Gangster of Love – Part III (The Kill)


After Shipp had breakfast with his best friend, retired federal judge Sam Gardner, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the morning of July 21, 1992, confiding in Gardner that he thought Bernie Schrott wanted to kill him, he retreated to his suite, while FBI and DEA agents continued watching his every move.

His wife, Lydia Mallett and their nine-month old daughter, attended a baptism that afternoon before rejoining Feodies in their hotel suite at around 3:30 p.m. and the three of them laying down for a nap. In the time between his wife leaving and returning, testimony at a future trial stated that the Yellow Man contacted an associate of his and Walls’ in their drug operation and tried to take out a contract on Walls’ life.

Around 7:30, two men, one identified as Shipp’s lieutenant, Brandon Leatherwood, arrived at the suite and they took Feodies to dinner at the hotel restaurant. Federal agents tracked the three as they ate their meal and then went back upstairs on the elevator. For unknown reasons, they pulled back their surveillance at that point, not following the men up on the elevator and instead went to eat themselves.

The Ritz-Carlton was bustling that evening. It was Saturday night and the hotel was hosting a black-tie affair in its banquet room. Those attending the event, a high-end anniversary party, like Shipp, were of great interest to law enforcement.

Some even knew Feodies and Felix. Others might have been doing business with them.

Whether by coincidence or not, one of the same nights Shipp was holed up, hiding out at the swanky Ritz-Carlton with FBI and DEA agents assigned to monitor his every move, Detroit mob titan Tony Giacalone was having his 50th wedding anniversary party there. Anybody who was anybody in the Motor City underworld attended, possibly including Bernie the Jew.

Besides the federal surveillance units tasked with keeping tabs on Feodies and his family upstairs, there were two teams of FBI agents dispersed throughout the hotel and its grounds, snapping photos and making record of the hoards of top-tier area gangsters present to pay homage to Giacalone and his wife.

So around 9:30 p.m. while Tony Jack and his mobster brethren partied downstairs in the banquet room amidst government eyes and photo lenses and the feds assigned to Shipp deciding to depart for a meal at a nearby fast food joint, Feodies was left unprotected and massively vulnerable.

The Yellow Man’s lights were about to be turned out. For good.