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Howard Hughes Estate Controversy

Date Sunday - September 25, 2016
Host George Knapp
Guests Gary MagnesenMelvin DummarJoel Selvin

Melvin Dummar says justice was stolen from him as a result of a grand conspiracy to deny him his portion of billionaire Howard Hughes' vast estate. Many consider Dummar to be a fraud but an in-depth investigation by veteran FBI agent, Gary Magnesen has apparently shown Dummar to be a good samaritan who saved Hughes from certain death as he lay alone in the cold Nevada desert. Magnesen and Dummar joined George Knapp to discuss why Hughes, the industrialist, movie producer, and test pilot, was in the desert to begin with, as well as who schemed to deny Dummar and several institutions of their rightful share of the Hughes estate.

Magnesen described the original 1977 probate trial in Las Vegas which was called to determine the validity of a handwritten will that named Dummar as one of the beneficiaries of Hughes’ estate. Magnesen has uncovered evidence of jury tampering, intimidation of witnesses, and bribery by the corporation that was in charge of the estate after Hughes’ death in 1976. Dummar joined the program in the second hour and described his encounter with a disheveled man on December 29th, 1967 whom he at first thought was dead. He picked the injured stranger up and drove him to Las Vegas, giving him the change from his pocket when asked. He said the man claimed to be Howard Hughes. At the time, Dummar "didn’t really take him seriously" and thought "he was a bum or a prospector."

Ten years later, Dummar says a mysterious stranger showed up at his service station asking if he knew Hughes. He left a sealed envelope. Dummar recalled the visitor saying, "wouldn’t it be nice if you were in his will?" Magnesen claims that the analysis of the envelope and the contents bear out Dummar’s story. Magnesen says he has seen the original forensic lab report that mentions "fingertip and palm impressions" that he believes may belong to Hughes. He has been informed that the documents still exist in a special locked safe at the County Clerk’s office in Las Vegas. George said he would like to begin a process to uncover them. During call-ins, "Anke" said that she met the supposed prostitute "Sunny" that Magnesen claims Hughes would visit at the Cottontail Ranch brothel when he occasionally disappeared from his headquarters at the Desert Inn in the 1960s, and which was near where Dummar picked up his emaciated stranger.

The Altamount Concert

In the first hour, veteran music journalist Joel Selvin talked about the notorious Altamont concert of 1969, considered by many to be rock’s darkest day. He described a visit with the Grateful Dead’s manager Rock Scully, who told him the original story of the events that led to the ill-fated concert, which ended in a murder as well as manslaughter deaths. In 1969, the Rolling Stones decided to headline a free concert in San Francisco, but the venue was changed at the last minute to the disused Altamont Speedway, some 70 miles east of San Francisco. The San Francisco Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang were hired by the Stones as assistants, but the situation around the stage deteriorated quickly on the day of the concert. A venue that was designed for 5-6000 spectators suddenly labored under a crowd of 300,000. Selvin interviewed three of the surviving Angels, who told him that they were overwhelmed by the crowd, many of them on bad or dangerous drugs. He said the main problem "was a combination of innocence and arrogance--a dangerous cocktail."

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