TRIALS: The Line Was Very Busy

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¶ Bernice Nicholls, wife of a polo-playing industrialist, swore that Broady invited her to his office once to hear a tapped recording of an alleged telephone conversation between her husband and ex-Ecdysiast Ann Corio. When Broady asked her if she would like him to make some more rec ords, she declined because, she said, "I was aware of the situation." (The Nicholls were subsequently reconciled, without Broady's dubious assistance.) ¶ Pepsi-Cola President Alfred N. Steele said that his telephone had been tapped without his permission or knowledge in 1954, when he was having "matrimonial trouble." Steele was later divorced and married Movie Queen Joan Crawford (TIME, May 23).

¶ Broady was a man of unlimited interests, according to Emmanuel J. Rouseck, a vice president of the Wildenstein Gallery, one of the world's topflight dealers in international art. For five months Rouseck paid Broady $150 a week to listen in on the conversations (in four languages) of Dr. Rudolph Heinemann, an eminent art buyer. For months Dr.

Heinemann was horrified and mystified when his telephoned trade secrets and sales tip-offs began to leak like a faucet.

When he closed the $750,000 sale of Van Eyck's Madonna to the Frick Collection, he was pledged to secrecy for six months; within a matter of days, however, the big deal was the talk of 5 7th street. When an antique dealer accused him of blabbing about their business deals, Heinemann, a discreet man, indignantly denied the charge. "Well," he quoted the antique dealer as saying, "Rouseck at Wildenstein asked me why I was getting all those old paintings from you—said they had better ones at Wildenstein." Rouseck denied any knowledge of three wiretaps that were discovered on the outgoing lines of Knoe-dler's, Wildenstein's No. i competitor.

After Rouseck's testimony, Wildenstein announced: "Mr. Rouseck has tendered his resignation." Shades of Al Capone. Throughout his trial Broady coolly denied any wrongdoing. All of his wiretaps, he maintained, had been strictly legal—authorized by his clients for their own telephones. He had "never heard of" the raided apartment, and besides, the whole case had been a frame-up by a rival private eye. In the course of his testimony Broady offered several new revelations. In January 1953, two months before she became Ambassador to Italy, Clare Boothe Luce's telephone had been tapped, he said—but he was unable to give the name or the motive of the tapper.

Only once in his testimony did Broady lose his composure—when he told how one of his agents, Geologist Clarence Sop-man, 29, had been murdered in Mexico when he was trying to recover part of $7,000,000 stolen from the Nationalist Chinese government by renegade Lieut.

General P. T. Mow (TIME, Aug. 25,1952).

The murderers, sobbed Broady, were members of Al Capone's old Chicago gang.

After 14 days of bewildering testimony the all-male, blue-ribbon jury took just three hours, nine minutes to find Broady guilty. In spite of the verdict, though, most of New York's 2,000,000 telephone subscribers were having trouble getting over that uncomfortable feeling that they might be addressing a large, unseen audience every time they answered the phone.

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