The Catch-Me Killer

It was a hot August night in a sleepy Florida beachtown outside Ft. Lauderdale, twenty five summers ago, when a frantic caller contacted the Hollywood Police, crying: “I just killed three people. Please catch me before I kill again. I’m going to kill more tonight.”

But the story of justice denied does not end with the conviction. The climax of this unbelievable true crime thriller results when new evidence is brought to light, allowing an appeal to be filed that most assuredly would lead to freedom, but the attorney is faced with a matter of judgment.

Joseph A. Varon

For almost five decades, Joseph A. Varon was one of South Florida’s and the nation’s preeminent  defense attorneys, representing accused murderers and mobsters, including the reputed Mafia financier Meyer Lansky. The American Trial Lawyers Association declared him to be one of “America’s outstanding criminal trial lawyers.” When he tried a case, four prosecutors used to sit at the counsel table across the room. “They were laying for me. Everyone’s out to beat the fastest gun in the west.” But the fastest gun didn’t get beaten very often---only 25 times out of 500 murders trials and “never one to the chair.” Mr. Varon still lives in Hollywood, Florida during the winter and along the southern California coast during the summer. He is currently at work on his next title, which will be an exposé on the rise and fall of Meyer Lansky’s Gold Coast gambling empire.

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