The Deadly Rain: Part 1

Publisher's Note:  As a kid growing up in Mitchell, SD Dave spent many Saturdays at the movie theater and one of his favorite parts of those matinees were the 'Serials' which were adventures that were continued until the next week.  Like those serials Dave so loved as a kid, "The Deadly Rain" will run in three parts. Here's Part 1.

“Saw the heavens fill with Commerce 

Argosies of magic sails

 Pilots of the purple twilight dropping

 Down with costly bales;

 Heard the heavens fill with shoutings,

 And there rained a ghastly dew.”

 “Locksley Hall”



Willie Barnes, drug addict and part-time pusher, pounded around the corner just ahead of the two pursuing figures.   Had he not been totally stoned, Willie would have easily outdistanced the overweight and out-of-shape cops hard on his trail.

Then, on a day when his luck had been running low, it finally ran out.  A garbage truck pulled into the alley ahead of him and blocked his flight; and Willie, in the grand tradition of trapped animals everywhere, turned and attacked his pursuers.


The funeral for Sergeant Lyle Nevins was standard police fare, complete with bagpipes, tearful relatives and speeches of praise and outrage by the brass.

There was one man at this funeral, however, that did not cry, or make speeches or show outrage.   He stared straight ahead in the hot sun throughout the proceedings.   But behind his stoic veneer a vengeful hatred simmered.   A hatred of drugs and all the misery they brought.


Joe Dropo was one of those uncomplicated men who lived their entire lives in the blacks and whites of their loves and hates.

His loves were few and included the Chicago Bears, his police force and his wife Linda.    His hates were also few and numbered just the Green Bay Packers, liberals and illegal drugs.

It was this last hate that was dramatically transformed on the day he buried his dear friend and partner of 13 years, Lyle Nevins.

“Jesus, Joe, I have to have another Percodan,” his wife moaned in the darkened bedroom, “this headache is going to kill me.”

Linda knew her husband would do anything when one of these migraines occurred, but she also knew his stubbornness when it came to painkillers.

“Damn, I wish he would just leave so I could take care of this thing,” she thought.

Finally, with his wife effectively feigning sleep, he did leave for the meeting with his new partner.

Joe had known Jim Phillips casually for about a year.   A nice enough guy but too bookish for Joe’s taste.   Phillips was one of those ‘new breed’ cops who studied computer data and demographic charts looking for criminal trends and preventive planning.

Joe observed his new partner as he pulled into traffic, and then asked:   “Phillips, you’re a smart cop you’re into all that new high-tech crime prevention crap. Tell me, what causes more crime in this country than any other thing?   What one element is responsible for more robberies, muggings, murder and misery than everything else put together?”

Phillips thought for a minute and then said,   “Well, there are many theories as to the nature and cause of crime in…”

“Cut the BS, Phillips!” Joe interrupted.   “A blind man can see that drugs are at the center of the other crimes in this country -- especially since that damn Coceron came on the market -- drugs  -- that’s the cause.”

Coceron had materialized about six years before and it was a panacea to pushers and users alike.   A synthetic derivative of cocaine, it had pretty well replaced most other drugs in existence.   Because it was a synthetic, it was capable of being produced in pill form.   Gone were the needle tracks and collapsed veins of the addict.    Also, gone were the dangers and high cost of dealing with psychotic drug lords from other countries.    Easily disguised and manufactured, it was a distributor’s dream.

However, at present, all of that had changed.   Since Coceron was now the illegal drug of choice and since the Five Families of organized crime had unified and now controlled production; anything that disrupted that source affected the entire illegal drug system.    And a series of unforeseen misfortunes had conspired to massively disrupt that system.   A serious shortage had developed that, on the street, was called “The 30’s” in honor of the infamous drought of that time period.


While these drought-like conditions caused great concern to organized crime and the drug users, to Vic Davio it was heaven sent.   Although only a minor soldier in organized crime, Davio had been tapped as a participant in what was being called the “Great Rain.”   A shipment of Coceron so large that it would end the desert-like conditions that currently existed.

Success, for the most part, was a new experience for Davio.   He had been sent to Chicago to work in a funeral parlor, which was really nothing more than a branch office for the Mafia, and a convenient dumping ground for those who still ran afoul of the “organization.”

Davio hated Chicago and figured that away from New York his chances for advancement were slim.   However, just when he had resigned himself to his fate, he met Allison Gallos, daughter of Robert Gallos.  Not only was Gallos a major capo in organized crime, he would also play a major role in the “Great Rain,” which was all going to be shipped from Chicago in coffins.



“You ever see the streets so dry, Joe”?  Phillips asked.

 “Never,” Joe responded.    “Absolutely never, and it has a ‘cause and effect,’ to use your language.  In fact, ‘Mr. Wizard,’ I’ll bet you a six pack that if you’ll check with your computers, you’ll find a definite drop in the crime rate ever since the drug supply dried up.”



Jim Phillips stared dumbfounded at the numbers as they silently ran across his computer screen.

“Jesus, Dropo had been right!”  He thought as the crime figures from across the country continued to light up on the screen -- L.A. down 27% in the last two months; New Orleans down 30%;   New York down 24%  --all just since drugs were drastically off the market.”


 Vic Davio sported a nice buzz after a couple of hours at Bono’s Bar and hangout for organized-crime types.   He stood outside the bar and waited for Allison to pick him up.   His future was finally looking up.

“Although I’ve got to remember to keep my damn mouth shut,” he thought to himself.   “This is my big chance and I can’t blow it by bragging to those losers at Bono’s.”


The harsh ringing of the phone jarred Joe awake.  “This had better be the damn President to be calling at 12:20 a.m.”

“Joe, is that you?” said the slurring, gravelly voice on the other end.  “I’ve really got some hot shit for you tonight, old buddy.”

“Lipps, you crazy son-of-a-bitch. Do you know what time it is?”  Joe whispered into the receiver.   “If you woke up my wife, your hot shit is dead shit.”

Leopold Lipps was a former pharmacist who had played around the fringes of organized crime until he had become a worthless alcoholic.   In addition to being a full time drunk, he was also a part-time snitch.   Joe had nicknamed him “Hot Tips Lipps.”

“Joe, I know it’s late but I really got a snoot full tonight and if I don’t tell ya now, I’ll forget half of it by morning.   Listen, it’ll take just a minute…I’m over at Bono’s tonight and see this small timer Vic Davio…”

“Lipps, stop right there.   I cannot deal with this tonight so just write it down.   I’ll meet you tomorrow at the Water Tower Museum,” Joe said as he hung up.



The meeting at the funeral parlor was about to begin and the men who would oversee the largest drug distribution in U.S. history sat expectantly waiting for their orders.

Robert Gallos was a new breed of crime boss.   Intelligent, smooth and charismatic, he hated the old days of screeching cars, machine gun fire and vendetta.   Organization, cooperation and making huge sums of money were his codes.

“In ten days, a total of 400 caskets will arrive in Chicago.   In those caskets will be approximately 40 tons of the necessary ingredients for the manufacture of Coceron, and when diluted, will provide us with enough of that drug to re-supply the entire country.”

“Now, gentlemen, if what I have just described comes to pass, you and I are going to be some very well-to-do SOBs.   However, if it doesn’t, and there are screw ups and mistakes, then you and I are more then likely going to be returned to this cheerful establishment as permanent occupants.”

The Deadly Rain:  Part 2 to be continued in the May issue of FYI News.