Junk Mail & Murder

“Ted Ammon had stood out, even in frantically upscale East Hampton, as an exemplar of novelist Tom Wolfe’s steely-nerved “Masters of the Universe,” riding the market boom of the 1980s and 90s to a fabulous fortune. Yet he was also a man of complex emotions. In the months before his death, approaching what he hoped was the end of a protracted divorce and sticky child custody battle with his wife Generosa, he had been quietly reassessing the life-choices that had brought him both great wealth and great unhappiness. Had this attempt to rethink and remake his life triggered a sequence of events that ended it?  …..The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon –and the ensuing weeks– profoundly jarred Ammon. Hoping for a little quiet repose to take in all that had happened, Ammon drove out to the East Hampton house October 19…..   On Saturday afternoon, he called his sister and told her that he was by himself and that he planned to take a long walk on the beach with his three dogs and clear his mind….” http://www.russbaker.com/archives/Gotham%20Magazine%20-%20article.htm
Ted Ammon’s significant business relationships and the timing of his death suggest another possible set of questions: did he have foreknowledge of September 11 and the Anthrax Attacks? Did he tell his wife Generosa, or did she guess, acting out of fear to protect and insulate herself and their children?  Was Ted the kind of man who “grew a conscience” which might ultimately threaten the secret power establishment?  “In 1990, he testified against junk-bond king Michael R. Milken on KKR’s behalf” [businessweek link below]…and throughout the proceedings against him, Daniel Pelosi “asserted that Ammon’s complex financial dealings held the key to the murder..”
Ted Ammon’s memorial on October 29 at Lincoln Center drew a crowd that included Ted’s close and powerful business associates –Henry Kravis, Roger C. Altman and Leon Black– but not Generosa. Was it more than a case of bad feelings about the divorce? Were these the people Generosa did not wish to see? And what about her speedy death from cancer? Pelosi called it “assisted suicide”. In the weeks before her death, Generosa changed her will and left her last statement with an illegible signature.   
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“If Ted Ammon were alive, he would likely be using much of his fortune to better the world, say friends. These days, his money doesn’t seem to be doing much good at all.” http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_42/b3854107_mz020.htm
                                              
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The CDC was left without a clue as to how the last two anthrax victims were contaminated. That didn’t stop them, however,  from offering a best guess despite a total lack of evidence –junk mail! Some junk mail comes in envelopes with addresses and looks ‘processed’ but most of the colorful flyers are added by letter carriers at the point of delivery. Ask them to ‘Keep It’ and they might tell you that the Post Office gets paid to give it to you. “Recycle it!” they suggest. Most of it probably goes straight in the trash, even the post office has to throw it away. In fact, the inexplicable contamination at a stamp center in Kansas City came from the postal employees wastebaskets. These are the same type of ads that get folded into newspapers and at the time of September 11, the biggest US producer of advertising ‘inserts’ was Big Flower Holding Corp., or Vertis Inc., bought out by American Media Inc’s owners, T.H.Lee and Evercore Partners.
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June 29, 1999 – “NEW YORK (CNNfn) – The board of Big Flower Holding Inc. agreed Tuesday to a $1.9 billion cash and stock buyout offer from two investment firms, ending a three-month effort to find new strategic partners.
   The New York-based advertising and marketing company’s board accepted a tender offer from Boston-based Thomas H. Lee Co. and New York-based Evercore Capital Partners to merge the firm into a newly created private investment firm to be controlled, in part, by current Big Flower management…Big Flower founder and Chairman Theodore Ammon and other company managers would retain a portion of their equity stake in the new firm” http://money.cnn.com/1999/06/29/deals/bigflower/
>>>T.H.Lee and Evercore, with David Pecker, had just purchased American Media Inc. in May of 1999.
 
