Monday, February 12, 2007

New York and The Trip to Fall River

I got here to New York on Saturday with the intention of meeting with Master Ronald Duncan and possibly Richard "Legend" Lenchus. Lenchus was at the 1962 Mas Oyama tournament at Madison Square Garden. Dante fought there and I was looking for film footage and information.

Things did not work out and I cannot see Lenchus as he is tending to his wife and Duncan and I will meet on Monday. Duncan did not know Dante, but I want to talk to him about the early days of martial arts. He has 50 years experience and I want to have a picture of how he started his career in the racially charged years of the 1950s. Master Duncan has been a consistent, persistent presence on the martial arts scene. His knowledge of weapons and ninja practices are legend and he remains active as an instructor.

Master Tayari Casel is another person I will try to get to before I leave the East Coast. He gave me a number to reach Aaron Banks. I spoke with Aaron Banks, a long time promoter, the New York PT Barnum of martial arts, by telephone about getting him to say a few words about John Keehan as a promoter. He had nothing to say on the subject. He was very pleasant but adamant that he was the key person on the scene that brought martial arts into a global arena with his Oriental World of Self Defense among many other programs. I was very shocked to find that Banks did not realize that John Keehan had trained Jimmy Jones and Tola-naa(Ray Cooper), two of Keehan's first students. Jimmy Jones and Tola-naa were teachers of Tayari Casel. Casel was a featured performer in many of Bank's big touring shows.

Keehan/Dante gets discounted as a martial artist by his contemporaries and they have passed this false information on as fact. He was a bad man but better than average, if not great martial artists depending on who you talk to. I always look at Dante through the words of Lao Tzu
What is a good man but a bad man's teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man's job?
If you don't understand this, you will get lost,
however intelligent you are.
It is the great secret.

Lao Tzu

Back from Fall River
I have just arrived back in NY with head spinning. I tend not to oversell the project. I had my suspicions. Now that I have been to Fall River, MA and spoke to a surviving member of the Fall River Black Dragon Fighting Society who was there when Dante was around I can say what I always suspected. I have the people who were there who have given me some testimony on video. This new information has led me to a shift in focus as I knew it always would because Fall River is the beginning of the end for Dante.

I met with John Creeden. Jr and John Creeden, III in Fall River on Sunday. John, Jr was there and he was in Chicago. He had information about Count Dante's businesses few people knew. He also makes a direct connection between the Count and Sam Giancana. There is a lot to talk about. I will outline what I have told briefly in a new synopsis I am seeing now in my head. I am omitting a lot of details because they are not necessary at this time.

Count Dante's life is in two-parts: the Chicago Years, where a wealthy 1st generation, Irish Catholic John Timothy Keehan. son of a doctor becomes a serious martial artists, iconoclast and major promoter of martial arts events dragging bulls down State Street threatening to fight the to the death; he becomes a hairdresser for Playboy Bunnies; carries on a relationship with the mob; is arrested for the attempted bombing of a dojo where he is owed money; published the world's deadliest comic book ad; pisses off the existing martial arts community by teaching black and Hispanic students openly; opens porn shops and two porn theaters; then robs his own tournament 8 years before the Purolator vault robbery; engages in the "dojo war" with the strange and mystical Green Dragon Society, bringing about the death of his beast friend Jim Konsevic. and is black balled in the Martial Arts in 1970.

The Fall River Years: Dante, pretty much washed up in Chicago martial arts after the Death of Jim Konsevic takes up with some guys he met through his comic book ad. William Aguiar, Jr orders the book and begins personal correspondence with Count Dante. Dante invites him and some of his students to Chicago to train. They come to Chicago and live in the dojo,training three times a day, partying at night. They live at the dojo.

He eventually moves part of his operation to Fall River to a large house on the bank of a river. The new Black Dragon Fighting Society(BDFS) opens and proceeds to challenge every school in the area in the March 1975 Taunton Death Matches. This event can pretty much be billed at the first Ultimate Fighting Championships. They packed 4000+ people into the Roseland Stadium, turned 4000 away and had the streets blocked up with people trying to get there. Blood spattered the front row audience members during the no-holds-barred mixed martial art matches.

While the BDFS was a serious cross-training mixed martial arts academy it was also the front for a criminal operation. Many of the members were ex-military, special forces. The dragons of war unleashed, were never put back in the box. They craved action and went after it.

Dante himself was a veteran of two branches of the military and has claimed to have been a member of a black ops team, "Operation Water Buffalo," in Cuba that armed Raul Castro and Che Guevara in the Sierra Maestra in 1959. Other members of the Fall River School participants in the early days of the Vietnam war's "Operation Phoenix." (Can any of this be proved? How does one prove black operations exist?)

In the early hours of the morning trucks would pull into a lower level loading dock of the Karate Dojo delivering stolen and smuggled goods. There are stories of this operation dealing with the Black Panthers and the IRA.

Dante, with his Chicago Outfit, mob associations and William Aguiar, Jr., as much a hustler as Dante but not as "illuminated" developed a strong friendship.

Enter, Michael Luigi DiFionzo, childhood friend of Willam Aguiar. Difonzo has just been run out of Chicago after being shut down by the SEC in a $25 million securities scam. He returns to Fall River and immediately starts another agency and in quickly shut-down over a matter of $1.5 million. His monies are tied up in this scandal.

Needing money to launch yet another scam, Difonzo approaches Aguiar about helping him retrieve $90K owed to him by two people in Las Vegas. Difonzo wants their families kidnapped and tortured. Dante, in Chicago at the time managing his other businesses, advises against this as they are "made men."

In October 1974, the Purolator Vault robbery takes place. The job itself makes headlines around the world. Dante chooses some pretty inept mob guys from the Chicago Outfit to work with and the principals are soon captured, including Luigi DiFonzio in the Cayman Islands with part of the money gone into undisclosed accounts.

Dante is subpoenaed by the Cook County Grand Jury, consents to a lie detector test and passes it. He is absolved of any involvement in the case.

DiFonzo is said by the Fall River Guys to have been in the vault and took additional securities instruments never reported missing. Difonzo is defended by prominent Boston attorney Joseph Oteri and is acquitted of any crime. It is not proven he knew where the money came from.

DiFonzo collects the insurance reward for helping recover part of the money by disclosing the account numbers in the Caymans and retrieving the cash. His reward is greater than his share from the mob would have been for his involvement.

Count Dante dies of bleeding ulcers, May 25, 1975 before the end of the trial. He is buried May 28, 1975 in a still unmarked grave in the suburbs of Chicago.

For the moment this is my story and I am sticking to it. That is until new information comes along discounting any of the above. My disclaimer....


Anonymous said...

Bob Wright said...

I see you didn't mention Bill Aguiar who took over after death of Bill Snr. Did you attend his school? Saying that the BDFS was a criminal front is pretty heavy going, but I guess you have your reliable sources.
It all appears to be shaping up nicely. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Amazing work Floyd,
You made so many pieces fit for me I can't help you enough. I hope I gave you a bit in the interview to contribute to this great piece of investigative work.

I've been trying for years to figure out the big picture.

Good job!
Master C. C. Pieschala

Sick said...

Dude, keep doing what you are doing. I can't wait for this to come out. I'm going to be the first to buy it. I now have my black belt because I bought a cheap copy of the book and read it. I'm dangerous now. Really some of those techniques really are brutal.

Anonymous said...

In Floyd's defense, I have to say he really knows his facts.

I never thought anybody would ever completely put the whole thing together but Floyd has come further than I ever thought he would.

Also alot of what he's saying matches things my teacher who knew Dante said. Things you think, "oh i remember hearing that". And it seems to fit with Bob Cooley's stuff quite well.

I can't wait to get copy.

Floyd have you ever talked to Bill Jr. ? He and I have played some email tag. but mostly on a different subject.

I can also show you those DVD's if you want to "borrow" them Bill has them copywrited.

Cheers and best wishes,
Master C. C. Pieschala

Anonymous said...

That black ops nonsense is highly dubious. A simple FOIA of Keehan's military records would turn up enough information for the most moderately experienced soldier to subject it to a rudimentary bullshit test.

The truth is the notion of "black ops" may enrapture the public's imagination, but they don't exist in the same way that people imagine.

The people who do them are not all that secret. Their personnel files can be obtained and their backgrounds, schools and assignments will give you an idea of whether their claims are credible.

floyd webb said...

