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The Mob….does it ever go away?
by Jim Fussell

As many are aware, I did have a three year connection to the Wheeling Mob back in the seventies. I was very young, vulnerable, impressionable, gullible and too trusting.

My first meeting with Paul Hankish, he asked me to pull his white Lincoln around for him, tossed me the keys. Only weeks later did I find out that Paul had lost his legs in a car bombing, many years before I had met him. He had artificial legs and walked with silver canes that clipped onto his arms. I thought he had polio or some childhood birth defect. Not like you ask someone, why are you handicapped?

I also signed a three year modeling contract with a Pittsburgh Agency, during the same time frame, yet you never hear about that. Even had a agent named Pete Tombollini. My portfolio exists somewhere.

Many things happened back in those years and it seems everyone else connected to those mob families have since passed away. I learn of news stories and again Facebook chatter, forty five years later, rehashing stories and making charts, graphs, pointing fingers, attempting to connect the dots leading into directions that are perhaps better to be left alone.

I think that I can somewhat understand Matthew G. Lovedays family interest, I agreed back in 2018 to open a dialogue with Gary Lovedays son, Matthew. We exchanged a few emails and I was as open as I could be, without alluding to information that might prove harmful down the road, for anyone uncovering details.

Now I find that the family has uncovered off shore accounts and various other bank connections that they feel link crime families from Wheeling.

I am the first to admit that Monroe County had some residents that were not as they seemed. Some that led dual lives, and activities few would ever believe. But a small quiet county is perfect for those types of activity.

It is not my goal to throw shade on those who have passed. They are not here to defend themselves or offer their side of the story.

When I hear of FBI files and charts and diagrams and then references to me, I am still alive and I will defend myself on social media. When Charlie Maroon was found dead, his FBI files revealed alot.

Society does not know that anyone can call the FBI and say ANYTHING about someone whether true or not and those things become permanent record forever. Once you are deceased, anyone with a death certificate can obtain that persons FBI files. Most of the contents are blacked out but you can decipher enough to know who said what.

At the time when Gary Lovedays son Matt, reached out to me, I also heard from a former high school teachers family, two elderly ladies, (his death is referenced in recent facebook story) Mr. Burke had passed away prior to my arrest, I knew him and I was completely open/honest with his family.

I even went so far as to invite investigative sources that are connected to me, to assist with information regarding their deceased loved one. I spent a lot of time and money on phone calls with them and they just walked away without even saying Thank You for all of your help.

Both ladies and Matt Loveday, they all appeared out of nowhere a few months before I was due to see parole board in 2018. Ironic or planned, you be the judge.

While I deeply regret my involvement with criminal elements during those years, I can not erase the past. It was sad that for anyone who sought justice in the tri-state area, that justice was tarnished in ways you may never know.

No one would believe me back then, only in recent years have facts surfaced to substantiate what I alluded to, so long ago. Even a parole hearing officer called me to his office two weeks prior to me seeing the parole board, he said “the board has a question for you, “was the Mob involved in your case”?

In the early years the Feds questioned me, Fred Sirianni reopened my case “unofficially”, he even met at a abandoned gas station off interstate in Belmont County to obtain my copies of my trial transcripts from my representative. Sirianni did not want to go to the courthouse and sign out the records/transcripts because of gossip dangers. Many things happened that the public does not know.

While I do not know Miles Jeffries or Sharon Smith, I hope they offer support to those seeking answers. I do not know Gary Lovedays ex wife, although I did buy her, her mother and a police woman named Bonnie Bonar, a drink one night at St Clairsville Sheraton Inn. I had no clue the very attractive lady was a police woman, did not find out till months later.

I do not like my name connected to the Wheeling mob families. Those ties ended decades ago. While I see no valid point to digging up the past, I will reach out to offer to speak with any family member or representative they are comfortable with, to answer their questions, to help them find closure.

The suggestion of writing a book, perhaps that avenue would enable families to finally find closure. I would not be responding if it were not for the fact my name is being used.

If I can be of any assistance I urge you to send me a phone number or contact me on, Matt knows how to do that.

I wish everyone well and remind all that in life we make choices that always follow us our entire lives. I did not listen to those who warned me about dangerous individuals and I stepped right into the rabbit hole. While those choices were paramount in my present situation, they do not define who I have become.

Best wishes
Jim Fussell