Alex's elusive girlfriend
Eva Marie Passeri
Born: November 14th, 1920
Died: (Unknown) Last seen July 4th, 1944
-Born an only child in the small seaside town outside of Portifino, Italy.
-Village was a major seaport for the war effort under Mussolini’s fascist regime.
-In 1935, at the age of 15, she lost her father during the Italian invasion of Ethiopia
-Shortly after, her and her mother, Sophia Maria, sold their possessions, packed a single bag and set sail to America.
-Touching down in Los Angeles in 1936, her mother found work as a bartender on the Sunset Strip’s legendary Trocadero club. Prohibition had recently been repealed, and swing dancing was gaining popularity in the South West.
-Eva would regale intoxicated patrons at the age of 16 with her impressive vocal prowess, often performing nightly as a closing act.
-In 1939, Eva turned 19, and yearned for something more than her after hours performances. With tensions rising because of the Germany invasion of Poland, America began to send supplies and troops overseas. Speakeasies closed across town.
-With gambling having been legalized the year earlier, and the completion of the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas began to boom. Out of work prohibition era gangsters flocked to make easy money. Hollywood starlets were a regular sight at the night clubs. The Passeri women found themselves again on the move.
-It turned out to be a prosperous one. Sophie and Eva saved enough money by fall of 1941, to open their own club, The Aria.
-Eva was the main attraction night after night, bringing massive crowds with her backing band, and offering special shows to troops shipping off to support the war effort in the Pacific. She appeared on a few G.I. posters, and had backing roles in some low budget Noir films.
-In the winter of 1943, her new found celebrity status and reputation had caught the attention of a recent mafia transplant, Lou “The Leopard” Impiccare. Lou was a rising star in the Vegas organized crime scene. He had earned his nickname by dragging his victims up into the palm trees that lined the Las Vegas strip. Leaving them to be found hanging by morning, in order to send a message.
-With his large frame, gruesome reputation, and substantial wealth, Eva Marie was drawn to him like moth to a flame.
-The two spent roughly a year together, despite the urges of her mother and close friends. Times were turbulent, Lou had become a raging alcoholic and addicted to opium. His short temper often caused Eva to cancel performances when makeup couldn’t cover the bruises.
-Eva’s last show was at the Ambassador Hotel, in old Vegas. It was Independence Day 1944. Several of Hollywood’s elite were in attendance, including Lawrence Olivier (fresh of his set of Henry V), Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
-After what most consider a career performance, the velvet curtain drew shut. Lou Impiccare was seen moving in the direction of her dressing room after the show. As the only act, she was reportedly alone. Her band members, being African Americans, readied themselves in a separate area down the hall. Neither Eva or Lou were seen again.
-Most rumors go: The couple split town and headed south to Mexico. Others believed Eva was burnt out, and saw the Ambassador performance as the pinnacle of her career, and overdosed on her boyfriend’s opium stash. Lastly, some believe Lou became insanely jealous of her stardom, as it had called unneeded attention to his shady career choice.