Speed Kills: Who Killed the Cigarette Boat King, the Fastest Man on the Seas?

Speed Kills: Who Killed the Cigarette Boat King, the Fastest Man on the Seas?

by Arthur Jay Harris

NOOK Book(eBook)

$4.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details

Overview

A feature film, SPEED KILLS, starring John Travolta, based on my book, will premiere in Fall 2018!
Watch the trailer:
https://www.screendaily.com/news/first-look-trailer-john-travolta-in-speedboat-drama-speed-kills-exclusive/5129868.article

The most famous speedboat racer, the creator of the famous Cigarette fast boats, the boat of choice for drug smugglers, is murdered in Miami in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses. The case takes police ten years to solve -- and leaves questions to whether they got it right.

Speed Kills was originally published by Avon Books.

"Ocean racing superstar Don Aronow loved it when writers called him a living legend. His life of adventure is well known. It is his death that baffles police.

"He was afraid of nothing, no one. In his final hour, when a stranger spoke to him in riddles and talked about killing, Aronow laughed. He felt no fear, until he lowered the window of his white Mercedes and looked death in the face. And then it was too late."

-- Edna Buchanan, in The Miami Herald

Bordering a canal leading to Biscayne Bay, a short dead-end stretch of Northeast 188th Street in Miami was the crossroad of the Americas in the mid-1980s for the biggest drug smugglers into the U.S.; the guys who ripped off the drug smugglers; the biggest South American drug suppliers; competing federal agencies investigating major drug trafficking and money laundering; the CIA, covertly advancing the Contra war against Central American land reform (which they called Cuban-sponsored communism); some of the highest national politicians in the country--and what attracted them all there, the most famous fast-boat companies in the world.

On that splashy boulevard of (wet) dreams factories built marine magazine-ad ultra-sleek gleaming speedboats ostensibly for racers, royalty to show off on the Côte d'Azur, and wealthy divorced or divorcing middle-age overweight men to pick up South Florida's sun-soaked hot chicks in string bikinis (while the rest of us unwashed wondered how they did it), but the boat builders' real business was fueling an arms race between smugglers, who purchased them for cash, and Drug War feds to catch smugglers.

The storied creator of the quantum-leap faster Cigarette boat, against which all other "penis" boats were measured, as well as a two-time powerboat racing world champion and the personification of a sport in which people crazily risked their lives and bodies to win--not to mention a wicked ladies' man to boot, Don Aronow was shot and killed in broad daylight in front of his factory in 1987. Police found they didn't just have a murder mystery--they had Murder on the Orient Express.

FEBRUARY 3, 1987
USA Racing Team, Miami, Florida

Someone entered the front door and walked in front of salesman Jerry Engleman's desk. He asked to speak with Don Aronow, then looked right at him without recognizing him.

"What do you want?" Aronow said.

"I've been trying to get ahold of you," the man said. He said he worked for a very rich man, with an Italian surname, who wanted to make an appointment to buy a boat.

"I never heard of him," Aronow answered.

Engelman could tell something else was happening, and he thought Aronow was trying to find out what.

Then the conversation got weird. He was proud of his boss, he said. "He picked me up off the street when I was sixteen and took care of me. I'd even kill for my boss."

For the moment, none of the observers thought anything more of it. Minutes later, Aronow drove his new 1987 white Mercedes 560 sports coupe across the street, found Mike Britton, a marine supplier, and asked if he could help him at his new house.

Driving out of his parking space forward, with Aronow behind him, Britton saw a dark Lincoln Town Car with tinted windows, about ten yards away, facing east as Britton was about to head west. The driver's window was down, and Britton could see the driver looking at him.

At their closest, when they passed, they were just a few feet apart, keeping eye contact the entire time. Then Britton drove on, about fifty yards.

Then he heard gunshots.

Britton finished parking his truck, then raced back toward Aronow. In a hurry, the Lincoln passed him, going west. It had turned around.

By the time Britton got to the car, he found Aronow's driver's side window down, the automatic transmission in neutral, and Aronow's foot pressed against the accelerator like a rock, forcing the engine to rev at its most shrill. Apparently, Aronow had stopped to kibitz with his killer.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016601014
Publisher: Arthur Jay Harris
Publication date: 03/28/2013
Series: Harris True Crime Collection , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 1,071,548
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

A feature film, SPEED KILLS, starring John Travolta, based on my book, will premiere in Fall 2018

True crime writers primarily pursue the question “Why?” Why did somebody commit the crime? How could he get away with it for so long?

In my true crime books, I pursue a different primary question: about the case’s outcome, I ask, “Are you sure?”

Every true crime story has loose ends that naggingly just don’t fit into the constructed narrative. They make for a challenge: stay with your narrative and ignore or play them down, or follow them and risk your narrative.
There is an essential messiness to true crime that a reader of it must both resist and embrace. But that’s why we read it, right? If you want everything well-tied up at the end, read crime fiction. To start, give up on the idea that a story must have a bottom. How can there not be a bottom? Yes, theoretically there is a bottom, but to us on the outside looking in, it’s just not accessible. In reality, what we think are story bottoms are really false bottoms; beneath them, if we dare to look, are more bottoms. That wisdom, I should add, did not come to me easily. My stories are always less about the crimes themselves than my endurance to stay on the rollercoaster rides to find the truth. Countless times I’m upended, and I never see it coming.

Yet the job of a guide, narrator and investigator, such as myself, remains to organize that mess. However, I also scrutinize the work of the other guides, narrators, and investigators on the story. When I approach a story, I look for, then follow, significant pathways not taken: people who law enforcement couldn’t get or weren’t then ready to talk; witnesses who weren't asked everything important; and things the authorities were blind to or simply missed.

In each of my books, I first bring you up to speed by composing the story from what’s on the record, then I make a narrative switch to first person and have you follow my investigation. When I pick up the right trail, it becomes obvious. I always advance my stories, including Speed Kills and Until Proven Innocent, but the two books in which I made the most significant (and contrarian) contributions are Jeffrey Dahmer’s Dirty Secret: The Unsolved Murder of Adam Walsh, and Flowers for Mrs.Luskin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Speed Kills: Who killed the Cigarette Boat King, the fastest man on the seas? 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.