The place:  An  urban  dwelling  on  a  quiet  street  in a grimy
south-side  Chicago  neighborhood.   There  resides  the  veteran
investigator,  Sherman  H. Skolnick.  There is a nip of autumn in
the air. Many leaves have fallen.

The  situation:   Lately,  the  muckraking  journalist  has  been
dodging brickbats.  Skolnick has  recently  stated  that  he  has
never before felt himself to be in such great danger.  On August,
28, 1997, his colleague, Joseph Andreuccetti, suffered an illegal
raid  by  reputed "law enforcement" personnel, according to court
documents filed by Andreuccetti and Skolnick.  One of the reputed
"law enforcement" agents  allegedly  spoke  to Skolnick by phone,
from Andreuccetti's home, and  warned  him  that,  "You're  next,

Now, Skolnick seems to be in danger from a different quarter.  In
his  current recorded phone message, listeners can hear part of a
taped  conversation   he   had   with   one  Gunther  Russbacher.
Russbacher  is  well-known  as  an  insider  in  various   covert
operations  that  occurred in the 1980s.  Mr. Russbacher insists,
however, that he is now retired from such activities.

Russbacher is a scarey fellow, based on my own conversations with
knowledgeable sources.  Though it is  my  belief he is indeed now
retired from officially-sanctioned intelligence activities, it is
also my impression that he is an explosive character, subject  to
violent  rages,  especially  if  and/or  when  he  is  under  the
influence  of  alcohol.   I believe that he is capable, if and/or
when under the influence  of  alcohol,  of "suggesting" to one or
several of his past contacts that "so and so" needs to be  "taken
care  of."   For  that  reason I am *not* transcribing Skolnick's
current message.  It is running  for  a  limited time, and can be
heard for the price of a regular phone call. (773-731-1100)

I  will  say  that,  in  Skolnick's  latest   recorded   message,
Russbacher  can  be heard obliquely warning Skolnick to "back off
the [Princess] Diana story"  or  else  he  is likely to "burn his
fingers." I have urged Skolnick to be careful.

So Mr. Skolnick now seems  endangered  from more than one source.
I visualize him now as if in a scene from World War I:  his small
home is surrounded by deep trenches; barbed  wire  encircles  the
perimeter;  and  Skolnick  himself is crouched down and wearing a
World War I-vintage  helmet.   He  is  living  in a virtual "Fort
Skolnick," all for daring to look for the story that  others  are
afraid to tell.

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