In the months before the September 11 attacks, Big Flower Holdings’  founder  Ted Ammon was stricken with an acute case of altruism that “transformed” his behavior, according to people who knew him, but hardly anyone really knew him, it seemed.  At the time, he was being drawn into a “bitter divorce” from his wife Generosa that had been ongoing for nearly a year, and which ultimately resulted in Ted’s fatal beating by her “lover”, Daniel Pelosi, on the night of Oct.20, 2001. Two days later, on the 22cd, Mr. Ammon’s worried friend and publishing industry colleague, Mark Angelson, took a private helicopter out to the Hamptons “beach house” on Long Island and found Ammon’s battered body in bed. Three months after Ted’s death and one day after the divorce was legally finalized, Generosa Ammon married Daniel Pelosi. She stood to inherit 80% of over $200 million that the Ammon’s were reputed to be worth.  For two and a half years the high-profile case remained unsolved; Generosa supposedly divorced Pelosi before she died at age 46 in August of 2003, and he had spent the better part of their year-long marriage in jail on lesser offenses.  Finally in March of 2004, Pelosi was re-arrested and brought to trial for murder.
 
But there’s little-to-no feeling in this case that the circumstances of Generosa and Daniel’s love affair , or Ted Ammon’s murder by Daniel, is probable. Motive for Generosa’s planning of the murder suggests she was about to have her beneficiary status changed. Even so, wouldn’t she have kept valuable property and sufficient millions for a lifetime of comfort? She had an initial divorce offer of $25 million and a share in five homes and several business properties.
 
Daniel Pelosi, convicted of  Ammon’s murder, says “the Ted Ammon case is not solved”. He believes he was set up, saying that he didn’t see “it” coming [long-term incarceration]. Pelosi made a “deal with the devil”, he admits. He liked the money and there was lots of money, but he didn’t kill Ted Ammon. The anger in Daniel Pelosi’s eyes is convincing enough, even if he practiced his story for 5 years, to suggest he was in over his head, and that his girlfriend Generosa Rand Ammon, could have also been manipulated herself. Did “the world’s worst divorce” case really cause Ted Ammon’s death? Is it bizarre that Ammon was murdered within hours of the anthrax attack going ‘postal’?
The 2008 jailhouse interview: 
Pelosi maintains he didn’t do it, that he was set up to be a ‘fall guy’, lured by money and a luxury lifestyle to participate in what he thought was going to be a form of extortion –what he called a “tune up”, a beating of Ted Ammon that “got out of hand”– but he wasn’t there on the night of the murder, he claims. He says he was monitoring the murder events 120 miles away via a laptop computer that was hooked up to a secret surveillance system which he had installed at Generosa’s request. She was there in the room when Ted was killed, he says. 
Pelosi said he had “the best lawyer in the world” who told him never to tell what really happened. The lawyers were indeed the best in the business, and they eventually came to control the Ammon fortune as executors after Generosa’s ‘untimely’ death, reputedly from breast cancer, but from what Pelosi called ‘assisted suicide’ in which they participated. From the beginning of Pelosi’s trial, the lawyers assured him his defense was paid for. Daniel Pelosi believed he’d be “out” in two years with $2 million in his pocket…
 
Journalist Pablo Guzman, who taped a 2008 jailhouse interview with Daniel Pelosi, writes [lawyer] “Michael Dowd told me, on the phone, ‘He’s full of…baloney.’  I got the sense he was going to say something else. ‘He is just repeating things that have been disproven.’  I can just see Mr. Dowd’s face. We have gone over this ground before, in person. To say he despises Daniel Pelosi would be an understatement. ‘I certainly was never his attorney…I don’t believe for a second Generosa had anything to do with it. And as for his assisted suicide claim — she died of breast cancer and was at Lenox Hill Hospital. I don’t think they do euthanasia at Lenox Hill Hospital…I suspect that I will be forever inflicted with Danny Pelosi. Like somebody with a bad itch.’  Dowd also refuted the notion that he had something to do with images from the surveillance system that are missing…I point out to Pelosi that even if he didn’t do it — he still knows too much.”
According to the Business Week article linked above “Dowd has his hands full. He was recently forced to testify in front of a Long Island grand jury about the laptop computer that was used to gain access to the security system at the Hamptons house the weekend of Ammon’s murder. Dowd admits the laptop ended up in his firm’s possession after the murder but says it “was burned in a fire.”
Gerald Shargel who led Pelosi’s defense, is known as “Gotti’s lawyer”, noted for securing a 1991 acquittal for ‘the Teflon Don’ John Gotti, and represents other Gotti family members. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Shargel . He takes on high-profile cases like the ‘David Letterman extortion case’ http://news.muckety.com/2009/10/05/gerald-shargel-has-another-high-profile-client/20721?tpLink  The Gotti’s, by default at least, are close to David Pecker and American Media Inc’s empire. Victoria Gotti was working at the Post during the anthrax attack: 
   “Victoria Gotti was a columnist at the New York Post and US tabloid Star” [wikipedia]. “Gotti, 39, began contributing to the paper [New York Post] on June 10, 2001.” http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2003/04/05/2003-04-05_gotti_s_toast_at_the_post.html; the Post let her go in April of 2003, and she moved on to an editing job at the Star.
“Star was the brainchild of Rupert Murdoch, the Australian press baron now bent on ruling the heavens with his global satellite network. Pecker, the former CEO of Hachette Filippachi Media U.S., has his quirks–he has sought advice about how to operate his company from Victoria Gotti, daughter of the late celebrity mobster John Gotti, and hired her as a Star editor.” http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/11/01/8189577/index.htm 
  
