Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Austin Hearing

The next occurence was when a Legislator decided to investigate Galveston. He was head of a House sub committee. He subpoenaed the mayor, the sheriff and most of the members of the Mafia. I was sent to Austin to cover this hearing. Mayor Herbert Cartwright made a statement: "People don't come to Galveston to go to church." Then Frank Biaggne, the sheriff, said he had gone to the Balinese Room to investigate but could not get in because he was not a member. The Mafia witnesses refused to testify because their statements would incriminate them. The hearing turned out to be a farce. That night the Mafia attorney invited me to a meeting at a downtown hotel. He said I could attend if I would agree not to write about anything said at the meeting. I agreed and when I got there I saw that more than half the members of the Legislature were present. These people were the same ones who had visited the B-Room over the years. But Will Wilson refused to give up. He was convinced he would be the next governor. He send the Rangers back to Galveston and issued an injunction against the Balinese Room. The Mafia leaders closed the B-Room, and many of the younger men went to Las Vegas. Wilson had shuttered the B-Room but it did not elect him governor. His political career was ended.

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