- John Paul, Sr.
John Lee Paul (born Hans-Johan Paul,
December 3 1939in the Netherlands) was an American racecardriver. After his racing career he served a 15-year prison sentence for a variety of crimes including drug traffickingand shooting a Federal witness. In 2001he disappeared on his boat while being sought for questioning by officials regarding the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. He is sometimes known in the motorsport scene as John Paul, Sr. or John Paul.
Paul immigrated to the
United Statesfrom the Dutch region of Hollandin 1956 with his family, settling in Muncie, Indianaand legally changing his name to John Lee Paul. [http://www.historicracing.com/top100.cfm?driverID=2967&today=on&fromrow=1 Top 100 racers] at historicracing.com] He attended Ball State Universityand then received a scholarship to Harvard University, where he received a master's degree in business. [http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1119508/index.htm Did They Drive Over The Line?] Sam Moses, "Sports Illustrated", May 27, 1985.] He became a successful mutual fund manager, and a millionaire. In 1960, his wife Joyce gave birth to a son, John Jr., who went on to drive in the Indy 500. [Gousseau, Alexis. [http://alex62.typepad.com/imsablog/2007/02/john_paul_jr_im.html John Paul Jr : IMSA's raw talent] , "IMSA History", February 13, 2007]
Paul started professional racing in the late 1960s, winning the
Sports Car Club of America(SCCA) Northeast Regional Championship in 1968. When his wife and son left him in 1972, Paul left racing for a while, living on a sailboat he had purchased. He resumed racing in 1975 – now with his son, who had chosen to return to him, as a part-time member of his crew. In 1979, Paul won the Trans-Am Seriesrace at Mosport by a margin of 33 seconds. [ [http://theracesite.com/index.cfm?template=magazine&mag_id=4874_12 Flashback: 1979 Trans Am Mosport Race] Theracesite.com] In 1980, Paul began teaming with his son, and on May 26Paul remarried, holding the ceremony on the infield at Lime Rock Park. ] Later in the day he teamed with his son to win the day's race, making them the first father-son duo to win an IMSA Camel GT race. [http://www.limerock.com/content/history Lime Rock Park History - May 26, 1980] ] In 1982 the two teamed up to win the 24 Hours of Daytonaand the 12 Hours of Sebring, the last team to date to win both races in the same year. 1982 would be Paul Sr.'s last year as a driver, however. The lack of a major sponsor meant that, even with the team's success, his expenses overcame his earnings.
The Pauls had their first legal troubles when on
January 10 1979, Paul Jr. and Christopher Schill was caught by customs agents loading equipment onto a pickup truckon the bank of a canal in the Louisianabayous after dark. Following questioning, when one of them smelled marijuanaon their clothing, Paul Sr. was apprehended on his 42-foot boat named "Lady Royale", where customs discovered marijuana residue and $10,000 on board. A rented truck was discovered nearby, which contained 1,565 pounds (710 kg) of marijuana. In court, all three pleaded guilty to marijuana possession charges, where each was placed on three years' probation and fined $32,500. [Moses, Sam. [http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1119508/2/index.htm Did They Drive Over The Line?] , "Sports Illustated", May 27, 1985]
April 19 1983, an individual named Steven Carson was shot in the chest, abdomen and leg in Crescent Beach, Florida. Carson had been given immunityin a drug traffickingcase. He testified that John Paul, Sr. had approached him, ordered him into the trunk of his car, and shot at him five times as when he fled rather than comply. Paul then fled when a companion of Carson's began shouting. Paul was arrested, but while out on bail fled before his trial. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DEED91439F936A35755C0A960948260&scp=4&sq=%22john+paul%2C+sr.%22&st=nyt Auto Racer Flees From His Trial ] "United Press International", December 13, 1983. ] Paul was apprehended by Swiss authorities in January 1985, served a six-month sentence in Switzerland for using a false passport, and was extraditedback to the United States in March 1986[ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE7DB103FF933A05750C0A960948260&scp=6&sq=%22john+paul%2C+sr.%22&st=nyt SPORTS PEOPLE; Driver Extradited] "New York Times", March 30, 1986 ] At the same time, Paul's son John Jr. pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a five-year sentence, but refused to testify against his father, [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE6D7133AF93BA35756C0A960948260&scp=7&sq=%22john+paul%2C+sr.%22&st=nyt SPORTS PEOPLE; Driver Gets 5 Years] "The New York Times", May 8, 1986. ] who had been indicted as the ringleaderof a drug trafficking ring that including included, among others, both Johns, and John Sr.'s father, Lee. On June 4 1986, Paul Sr. pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murderand received a sentence of twenty years, later expanded to twenty-five years after additional sentences were added. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DEED91439F936A35755C0A960948260&scp=4&sq=%22john+paul%2C+sr.%22&st=nyt SPORTS PEOPLE; Ex-Racer Pleads Guilty] "The New York Times" June 5, 1986. ] [ [http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00336.html Formula 1 and crime] by Joe Saward, Grandprix.com, ] Paul was paroled on July 2 1999, [http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/InmateFinderServlet?Transaction=NameSearch&needingMoreList=false&LastName=Paul&Middle=&FirstName=John&Race=U&Sex=U&Age=&x=28&y=24] but soon ran into more problems. In 2000, Paul met a woman named Colleen Wood, who would end up moving in with Paul on his 55-foot schooner. In December of that year, Wood disappeared, never to be heard from again. [ [http://www.unsolved.com/0213-Wood.html Missing: Colleen Wood] web site of "Unseen Mysteries'. ] Police questioned Paul in connection with the disappearance, but no charges were filed. Paul shortly after disappeared himself, likely in violation of his parole. As of 2008 the case remains unsolved.
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