Michael Riconosciuto: Computer Expert Turned Convict is Now a Free Man

If there’s only one way we can ever describe Michael James Riconosciuto, it would have to be as an eccentric yet skilled genius considering all that he has achieved in life despite legal troubles. This much has actually even been evidenced in Netflix’s ‘American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders,’ a documentary series delving deep into all aspects of this possible titular scandal unlike any other.

Who is Michael Riconosciuto?

It was reportedly back when Michael was merely a young boy growing up in Tacoma, Washington, that he first developed a keen interest in the sciences, just for it to continue expanding as the years passed. Though the truth is he began showing signs of extreme intelligence before he even hit puberty, making him not only stand out from the crowd but do so in a political setting. After all, not only was his father a municipal leader plus politician Marshall who was known to have several connections across the West Coast, but he also began shining through starting from the tender age of 10.

According to records, there was a newspaper article written on Michael when he was 10 after he’d set up an alternative telephone service in his local neighborhood for better connection. Then came his decision to step into the world of physics with an argon laser of his own, unaware he’d soon end up getting an opportunity to work with a Nobel Laurette in Stanford’s physicals lab at 16. However, everything turned upside down as he subsequently began dabbling in the world of drugs, going as far as to reportedly manufacture LSD, PCP, as well as MDMA in an underwater lab to avoid detection.

Michael was thus detained, only to spend a mere two years behind federal bars before being released on rather lenient terms – it’s been suggested he was granted this leeway owing to the government’s need to “control him,” As per his own father, they kept a careful eye on his actions over the years and even employed him to do certain tasks, like allegedly traveling to Iran in 1979 to strike a deal with the officials there to only release their November-captured American hostages following the US elections. He did so alongside computer software developer Eric Brian to ensure Ronald Reagan’s appointment as President, as per his own narrative.

As if that’s not enough, Michael was even introduced to individuals like Dr. John Philip Nichols by his father as time passed, alongside whom he worked at a Southern California Indian Reserve. According to the documentary, his primary role here was to help develop various kinds of arms, biochemicals, plus war devices in collaboration with security company Wackenhut. His partner for this was apparently Paul Morasca, but the latter was found murdered in his San Francisco apartment in 1982, gradually scaring the computer expert to such an extent he decided to move away from his projects.

That’s when Michael filed a signed affidavit to Congress concerning the lawsuit between INSLAW and the Department of Justice alleging that the latter had in fact stolen the former’s PROMIS software. According to him, this was done so to raise funds for Earl Brian’s payment for the alleged secret agreement he’d secured to delay the release of Americans held hostage in Iran until after the 1980 elections. Though little did he know that a mere eight days following this declaration, he’d be arrested for conspiracy to manufacture, conspiracy to distribute, possession with intent, and distribution — this also came five days after his decision not to recant his statement.

Where is Michael Riconosciuto Now?

Many believe Michael was arrested so as to discredit his affidavit, especially as the convict himself has since asserted the same, but the truth is he was heavily involved in drugs at the time. He has refuted this, yet evidence as well as witness statements have made it clear he did indeed manufacture and trade in hard substances, which is just part of why journalist Danny Casoloaro often referred to him as Danger Man. The other aspect behind this moniker is his being a textbook web spinner, meaning he can mix truth with lies to such an extent he can pull people in and have them believe anything — the fact he himself believes his claims makes him all the more dangerous.

In the end, Michael was convicted of a total of ten counts related to methamphetamine and methadone, resulting in him being sentenced to a harsh 30 years in federal prison. He was ultimately paroled from the Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island, on August 18, 2017, after serving 26 years of his total term, just to shortly return to prison once again upon missing his parole hearing in Washington. However, since then, it appears as if this 76-year-old has remained well away from trouble as well as the limelight, especially as he’d genuinely afraid somebody might come and kill him owing to all he allegedly knows about the Octopus Conspiracy. Though per the last indications, he was based in Maricopa, Arizona.

Read More: Where is Dr. John Philip Nichols Now?