Title: The Chicago Outfit
Description: News & discussion
GangstersInc - June 3, 2006 10:25 AM (GMT)
Accused mobster wants out of jail before trial
June 2, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Frank Calabrese Sr. has been accused of killing 13 people in mob hits, but his attorney swears he's not a danger to society.
So attorney Joseph Lopez is asking a federal judge to release Calabrese Sr., 69, from the Metropolitan Correctional Center while he awaits trial as one of the top mobsters charged in the most important recent criminal case filed against the Chicago mob, called Family Secrets.
Calabrese Sr. was in prison for running a loan-sharking operation when he was indicted last year in the Family Secrets case. With his sentence up in the old case, Calabrese Sr. wants out. He has been ordered detained on the current case.
In a filing submitted Thursday, Lopez points out that the murders charged in the current case are more than 20 years old.
He argues that "there's no indication he will commit any crimes in the future."
And Lopez says Calabrese Sr. has been an exemplary inmate while inside, including completing a GED program and parenting classes, receiving a diploma for attending Alcoholics Anonymous and getting an award from the warden of the federal prison in Milan, Mich., as well the town's chief of police and its mayor for taking part in a program that warns youths of the perils of a criminal life.
The filing by Lopez also points out that there are several other mob cases across the nation where alleged top mobsters were let out on bond. And he contends that another government witness used by federal prosecutors in the past, Robert Cooley, has pinned one of the murders charged against Calabrese Sr. on four other men, not Calabrese Sr.
Calabrese Sr.'s chances to get out appear slim. When a fellow defendant, alleged Chicago mob leader James Marcello, charged with three murders in the case asked for bond, the judge denied the request.
And the evidence appears extensive against Calabrese Sr. His brother, Nick, is cooperating with the federal government and has admitted to committing multiple mob killings. Calabrese Sr.'s son, Frank Calabrese Jr., is also cooperating with the feds and put his life on the line by secretly recording his father in prison allegedly talking about participating in various mob hits.
The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment, but prosecutors are expected to oppose releasing Calabrese Sr. at a detention hearing.
Hollander - June 7, 2006 10:22 AM (GMT)
Tapes reveal mob's secrets
June 7, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
In secretly tape-recorded conversations, alleged mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. talks about having his finger cut for a mob oath, spreading lime to dispose of a corpse and how shotgun ammo tore up the body of another victim, according to newly released transcripts.
"Them will f------ tear half your body apart," Calabrese Sr. allegedly said in a 1999 conversation secretly tape-recorded by his son.
Transcripts of the conversations came to light Tuesday as prosecutors filed a motion to keep the 69-year-old Calabrese Sr. behind bars as he awaits charges with other reputed mobsters in one of the most significant cases ever against the Chicago Outfit. Calabrese Sr.'s attorney, Joseph Lopez, wants Calabrese Sr. out of jail, saying he presents no risk. Lopez likely will argue in front of a federal judge next week that the recorded conversations are taken out of context.
Here are excerpts from transcripts of secretly recorded statements in 1999 of alleged mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr.
On urging two reluctant mob assassins to get out of the car to go kill two victims in Cicero in 1983:
"I was the one talkin' to them . . . 'All right, guys, here's what you gotta do here. Okay now out. Out. Out. Get out . . .' [He laughs.] Yeah, they were like hesitant for a minute. 'Out. Now, now, now, now.' "
On what the shotgun ammo did to the bodies of the two men:
"Bigger ones . . . Big, big bearings. So them, them will f------ tear half your body apart. Oh yeah. Tore 'em up bad. Them'll tear your body up. They're called double-oughts."
On his pride of getting his fellow mobsters to talk in code:
"You know who started all that rigga-ma-talk-talk? I did. They never talked like that. They didn't know about talkin' like that."
Calabrese Sr. is charged with killing 13 people for the mob. The feds say he's a danger to the community, especially for the witnesses against him, which include his brother, Nick, who allegedly participated in some of the killings with him, and his son, Frank Jr., who sources said no longer has anything to do with the Outfit.
Nick Calabrese was spurred in part to cooperate with the feds after he learned that his brother had been secretly tape-recorded allegedly giving the go-ahead to have him killed if he cooperated with the feds.
