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TV

The Otto Frick Story - Recap

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On May 3, 1934, Ness and the Untouchables are preparing to raid a traveling carnival located 35 miles outside of Cleveland. The owner of the carnival is Otto Frick who runs one of the largest narcotics distribution rings in the country. Frick's lieutenant, Hans Eberhardt, sees the law mustering up outside the gate and warns his boss. Frick then sets fire to his office trailer as a diversion and they speed away before the Untouchables can catch them.

This failure doesn't deter Ness from continuing to hit at Frick. Because much of Frick's supply appears to be coming from New York, the Untouchables once again head to the Big Apple. Suspecting that Frick might be getting his drugs from legitimate manufacturers, Ness visits Manning Loder, president of a large drug company. He gets nowhere with Loder. But Sharon Doty, a madame busted for heroin possession, directs him to a bookstore owned by Felix Boll. A hollowed out book in the store contains heroin. Boll is arrested but released on bail. Rossman tails Boll to a German beer garden where he discovers him making a drug deal with a woman named Erika Schnell, a hairdresser on a German cruise liner. Ms. Schnell is taken into custody.

Ness is then summoned to Washington D.C. to meet with State Department big shot Nathaniel Emmons who handles the German Affairs desk. Ness informs Emmons that he has every reason to believe that illegal narcotics are being smuggled into the country on German ships and that the newly formed Nazi government in in complicty with this smuggling. Emmons then reveals that he believes Frick's source to be one Walter Messlinger, a roving ambassador for the German government who's currently on a tour of the United States organizing a big rally to be held at Madison Square Garden on January 30, 1935--the second anniversary of the Third Reich.

Messlinger has been supplying Frick with drugs free of charge in exchange for Frick's organizational skills in helping him promote the Nazi cause from coast to coast. Frick's lieutenant, Hans Eberhardt, is smitten with Messlinger's "niece", Hedda, a smokin' hot Nordic beauty. Hans and Messlinger begin collecting protection money from Jewish store owners in Los Angeles and other cities. They let the German-American Bund scare them then move in and offer their "services."

But chinks soon appear in the armor of the Frick-Messlinger partnership. Ness has been wreaking havoc with the supply lines so Messlinger approaches Manning Loder and demands all of the narcotics he has been manufacturing legally. Something bad might happen to Loder's family back in Cologne if he doesn't comply with the request. Loder decides to go to Ness but when Messlinger's hood shows up to make the pick-up all hell breaks loose. Both Loder and the hood end up dead on the floor.

January 30, 1935. It's the night of the big rally at Madison Square Garden. The culmination of Messlinger's mission. Otto Frick isn't celebrating though. He calls Messlinger at the German consulate in New York and threatens to kill him if he doesn't supply him with more drugs. Messlinger then tells Hans that he will consent to his and Hedda's marriage only if he kills Otto Frick. A reluctant Hans meets Frick in his hotel. Frick then reveals that Hans has been played for a sucker. Hedda Messlinger is not Walter Messlinger's niece. She's actually his wife. Not wanting to believe, Hans shoots Frick in the abdomen area but then Frick reveals a cigarette case which contains the proof--an inscribed note to Hedda from Walter. Hans departs leaving the wounded Frick behind. He then stops at a crawl and fall, takes several false shots of courage, and heads for Madison Square Garden.

The Untouchables and Captain Reardon of the NYPD arrive at the hotel where Frick was shot. An eyewitness says he got in a cab bound for the rally at Madison Square Garden. They head there as well. In a passageway outside the arena where the main rally is being held, Hans corners the Messlingers. Fortunately for the Nazi couple, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables arrive in the nick of time. Hans meekly surrenders and is taken away. Ness then warns Messlinger that a second assassin named Otto Frick is on his way. Messlinger replies that he knows of no such man by that name and walks away. Turning the corner, Messlinger is suddenly confronted by the seriously wounded Frick who shoots him down. Hedda's screams alert Ness who guns down Frick.

Eliot Ness and his Untouchables had struck the first blow for democracy and helped alert everyone to the Nazi fifth column menace. Hedda Messlinger confessed all and was deported back to Germany. Hans Eberhardt was sentenced to life in prison. A decade later the Third Reich would be in rubble and ruins.