Fred S. Sustik
Fred & Clarence Richetti 1957
|Fred & Ricky Richetti 1957
As a young boy I grew up in what I thought was a normal family until as I grew older I realized that there was something
quite not right with family relationships and the world. It all started when my grandmother had told me the story of my
Uncle Adam Richetti being a gangster. I was fascinated to say the least. However when I had told my parents what she
had said at dinner one day, there was an uneasy quite, and then the reply, "We don't talk about that in this house." So
except for the communications that I maintained with my grandparents, aunts and uncles the subject was closed for
discussion with my parents until much later in my life. It was those discussions I had with my grandmother that caused a
great deal of anger with my parents.
There were many occasions when groups of family would get together, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and a rare family
reunion. The 4th of July was probably the biggest celebration and best of them all. The only problem was that when
everyone would get together there was always an underlying discussion out of most of the children's presence more
often than not resulting in a disagreement between various family members. As I became more aware and as time went
on the discussions always seem centered on those that were involved with Clemantine, Adam and Eva, my father, and
those responsible for not doing enough to help out with their predicament almost 25 years after the Kansas City
After arriving home one evening after hearing that story at my grandparents home, I questioned my father while sitting
at the kitchen table. My younger sisters and mother had retired for the evening so my father tried to tell me the story
as he knew it. Smoking a Camel unfiltered cigarette and drinking a Budwieser he began. When he was finished I did
not know anymore than what the original story had been, and neither did he. He just didn't know and that is all he had
been told his whole life. He lived his life until the age of 70 never knowing why his real mother Eva abandoned him. He
lived his entire life with the hidden lie that shaped his view of love, relationships and attitudes towards others. As a
young boy I could not imagine being abandoned by my mother or father and wanted to know more. I was probably 12
years old at the time when I was told that story and it stuck with me for most of my life.
After almost a life time the story surrounding my father's abandonment by his mother Eva was solved in early 2002. It
is also one of my most notable accomplishments in my life, not for me but for my father's peace of mind. There was
only "Their" version and they stuck to it all of those years. I was left with a question that I knew bothered my father his
entire life until I was able to discover his records at the orphanage almost 28 years ago.
Continuing to grow up in this family was still quite unique. I learned many things, how to make home brew beer, wine,
hunt and fish. I lived with my Grandparents every summer until the end of August. My Grandfather Henry loved to tell
me the stories while sitting on the back porch on the wood bench swing. My Grandmother Minnie and her brothers
were always loving and willing to share, and my how they all could cook. I enjoyed their company and the stories they
told of the old country. They told of their rough life in Oklahoma and how tough the Great Depression was. Some of
them told of coming to this country from Italy and Europe.
The stories of how the government approached neighbors, friends, coworkers, and even the mailman to spy on family
members probably were the worst. Those actions continued to instill fear upon many family members until they died.
The resentment that it created with many members in the community. How they feared to go to town because of the
whispers and looks they received. How other family members were taunted, and sometimes how fist fights broke out
because of the name calling. How they feared and didn't trust the mailman even 40 years after all of this took place.
The taunting and malicious remarks that lasted for many years has eventually faded away in that small town of
Dillonvale as those that had remembered have passed on.
Looking back my Parents were I would have to say guarded with me and my sisters. Until many years later it never
dawned on me and it wasn't until many years later that I questioned my parents about all of this. Their reply was: "We
wanted you to grown up with your own destiny not that of your Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles." "We did not want your
friends and our neighbors to know who you were and the stigma that many of the other family members had to deal
with growing up." It was then that I understood.
My Dad's life was influenced by his Aunts, Uncles, and Mother. It was very difficult for him as there were undo
pressures and expectations put upon him from time to time to be like his Uncle Adam. Minnie Richetti who was Eva's
sister had adopted Fred and raised him very strictly so he would not become like her brothers and sisters that was her
fear and influence on his life. The many stories intrigued me as a young teenager for years; however my parents kept
close tabs on me and those stories often chastising other family members for speaking of them.