Shortly before Daniel Pelosi was arrested for Ted Ammon’s murder in March of 2004, Victoria Gotti was given a promotion by her employer, American Media Inc:
“January 22, 2004 | From Associated Press
Victoria Gotti is going to be busy. American Media Inc., publisher of Star magazine, has named Gotti editor in chief of its new publication, Red Carpet, described as a look at the luxurious lifestyles of celebrities. She’ll also star in her own reality show for the A&E network, which will chronicle her personal and private life. Both Red Carpet and her new TV show, not yet titled, will launch in April” http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/victoria-gotti 
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Ted Ammon
“In 1983, after his law firm finished work on a deal with Kohlberg Kravis &Roberts, he jumped ship to the LBO firm. “He came up with a deal a minute,” one colleague from the company remembers. “One we joked about was buying the Postal Service.”  Like others at KKR, he became a multimillionaire from the fabled RJR Nabisco deal.” http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/n_8941/index1.html “[After] leaving KKR, Ted named his new business Big Flower Press, a company that published ad inserts for newspapers, after one of the kids spotted a field of sunflowers during a car trip and shouted, “Big flower!” The company eventually grew to include 32 businesses with revenues of $2 billion; Ted sold it [to Thomas H. Lee and Evercore] and ran a private-equity venture-capital business called Chancery Lane Capital. Behind him was a wife who became increasingly uncomfortable with her role as homemaker and hostess. 
…Generosa wanted it in writing: She and Ted were drafting their wills in 1995 when, [Ted’s sister] Sandi recalls, “they were arguing. She wanted to be named vice-president of his company, to take over if anything happened to him. He did not want her to be involved in his business at all.”  A pattern emerged: Generosa would explode, Ted would clean up. “He kept losing friends because of Generosa,” one colleague says. “Suddenly they wouldn’t be friends because Generosa would say, ‘Get rid of them.’ ” In 1999, the family moved to the Surrey [UK] estate, perhaps to reinvigorate the marriage. Sandi remembers everyone seeming fine during a Memorial Day– weekend visit in 2000. But when the Ammons returned to New York that summer, Generosa was looking for a divorce lawyer.…As the divorce started getting nasty, the judge in the case, Marilyn Diamond (who is now making her own headlines in a conflict-of-interest case), ordered a full psychological evaluation of the children as well as the parents. [The psychologist] wrote that “the pattern and magnitude of [Generosa’s] symptom profile is considered in the clinical range of psychopathology.” Generosa displayed signs of borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder—and her behavior, Kuchuk found, affected her children as well as Ted. “She would not permit her children to express any positive feelings toward their father,” she wrote, and even “rejected them for going on court-ordered vacations with their father. Upon their return from one trip, she refused to talk with them for several days.”….[It turned out that] the report itself is actually dated November 9, 2001—two weeks after Ted’s death had effectively ended the divorce proceedings—suggesting, at least to [Michael] Dowd, that it was completed only to build a case against his client. [After his murder] “Ms. Ammon told Alexa and Gregory that their father had committed suicide by taking alcohol and pills instead of the truth that he was murdered.” While Dowd denies it, another source confirms that Generosa told her children this…

