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Douglas Caddy

NYPD Detective James Rothstein

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I am starting a new topic on retired New York Police Department detective James Rothstein and in doing so am incorporating into it information about him that can be found in the prior topic in this forum titled “Human Compromise and the Protection Racket” at this link:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=19973

I am doing this for two reasons: (1) I shall be posting from time to time in the new topic information given to me by detective Rothstein and (2) with his name in the title it will facilitate being found by anyone using Google or another search engine. If his information were posted under the older topic of “Human Compromise and the Protection Racket,” then the new information might be more difficult to find using a search engine.

Rothstein has supplied me with a number of documents. I have his permission to use information in some of the documents but in doing so at his request I must summarize them in my own words for the time being.

I thought for my first entry I would use information about how he got started in the “world of shadows” known as the intelligence field.

After being involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 while on the ship Essex, which is covered in the link above, Rothstein was still aboard the Essex in December 1961 when it made a scheduled docking in Hamburg, Germany on a goodwill visit. Because he was the only German-speaking sailor on the ship he was assigned as the official interpreter and liaison person. The Navy gave him $20,000 and 90,000 German marks to pay off any problems that might come up. He was also assigned two bodyguards who were big, strong and tough sailors.

One morning while the ship was still docked in Hamburg, Rothstein heard a knock on his hotel door. A man in a suit told him he wanted assistance in helping to free an American military man and his wife who had been caught in East Berlin smuggling cigarettes. The man told Rothstein that he and his money were needed to buy the freedom of the two Americans. Rothstein agreed to accept the assignment.

The Berlin Wall had just been erected but Rothstein and his two bodyguards managed to enter East Berlin. When they arrived at the address given to them earlier by the man at the hotel, they were taken by the Stasi and KGB to the basement where a man and a woman were lying on the floor being hog-tied. After a short but vigorous negotiation the ransom demand was dropped from $10,000 to $7500. The man and the woman were untied and placed in Rothstein’s car. Upon their return to West Berlin, Rothstein learned that the two were not smugglers but American spies.

The day before the Essex was set to sail, the man in the suit returned to the hotel to visit Rothstein. He thanked Rothstein for a job well done and asked he would like to remain in Europe and continue his fine work while still being officially assigned to the Essex. Rothstein responded, “I may be 20 years old…but I am not stupid. I will end up in the Russian Gulag and my parents will be told I am missing at sea and presumed dead. They will be given a flag.” The man in the suit departed. Nothing was the same after that for Rothstein. He had entered another world, one that would follow him forever.

In March 1962 the Gorch Foch, a German sailing ship arrived in New York City and docked at pier 86 as a return courtesy call for the Essex having visited Hamburg. The Germans on the Gorch Foch requested specifically that Rothstein be assigned as liaison and good will representative to their vessel. Their request was granted.

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Rothstein was still aboard the Essex in December 1961 when it made a scheduled docking in Hamburg, Germany on a goodwill visit. Because he was the only German-speaking sailor on the ship he was assigned as the official interpreter and liaison person. The Navy gave him $20,000 and 90,000 German marks to pay off any problems that might come up. He was also assigned two bodyguards who were big, strong and tough sailors.

One morning while the ship was still docked in Hamburg, Rothstein heard a knock on his hotel door. A man in a suit told him he wanted assistance in helping to free an American military man and his wife who had been caught in East Berlin smuggling cigarettes. The man told Rothstein that he and his money were needed to buy the freedom of the two Americans. Rothstein agreed to accept the assignment.

The Berlin Wall had just been erected but Rothstein and his two bodyguards managed to enter East Berlin. When they arrived at the address given to them earlier by the man at the hotel, they were taken by the Stasi and KGB to the basement where a man and a woman were lying on the floor being hog-tied. After a short but vigorous negotiation the ransom demand was dropped from $10,000 to $7500. The man and the woman were untied and placed in Rothstein’s car. Upon their return to West Berlin, Rothstein learned that the two were not smugglers but American spies.

The day before the Essex was set to sail, the man in the suit returned to the hotel to visit Rothstein. He thanked Rothstein for a job well done and asked he would like to remain in Europe and continue his fine work while still being officially assigned to the Essex. Rothstein responded, “I may be 20 years old…but I am not stupid. I will end up in the Russian Gulag and my parents will be told I am missing at sea and presumed dead. They will be given a flag.” The man in the suit departed. Nothing was the same after that for Rothstein. He had entered another world, one that would follow him forever.