Then life took a different turn for me when I graduated Wintersville High School in Ohio. I had been offered a
scholarship in music to continue my education which made my parents very happy but... I was no longer interested in
dedicating a great deal of time to a career in music or college and took off to California to experience life. Life was an
adventure for me and I was anxious to be a part of it. I traveled across the country eventually landing in California
where I lived and worked for a short while, enjoying the weather, beaches, and sites. It was there where I learned to
trap shoot with my Dad's cousin Jack Smalley. At the time he was one of the top rated trap shooters in the U.S. I also
spent some time with my Mom's sister, Sue and her daughter my cousin Jaime. Sue showed me a lot about living and
enjoying life which I enjoyed to the fullest.
Eventually still not satisfied with every day life I entered the US Air Force. I spent 6 years traveling the world and then
2 years in the reserves. I was assigned to Aeronautical Systems Divsion, Wright Patterson AFB, OH. My first
assignment was with the F-15 System Program Office on the new fighter in 1975. As that project began to wind down I
was redeployed to the ASD Headquarters and assigned to the Chief of Staff as a briefing assistant where I was
exposed to the inner workings of defense contracts, new weapons system, aircraft, and even the maiden test flights of
the space shuttle.
After several years I volunteered for another one of life's adventures. I accepted an overseas assignment and finally
landed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska where I was deployed to the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing, Alaskan Air Command
during the Cold War to deter Russian incursions into U.S airspace. I was assigned to the Elmendorf Operations Center
(EOC). The experience of being on the front line between super powers during that time was an adrenalin rush
almost daily, yet a very nerve racking, tiring effort. The Russians tested us frequently. Chasing Russians across the
Bering sea back to their homeland was very interesting, challenging and daring to say the least. I was fascinated with
what was all involved, and then only to see the Russians holding up a Coke bottle in the window of their aircraft was
truly amazing! Filling in for Airmen on the Distant Early Warning, DEW line for short was another adventure to never
be forgotten. Flying into the side of a mountain on a C130 Hercules just to land on an airstrip not much more than 100
yards long was what I would say a puckering experience, and then to take off and fly down the side of the mountain
was again a very scary experience not always in favorable flying conditions. Places not many have ever heard of like,
Tin City, Cape Romanzof, Point Lonely or Murphy's Dome where after 30 days of temporary duty TDY, one couldn't
wait to return to civilization. The poor souls that drew the short straw and had to spend a year in these locations,
isolated and with little communications with family members, the brutal bone chilling -50 below temperatures should be
recognized as hero's themselves.
One of the more notable contributions that I played a role in during my time in the EOC was the rescue coordination
efforts of the M.S. Prinsedam a Dutch Cruise Ship 120 miles off shore in the Gulf of Alaska in early October 1980. The
ship had caught fire and began to sink. Passengers and crew had abandonded ship were adrift in icy, wind, and
rough seas. With the help of the Coast Guard, Air Force, Canadian Forces, as well as civilian ship traffic all 520
passengers, crew, and military personnel were rescued safely. This incident turned out to be one of the largest
successful maritime rescues at sea.
Alaska was my dream come true! I loved the great outdoors. Fishing, hunting, skiing, skating, and snowmobiling
fulfilled a young man's dream. Fly fishing for King, Silver and Dolly Vardon was delux. I learned from an Eskimo
women how to smoke, can, and make squaw candy of my catches. Hunting was much more difficult. The terrain,
weight and time needed to deal with big game with out road access was nothing but work. But the opportunity and
experience was well worth the efforts. We often traded our catches with others, salmon for moose, bear for caribou,
etc. It was all delicious and a very exciting adventure.
In December of 1981 I chose to not re-enlist and received an Honorable Discharge. I had wanted to remain in Alaska
but decided to return home. Unfortunately due to economic circumstances the Ohio Valley became the rust belt. With
little hope of gainful employement I went back to school on the GI bill receiving an Associates degree in Metalurgy.
The time had come to reluctantly move from the area. I made the difficult decision for my family to move to Florida to
Between the military, travel, 3 marriages, and 3 children I had no interest nor time and had almost forgotten all about
the family history or the stories my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles had once told me.
