Murderers Hidden By A Cold War

Twenty-six years ago, Michael Finney and two other men were accused of murdering a New Mexico state trooper. They hijacked a plane after the killing and fled to Cuba. CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports for Eye On America.

Over the years, Finney has made a living in Cuba, cutting sugar cane and producing a news show for a state radio station.

When he wasn't working, he enjoyed a free car, apartment and spending money from Cuban President Fidel Castro. And in all that time, Janet Rosenbloom had never seen the man accused of killing her husband -- until now.



CBS News met with the Rosenbloom family to show them videotaped images of Finney in Havana that took three months to capture. Finney did not want to have his picture taken.

"I can't even tell you how awful you feel inside," Janet Rosenbloom said after seeing the video. "You're dead. You know, he killed me, too."

The reason CBS News asked Janet Rosenbloom and her children to see the pictures taken in Havana, and to open the memory books of their tragedy, is because Michael Finney and his accomplice Charles Hill have told visitors to Cuba that they want to make a deal: For shooting Bob Rosenbloom in the throat and leaving him to die beside an Albuquerque highway in 1971, they are willing to spend five years in a U.S. prison.

"Is that all my husband's life is worth?" Janet asks.

Her son, Robbie Rosenbloom, is equally outraged by the offer.

"He tore a hole out of our lives and that doesn't go away in five years," he said. "I mean, there's not an hour of any day that goes by that I don't think of my dad."

CBS News asked sought permission from Cuban officials to speak with Finney and Hill about their offer. They said no.

Likewise, the State Department declined to talk about the offer, citing the United States' delicate relationship with Cuba. It was about then that Havana told CBS News a different story.

Leonel Macias

The real story, they insisted, is that both Cuba and the United States are allowing murderers to walk around free, and neither side is paying attention to an extradition treaty signed 90 years ago.

Here's the proof, the officials alleged: In 1994, a young man named Leonel Macias allegedly attempted to flee Cuba by hijacking a Cuban Navy patrol boat and executing its commander, Lt. Roberto Aguilar.

What is known is that Macias did make it to Florida on Cuban Navy boat and that Aguilar's body was found floating two days later, shot in the head.

His formal state funeral was broadcast nationwide, one of the largest in Cuban history. We want justice, too, Lt. Aguilar's family said. Hand him over, said Castro, who demanded to know, where is Leonel Macias?

Not suprisingly, he's no easier to find than Finney. Macias' lawyer gave CBS News an incorrect address in Hialeah, Fla. Further research led to a house in Miami, which he had already left. Macias now has political asylum. He's free, and he's disappeared.

So where - with Bob Rosenbloom's children now grown, with his grandchildren left with only a portrait - where does his family go for justice?

"This might sound selfish, but I don't know that guy they want," says Robbie Rosenbloom. "I don't know what he did. But I would sure like to see these guys come back."

And that's the irony, because even if they really wanted to, neither government is listening. In the middle of the world's last Cold War standoff, it seems, you can get away with murder.

Reported By Jim Stewart
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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