The gay bar industry in New York City historically was dominated by the Mafia, and in defying stereotype and convention one of the principal players in this rough-and-tumble man's world was a woman named Jennie Tobin who -- together with her husband William "Sonny" Tobin until his violent demise -- allegedly had interests in dozens of gay bars from the 1950s through at least the late 1970s.
Ed "the Skull" Murphy, a long-time doorman and bouncer at Mafia-owned gay bars who was at the door on the night of the June 1969 raid against the Stonewall Inn, spoke about the Tobin couple with Arthur Bell for a May 8, 1978 article ("Skull Murphy: The Gay Double Agent") from The Village Voice:
Methodically, Skull rattles off the names of owners of at least a dozen gay bars. Some, he claims, are mob-connected. Some aren't. Most of the bars he laces into are run by a husband-and-wife team who have been around the gay-bar scene since Peter Minuit bought Manhattan from the Indians. * * * [A]ccording to him, the couple own more property than the Catholic Church and have old East Side Yorkville Mafia ties. Whatever those ties are, he doesn't say. * * * Among the spots they own or have owned are the Pub, La Fiesta, Boot Hill, the Wildwood, the Roundhill Lounge, Dirty Edna's, the Barrow Inn, the Mailbox, and Gracie Manor in Brooklyn.
In his Dec. 4, 1978 article ("The Front") from New York Magazine, Henry Post alleges the following about Jennie and Sonny Tobin:
Monday is Jennie Tobin's busiest day. The chauffeur takes her from her little home at 21-21 Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, and together with her husband, Sonny Tobin, she makes the rounds of bars and restaurants around the city, all ripe with weekend cash. Jennie looks like a pie-baking, plump little grandmother, free with her kisses and hugs, wide-eyed and sweet-voiced; she's the last person one would connect with the Police Department's Organized Crime Control Board, the State Select Committee on Crime, or the State Liquor Authority, where a file describes her as having "connections with organized crime elements . . . [and] a long record of undisclosed interests in many bars over the last 25 years." * * * What investigators say about this sweet-faced woman is that she's smart, wealthy and dangerous. They also say that no matter how many bars, restaurants, cabarets, motels, warehouses, vending companies, massage parlors, and other businesses she may be illegally involved in, Jennie Tobin has made very few mistakes.
According to court records Sonny Tobin "was the principal . . . of Yorkville Vending Corp. and Revere Vending Corp. which supplies amusement and vending machines to various licensed premises," and the Tobin's son-in-law Thomas Edward Mendez, the husband of their daughter Joanne Robyn Mendez, was "employed by both Yorkville Vending Corp. and Revere Vending Corp." According to real estate records, from 1967 to 1982 Thomas Edward Mendez and Joanne Robyn Mendez owned the Queens home at 21-21 Steinway Street out of which Jennie and Sonny Tobin lived.
Jennie Tobin had extensive real estate holdings throughout the city including several properties on the Upper West Side concentrated around Amsterdam Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets. In his 1978 article on Jennie and Sonny Tobin for New York Magazine, Henry Post alleges:
Tommy D. . . . point[ed] out, according to State Liquor Authority files, "various licensed premises that were owned by the Tobins." Tommy pointed out nine bars, restaurants and cabarets and then claimed that the Tobins owned an entire block on Amsterdam Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets and also a warehouse at 1991 Broadway, where, according to the same report, "they store various vending equipment in connection with their licensed premises." (Another State Liquor Authority affidavit, filed by former Tobin employee Ed Posner, claims that the Tobins actually own, to his direct knowledge, more than 22 bars as well as a hotel located in Greenwood Lake, New York.)
Given that the Tobin clan was involved in the bar industry since the early 1950s and had business ties beyond NYC -- including in Greenwood Lake, NY -- one wonders whether there may be some relationship to Raymond Tobin who was considered a material witness involving several murders of nightlife figures during the late 1950s and early 1960s. A May 28, 1964 article ("Witness In Killings Is Held") from The New York Times states:
A 42-year-old taven owner of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., who is said to hold the key to six murders, was committed to Civil Jail yesterday as a material witness after he was held in $100,000 bail in Supreme Court. The witness, Raymond Tobin, was said by District Attorney Frank S. Hogan's office to have been a witness to three of the killings and to have information about the other three. The prosecutor's office said the accused killer was Joseph Donahue, 37, described as a West Side gunman. * * * The victims were Proesley Wilkes, killed on Feb. 26, 1959, outside an afterhours club at 19 West 94th Street; Robert Hannigan and Elizabeth Horvath West, manager and hatcheck girl of the Cotillion Room at 303 East 75th Street, slain Sept. 7, 1960; Bertram (Sonny) Haines, described as an ex-convict, and Joseph Corlees, a bartender, killed in the Bronx Jan. 16, 1960, and Lawrence Krebs, shot to death on the 79th Street transverse road in Central Park last month.
