By Tom Blake – Update March 10, 2010
People I have never met before come into Tutor and Spunky’s--my Dana Point, California, deli at the intersection of Coast Highway and Blue Lantern--and say, “Anything new regarding the Ed Fitzgerald case?”
If I have time, I usually sit down with them and ask if they knew Fitzgerald. Surprisingly, many of them have boats in the harbor and are very aware of him and his story. And many are frustrated that he is on the loose, and that the authorities haven’t even picked him up for questioning. They point out that a man named William Baker was arrested for a home-flipping Ponzi scheme of $900,000 or so while Fitzgerald’s white collar shenanigans total somewhere in the $2-3 million range. Why Baker and not Fitzgerald they want to know.
If people have any doubt of Fitzgerald’s intentions in 2009, here is a new indication that he knew what he was doing. In mid-July, a person inquired to Fitzgerald about the availability of a boat slip. That person was promised by Fitzgerald a slip for a loan of $20,000 or $30,000, depending on the terms the person wanted. Here are excerpts from that email sent July 15, 2009:
“This letter will act as the contract between (intentionally blank) and Dana Island Yachts,
provider of a 43 foot slip. For a loan to Dana Island Yachts of $20,000.00 on Wednesday July 15th, 2009.
“Dana Island Yachts will provide (blank) a 43 foot slip, side tie or end tie, at the current slip rate of the Marina Company at the time, somewhere in Dana Point Harbor. It is understood that the possible start date for the slip use could be March 1, 2010 but will be left open ended until (blank) notifies Dana Island Yachts at least 60 days in advance, that he needs a slip to be provided by Dana Island Yachts.
“The loan to Dana Island Yachts will be in effect until the end of the contract which is as follows: $20,000.00 for a three year slip guarantee, $30,000.00 for an unlimited slip guarantee (until (blank) gets his own slip) *Payment to be provided to Dana Island Yachts in the form of a cashiers check or wire transfer on July 15th, 2009.
“*Loan payment in full to be refunded to (blank) within 30 days of the end of his contract or he moves his boat to his own slip, which ever happens first.
“For Dana Island Yachts, Ed Fitzgerald, President”
It is important to note that Fitzgerald wanted a cashier’s check or wire transfer on July 15, two days before he disappeared on July 17. Is there any doubt that Fitzgerald was going to pad his bank account with these funds? And the person involved would have never gotten a slip, and would have been out that money.
The problem for Fitzgerald is this: He is going to get caught. And if a thorough investigation follows, his history of scamming people is going to surface. There are lots of folks who haven’t come forward yet, at least not that I am aware of. But as time goes by, more and more of them are.
For example, here is another spanking new story, revealed to me in the last week. One couple put their boat in Fitzgerald’s charter boat pool. He was to notify them in advance when their boat was going to be chartered. They decided to take their boat to Catalina for a nice long week-end. They packed and went down to Dana Point Harbor. Their boat was gone. Fitzgerald had taken it out for a private party. They were really pissed. He paid them for that charter, but they feel he didn’t pay for many more when the boat was used. They parted company with him on bad terms.
How many stories are there like the two above? Who knows? But trust me, there are a lot. There is no way he came come back to Dana Point to try to salvage his reputation.
And what a sad feeling it must be for him. He turned his back on almost all of his friends. For what, money? And now he can’t come home to where he was known, and in most cases, loved and cared about. The jolly, old Ed. The guy who bought drinks for people at the Wind and Sea.
Here is my proposal for Ed Fitzgerald, a way for him to at least partially pay his victims back.
He should co-author a nothing-held-back book about what happened. All of the dirty details. Don’t bullshit anybody. When did his money-juggling activities turn into money-stealing activity. Why he snapped. When he snapped. Was it when Marcia died? Is that why or when he gave up? Or, was it when the economy went south and he wasn’t selling boats, charters fell off, and people stopped loaning him money, and were demanding their money back? Only Fitz knows for sure.
He could make a mint selling that book and of course the movie rights would follow. And with the profits, he would make restitution with those he ripped off.
Of course, authors and ghost writers cost money. They charge big fees in anticipation of making big bucks. So I am offering to co-author the book with him, for one penny of the profits, after writing expenses are paid. The profits would flow into a trust fund at the Pacific Western Bank in Dana Point (sorry Fitz, you would not have access to it). That bank might already have a funded interest in the story so it would be a good place to park the funds.
One question begs to be answered: Wouldn’t it be dangerous, even life-threatening, for him to return to the area to write the book? Certainly.
So, he and I would correspond by email or telephone. He wouldn’t even have to show his face. That’s how the book information would be exchanged.
Ed, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on my cell 949-412-4261 to discuss. It’s kind of your last hope to become the good guy you once were. You are likely thinking, but the authorities will be able to trace me. Let me say this, if the authorities wanted you, they would have picked you up by now. They know where you are, or where you’ve recently been.
My co-authoring conditions are:
-The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, would have to be revealed
-You’d have to be willing to disclose all of your victims, even though you feel some people lost their money just through a failed business deal and not through fraud
-I would have the content and edit final say
-Neither you nor I would be allowed to keep any of the profits
Tom’s final comment: Here’s an amazing stat: there have been approximately 900 downloads of the "Dana Point Disappearance. Where is Ed Fitzgerald?" Ebook on Smashwords.com since September. There is a huge interest in the Fitzgerald case around the water cooler in Dana Point Harbor.I think it is time to convert the Ebook into the traditional book format on Smashwords.
Please post your comments or feel free to contact me: email@example.com.