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Author Topic: JOHN F. GOOD, CLASS OF 1958, RIP  (Read 962 times)
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« on: September 30, 2016, 09:14:36 pm »

It is with deep sorrow, that I share with you the news, that my long-time friend, Fordham College classmate, and Sailing teammate, John Good, passed away on Wednesday, September 28 at his home in Island Park, NY.

John and I met when we were in the eighth grade. He lived in St. Benedict’s Parish not far from City Island and I was an altar boy for his uncle, Fr. Tom Keogh, at Holy Spirit Parish on University Avenue. We were both “Bronx Boys.” Five years later, in September 1954, we reconnected as freshmen at Fordham and became life-long friends.

Our most common thread was the Sailing team, which had been founded as a Club Sport in 1950. In sophomore year, Athletic Director Jack Coffey, was impressed with the drive and dedication of its team members and bestowed varsity status on the program. John earned three Block F letters as an undergraduate sailor but it was the way he did it, which impressed me, because he also had to fund 100% of his college tuition.

John wanted to be an FBI Agent and every summer, he had a full-time job with the bureau. In September & October, he participated on the Sailing team. He was an excellent ice skater so starting in November and continuing until mid-March, he worked as an Ice Skating Guard at Wollman Memorial Rink in Central Park from 4:00 PM – midnight. He would go to class from 9 AM to 3 PM daily and then get the subway to 59th Street for the five-minute jog to the rink in the park. At midnight, he would take the subway to his home near the end of the line. Door-to-door, the trip was close to an hour. When he could, he did his homework on the train. Like many Fordham students, during the Christmas Break, he worked a second job at the U.S. Post Office. From mid-March until mid-May, he again represented Fordham in intercollegiate Sailing before rejoining the FBI for another summer of employment.

John’s work ethic was extraordinary and it served him well with a number of high-profile cases during his career as an FBI agent, and after retirement when he founded his own private investigation firm.   

Following graduation, his love of Sailing became a life-long avocation, and when the Sailing team was resurrected as a club sport in 2000, John owned a 45’ schooner, that he cherished. Once our team acquired boats and commenced hosting regattas, John offered his boat to serve Race Committee duty during our two annual, home regattas. We were the envy of practically all visiting teams.

In 2008, we invited the Basketball team to a practice before its season started. Afterward, Sailing team members served New England Clam Chowder from the Shrimp Box on City Island followed by slices of Cheesecake from S&S Bakery in the Bronx. Due to an incident during practice, the members of the BB team had many questions and gained a tremendous amount of respect for their Sailing colleagues. 

To set the scene…in addition to two assistant coaches, our guests consisted of 15 very big and very tall athletes, some of whom were non-swimmers. In addition to John’s 45’ schooner, we had a 15’ Scout runabout. In that boat, I took the two coaches. The team members were spread out on John’s sailboat. Everyone was wearing life jackets, the straps of which were extended as far as possible to fit the big guys.

The breeze was blowing about 10 knots and it was a beautiful, sunny but cool day in late October. We were conducting “Tack on the whistle drills.” I didn’t see what happened because John and I were on opposite sides of the course, but here is how he, with a big grin on his face, described it.

“Joe, we were sailing along and the BB players were stuated from stem to stern relaxing on board; enjoying the day and appreciating the athleticism of our sailors as they roll-tacked and gybed upwind and downwind during the drill. I was at the helm and suddenly, all 15 BB players jumped up and started screaming ‘Save her! Save her! She’s going to drown!’  During a puff, the foot of one of the female crews, had slipped out of the hiking strap, and she had done a 360 degree backward somersault into the cold water. When the guys jumped up, they immediately moved to the starboard side of the boat to see what was going to happen to the sailor.  Joe, it was like 3,000 pounds of ballast suddenly shifting to one side of the boat. So help me, I thought that the impossible was going to happen and we were about to capsize. Fortunately, the soaking wet young lady climbed back on board in less than 10 seconds and with my boat listing to starboard, the basketball players gave her a standing ovation.”

John and I had a lot of laughs over the years, but that was among the best.

Please remember John, a true Fordham Ram, in your prayers. May he rest in peace.

Arrangements are:

Christopher T. Jordan Funeral Home - 302 Long Beach Road - Island Park, NY 11558
Sunday & Monday   -    October 2 & 3;    2:00 – 4:00 PM    and    7:00 – 9:00 PM

St. Mary of the Isle R.C. Church   -   315 East Walnut Street   -   Long Beach, NY 11561
Tuesday, October 4 – 10:00 AM
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 10:16:01 pm »

Joe, thanks for the memories of your friend, John Good. A great Fordham Man.

