Authorities believe a businessman’s death was suicide, while others believe he tried to buy his way out of contract killing and failed.
On March 22, 1977, in Tucson, Arizona, escrow company owner Chuck Morgan left his home as usual, and then disappeared. Morgan was a potential witness in a state land fraud case involving a known organized crime boss. On March 25, three days later, Chuck stumbled back home at two in the morning. Chuck’s wife, Ruth Morgan, woke up to a thump at the back door:
Over the next week, Ruth nursed her husband back to health. Before his voice returned, he began to hint to her that he had a secret identity as an agent for the federal government:
Was Chuck Morgan really a Treasury agent, secretly fighting organized crime? And who was it that abducted him?
In the 1970’s, the mafia established Arizona as a narcotics pipeline and a haven for money laundering. More than 500 racketeers set up shop there. What made Arizona attractive to crime syndicates was a state law which allowed anyone to buy up land through numbered blind trust accounts. This meant they could launder money and it couldn’t be traced.
Chuck Morgan had done real estate escrow work for at least one mafia family, and possibly helped with the purchase of gold bullion and platinum, a more convenient way to launder money. Journalist Don Devereux investigated Chuck’s story:
Ruth knew little of her husband’s work:
After his kidnapping, Chuck took no chances. He wore a bulletproof vest and made sure he was the only one who drove his daughters to and from school. But two months after his first disappearance, Chuck vanished again. Nine days later, Ruth Morgan received a mysterious phone call. An unidentified woman gave her a reference from the Bible:
The passage reads, in part:
Two days later, Chuck’s body was discovered. He was wearing his bulletproof vest and had died from a single bullet fired at close range into the back of his head. The bullet came from his own .357 magnum, which was lying beside him. The investigators also found a piece of paper with directions to the murder site written in Chuck’s handwriting, and a pair of sunglasses which definitely did not belong to him.
The police made one additional discovery. Chuck had clipped a $2 bill inside his underwear. Written on the bill were seven Spanish names, beginning with the letters A through G. Above them was the notation, “Ecclesiastes 12,” with the verses one through eight marked by arrows drawn on the bill’s serial number. This was the same Bible verse the mysterious female caller had given to Chuck’s wife. On the back of the bill, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were numbered one through seven, and there was a roughly-drawn map. The map led to an area between Tucson and Mexico, to the towns of Robles Junction and Salacity, both known for smuggling.
Despite the unusual evidence, many in the sheriff’s department believed Chuck’s death was a suicide. They claimed he had shot himself in the back of the head. Ruth believed otherwise:
Don Devereux has his doubts as well:
Two days after Chuck’s death, a woman called the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. She said Chuck had come to meet her at a local motel just before he died. The woman called herself “Green Eyes” and said she was the same person who had called Chuck’s wife, quoting the Bible passage. Green Eyes said that in the motel, Chuck had showed her a briefcase containing thousands of dollars in cash. He told her that the money would buy him out of a contract the mob had put on his life.
