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Old 03-31-2008, 10:41 AM
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Miami Herald, The (FL)
January 27, 1984

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LOST HISTORY KYS OFFICIAL CRIME

DEAD OR ALIVE? WIFE WANTS INFAMOUS FUGITIVE BUM FARTO DECLARED LEGALLY DEAD

Author: PATTY SHILLINGTON Herald Staff Writer
Article Text:
The wife of former Fire Chief Joseph (Bum) Farto -- Key West's most infamous fugitive, who skipped town in 1976 three days after his conviction on drug-dealing crimes -- wants her husband to be declared legally dead.
Esther Farto, 65, filed papers late Wednesday in Monroe County's Probate Division to clear up the legal issue of Farto's fate. She wants to settle his estate and may be eligible for retirement and insurance benefits.

But eight years after the former fire chief was convicted of dealing cocaine and marijuana to an undercover agent in the infamous "Operation Conch" investigation, the mystery of Bum Farto remains.
And authorities aren't willing to concede that they won't eventually nab Farto, whose disappearance created a sort of cult on the island when store proprietors produced T-shirts saying "Where is Bum Farto?" and "The Answer is Bum's Away" and "Bum Farto is Alive and Well and Living in Spain."
"As far as the state of Florida is concerned," Monroe County State Attorney Kirk Zuelch said Thursday, "there are still warrants out" for Farto's arrest.
Under Florida law, an individual must be missing five years before proceedings to declare the missing person dead can be started.
According to the court documents, Farto "has not been seen or heard from since" Feb. 16, 1976 when he left his home in a rented car later found in Miami.
At the time of his disappearance, the flamboyant Farto was awaiting sentencing and faced a maximum prison term of 31 years.
Rumors immediately surfaced that Farto had been killed by other drug dealers. Other people gossiped that Farto was living it up in Latin America or Spain.
Mrs. Farto "has contacted all known relatives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Sheriff's Department of Monroe County, Florida, and the Key West Police Department and the office of the State Attorney, and none of the above agencies have been able to furnish any information as to Joseph A. Farto, or as to whether
Farto> is alive or dead," the three-page document states in part.
Mrs. Farto "has no further avenues available to her to determine the whereabouts of Joseph A. Farto,
and> therefore presumes him to be deceased."
Key West lawyer John Spottswood is handling the unusual court action for Mrs. Farto, who married her missing husband in 1955 and who may receive retirement and insurance benefits if her husband is declared dead. Farto also has two surviving sisters.
"We had to wait for the statute to run, No. 1," before filing the papers, Spottswood said. "And No. 2, the FBI maintained that he was a fugitive and was going to be apprehended momentarily. Well, momentarily lasted two years."
According to the court documents, Farto has two $1,000 insurance policies as assets in his estate.
Spottswood said he will determine what benefits may come to Mrs. Farto.
"There are alot of things that are available," he said.
Caption:
photo: Bum Farto

Last edited by Starless; 09-24-2008 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:48 AM
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Miami Herald, The (FL)
May 21, 1986

