“The Mob” has been alive and well in Youngstown, Ohio since the 1950s. Youngstown was the halfway point for mobsters traveling between New York and Chicago. Often called Mobtown, Crimetown, and Boomtown, Youngstown still has many mobsters and corrupt officials. If you have a skill they can use, you will be “recruited.”
Benjamin Holmes is an engineer who built customized mufflers to quiet professional racing cars enough to participate in the very profitable street racing scene.
A few mobsters and their crooked policemen propositioned Holmes to weld a muffler for a gun, a silencer. Wanting to know the legality of such a project, Holmes took their blueprints to lawyers whom he had once worked for, as an investigator. Holmes simply corrected the blueprints for his propositions but was not willing to actually build the silencers.
Not satisfied, the mobsters and their policemen accused Holmes of siding with their enemies. Consequently, Holmes's home was firebombed, on Halloween 1979, with him in it. He was burned over 60 percent of his body and was hospitalized for several weeks.
One officer visited Holmes at the burn center and again asked about building silencers. Again Holmes refused and was charged with burning down his own home for the insurance money.
Holmes started carrying a tape recorder and was able to get that officer and others offering money and making threats; “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” Holmes made the mistake of taking his recordings to the local FBI, to no avail. He later found of that “The Mob” had infiltrated the local FBI. News of Holmes's recordings got out and certain forces decided that he needed to die.
A news report on television stated that Holmes was the head of three gangs, armed, and extremely dangerous. A shoot-on-sight order was announced. It was then, out of desperation, that he decided to fake his own death and disappear, in 1980.
A syringe and four vials of his own blood were used to convincingly splatter blood inside his abandoned car. This led the FBI forensics team to conclude in 1980 that Holmes had been shot in his car and dragged away.
False identification allowed him to assume various jobs, out of town, for eight years, until he was declared dead, in 1988. He lived with his wife and daughter for another ten years and hid in a secret compartment when company came.
In October 2000 he became suspicious of his wife's phone conversation and bugged the telephone, only to discover that she had a lover. He confronted her with the recordings. She apologized, made love to him, and then shot him several times as he slept. She thought he was dead.
Holmes's brother dropped by, for his daily visit, and found Holmes shot and unconscious, but alive. Holmes had survived by plugging the bullet holes with his fingers.
At the hospital, a high school classmate, working as a nurse, recognized him. The masquerade was over, but no charges were filed against Holmes due to the corruption in Youngstown at the time he disappeared. The tapes he saved for twenty years were also a big help.
Subsequently, seventy prosecutors, judges, lawyers, lawmen, and mobsters were jailed for a long time. His wife claimed temporary insanity and was given a very light sentence. She had secretly married her lover months ago and he was tired of Holmes sleeping with his new bride every night.
Holmes's book is a mix of The Fast and the Furious, The Godfather, and The Fugitive.