THE AFZAL-LEAL FAMILY

THE AFZAL FAMILY

Jane Lenore Afzal grew up in Sacramento, CA with her parents, Mohamed & Gladys Afzal, and four siblings.  Mohamed was a machinist for the railroad, born in Afghanistan, and raised in Pakistan.  Gladys was born and raised on the Round Valley Indian reservation in Covelo, CA.  She worked for the State of California despite  Mohamed's wishes.  He was old fashion and didn't believe women should work.   Gladys was strong willed and stubborn and demanded that she wanted to work - mainly because they had 5 kids that were getting older and needed more and more things.  To compromise, she agreed to give Mohamed her paychecks and she just wanted a credit card.  She worked for the state for 25 years before retirement.

Gladys was raised methodist and Mohamed was raised muslim.  They decided to raise their kids muslim and Gladys took an active role in the faith.   

In the 70's, Jane's oldest brother, Joseph Sher Afzal, passed away in a house fire.  This was when Gladys decided she was ready to retire.  She struggled with the loss of her oldest son.  To cope, she traveled and spent some time in Hawaii.  She was a bit of a free spirit and loved to learn, so she decided to become a parole officer (to keep her mind off things) while she was in Hawaii.  At the time, women had a hard time getting a job in this field, so she decided to put that dream to rest after learning that her husband, Mohamed, had passed away from a massive heart attack.  This was just a few short years after her oldest son died.  Soon after, she sold off all their real estate and spent some time between Las Vegas and Reno.  In 1983, she decided Reno would be her final home and she didn't see herself living anywhere else. 

 

Jane spent many years as a housewife and didn't work for many years.  Eventually, she realized she was going to have to care for herself.  She became a CNA and worked with the elderly in nursing home settings.   In 1985, Jane lost her nursing home job in Sacramento and called Gladys.  Gladys convinced Jane to take some time off and come to Reno for a couple of weeks.   Gladys brought Jane to the Cal Neva where she introduced Jane to a man she met when she first came to Reno.  His name was "Ed."    

Jane and Ed became friends and started dating on and off for a few years.   In 1988, Jane went to the doctor because she had a cough.   At age 42, it was normal to have irregular periods and she was told by a doctor that she likely couldn't have anymore kids.  Especially not with a 64 year old man.  Much to her surprise, she was 4 months pregnant.

There was much debate as to how to handle this pregnancy.  Abortion?  Adoption?  What to do?  Ed was pushing adoption because he was a "devout catholic."  Jane agreed, but she said if the baby is a boy, she was keeping it.   The baby was a boy.  She decided to name him after her late brother and gave the baby a middle name after his father, Edward.  Because Ed was being a jerk about the situation, she kept him off of the baby's birth certificate and gave the baby her maiden name.  When she moved to Reno, she still had her married name, but couldn't prove her married name.  So she kept her maiden name.   The baby was named Joseph Edward Afzal.  

In March 1989, 3 months after Joseph was born, his father died.  Leaving Jane a single mother who succumbed to many struggles of being a single parent of a wild toddler.  Gladys stepped in to help until Joseph got to his terrible two's.  At that point, Jane had to put him into daycare.   Because Jane didn't have a car, she and Joseph got up at the crack of dawn every morning and took a cab to daycare.   From the daycare, Jane took the bus to her job at ManorCare, where she worked for nearly 30 years before retiring.   

Jane was in a car accident with Joseph in the car at the age of 3.  She was charged with a DUI and duties of a parent.  CPS was involved, but the case was immediately closed.  A year later, CPS was called by the daycare center because Joseph was left there beyond the maximum timeframe allowed at the 24 hour center.  Jane made excuses but it was later discovered that she was struggling with mental health issues, alcoholism, and gambling addiction. 

It was at this point that the state took advantage of a vulnerable situation and turn the lives of both mother and child upside down.   (See foster care story section)

THE LEAL FAMILY

 

Edward Joseph Leal was born in 1924 in Worcester, MA.  He was the second of four children born to Arthur Edward Leal and Alphonsine "Eva" Baron.  

Arthur was a cabinet maker and Eva was a home maker.  They were a devout catholic family and were very heavily involved with the religion.   Eva was described as a "good woman" who carried her bible everywhere and went to church every single day.  She was a firm believer in people only having one marriage and refused to meet any of her grandchildren that did not come from a first marriage.  

Arthur was described as an amazing father and one of "the best" carpenters.   Eva has been described as a fiery red head who didn't hold back what she was thinking.  She was very devout to her faith and her secret to a long life was 2 prunes with every meal.  

Arthur's Family came to the United States from Azores, Portugal and settled in Massachusetts.   Eva's family immigrated from Montreal, Canada and settled in New Hampshire.   Both were babies in the early 1900's.  According to census records, their parents spoke their native languages of Portuguese and French. 

 

As young men, Edward and his younger brother Jimmy had enlisted in the military.  Edward didn't stay.  Jimmy stayed and served during the Korean conflict.   He was shot in the head during this conflict and spent the rest of his life in a nursing home with a metal plate in his head.   He was a purple heart recipient.   

 

Edward has been a big mystery to many.  Nobody seems to know exactly what he was up to, but there are many suspicions.   Anyone who knew him will straight up tell you he was an asshole.   Even his mother thought so.   It is known that he had at least 6 marriages/relationships that resulted in children.  It is known that he abandoned nearly all of his spouses and children.   Most of his children hate him and have never wanted anything to do with him.   

It is known that Edward owned many properties and had deep ties to Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley.  Most of his children were born there.   It is known that he was also one of "the best" carpenters and was very good at doing just about anything.   He also owned many businesses, including night clubs.  

Perhaps the biggest secret Edward had is that it is believed he had ties to the mafia.   Family has said the only time he would come around was when he needed an alibi.   He would threaten people and do despicable things to get his way.   He was saavy and knew how to stay under the radar.    Many family members would say that he would never go anywhere without his duffle bag and/or briefcase full of cash.  Often times carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars.   Nobody seems to know exactly what he was up to, but they all have their suspicions...

It is also important to note that Joseph never met the guy or has ever talk to him.  Edward died when Joseph was 3 months old.   

At some point, Edward gave up his life in Southern California and moved to Reno where he retired.  It is unknown exactly when Edward got to Reno.  We know he was in Reno in 1983 when Gladys first moved to the town.  Other than that, it is a mystery.   

The best way I could describe him is that he has VERY similar qualities to Lavere Redfield.   There was a time I thought they could even be the same person.   The only way this could be though is if Lavere faked his own death and came back as someone else.   Seems a bit far fetched though, so very doubtful.

Cal Neva was Edward's favorite casino and where he would always hang out.  Prior to his death, he did a lot of traveling.  Jane says he had gone to sydney to see the olympics.  He also went to see family and take care of "business."  I believe he also went to try and make amends with his kids.   He somehow knew things about some of his kids that lead me to believe he tried to reach out before his passing.   

Upon his return back to Reno, Jane was suspicious something was up.  He was spending a lot of money which was not like him.  He hoarded his money and was VERY frugal.   He even went as far as buying a duplex on Plumas Street and wanting Jane to live in one side with Joseph and Gladys living on the other side.   Gladys refused and Jane never followed through with it.   He also owned 2 Idlewild condos.   

In his final days, he had a mafia book that he was reading and would tell Jane about all the people he knew in it.  This lead even Jane to believe he had ties.   In March 1989, Edwards brother Jimmy called Jane and said he hadn't heard from him.  He asked her to go check and when she got there, he didn't look well.   She called 911 and had him rushed to the hospital.   He died not long after from cancer and he didn't tell anyone.