At 9:45, Lydia Mallett heard a knock at the door of the suite her and her husband were sharing on the hotel’s 46th floor. It was Leatherwood. As soon as Mallett cracked the latch, he barreled in and knocked her to the floor. Placing a pillow case over her head, he told her to be quiet as he motioned for his unidentified buddy to “get the gold,” before they stormed out of the room in a rush, leaving the door open behind them.
Investigators believe “the gold” was Shipp’s prized, cash-filled Gucci briefcase, missing when police arrived minutes later.
When they went to find Feodies, he was dead, discovered in another one of the rooms he got at the hotel, his throat slit, having bled to death on the floor, his hands and feet bound with a telephone cord.
“It’s just one of those things,” said retired FBI agent Mike Carone, scheduled to have taken over surveillance duty on Shipp and Mallett at 10:00 p.m. and who arrived to chaos. “There’s no question it shouldn’t have happened,” he said. “People got their signals crossed. I know a lot of agents that feel really bad about it to this very day, carry around a lot of guilt. They know they should have been more alert.”
According to Shipp’s FBI file, informants told the government in the aftermath of the homicide that Walls had hired Leatherwood to kill his partner. One FBI agent that worked the case said that Leatherwood was first offered $50,000 by Feodies to whack Felix, but rather went to Walls and informed him of Shipp’s intention, eventually taking $75,000 from Walls to clip the Yellow Man instead.
No charges have ever been filed in Shipp’s murder.
Felix the Cat Walls denies any knowledge or involvement in Shipp’s killing. Bernie Schrott and the Giacalone brothers, Tony Jack and Billy Jack, do too, using their presence at the Ritz-Carlton that evening as their alibi – basically arguing “why would we arrange a hit at the same time we knew we were going to be at the location it took place?”
Brandon Leatherwood, the person Feodies’ FBI file names as most-likely the “doer” in his slaying, wasn’t long for this earth either. Three months later in October 1992, he was found shot in the back of the head in the trunk of his car in Indianapolis.
Twenty two years later still more questions than answers exist in the strange murder of colorful con-man, ladies’ man and drug czar, Feodies Shipp, most pressing of which is why did the FBI and DEA agents watching him suddenly leave their post at the exact time his killers were about to strike?
Tony and Billy Giacalone are both dead (Tony Jack died of cancer in 2001, Billy Jack passed away of natural causes in 2012). Walls, 72, is currently incarcerated in a medium security prison in Arizona. Schrott, 84, lives in Bloomfield Hills and remains active in developing real estate in Southeast Michigan and beyond, right now in the process of trying to get state financing to construct a half-dozen “public safety super centers” in the city of Detroit.