Drugs and the mob on Las Olas!

Which Las Olas business was owned by a hitman? Or rather, owned by his wife. By the way that was  a serious question – I haven’t been able to figure out the answer and hope that you might.

Handsome Hunwick

Handsome Hunwick

It seems that the chap’s name was Bernard Hunwick. In June 1982, it was reported that he had been arrested. He was allegedly working with another [unnamed] man who was part of the mob in Chicago. It seems that the pair aimed to hit organized crime figures here in Fort Lauderdale. One man had already been hit – he’d been found in the trunk of his car just a month before the report. Mind you, some officers estimated that Hunwick had been responsible for over three hundred gangland killings.

When Hunwick was arrested, they took from his home a hit list, seven guns, handcuffs, three bombs and $12,000 in cash.

But the part of the report that really got my attention was that Hunwick worked in his wife’s business. Patti Hunwick was a former Playboy bunny and had a business on Las Olas Boulevard. Any ideas????

Patti Becker Hunwick’s business was apparently a fashion boutique. She was twenty six

The glamorous Mrs Hunwick

The glamorous Mrs Hunwick

and had two children. Some months later, she was arrested herself and charged with the possession seventeen bales of marijuana, conspiracy to commit a felony and possession of a firearm. She was arrested along with two Fort Lauderdale men after a 27 mile sea chase involving cop boats and helicopters.

Bernard had been cleared of all charges during the hitman trial (hmm …)  but by the time his wife was arrested he was in custody awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of possessing a firearm…

When Bernard Hunwick had been arrested, an officer had noted that they lived in a luxury waterfront home with a $7,000 boat moored outside. (Remember that’s  thirty years ago). He owned four Rolex watches each worth $5,000. He had several expensive cars. He and his wife were thirty seven and twenty six respectively so can’t have owned the Las Olas business for very long. But yet it seems that they were very wealthy.

The young, glamorous, ‘innocent’ couple maintained that their wealth came from the boutique. They made SO much money selling frocks on Las Olas?  I think today’s business owners would definitely have something to say about that!

Posted by Las Olas Boulevard in : History News,

  • Sunny, Waterfront Mid-Century Gem

    Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
    Set midway between Fort Lauderdale Beach and the fabulous Las Olas Boulevard, this quiet and secluded complex is right on the waterfront and enjoys charming Mid-Century Modern features. Fully moder...
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  • LAS OLAS BOULEVARD

    Las Olas Boulevard - there's no other place quite like it. Las Olas offers you the very best in dining, antiques, shopping, fashion, the arts, history and much more.

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    Las Olas Boulevard is located just seconds from the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach and enjoys the wonderful South Florida weather. When you visit us on the boulevard, why not come by boat? The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi will bring you right here.

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    We have lots of special events which take place throughout the year and some of the nicest people you'll ever wish to meet are right here. If you're planning a destination wedding, there's no better place.

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    The boulevard has a lot of history too. Stay at the Riverside Hotel - built in 1936, or visit the Stranahan House Museum and see where Fort Lauderdale itself began. Enjoy breakfast, at any time of day or night, in the historic Floridian diner. See the Elbo Room, the place featured in Where the Boys Are - the iconic Spring Break movie made in 1960.

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    Las Olas Boulevard has something to suit all tastes, all ages and all budgets. Dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink in a relaxing bar. Experience fine dining in one of our many restaurants, or grab a pizza, sandwich, panini or salad. Enjoy cuisine from all over the world right here. And don't miss the treats we have for you - chocolates, ice creams, frozen yogurts, candies, pastries - all made right here on Las Olas. Eat at a sidewalk café, people-watch, visit our world-class museum of art, take the kids to the science museum for a day of fun, sit and watch the water traffic go by on the New River ... there's so much to do.

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    Shop for the finest goods - and bargains too. Our stores sell everything from diamonds to dresses, from gowns to garlic bread!

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    We have all your needs taken care of on Las Olas. We have a pharmacy, dry-cleaners, a deli, dressmakers, gifts, quality cigars ... in addition to pampering services if you're looking for a massage, a manicure or a magnificent haircut. We even have our own Sunday farmers' market.

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    We haven't forgotten the business traveler. If you're in Fort Lauderdale for business, you'll find every service you need on the boulevard and what better place to work? Many of our restaurants have free wifi so you can check your email and write your blog as you sip an Italian coffee and enjoy a snack in a sidewalk café.

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    We'll look forward to seeing you on Las Olas!

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