May he rest in peace.
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2016, 06:52:21 am »

Thanks, RB. I should have added that John was a Fordham supporter all his life and one of his final actions was to purchase 10 tix to the Fordham vs. Holy Cross Football game next month at Yankee Stadium so his extended family members, who are spread out from from NYC to Dallas, could enjoy this momentous occasion. In our freshman year, 1954, John and I saw all the home games at the now demolished Polo Grounds, which was located on Coogan's Bluff directly across the Harlem River from the old Stadium.

I had bought four tix with him and it was to be a mini-Sailing alumni/Good clan reunion. God had other and even better plans for John.
He will be missed.
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 08:16:44 pm »

So sorry to all for the Loss. May perpetual light shine upon him.
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 06:16:06 pm »

More information about John Good excerpted from his obituary published today in NEWSDAY.


"John Good, a former FBI agent and the man who oversaw the massive Abscam federal anti-corruption operation depicted in the film ''American Hustle'', has died.

The infamous ABSCAM scandal — a symbol of 1970s corruption in the halls of Congress — had a dogged pursuer in John F. Good, a veteran FBI agent who headed up the team of investigators who eventually brought six House members, a U.S. senator and 12 others to justice.

He came from a generation of Irish Catholics — many, like him, educated at elite Jesuit institutions — who climbed the FBI hierarchy in the 1960s and ’70s.

After retiring as the head of the FBI’s Hauppauge office in 1986, he went on to become a partner in the private investigative firm of Lawn, Mullen & Good.

A decade before, Good was assistant to the supervising agent in the bureau’s New York City office and an expert in source development when he kicked off the investigation that would come to be known as ABSCAM and define his 30-year crime-fighting career.

John Francis Good was born June 17, 1936, in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. His mother, the former Mary Keogh, was a homemaker; his father, Harold F. Good, was also an FBI agent. He graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in 1954 and Fordham University in 1958 with a degree in sociology.

He served in the Navy before joining the FBI.

In 1977, Good ordered an FBI agent to pursue an informant deal with a skillful but recently arrested Long Island swindler named Melvin Weinberg. 'The most sordid scandal in Congressional history' started unraveling with that order, Robert Greene wrote in his 1981 book, 'The Sting Man.' The story was also fictionalized in the 2013 movie 'American Hustle,' which garnered 10 Oscar nominations.

With Good running interference with Washington and Weinberg as a frontman, investigators created a dummy Long Island company, Abdul Enterprises — the source of the operation’s name — that supposedly served as the investment vehicle for an oil-rich Arab millionaire with connections to royalty, homes across Europe and a pressing desire to put his money to work in the United States. Weinberg, in character as the millionaire’s American agent, did business out of a rented office near Long Island MacArthur Airport. At the start of the ABSCAM investigation, an FBI agent, playing the millionaire, wore a kaffiyeh, or Arab headdress, when meeting with targets — run-of-the-mill white-collar crime suspects. Later, the list of targets included mayors, House members and a U.S. senator.

In one of a series of meetings videotaped and recorded by the Bureau, an intermediary for Camden, New Jersey, mayor and Democratic Party player Angelo Errichetti explained that it would cost no less than $325,000 for an Atlantic City casino license, according to Greene.
“Money talks in this business and [explicative] walks. It works the same way down in Washington,” said Philadelphia Rep. Michael Myers (D-Pa.), according to Greene’s telling of the scandal.

Myers gratefully accepted a briefcase containing $50,000 cash in return for a guarantee to back a residency bill for a supposed Arab sheikh. The same story worked with Congressman Richard Kelly (R-Fla.), who told agents “I’m so damn poor” and then stuffed $25,000 in cash into his pockets.

Nineteen men, including the House members and U.S. Sen. Harrison A. Williams of New Jersey, were eventually convicted after ABSCAM wound down in 1980."
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 11:36:11 am »

On Page A21 of today's THE NEW YORK TIMES is a news article/obituary about John.

John Good, Architect of F.B.I.’s Abscam Sting Operation, Dies at 80

John F. Good, who developed and directed the F.B.I.’s Abscam investigation, resulting in grainy black-and-white videotapes on the evening news that showed elected officials accepting bags and envelopes of cash from what appeared to be an Arab sheikh, died on Sept. 28 at his home in Island Park, N.Y. He was 80.

The death was confirmed by his brother, Kevin.