In the early 90's one night while surfing the internet, I had for some unknown reason thought about all of the stories I
was told and about my Uncle Adam Richetti being a ganster and started to recall some of the stories that I had been
told. I began to research his name and the Kansas City Massacre. I stumbled across the FBI web site and WOW! Was I
shocked! I had never been told of the magnitude of his involvement nor that this was one of America's biggest crimes
at the time. I began a journey to find out all I could about the Kansas City Massacre and my Uncle's involvement.
Through a course of events and conversations with my father I was eventually led down many different paths and
astonishing discoveries about my family.
One of which had finally laid to rest the reason my Father had been "so called abandonment" at the orphanage in
Kansas and filled a hole in his life that had been there forever. It was an adventure in my life that after almost 30 years
of investment in time, money, and research has finally come to a conclusion.
I have attempted to capture as much history about my family as possible to pass down to my children, and their
children's children and the many relatives that should happen to stumble across this site. In May of 09 I discovered
the true ending to Adam's capture and the ensuing man hunt for Charles Floyd outside of Clarkson, Ohio. The myths
that were generate around the ending are nowhere close to the actual events that day. In March of 012 I was able to
find my father’s family the “Simpsons” in Kansas and made a call to a long lost cousin in May of 012. There had been
no known contact with my fathers side of the family for 80+ years up until 2012. It is ironic that the Simpsons' still live
in the Ft Scott, Kansas area where the Simpson side of the family has lived for more than 172 years.
Over the years the fascinating story of my family has taken me down many roads and journeys and found new old
relatives. Many historians have been involved with the story of the Union Station Massacre and promoted their
theories based on their beliefs given their research. My father and I had met with some of those involved. Given the
verbal history of my family that were closer than others to those events and those of other families involved, the mound
of "circumstantial evidence", and eyewitness testimony, there is no doubt that our Great Uncle Adam Ricchetti was
present at Union Station that fateful day.
In 2015 after 42 years in workforce which included a 32 year career at Walt Disney World leading several
departments within the WDW Distribution Centers. Supporting the parks, resorts, 4 cruise ships, special events, in a
union environment proved to be some of the most challenging experiences in warehousing that anyone could imagine.
All of which would not have been possible without the help of many great co-workers from all walks of life and country's
from around the world. It was time for me to turn the page of life and open a new chapter of adventures.
In the subsequent years after my retirement I continued researching this story. In addition to traveling back to my long
lost love of Alaska, the Inside Passage and the Northwest. In 2018 taking a trip to the Yucatan Penisula to see the
Mayan Ruins, which the tour was stormed out. Maybe another day.
In 2019 another adventure came about to explore this story thru Ancestry.com. Over the years with all the countless
stories of what your ancestry is made up of, and where I had came from I finally took the opportunity to do a DNA test..
What I found was far more interesting than what I had been told.
The verbal history of my heritage of being primarily Irish/Scotland (14%) and Italian (6%) were included in the DNA
results, however in far less percentages than what I had expected them to be. Surprisingly English, Wales, and
Northwestern Europe (47%) and Germanic Europe (25%) where most dominate with a touch of Norwegian (5%) and
French (5%) and Turkey & the Caucasus (2%) mixed in for good measure. Makes one wonder! Now on to another
journey to try and understand how all of thatcame to be. Truly fascinating.
11 Oct. 99, News week Magazine on page 8 published a
small article with pictures concerning the lawsuit that was
being contemplated. The unnamed client in the article is
myself Fred S. Sustik.
My Grandmother Eva Ricchetti
Simpson, baby sister Lynda,
Tracey and Fred, Christmas
1958, Richmond Ohio
After several different motorcycles throughout a 50 year journey of slippen in the wind,
and touring many beautiful places on an Iron Horse it was time to retire my 76,000 mile,
2006 Harley Ultra Classic Electroglide. The last best ride of my life.
|The road goes on forever and the party never ends.
Should you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me at: