Once, while going through a closet, his wife reportedly counted 100 suits of clothes containing 100 separate sets of identification for 100 aliases.
The mysterious life and even more mysterious death of Santa Alesandro Bario, a much-decorated Drug Enforcement Administration undercover operative who choked in a Texas jail on a peanut butter sandwich just before Christmas last year, sounds like the scenario of a movie or the plot of a best-selling novel.
Now his wife, Joanne, a writer, may be plotting the ultimate revenge against those she believes framed her husband and may have poisoned him. Joanne Bario, who is already suing the DEA for wrongfully discharging her husband in the events that led up to his bizarre death, is reportedly hard at work on a book.
But her lawyer, former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, won't confirm that she is pecking away at her typewriter or even contemplating the idea at some future date. There is reason to fear that the DEA, which has been playing rough in the Bario proceedings, might decide to subpoena her manuscript or notes.
The DEA is fighting efforts by Joanne Bario to force it to produce an informant who caused her husband to be arrested on bribery allegations after a brilliant career that won him a presidential achievement award and led to successful narcotics convictions in half a dozen countries.
Poisoning was first suspected when Bario was hospitalized in a coma that lasted four months. A hospital technician had found traces of strychnine in a urine sample, but a Bexar County medical examiner eventually ruled that Bario's death was the long-delayed result of the choking incident.
The court battle between Joanne Bario and the DEA is expected to produce some "spectacular" testimony later this winter, and maybe some dramatic scenes for a movie.
There was just the briefest mention in one gossip column this week after CBS board chairman Bill Paley's stepdaughter, Amanda Burden, was married "secretly" to Steve Ross of Warner Communications last Saturday.
But a sign painter must have known the nuptuals were planned. For years, her summer house on Long Island has been marked at the driveway entrance as the residence of "Mrs. A. Burden."
Last weekend, there was already a new sign in place reading "Mr. and Mrs. S. Ross."
Burden may end up a tiny footnote in the history books after the 1980 presidential campaign. Along with Suzy "Chapstick" Chaffee, she is frequently mentioned when political writers try to explain Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's marital status and stresses.
Gays booed and hissed when White House staffer Mike Chanin tried to tell a rally at The Pier disco on Half Street the other night how much the Carter administration "respects" them.
What went unsaid by the crowd was the grapevine resentment many gays feel toward First Lady Rosalynn Carter. She was quoted very obliquely in Cosmopolitan magazine earlier this year as having privately expressed her own serious reservations about homosexuality.
What has never been reported before, but is widely talked about, is that some gays who once worked on the White House staff beleive she is responsible for having them "promoted" to jobs that were not so close to the Carter family.
Although former Iranian ambassador to the U.S. Ardeshir Zahedi is said to be No. 2 man on the ayatoallah's hit list, he had no bodyguards when he visited the shah in New York recently and stayed, as everyone who knows his habits would have predicted, at the Waldorf. . .Former Massachusetts senator Edward Brooke, since his remarraige, has started putting on weight, His spectacular-looking new wife is one of the best cooks in Washington, friends say, and may even by THE best, some claim. . . Rep. M. Dawson Mahtis' very pretty and very expensively dressed 24-year-old wife could become the "the Phyllis George of Georgia" when he campaigns against Se. Herman Talmadge. No one will say whether Sharon Beavers, who married Mathis a year ago, is a former beauty queen or just looks like one. She still works for Majority Whip John Brademas.