The theory goes that organized crime put the word out that they wanted Chuck dead. The hit man then told Chuck, who came up with money to buy off the hit man. But when the two of them met in the desert, the hit man killed Chuck anyway, and took his money. Don Devereux believes Chuck might have not fully realized who he was involved with:
After her husband’s death, Ruth Morgan was visited by two men claiming to be from the FBI:
The men tore the house apart, looking for something that they never found. Ruth was so upset she didn’t write down their names. No one knows for sure if the men really were from the FBI. Don Devereux contacted the FBI to get more information on the Morgan case:
If Chuck Morgan was doing undercover work for the government, Don Devereux believes the clues he wrote on the two dollar bill might have been an attempt to pass coded messages to the FBI:
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.SUBMIT A TIP
IT PROBABLY IS A SUDICDE. MOST OF THE STORY LIKE HANDCUFFS, HALLUCINOGEN ETC. SOUND VERY MADE UP AS IT HE WAS TRYING TO FAKE HIS OWN DEMISE BY CLEVERLY MAKING IT LOOKS LIKE A HOMICIDE. 1) THE MOB DOES NOT LET PEOPLE GO, 2) MOB HIT MEN DO NOT LET THEMSELVES BY BOUGHT OUT OF A CONTRACT-THEY WOULD NEVER WORK AGAIN, 3) WHAT DO WE KNOW OF MR MORGAN IS HE IN ANY FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY? DID HE RECENTLY BUY A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY ETC. SO THAT HIS SUICDE HAD TO BE MADE TO LOOK LIKE A HOMICIDE? HE MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN GOLD PURCHASES OR REA;L ESTATE PURCHASE BUT THAT WOULD LEAVE A PAPER TRAIL SOMEWHERE.. THIS IS A SUICIDE MADE TO LOOK LIKE A HOMICIDE THE $2 BILL IS MORE TO ADD AN ‘ AURA’ OF MYSTERY BUT IS NOTHING OF ANY CONSEQUENCE ‘ GREEN EYES’ MAY HAVE BEEN AN ACCOMPLICE OR A FORMER LOVER OF MR MORGAN THAT WAS IN ON THE CHARADE AND PROMISED TO HELP MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A HOMICIDE IT IS A SUICIDE
what happened to the Sunglasses ,,,Have them tested for DNA ,Sweat & Skin Cells
Question about the $2 bill: Is it confirmed that the handwriting is Chuck’s? Trying to figure something out about the bible verse. If Chuck wrote it down on the bill, how did Green Eyes also know about it when she talked to Ruth? Is it something he mentioned to her? I’m really surprised there hasn’t been a deep dive on who she was, because it’s pretty obvious she’s the lynchpin to all this.
Now this can go three ways as I see it right now. 1st being shot in the back of the head. That’s one and done meaning back in those days maybe they didn’t do a autopsy to see was there something else that may have killed him.(so maybe the family that is still around could have his body dig up for another look) suicide unlikely not!!! This man was muredered by Green Eyes herself or family member who names could have been anyone of the names on the $2 bill. Let’s all remember that green eyes means something(when one calls themselves green eyes or referred to them as green eyes means jealousy and envious) so either Green Eyes was the woman he was sleeping with or his secret “working partner” who wanted in on the money. 2nd as far as the Bible verses and chapter goes well its a goodbye note if you really break it down. He knew he was going to die so that was a way of telling his family go bye. Does anybody know where the real picture of this $2 bill is at? Because I have a theory but I need to really see the full picture front and back to decode it fully as to what I think may put some truth to they mystery. 3rd is the map to where the rest of the money is. Or where the pipe line(the real secret to this so called mystery) is located
If you shoot yourself point blank in the back of the head with a .357 it would be pretty unlikely you would be able to wipe the gun clean of prints. Even a dud homicide detective would realise that. The fact they wrote his death up as a suicide stinks to high heaven.
Casa De Curio
That map he drew is clearly a map of Argentina.
With names Buenas Aires very clear to me.
This is a town notorious for the 1943 coup that allowed nazis to move into their country.
I wish I could make out the other words.
Does anyone know where this 2 dollar bill is kept?
The 7th floor group killed Mr. Morgan and Mr. Casolaro. Mr. Morgan was going to talk. Mr. Casolaro was going to expose them.
Hey does anyone know the names of the 7 founding fathers 1-7 ?
John Q Adams
Martin Van Buren
This entire story smells like Washington to me. Mafia does not play games with riddles and phone calls. If it was Cartel, they just kill you and make splashy gruesome show of it. Nobody shoots themselves in the back of the head unless they know too much and the gov’t helps you out with that task.
