Miami “Dadeland Massacre” 1979: “The War On Drugs” Begins

Please read this article before viewing the historical starting point of the US “War on Drugs”

Wikipedia/GriseldaBlanco cited this article 4-9-10

In what was described as the worst violence in a US city, making Al Capone’s 1930’s Chicago look like a “Church Sunday Picnic”, July 11 marks the 29 year anniversary of the Miami “Dadeland Massacre.” The massacre was the flash point and resulted in the beginning of what was later labeled “The War on Drugs” by then president Ronald Regan.

Miami circa 1979

Miami became the most dangerous place to live in becoming the “Drug Capital of the world” with 100,000 persons involved in the drug trade. Drug lords killed each other fighting for their turf as they killed their opponents to control their territories.

July 11, 1979 2:28pm

Three Mac 10 machine pistol toting “hitters” opened fire on their targets, two rival cocaine dealers shopping at Crown Liquor store, killing the rivals and spraying over 100 .45 and 9. millimeters rounds. The shooters continued to spray the parking lot as they exited the store in a scene homicide detective Al Singleton described as “Dodge City” and “the first public shot in the cocaine wars.”

Griselda Blanco aka the “Godmother of cocaine” and more notoriously “the black widow” ordered the hits and was responsible for a chain of events which developed into the “Cocaine Wars” fought by the “Kings of Cocaine” ( see the book for reference) Miami’s version of hell on earth

Time Magazine

Time Magazine published the article “Paradise Lost” in November of 1981 and it was the major piece that blew the lid off the truth about the wide spread homicides and mass murder that was Miami in the late ’70’s continuing through the 1980’s.

If you want to explain to your children why the “War on Drugs” is being fought, where and when it started, and the history of this country’s continued fight against murder and mayhem you only need to look at the Dadeland Massacre of 1979. . . and follow the blood
The Players

Pablo Escobar

Photo by Oscar Cifuentes
Dadeland shooter Jorge Rivi Ayala
Jon Roberts associate to George Jung Miami Cocaine Kingpin and subject of the movie “Cocaine Cowboys”
Cold hard cash: Miami’s US Federal Reserve reported a “surplus of 5 Billion dollars” from drug trafficking
Mickey Munday Smuggler Pilot worked with Jung, Roberts and Barry Seal
What they were fighting over The Product-Cocaine aka blow, yeyo, toot, whiff and many other names

22 thoughts on “Miami “Dadeland Massacre” 1979: “The War On Drugs” Begins

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    • Sometimes,

      The 1980’s were as much a time of survival as the 1960s. The difference was many were surviving the rampant ravages of drugs and drug warfare in the 1980s while our 60’s brethren were fighting the ravages of Vietnam and a corrupt government bent on continued warfare profiteering.

      I “survived” the 80’s to tell the tale. . . hopefully people will never forget and always listen to what was really happening during that period of time.


  2. The first time I Visited Miami was in July of 1979. I don’t recall knowing about this. I was enamored with Florida and I always wanted to live here. It took me 30 yrs to move back and I have been living in SoFlo for 2yrs. Florida is paradise to myself and my family, thank you that it is a safer place to live now!!!!!!

    • Miss Debbie,
      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you are happy and enjoying Florida. Miami is everything and more than this article when it came to drugs, violence, international smuggling, banking, and the craziness that was the ’80’s. They didn’t make a show called New York Vice, Chicago Vice, Dallas Vice- Miami Vice and “Scarface” were based on the environment that was South Florida. Thanks.


  3. I was born and raised in Miami and I still live in the South Florida area. As crazy as Miami was, theres still nowhere else on Earth I’d rather live…..

  4. the 70-80’s were the best years of my life. today the world is shit.all we have been trough in america with the drugs war nothing has got any better but harassment on the citizens.everyone is a criminal in their eyes so they can look to see if they can take your property and get money from you. do you really beleive they care if you od?

    • James,
      The war on drugs means jobs, promotions, political bargaining chips, and revenue for people and government agencies. We are winning nothing yet we have to have some type of enforcement to keep the cartel violence, drug gang spread, and the carnage they bring in check. I don’t have the answer but if it you don’t continue doing the same thing if what you are doing is not working. Thanks for the comment!


  5. My father disappeared from the Skyways Motel in October 1979. I was told by older brothers and sisters that my dad was a drug runner for cartel. Is there anyway to find out if he was or was killed by the cartel? His name was Richard Ruest

    • Debra,
      I am very sorry for your loss and long time search for the truth. I lost an acquaintance of South American decent during the 80’s. He was a son to a Columbian diplomat. Unfortunately back in ’79 in Miami the murder rate was so high that police and coroners were overwhelmed. I have heard that many death records went unrecorded during that time due to the lack of man power or inability to identify a person.

      There was no DNA testing at the time so in many cases prints or dental records were the only bridge to identity. If you look on Google there is a series of TV documentaries titles “Cocaine Cowboys” here is a link: – If you father was working for a big-time player then Jon Roberts, Mickey Munday, Max Mermelstein, George Jung or other Americans would be the only people that might have information. Unless you can find a person who was in Miami at the time and heard something, it will be very difficult to track down the information.

      Was this your father?

      I wish you the best. If you find anything please come back and tell your story!


    • Have you ever heard the name edwin Leroy. Bradfield ?aka Eddie of ft laud, pompano ,Miami Beach? Ex powerboat racer ” ms kwickie” 69 orange ragatti. Profile marine inc .also supposibly ??? Significant date of Oct 11 1979. = cocaine . research it carefully…..

      • Thanks for commenting Dean. Yea I’m sure being in the boating industry and the business I’m pretty sure he at least knew Don Anorrow, I have researched beyond belief for years and have found a lot of information just not the information I’m looking for. It’s almost like it’s been erased!!!

      • Reading your postings from a lady named Debbie and wow I really would like to talk to her. She had a father that disappeared from skyway hotel oct,11,1979. And I’m searching for information on Edwin Leroy Bradfield that was murdered October 11,1979. Same business. I’d love to hear from you Debbie ! Thanks

    • Ms. Austin: I would contact the police and ask them what, if anything, they know regarding a connection with a cartel. Good luck.

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  8. Anyone with info on a Edwin Leroy Bradfield of browsed county fl please contact me! He supposed to have been involved in the drug trade and murdered or found somewhere around Oct 11, 1979. He used to have several fictitious businesses and some legit ones. Was a powerboat racer at one point ! Raced and belied won the 1967 orange regatta in Miami. Boat was called ms quickie !

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