“The Last Hitman” mini-series
Part 1: The New Year’s Eve murders
On New Year’s Eve in 1980, the Redmond family was getting ready to host their holiday party at their home in Phoenix when three men showed up, one of them being a police officer. Everything took a turn when the men tied the Redmond family up and shot them all execution-style. Pat Redmond and his mother-in-law Helen Phelps died at the scene, but Pat’s wife Marilyn miraculously survived. She ended up identifying all three hitmen as Murray Hooper, William Bracey, and Edward McCall. Through authorities’ investigation, they learned that two of the hitmen came from Chicago and were involved in another triple murder around Thanksgiving in Illinois. So, how did they get to Phoenix, and why was Pat Redmond’s family targeted? As it turns out, it all stemmed from a business deal gone wrong with the mafia in Las Vegas.
Part 2: The Las Vegas mob deal
Murray Hooper and William Bracey were members of “The Royal Family” street gang in Chicago, helping carry out murder-for-hire jobs for the mafia. Tempe businessman Robert Cruz had family ties to the Chicago mob and was working with Las Vegas mobsters to broker money laundering deals for a casino. Pat Redmond owned a printing business on the west side of Phoenix with his business partner Ron Lukezic. After Cruz realized he had some family connections to Lukezic’s wife, he approached the two to buy them out of their business with the intention of laundering money for the casino there. Lukezic was open to the idea, but Redmond was not. Cruz decided he needed to eliminate the problem. Listen as famous American mobster and hitman “Sammy the Bull” describes how the mob ties trickle down from one city to another, what the hierarchy is under a mob boss, and how Las Vegas became a mafia hotspot back in the day.
Part 3: His fate
Murray Hooper, William Bracey, and Edward McCall are all sentenced to death. After corruption leads to a bombshell decision in Chicago, Hooper and Bracey almost escape death row. But, just when you think that’s the end of the story, it’s not. In a shocking twist, Ron Lukezic’s wife Joyce is arrested for being the mastermind behind the murders and stands trial. Robert Cruz also stands trial but is later found dead in a Chicago cornfield. After all these years, only one of these hitmen is still alive on death row: Murray Hooper. On Wednesday, decades after some of the most heinous and brutal crimes in Arizona and Chicago, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled “The Last Hitman” will take his last breath on November 16.
Vintage Las Vegas footage provided by The Las Vegas News Bureau
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