This reads like bad pulp spy fiction, I've never heard of the Stasi, KGB or any other intel service selling the freedom of a captured foreign spy and why would they accept such a measly sum for two Americans? Why negotiate down the price when Rothstein et. al. had so much more in their possession?

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Rothstein was still aboard the Essex in December 1961 when it made a scheduled docking in Hamburg, Germany on a goodwill visit. Because he was the only German-speaking sailor on the ship he was assigned as the official interpreter and liaison person. The Navy gave him $20,000 and 90,000 German marks to pay off any problems that might come up. He was also assigned two bodyguards who were big, strong and tough sailors.

One morning while the ship was still docked in Hamburg, Rothstein heard a knock on his hotel door. A man in a suit told him he wanted assistance in helping to free an American military man and his wife who had been caught in East Berlin smuggling cigarettes. The man told Rothstein that he and his money were needed to buy the freedom of the two Americans. Rothstein agreed to accept the assignment.

The Berlin Wall had just been erected but Rothstein and his two bodyguards managed to enter East Berlin. When they arrived at the address given to them earlier by the man at the hotel, they were taken by the Stasi and KGB to the basement where a man and a woman were lying on the floor being hog-tied. After a short but vigorous negotiation the ransom demand was dropped from $10,000 to $7500. The man and the woman were untied and placed in Rothstein’s car. Upon their return to West Berlin, Rothstein learned that the two were not smugglers but American spies.

The day before the Essex was set to sail, the man in the suit returned to the hotel to visit Rothstein. He thanked Rothstein for a job well done and asked he would like to remain in Europe and continue his fine work while still being officially assigned to the Essex. Rothstein responded, “I may be 20 years old…but I am not stupid. I will end up in the Russian Gulag and my parents will be told I am missing at sea and presumed dead. They will be given a flag.” The man in the suit departed. Nothing was the same after that for Rothstein. He had entered another world, one that would follow him forever.

This reads like bad pulp spy fiction, I've never heard of the Stasi, KGB or any other intel service selling the freedom of a captured foreign spy and why would they accept such a measly sum for two Americans? Why negotiate down the price when Rothstein et. al. had so much more in their possession?

You write that "I have never heard....", which is the problem as this is the way of the "world of shadows" that those who are not in the intelligence business lack experience to understand. Money, as Howard Hunt once told me, is the easiest commodity in the spook trade.

You also state that the $7500 payment for the release was a "measly sum." This took place in 1961. I would hazard to guess that $7500 in 1961 dollars would be $20,000 or more in 2013 dollars.

Rothstein, a 20 year old sailor, was suffering from a hangover from partying too much the night before and was not in the mood to pay $10,000.

I need to correct a sentence in my entry, which was a mistake on my part and not in the document Rothstein supplied me. Rothstein was not assigned two bodyguards who were sailors from the ship. He instead was assigned two bodyguards who were the biggest and toughest cops who worked on the Reeperbahn. Their names were Manfred Hansen and Hans Mueller. Their office was in the main police station, Davidwache. They accompanied him to secure the release of the two Americans in East Berlin.

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Rothstein

Must have had a handler to advise him how to deal with this,

Otherwise it's his a## on the line in a foreign country.

Perhaps he was shadowed all the way through the deal

Not someone covering but observing?.

In the spy game giving your opponent the deal he wants is

Sometimes more productive and waving dollars is those amounts

(20 to 40 grand in today's money) will bring out the worst in people

And we are not talking common everyday folk are we (Stasi,KGB,OGPU etc)

Berlin was a big learning curve after the war and many relationships formed

On both sides .

It makes me think Rothstein was guided or led into this situation

Cos he was the only German speaker on a boatful of how many

Men 150 or more?.

Knowing who is bent and who deals straight is half the spy game

The rest is sheer bluffing and bravery it's the unknown!.

Luckily Rothstein had the backbone to continue and rescue the couple

But if they were OSS/CIA they could have been burned anyway by their own side

Perhaps they were later disposed of for getting caught in the first place.

