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Russ Whitney threatens his stepmother into silence by John T. Reed 2 Heart trouble Shortly after they married, stepmother came home to find her husband sick and his skin the color of ashes. He was taken to the hospital and the doctor told stepmother that he had terminal heart disease. Russell Walter admitted to her that he had passed out a couple of times in the Marines, but no one was around when it happened and he never told anyone or sought medical advice. (Don"t try this at home. Passing out generally indicates a serious health problem.) He had several other heart attacks during the nine years they were married. Hit by a car During his time in Bayside, Queens, little Russ was hit by a car. He suffered no permanent injury, but he received $6,000 from the driver' insurance policy. Unlike Russ Whitney at age 24, the driver who hit Russ did not hit and run. (See my article on Whitney' hit-and-run trouble in 1980.) A New York State law required that the money go into an account for Whitney until he became an adult. Gift to minors Also around that time, guru Russ' maternal great grandmother gave stepmother $2,000 to hold for Russ until he was, in stepmother' discretion, mature enough to handle it. Big net worth With $8,000, around 1962, Russ may have had a larger net worth than his parents. Certainly it was larger than many adults had at the time. Remember that money. It comes up later. REDACTED In junior high, around 1967, "¦ "Fabulous guy" I asked stepmother what kind of guy Russell Walter Whitney was. "Fabulous. Wonderful guy." That is one of two subjects on which she and Russ agree. (The other is his claim he had a "bad attitude.") Details redacted Russell Walter Whitney was a high school grad and a stateside Marine veteran. He was short"”around 5'5". He was working as a truck driver when stepmother met and married him. Her father"¦vouched for Russell Walter so he could get a better job with Otis Elevator in Manhattan. She said he just worked and loved to go out fishing on his boat. Comments about the relationship between father and son redacted. [The guy who led me to stepmother says he played junior varsity (10th grade) baseball with Russ Whitney at Henry Hudson High School in Highlands and that Russ was not a bad athlete.]

"Short people"¦" Here is an odd email I received on 7/14/03 from someone who had just read the above. Russell Walter Whitney was a high school grad and a stateside Marine veteran. He was short"”around 5'5". I didn't notice this until today. When I was at Whitney's offices in Cape Coral, I remember several occasions on which I heard him say that he 'hated short people'. He never explained why. I was always puzzled by it. It isn't as if Russ is in any danger of setting any height records in the NBA records :-) The comment was always unprovoked, stood on its own and usually generated silence from those around him. I have no idea what it means, if anything, but it is interesting that the person that he claims to revere was only 5' 5". Russ Whitney claimed to be 5'11" on his New York and Florida drivers licenses. But an associate who was often in his presence told me he is more like 5'7" to 5'9". Whitney' "wicked stepmother" is around Russ Whitney' reported height and may even be taller than him still at age 73. Amateur psychologists in the reading audience can figure out what all this means, if anything. I was 6' in college; about 5'11" now. Highlands, NJ I was stationed four miles from Highlands, NJ, when I was in the Army on two occasions in 1969 and 1970-72. I did not spend much time in Highlands, but I knew the general area as it was when Russ lived there. Also, I lived in Wildwood, NJ, when I was in kindergarten and elementary school, so I also know what it' like to live year round on the Jersey Shore. After I interviewed stepmother, I had several hours to kill before my ferry left. She had to go to work. Both she and her retired husband have jobs, although they seem not to need them except to remain active. I walked around Highlands, stopping at the police station to chat. I had lunch at the Wind and Sea, a very elegant, resort-type restaurant on the Bay. The maitre "D told me the place is packed from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Highlands is an old, small town. It is blue collar. Many lots are only 25-feet wide. The houses fill the lots and there are many with little or no setback. Many yards had junk like old tires or rusted boat trailers. But at the same time, many houses had recently been renovated or were being renovated while I was there. I saw no bars on any windows. The town was extremely quiet literally and figuratively"”except during rush hour when a steady stream of cars goes to or from the ferry terminal parking lot. It was a sort of blue-collar version of the mythical Cabot Cove, Maine in the TV series "Murder She Wrote." Lots of bait-and-tackle shops, marinas, seafood restaurants, and seafood markets. Built their home When they bought the property in 1964, Russ' father and stepmother got a 95-foot-by-37.3-foot lot with a cottage on the back of it. The elevation of Ocean Avenue appears to be only about ten to twenty feet above sea level, so I was not surprised to learn