One source with whom this writer has corresponded alleged that Jennie Tobin "operated out of an antique/second hand store," and stated that he heard from one of her bartenders that "she had some very expensive stuff mixed in with junk":
I supposed that some of it must have come from the docks. She pulled up at the Picadilly once and came in and said she had stuff that guys might be interested in. In the trunk were a couple of crates. [The bartender] said "Tiffany" was stenciled on one, most of the stuff was dishware and when he pulled one piece out of its packing it had a Limoges marking. Some "dishware."
An examination of real estate records reveals that Jennie Tobin apparently had some ties to Carl Moskowitz who shared an office with reputed Genovese capo Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello at 135 West 50th Street. According to the real estate records, from 1977 to 1982 the owner of 232 West 48th Street, New York, NY was 2232 W. 48th St. Corp. of which Jennie Tobin was the president. On the deed by which the corporation obtained title to the property the address for its place of business is identified as "c/o Carl Moskowitz, Esq., 135 West 50th Street." Similarly, real estate records also show that from 1978 to 1988, the owner of 224 West 79th Street, New York, NY was 79th St. Real Estate Corp. of which Jennie Tobin was the president, and on the deed by which the corporation obtained title to the property the address for its office is identified as "c/o Carl Moskowitz, Esq., 135 West 50th Street." Messrs. Moskowitz and Ianniello were convicted with several others in 1985 for skimming tax-free cash from a few of their gay bars including the hustler bar Hay Market at 772 Eighth Avenue, the tranny bar Gilded Grape at 719 Eighth Avenue, and the Peppermint Lounge a/k/a Hollywood a/k/a GG Barnum's Room at 128 West 45th Street.
One bar in which Jennie Tobin once allegedly had an interest was The Candle Bar, previously known as the Candle Light, which opened in the mid-1960s at 309 Amsterdam Avenue. According to court documents, the State Liquor Authority revoked the liquor license for the Candle Bar in 1978 because the disclosed principals, Jean A. Sabathe and Helen Linsalto, "were charged with not being the true and/or sole parties in interest in said premises, but that William Elmer 'Sonny' Tobin, Jennie Endicott [a/k/a Jennie Tobin], his wife, and/or Joan Mendez, their daughter, a principal in landlord corporation, also have an interest therein." In 1980 Robert E. Ader, a gay attorney, took over the Candle Bar.
Curiously, Ader had a previous relationship with the Tobin family going back to at least 1975. According to real estate records Ader represented Jennie's and Sonny's daughter and son-in-law Joanne Robyn and Thomas Mendez in connection with their June 1975 purchase of a Queens property at 87-27 Santiago Avenue. In addition to his interests in the Candle Bar, Robert Ader and his boyfriend Lonnie Kennett also operated gay bars Cross Road at 858 Ninth Avenue and Tunnel Bar at 116 First Avenue from the late 1970s or early 1980s until the early 1990s when they both died of AIDS. The two men also purchased the properties out of which their gay bars operated. Ader purchased 309 Amsterdam Avenue in 1985 from 309 Amsterdam Realty Corp. of which Jennie Tobin was President, and obtained a mortgage on the property from the company. Ader purchased 858 Ninth Avenue in 1985 from M.Z. Holding Corp. of which Jennie Tobin was the president, and obtained a mortgage on the property from her. Kennett purchased the 116 First Avenue property in 1984, and obtained a mortgage on the property through Milford Funding Co. of which Robyn Endicott was a partner. It is unclear whether Robyn Endicott refers to Jennie Tobin or her daughter Joanne Robyn Mendez. According to real estate filings and court documents the mother and/or daughter are referred to by a number of variations including the following: Jennie Tobin, Jennie Endicott, Joanne Robyn Mendez, Joanne Robyn Endicott, Joanne R. Endicott, J.R. Endictott, Joanne Mendez, Joan Mendez, Robin Endicott and Robyn Mendez.
