Walter Wanderwell, born Valerian Johannes Pieczynski, was born in Poland in either 1893 or 1897. An international traveler and soldier of fortune, he explored Siberia, the Amazon, and the Sahara, and ended up in the United States, where he changed his name to something Americans could pronounce. He was jailed during World War I by American authorities who suspected him of being a German spy. Often referred to as "Captain", he never served in any country's military. In 1918, after being released from prison in Atlanta, he married Nell Miller, a Broadway chrous girl, and the two founded the Work Around the World Educational Club for International Police (WAWEC). WAWEC was founded to ostensibly support the new League of Nations through imposition of law, not war. The FBI branded the organization a private army with potential for subversive activities.
After much around the world adventuring, the Wanderwells ended up in California. They purchased a yacht, which was to be used for a South Seas cruise, but on the night of December 5, 1932, Wanderwell was murdered on board the yacht.
[Source: Michael Newton, The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes, pp. 385-387]