Vinnie "the mushroom" BonaVentura
Not a chance it was the mob, and every reason to believe it was the government. The proof’s in the opening paragraph. Morgan disappeared for 3 days, then turned back up. When the mob wants you to disappear, they don’t let you go. You just disappear. They’re still lookin’ for bodies of guys la cosa nostra made disappear 50 years ago. LCN is not a “catch and release” type of organization. They don’t do fancy psycho-drama thriller shit like painting you with hallucinogens. They put two in your head, stuff you in a trunk and compact the car. As an organization, LCN is the epitome of the expression “Keep It Simple Stupid.”
Don Deveraux was looking into Charles Morgan and talking to Dan Cosalaro. This stinks of cover ups and organized crime. No way these were suicides!
Chuck unfortunately was murdered because he was involved in something that put him at risk. He knew too much and he was dealing with some very dangerous people. If there was money being laundered and chuck had evidence or had files . It would then put him in a position of high risk. Never believe a man wearing a bullet proof vest shoots himself in the back of the had. This guy knew something that would cost him his life.
did they ever think it was a maffia contract killing
Why are there no dedicated pages to the Doug Johnston case on this site? You have Chuck Morgan and Danny Casolero. This site seems to be scrubbed of the Johnston/Devereux mistaken identity hit and even the Unsolved Mysteries fandom site doesn’t seem to have the accurate Amazon episode. Seems like pretty crucial info to leave out.
I believe I have an explanation for the $2 bill simply because of the strange FOLD. It’s just below the SEAL. That is just not how you would fold a bill in half. And ECCLESIASTES 12 I believe is just the amount of letters in the bible book name (12 Letters). And the fold would still leave the word ECCLESIASTES with the number 12 visible. Everything on the bill is referring to numbers. It’s an old ‘fortune tellers’ trick. I believe he could have been using it to swindle his friends or maybe even some strangers out of money. Of course it could have been someone else making him believe the $2 bill was a sort of ‘LUCKY” keepsake also.
I have used this trick but never to win money… just to impress people in a bar. The more complex the ‘game’ the harder it is for people to solve. And yes ‘some’ people fall for it. Especially if they already believe in spiritism, fortune tellers, ghosts etc.
Ecclesiastes 12 Is a verse in the Bible, the same verse the unknown caller “green eyes” told Morgan’s wife about after he was dead. The lady who went by the nickname green eyes later told the police that she was the caller and about how she was with Morgan at a motel and he showed her the thousands of dollars he had in a briefcase.
I am his third daughter (there are four of us) and yes, unsolved and still painful memories.
I didn’t know he had children, I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
We think we solved it. Crazy stuff
je pense que de “1 à 8” serrait avec le fameux écclésia 12 en trotte
de 12:1 a 12:8 après c’est mon avis
its actually pretty easy to shoot yourself in the back of the head. theres a dude here with an idea about it being fake because the guy was cheating on his wife & didn’t want to look wimpy committing suicide so made up everything as a hoax. he was cheating on the other woman. hence the hotel visit.
i think thats quite plausible. no evidence for it, but considering he made it easy for people to think something was wrong, but also difficult to find out What was wrong, then it indicates a hoax.
he was already shady to his family about what he actually did for a living.
What’s the episode number for this case, and which season is it in?
Unsolved Mysteries Post author
It is streaming in s3:E9 with Robert Stack and S6:E16 with Dennis Farina and it is in SP126 on Lifetime and Escape.
Who do you contact for anonymous tip?
Unsolved Mysteries Post author
You can submit tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, through our tip form (https://unsolved.com/tips/) or through our app.
I recently saw a episode of hamil ton where they took frog poison and scrapped it on the back of the throat. It was a wild trip and i wonder if this is what Chuck had?
la numeracion del billete de 2 $ con el giro segun las flechas y el orden del alfabeto dice: hacabado
“She said, ‘Chuck is all right. Ecclesiastics 12, 1 through 8’” Is this a direct quote or an editing oversight? Ecclesiastics are members of the clergy, not the book of the Bible. I wonder what the verse was referencing, since I doubt it actually means the verses themselves.
The ‘painting the throat’ reminds me of Martha Rendell of Australia.
