Look Into My Eyes

Hedge Fund Manager Who Faked His Own Death Has A Few Theories About Other Famous Murders, Real And Imaginary

Remember Samuel Israel III? For those with short memories, SI3 is a former hedge fund manager who faked his own death in June 2008 with the help of his girlfriend, Debra Ryan, who later wrote an article explaining her actions by noting that she and Israel had “a blazing sex life” that was hard to walk away from (Ryan shared colorful anecdotes that included all the times Israel would “[jokingly] sneak up on her, once while wearing sunglasses on his penis”). For Israel’s part, he had pretended to kill himself, incorporating a line from M*A*S*H into his fake suicide note, in an attempt to avoid the prison stay that was coming his way, on account of having taken Bayou Group investors for more than $450 million. At the time, he became something of a minor celebrity, whose business card, prominently featuring an egret, was auctioned off on eBay but since ultimately being sentenced to twenty years behind bars we’d heard nary a peep from the guy. Luckily, Andrew Ross Sorkin recently flew down to Butner, North Carolina for a little chat and it’s a good thing he did because Israel had a lot he wanted to get off his chest.

After offering ARS an “orange Life Saver,” discussing his own version of a playoffs beard (“Mr. Israel…was wearing a tan prison uniform with his hair grown out, a mass of silver and brown curls sprouting from the sides of his bald head. ‘I’m never going to cut it until I get out,’ he exclaimed”), and talking Ponzi schemes, SI3 got down to the real matter at hand.

About halfway through, the interview turned bizarre when Mr. Israel, on the verge of crying, announced: “I took a man’s life. I shot him twice.” I asked for more details. The story is recounted in “Octopus,” but the author, Mr. Lawson, doesn’t appear to believe it. In the supposed slaying, Mr. Israel describes himself defending a known con man, Robert Booth Nichols, who claimed to have once worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and has since died. Mr. Nichols was undertaking a secret trade at a German bank and was ambushed outside by a cockeyed “Middle Eastern guy.” Mr. Israel says he shot the ambusher in the hip and then in the head. He looked at me, shaking, and said, “I’ve seen someone with their head blown off maybe two feet back — as close as I am to you.” Mr. Israel recognized my skepticism. When I asked him what happened to the body, he said, “Bob made a couple of calls.” Again, I looked at him quizzically. “These people can do anything. They can get rid of a body,” he said. “Come on,” he added, looking at me as if I didn’t understand. “They can kill presidents.”

I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. “The J.F.K. thing,” he said. He went on to tell me that he had videotapes of Kennedy’s assassination and that one was stolen by the F.B.I. “I know it makes me look like a crackpot,” he said. “But I know it’s real. Look into my eyes — I don’t care if people think I’m crazy.”


A Con Man Who Lives Between Truth And Fiction [Dealbook]

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

36 Responses to “Hedge Fund Manager Who Faked His Own Death Has A Few Theories About Other Famous Murders, Real And Imaginary”

  1. Missionary4Ever says:

    What is a "blazing sex life"?

    – B. Dougan

  2. guest says:

    You want a toe? I'll get you a toe.

    –Guy who knows 30 other people were thinking the same thing and beat them all to it

  3. Bandersnatch says:

    I have to return some videotapes
    F.B.I. Archivist

  4. Mexi_Cant says:

    These people you speak of…can they help me make a profit?

    -Sergio P. Ermotti

  5. ILoveLamp says:

    ARS: "What are you talking about? Whadaya hear about that thing?"
    SI3: "Oh, yeah, that JFK thing"
    ARS: "You mean the first thing, or the other thing?"
    SI3: "What are you talkin'? The THING. Bob called those guys, over at that place. They took care of it."
    ARS: "You mean those guys, from the place, like that time? That thing?"
    SI3: "No, you dope. The other guys, from the other place. Do I have to draw you a freakin' picture?"
    ARS: "Ohhhhh! That thing!"
    SI3: "Right, and so he's gone and we couldn't do nothin' about it."

  6. Mel Gibson says:

    fuckin Israel…

  7. Melvin says:

    Go sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here.

    -M. Udall

  8. Texashedge says:

    "For Israel’s part, he had pretended to kill himself, incorporating a line from M*A*S*H into his fake suicide note"

    Suicide IS painless if you don't actually do it

  9. Guest says:

    Can you believe that face had a blazing sex life?

  10. Confused says:

    Anybody else having trouble visualizing sunglasses on a penis?

  11. ... says:

    Now those are some cocky sunglasses.

    – UBS Fashion Quant

  12. Art Bitrage says:

    SI3: Illegal? Deb, this is America! They're not gonna saw your hands off, all right? The worse they can do is put me for a couple of months into a while collar, minimum security resort! Shit, we should be so lucky! Did you know they have conjugal visits there?
    Debra Ryan: In… in these conjugal visits, you can have sex with women?
    SI3: Yep, I sure can.
    Debra Ryan: OK, I'll do it.

  13. mrs. gupta says:

    dude looks like a bloated charlie sheen

  14. inlovewithpmco says:

    I thought it was Keith Hernandez with that JFK thing?

  15. The Chairman says:

    Egrets, I've had a few, but then again to few too mention

  16. Guesticle says:

    Not intended to be funny – – I worked for that guy for a bit, and he is fucking crazier than he sounds.

  17. These are just cocky sunglasses man…..

  18. im_new_here says:

    Goddamit. Now I need a replacement for the phrase "as useless as sunglasses on a dick."

  19. If you could call any freelance function prostitution, Id say yes, but if youre contemplating of it inside a sexual way, Id say no. Theres no physical contact. What I think is funny is that if youre that hard up for your girlfriend, you could normally Google for some pics and established up a phony account for the make believe girlfriend.

  20. Jakob says:

    Shelley, it’s in Wolseley, Saskatchewan I think there is one in Dorothy, Alberta though. At least there was the last time I was out there. Getting hard to find those not to code’ payngroulds

  21. hmm seems like a nice little SEO service

  22. uggs outlet says:

    What is your plan?All that glitters is not gold.This work itself is very easy.He is used to eating out all the timeHe came by train.This is the most wonderful day of my life, because I’m here with you now.This is the most wonderful day of my life, because I’m here with you now.The Smiths are my neighbors.The price is reasonable.I will speak against anything I know to be wrong.
    uggs outlet