Frank Calabrese Sr. said he "would send my blessing" to Outfit members, so they would know there would be no retaliation for Nick Calabrese's death, according to the transcripts.
Frank Calabrese Jr., who is not charged in the current case involving his father, put his life on the line by secretly recording the elder Calabrese in the prison yard where they both were, on another case in 1999. Frank Calabrese Jr. wore earphones and a tape-player which the FBI secretly equipped with a bug. The younger Calabrese apparently decided to cooperate to ensure his father remained in prison for the rest of his life because the son received nothing from the government for his help, law enforcement sources have said.
On the tapes, Calabrese Sr. allegedly talks of participating in several killings.
Frank Calabrese Sr. "has been a serial murderer for the Chicago Outfit," stated the government filing by prosecutors Mitchell A. Mars, John J. Scully and T. Markus Funk.
The 'Dahmer of Elmwood Park'?
Lopez scoffed at the prosecution line.
"That's the most ridiculous characterization I've ever heard of my client," Lopez said.
"Is he the Jeffrey Dahmer of Elmwood Park?" Lopez said.
Referring to one murder, the 1970 slaying of mob associate Michael Albergo, Calabrese Sr. talks to his son about putting lime on the body to help it disintegrate, the transcripts say.
"We put lime that eats," Calabrese Sr. allegedly said. "There was no clothes on the person."
The feds contend Calabrese Sr. worried that Albergo could implicate him in loan-sharking, and lured him to the murder site where Calabrese Sr. and two other men strangled him to death. Albergo was stripped, then buried in a Chinatown construction site, which later became a White Sox parking lot.
In another conversation, Calabrese Sr. allegedly admits to being in the lookout car during the murders of William Dauber and Dauber's wife, Charlotte.
The couple was killed in 1980 because mobsters believed that William Dauber was cooperating with law enforcement, authorities said. His wife was killed simply because she was at the "wrong place at the wrong time," Calabrese Sr. allegedly said on tape.
Another man in the wrong place at the wrong time was Arthur Morawski, who was murdered along with Richard Ortiz in 1983 outside a bar in Cicero, officials said. The feds contend Ortiz was killed by Calabrese Sr. and other mobsters because Ortiz had committed a murder not sanctioned by the Outfit. Ortiz's family has long argued he was never involved in any crimes.
Allegedly talks of mob induction
Calabrese Sr. allegedly describes how he blocked Ortiz's car while his brother Nick and another accomplice fired shotguns at Ortiz and Morawski.
Calabrese Sr. describes how he instructed the two killers to do the job and how the ammunition tore up the bodies of the victims, according to the transcripts.
"Oh, yeah," Calabrese Sr. said. "Tore 'em up bad. Them'll tear your body up. They're called double-oughts. And you want me to tell you something? The Polish guy that was with him was a nice guy. Okay? But he happened to be at the wrong place. . . . It was said, no matter who's with him, want it done. Now if you back away and you have that opportunity and you don't, then you look like a f------ a------."
By allegedly talking about the murders, Calabrese Sr. violated a strict Outfit code of never speaking of killings after they were done.
In another violation of the code, Calabrese Sr. allegedly describes how he was inducted into the mob.
"Their fingers get cut and everybody puts the fingers together and all the blood running down, then they take pictures. Put them in your hand. Burn them," Calabrese Sr. says, according to the feds.
"Pictures of?" his son asks.
"Holy pictures," Calabrese Sr. explains.
As they burn, you don't want to move your hand, Calabrese Sr. says.
If you move, "then it shows your fear," he says.
Copyright © The Sun-Times Company
GangstersInc - June 8, 2006 01:56 PM (GMT)
Mobster 'Toyko Joe' died in Georgia in '04
June 8, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters
Chicago Sun Times
Chicago gambling kingpin Ken Eto -- who became a key witness against the mob after surviving three gunshots to the head in a botched hit -- spent his last days peacefully outside Atlanta, Ga., cheering on the Braves baseball team and going fishing when he could.
Eto, who thrived in mob life before helping the feds put his fellow gangsters away, lived under a fake name, Joe Tanaka, and a fake Social Security number, with a family he had befriended.