In a Dec. 4, 1978 article ("The Front") from New York Magazine, Henry Post alleged how Jennie Tobin attempted -- unsuccessfully so -- to take over a restaurant located at 68 Second Avenue which later became a gay bar. At the time the establishment was a restaurant called La Boheme which was opened in 1975 by Israeli national Samy Shmuel Zarum that was patronized by local theater people. However, in June 1977 Samy received a visit from an allegedly self-admitted Gambino soldier identifed as Tommy D. who had learned the restaurateur was interested in selling the place. Accordinging to the article, Tommy D. introduced Samy to Jennie Tobin, and a sales agreement was reached by which Samy unwittingly remained the official owner until Tommy D. could secure a liquor license in his own name for the place. Post alleges:
Tommy D. took over La Boheme. He ripped out $12,000 to $13,000 worth of equipment, moving it to the Tobin warehouse. He reopened the place as Timbers, a cheerless gay bar, and moved in rented equipment -- a pool table, pinball machines, and jukebox -- all supplied by Yorkville Corporation, a vending machine company run by a nephew, Bobby Tobin.
The relationship among the parties apparently did not work out well. Samy allegedly was not receiving his weekly installment payments for the sale of the business, and instead was receiving bills in the thousands of dollars for liquor that Tommy D. was ordering for the newly-christened gay bar. Samy went to the authorities, and Post alleges: "On December 30, 1977, Samy, with the help of four police officers, served Tommy D. with a court order to get him out of the former restaurant. The locks were changed and as Tommy D. was escorted from the premises, [Samy's] wife claims he muttered, 'This place is gonna burn.'" Zarum renamed the gay bar Timbers to The Bar, and over the next year allegedly received some trouble according to Post's article:
At 2 A.M. on November 15, three men pulled up to Samy's bar in a Checker cab, license No. 7130 TD. They announced to patrons, "There's gonna be trouble," and two of them flipped over Samy's new pool table. They then left and drove off in the cab. SLA [State Liquor Authority] informer and former Tobin employee Ed Murphy described this "as a typical Jennie Tobin move. She usually has this taxi driver, Jimmy Shine, and a few of his goon friends do his dirty work." A police check found the cab registered to a company located near Jennie Tobin's place in Long Island City. Police arrested Jimmy Shine. * * * One of Samy's last conversations with Jennie Tobin took place after his bar received a bomb threat. "Oh, Samy," she said. "People don't do that stuff here. This is America."
The Bar continued to operate as a gay bar until the late 1990s when it experienced an after-hours fire -- thankfully, Scruffy the orange tabby cat which made its home there was saved according to a source -- but it is unclear how long Samy had retained his interest in the establishment. According to online SLA records, an entity known as 682 Enterprises, Inc. which filed with the New York Department of State on July 20, 1979, received a liquor license for the 68 Second Avenue address. The name and address provided to the Department of State for service of process against the corporation was the law firm of Beal Kagan & Lentz, P.C. at 25 West 43rd Street. Curiously, this is the same law firm and address identified for service of process against R.E.A. Industries, Inc. of which Robert E. Ader was a principal in connection with holding the liquor license for The Candle Bar at 309 Amsterdam Avenue.
The building out of which The Bar operated at 68 Second Avenue sits on the corner of East Fourth Street, and also contains another commercial space through an entrance at 86 East Fourth Street. In the late 1990s -- sometime prior to the fire at The Bar -- the gay bar Boiler Room opened up in the building at the 86 East Fourth Street venue. The 68 Second Avenue venue re-opened as a straight bar after the fire, and according to SLA online records its liquor licensee is The Watering Hole of which Neil S. Weinberg is a principal. The liquor licensee for The Boiler Room at 86 East Fourth Street is J B Max Inc. of which Gina Weinberg is a principal.
Neil Weinberg and Thomas Mendez -- the same name as Jennie Tobin's son-in-law -- were officers in Blazing Enterprises, Inc. which purchased the 68 Second Avenue a/k/a 86 East Fourth Street property in 1993, and the company owned it until 1999. Ilyssa J. Davis f/k/a Ilyssa Paige loaned money to Blazing Enterprises pursuant to two mortgage agreements during the period it owned the property. Ms. Davis was an immediate family relative of Bernard Paige, and the latter had an extensive relationship with Jennie Tobin since at least 1966 according to real estate records. Over the decades Mr. Paige, through Chase Capital Corp. and Turnpike Capital Corporation, provided multiple mortgages to companies in which Jennie Tobin was a principal. Curiously, Bernard Paige also was an officer of some of the Jennie Tobin-controlled companies to which he was lending. Furthemore, through Chase Capital, Mr. Paige provided the mortgage to Thomas Edward Mendez and Joanne Robyn Mendez for the Queens property they owned at 21-21 Steinway Street out of which Jennie and Sonny Tobin lived.
