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By Richard Hammer

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The idea of engaging in direct action, in being given a license for violence, appealed to him, and since he was certain that the Marines was where the real action was certain to be, he became a Marine. 36 The Playboy Bunnies With an unintentional irony, the Marine Corps sent him, after boot camp at Parris Island, not across the Pacific into the battle he craved, but to stateside duty as a guard at the brig at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Giving Vincent Rizzo a rifle or a shotgun and telling him to keep the peace was like sharpening the claws of a lion and then putting him into a cage with a herd of deer and telling him to see that no harm came to them.

The main target was the Teamsters Union, and particularly its strongman, James R. Hoffa. The senior Coffey and other officers of Local 804 were subpoenaed to testify about their battle against underworld infiltration. But the night before they were to appear, the local's president and one of Coffey's closest friends, Leonard Geiger, was found dead behind the wheel of his car. The official diagnosis was a heart attack. The appearances of Coffey and the other officers were initially postponed and then canceled.

There was not a babysitter who did not come to detest Slater. In order to make life at least a little bearable, they took what petty revenge they could: invented stories that they knew would terrify him, about contracts put out on his life, about strangers lurking in the neighborhood; planted smoke bombs in his car that exploded with a deafening bang and emitted noxious fumes when he turned on the ignition; came up with a variety of harmless practical jokes that he never found amusing and that kept him on edge.

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