I have finally figured out why I never wrote to you again. It is because the only thing worth writing about is people. And I have been spending the last few years retrenching into myself. Now I have no one left to write about except for myself, and you know how boring that can be. Maybe it’s time for a re-emergence.
An unfinished undated letter found in Joan Andres apartment
There was one other free-lancer besides me digging into the secrets behind the Heritage Bank failure. Her car was torched in September of 1992 and she was murdered three months later. Attorney Joan Andres was 27 years old, a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Boston University Law School. Perhaps what happened to her was behind the FDIC investigator’s warning to me to back away.
In 1992 the wolves were at the door at Cooley Shrair and Dambrov, one of the biggest legal firms in Springfield. The firm had thrived during the heady eighties, but now they were laying off people as one client bank after another folded or was merged. Shawmut, MultiBank, Bank of New England. Forty-four FDIC-insured banks failed in Massachusetts. The FBI and auditors from the FDIC had been in to talk to the partners at Cooley Shrair and there were rumors that Irving Labovitz and David Shrair might be indicted for bribery and bank fraud. While all this was unfolding, Joan was working for Irving Labovitz at Cooley-Shrair, doing bankruptcy work. In their office files was a mother lode of evidence, files full of memos, agreements and data on deals that would figure prominently in the 1997 trial of Irving Labovitz. Joan’s father told me she was a digger, and loved to do research.
“I wish she could have just let things be,” he said wistfully.