Meet the Historic Characters in the Book & The Investigation Team



The beautiful but poor Russian immigrant Rachel, came to America in 1914, at the age of 7. Growing up in the tenements of Brownsville was only the beginning - she would soon lead a glamorous life in Manhattan. But she had dark secrets that wouldn't be discovered until years after her death.


Rachel's older brother, Abe "Jew Murphy," was smart and calculating, rising to the top of the numbers racket in Brooklyn and several territories on the East Coast in the 1930s.  An avid gambler, he made millions – but his death would remain one of the top unsolved murders of the 1940s in Brooklyn.


"Kid Twist" Reles, the notorious killer of the murder-for-hire mob, Murder, Inc., was "Jew Murphy's" childhood friend and helped to position him as the "Racketeer Czar" of Brooklyn. Considered "the greatest mystery in mob history," Reles would die under mysteriously circumstances just weeks after "Jew Murphy."


All the children loved Frankie. Fun-loving and humorous, this  happy humming fellow would drive through Brooklyn collecting overdue payments for his brother "Jew Murphy."  But Frankie knew something about his brother and Reles' death that led to his sudden disappearance.


Max was the King of the Underwear Industry in Manhattan – and Rachel's 3rd husband. An obsessed gambler who abandoned his children, he crossed paths with the mob and the law as his fateful story unraveled.


"Bill-O" New Yorkers called Brooklyn DA William O'Dwyer, who was credited with taking down Murder, Inc. in 1940. Later, he would become the 100th Mayor of New York City, but his involvement with the mob and covering up crimes would bring his political career crashing down.


John Harlan Amen, "The Racket Buster," swept into Brooklyn to clean up corruption at the highest levels in 1938.  But who was keeping important documentation from him? Would his collision course with "Jew Murphy" cost them both?


Great stories start somewhere and Line of Blood began with the wild tales Jana's father - renowned poet Morton Marcus – would tell her. Mort's initial help and encouragement propelled Jana to bring their discoveries to life and tell this remarkable family story.


On location in Brooklyn (l to r):

Emery-the-Videographer, Mark-the-Cop, Jana, Maria-the-Medium, Eric-the-Researcher, and Cousin Jared.

Crime scene psychic, Maria, explores the old

racket headquarters in Brooklyn with Cousin Michael.

Jana on location in Brooklyn where "Jew Murphy's" body was found.

Emery and Eric get ready for a day of

filming on location.

Jana conducted weeks of research at the NY Municipal Archives, searching for answers.

Meet Mark B, The retired NYPD Detective who helped me uncover the family mysteries in Line of Blood:

"If anyone other than Jana had asked me to help with a 1941 cold case homicide, I’d have likely tried to talk them out of it. No access to proprietary databases, possible witnesses, people who might have known Abe, little help expected from active law enforcement, potential crime scenes long changed or gone, etcetera and so on. Then add in that she was consulting a medium...seriously?

"Yet, her persistence, diligence and to my surprise, her constant investigative intuition – and I was in. The adventure that ensued was sometimes surreal to me, but in the end I believe we put together a strong case for justice. Ironically, justice for a lifelong gangster who was nefariously pursued by the justice system itself."