Bernard Paige, a now-deceased attorney, also loaned money through his finance companies, including Chase Capital Corp. and/or Turnpike Capital Corporation, to Lorenzo DeVardo pursuant to a mortgage agreement in connection with real property located at 11-12 47th Avenue, Queens, NY (Tax Block No. 00057/Tax Lot No.0027). Lorenzo DeVardo was rounded up in 1987 pursuant to the so-called "pizza connection" indictment, and in recent times has been working with Dominick Acquista whom the feds reportedly had listed as a Gambino crime family associate. A March 22, 1998 article "(Examining Lenox Hill: Federal Agents Probe Doc Network for Fraud") by Katherine Eban Finkelstein from The New York Observer states:
Dominick Acquista is listed in F.B.I. files as an associate of the Gambino organized crime family. * * * Lorenzo DeVardo . . . in 1987 was charged, along with more than 10 others, with conspiring to smuggle more than $60 million worth of cocaine and heroin into the United States, using pizza parlors as a front in the famous "pizza connection" Mafia case. Then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani dropped consporacy and racketeering charges against Mr. DeVardo after he pleaded guilty to two gun-possession felonies.
Prior to Blazing Enterprises, Inc., other corporate entities with officers who apparently had prior ties to Jennie Tobin were involved in the ownership of the 68 Second Avenue Property. For example, in 1983 Seacombe Enterprises, Inc. of which Michael Kearney and Nicholas G. Petras were officers purchased the property. Kearney operated The Abbey Pub at 237 West 105th Street, and the landlord for that property from 1970 until 2006 was West 105 St. Realty Corp. of which both Tobin and Petras were officers. Petras is a Queens attorney who has been involved in multiple transactions with Jennie Tobin over the decades. In recent years Kearney has been involved with many gay bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn including The Phoenix at 447 East 13th Street and Nowhere at 322 East 14th Street Corp. which he operates with Lauren Rogers who was the former manager of The Bar until it was gutted by fire in the late 1990s. Seacombe Enterprises did not hold the property out of which The Bar operated for long, and quickly flipped the property in 1988 to 86 E. 4th Village Ventures, Inc. of which James Kilcullen was President. Kilcullen was the operator of Kilcullen Bar which operated at 856 Ninth Avenue. According to real estate records the 856 Ninth Avenue property was owned for a period during the 1960s by 856 9th Avenue Realty Corp. of which Jennie Tobin's son-in-law Thomas Edward Mendez was President. In 1968, 856 9th Avenue Realty Corp. sold the building to Kiljohn Realty Corp. of which James Kilcullen was President, and in February 1976 Kiljohn Realty obtained a mortgage on the property through the Bernard Paige-tied company Turnpike Capital. The 86 E. 4th Village Ventures company continued owning the property out of which The Bar operated until 1993 when Neil Weinberg and Thomas Mendez through Blazing Enterprises picked it up, and the latter company owned the building until 1999.
No doubt the gay bar industry has had some rough moments. Jennie Tobin knew some people who were murdered not the least of whom was her husband Sonny, and she reportedly witnessed him getting whacked at their Queens home in 1978. A Dec. 5, 1978 article ("2 Businessmen Slain In Their Homes") from the New York Times states:
William Tobin, a 54-year-old businessman dealing in vending machines, bars and motels, was shot to death in his home by an unidentified man early morning yesterday, according to the police. Mr. Tobin lived at 21-21 Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens. The police, who last night could offer no motive for the killing, said Mr. Tobin's wife had witnessed the shooting.
