Posted by Carl Yudell
President Chuck Norton chaired the meeting commencing at 12:17.
Thought of the Day:  Peter Skalski started the meeting with the entertaining “IF…., IF….IF…..
Member Milestones:  Bill Leske had his 60th birthday and Greg Nelson serenaded him with a solo version of Happy Birthday. John Thomas celebrated 8 years as a club member.
            Robert  Mardirossian trumpeted our annual fund raiser.  It will be a Trivia Night.  Bring a good bottle of wine.  Contact Barbara Tubekis with auction items.  Look for a finalization of the date in early May.
            Rich Lalley reminded us that our club in conjunction with Rotary International is sponsoring a shoes for kids program.  You can donate your money or you can donate some of your time to write notes to the recipients of the shoes.  There are cards at the Community House.  Maybe take 5 or 10 and write some warm notes to the children.
            Barbara Tubekis reported that our caterer will once again start making food on Thursdays to be taken to non-profit organizations such as Good New Partners. Help is needed to deliver the food.  It takes about 1.25 hours.
Happy Bucks:
Peter Skalski celebrated 37 years of marriage with Betty.
Marie Kuipers received her first vaccination shot.
Dig and Grin:  Barbara Tubekis gave us a number of her favorite snippets.
Speaker:    Cynthia Beebe, a Senior Special Agent, retired, with the ATF wrote a book called “Boots in the Ashes” as a memoir of her time with the ATF.  Cynthia lives in Evanston and served 27 years with the ATF, most of that time as a Bomb and Arson Investigator.
Cynthia was lucky to have been born at the right time.  Title IX was instituted in 1976 just as she was entering high school so she had the opportunity to play sports.  The employment world was opening about the same time so she had the chance to join the ATF and became the first woman Top Gun at the agency.
Cynthia then regaled us with her experiences with the agency and some of her top cases.  If you are a long time North Shore resident, you may remember the Richard Kagen story.  Richard was a criminal defense attorney and former Cook County Assistant District Attorney.  Richard was involved with a brutal divorce.  His wife threatened to testify in open court that he was a tax cheat.  Kagen decided to short circuit the problem and hired an enforcer, Ron Petikus, with the local Hell’s Angels motorcycle club to kill her.  Ron followed her for several days intending to shoot her, but the children were always present.  He instead decided to blow her up by setting a bomb under her car in the Highland Park commuter parking lot.  He set it to blow when she returned from one of the downtown divorce hearings.  Fortunately, this was the late 1980’s and the wife was driving a Lincoln Continental.  She fell out of the flaming auto barely hurt because of all the steel structure in the car.  The bomb brought Cynthia into the case.  Fortunately, the killer, Petikus, had hung around the commuter parking lot much of the day in a rusty old sedan waiting for the wife to arrive to take the train downtown.  The police questioned commuters as they stepped off the train on their way home.  Quite a few remembered the rusty old sedan but most importantly, an accountant had taken down the license plate. 
Cynthia then described how she managed to get the various criminals to flip on each other until she reached Richard Kagen who was sentenced to 42 years in prison.  Kagen died of cancer in prison after serving about 10 of the 42 years.  Petikus died after about 4 years of his 10 year sentence also from cancer.  Mellon, the third conspirator, flipped first and walked.  Another example of the Immunity Express.  You are on it or under it.
Cynthia then entertained us with more stories and announced she is putting the finishing touches on her next book.