Jerry Williams gets held up! Literally. repost
And not for anything he said on the radio!
Jerry Williams hired me for Philadelphia’s FM talk station WWDB in 1980.
Then...after a few months...Jerry left. He had asked me how things were at WNWS Miami...and that’s where he ended up after I made a call telling them to hire him. Jerry and I went way back....all the way to his home in Boston and WMEX in the early 60’s.
After he was there for a few months my phone rang and it was Jerry screaming at me down the phone line:
“What the hell have you gotten me into down here! This is the worst place in the world” he screamed.
Then without explanation hung up the phone.
What had happened and what I didn’t find out about for some time was Jerry had finished his show and opened the building’s front door to leave and was held up at gunpoint. He could well have been killed...I think he was very lucky.
According to the Miami News report I have from their archives thanks to my friend John Baker who does the Neil Rogers stuff (& mine now) this happened September 23rd 1981.
One of three men had a small pistol and they didn’t know they were at a radio station. Jerry (after he gave them his watch and cash) told them Neil Rogers was in the studio doing his program...and they said they wanted to rob him too...but they WERE getting nervous now.
In fact according to Jerry the guy with the gun said “let’s kill him” but his companions were nervous about that too...and Jerry even walked them into the building to show them Neil in the studio...
Neil realized something was wrong and said on the air for someone to call the cops and tell them to get over to WNWS fast. The robbers did not hear that or there might have been a bloodbath then.
They fled the building before a raft of squad cars arrived as a result of hundreds of 911 calls by listeners. Listeners took Neil’s plea serious and the 911 lines in Miami were overloaded for a time as a result.
The robbers, despite the fast response, were never caught.
Jerry’s unexplained dramatic call to me came soon after the incident. I had no idea about it...I guessed he was just displeased with the city or the station...but it was more than that!
One time in St. Louis while I was pontificating on the air at WIL one night...someone reported a man with a gun in the building who said he wanted to find me! St. Louis police scoured the building and I remained on the air but apprehensive and nobody was found.
When I was in Milwaukee during the Father Groppi stuff I had him on as a studio guest and my life was threatened by the note left on my car window...written in red ink.
“Next time, Major this will be written in your blood!”
And of course when Neil Rogers and I were proclaiming the Cuban boatlift was illegal and down right “wrong” our lives were threatened several times each day to the point that a Miami police squad car was sitting in the station’s parking lot whenever we were on the air!
Just the life and times of not only Jerry, Neil and I but a bunch of other radio and tv personalities simply saying what we felt...and using the first amendment to back it up!
I’m thankful Jerry was safe. He left Miami fairly quickly after that.