The murder of William "Sonny" Tobin remains unsolved. Of course, it's hard to feel sympathy for Sonny Tobin. Robert Wood, the gay owner of the hot spot Salvation at One Sheridan Square, was murdered in February 1970 -- only eight months after the Stonewall riots -- with five bullets to his head after allegedly failing to bottom for the mob. Wood left behind three letters which were sent posthumously to District Frank S. Hogan and United States Attorney Whitney North Seymour Jr., and a March 19, 1970 article ("Gun-Charge Suspect Is Former Manager of Slain Man's Club") from The New York Times states:
A police official said that Wood's letters, which named several men listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as members of the Mafia, described "a classic case of how organized crime moves in on bars and nightspots, puts its members or associates on the payroll, and eventually takes over. The Salvation, at 1 Sheridan Square, had been patronized by cafe society when it opened in 1967 but is said to have begun catering to homosexuals after Wood put money into it. It went out of business four months ago after the Mafia, according to Wood, drained off the profits and had him operating at a loss of $2,000 a month.
This writer spoke with a former NYPD undercover detective who during the early 1970s investigated the role of the mob in the gay bar industry pursuant to Operation Together, and he stated that one of the men Robert Wood accused in his letters was Sonny Tobin.
Another Jennie Tobin associate who met a violent demise was Theodore Fay. In 1987 Fay, the manager of the gay Midtown 43 Club at 127 West 43rd Street -- and former manager of Jennie Tobin's Nickel Bar on West 72nd Street according to a source -- was murdered reportedly on the orders of Spiros Varsos who allegedly "had his vending machines in a number of clubs in Manhattan" that were managed by Fay. A September 14, 1987 article ("A Manhattan Nightclub Operator Is Slain in Early-morning Dispute") by Philip S. Gutis from The New York Times states:
A 47-year-old man, who was the operator of a nightclub on West 43d Street, was shot to death early yesterday morning as he stood outside his car on Third Avenue, the police said. The man, Theodore Fay, a resident of 30 Waterside Plaza in Manhattan, was shot once or twice in the back at 3:55 A.M., the police said, as he stood outside his 1986 Lincoln near the corner of Third Avenue and East 37th Street. Two Bronx residents were arrested soon after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder, said Capt. Edward Minogue. Although a motive had yet to be established, Captain Minogue said robbery apparently was not the cause of the shooting. Mr. Fay was carrying $1,200 when he was killed, the captain said. An officer close to the investigation, who spoke on the condition his name not be used, said the police are examining two possible motives. ''We are looking at what kind of business he was in and the business associates he had,'' the officer said. ''And we are looking at a possible narcotics connection on the part of one of the shooters.'' Although the police would not describe the club, the Midtown Club at 127 West 43d Street, a bartender interviewed there yesterday afternoon said its clientele is primarily gay black men.
Spiros Varsos later was convicted for ordering the hit. In reporting on his arrest, an Oct. 15, 1987 article ("Two More Suspects Arrested in Slaying Of Nightclub Owner") by John T. McQuiston from The New York Times states:
Two more suspects were arrested yesterday and charged with murder in the slaying last month of a midtown Manhattan nighclub operator, the police said. One of the suspects was indentified as Spiros Varsos, 52 years old, of 301 West 53d Street in Clinton, the owner of a vending-machine company. He was arrested outside his home at 12:30 P.M., according to Capt. Edward Minogue, chief of detectives in the midtown area. Captain Minogue said the arrest was ''based on information from witnesses.'' * * * Captain Minogue said Mr. Varsos paid the two gunman $8,000 to kill Mr. Fay ''for unknown reasons.'' ''There is no clear-cut motive,'' he said. He said neither the victim nor any of the suspects had links to organized crime. * * * Captain Minogue said Mr. Varsos owned the Big Apple Vending Machine Company in Astoria, Queens, and ''apparently did business with Fay.'' He said Mr. Fay managed a number of clubs in Manhattan in which Mr. Varsos had his vending machines.
According to Robert Russo who testified at the murder trial in 1988, Spiros Varsos "had organized crime connections" as reported by William Glaberson in an April 26, 1990 article ("Prisoner Tells Of Confession By Defendant") for The New York Times.
Jennie Tobin not only apparently knew Theodore Fay -- the murder victim -- but she also may have known Spiros Varsos who ordered the hit. Varsos was in the vending machine business -- like Jennie Tobin's whacked husband Sonny -- and according to real estate records a man identified as Spiros Varsos was involved in companies which engaged in transactions with companies in which Jennie Tobin was involved; however, this writer has not verfied whether the Spiros Varsos who was convicted for the murder of Fay is the same individual identified in those real estate documents.
