Willard Ross Brymer was the man who pulled the trigger of the Remington 30-06 rifle from which the bullet exited and lodged in the chest of Oscar Natalio Bonavena at dawn on May 22, 1976 at the door of a brothel on the outskirts of Reno. However, the murder of the boxer has become inseparably associated with the name of another man, Thu comfortwhose figure has regained validity in these days from the first of the series Ringo – glory and death.
“It takes three things to be successful in business and I enjoyed all three: brains, opportunity and balls.”, Conforte boasted in mid-1991, when the remains of Bonavena, whose manager had been in the shadows, had been resting for a quarter of a century in the Chacarita cemetery. In those days, the businessman was engaged in his penultimate battle with the US authorities. His long war had already landed him more than once in prison.
Joseph Confort He was born on December 10, 1926 in Augusta, a small town on the Sicilian coast, and emigrated to the United States in 1937, seven years after the death of Franceshis mother, to meet Augustine, his father, who resided in Boston. Before he came of age, he’d worked in a bakery and grocery store, spent a short time in reform school, and tried his luck in New York.
The Copernican turning point in his life comes when he decides to cross the country, settle in Oakland, on the San Francisco bay, and buy a used taxi. Transferring passengers to illegal brothels in the area, he discovers a business that he decides to exploit.. To do this he moved to Reno and invested in his project the money he had made from the sale of his cab and the money he had won playing blackjack (not always using good art).
It began in 1955 with the Triangle River Ranch, which was two trailers parked in Wadsworth, a town 33 miles east of Reno, and which was deliberately set on fire in 1960 prior to a judicial inspection. And, thanks to questionable limbs like the ones he used when he played blackjack, he ended up building a general store whose emblem was the Mustang Ranchthe legendary brothel located 30 kilometers from Reno and surrounded by the Truckee River, in front of which Bonavena was murdered.
Two convictions for extortion and tax evasion were held 52 months in prison in the 60s. This was no obstacle to his growing fortune, as he diversified his investments, as his ties to Nevada’s political leaders and judicial officials strengthened. his figure, mix of modern Robin Hood and Vito Corleoneshe gained media coverage for her militancy in getting prostitution legalized in Nevada.
Also in November 1972 made it to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Presented as “the exploiting crusader”, Conforte presented his theses there on the advantages of legalization: “Prostitutes cannot be left on the street without supervision because they will go crazy, they will kill themselves, they will spit on each other, they will never go to the doctor. If you legalize (the business), control it, then things are fine. How do we make them in my stores?
With the aim of continuing to expand its field of action, the entrepreneur he decided to dabble as a boxing promoter in the mid-1970s, although, due to his criminal record, the license was operated in the name of his third wife, Sally (real name was Jessica Elzora Burgess), who was nine years his senior and also the chief legal. Mustang Ranch.
In January 1976 Conforte meets Bonavena, who was 33 years old at the time, had a professional record of 57 wins, 9 losses and 1 draw, and an obsession: getting a rematch against Muhammad Ali, who had defeated him on December 7, 1970 at Madison Square Garden in New York . Although five years had already passed since that competition and his career had already begun its downward curvethe Parque Patricios idol was convinced he had that opportunity and believed that Nevada’s entertainment czar could help him.
Connoisseur of the past and the charisma of Ringo, the entrepreneur proposed a contract that expected to achieve that goal. However, things didn’t go well. A lackluster victory on points over American veteran Billy Joiner at the Centennial Coliseum in Reno, for which Bonavena received $3,000It was the only fight he succeeded. Then the comparisons with Ken Norton, number one in the world ranking, and with the Spaniard José Manuel Urtain were frustrated. Also it was said that Conforte wanted his pupil to let himself be defeated in one of his presentations to get an income in the betting circuit.
These disagreements quickly deteriorated a relationship that ended up breaking down when the boxer took the bond with Sally (who was twice her age) beyond professional boundaries. In addition, there were rumors in Nevada that Bonavena intended to keep the Mustang Ranch. Threats at gunpoint e the fire in the mobile home where he livedon the outskirts of the brothel, preceded the assassination of the former Argentine heavyweight champion.
Although there were indications that Conforte was responsible for the threats to the boxer, right from the start the investigation into the death of Bonavena led by Robert Del Carlo, Storey County Police Chief, exclusively focused on the event that took place at the entrance to the Mustang Ranch and in the figure of Willard Ross Brymer, one of the brothel’s security managers and its owner, as well as the material author of the crime.
At the trial that began a month and a half after the fact in the Virginia City court, Conforte’s surname was barely heard in passing. brymerwho had spent six years in prison for rape, robbery and drug trafficking, He was sentenced to two years in prison for manslaughter, a figure that US federal criminal law contemplates for cases in which manslaughter occurs in a fight situation or in a state of violent emotion. There were those who assessed that the lightness of the sentence was linked to the lobbying capacity of the defendant’s employer.
Yes, OK He emerged unscathed from the trial for the murder of Bonavena, the Sicilian entrepreneur soon accumulated legal difficulties. In 1980 he fled to Brazil when he faced a possible five-year prison sentence for tax evasion. After reaching a settlement, which involved him testifying against Nevada District Judge Harry Claiborne for an alleged bribery attempt (the magistrate was eventually removed after the impeachment), he was able to return to the United States three years after.
In 1990, he lost Mustang Ranch, which was auctioned off by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to cover a portion of your tax debtsThat amounted to 13 million dollars. They also seized other assets like a trailer park in Reno, his hilltop residence in Sparks, Nevada, and another home in Danville, California.
In any case, many believed that this kidnapping had not taken him away from his emblematic feat. There was no shortage of evidence to suspect. The property on which the brothel was located had been purchased by Mustang Properties Inc., a company whose visible face was Peter Perry, one of the businessman’s lawyers. And the license to operate the premises, granted by Storey County, remained in his possession after being revalidated by the Nevada Attorney General.
Not satisfied with having kept the management in the shadow of the brothel, of which he had been presented by Perry as his “non-salaried general manager”, Conforte counterattacked: he sued the Revenue Agency because, according to what he claimed, he had thwarted a sale of the Mustang Ranch which would have fetched him $16.4 million (when it was auctioned the buyers paid $1.5 million) and thus pay off his tax debts.
In those days Conforte presented himself as “a unique person who is not ashamed of anything he has done”. However, he has not denied his status as a tax evader, extortionist and ex-convict he vehemently denied being or having been a pimp. “Pimps are wretches, bastards who take advantage of women and take their money. I only get enough from my girls to pay the bills and make a small profit,” she said in an interview published in California’s Los Angeles Times in July 1991.
The businessman who claimed Benito Mussolini (“He wasn’t a bad boy; his only mistake was joining Hitler.”) He was also on a crusade to legalize prostitution in California. One of his strong arguments was that with the money that would be collected as business taxes, the most populous state in the country could tackle a program to prevent problem drug use.
However, just a few months later, and facing another chance to go to jail for multiple frauds, He returned to Brazil and remained there, living with an international arrest warrant.. Although her profile has declined significantly since then, her name made headlines again in 2010 when the film was released. Love Farmwritten by Mark Jacobson and starring Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren, in which his life and that of his wife Sally are reconstructed.
A year later, it went up for sale Breaks, brains and balls, a biography written by David Toll based on extensive conversations the reporter had in Rio de Janeiro with a man he had known for nearly four decades. In mid-2019 it was rumored that Conforte was dead, but the fact has never been confirmed.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.