Marion Elizabeth Toye knew a good thing when she saw it.Even though these Mafia men in the P.F.F. warehouse never returned a pistol she had lent them, they were a good source of money and she believed they had powerful friends; they were good people to know.
Toye figured they would help her. They had mentioned that they already had a D.A., and maybe one of their lawyers and the power to get the people downtown to stop messing with her, trying to violate her parole. As she left she reminded the men that she was only pawning the gun and wanted it back. They quickly agreed, but later told her they had sent it to New York. It was a standard excuse that the undercover police posing as Mafia men at P.F.F. gave for holding on to evidence.
Toye left the place convinced and soon told one of her best friends, Ida Mae Logan, more often known as Margaret Jackson, or Ida Mae Jackson, or Ida Mae Watson. "Ida, I know these people - they got machine guns - they got to buzz you in and they take anything from you. Checks, credit cards, anything," Toye said.
"Toye, stop your damn lyin'."
"Ida, I swear!"
Her persistence set off a slight tingling in Ida's stomach, "Toye, you know what?I got a check home for almost $700. Now you take me over there and sell it." They went on Jan. 23, 1976.
This was the first step in a chain of event sthat would end with Ida's husband agreeing to be a hit man for P.F.F. (Police-F.B.I. Fencing, Incognito) and confessing to an unsolved murder.
"Is that you, Toye?" a voice shouted at the top of the warehouse stairs.
"Your friend with you?"
"Yeah." The door swing open.
"What's your friend's name?" the bearded man behind the counter asked.
"Ida." For that answer, Toye received a subtle foot stomp from her companion.
Ida told them her last name was Logan, which it in fact was, but she felt it was a perfect alias becuase she used other names all the time. She thought: You said Ida Logan on the street and nobody knows who the hell you're talking about. Nowhere in the world can you find Ida Logan anywhere.
The men in the warehouse knew exactly who she was. Angelo knew her as Ida Mae Watson, of a clan already familiar to many city policemen. Some of them had pioneered in using portable, battery-powered electric drills to pierce car-door locks in seconds; they would then hot-wire the ingition, drive the car to an alley, and strip its tires and accessories in a few moments. Angelo figured that many Washingtonians were riding on "Watson tires."
"Ida, this is Pat; he's all right," Toye said. "Pat, Ida is al right and she's a helluva booster; she can bring you whatever you want."
Pretty soon they were hassling over how much the check was worth. Pat finally agreed to give Ida $60 for it, plus a $40 loan. Then he said, "Don't forget, we're having this big party and I want you to bring some girls."
Outside, Ida yammered how she didn't believe this was the Mafia, since those people were supposed to do things in secret and kill anyone who found out.
But Toye cut her head off and made a joke out of Ida'a apprehension. "Ida," she said, "it's for real."
Deceiving Ida Watson-Jackson-Logan was a tribute to the skills of the men in the warehouse. She was a quick read of person and at age 32 a veteran hustler. She had boosted (shoplifted) and sold drugs, had given birth to a child at the age of 13 and had taken up with a drug dealer who bought her a new car, furniture, and shoes from Garfinckel's instead of Baker's or Chandler's. Ida spent years in jail, federal penitentiaries, and drug programs. Under the Narcotics Administration Rehabilitation Act she had to report to government clinics for counseling and urine specimens to check for heroin. Her parole hinged on it. Ida knew of women who had foiled the urine test - even under close observation - by flicking some salt from the palm of a hand into the specimen bottle. Ida referred to the NARA act as "The Ugly Act."
Hustling was Ida's way of life. With little education and no decent job experience, she probably couldn't make more than $75 or $80 a week as a hospital cleanup worker or a waitress, she figured. That wasn't enough. What if she saw a couch that cost a lousy $300, for instance and knew she couldn't get it without waiting three or four paychecks? Just coming out of the penitentiary, she didn't want to bus dishes or make beds. You do that for two or three years in jail, you don't wanna bus no dishes when you come home, she felt. There were other ways. She knew how to handle drugs and stolen things, and when an opportunity came along she moved. It looked like she could make some money from this guy Pay.
Over the next two weeks, Ida's husband, George (Sonny) Logan, badgered her for more information about the warehouse and these so-called Mafia men.
"It is unbelievable," Ida told him.
He had to see for himself. He had a stolen check he had bought on the street for $10, and a pistol that didn't work to sell to the men in the warehouse. The pistol had no clip, but he decided to take it along to see how smart they were.
Sonny didn't believe this type of operation could be right here in the federal city, the nation's capital, with the Bicentennial and all, right under the eyes of the FBI and the ATF and the XYZ and all oth them.
"How ya doin', how ya doin'," Pat said to him when he walked into the warehouse with Ida on Feb. 1, 1976. Sonny was 36 and a native of Washington and thought he had seen everything until this - two bearded men holding what looked like machine guns, and boasting they were down from New York to organize the city, and would buy about anything he brought in. Sonny reached for the bottle of Jack Daniels, poured himself a glass and drank it straight down, not even bothering to wipe his mouth. Ida, wearing a floppy knitted hat pulled over her ears, was all smiles.
Pat paid $30 for the gun and 20 per cent, or another $22, for the stolen check. Sonny swept the bills across the countertop. He was a hulking man, large-boned, broad-shouldered and could have passed for a light-heavyweight boxer. Sonny couldn't believe that these men were dumb enough to buy a gun without a clip.
"You came out good," Ida said to him, beaming. "You came out better than I thought you were gonna out." "To the men in the warehouse, this was simply incident number 555 - until Sonny Logan confessed to an unsolved murder. Pat, fingering the pistol, asked him if he was afraid to use it.
"Hell, no," Sonny shot back. "Yeah, I done some things - between me and you, you know - I done some things and I had some thinds done to me. I been a convict, if that's what you wanna know." Sonny figured he'd better talk good to this Mafia man.
"What's the best thing you pulled off - the best thing you pulled off - the best thing?"
"Man," George said, "you know how people come up missin' . . ."
Pat was on the scent. "Look, my boss in New York, he's hirin' thieves to do various work; they'll be paid a weekly salary - people to do hit work - they will be paid bonuses, five, 1015 thousand . . . Have you tatken anybody out?"
Sonny, shifting his feet, thought hard on this one. For about 10 or 15 seconds he said nothing. What was he going to tell them? Pat spoke up again. "Have you ever killed anybody?"
"Yeah," he said. "Gilbert Parsons . . ."
"Tell me about it."
Ida could feel the anxiety building within her. Something wasn't right, she thought. It ain't Pat's business. He ain't here for nothin' but to buy somethin'. All over the world, she thought, fences don't care how you get it - all they do is want it. This man was getting too personal. She started babbling - whatever came to mind - to try to change the subject.
(George (Sonny) Logan, after saying on a P.F.F. videotape that he murdered Parsons, was acquited of the crime by a Prince George's County jury last year. His defense lawyer maintained that Logan had lied at the P.F.F. warehouse to impress men he thought were Mafia. An accessory charge against Ida Logan was dropped after George Logan's acquittal.)
Next: "They knew eeach and every one of you."