'BUM' FARTO IS DECLARED LEGALLY DEAD

Author: SUSAN ORNSTEIN Herald Staff Writer

Article Text:
Ten years after he disappeared, Joseph "Bum" Farto -- the Key West fire chief as famous for his red leisure suits and rose-colored glasses as his cocaine conviction -- has been declared dead.
For probate purposes, that is. Though his estate now will be divided, Farto isn't dead in the hearts of law enforcement officers, who still plan to prosecute him if he's ever found alive.
"As far as the state of Florida is concerned," State Attorney Kirk Zuelch said Tuesday, "there is a warrant outstanding for his arrest for failing to show up for sentencing. If he is ever found, we will proceed with our case."
Convicted in February 1976 of selling cocaine to undercover agents at the city fire station, Farto jumped bail. He drove a rental car from Key West to Miami and disappeared.
Rumors abounded that the fugitive was alive and well in Costa Rica or Spain. Some said he was killed by other drug dealers. As late as 1984, FBI agents said they fully expected to apprehend him, according to court records.
In Key West, Farto became legend. Entrepreneurs produced T- shirts saying "Where is Bum Farto?" and "The Answer is Bum's Away."
Circuit Judge Helio Gomez's declaration Monday that Farto is dead allows his wife, Esther, to administer his estate. According to court records, Farto left about $2,000 in insurance policies. His wife also can collect his city pension -- about $4,000 to $5,000, her attorney John Spottswood Jr. said.
The money is important, Esther Farto said. At 68, she survives on a $231 monthly check from Social Security, she said. She supplements that by baby sitting and baking cakes and pastries in her United Street home, Spottswood said.
"You can't imagine what I been through," Esther Farto said. "No one knows." She and Farto were married 21 years when he disappeared. She has not heard from him since that day, she said.
Her brother, Joe Beiro, recently retired from the city fire department, said his sister has struggled while the rest of the community entertained itself with rumors about Farto.
"Years of going through hell, no one cared," Beiro said.
Esther Farto tried two years before she succeeded in having Farto declared dead. Though Florida law calls for a five-year wait to declare a missing person dead, the rumors that surrounded Farto's disappearance dragged the case out for 10 years, Spottswood said.
"They said he was in Costa Rica. They said he was in Spain. They saw him on the Turnpike. But there was no real proof, so the presumption is, he's dead."
Farto had no children. He had two sisters, Juanita Veliz of Key West and Maria Bowden of Miami.
If alive, Farto would be 66. At the time of his disappearance, he faced a maximum prison term of 31 years.
Caption:
photo: Joseph 'Bum' FARTO

Last edited by Starless; 09-24-2008 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:35 PM
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That is the most awesome name I have ever heard.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: BUM FARTO ??? MISSING ???

Yep, it is an awsome name. Wonder what his middle name was ??
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: BUM FARTO ??? MISSING ???

Miami Herald, The (FL)
May 21, 1986
Edition: FINAL
Section: LOCAL
Page: 17A







EX-KEY WEST FIRE CHIEF DECLARED DEAD AFTER JUMPING BAIL IN '76

Author: SUSAN ORNSTEIN Herald Staff Writer

Dateline: KEY WEST









Article Text:
Ten years after he disappeared, Joseph "Bum" Farto -- the Key West fire chief as famous for his red leisure suits and rose-colored glasses as his cocaine conviction -- has been declared dead.
For probate purposes, that is. Though his estate now will be divided, Farto isn't dead in the hearts of law enforcement officers, who still plan to prosecute him if he's ever found alive.
"As far as the state of Florida is concerned," State Attorney Kirk Zuelch said Tuesday, "there is a warrant outstanding for his arrest for failing to show up for sentencing. If he is ever found, we will proceed with our case."
Convicted in February 1976 of selling cocaine to undercover agents at the city fire station, Farto jumped bail. He drove a rental car from Key West to Miami and disappeared.
Rumors abounded that the fugitive was alive and well in Costa Rica or Spain. Some said he was killed by other drug dealers. As late as 1984, FBI agents said they fully expected to apprehend him, according to court records.
In Key West, Farto became legend. Entrepreneurs produced T- shirts saying "Where is Bum Farto?" and "The Answer is Bum's Away."
Circuit Judge Helio Gomez's declaration Monday that Farto is dead allows his wife, Esther, to administer his estate. According to court records, Farto left about $2,000 in insurance policies. His wife also can collect his city pension -- about $4,000 to $5,000, said her attorney, John Spottswood Jr.
The money is important, Mrs. Farto said, because at age 68 she survives on a $231 monthly check from Social Security. She supplements that by baby-sitting and baking cakes and pastries in her United Street home, Spottswood said.
"You can't imagine what I been through," she said. "No one knows."
She and Farto were married 21 years when he disappeared. They had no children. Farto has two sisters, Juanita Veliz of Key West and Maria Bowden of Miami.
Mrs. Farto said she hasn't heard from him.
If alive, Farto would be 66. At the time of his disappearance, he faced a maximum prison term of 31 years.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: BUM FARTO ??? MISSING ???

