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DOCUMENT  0138


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Bombings Dade County Florida
May 30 to Aug 21, 1967

[Reference: Dade County OCB file #2A-33-9]

Two Bombs Rip Home Of Underworld Figure
Miami Herald 22 Aug. 1967

By: DAVE NELSON And JON NORDHEIMER

Jewel fancier John Clarence Cook, who once complained to many cops were tailing him, survived a predawn bombing attack Monday and may welcome back the watchful eye of the law.

Two time-bombs ripped apart a carport while Cook, 37, his wife and four children slept inside their $40,000 home at 1240 NE 82 St.

The explosions shattered Cook's car and sleek red high-powered speedboat, but all members of the family emerged unhurt from the rubble and shattered glass that sprayed the interior of the house and the lawn.

The attack, the latest in a series of terror tactics to rip the Miami underworld, was considered daring since Cook's movements have been watched almost constantly for the past few years by local and federal lawmen.

Cook's indignation at being tailed reached a high point in early 1965 shortly after the arrest of his buddies, Beach Boys Jack (Murphy the Surf) Murphy and Allan Dale Kuhn, for slipping the fabled Star of India sapphire out of a New York museum.

Cook rammed an FBI agent's car to make his point and got 85 days in jail, one of the few times he's had to cool his heels behind bars.

To add to the intrigue of Monday's attack, Cook himself is under investigation in the July 12 dynamite explosion at Miami police officer Gerald E. Saslaw's home.

A week after the Saslaw bombing, Cook's good friend and fellow diamond collector, Herman (Hy) Gordon, mystery man go-between in the Star of India recovery, was shot behind the ear five blocks from Cook's home.

Another Cook pal, gambler Frank (Lefty) Rosenthal was summoned before the Dade Grand Jury after a rash of early summer bombings of Miami Beach bookie establishments.

An FBI agent once remarked that whenever they wanted to check up on big-time gangsters visiting Miami all they had to do was check Cook's house.

"Nine times out of 10 they show up there. . . it's a regular underworld convention hall," the agent said.

Hot-tempered Cook, who's been arrested several times on two continents on suspicion of jewel thefts but never convicted, seemed more upset about the presence of newsmen on his property Monday than the shambles created by the bombs.

He ordered the press off.

His new sky-blue Cadillac was wrecked and it looked like someone had used a can operator on his Donzi speedboat to pry the deck from the hull.

Two white doors were blown off the house and every window in sight had caved in.

Cook's $12,000, 24-foot cruiser named after his 101-pound former Playboy bunny wife Marianne was safely moored in the canal behind the house.

The explosions rocked the neighborhood about 3:45 a.m. and broke windows two houses away.

Interestingly, Cook's house is the only one on the block that does not have a "For Sale" sign decorating the front yard.
 

Bombing Box Score

AUG. 21 John Clarence Cook and family escape when two time bombs explode in front of 1240 NE 82nd St. home.

JULY 13 Bomb in auto of William Schantz of North Miami Beach falls to detonate.  Police believe it was case of mistaken identity.

JULY 12 Miami Officer Gerald Saslaw and family unhurt when dynamite explosion rips front yard.

JUNE 16 Alfie Mart's all-night newsstand and bookie hangout on Miami Beach's Alton Rd. shattered by bomb planted in telephone booth.

JUNE 3 Unoccupied auto belonging to wife of bookie Mickey Zion of North Bay Village bombed.

JUNE 1 Epicure Market next door to Alfie's bombed.  Police believe it was intended for the newsstand.

JUNE 1 Gambler Chappie Rand's cleaning store on Motel Row hit by two phosphorous grenades.

MAY 30 Bomb tossed on gambler Mickey Zion's bedroom balcony falls to explode.

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