Durham, North Carolina – If anyone can cover a story and uncover the truth when it comes to real life crime and bigger-than-life gangsters, award winning author/ filmmaker Ron Chepesiuk can. Having recently exposed the lies behind “The American Gangster/Frank Lucas” saga with the book and DVD “Sergeant Smack: The Legendary Lives and Times of Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, and His Band of Brothers” Chepesiuk is back on the scene and joining him is noted Detroit-based filmmaker/director Alan “Al Profit” Bradley. The beat this time – the greatest getaway story in gangster history, the mystery of drug kingpin, Frank Matthews.
In 1973, Frank Matthews, history’s first African American drug kingpin, jumped bail in New York City with $15 to $20 million and a beautiful girlfriend. Nearly four decades later, the fate of Frank Matthews, the money and the girlfriend, Cheryl Brown, remain a complete mystery!
The trailer for the new DVD documentary, co-produced by Studio August and Strategic Media Books, “Frank Matthews Story: The Rise and Disappearance of America’s Biggest Kingpin,” garnered over 150,000 views in less than four hours on WorldStarHipHop.com, indicating a ‘mob’ of interest in this true life legend! “It’s as if Matthews dropped off the face of the earth,” explains Mike Pizzi, a retired U.S. Marshal who was involved with the hunt for Matthews, the fugitive, for several years.
“Frank Matthews Story: The Rise and Disappearance of America’s Biggest Kingpin” features rare archival footage, interviews with Mike Pizzi, detectives, retired gangsters and other sources who have never spoken publicly about Matthews. The one hour and 25 minute documentary includes exclusive footage and rare photos of Matthews and his crew.
Chepesiuk and Bradley explore several intriguing issues, including how was Matthews able to operate for several years without being detected; what was his relationship with La Cosa Nostra; why did the CIA get involved in the Matthews’ investigation; what happened to Cheryl Brown and why has the mystery of his disappearance been so difficult to solve?
Frank Matthews’ crime empire rivaled the Italian Mafia. When he boldly built himself a mansion in Staten Island’s most exclusive neighborhood, right across the street from mobsters Paul Castellano and Three Finger Brown, he found himself on the verge of a war with La Cosa Nostra. Matthews also battled militant Black Muslims for control of the streets in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
“Frank Matthews was a one-of-a-kind legend in the drug trade,” Bradley explains. Bradley (http://www.alprofit.com) is the noted director of several documentaries about urban gangsters, including “Rollin’,” “Motown Mafia” and “Murder City.” “Matthews emerges as an almost mythical figure when it comes to true crime stories. Our documentary offers some fascinating insight behind this truly mysterious man.”
“The $15 to $20 million dollars he disappeared with is roughly equivalent to $100 million today,” adds Chepesiuk. “What happened to Frank Matthews? That’s the most intriguing question in organized crime history,” ponders Chepesiuk (http://www.ronchepesiuk.com), who has spent five years researching the Frank Matthew story. “Amazingly, despite one of the largest manhunts in US history, there is still no proof as to whether he is alive or dead.”
Dead or alive, Frank Matthews made a defiant mark in history. “Frank Matthews Story: The Rise and Disappearance of America’s Biggest Kingpin” is available for DVD purchase and instant digital download at http://www.frankmatthewsmovie.com as well as on Amazon.com and wherever DVD’s are sold.
The documentary will be screened March 23, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. EST at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, North Carolina, and on April 11, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. EST at The Museum of the American Gangster in New York City. Both events are open to the public.