that flood tides from hurricanes damaged the cottage. They then built a brand new house on the front of the lot in 1967. It is a one-story with aluminum siding and is elevated somewhat, apparently to raise it above the occasional flood tide. Stepmother' house across the street on Ocean Avenue is a two-story and they apparently live mostly on the second floor, well above the flood tide level. Many of the homes in Wildwood where I lived as a kid had the house up on the second-floor level with nothing but an open lattice-covered area where the first floor would normally be. The Wind and Sea Restaurant where I ate in Highlands also had that architecture to keep it above flood-tide level. REDACTED When he was about 12 or 13 redacted Conner' pool When he was a kid, his family joined Conner' pool in Highlands. Stepmother said Redacted Father' death Russell Walter Whitney had one last heart attack on Thursday, October 1, 1970. He was working a second job for Snap-On Tools in Monmouth County, NJ, the county where he lived, when he collapsed. He was taken to Riverview Hospital in Red Bank, NJ where efforts to revive him failed. Russ was taken out of school to go to the hospital by his stepsister who was driving age and had a car. When they arrived and told who they had come to visit, the hospital staff very coldly informed them, "Oh, he' dead." Stepmother arrived a little later and found the two children devastated, but not crying. He was buried in the cemetery at All Saints Episcopal Church in Navesink, NJ, which is adjacent to Highlands. Russ Whitney has some talk on the Internet about his father being buried in Navesink because he had no relatives and that now that Whitney has the financial means, he plans to move his father to West Kill, NY area to be near other Whitney family members. I asked stepmother about this. Guru Russ is apparently misinterpreting his father' burial wishes. The fact is Russel Walter Whitney' wife, stepdaughter, and son were in the Navesink area and his sister was in Wyckoff, NJ. Wyckoff is about 40 miles north northeast of Highlands. Russell Walter' mother was living with his sister in Reno and flew in for the funeral. The wake involved plenty of Whitney relatives. The deceased father was born in Brooklyn, not West Kill. And when I asked stepmother why she and her husband moved from Queens to Highlands, she said, redacted. Russ Whitney continued to live with his stepmother for a time after his father died. Then one day, redacted, he left the house and she did not see him again until two years later. He was 14 or 15 when he left. Reno It appears that Whitney got his Reno aunt to send him a plane ticket to move there. This seems odd considering he had an aunt whom he called a "loving, caring saint" 40 miles away in Wyckoff. Given his fondness for his Aunt Lynn and her proximity to his location when he was calling relatives looking for a new place to live, it would seem likely that he called Aunt Lynn first. Given that he ended up in Reno, it would further appear that Aunt Lynn turned him down. I do not know if that happened or, if it did, whether Aunt Lynn was unable or just unwilling to let him come to live with her. Dropped out of high school junior year Whitney says he dropped out of high school his junior year. If he dropped out his junior year, it was not from Henry Hudson Regional High School in Highlands, NJ. He never had a junior year there. This suggests he enrolled in high school in Reno. Which one? I would appreciate hearing from anyone who lived in Reno at that time and knows anything about Russ. Whitney ran away from stepmother to Reno around 1971 it appears. It also appears that his normal high-school graduating class would have been the Class of 1973, but with running away and all, he may have been left back a year along the way. His normal junior year appears to have been the 1971-1972 school year. Ran away again Russ Whitney says he lived with his Reno aunt for about a year then "ran away from her home." (Building Wealth p.22) I would like to hear from anyone who can tell me when Whitney was in Reno and what, if anything, happened there that was noteworthy. Apparently, something happened. You don"t "run away" for no reason. Stepmother says that while in Reno, redacted Sounds like the aunt and uncle were not much more receptive to Whitney' unacceptable behavior than his "wicked" stepmother, but he did not trash his aunt and uncle in his book the way he did stepmother. The fact is he ran away from every grown-up he could have lived with after his father died, not just his "wicked stepmother." Sounds like the problem was Russ himself, not the "wicked stepmother." Note the phrase that he ran away "from her home." Why not just say he ran away? Why the addition of the "from her home" phrase? Indeed, there is some reason to believe that he was not living in her home at the time he ran away the second time. The Reno aunt apparently sent him to a private, military high school in California or Texas. We have to guess why. If that' true, it would appear Whitney went "AWOL" from the military school rather than running away from the Reno aunt' home. I asked stepmother if Russ Whitney is intelligent. Redacted

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