Monday, October 8, 2007

Horse Mafia

Anyone ever hear of the "Horse Mafia?" I was watching a program about the death of candy heiress Helen Brach. She disappeared back in 1977 and her body was never found. For years people thought her horse trainer, Richard Bailey, did it. Richard is currently in jail for swindling people out of money on horse deals. There are a lot of crazy bad horse people connected to the case including Tommy Burns, the "Sandman." He was a known horse killer who traveled through the hunter/jumper circuits, killing highly insured horses for their owners by electrocution or in the case of "Streetwise" he broke his legs with a crowbar. Apparently he is still spotted at shows down in Florida if you google and read peoples forums. The Jayne Family supposedly was known around Chicago as the "Horse Mafia." There was speculation that Silus Jayne was the one who murdered Helen Brach. If you read any history on the Jayne family, it is deeply disturbing. People and horses turned up dead everywhere Silus went. What a crazy story to read about. If you ever get a chance to catch Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice story on the case it is pretty fascinating and bizarre.

33 comments:

Anne said...

And I thought horse show moms were bad! (Just kidding.)

I hate to even hear about this. But thanks for the alert -- I'll be on the lookout for a rerun.

photogchic said...

Yeah, weird story, but entertaining. It is amazing the circles these crazy horse criminals travelled in. Also very sad that as many as 50 horses were killed by the Sandman for insurance money for their owners.

Tracey said...

Tommy Burns...that name sounds so familiar. Somewhere in my distant, pre-menopausal state (back when I still had a functional brain) it seems I should have known that name.

This is a most interesting, mysterious post you've got here today. My curiosity is up and I'll have to do some reading!

You asked about the felted horses; they're approx 5" tall. I don't recall what else you asked...did you ask something else? Told you my memory was shot, lol! Oh! Christmas, yes, before Christmas easily. Running 2-3 weeks out right now, so plenty of time.

Donna said...

I think there was a biography of Helen Brach on here recently, I'll have to try to tape it on my DVR, thanks for the tip.

Simply Marvelous said...

Yes, I remember the stories about that horrible man killing horses for insurance money. Too dreadful for words!

BTW ... did I read somewhere that you are training with a part draft horse? That is my ... fantasy!

Please tell me they are as great as I imagine! Lucky you!

Rising Rainbow said...

I've heard about the Brach Heiress before. It is very sad. Just proves money doesn't buy happiness. Look where it got her.

Anonymous said...

I was on the circuit and knew horses and people that were victims of these crimes. I also knew some of the offenders. Infact one of the professionals that showed my horse was eventually indicted in the insurance fraud case. I even saw a horse dragged out of a stall after being electrocuted. These people were a big reason I quit horses and riding. It is sad but glad to say that my horse was fine and was sold to a wonderful person. I highly suggest reading a book called Hot Blood. It tells you everything that went on then.

Anonymous said...

I had a horse farm down the street from Chuck and Dana Waters -- Dana was the vet indicted in the scandals regarding the electrocution and insurance scams of the show jumpers, including the olympic contender (who shall remain nameless) whose horses mysteriously died when they didn't perform. Some of my horses were mysteriously injured when we began to talk about this.

Anonymous said...

I had a horse farm down the street from Chuck and Dana Waters -- Dana was the vet indicted in the scandals regarding the electrocution and insurance scams of the show jumpers, including the olympic contender (who shall remain nameless) whose horses mysteriously died when they didn't perform. Some of my horses were mysteriously injured when we began to talk about this.

Anonymous said...

Dana Tripp, now Dana Waters, conveniently got pregnant with her daughter Hayley at the time she went on trial for the horse killings. This caused her to be able to serve her sentence through house arrest instead of in jail. Chuck and Dana Waters are the most dishonest crooks in the horse world today, selling horses worth $10,000 for $90,000, because they have $80,000 worth of cocaine in their anus. Chuck buys horses off the meat wagon for $300, turns around and sells them for $50,000. When this horse does not work, he finds another.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Chuck back in the early to mid 80's. I was just a kid grooming for him, but, I don't remember anything illegal going on.
At the time, I think I knew him as well as anyone.

Anonymous said...

This family is very shady, I know them and they are dishonest people.

Anonymous said...

I also know them, infact I know them quite well. All I can say is that they are the only people i think i actually really hate. Even hayley is a little nasty girl, who thinks that "horse slaughter is okay"> quote from hayley. Dana is always rude like she has something to be proud of.... if she only knew how people that know what she did feel...

Anonymous said...

aside from knowing from knowing the waters, I know Tommy Burns. I would never have thought he could do such a thing considering he is such a seemingly nice man. He was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years back. You know what he said to me? He said, "my past is coming back to haunt me."

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about the horse killings other than what I've read on the internet. One thing I can say is that I know Tommy Burns and I don't know the person they say he used to be. He is one of the kindest people I know. He's been great to my family and my children. We all make mistakes in life and while he did make some big ones, it doesn't mean he shouldn't be given another chance. It's too bad the people from his past don't know the person I know today!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the above comment about the cancer and his 'past coming back to haunt him', he said the same to me. I am glad to report that he is free from the cancer and doing well though now!

lelectra said...

Regarding Tommy Burns doing well now--that's too bad.

Anonymous said...

You need to read "Shattered" by Ted Sares. Cruel as it might seem, horse salughter is the least of the things you'll have on your minds once you find out what else these people allegedly did.

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Anonymous said...

I knew a well known horse trainer, sixty plus years in the business, famous for his own ackomplishments with American Saddlebred show horses back in the 50's, and trained race horses till he couldn't anymore. He told me stories about Silus, as they were old "Coon Hunting Buddies" from way back! I heard an earful on him ordering a HIT on his own brother, and when the rifle was found in a manhole, by city workers, and the Black Male that did the job, was nabbled, it all fell in on Silus, and in court he was said to say, "I should have done it myself"

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Anonymous said...

I worked for Chuck and Dana Waters in the 1990's and would not recommend them to anyone. Dana was a tyrant and treated her employees with jealousy and disdain. Not kind people by any means! I would not turn my back on either of them. Chuck was known for his cruelty in training methods for years. They are well suited for each other.

RebBel said...

He deserves to suffer a life of despair and painful death for his crimes. And he has hell to look forward to. Picture this "really nice man" raising a crowbar over his head and shattering a horses legs...hear the animals agonizing scream...then tell me what a nice man he is. Karma never forgets

RebBel said...

He deserves to suffer a life of despair and painful death for his crimes. And he has hell to look forward to. Picture this "really nice man" raising a crowbar over his head and shattering a horses legs...hear the animals agonizing scream...then tell me what a nice man he is. Karma never forgets