southern Bell was embarrased and reluctant to press charges.  After an audit, it was estimated that $100,000 in quarters was taken from The Southern Bell Telephone Company.  News of this scandal spread like wildfire and it became nationally known as the "Case of The Clinking Brassieres".  



 Shortly after John F. Kennedy was assassinated, it was revealed two weeks prior that an undervcover Miami police informant met with right wing radical racist, Joseph Milteer in a downtown Miami Hotel where he predicted the whole conspiracy in perfect detail and it was recorded on tape.  Excerpts from the survellience tape are featured in this show.  To hear the whole uncut version WLRN obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration, click below.  The conversation varies on subject and even Dr. King's name is mentioned.  Reference to Kennedy comes up at 15 min and 44 seconds into the discussion.  

THE 305 GOES 007


The 305 Goes 007

 Crooks, crooked cops and corruption might be the obvious criminal activity, but it's the not so obvious that makes you wonder who your neighbors really are.  South Florida happens to be the perfect place for a spy to blend in and go unnoticed for years.  Suburban secret agents have been here since World War II where  German spies commincated with U-Boats in an effort to sink ships.  Ulitmately they were  responsible for sinking 100 ships off the coast of Florida.  In more recent years, we've had one of the largest spy rings ever known to have operated on US soil and it was being orchestrated through Cuba.  From Nazi spies to Cuban spies we learn who's been watching us and sharing our secrets. 


Interview with Chris Mancini - Attorney/Author/Historian
Credit Evellyn Santos

The Crime Tours Museum in Fort Lauderdale is the perfect backdrop for the South Florida From Crime to Crime series.  Here the WLRN team which includes veteran DP Felipe Marrou and Producer Mia Laurenzo, interviews crime history aficionado Chris Mancini who guides us through these twisted tales. 

Filming scenes for "Case of The Clinking Brassieres" with Raudy Colon and Yetcel Jimenez
Credit Evellyn Santos

Some stories are met with the fun task of re-enactments.  This is a scene from the "CASE OF THE CLINKING BRASSIERES" played by Raudy Colon (L) and Yetcel Jimenez (R).    

Filming opening sequence of South Florida Crime to Crime. Chris Mancini as Gumshoe Detective.
Credit Yetcel Jimenez

This scenes falls under the heading... "BECAUSE IT'S COOL" and was the mastermind of Chris.  Indeed it was cool and it is part of CRIME TOURS MUSEUM OF MURDER AND MAYHEM. 

Special thanks goes to Felipe Marrou of VTM Productions, the Wolfson Archives for historical news footage, the Miami Herald archives division, the National Archives and Records Admisnitration and the staff of the Crime Tours Museum.  

Read about the Crime Tours Museum in the Sun-Sentinel