We are in the midst of a royal scandal, one pertaining to Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. While we cannot say conclusively that he has committed a crime, we can say that in the past he has counted amongst his friends Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted child trafficker. This at best shows a catastrophic lack of judgement, particularly as a photo exists of the Prince in his company subsequent to the conviction.This article relates another royal scandal, this one decades old. You may have come across this information; it is a matter of public knowledge, though not particularly well publicised. Just as with the current royal scandal, the royal protagonist was never convicted of a crime, but again, his presence in the vicinity of the deepest corruption is suggestive of a high-borne disregard for things us ordinary mortals bother ourselves with, like keeping a moral compass handy.
It may not come as a suprise that the royal in question was none other than Edward VIII, who having been forced to abdicate five years previously, less for being a Nazi sympathiser than for marrying a divorcee, was shipped off to the colonies by Winston Churchill, with the Second World War two years old and showing no sign of ending. The Duke of Windsor and his wife Wallis Simpson settled in the Bahamas.The FBI were keeping an eye on them and found out to their horror that almost immediately they made friends with a consortium of people petitioning for the establishment of gambling in the Bahamas, which included Property dealer Harold Christie, Bahamian lawyer Stafford Stands, but much more significantly the notorious mafia gangster Meyer Lansky. Lansky was a principal in the ‘Murder Incorporated’ wing of the mafia, and therefore was implicated in the killings of at least 800 people.
Christie introduced Edward to Lansky in Florida, and the Duke lent his support to the building of a riveria style casino in Nassau. One of the Bahamas richest men, 68 year old Harry Oakes tried to put a stop to the casino being built, but behind the scenes, Lansky was offering the well-placed Sands a million dollars if he could see that gambling was legalised in the colony. Tragedy struck first. Harry Oakes was found dead in his apartment, in July 1943, apparently the victim of being burnt alive.In an eerie manner reminiscent of alleged Spontaneous Human Combustion cases the fire had barely spread beyond the body so forensic evidence as to what had happened should have been easy to ascertain.
Then the farcical happened.The Duke of Windsor, despite having the services of the FBI and Scotland Yard at his disposal, put himself in charge of the murder inquiry. To assist in his inquiry he summoned Miami policeman James Barker, a former associate of Lansky. Oakes’ son in law was arrested later that day on the basis of motive alone- Oakes had hated him, believing he was money hungry. The potential penalty for the crime was death by hanging. However, two crucial pieces of evidence absolved Oakes’ son in law; the fact he could not appear to light a match without burning himself, and some flimsy fingerprint evidence, which was in fact suggestive of police fabrication. He was acquitted, but while all this had been happening, the Duke and Wallis Simpson were sunning themselves on a seven week holiday in Miami.
Gambling eventually was legalised in the Bahamas, but not before a second application was turned down after members of the mafia approached the Duke to join their consortium once again but he declined, and the project was set back several years.Once bitten, twice shy, you might say. Who could know? When Scotland Yard were eventually brought in to the Bahamas, they were immediately sent back home. No one was ever brought to justice for the murder of Harry Oakes, and the case was declared closed by government order.