I have FOIA'ed Keehan's Military Record's. All I found out is he was in the Marines and honorably discharged and transferred to the US Army.

The Army would not give me any information about his history there.
We will see how far I get.

john f creeden iii said...

all spec ops are restricted by the nsa and cia. see when you do special op thing get restricted. see when you do your after action reports 3 sets 1 goes to the army ,2 socom gets one ,3 the cia gets the other. the first one always gets restricted. see you think that a guy gets killed in spec op really dies no he gets loaned out to clandestine ops around the world new name and papers. see my dad was an air commando in vietnam whan you think of vietnam you think mid 60's at the build up my dad was their 61,62 in uban in laos he wasn,t suppose to be their. duh restricted he wasn't suppose to be their restricted. goe look for his 214 and you see only days in service and basic ,ait, airborne and thats it. my dad was loaned out gor merc,s in the rhodesian army in africa he ferried the first executive outcome merc in uganda and rhodesia. it like the old sayin [ the greatest trick the devil played is that he never exzisted but in the bible he was gods right hand man] so drink the cool aid and not believe

Anonymous said...

Mr. Creeden,

spare us the comic book antics and stick to the facts. people who were there do not publish their antics. You are to young to even speak of such things. Let the professionals speak to the military record flow and ebb. what you are talking about is stories that your dad embelishes on and nothing more. Let him go on in his years at this point. We were there on Durfee Street!

john f creeden iii said...

see their,s alot of controversey and bill iii is calling all the old people that know alot of shit is going to hit the fan and i like to see people sweat. see floyd asking question,s about his life hear and alot of people don,t want that out but i say why stop it.see the count was just the wild man here as he was their. see alot of it is what he was doping who was he banging people don,t want that out. see that alot of criminal shit. see what everybody don,t realize me hey i was 6 going on 7 you retain alot pluse the stories and paper work the father had was incredible see in the back office at bill aguiars alot of action went on me and bill iii laugh about it to this day the crazy shit. and anyone that know me know of my military backround and i,m speaking of experience i can produce a dd214 can you so in closing like toknow who you are i,ll be exposing you in the futere anyway from dvd,s and books with bill so their your screwed anyway so by take care

Anonymous said...

this is john creeden again if you were their bill aguiar,s office and a big rhodesian army poster that recruited they i mean recruited people for that mercenaries that,s how i know your a fraud and fake. it,s true thta their were many skank,s and fake people waiting for a hand out

Anonymous said...

Mr Creeden,

It is true your were young and were my student. I know the picture you spoke about with the mans head gone. This is the room you got your stripes in. Remember this is a movie and life has passed you by. enjoy.

Anonymous said...

i know who you are my father said you only taught saturdays so your not part of the inner circle spoke to the remaining blck belts from that era and you ain,t one of them. so run along and be like the new bdfs and drift into the sunset. because if you were one of them you would tell me who you are. like the new bdfs you have to hide so run along and drift into the sunset. started the book and you ain,t going to be in it . john creeden

Anonymous said...

Not a circle and book I want to be in at all. I just want to see the movie get made as it would be interesting to see a real documentary regarding this man. Fall River is so far from the center of it all, and the new BDFS has slipped into obscurity with a student population that continues to dwindle as the hook of Bill Jr. is gone. This is not relevant to life but a "movie".

Anonymous said...

So Mr Creeden, you are writing a book now? On what do want to enlighten the world about?

Anonymous said...

what was really goin on in fall river and the robberies and the murders and things like that . i said ill make you famous jonh creeden

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

john creeden again been in touch with det king of the mass statepolice about a murder of a prositute who was dug up in her back yard and was bound with john keehan,s belt. wow this is getting intresting . the info i got to start this was from bill 111 and he is nervous he said to me that the belt was reported stolen in the 90,s but their,s not evidence of that. going on a full intreview on that tomorrow. told floyd about it they want to see the footage of dante wearing it so i have to go to the da,s office to see if it is a cold case i,ll get some info but if it,s still open they won,t tell me nothing . so stay tuned

Joe said...

My Father is Joe Lamothe who was very close with John for roughly three years prior to John's death and is pictured in several photos that have run in the magazines. If possible, he would like to speak with John Creeden or Paul Sousa. You are welcome to email me at with any info as to how he can reach them. Thank you.

degree said...
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