When you read about the life of Speedboat Racer Gary Betzner, you might think he was a cocaine smuggler and crop duster. But did you know that he faked his own death? He grew up in a Southern family with an abusive father. While he was a young man, he joined the Navy. He trained as a pilot and served in the communications branch. But before he was a pilot, he took up speedboat racing.
Gary Betzner was a speedboat racer
Gary Betzner was a notorious narcotics trafficker who spent several years in prison for cocaine possession. Betzner was a speedboat racer from Miami who worked with the Pablo Escobar-led Medellin cartel to smuggle drugs between Colombia and Florida. He served the remainder of his sentence without the help of the cartel, even though he faked his daughter’s death. After he served his time, he turned his attention to the CIA.
The DEA also caught Betzner with cocaine in 1977. Betzner was married and had two children when his car broke down on a trip to a dairy bar. He stopped to fix it but soon plunged into the White River. His wife Sally Betzner was left in hysterics and the town was put on edge. This tragedy has left a bleak legacy on his family and the sport, and has sparked debate among speedboat racers.
He was a crop duster
During the 1970s, Gary Betzner worked as a crop duster in Arkansas. While he was a crop duster, he also ran a small business as a drug smuggler. After getting busted, he allegedly faked his death to become a CIA drug runner. The story became the subject of a HBO documentary, “The Invisible Pilot.”
The documentary is directed by Phil Lott and Ari Mark, who portrayed Betzner as a fun-loving outlaw who made do in any situation. The film portrays Betzner as a fast-talking schmoozer with a knack for making ends meet, despite his criminal past. Ultimately, Betzner’s criminal activities included smuggling drugs from Central America into Florida.
He was a cocaine smuggler
Gary Betzner was a cocaine ring leader. He was caught in Miami with seven pounds of cocaine. Betzner faked his death to live a double life as a Pablo Escobar drug smuggler. In addition to drug trafficking, Betzner was also involved in a covert CIA war. However, his fake death saved him from a long prison term.
After a brief military service, Gary Betzner earned a pilot’s license in 1964. He worked as a dust-and-air pilot for 15 years before becoming a cocaine smuggler. DEA investigators raided Betzner’s Miami home in 1977 and seized seven pounds of cocaine. Although Betzner’s acquittal helped him avoid prison time, he remains under house arrest.
He faked his own death
The reason why Gary Betzner faked his own death is not clear. The evidence points to a number of reasons, including a desire to avoid spending almost three decades behind bars. In an effort to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, he forged his own suicide note. In addition to the note, he kept in touch with his ex-wife Sally by talking to her monthly at a telephone booth.
In the 1970s, Betzner was convicted of smuggling small amounts of marijuana from Alaska to Miami. While awaiting trial, he was arrested again, this time on drug possession charges. The second arrest landed Betzner in prison again, but this time he decided to fake his own death instead of facing the consequences. He and his wife, Sally, devised a phony suicide plot to avoid being jailed, which they did on September 18, 1977.