I had to share this story about a guy who was believed to be dead for over 30 years – only to resurface in Las Vegas working as a bookie under a false name. The story began in 1979 when Arthur Gerald Jones, a bookie by trade, got into financial difficulties and was even forced to sell his seat at the Board of Trade. This is some speculation that he got caught up with the Mob and had no choice but to disappear. On the day that he disappeared, he told his wife and three young kids that he was going out on an errand – and never returned. The police investigated the case for a while, but when no concrete evidence turned up after several years, he was declared dead by an Illinois court in 1986 so that his wife and family could receive some form of compensation.
It turns out that two weeks before his disappearance, Jone’s best friend arranged for him to receive false identity papers. He then used a number of aliases and identity documents while living in California, Florida and Nevada. Police believe that what prompted Jones to pull a disappearing act – besides his gambling debts and marital problems – is the fact that several weeks before he went undercover, his best friend was murdered, presumably by the mob, in his Inverness home. The fear that this might happen to him, and endanger his children, prompted Jones to make his final decision.
In the thirty odd years since his disappearance, Jones has made a fresh start relationship wise, and has been with the same partner for 22 years. Patricia Baal is supporting him, and it is still unclear whether she knew that he was hiding a murky past or not.
Last week, Jones was arrested after it was discovered that he was working as a bookie under a false name in Las Vegas. He now faces four felony counts related to identity theft and fraud. A plea deal has been offered that will allow him to stand trial for just one charge of ID theft, and he has already posted bail for $20,000.