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Raising Cane with John Kane
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LAST ISSUE 10-7-02


Boston Special

As I have discussed before, too many times we read about organized crime murders in books, newspapers and magazine articles where the victims are just statistics. They become numbers, not people, and the fact that lived and died is forgotten and their only significance is tied to who killed them.

The death toll in Boston in recent decades reflects this. So to keep the names of these victims, good and bad, in the forefront this week’s column is dedicated to some of those statistics. Here’s hoping someday that justice will be served.

20 Murder Victims Attributed to John Martorano:

Robert Palladino 32 11-15-1965

John W. Jackson 47 9-28-1966

Herbert Smith 32 1-6-1968

Elizabeth Dixon 19 1-6-1968

Douglas Bennett 17 1-6-1968

Ronald K. Hicks 31 1-19-1969

Antonio "Tony" Veranis 28 1960s

John Banno 30 1960s

Michael Milano 30 3-8-1973

Albert Plummer 49 3-19-1973

William O’Brien 32 2-23-1973

Joseph "Indian Joe" Notarangeli 35 4-18-1973

James S. "Spike" O’Toole 12-1-1973

Alfred "Indian Al" Angeli 37 2-22-1974

James Sousa 12 / 1974

Thomas "Tommy" King 11 / 1975

Edward G. Connors 42 6-12-1975

Richard J. Castucci 47 12-30-1976

Roger Wheeler 55 5-27-1981

John "Jack" Callahan 45 8-3-1982

10 Murders Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi has been charged with:

James Sousa 12 / 1974

Edward G. Connors 42 6-12-1975

Thomas "Tommy" King 11 / 1975

Richard J. Castucci 47 12-30-1976

Roger Wheeler 55 5-27-1981

Debra Davis 26 9-17-1981

John "Jack" Callahan 45 8-1-1982

Arthur "Bucky" Barrett 46 8 / 1983

Deborah Hussey 26 Fall 1984

John L. McIntyre 32 11-30-1984

The following people were murdered by Flemmi, but according to J. M. Lawrence, "the government agreed to drop those charges as part of his 2001 plea agreement to extortion and money laundering."

Edward "Wimpy" Bennett 47 1-18-1967

Walter Bennett 55 4-3-1967

William Bennett 56 12-23-1967

Richard Grasso 1967

19 Murders James J "Whitey" Bulger has been charged with (there are 21 names listed, we’re not sure who the actual 19 are in the indictment, but knowing Whitey he probably killed them all anyway)

Edward "Wimpy" Bennett 47 1-18-1967

Walter Bennett 55 4-3-1967

William Bennett 56 12-23-1967

Richard Grasso 1967

James O’Toole 12-1-1973

Paul "Paulie" McGonagle 11-20-1974

James Sousa 12 / 1974

Edward G. Connors 42 6-12-1975

Thomas "Tommy" King 11 / 1975

Francis "Buddy" Leonard 1975

Richard J. Castucci 47 12-30-1976

Kenneth R. "Bobby" Conrad 7-29-1979

Louis R. Litif 5 / 1980

Roger Wheeler 55 5-27-1981

Debra Davis 26 9-17-1981

Michael Donahue 32 5-11-1982

Brian Halloran 41 5-11-1982

John "Jack" Callahan 45 8-1-1982

Arthur "Bucky" Barrett 46 8 / 1983

Deborah Hussey 26 Fall 1984

John L. McIntyre 32 11-30-1984

4 Murders reputed to be directly attributed to "Dishonest John" Connolly:

Roger Wheeler 55 5-27-1981

Michael J. Donahue 32 5-11-1982

Brian Halloran 41 5-11-1982

John "Jack" Callahan 45 8-1-1982

11 Lawsuits filed against government totaling $1.901 billion:

John L. McIntyre 32 3-7-2001 $50 Million

Michael J. Donahue 32 3-8-2001 $36 Million

Greco, Limone and Tameleo 7-24-2001 $375 Million

Brian Halloran 41 8-3-2001 $25 Million

Roger Wheeler 55 3-14-2002 $860 Million

Stephen Rakes 3-18-2002 $120 Million

Richard J. Castucci 47 7 / 2002 $40 Million

Joseph Salvati 8 / 2002 $300 Million

William Bennett 56 9 / 2002 $50 Million

Louis R. Latif 9 / 2002 $15 Million

Debra Davis 26 10 / 2002 $30 Million

In addition, lawsuits have filed against Bulger totaling $74 million:

Debra Davis 26 2-26-2001 $30 Million

Michael Milano 30 2-26-2001 $14 Million

Julie (Rakes) Dammers 7-3-2001 $30 Million

Bean Town by the Numbers

0 confidence level in the Boston FBI by local law enforcement agencies

2 number of 26 year-old ex-girlfriends Steve Flemmi has murdered

4 murders directly attributed to "Dishonest John" Connolly

6 bodies found in mob graves after being revealed by Kevin Weeks

10 murders Steve "the Rifleman" Flemmi is charged with

11 lawsuits filed in Boston against the US government

17 age of John Martorano’s youngest murder victim

19 murders James "Whitey" Bulger is charged with

20 murders John Martorano has admitted to

26 murders Joe "the Animal" Barboza has admitted to

33 years Peter Limone served for a crime he didn’t commit

94 months James "Whitey" Bulger has been on the lam

661 pages in Judge Mark Wolf’s massive opinion on Flemmi/Bulger case

7,000 total dollars FBI supervisor John Morris says he accepted in bribes

10,494 people ripped into at BostonMafia.com by LTH

67,000 paid to Stephen Rakes by Bulger for his $100,000-plus liquor store

1,219,000 total dollars stolen in 1950 Brinks armored car robbery

1,900,000 Bulger’s lottery winnings being held by government

1,901,000,000 number of dollars the government is being sued for in 11 lawsuits

5,621,943,012 times "Dishonest John" Connolly has proclaimed his innocence

AM.com would like to thank Boston Herald reporter J.M. Lawrence for her help in compiling this information.

Raising Cane with John Kane      

I have been proclaiming for years now that there is no Cleveland Mafia Family, that they were wiped out in the mid-1980s – the last blow being the defection of Angelo Lonardo. FBI information has John "Peanuts" Tronolone being the last official "acting boss" of the family, and he resided in Miami Beach, Florida dying there on May 29, 1991.

The Cleveland FBI and the Cleveland Police Department have done an excellent job of keeping organized crime out of the "Best Location in the Nation" and deserve a lot of credit for doing so. This is not to say that it has completely gone away, but there is certainly no formal structure. One reason being the base of corrupt politicians isn’t here anymore, nor is the strong ties with corruption in organized labor that existed during the Presser years – both father and son – which really propelled the Cleveland Mafia.

I have been criticized for this belief many times by people who still have this twisted, romantic image of the Cleveland Mafia from its heyday. They still want to believe there is an underworld operating here on a full scale, full time basis. When I confronted ex-Assistant US Attorney James Wooley with this belief that the mob still exists in Cleveland he responded, "Two guys rolling dice in a backroom does not a Mafia Family make." Wooley should know, he has helped put away mob figures in New York City, Cleveland and Youngstown.

So, I have to admit I was shocked to see a story in the Warren Tribune Chronicle last week in which recently appointed Mahoning Valley FBI Supervisor John "Raising" Kane was quoted about an indictment involving four men who were operating a sports book out of the GM Lordstown Assembly Plant, just outside of Youngstown. In referring to Joseph B. Joe Capp" Cupido, one of the arrested, Kane said he "has direct ties with Joseph Iacobacci, the acting boss of the Cleveland mob family."

Cleveland "mob family?" When did this happen. My first reaction was "What a slap in the face to the Cleveland FBI Office who worked hard all these years to suppress this activity." I had to do something to defend their honor. The Cleveland FBI Office does have honor – this isn’t Boston! I called James Wooley to let him know I was upset about this and to find out what he knew about Mr. Kane.

Wooley had nothing but good things to say about Kane, which helped settle me down. The two had worked together in Cleveland at one time. Wooley, who currently works for one of Cleveland’s most prestigious law firms, said he has been out of the loop for 33 months. I said, "33 months! Who’s counting?" One gets the impression Jimmy misses chasing the bad guys. Anyway, he suggested I call John Kane and talk to him.

I did just that.

Last Thursday afternoon I spoke with John Kane about my concerns. Kane worked several years in the Cleveland FBI office before transferring to Youngstown as the supervisor. Unfortunately for Kane he just lost one of the area’s best FBI agents ever with the retirement of Robert G. Kroner, who called it quits after 31 years this month.