Attorneys for Pelosi ..revealed that Generosa and Dan had installed a nine-camera surveillance system at the house (supposedly to catch Ted with girlfriends); police haven’t said what, if anything, it recorded, or even whether it was working that night. Pelosi and Generosa both supplied cotton-swab DNA samples from inside their cheeks, but they were never interrogated. Dowd says he offered to speak to police on Generosa’s behalf, but was rebuffed. “We’re suspicious about the quality of the investigation,” he says, “and the lack of openness with us about it.” Instead, police steadily went after Pelosi for other offenses…When Pelosi was jailed for the DWI this past February, the police started working over his friends.  http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/n_8941/index2.html 

…five now are suing the police for harassment. Their 28-page complaint includes accusations of some ham-fisted police work (“You aren’t going to be talking to a lawyer,” one cop allegedly said. “This isn’t like Law & Order”) …With the couple no longer living together, Generosa is determined the children, and presumably most of Ted’s money, won’t be left with Pelosi…  A month after the murder, surrogate-court estimates put Ted’s estate at about $80 million—far less than the $300 million or more Generosa claimed Ted was hiding during the divorce proceedings.” http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/n_8941/index3.html

“He made good use of his toys, but until his final years, some friends say, he wasn’t accustomed to being this rich. On occasion, he’d be imperious; at other times, distant. “He wasn’t a complete person,” says one colleague who considered Ted a friend. “There was a chunk of him missing. He’d sort of disappear on you. You’d be talking with him, and suddenly he’d drop out of sight for a few days.” While jazz had been a lifelong passion of Ted’s, some of his friends remarked that they didn’t even know he liked it until they heard Ted had become chair of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Ted married Generosa in part because she seemed to fill some of his gaps. “He liked having a wife who handled all the details, down to the last teacup,” a friend says. “And I think her sarcasm and her snarkiness were appealing to him. She didn’t care who you were—you could be a judge or the queen of England. I think he might have thought it was funny and appealing, until it turned on him.” http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/n_8941/index1.html

Daniel Pelosi said in his jailhouse interview that he fell in love with Generosa Ammon. They met at the Ammons’ Manhattan townhouse when Generosa came by to check on the renovations. She arranged for Daniel to takeover the contractor’s job for whom he was an employee, and she called him her “tool belt guy”. Pelosi soon ‘moved in’ with Generosa at the Stanhope Hotel where she lived with her adopted Ukranian twins, separated from Ted. Pelosi’s needs were instantly attended by a ‘tab’ he never had to pay. He admitted during his trial that he installed the surveillance system at the Hampton beach house. The laptop and record of what happened there around midnight on October 20 ended up in a Long Island creek, Pelosi said. He was helping Generosa with an alibi, and that’s why the evidence that could have exonerated him was never retrieved.

“Prosecutors have given no public indication that they have a direct confession or physical evidence connecting Mr. Pelosi to the murder, so they hope what they call incriminating encounters he had with friends, family members and jail inmates will convince a jury that he is guilty” http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/22/nyregion/22pelosi.html?_r=1  Pelosi’s father and sister testified against him. Lawyer Jerry Shargel commented that Daniel’s father was willing to testify “because he felt another son’s death was [Daniel’s] fault…brother James, a New York City police officer, suffered a seizure and died”. Ex-girlfriends testified against him, and Pelosi even claimed a juror at his trial was a woman he’d met at a bar and had sex with. The defense hired a jury consultant named Robert Hirschhorn who had experience getting just the kind of jurors that lawyers were interested in. And what was their interest? Pelosi seems to think it’s to keep the ‘fall guy’ from ever getting up.

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“The defense hired prominent jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn, who helped billionaire New York real estate heir Robert Durst pick the panel that acquitted him of killing an elderly neighbor in Galveston, Texas. Durst admitted dismembering the body but claimed the killing was in self-defense.” http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/09/08/pelosi.ctv/index.html “DANNY PELOSI HAS borrowed a page from cross-dressing millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst’s legal playbook – hiring his jury consultant…In an interview last year, Hirschhorn explained why women were chosen for the Durst jury  … After his acquittal, Durst told Hirschhorn, “Bless you.”  http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2004/09/09/2004-09-09_pelosi_s_team_hires_durst_s_.html

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