Abscam was a two-year inquiry in the late 1970s and early ’80s in which agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation posed as representatives of wealthy Arabs willing to pay bribes for influence. The idea evolved after Mr. Good, who was running the bureau’s first Long Island office, in Hauppauge, saw a routine F.B.I. memo about Mel Weinberg, a reputed small-time con man operating in the vicinity. Mr. Good’s bosses had been encouraging him to develop bigger, more important cases, and he thought Mr. Weinberg might be able to help ferret out wrongdoers, essentially by fooling a lot of people, a lot of the time.

In the beginning, Mr. Weinberg pulled in people who were thought to be interested in selling high-priced stolen art. A bureau employee of Lebanese descent was recruited to pose as the potential buyer, a wealthy sheikh who was portrayed as owning a company called Abdul Enterprises (the source of the name Abscam). When the operation targeted the mayor of Camden, N.J., Angelo J. Errichetti, and he proved to be open to further suggestion, the net widened, and the sheikh’s story changed. Now he was offering money for influence in the halls of government.

The investigation resulted in bribery and conspiracy charges against a United States senator, Harrison A. Williams Jr. of New Jersey; six members of the House of Representatives; and a dozen others, including Mr. Errichetti. All were convicted. (Mr. Williams died in 2001, Mr. Errichetti in 2013.)

The sting operation was fictionalized in the 2013 film “American Hustle,” starring a shaggy, bearded Bradley Cooper as a composite character representing Mr. Good and two other agents.

In an interview that year with The Washington Post, Mr. Good seemed amused by the renewed attention to the case the film had generated. He pointed out that a number of plot elements — including the romantic triangle among the characters portrayed by Mr. Cooper, Amy Adams and Christian Bale — were pure Hollywood inventions.

But Hollywood’s depiction of the hidden-camera recordings of encounters between politicians and the “sheikh” and his representative was pretty much the way it happened, he said.

Most of the operations took place at a large house in the Georgetown section of Washington, Mr. Good said. “It was wired completely,” he recalled. “I watched all of the payoffs go down, every single one of them.”

The operation was criticized by some as relying on entrapment; others faulted it for essentially not knowing when to stop. At a Senate hearing on undercover investigations in 1982, the Abscam team was accused of having been made “giddy” by its success. Turning down the opportunities presented to meet with additional legislators would have been suspicious, Mr. Good said. “If we were real crooks out there looking to bribe congressmen, and somebody came to us and said, ‘Look, I got a better fish for you,’ how can you say, ‘No, I don’t need him’?” he was quoted as saying in The New York Times.

The relationship between Mr. Good and Mr. Weinberg “was sort of a marriage made in heaven,” Edward A. McDonald, the former chief of the United States Organized Crime Strike Force in Brooklyn, said in an interview, “because they were both very imaginative and resourceful.” But, he added, “John kept a tight leash on Mel.”

Speaking to in 2013, Mr. Good summed up Mr. Weinberg as “a very, very intelligent guy — a little on the crude side, but with a magnificent ability to con people.”

Dealing with tough guys was hardly new to Mr. Good. He had been part of the so-called hijack squad, a group formed in the 1960s to end the rampant truck hijackings from Kennedy International Airport. The job offered considerable opportunity to meet potential Mafia informers.

“He was a very, very unusual F.B.I. agent,” Mr. McDonald said of Mr. Good. “He knew how to deal with criminals. He was not a guy who sat at his desk,” but more “what used to be called a street guy.”

John Francis Good was born on June 17, 1936, in the Bronx, the eldest of the six children born to Harold F. Good, himself an F.B.I. agent whose assignments included the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg espionage case, and the former Mary Keogh. He graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in 1954 and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Fordham University in 1958. He served in the Navy before joining the F.B.I. The bureau assigned him to Springfield and Decatur, in Illinois, and to El Paso before he returned to New York. He worked in the bureau’s Manhattan office before he was chosen to run the office on Long Island. Mr. Good had been looking into shoddy sewer pipe construction and possible payoffs in 1978, when the Weinberg memo turned up on his desk.

In addition to his brother Kevin, his survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Farrell; a son, John; another brother, Thomas; three sisters, Kathleen Genzardi, Mary Elizabeth Good and Eileen Good; and three grandchildren. Mr. Good was divorced many years ago.

After retiring from the bureau in 1986, Mr. Good worked as a private investigator and in 1994 founded his own firm, Lawn, Mullen & Good, now L.M.G.I. Ltd., in Babylon, N.Y.

He took pride in being a realist, particularly about his F.B.I. work, which was not always as glamorous as Hollywood portrayed it.
“If they just did it the way Abscam was done,” he said, referring to “American Hustle” in his interview with The Post, “it would be a very boring movie.”
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