Even as the Redskins continue to maintain they have no idea where John Rigins is, confidential memoranda obtained by The Washington Post reveal that the private investigator hired by the team to track down Riggins has spotted the fullback -- wearing various disguises and using various aliases -- in 10 different places since his departure from the training camp on July 27.
The Redskins, with the encouragement of Owner Jack Kent Cooke -- who now wears an M.I.A. bracelet with Riggins' name on it -- hired Booth (the Sleuth) Spillane and listed him on the payroll as an assistant coach in charge of tracking player personnel.
Spillane, a former water boy and shakedown artist at a prominent Big Ten school, filed reports concerning the whereabouts of Riggins to General Manager Bobby Beathard. The Post was able to obtain these correspondences yesterday when Spillane resigned from the Redskins to start his new job as Lemar Parrish's agent.
Here are the complete texts of Spillane's reports:
Wednesday, July 30 -- Riggins tracked to Joe Theismann's restaurant in Virginia, where he was hired as salad chef. He gave his name as John Child, claiming to be Julia's largest son. Riggins was fired after only three hours on the job because he refused to work with tomatoes, red cabbages or radishes. "I'm hung up on greens" Riggins said as he hopped on his motorcycle and sped away.
Friday, Aug. 8 -- Riggins was spotted in Cleveland, on the banks of the Cuyohoga River, which caught fire some years ago. Riggins sat there for two days, fly-casting for trout. He might have remained had a task force from the Environmental Protection Agency not told him that the river was completely polluted and not even Grits Gresham could catch fish there. "No wonder no fish were biting," Riggins said. Riggins then checked out of the motel where he was registered under the name John Q. Tuna and sped away.
Sunday, Aug. 10 -- Riggins drove into the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota looking for an American Indian barber. "My hair's too long, lay a Mohawk on me. Riggins said. "We don't do Mohawks, we're Sioux, we'll leave an 'S' on top of your head," the barber said. Riggins, who thought for a moment and then asked, "Instead of a plain 'S,' can you give me one with a dollar sign?" The barber said that would violate tribal custom and Riggins sped away.
Wednesday, Aug. 13 -- Riggins showed up in Libya using the name John Carter and claiming to be a cousin of Billy's. At a meeting with some middle level military men Riggins asked for a $200,000 loan. "It's right in your ballpark, and it's the money I'm looking for from a certain Washington organization anyway," Riggins said. "You give me the money and I'm your man on third-and-goal." The Libyans, who didn't know a football from a date tree, turned him down, and Riggins -- wearing a coat made out of peanut shells -- hailed a cab and sped away.
Saturday, Aug. 16 -- Riggins came into Baltimore calling himself Wild John Lagy for the Orioles-Yankees game. To get onto the field he borrowed Len Sakata's uniform, reasoning that no one knew what Sakata looked like, and walked up to Edward Bennett Williams. "Fast Eddie," Riggins said, "you were always my main man. Can you do something for me. I'm hurting for cash." Williams said he had a good job available -- chauffeur. "I need a man who can put the pedal to the metal," Williams said. "Getting in and out of this burg is murder." They were last seen together after the game, speeding away.
Monday, Aug. 18 -- Riggins was spotted in Gdansk, Poland.He said he was there as an exchange striker. He was wearing a burgundy sweater and gold trousers. The news photographs show him with a towel draped over his hip that said, "EP YRAZL BUNCHSKI," which is Polish for, "The Wild Bunch." After an hour of solidarity he sped away.
Thursday, Aug. 21 -- Riggins, this time as Riggins himself, was a house guest in Palos Verdes, Calif. The owner of the house, listed on the mailbox as G. Allen, came to greet Rigins in a strange outfit, white from head to foot, like a Good Humor man. He carried a film projector in one hand and a copy of Richard Nixon's autobiography in the other. He and Riggins apparently discussed business for a few hours, but it was impossible to eavesdrop on their conversation because Allen had electronic jamming devices placed all around his running track, where he does all of his talking. As they returned to the house, Allen said to Riggins. "Join me in a dish of ice cream?" And Riggins said, "I'd love to George but I don't think there's room enough for both of us." Riggins then jumped into his rented car, a Ramcharger, and sped away.
Friday, Aug. 22 -- Riggins remained on the West Coast and was seen as a contestant on "The Gong Show." He was part of a trio -- they were all masked, but reliable sources would confirm that the other two were Lemar Parrish and Jeris White that sang "Money Honey," "It's Money That I Love" and "Money, That's What I Want." They were gonged in the middle of the last song by actor Jamie Farr, who turned out to be a cousin of Howard Slusher. After the gonging, Riggins put on dark glasses, a Joe Theismann wig and a T-shirt that said, "Stolen from Kansas U. Economics Dept." and sped away.
Tuesday, Aug. 26 -- Riggins showed up at the Gingerbread Man in Carlisle, Pa. He ordered three pitchers of beer, saying, "One for me, one for Billy and one for Sonny." When the bartender pointed out that neither Billy nor Sonny was there, Riggins said, "They'll be here as soon as George lets them out of the films." The bartender, making polite conversation, asked Riggins why he decided to come to camp now, when camp was already over and the Redskins were back in Washington. Riggins scratched his head and said, "Ah, yeah? It's over? Gee, I must have overslept." Then he sped away.
Friday, Aug. 29 -- Riggins was seen in Bernie Smilovitz's house. Just as Smilovitz was doing the sports on TV and talking about where Riggins might be, Riggins was there, in the kitchen, wearing a Ken Beatrice mask and talking to a carrot in the refrigerator. Riggins grabbed the carrot and said, "So you want to talk about the Redskins? Okay, let's do it." Minutes before Smilovitz came home, Riggins sped away.
That was the last entry.
In looking through the reports we found only one persistent annotation, probably by Beathard, in the margins. He had written numbers in at every spot where Spillane used the words "sped away," numbers lke 4.5, 4.6, 4.5, 4.5 and 4.45. Asked to comment, Beathard said, "We timed him in the 40 at every spot; he's still as fast as ever and we feel he can step right in and play for us."