Top Cat Productions LLC“Genius on Hold” –
A Documentary Crime Story
Walter T. Shaw - “The Son” Bio
Walter T. Shaw is considered the world's most notorious (former) jewel thief. His long-awaited memoir, “A License To Steal,” (Omega Publishing, April '08, $24.95, hardcover) chronicles the saga of his father, probably one of the most important inventors of our time, who was ripped off by corporate America and the mafia, and how this drove Walter himself to become one of the country's most infamous jewel thieves, having taken an estimated $70 million from the rich and famous from Long Island to Florida. In the forward, by Frank Langella, he writes, “Full of love, fear, violence, hate and the quest for redemption, this book is an unbelievable journey through life.”
The son, who observed his father's dedication, determination and continued disappointment in his honorable attempts at achieving success; the young man who grew to resent and despise the wealthy population whom he clearly blamed for the distress they consistently caused his father through their corporate manipulation; the young Walter T. Shaw, whose early exposure with organized crime led to a career that awarded him the lifestyle his father only could dream about. With that same determination, passion and drive he learned from his father, the young Walter soon became a ringleader and one of the most celebrated jewel thieves in history. The wealth and lifestyle the young Walter achieved from his involvement with organized crime, which he so wanted to share with his father, is ultimately what caused their separation and later Walter Jr.'s imprisonment. It is this man's great desire to give back to society his father’s legacy!
Walter T. Shaw maintains that it should have been his father who became famous. Although Shaw Sr. died penniless, he invented and patented numerous telephonic breakthroughs including the speakerphone, conference calling, call-forwarding and even the “Red Phone” used by the Eisenhower Administration to contact the Kremlin. However, as a systems engineer for Bell, the most powerful monopoly of that time, he was stopped from marketing his inventions.
Shaw Sr., desperate for money, turned to the mafia and designed the “black box” that allowed Mob bookmakers to make toll-free, untraceable calls. However, it was this device that landed Shaw Sr. in front of a Senate subcommittee and Robert F. Kennedy, for which he was later convicted.
Watching in anger as his father was under Senate investigation for organized crime, Walter T. Shaw, then 12, was comforted by an unlikely figure; New York mob boss Carlo Gambino. He whispered to Walter, “The only difference between us and these politicians, judges and senators, is they have a license to steal and we don't need one.”
- The FBI blamed Walter's crew for a staggering 3,000 jobs worth more than $70 million since the early 1970s.
- In 1968, was a recognized solider for a National Mafia boss.
- In 1969 joined the “Dinnertime Burglar”' jewel thief ring (they robbed when people were home and eating dinner) and in 1974 broke away, forming his own crew.
- Among their alleged victims were Liberace, the DuPonts and Firestone families.
- Never caught in the act, but was ratted out and convicted on 4 different counts sentenced to 49 years of imprisonment. Because of death threats, was moved to death row in the cell next to serial killer Ted Bundy.
- Walter spent in excess of 11 years in prison.
- Having lost touch with his dad, Walter eventually reconciled with his father 18 months before the elder Shaw died of cancer in 1996.
- Walter Sr.'s accomplishments were finally recognized by the Florida House of Representatives in 2000.
Walter, a media darling, has appeared on Oprah, Rachael Ray, Montel Williams, and Inside Edition to talk about burglary prevention.
“Walter T. Shaw's Book, “A License To Steal” takes you on a chilling ride through the underworld…”
~ Frank DiMatteo, Publisher and Editor of “Mob Candy” magazine
"At the best of times Walter Shaw was known as the ‘Dinnertime Burglar,’ swaggering, arrogant and evil-genius leader of a gang of master jewel thieves. A Rolls Royce driving millionaire at 23, Shaw was called a ‘modern day Jessie James’ by a U.S. Federal judge. Police described him as ‘right out of Humphrey Bogart,’ the press, ‘a master criminal.’”
~ Reviewer Ron Laytner - Internationally Syndicated Author and Journalist
At 26 Shaw was an expert at blackmail, swindling, forgery, and leading a gang grossing ten million dollars a year. At 28 he was a terrified convict locked in with prisoners trying to collect a $200,000 Mafia reward on his life."
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:Dan Riemer, a West Palm Beach private investigator who once investigated Shaw as a police detective, said that he believes Shaw has reformed and changed.
Jim Lewis, who once prosecuted Shaw and years later became his defense attorney, said at a Palm Beach press conference, Lewis said.
Eddie Egan (who has since passed away) had seen it all, his more than 9,256 career arrests qualify him as one of America's most prominent authorities on crime. He followed Walter's career for over twenty years. Gene Hackman played the part of Eddie Egan ("Popeye Doyle") in the movie about one of Eddie's most famous busts, "The French Connection."
This is what Egan had to say about Walter’s book, written about Walter Shaw,
And now Walter T. Shaw wants to set the record straight. His father led the world into a brilliant “high-tech” future, with the ground-breaking inventions which changed the world as we know it. Walter’s Documentary, “Genius On Hold” captures your awe with the brilliance of both men - one working in the light and the other in the shadows. “Genius On Hold” is based on the true story about a genius inventor and his son. The communal drive for loyalty, destiny and redemption will be a journey few will ever embark on!