How "real" was Harry Lime and did he leave a legacy of connections in place on

Both sides .its all a bit TINKER TAILOR but that's how they roll.

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Rothstein was still aboard the Essex in December 1961 when it made a scheduled docking in Hamburg, Germany on a goodwill visit. Because he was the only German-speaking sailor on the ship he was assigned as the official interpreter and liaison person. The Navy gave him $20,000 and 90,000 German marks to pay off any problems that might come up. He was also assigned two bodyguards who were big, strong and tough sailors.

One morning while the ship was still docked in Hamburg, Rothstein heard a knock on his hotel door. A man in a suit told him he wanted assistance in helping to free an American military man and his wife who had been caught in East Berlin smuggling cigarettes. The man told Rothstein that he and his money were needed to buy the freedom of the two Americans. Rothstein agreed to accept the assignment.

The Berlin Wall had just been erected but Rothstein and his two bodyguards managed to enter East Berlin. When they arrived at the address given to them earlier by the man at the hotel, they were taken by the Stasi and KGB to the basement where a man and a woman were lying on the floor being hog-tied. After a short but vigorous negotiation the ransom demand was dropped from $10,000 to $7500. The man and the woman were untied and placed in Rothstein’s car. Upon their return to West Berlin, Rothstein learned that the two were not smugglers but American spies.

The day before the Essex was set to sail, the man in the suit returned to the hotel to visit Rothstein. He thanked Rothstein for a job well done and asked he would like to remain in Europe and continue his fine work while still being officially assigned to the Essex. Rothstein responded, “I may be 20 years old…but I am not stupid. I will end up in the Russian Gulag and my parents will be told I am missing at sea and presumed dead. They will be given a flag.” The man in the suit departed. Nothing was the same after that for Rothstein. He had entered another world, one that would follow him forever.

This reads like bad pulp spy fiction, I've never heard of the Stasi, KGB or any other intel service selling the freedom of a captured foreign spy and why would they accept such a measly sum for two Americans? Why negotiate down the price when Rothstein et. al. had so much more in their possession?

You write that "I have never heard....", which is the problem as this is the way of the "world of shadows" that those who are not in the intelligence business lack experience to understand. Money, as Howard Hunt once told me, is the easiest commodity in the spook trade.

You also state that the $7500 payment for the release was a "measly sum." This took place in 1961. I would hazard to guess that $7500 in 1961 dollars would be $20,000 or more in 2013 dollars.

Rothstein, a 20 year old sailor, was suffering from a hangover from partying too much the night before and was not in the mood to pay $10,000.

I need to correct a sentence in my entry, which was a mistake on my part and not in the document Rothstein supplied me. Rothstein was not assigned two bodyguards who were sailors from the ship. He instead was assigned two bodyguards who were the biggest and toughest cops who worked on the Reeperbahn. Their names were Manfred Hansen and Hans Mueller. Their office was in the main police station, Davidwache. They accompanied him to secure the release of the two Americans in East Berlin.

Actually 7500 1961 dollars is closer to $ 57,000* still in the scheme of things not a lot of money for two captured CIA agents. The Stasi and KGB could have just taken all Rothstein's money and tossed him through a check point with or with out the two agents, he was in no position to negotiate. The story would have made more sense if they had negotiated in West Germany and arranged an exchange at the Glienicke Bridge There have been lots of books and articles written about Cold War espionage, point us to any references to one intel agency selling captured agents of a rival one back to their home country.

And two Hamburg vicecops going to East Berlin as bodyguards on a mission to recover captured CIA agents?

Another question is why the CIA would have used him rather than one of their own agents, he might have been the only German speaking crew member on the Essex (if indeed he actually was part of its crew) but obviously the CIA had agents in the country who spoke the language and more experience in such matters.

* http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

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It makes me think Rothstein was guided or led into this situation

Cos he was the only German speaker on a boatful of how many

Men 150 or more?.

150?? multiply that by about 20. According the Wikipedia article about the Essex-class aircraft carrier “Crew: ca. 2,170 (ship), 870 (air wing), 160 (flag)” that comes out to 3200. According to the FAS the crew size for such ships was 2,631-3,448.

