Oh-Oh. Ike Turner’s FBI File Has Been Declassified and Released
The only one flogging this story is columnist Phyllis Pollack over at the Milwaukee Examiner.com. Pollack covers rock music for the citizen news organization. Approximately 353 out of the 452 pages detailing how agents tracked and watched the late trail-blazing musician for a year have been released, possibly at the instigation of Ms. Pollack herself. The remainder of the pages have either been withheld because the subjects are still alive and their privacy would have to be maintained, or that some were destroyed over time, or that the documents themselves are of extremely poor quality.
For starters, Pollack has published two incidents the FBI investigated which involved robbery and embezzlement, although it is unclear whether thieves perpetrated these crimes or Turner did with the use of accomplices. As disclosed by his former wife, Tina, and witnessed by his contemporaries, friends, and successive other wives and partners, Ike Turner had a voracious and powerful appetite for cocaine. As the drug made him act out violently, it also rendered him extremely suspicious and crafty. He did not clean up until after 1993, when he was released from prison after several years, convicted of gun and drug possession. He cleaned up, but not completely. For cocaine did eventually kill 76-year-old Ike Turner. By that time, the musician also suffered from emphysema and high blood pressure–contributing factors in his accidental overdose.
It’s my conjecture Turner may have committed these crimes in order to fence his property and for the insurance settlement, both possibly to get more money for drugs. Another possibility is that he may have attempted to sequester and to liquidate property on his own, because by this time, Tina had walked out on him with only 36 cents to her name. Both appeared to be inside jobs; that is, someone would have to have been extremely knowledgeable about the workings of the Turner household, or have known about the Turner finances in detail. Ike Turner, having control over all aspects of his career: his band, his singers, his finances, his residence, his recordings and his bookings, would be the only individual to have such knowledge.
The alleged robbery at his home happened in the mid-Seventies. The so-called embezzlement occurred at his bank in the early 1980s.
One of the circumstances documented in his FBI file surrounds a 1976 burglary, in which $150,000.00 worth of furs, jewelry, musical instruments and other items were stolen from the home of Ike and Tina Turner, which was located at 4263 Olympiad Drive in Los Angeles. According to the report, the incident happened when the two were on vacation. Whoever committed the crime knew how to disable the alarm system.
The Los Angeles office of the FBI was investigating the crime. A theft report from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s office was obtained. The official police report is also included in the file. It was Ike Turner who was listed as the victim.
The list of stolen items includes a pair of matching chinchilla coats, apparently one a woman’s and one a man’s; along with extensive jewelry, including wedding bands. An unusual item that was reported stolen was a polygraph machine used for lie detector tests. Also reported as stolen was a TEAC tape deck, a receiver, JBL 100 speakers, Neumann microphones, a Stephens 16 track recorder, Fender Twin reverb guitar amplifiers, seven guitars, both acoustic and electric, as well as a bass guitar. Other stolen equipment included a keyboard, an ARP synthesizer, a Ludwig drum set, a Hohner clavinet, and other musical equipment. The burglary happened between September 30 and October 2, 1976.
According to the six-page hand-printed police report, the suspect(s) had knowledge of the alarm system, as well as where items were kept in the house, based on evidence at the scene. There were no known suspects. The Turners were described as “rock stars” in the burglary report, which was sent to FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley at FBI headquarters, and to FBI field offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles.
An investigation would reveal that neighbors heard the alarm sound, but no one reacted, because it was quickly deactivated.
The alleged embezzlement seems to been even more interesting, because the bank seems to have been hip to what Turner was up to. That Turner thought he could get away with it appears to have been a classic mind fck.
An August 23, 1982 document states that Ike Turner claimed that $50,000 was missing from his personal bank account, held at the Bank of Beverly Hills, located at 9766 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. Turner contended that “someone inside the bank authorizing a withdrawal” took money from his account without his knowledge or consent. A person whose name is redacted from the FBI file told agents that for a period of seven months, Turner would phone a certain employee at the bank, advising that he was sending someone there to pick up money for him. The account was listed under the name Huh, Inc. Turner later claimed the exact amount was $42,050.00 stolen from him. A Federal grand jury subpoena was issued for documents that would serve as evidence pertaining to the case. The subpoena was complied with, and the documents were turned over to a Special Agent of the FBI.
Turner alleged that he had never sent anyone into the bank to pick up money for him, and that someone at the bank debited his account without his authorization and withdrew cash. The file states the bank did not intend to reimburse him “because the debits appear to be legitimate, and in fact, Turner received the funds himself.”
The FBI interviewed employees of the bank, who told them that Turner would call an employee at the bank to say he was too busy to come in to debit money, and that he was sending someone in to take the funds. The employee added that “on several different occasions,” Turner “would send different girls to pick up his money for him.”
The bank employee contended that Turner received his money, but that because he spent it so quickly, “he is trying to blame someone for losing his money.” The FBI file describes the bank employee “as not being able to understand why Turner is not being truthful concerning the money.” The employee told the FBI, “Turner knows he got all the money from his account.”
Huh, Inc.? Jeez. See what shyt can do to somebody? It’s sad because the guy was sick, but at the same time, it’s hilarious.
Long story short: the FBI declined to prosecute the bank, which in turn also refused to reimburse Turner for the $50,000 that he naturally blew on blow; and after a 30-day review of the case, it was dismissed.
Pollack says she’ll have more disclosures in the next few days.
- Song Of The Day – “Shake/A Fool In Love/It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” by Ike & Tina Turner (chicagonow.com)
- Bella Donna: Tina Turner (bellasugar.com)