Jack Molinas was a brilliant basketball player who played at Columbia but was kicked out of the NBA in 1954 (after half a season with the Fort Wayne Pistons) for gambling, including on his own team. He went on to bribe or otherwise manipulate hundreds of NCAA players into shaving points and was convicted of bribery in 1957. During his time at Attica, he became the inspiration for The Longest Yard, according to a 2003 ESPN article, and when he got out of prison, he "moved to Hollywood to traffic in pornography and furs from Taiwan" (his titles include Caught in the Can and Lord Farthingay's Holiday, Sports Illustrated reported in 2002). In 1975, Molinas was shot on the patio of his rental house in the Bird Streets, in what was probably a mob-related killing. A helpful tipster points out this listing for a 1961 house at 9246 Thrush Way, along with the 2001 book The Wizard of Odds, which says that's the address where Molinas was killed.
Here's how The Wizards of Odds describes the house:
The house at 9246 Thrush Way featured a swimming pool, a glorious view of LA (on a clear day the view stretched to Santa Monica and the ocean), a patio, a redbrick barbecue, and, next to the pool, a guest house. The monthly rent was seven-fifty and Molinas had control of the two-room guest house, deciding who could live there and pocketing whatever rent monies were forthcoming. When Molinas and Noelle moved in, three drag queens were living in the guest house and, amid a great flurry of feathers, they were booted out. And his murder: Molinas's last words were these: "Isn't this the most beautiful place you could live, compared to Brooklyn?" While Molinas praised the view, a twenty-eight-year old truck thief named Eugene Connor was hiding behind a restraining wall that separated [neighbor Stuart] Segall's property from Molinas's. That's when Connor rose up from his hiding place, steadied his long-barreled .22 caliber pistol on top of the wall, and fired five shots in rapid succession. Two hit a window sash, one hit Shirley, one hit Puppy in a front paw, and one hit Jack Molinas in the back of his neck. He fell face up on the patio's cement floor.
The two bedroom house with one bedroom guesthouse last sold in 1994 for $540,000 and it's going for a hell of a return now. It's been listed since May, asking $1.4 million.
· 9246 THRUSH Way [Redfin]
· Explosion II: The Molinas period [ESPN Classic]
· The Bad Old Guy From The Good Old Days [SI]