According to authorities, a skiff was seen leaving Gunsmoke (B) as it sank. There were no witnesses to the sinking of Pirates Lady (A).
Slater (talking with author) says he was the first oilfield operator equipping his Halter Marine-built vessels with ultra-sophisticated (for the time) satnav systems.
When the drawing of Charles D. Slater was completed in Paris in the late ‘70s
Slater offered hefty rewards for information concerning his boat, Capt. Latuso, and young Diecidue, as newspaper articles reported at time
Maj. Pitts (right) and one of his divers with the wheel of the Gunsmoke. See the screwdriver substituting for a grip.
Florida Marine Patrol officers check out the scene of a possible drug drop during the 1970’s. It’s said that, at the time, at least 20 tons of marijuana was coming into the Florida Panhandle weekly. Major Lavelle Pitts was in charge of Florida's anti-smuggling operations in the ‘70s.
Maj. Pitts, of the FMP, supervised a dive upon the wreck of Gunsmoke. Some marijuana was found but other findings were inconclusive.
Pitts leafs through his files on Pirates Lady and Gunsmoke. The connection between the two vessels was never proven in court.