The FBI file . . .
She used to carry a gun in her Gucci.
Well, maybe once.
Retired FBI agent Elaine Corbett Smith, who was credited with helping bring down the Chicago mob during the 1980s, also was known to carry a gun in the pocket of her fur coat.
But that’s another story.
Smith, who used to be my next-door neighbor along with her handsome hubby, former FBI agent Tom Smith — who once popped a squirrel in my backyard — has written an account of her relentless pursuit of the Chicago Outfit and mobster Ken Eto — when she was one of only a few female FBI special agents at the time.
Titled “A Gun in My Gucci,” Smith writes as a teacher who became a crime buster and jokes about “getting tired of my husband being the star attraction at parties when asked what he did for a living.”
So Smith decided to pursue a new career with the FBI and enter the macho, male-dominated criminal justice system.
During the Christmas season in 1978, all “I wanted to do was go to Quantico, Va., the FBI Academy — to be beaten up, sleep-deprived, humiliated, and ultimately carry the credentials and badge that I saw each night as my husband emptied his pockets at the end of the work day,” she writes.
“In the early 1980s, Ken ‘Tokyo Joe’ Eto was the only Asian-American mobster in the country,” she said.
Smith, who claims she showed up on her first day of work in a light blue Donna Karan suit and a fur coat, eventually conducted a relentless pursuit of Eto — which resulted in his detention by the FBI on interstate gambling charges.
“Afraid he would spill his guts, Eto’s mob bosses decided not to gamble on Joe’s ability to remain silent and ordered a hit on him,” Smith said.
“The guy never talked, but the mob managed to put three bullets in his head.
“I visited him in the hospital at Great Lakes, where he was basically locked up,” she said during a recent lunch at the R.L. eatery.
“I had only been in the FBI for 18 months when he asked to talk to me — and thus began a relationship which resulted in him only talking to me or [me] introducing him to other people.”
“It turns out women were the only people he could trust. He had an abusive father, [had] run away from home and become a card shark to earn a living,” she said.