David Matanes

David Matanes Admits He Is ‘The Godfather’

Artist's rendition of Matanes in his hidden Smyrna lair Credit: Emory Criminal Studies

This photo recently surfaced of Mr. Matanes in his hidden Smyrna lair.
Photo: Brian Sloan

A scared Ben Adair stumbles into a dimly lit room smelling of stale Perrier and Cuban cigars. The confused young man takes in his surroundings, but he cannot forget his purpose for coming; he is seeking a favor from the figure known as “The Godfather.” Ben looks forward and sees the silhouette of a man in a velvet smoking jacket, lounging in a leather chair.

Ben struggles to maintain his composure in the face of such a notorious figure. Although he cannot see the man, he surmises his identity. “Godfather, I have come to ask a favor,” he said. “You are the only man that can help.” The man turns his chair slowly, and Ben realizes he is face to face with The Godfather, David Matanes.

The most infamous mobster in all of suburban Georgia, Mr. Matanes had a modest upbringing in the French quarter of Smyrna. His father, Rigoberto Matanes, was the owner of a local Perrier distributer and his mother was the owner of numerous Dunkin’ Donuts stores. As a star student, dancer and captain of his high school croquet team, Mr. Matanes was living the dream.

However, one fateful day, his entire life changed. Upon arriving home after school one afternoon, he discovered that his newly purchased clown fish had mysteriously disappeared. Mr. Matanes called the authorities, but after continual error, he became convinced that the police were in on the heist. Mr. Matanes decided to take matters into his own hands. After an extensive search, he tracked the robbery to The Redcoats, a powerful Smyrna mob.

Fearing that his clown fish had died from starvation, he knew he had to act fast. Assembling a team with members such as Mark “Lumberjack” Knott, France “The Milkman” Dorman and Augustine “Benderman” Whyte, Mr. Matanes and his crew easily defeated The Redcoats, regaining control of his beloved fish. After their victory, Mr. Matanes and his friends decided to leave their previous boring lives and fill the power vacuum left by The Redcoats. Mr. Matanes suddenly became the most feared man in all of suburban Georgia.

Nowadays, Mr. Matanes is nowhere to be found. Some believe he may be dead; but experts who have studied Mr. Matanes and his gang know that he is still out there. “[David] Matanes is a difficult figure to study simply because he has evaded the authorities for so long,” said Emory professor in criminal studies Johnny Rockets. “By all means, the man lives in the shadows.”

According to legend, Mr. Matanes has retired from his criminal exploits and spends the majority of his time in his Cape Cod hideout with his tabby cat, Speckles. Although he operates as if he is above the law, he is still a controversial figure; many portray him as a sort of “Robin Hood,” helping the poor against the evils of the system. “What I’m doing may not be legal, but it is not wrong,” said Mr. Matanes, in one of his few recorded interviews. “I’m just trying to give the people a fighting chance, something I never got.”