Miami Herald, The (FL)
March 25, 1984
Edition: FINAL
Section: LIVING TODAY
Page: 1G







MISSING

Author: MIKE CAPUZZO Herald Staff Writer











Article Text:
Missing: Russ Rolnick and Alan Hirsch, both 26, last seen aboard a boat at Monty Trainer's bayside restaurant in Coconut Grove Feb. 24.
Vanished, two days later: Rosario Gonzalez, blond 20-year-old aspiring model, last seen at the Miami Grand Prix.
Disappeared, six days after Gonzalez: Martin Kogan, 21, son of a former Miami Beach judge, his boat found four miles off Miami Beach, circling, skipperless, splattered with blood, brain tissue and skull fragments. Police are baffled.
Gone, two days later: Elizabeth Kenyon, 23, brunet Coral Gables schoolteacher and model, last seen at a Shell gas station on South Dixie Highway March 5, reportedly with a race car driver who competed in the Grand Prix the day Gonzalez disappeared.
Never in South Florida have so many persons disappeared apparently by foul play in so short a time -- five in 11 days -- says Miami Sgt. Mike Gonzalez, a city detective for 28 years. Police believe the two young aspiring models' disappearances may be linked, but not related to the other three cases.
The disappearances shocked South Florida. Miami, Metro and North Miami detectives are working around the clock and havepleaded for help from the public.Six psychics have offered help in the Gonzalez case. The Miami City Commission is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return. Gonzalez's parents and her employer, Lory's Fashion Shops, have raised another $30,000 in reward money and are asking for contributions to the Rosario Gonzalez Reward Fund at the Bank of Coral Gables.
Rolnick's family has followed seven psychics' leads from Tampa to Key West to Colombia to Martinique, hired a private eye, retained airplane pilots and boat captains to search local waterways and the Bahamas, and bought newspaper ads offering a $25,000 reward for Rolnick's safe return. The Hirsches have searched Dade County streets with pictures of their son, and joined the Rolnick family in a boat searching South Florida waterways for the two young friends.
Missing: 4,313 names are so marked in Florida Department of Law Enforcement computers, 3,023 of them juveniles; more than 1.8 million Americans were missing last year, by the federal government's count. Runaway youths; senile people; mental patients; children kidnapped by their own parents; dropouts from society fleeing jobs, marriages, the law. Most will return in a day, a week, a month, unharmed.
Finding those who may not, people who may have been abducted, people such as Gonzalez and Keyton, is one of the toughest and rarest jobs police face. No motive. No clues. Often no scene of the crime. Foul play? Unknown. Vanished, without a trace.
'It's one of the toughest crimes," said Sgt. Gonzalez, who has spent 10 years investigating the disappearance of 16-year- old Amy Billig from a Coconut Grove street. "You don't even have a body. You don't even know if there's been a crime."What complicates this is law enforcement is unable to do anything with thousands and thousands of missing persons. They all sound the same. Being alert to pick up on the ones that don't fit the usual profile of a runaway takes a lot of experience. . . . We look for a complete turnaround of the peron's lifestyle."Amy . . . came from good parents who where honest and hard working, was shy, well-educated, disciplined, with a lot of love in the family. It's extremely unlikely she'd run away, extremely unlikely she'd be influenced by anybody, accept a ride. I think she was abducted and her body hidden somewhere."
Unprecedented public awareness of missing persons since the 1981 abduction and murder of 5-year-old Adam Walsh of Hollywood has roused South Florida police and parents' groups to become national leaders in ways to prevent or find missing persons, especially children.
Yet a new breed of clever and psychotic "serial killers," such as Ottis Elwood Toole, who confessed last year to the Walsh killing and is a suspect with Henry Lee Lucas in as many as 50 slayings nationwide, is making the search more difficult.
Missing-person cases have frightened and fascinated Americans from Amelia Earhart to Judge Joseph Force Crater's disappearance in Manhattan in 1930. "Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons," was a popular radio show in the 1940s.
Famous missing persons are part of South Florida lore. Like Judge Crater, their cases are still open, unsolved. Candy heiress Helen Voorhees Brach, a widow with $21 million, vanishing en route to Fort Lauderdale from Minnesota seven years ago. Danny Goldman, the 17- year-old son of a millionaire Surfside contractor, kidnapped from his home by a gunman one March night 18 years ago. Joseph (Bum) Farto, Key West's flamboyant fire chief, vanishing in 1976 three days after his