This is another aspect of the story that doesn't add up. According to a 2001 Gallup Poll about 2.6% of Americans (10% of 26%) could speak German. Thus if the same proportion 1961 crew spoke German as the general populace in 2001 about 80 would have been conversational in the language. I have no idea how the crew would have compared to Americans as a whole but presumably the % of German speakers was higher in 1961 than 40 years later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_class_aircraft_carrier

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/cv-9.htm

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1825/about-one-four-americans-can-hold-conversation-second-language.aspx

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It makes me think Rothstein was guided or led into this situation

Cos he was the only German speaker on a boatful of how many

Men 150 or more?.

150?? multiply that by about 20. According the Wikipedia article about the Essex-class aircraft carrier “Crew: ca. 2,170 (ship), 870 (air wing), 160 (flag)” that comes out to 3200. According to the FAS the crew size for such ships was 2,631-3,448.

This is another aspect of the story that doesn't add up. According to a 2001 Gallup Poll about 2.6% of Americans (10% of 26%) could speak German. Thus if the same proportion 1961 crew spoke German as the general populace in 2001 about 80 would have been conversational in the language. I have no idea how the crew would have compared to Americans as a whole but presumably the % of German speakers was higher in 1961 than 40 years later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_class_aircraft_carrier

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/cv-9.htm

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1825/about-one-four-americans-can-hold-conversation-second-language.aspx

Sorry I should have made it clearer I presumed it would be an officer

Tasked with this operation.

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Here are two books that cover detective Rothstein's NYPD activities:

Times Square by William Sherman

http://www.amazon.com/Times-Square-William-Sherman/dp/0553131168/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362952380&sr=1-1&keywords=Times+Square+by+William+Sherman

The Last Investigation by Gaeton Fonzi

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Investigation-Gaeton-Fonzi/dp/0980121353/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362952447&sr=1-1&keywords=gaeton+fonzi+the+last+investigation

See also the Village Voice article of November 21, 1977, on the arrest of Frank Sturgis by NYPD detectives James Rothstein and his partner, Matthew Rosenthal [start in first column on the left in the article]:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1299&dat=19771121&id=_ABOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=94sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6366,3812556

From the Village Voice article:

“Late on Monday evening, Paul Meskill introduced Marita [Lorenz] to a couple of detectives from police intelligence, James Rothstein and Matthew Rosenthal. The four of them had some drinks at a bar on 43rd Street. Since May, Rothstein and Rosenthal had been assigned to the New York Senate Select Committee on Crime, which was conducting a massive investigation in to pornography. Marita was supposed to give the detectives information concerning child prostitution; she also told them that Frank Sturgis had threatened to kill her. They accompanied her back to 88th street and arrested Frank Sturgis when he turned up at her apartment around 11 o’clock.”

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Here are two books that cover detective Rothstein's NYPD activities:

Times Square by William Sherman

http://www.amazon.co...William Sherman

The Last Investigation by Gaeton Fonzi

http://www.amazon.co...t investigation

See also the Village Voice article of November 21, 1977, on the arrest of Frank Sturgis by NYPD detectives James Rothstein and his partner, Matthew Rosenthal [start in first column on the left in the article]:

http://news.google.c...pg=6366,3812556

From the Village Voice article:

“Late on Monday evening, Paul Meskill introduced Marita [Lorenz] to a couple of detectives from police intelligence, James Rothstein and Matthew Rosenthal. The four of them had some drinks at a bar on 43rd Street. Since May, Rothstein and Rosenthal had been assigned to the New York Senate Select Committee on Crime, which was conducting a massive investigation in to pornography. Marita was supposed to give the detectives information concerning child prostitution; she also told them that Frank Sturgis had threatened to kill her. They accompanied her back to 88th street and arrested Frank Sturgis when he turned up at her apartment around 11 o’clock.”

OK so part of his story is confirmed but we still have no legitimate reason for Sturgis to have opened up to him. The reason Rothstein gave is BS, I proved that.

Can you quote any passages from Sherman which support Rothstein's claims? Jim D. already quoted Fonzi and he contradicted rather than supported the part about Lonrenz.

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Sorry I should have made it clearer I presumed it would be an officer

Tasked with this operation.