Kane was quick to agree with me in my assessment of law enforcement’s success in keeping the Cleveland underworld in check. When I told him that his comment about "acting boss" insinuates that there is actually a family to "boss" around, Kane responded, "he’s not an acting boss in the traditional sense. There is no structured family, no underboss, no consigliere." Kane stated that Iacobacci is just simply the recognized "man" in Cleveland.

There are perhaps as many as five "made" guys here. In addition to Iacobacci, the only other recognized alleged member is Russell Papalardo. God knows who the others are and they would probably prefer to keep it that way. One thing is clear, if Joseph "Joe Loose" Iacobacci gets any visions of grandeur about the old days, Cleveland law enforcement will be quick to show him what happened to the "old boys."

Short Takes      

Atlanta – Craig DePalma, the son of imprisoned Gambino capo Gregory DePalma, was reported in critical condition after he tried to hang himself in his jail cell at the US Penitentiary in Atlanta. DePalma was scheduled to go to court on October 16 for his refusal to testify against Gambino capo Michael "Mickey Scars" DiLeonardo in last year’s Gold Club trial. DiLeonardo was acquitted on all counts. DePalma testified before the grand jury in Atlanta, the result of which was the indictment of DiLeonardo, but claims at that time he would never testify in court. He was then charged with contempt and has been awaiting trial since last summer. DePalma has been in jail since 1999 when he pled guilty to racketeering and extortion charges. His testimony before the grand jury upset Gambino Family members and resulted in a loss of face for his father. See my two part series on Greg DePalma on August 12 and 19.

Trials and Tribulations      

AmericanMafia.com attempts to keep its audience advised of ongoing legal matters in the world of organized crime. New entries and addition to existing information will appear in RED.


October 15, 2002 – Worcester, Mass. – The second trial for Eric Schneiderhan is scheduled to begin. The first one in July ended in a mistrial. Eric, the son of Richard Schneiderhan, is being tried for allegedly lying to a grand jury about his father’s relationship with Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi. AM.com thanks J.M. Lawrence for the update.

November 4, 2002 – Hackensack, NJ – The racketeering trial of Danny Provenzano is "tentatively" scheduled to get underway. The great-nephew of Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano is charged with extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars through fear, intimidation and violence. This trial was originally scheduled for September. AM.com would like to thank reporter Peter Pochna for the update. Pochna advises there could be more delays.

November 12, 2002 – Cleveland – Richard E. Detore goes to trial on one count of conspiring to violate a federal bribery statute involving United States Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr. This was rescheduled from July 29, 2002.

December 3, 2002 – Camden – The trial of James R. Mathis, Jr. is scheduled to begin. He is charged with corruption involving disgraced mayor Milton Milan. The federal trial will be in the courtroom of US District Judge Joseph H. Rodriquez.

December 2002 – Philadelphia – The trial of William "Billy" Rinick and Joseph Viola, Jr. on eleven federal drug counts will get underway before US District Judge Eduardo Robrena.

January 6, 2003 – Boston – Retired state trooper Richard J. Schneiderman goes on trial on charges that he hampered the FBI’s search for James "Whitey" Bulger by letting Bulger family members know that the FBI had requested pen registers on their telephones. Due to "administrative delays" the trial has been pushed into next year. The trial was originally scheduled for January 28, then rescheduled for June 24, then rescheduled for September 17. AM.com thanks J. M. Lawrence for this update.

January 27, 2003 – Youngstown – The trail of Sam "Skinny Sam" Fossesca, which was originally scheduled for August, has been postponed until after the new year. AM.com has been told that the end result of this trial will "blow the lid off the Naples/Carabbia War of the late 1970s and early 1980s."

January 2003 – Boston – "Big Paul" DeCologero goes on trial for ordering the murder of 19 year-old Miss Aislin Silva who disappeared on November 13, 1996. US District Judge Rya W. Zobel will oversee the case. DeCologero is expected to represent himself.

NO WORD ON THIS – September 9, 2002 – Camden – The trial of Daniel M. Daidone is scheduled to begin. He is charged with corruption involving disgraced mayor Milton Milan. Daidone answered to former Philadelphia mob boss Ralph Natale, who is expected to testify. The federal trial will be in the courtroom of US District Judge Joseph H. Rodriquez.