You’re almost certainly Australian. I would be incredibly–INCREDIBLY–impressed to find out otherwise, considering your knowledge of Martha Rendell.
What part of any of this did you pay attention to?. None in my opinion, it didn’t say painting it said pointing!. Also there is a part of the Bible called Ecclesiastes, you just aren’t as I said before listening!. Unless you’re actually making fun of this man’s murder?. Hmm?
You are making yourself sound like an idiot. Perhaps you are the one who didn’t comprehend.
You just made yourself look as dumb as the 2 people you were trying to do the same to. It clearly says painted in TFA.
In the episode it did say they painted the back of his throat with a drug. Do more listening instead of talking you will get farther in life.
That person wasn’t making fun at all, they were referencing what they READ, not what they heard. If you were to read the preceding article there are several typos, the first being the reference to ecclesiastics instead of ecclesiastes; the second typo being that the article, in fact does state “painted throat” as opposed to pointed to throat. Please go back and re-read the poorly written transcript before attempting to shame the person asking about these issues.
It was a set up, just like they are clamping down on me.
Why are they clamping down on you?
Wow that’s amazing, did they ever solve this case?
Hi Jessica – this case is still unsolved.
Angel Bernardo Gonzalez
I came up with a theory: if the case that chuck was not baptized, maybe someone in the family who was too religious, and he was not baptized, he looked for a way to kill him. I am Chilean, for if they want to answer me, I copy it from google translator.
The Bible verse references death when you read the rest in context.
ACTUALY A VICE & A STRING WOULD SHOOT U IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD! “I” DOUBT HE HAD A PROBLEM WITH HIS VOICE. HE WAS CHEATING ON HIS WIFE AND MADE UP THE ECUSE. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WE AIN’T SPY. WHAT DID HIS BREATH STINK OF? THE WOMAN WHO CALLED KILLED HIM FOR NOT GETTING RID OF HIS WIFE! THE BIBLE IS SATANIC. THOSE VERSES ARE SATANIC & TO SEE SPANISH NAMES WITH THE VERSED MEANS THEY WANT A PURE SATANIC ENTITY BACK ON EARTH. CHUCK “MORGAN” & MR.MORGAN” WOULD BE THE SAME GUY.
You don’t think they would have found the vice and the string laying by his corpse? Or some evidence of pressure on his forehead? All caps lock doesn’t help you either. Stop yelling at the internet.
This guy’s wife was very gullible. He wanted to commit suicide but didn’t want his wife or daughters to think badly of him so he made up the elaborate story. He wanted to go out a hero to them instead of being guilty of criminal activities and money laundering for which he ultimately would have been convicted. He was apparently intelligent with a vivid imagination as he created such a detailed ruse that many believed. Sad story.
Anon Y Mous
Are you aware how physiologically improbable it is to shoot yourself in the back of the head? SMH
I understand there is a windy road up to Mount Lemmon which is where I used to work and it relates to the Bible quote. A lot of college kids have died on it. Maybe Chuck was attempting to wire money? I know some people understand throat targeted ailments to be a rather unusual, cryptic injury. Why or how would they do this.
The names on the bill are all law enforcement names of officers in Nogales Arizona at the time, one of them owns a ranch in Sasabe Arizona.
Do you have sources for this?
The 8 agents just happened to have last names that started with the first 8 letters of the alphabet? sounds unlikely
You know how stupid that sounds?. If there were cops by all those names in nogales you sure as hell wouldn’t tell it on the net. For that most of these comments are so ignorant!. Especially the one calling the Bible satanic, and the suicide theory when Mr.Morgan was shot execution style. also the unbaptized truck..that was really crazy. The Mr.Morgan really being the Mr.Morgan theory? I mean come on already what does THAT even mean?. Most of these “theories” come from total crack pots,the types that tie up the police with silly “leads” when maybe someone with REAL evidence is trying to get through on the phone, but crackpots tie up the lines!.
Very weird and bizarre.