drug-dealing conviction, giving rise to a kind of cult replete with T-shirts, "Bum Farto is Alive and Well and Living in Spain."
But it was the disappearance of Adam Walsh -- and several other children since -- that changed how society searches for its missing. A 1983 Florida law requires the police to accept reports of missing persons under 18 immediately, even if no foul play is suspected, instead of waiting 24 hours.
Yet Marilyn Messinger, Rolnick's mother, was still initially frustrated by police efforts.
"When you give it to the police department . . . it just sits on their desk," she said. "That was what happened because they said there are hundreds of thousands of missing people every day, and they get a report and they assume the people left town or just wanted to get away so they don't do anything about it."
A 1982 federal law sponsored by Adam Walsh's father, John, requires that the FBI make preliminary investigations of disappearing juveniles. The FBI refused to aid in Walsh's case, but 50 FBI agents last year rescued David Rattray, the four- year-old son of a prominent Vero Beach physician, two days after his abduction.
The new state law also requires missing juveniles be reported to the law enforcement department's new Missing Children Information Clearinghouse, the first state agency of its kind. The center publishes a "safety with strangers" guide for parents, mans a 24-hour hot line, keeps a file on missing children with more detail, such as reported sitings, than the Florida crime computer, says supervisor Wayne Quinsey.
"More and more people are becoming aware that not every child who disappears is a runaway. Law enforcement is more attuned, but resources dictate the manpower they devote to it. Since we've started the clearinghouse here, we receive calls every day . . . 'What can we do to prevent my child from becoming missing?' " Quinsey said.
Despite advances, a newly discovered class of "serial killers" is changing old rules of detective work in the search for missing persons, police said.
As recently as a few years ago, police were more optimistic that a missing person was bound to return alive shortly.
"The rule of thumb was, 'There's no body, they'll show up alive,' " Gonzalez said. "Now when you've got a missing person, you can't help but think of a random psychotic killer. . . . They're becoming more commonplace. It's hard to be as optimistic anymore when you see a missing person with suspicious circumstances. Naturally, we always hope for the best."
"Now they're getting a little more sophisticated at doing away with the bodies," said Miami police officer Sandy Weilbacher, the city's one-man missing persons bureau. "Who knows what happened to the kid (Martin Kogan) in the boat. It used to be you'd find a body in the city in a vacant lot. Now they're out in the Everglades, and they don't show up for years."
While schizophrenic killers like "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz stick in the public's mind, psychotic "serial" killers who cross state lines, go to great pains to hide bodies and kill mind-boggling numbers of people leave victims sometimes virtually impossible to find or identify, said Charles Wetli, Dade County deputy chief medical examiner. Only recently has the FBI formed profiles of these random killers, he said.
"You have a random murder victim, and (the murderer) does not know the assaulted," Wetli said. "Those are the most difficult murders to solve. As the concept of serial murderers is recognized, I think we'll solve more of them."
Partly as a result of such killers, more missing persons end up in morgues in distant cities, where medical examiners struggle to determine their identities, a mobile society's new population of mobile corpses, Gonzalez says.
One such victim in the Dade County morgue is an 18- to 20- year-old woman found in a field in Hialeah, apparently the victim of a rape-murder -- still unidentified after two years.
"She sits here in a box in a room, a complete skeleton," Wetli said. "We have a whole bunch of these cases. Whether this is a random thing, done by a person who'll never kill again . . . or maybe we'll catch somebody along the line like Lucas who did 100 murders. She could be a runaway at 16 and meets her end at 18, a street person with no social ties nobody will particularly miss. Kids run away all the time, and they may or may not communicate with parents again. She may have been on a missing person's list for five years."
In Miami -- population about 400,000 -- 1,462 persons were reported missing last year. For the past 10 years in the police force of 1,031 strong, all the reports flowed to one person -- officer Weilbacher.