POSTPONED INDEFINITELY – Rochester, NY – Albert M Ranieri goes on trial for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Since his arrest on December 29, 2000, another defendant, prominent defense attorney Anthony Leonardo, Jr., has pled guilty and implicated Ranieri in the May 2000 murder of his former business partner Anthony Vaccaro. Authorities also suspect Ranieri of a 1990 armor car heist of $11 million. On July 8 the deputy court clerk for Judge Jonathan Feldman has informed AM.com that no date has been established for this trial.


October 11, 2002 – New York – Bonanno Family underboss Salvatore "the Chief" Vitale is scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty on June 14 to racketeering charges involving gambling, loansharking and money-laundering operations which he ran out of the European American Bank in Melville, Long Island. Vitale faces an incarceration period of 33 to 41 months.

October 24, 2003 – Youngstown – Russell J. "Camp" Saadey faces ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Saadey was convicted in April for his role in a case-fixing conspiracy involving disgraced former Mahoning County Prosecutor James A. Philomena. Saadey was arrested for a domestic dispute while waiting to report to prison.

October 24, 2002 – New York – Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico will be sentenced after pleading guilty to extortion, loansharking and money laundering. The son of jailed-for-life mobster Carmine "the Snake" Persico was the alleged "acting boss of the Colombo family. The sentencing date was originally scheduled for June 13, 2002. At that time Persico filed a motion to reverse his plea claiming prosecutor misconduct. The prosecutors were given two weeks to respond to the motion. A new date was then set for the sentencing. This had been rescheduled for September 27. We’ve been told that defense attorneys have asked for an adjournment until after October 24.

October 28, 2002 – Newark – Eugene Wilson, indicted last year with eight others including Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, will be sentenced after pleading guilty this past June 27 to gambling and running an illegal gambling operation.

October 29, 2002 – Boston – John J. "Mick" Murray will be sentenced by US District Judge Reginald Lindsay for his June guilty plea to charges of embezzlement, extortion, racketeering conspiracy and theft of interstate shipments.

November 7, 2002 – Detroit – Anthony Joseph Zerilli the alleged underboss of the Detroit mafia will be sentenced for his August 19 conviction of seven racketeering and extortion felonies. The 74 year-old will be sentenced by US District Court Judge Lawrence Zatkoff.

December 4, 2002 – Philadelphia – Michael A. Focoso is scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty on August 22 to one count of conspiracy and one count of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school in South Philadelphia. Focoso was part of a cocaine distribution ring which involved William "Billy" Rinick and Joseph Viola, Jr. Since Focoso is expected to testify against the two don’t be surprised if the sentencing date is moved back.

Early 2003 – Chicago – The sentencing date for the recent convictions of Betty Loren-Maltese (Cicero town president), Michael Spano, Sr. (the Outfit’s alleged boss of Cicero) and five others has not been scheduled but it is believed it will not take place until after the first of the year. The seven were convicted after a ten-week trial, which ended with guilty verdicts for all but one defendant on August 23.

January 6, 2003 – Boston – Robert C. Luisi, Jr. will be sentenced for his September 27 conviction on drug charges of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy. He is facing up to ten years in prison.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 2, 2002 – Rochester Thomas Marotta pled guilty to federal narcotics charges and is waiting sentencing. US District Judge David Larimer’s deputy court clerk tells AM.com no date has been set for the sentencing.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 2002 – New York – Donna Curra, wife of Dominick "Little Dom" Curra, is scheduled to be sentenced for lying to the FBI after her husband fled on Christmas Eve 2001 to Costa Rica. She is looking at a 6 to 12 month stretch. Meanwhile, "Little Dom" remains in a Costa Rica jail fighting extradition.

NO WORD ON THIS – September 9, 2002 – Camden – Robert E. Gibson, the former Camden sewer superintendent and a 40-year employee of the city, will be sentenced for accepting illegal payments. Gibson claimed he was swept up in the corruption of disgraced mayor Milton Milan’s administration. He is looking at 18 to 24 months.

NO WORD ON THIS – September 2002 – Philadelphia – Albert R. Coccio, Jr. will be sentenced by US District Judge John P. Fullam after his May 28 guilty plea to charges of wire fraud, making false statements and money laundering. Coccio, a South Philadelphia contractor who at one time employed Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, faces 6 to 18 months in prison.

Contact: AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com


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