May 3, 2006

The murder of Sidney Reso

Since so many of you enjoyed the St. Valentine's Massacre post I figured to take some time to tell y'all another tale of murder. {spooky music begins}

This story takes place the same year that then-president of Adobe Systems, Charles Geschke, is kidnapped and held for ransom ($650,000). 1992. The year I should have graduated from college. Probably would have if I had been in class instead of watching the WGN afternoon news, Olympia in hand, waiting for All My Children to begin. But with all the woulda, coulda, shoulda's there is always a did. And I did that day introduced me to a fabulous story that I can tell my grandkids about as I tuck them in at night. Assuming I have children. The murder of Sidney Reso. {title: Murder of the oil Mogul} A Discovery Channel special presented by Febreze.

April 19, 1992. Sidney Reso, Exxon executive, had a morning ritual on workdays. He would walk out of his house, turn the car on, throw his suitcase in the backseat of the car, and walk down to the end of the driveway to gather up the morning paper. Today was going to be a bad day for Mr. Reso.

As Reso got to the end of the driveway a man jumped out of a van parked nearby and drawing a firearm started to try to wrestle Reso into the van. Mr. Reso, who had a bad heart, fought back. In the ensuing melee, the attackers gun went off and shot Reso in the arm. The attacker then push Sidney into a wooden box where he was secured in the back of the van. Reso spent the next, his last, four days in that box with sleeping pills, Tylenol, an orange, and water. His eyes and mouth taped closed and the temperature of the box well over one hundred degrees.

The attacker was a man by the name of Arthur Seale. He had been stalking Reso ever since he had been laid off from Exxon where he, as an ex-cop, was assisting in developing the company's policy on how to handle executive kidnappings. You cannot make this shit up. Reso had parlayed his years on the force into becoming an expert on protection. At one point he was earning six figures a year. Without the decimal point.

Arthur and his wife, Irene, had lived in luxury. Luxury that they could not afford. Life as they knew it was coming to an end. Arthur was aware that Exxon had paid $15 million dollars to secure the release of one their kidnapped executives in South America. He and his wife thought that with inflation they could easily get$18+ million. And now they were about to find out, they had their money in a box in the back of their van. They drove to a storage shed (unventilated) and stashed him for release when they got the money.

Sadly, four days later, Sidney Reso died. The Seales moved his body to Bass River State Forest. Conveniently for them the body is already in a coffin. But the story does not end here. The Seales decide to continue with their demands for the money from Exxon.

For the next two months the Seales send a barrage of ransom notes (under the name of the Rainbow Warriors hoping to be thought of as environmentalists), called the authorities as many as 14 times, each time claiming that Reso was alive and would be delivered unharmed when they got the money. After 50 days, Exxon tries to pay the ransom to get Reso back.

Each attempt to pay the ransom seemed more confusing than the previous. One event involved paying entirely in $100 bills and taking a long and confusing tour of New Jersey. One attempt was botched when after driving for three hours the couriers needed to get on a train for a short stint. They missed the train. The final plan involved an itinerary of New Jersey where the cops would be contacted by cell phone. An easily traced cell phone.

The police spotted Arthur at a mall making the phone call. They followed him believing that he would take them to Sidney. They did not. The Seales were arrested and 5 days later Irene cut a deal. She then told the authorities where Sidney was buried and agreed to testify against her husband.

Final Tidbits:
  • The prosecutor was Michael Chertoff, now head of Homeland Security.
  • This guy knows the Seales daughter and blogged about it.
  • Sol Wachtler, chief judge in NY's highest court once used Arthur Seales tactics to terrorize his former lover. The letters were so similar that the authorities thought that Seales might somehow be involved. Wachtler was just a fan. He, unfortunately is in a different institution now.
Arthur now holds a doctorate in psychological counseling. Next, on the Discovery Channel, the story of a three toed dog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a close relative of Sidney Reso who mourns his loss daily. I hope the author of "Blasphemes" realizes how hurtful it is to his family and friends when this opportunistic re-telling of what was an abominable abduction, torture, and death of a truly good and well-beloved man is sensationalized yet again. Sidney Reso was an outstanding and wonderful husband, father, colleague, employer, and friend. This kind of tattling is wanton, and retraumatizes all who suffered his loss. In this case the mining of the story for the final "tidbits" is snarky and especially offensive. Shame on you!