Growing up in Hollywood’s South Lake neighborhood with her Uncle Jim and Aunt Florence, life seemed pretty normal to Carole Cortland Russo.
Uncle Jim played golf. Aunt Flo kept a lovely home. They went to church and local restaurants. But every once in awhile, something out of the ordinary happened in the family’s social circle.
“In the ’50s, there was a family two blocks away — Phil Kovolick, he was a friend of Uncle Jim’s,’’ she said. “His wife was Minnie. His daughters Phyllis and Judy were my playmates. I found out that Phil was murdered and cut up and found floating in a receptacle ... Somebody didn’t like something he did.’’
Uncle Jim was Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes’’ Alo, right-hand man to Miami Beach mob boss Meyer Lansky. The men met in 1929, the same year that Jimmy met Flo. They co-operated casinos in Cuba, Las Vegas and South Florida.
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