About Jack

On Dec 6th, 1946 Jack joined the United States Army and was stationed at the Itami Army Air Force base, 20 miles outside of Osaka Japan, where the United States took over a Japanese Zero air base in World War II. He served around the world as a distinguished soldier and airman, and received the World War II victory medal. During the Korean War, Jack was stationed at the Pushon Army Air Base in South Korean in 1950, where he received the Korean Campaign ribbon. He served in Vietnam in 1968 at the Tonsanut Air Base in Saigon, where he ran F1-05 Fighter Plains that bombed Hanoi in North Vietnam. Jack also had stops in Germany and England during his 15-year career.

Settling into civilian life after Vietnam, Jack married Beryl Stimson, a beautiful 18-year-old British woman he met in Hunt Stanton, a coastal resort town in England, while stationed at the Skull Thorpe Air Base in Norfolk. Together they raised their 3 children, Karen, Bradley, and Craig. Jack was an outstanding car salesman up until 1984, when his life began to take a turn for the worst.

After a failed marriage and decadent partying, Jack made a series of bad decisions, and life continued to spiral downward. He moved to Florida with a much younger, attractive, and opportunistic woman. His quick demise left him broke, down and out in Bradenton, Florida, where he made a choice that would change his life forever. In a drunken haze, Jack grabbed a bag and a hotel remote control, and then walked into a Savings and Loan establishment, and held up two frightened women for a mere $1800 cash and a car.

Jack turned himself in to the FBI two weeks later, and ultimately was sentenced to 8 Years in Texarkana Prison in Texarkana, Arkansas. While in prison, Jack befriended one of the most brutal mob bosses in the world, Carlos Marcello. Carlos was made by Lucky Luciano and ran a crime network that spanned the entire south, including Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. His iron fist was not just limited to the U.S., as he also controlled the casinos in Cuba.

While in prison, Jack was approached by The FBI. They leaned on him and cajoled him to work as an informant. Jack served in the longest running FBI sting to date, called CAMTEX. Jack put his life on the line for over two years, securing admissions and evidence that linked Marcello to the ordered hit on John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa. Lamar Waldron’s “Legacy of Secrecy” outlines in great detail, Marcello’s ties to Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.

In 1960, Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy came down hard on the Mob to clean up the Presidents rumored ties to them. Marcello vehemently hated Bobby after he had him deported to Guatemala. In 1978 Congress determined Marcello had motive, means, and opportunity to pull off the biggest assassination in U.S. history.

The chess game between Marcello and Jack will be played out on the big screen in the movie “Legacy of Secrecy”, produced by and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Van Laningham, and set for a November 2013 release.

Jack currently resides in Southern California and works as a consultant for the November 2013 release. His son Craig manages his life rights and serves as his promotional manager.