The place: An urban dwelling on a quiet street in a grimy
south-side Chicago neighborhood. There resides the veteran
investigator, Sherman H. Skolnick. There is a nip of autumn in
the air. Many leaves have fallen.
The situation: Lately, the muckraking journalist has been
dodging brickbats. Skolnick has recently stated that he has
never before felt himself to be in such great danger. On August,
28, 1997, his colleague, Joseph Andreuccetti, suffered an illegal
raid by reputed "law enforcement" personnel, according to court
documents filed by Andreuccetti and Skolnick. One of the reputed
"law enforcement" agents allegedly spoke to Skolnick by phone,
from Andreuccetti's home, and warned him that, "You're next,
Now, Skolnick seems to be in danger from a different quarter. In
his current recorded phone message, listeners can hear part of a
taped conversation he had with one Gunther Russbacher.
Russbacher is well-known as an insider in various covert
operations that occurred in the 1980s. Mr. Russbacher insists,
however, that he is now retired from such activities.
Russbacher is a scarey fellow, based on my own conversations with
knowledgeable sources. Though it is my belief he is indeed now
retired from officially-sanctioned intelligence activities, it is
also my impression that he is an explosive character, subject to
violent rages, especially if and/or when he is under the
influence of alcohol. I believe that he is capable, if and/or
when under the influence of alcohol, of "suggesting" to one or
several of his past contacts that "so and so" needs to be "taken
care of." For that reason I am *not* transcribing Skolnick's
current message. It is running for a limited time, and can be
heard for the price of a regular phone call. (773-731-1100)
I will say that, in Skolnick's latest recorded message,
Russbacher can be heard obliquely warning Skolnick to "back off
the [Princess] Diana story" or else he is likely to "burn his
fingers." I have urged Skolnick to be careful.
So Mr. Skolnick now seems endangered from more than one source.
I visualize him now as if in a scene from World War I: his small
home is surrounded by deep trenches; barbed wire encircles the
perimeter; and Skolnick himself is crouched down and wearing a
World War I-vintage helmet. He is living in a virtual "Fort
Skolnick," all for daring to look for the story that others are
afraid to tell.
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