One day recently, 20 different cases were stacked on Weilbacher's desk. A nurse who disappeared after a fight with her boyfriend. "I think we'll find her in a canal . . . I have three young men who were missing I'm sure were involved in drugs. They just disappeared off the face of the earth."She turns the rare cases of clear foul play over to homicide detectives, but half a dozen or so other cases come in every day. She rarely investigates them."Nobody can handle this kind of workload," she said.
Weilbacher's counterpart at the Dade County Public Safety Department, Detective Robert Sims, says Metro's missing persons bureau has grown from one to six police in the past few years. Missing persons in the county's unincorporated areas have increased from about 2,500 to 3,300 since 1978.
Weilbacher says society is "losing its grip" on runaways. In the past few years, Weilbacher has seen more young Latin girls younger than 18 flee strict, sheltered, loving homes where chaperones accompany them on dates. Spurred by the women's liberation movement, more women are leaving their husbands and children, she says. But most of the city's 1,200 missing person cases are juvenile runaways, an increasing number since the '60s.
"We don't go out and beat the bushes looking for these kids," she said. Many are simply "shacking up" with a friend.
Since Florida decriminalized running away eight years ago -- so runaways wouldn't be detained with juvenile delinquents -- "we lost any grip we had on controlling the runaway situation," Weilbacher said.
"A child runs away, we pick him up, we contact his parents in Pennsylvania. We say, we have Joe here, we put him a shelter home and he splits again before his parents can pick him up.
"If we find out a child is in Fred's house and Fred's
violent, we'll go with them and try to get their child, but they have to understand even though we're police we have no more power than they do in that situation. If we knock on the door and Fred says, get off my porch, we say, yes, sir, and we leave. We're losing our grip. If a parent finds out his kid has been with any adult they demand you arrest this adult for 'keeping my child.' You can file a complaint on 'contributing to the dependency of a minor,' but the state attorney probably wouldn't even file the charges, it's so minor."
Weilbacher is skeptical of the touted state missing children's clearinghouse and fingerprinting programs established since Adam Walsh's death."It deceives people to believe that we have a lot more authority than we do. Taking fingerprints of a child. What good will that do? Absolutely none, unless a body turns up."
Denny Abbott, executive director of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center in Plantation, disagrees. Police are becoming more sensitive to the fact that "runaways" fill many of the estimated 2,000 unmarked children's graves in the U.S. each year. He said police thought Christine Anderson, a Fort Lauderdale 11-year-old who disappeared more than a year ago, was one of that city's 8,000 runaways. "They found her body in the Everglades," Abbott said. "She wasn't a runaway. She was abducted and murdered. . . . Local police are so limited with what they actually do."
To fill the vacuum, missing children's support groups have sprung up from Broward to Tampa, and more families hire private detectives -- or are conducting their own investigations. Virginia Snyder, Delray Beach private eye, is sleuthing more missing persons, from an elderly man trying to flee alimony payments to parents seeking their children back from noncustodial parent kidnappers to Carol Arcuri, the vanished wife of the late Boynton Beach stolen-car-ring suspect, whom Snyder believes ended up in her husband's car- crushing machine."More people are disappearing, and it has something to do with the economy," Snyder said. "People are avoiding responsibilities. Divorce increase . . . means an increase in child-snatching."
Joan Gherman, who is helping her cousin, Marilyn Messinger, search for Rolnick, says no authorities can match a parent's desire to find their child.
"So far I think Marilyn and I have gathered more information than either the private detective, the police or the Goast Guard," Gherman said. "We're more emotionally involved. We'll try anything available. The police are following all our leads. They don't seem to have come up with anything we haven't come up with."
Says Marilyn, her voice wavering 26 days after Rolnick disappeared: "I'd just like to find my son."
Caption:
photo: Russ Rolnick, Alan Hirsch, Rosario Gonzalez,
Martin Kogan, Elizabeth Kenyon, Amy Billig, Danny Goldman
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: BUM FARTO ??? MISSING ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Yep, it is an awsome name. Wonder what his middle name was ??
FL Marriages and Divorces:

