It happened on the night of, during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. A total of 165 people died and more than 200. Photo courtesy of Peter Bronson When the Supper Club burned again in 1977, there had been massive mafia-style arson fires at nightclubs and restaurants every year in the Newport area. However, authorities immediately insisted that it was an accident and destroyed any criminal evidence by razing the scene.
Corruption and mafia control were everywhere. Suspicions of arson were buried along with the Zebra Room, where the fire began. But enough evidence of arson remains to make it one of the biggest unsolved cases and mass murders in history. I give the readers the evidence and let them decide.
An informant told the FBI that he overheard a conversation two weeks before the fire about how the mob would burn down the Supper Club. A letter threatening to provoke arson was delivered to the shillings. A Cincinnati firefighter said he had never seen a fire move so fast without accelerants. Witnesses working at the Supper Club described suspicious men who worked that same day in the Zebra Room, where the fire originated.
None of the survivors I met or interviewed believe that the fire was an accident. Their testimonies and eyewitness accounts are chilling and compelling. Attorney Stan Chesley's First Lawsuit Blaming Faulty Aluminum Wiring Failed. After six years of appeals, he was retried.
The second trial lasted three months. After seeing appalling images of the fire victims, the jury awarded damages despite expert testimony that the bad wiring was not. Victims received less than half of the damages fees, and the case was cited as an odious example of excessive fees in the arguments for civil liability reform. I have listened to numerous readers who shared stories about being there or losing someone in their family.
Mention the Supper Club anywhere in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region and you'll hear a story. You can read some of them on my blog. The aftershocks of the trauma and pain of our region's worst tragedy still persist and emerged again last year in the battle for site development. I interviewed a paranormal researcher who visited the top of the hill and said she recorded voices and the presence of “powerful activity”.
On the other hand, the leaders of the city of Newport fought their way to the Supreme Court to cleanse its “Sin City” image and make Newport what it is today. Wayne Dammert was the captain of the banquet that saved 75 people from certain death on the second floor of the Supper Club. Teenage waiter Walter Bailey took charge and warned people in recklessly crowded Cabaret Room, saving hundreds, if not thousands. Hank Messick of Louisville was the most intrepid reporter to cover the aftermath of the fire.
However, if he could put up a statue, it would be a difficult decision between Sheriff George Ratterman, the Eliot Ness of Newport, and Judge Johnst Northcutt, who risked his life, career and family to oppose the mafia and its political machinery in the 1930s. When mobsters accused him in court of carrying a Tommy gun in nightclub raids, the judge said he was only carrying a gun but “machine guns were discussed.”. Juanita Hodges became a punchline as “April Flowers” in the attempt to extort money from Ratterman, but her false testimony actually exposed the mafia plot to incriminate him and helped Robert Kennedy's team convict the leaders of the underworld, including local mafia lawyer Charles Lester. New York and Chicago mobsters owned clubs in Newport, but most of the nightclubs, brothels and casinos were run by former members of the Remus gang until the Cleveland Four took over.
The statement said that The Masterpiece Collection of homes being built at Memorial Pointe are part of the same collection found in Villa Grande, a luxury home community that sits on a hilltop view above I-471 in Fort Thomas. When the Supper Club burned again in 1977, there had been major mafia-style arson fires at nightclubs and restaurants every year in the Newport area. Investigating the history of the top of the hill in Southgate led me to the first fire in 1936, a mafia arson that also produced the first fatal victim, a 5-year-old girl. By the early morning of May 29, 134 bodies had been removed from the building and placed, initially on the hillside surrounding the building and then in a makeshift morgue inside the nearby Fort Thomas Armory.
On May 28, 1977, the popular nightclub in Southgate, Kentucky, was filled with a crowded audience waiting for singer John Davidson to take the stage. Fischer Homes announced Monday that it will join Ashley Builders Group to build 60 homes in the Memorial Pointe residential community being developed on the hilltop property in Southgate. . .