Don Pendleton

Nightmare in New York


Some have said that Mack Bolan was a genius in the tactics and strategies of guerilla warfare. He has been called a death machine, a blitz artist, a one-man army. Newspaper headlines have referred to him as the monster man, the grinder, the awesome avenger, the Mafia nightmare. Whatever the tag, all agreed that Bolan was an executioner without equal; that in this single man stood the greatest challenge ever hurled upon the spreading menace of the Mafia kingdoms of America.

As is inevitable in cases which catch the public fancy, a great mass of legend arose around the man — some of it true, much of it not so true. Bolan was not, for example, being sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department or the CIA. He did not have a license to kill. Local police agencies were not following him about to pounce on his victims when he was done with them. He did not accumulate a fortune by plundering his enemies' money caches nor did he, d laRobin Hood, redistribute the Mafia's wealth. He did not perform ceremonial executions, he did not possess a dozen faces, he had not sworn to kill every criminal in the country, and he did not have the protection of a special Secret Service detail.

The truth about Bolan's campaign against the Mafia is not quite so sensationally romantic as the legend; typically, however, the truth is much more chillingly awesome than the fiction. The facts are that Bolan was a man alone pitted against the most staggering array of enemies ever faced by a single man, and that he waged this impossible war without sponsorship or direct support from any quarter. It is true that a highly placed official in the Justice Department did approve of Bolan's war and was discreetly maneuvering behind the scenes to ease federal pressures toward his apprehension. It is true that Bolan knew the identity of an undercover cop who had achieved high rank in a Mafia family, and that these two did occasionally enjoy friendly relations and an intelligence trade-off. It is true that some policemen did 'look the other way' when Bolan was about, recognizing in him not an enemy but a true ally who would accept death rather than engage the law in a Shootout.

It is equally factual, however, that a concerted drive was underway at every level of law enforcement to apprehend Mack Bolan dead or alive. It is factual that a death contract had been let on Bolan by the Mafia, and that bands of ambitious bounty-hunters from every section of the country were determined to collect the $100,000 payoff on that contract. And it is, of course, common knowledge that Bolan was hated and feared by every Mafiosoeverywhere, so that the full power of the sprawling crime syndicate was committed to the destruction of this lone warrior who challenged their might with such impunity.

Genius, death machine, blitz artist, one man army — yes, it is true that, in his effect, Bolan was all of these. At the heart of this man, though, lay a sensitive and uncomplicated human being who had simply recognized and accepted the challenge placed upon his manhood. He did not see himself as an heroic figure; he knew well that heroes are usually quite ordinary men who find themselves thrust suddenly into heroic situations. He did not view his actions as a holy crusade which was self-justified; quite often his self-doubts were immense and his revulsion to killing almost overpowering. He did not gladly sacrifice the earlier plan of his life to this gory walk through the valley of death; like most men he had desired for himself the simple things that give life meaning — what Bolan termed 'the three Fs of the good life: friends, family, freedom.' Reluctantly he had surrendered this quiet ambition to the three B's — 'bullets, bombs, and blood.'

And yet Bolan's incredible war had not begun with such conscious volition. He had been engaged in a quite different battle, though a conflict considered by some to be just as immoral as Bolan's personal one. It was in Vietnam that he developed the guerilla specialties which earned the young sergeant local fame as The Executioner. As leader and sharp-shooter of a special penetration team, Bolan had 'executed' numerous enemy officials and high ranking enemy officers, often spending extended periods deep within enemy country. Then one of those everyday and little-heard-of brutalities of American life resulted in Sergeant Bolan being called home to bury his father, his mother, and his younger sister. Sam Bolan, an ailing steelworker, had found himself caught in the vicious squeeze of a Mafia loansharking operation. Though he had repaid the principal several times over on a grossly usurious loan, the elder Bolan had been terrorized, beaten and hounded to the limits of human endurance by brutal collectors. Learning, then, that his teen-age daughter had been pressured into prostitution to help retire the loan, Sam Bolan had crossed that line of human endurance, had gone berserk, and had killed his daughter, his wife, and himself. These were the circumstances of Sergeant Bolan's homecoming. Only young Johnny Bolan, the kid brother, survived to provide the details behind the triple-tragedy.

When the grieving soldier discovered that there was no recourse to justice under the law, he took justice unto himself and The Executionershifted his battle zone to the home front. He penetrated the inner family, found the men responsible for Sam Bolan's misery, and he executed them. As an act of personal justice and vengeance fulfilled, this should have ended things. It did not. A police official in his home town of Pittsfield offered to write off this initial campaign as a gang war if Bolan would just go back to the army and never return. Bolan could not do so. He had become too familiar with the enemy, he knew their evil, and he could not turn his back on this creeping menace that promised to smother all that was good and decent — all that Bolan had felt he had been fighting for in Vietnam. The greater enemy was here, at home, not in a backward little country eight thousand miles away.

Bolan remained to engage that greater enemy, and the Bolan wars were begun. In a thunder and lightning brand of warfare which was to become his trademark, he smashed the Mafia arm which had dominated his home town, and the war without end and without geographical boundaries was loudly proclaimed by Mafiosieverywhere.

Following the hit and fade strategy of the guerilla jungle fighter, Bolan transformed the wide world into a jungle of his own making, surfacing here and there for a lightning assault that left the enemy shaken and benumbed, then fading again with all the hounds of hell baying along his trail through the closing jungle.

The story which follows is the seventh chronicle of the Bolan wars. The first two reports covered his destruction of the Sergio Frenchi Family of Pittsfield and the first encounter with the DiGeorge Family of Southern California. The third report saw Bolan with a new face, thanks to plastic surgery, and a devastating infiltration of the DiGeorge Family which left that kingdom a shambles. Number four reported Bolan's uninvited participation in the Mafia's national convention at Miami Beach in a daring raid that violently rocked the Mafia ship of state and showed the collective families of La Cosa Nostrathat Mack Bolan was a force to be reckoned with.

The fifth and sixth segments found Bolan unwillingly overseas and hotly pursued by pyramiding crews of Mafia headhunters through France and England. During the peripheral actions of these two adventures, he has begun to come into a deeper understanding of the true significance of his war with syndicated evil. In this seventh campaign, the realization is strongly upon Bolan that he has been waging a futile brand of warfare. The mob is indeed ever-present, all-knowing, and very nearly all-powerful. A war of attrition can have no meaning here. By sheer weight of numbers he is doomed to lose this war, and the final balance sheet will reflect no measurable impact upon the enemy.

In Bolan's own understanding, then, Phase Two of his Mafia War has ended, Phase Three is beginning. The War of Attrition is giving way to the War of Destruction. He will hit them now in their omniscience; in their omnipotence; their omnipresence, he reasons, will then fold under its own weight.

Bolan is in the saddle, his mount is destiny, his target is the Kingdom of Evil — wherever its ugly head may arise.

Chapter One


Four faces of death awaited him as he stepped into the main terminal area at Kennedy International. Bolan

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