Joseph Anthony Farto 1946 Monroe

Macie Lawson 1946 Monroe


Name: Joseph A. Farto - Doesn't say who he married
Marriage Date: 1955
County of Marriage: Monroe
Volume: 1533
Certificate: 5701
Source: Florida Department of Health


Divorced Macie twice?


Joseph Anthony Farto Macie Farto 1951 Monroe

Joseph Anthony Farto Macie V Farto 1954 Monroe


SSDI - Declared Dead, I guess..

Name: Joseph Farto
SSN:
Born: 3 Jul 1919
Last Benefit: 33040 Key West, Monroe, Florida, United States of America
Died: Feb 1976
State (Year) SSN issued: Florida (Before 1951)


-------------- FL Census, parents Frank and Juanita

Joseph Farto abt 1919 Male Precinct 3, Monroe 1945
View Record

Joseph Farto abt 1920 Male Precinct 2, Monroe 1935 Frank,
Juanita



------------------------------------------------ Pos Relatives

--------------- WWI - Prob kin

Joseph Farto 25 Aug 1898 White Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut


-------------

1920 Census.. Appears to be his grandfather and dad, Frank. Italian name....

Name: Joseph Farto
[Joseph Forto]
Home in 1920: New Haven Ward 4, New Haven, Connecticut
Age: 11 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1909
Birthplace: Connecticut
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father's Name: Ferry
Father's Birth Place: Italy
Mother's Birth Place: Italy

Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Sex: Male
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Image: 213
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Ferry Farto 37
Rose Farto 15
Millie Farto 13
Joseph Farto 11
Frank Farto 9
Albert Farto 8
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: BUM FARTO ??? MISSING ???

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ny-farto&hl=en
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: BUM FARTO ??? MISSING ???

http://www.zazzle.com/where_is_josep...84202938679897
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:34 PM
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http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/199...ant-prosecutor

Where Is Bum Farto

That's What People Are Still Asking 20 Years After Key Wests Drug-dealing El Jefe Vanished Without A Trace

florida's unsolved mysteries


October 06, 1996|By Stuart McIver
In Sept. 9, 1975, William Osterhoudt, a local school principal, looked out at an implausible scene unfolding at the pink house belonging to his neighbor on United Street.
Key West Fire Chief Joseph "Bum" Farto, wearing his trademark rose-tinted glasses, began to drive away in his lime-green luxury automobile, complete with spread-eagle gold hood ornament and front license plate bearing the words El Jefe, Spanish for "The Chief."
Suddenly a car pulled in front of Farto. At the same time another blocked him from the rear. Men in business suits hustled him out of his car. The principal could tell they were out-of-towners. They were wearing ties on a hot September morning.

A tow truck arrived and the principal watched as the flashiest car on the island was towed away. What, he wondered, are they doing to the fire chief? He called the police. They too were baffled.
Six months later the whole town was wondering what had happened to El Jefe.
In fact, the chief wound up on a hot-selling T-shirt, worn on occasion by Jimmy Buffett at his concerts. The shirt posed a simple question: "Where is Bum Farto?"
Two decades later the shirt, now a collector's item, is hard to find. And so is Bum.
Bum Farto did not disappear from the Conch Republic because he was a good fire chief or because he was a devoted family man, a flashy dresser, the village eccentric, a baseball booster or a believer in witchcraft.
Bum vanished because he sold cocaine from Key West fire stations and got caught.
Did he flee to Latin America and live off his drug money? Or did Colombias cocaine cowboys, fearful he might talk, fit the flamboyant fashion statement with the dull gray of cement overshoes?
IN KEY WEST THE RULES ARE different. Sometimes rich, sometimes dead broke, the old town deals with the mood swings of its fragile economy with finely honed survival skills. Do what you have to do to put food on the table and look the other way if your friend, neighbor or cousin bends a few of society's rules.
"To live on an island this small, you need a different psyche, a different mind-set," says Ken Jenne, a former Broward County assistant prosecutor who headed the first state grand jury probe into Key West's curious view of justice. "Marijuana in their mindset was no different from shrimping. Theirs is simply a different moral and legal system."
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