In 1979 three gay bar employees were targeted in a vicious attack at The Hell at 575 Hudson Street. A May 6, 1979 article ("Two Men Slain In Bar After $1,500 Holdup In Greenwich Village") from The New York Times states:
An employee of a Greenwich Village bar and discotheque was stabbed fatally and a second man was shot to death early yesterday morning by two robbers who fled with $1,500, the police reported. A third man, the manager of the bar at 575 Hudson Street known as the Hell, was shot in the neck at close range and underwent surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital. His condition was not disclosed by the hospital. Based on a brief conversation with the manager, Nathan Bolin, 32 years old, the police gave this account: Two men knocked on the door of the bar, at the corner of 14th Street, at 6:45 A.M. and said they had left behind their car keys that evening. Mr. Bolin unlocked the door. Inside, Alan Guglielmo, a 26-year-old employee, was cleaning up, while a friend, Anton Eden, 40, of 171 West 79th Street, stood by chatting. Once inside, one man pulled out a gun while the second bared a long knife and announced a robbery. Mr. Bolin was locked in the men's room, Mr. Guglielmo was put in the cloak room and Mr. Eden was kept in the bar area. Mr. Bolin told the men where they could find the night's receipts of $1,500. One of the men then dragged Mr. Bolin out of the bathroom and shot him in the neck. He staggered out the door and was found wandering along Hudson Street by a passing motorist, who called the police. Inside, the police found Mr. Guglielmo, lying face up in the cloakroom with a stab wound in his back, and Mr. Eden sprawled on his back in the middle of the wooden dance floor with a bullet wound in his head. Neighbors said the bar catered exclusively to a male homosexual clientele. Sgt. Edward Dahlem of the First Homicide Unit, said the police had no reason to believe that the violence was related to any anti-homosexual vendetta. "We don't know whether one of the victims tried to resist," he said. "We don't know why they were killed." Sargeant Dahlem said the police had no leads in the case and were waiting to interview Mr. Bolin further.
The murders remain unsolved. Prior to their involvement with The Hell both Nathan Bolin and Anton "Nefty" Eden were former employees of Jennie Tobin in connection with several of the Upper West Side Bars in which she allegedly had interests, including Picadilly Pub, Boot Hill and Wildwood, and after the attack Nathan Bolin returned to work for Jennie Tobin. One commentator on the gay scene in the 1970s wrote the following:
Late in the seventies, Nefty and Nathan, who had opened the Picadilly Pub and been involved in Boot Hill and Wildwood on the Upper West Side, had been involved running gay places in the West Village. Late one night, after they had closed up a bar, someone cajoled his way in to use the phone, and they, plus the unfortunate young boyfriend of one of them, became the victims of what were clearly revenge killings. Nefty was mutilated and killed, as was the boyfriend, but Nathan, under police guard in the hospital, survived his wounds. What prompted the slaughter -- bar business problems, drugs or what -- was never reported in the newspapers. Nathan later appeared uptown again as a bartender at Boot Hill. He was a simple, uncomplicated guy that everyone had always liked, contrary to Nefty. Guys were happy to see him back in the neighborhood, and -- as far as I know -- no one ever pumped him for more info on the events of that night.
The only organized crime figure with whom Jennie Tobin apparently had dealings was Genovese associate Carl Moskowitz, and just to be clear this writer is neither stating nor suggesting that any of the other above-identified individuals with ties to her -- either through a bar, the building out of which it operated or the financing thereof -- were involved in or associated with any wrongdoing. Indeed, although allegations previously have been reported against Jennie Tobin, to the best of this writer's knowledge she never was charged with -- let alone convicted -- of any crime in the thirty-plus years during which she was involved in the nightlife industry.
According to a recent court ruling in connection with a foreclosure action against one of Jennie Tobin's properties, the former gay bar queen may have died on February 3, 2007; however, as of the April 13, 2010 date of the ruling the judge wanted actual proof to support the claim of her death. This writer was unable to find confirmation of Jennie Tobin's death through the social security death index, and has not examined the docket in the case at issue to determine whether the proof requested by the judge yet has been provided. In any event, presuming Jennie Tobin's death, it's a shame that she died without telling her story to the world. Inexplicably her name is not mentioned once in any of the numerous gay history books which have been penned by supposedly notable scholars. After all, no one -- except perhaps for reputed Genovese capo Matty Ianniello -- knew more about the gay life from the 1950s through the late-1970s than Jennie Tobin, and her curious omission from the history books is nothing less than a compromise of the truth.