That's another odd part of the story according to Rothstein he was a Boatswain's Mate which would not have qualified him in anyway to have been an interpreter let alone someone to negotiate the ransom of a couple of captured CIA agents. BMs were/are mid-level enlisted man. Based on the data from my earlier post there should have been a few German speaking officers on the Essex.

Edited by Len Colby

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With the election of a new Pope, the question arises again whether the Catholic Church will take action to end the documented pedophilia practiced by some members of its clergy and also clean up the financial scandals involving the Vatican Bank?

In 1972 Father Bruce Ritter opened Covenant House at Eighth Avenue and 43rd Street in New York City. Its purpose was to serve as a sanctuary for the victims of human trafficking and pedophilia and to help those victims to become productive members of society.

Two years earlier detective James Rothstein had been assigned by NYPD to monitor Father Ritter’s activities. He found that there were no illegalities and that Ritter’s work was exceptionally effective in helping the victims of pedophilia.

On or about September 19, 1978, detective Rothstein and his partner, detective Rosenthal, met with Father Ritter at the Covenant House. Their meeting was interrupted by Father Ritter receiving a phone call from the new elected Pope John Paul I. The Pope gave Father Ritter a special dispensation to clean the pedophiles out of the Church and to clean up the Vatican Bank.

Father Ritter asked the two detectives to assist him in this effort and they agreed. He stated that the odds of the detectives being successful were probably one million to one and that he, who worked for a Higher Power, would likely be stopped. Ten days after the call to Father Ritter, Pope John Paul I was murdered. He had been Pope for only 33 days. Undeterred Father Ritter decided to move ahead on the assignment he had received from the late pope.

Father Ritter introduced the two detectives to a young man, Dale S., who had been a victim of pedophilia and who later became actively involved in the pedophile underground. When he was a young boy, Dale S.’s father, a wealthy Canadian, had decided that his son should become a priest. As a result Dale S. was sent to the Vatican to study to be a priest. When Dale S. returned home to Canada, he told his father, “Papa, you didn’t tell me that I had to do this (be molested) to become a priest.” He has been molested by members of the Legion of Christ headed by Marcial Marciel in the Vatican. His father took him to the FBI in Detroit. The FBI agents there knew they would not be allowed to investigate the case (perhaps because it was Canadian based) and so they introduced Dale S. to Father Ritter. Ritter at the time was working with the New York Senate Select Committee on Crime and with detectives Rothstein and Rosenthal.

With the assistance of Dale S. the two detectives were able to identify a key pedophile when he was present in the Hotel Waldorf Astoria bar. The pedophile was a high level executive in a major corporation that dealt with pharmaceuticals. The company had been infiltrated by pedophiles. A procurer and extortionist, W.D., was one of many who extorted money from the corporation by using the threat of exposure of the pedophilia.

After the death of Pope John Paul I, those within the Church engaged in pedophilia started a campaign to destroy Father Ritter. They knew that Ritter kept a file of information that included the names of powerful persons who engaged in pedophilia provided to him by the victims. Exposure of this information would shock the faithful of the Church and the public.

In I990 Rothstein received word that Ritter had been falsely accused of misconduct. Rothstein met with Cardinal O’Connor who said his hands were tied in the matter but referred Rothstein to a famous Catholic layman. The layman asked Rothstein to back off because an investigation would destroy the Catholic Church. In the end Father Ritter was sacrificed so that the cover-up could continue. Father Ritter in 1991 told Rothstein, “Many times God did not comfort me. He let me find that comfort in you.” Ritter died in 1999. Rothstein over the years never found any credible or questionable misconduct by Father Ritter.

Will new Pope Francis take up the causes championed by Pope John Paul I who paid the price with his life in so doing? Or will he, at age 76, be merely a care-taker while the rot within the Church grows until its foundations are threatened?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1383867/Was-Pope-John-Paul-I-murdered-John-Julius-Norwichs-burning-question-.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/pope-francis-i-has-a-clear-priority-stop-and-prevent-the-sexual-abuse-of-young-boys-8533256.html

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Will new Pope Francis take up the causes championed by Pope John Paul I who paid the price with his life in so doing?

I think you may have answered your own question.

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No the new pope will do nothing and we all sit helpless as it goes on

Just like the Saville tragedy.

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Given he comes from south america, I'm interested to see what his position on liberation theology will be.

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