Eto, dubbed "Toyko Joe" back in Chicago, died Jan. 23, 2004, after surgery, at the age of 84, the Chicago Sun-Times learned Wednesday.
Eto had been a loyal mobster, running gambling operations on the North Side, until February 1983.
That's when North Side mob boss Vincent Solano ordered his murder, concerned that Eto would cooperate with the feds after Eto's conviction on gambling charges, a law enforcement source said.
But two mob hitmen, Jasper Campise and John Gattuso, a Cook County sheriff's deputy, botched the hit, authorities said.
Three shots were pumped into Eto's head as he sat behind the wheel of his car at 7229 W. Grand Ave., as Eto met with the men.
The bullets scraped his skull but did not penetrate it.
Eto played possum until his would-be killers left the car. Then Eto, bleeding from his wounds, walked about a block to the Terminal Pharmacy for help.
The hitmen had packed their own ammunition to help cover their trail, but the bullets didn't have enough gunpowder punch to penetrate Eto's skull, a law enforcement source said Wednesday.
It would be one of the worst mistakes the Chicago mob ever made, law enforcement sources said.
The hitmen were soon found dead in a car trunk outside Naperville, slain for screwing up the job.
The North Side rackets boss who allegedly had lured Eto to the hit attempt, Joseph DiVarco, was quickly stripped of his power.
And Eto, enraged over what had happened, started to sing on DiVarco and other mobsters. Eto entered the federal witness protection program, coming out for public viewing at various mob trials across the years.
Eto testified against top mobster Ernest Rocco Infelice in 1991, telling jurors how he paid protection money to him. In another case, Eto regaled a courtroom with how he allegedly bribed state legislator James DeLeo with $900 to fix parking tickets in traffic court in Chicago. DeLeo, though, was not convicted of any significant charges in the case.
Eto at times would testify with a hood over his head, as he did in 1985 before the President's Commission on Organized Crime.
Eto's testimony didn't stop at the mob. He even squealed on a crooked cop, former Chicago Chief of Detectives William Hanhardt, now in prison for running a jewelry theft ring.
GangstersInc - June 8, 2006 01:57 PM (GMT)
Mob's Eto dies long after surviving hit
By Jeff Coen and Rudolph Bush, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporter Matt O'Connor contributed to this report
Published June 8, 2006
A noted Chicago mob figure who ran gambling operations for the Outfit, survived a botched hit and turned government informant and witness has died after a long stint in the federal witness-protection program, a federal official confirmed.
Ken Eto turned on the mob after he survived being shot in the head in a Northwest Side parking lot in 1983 and went on to testify against mob boss Ernest Rocco Infelice in 1991. After a news report Wednesday on WLS-TV Ch. 7 that said Eto died in Atlanta in 2004 in his 80s, federal officials in Chicago said they had been aware of his death, which had not been reported by the media before Wednesday.
First Assistant U.S. Atty. Gary Shapiro, who for years headed the U.S. Justice Department's Chicago Organized Crime Strike Force, said Wednesday that he knew of Eto's death, but he did not know when he had died.
Eto, known as "Tokyo Joe," survived three gunshots in the head in February 1983 in an attempted assassination that came after he was convicted of a gambling charge and the mob feared he would become a turncoat.
Former FBI agent Jack O'Rourke said Wednesday that Eto was a gambling expert who for decades ran games and books for the mob's North Side crew.
Eto learned gambling in the service while riding a troop train to Alaska during World War II. After returning to Chicago, he took up with the mob and handled not only their games and books, but also paid bribes to police, O'Rourke said.
In 1983, the mob turned on Eto and ordered him killed.
Inside a car parked along Harlem Avenue on the North Side, two men fired three shots into Eto's skull. The men, whom Eto later identified to federal agents as mob soldiers John Gattuso and Jasper Campise, then left him for dead, O'Rourke said.
But Eto didn't die, and after awaking from unconsciousness, dragged himself to a nearby pharmacy, where he called 911, O'Rourke said.
FBI agents and then-Assistant U.S. Atty. Jeremy Margolis rushed to the hospital where Eto was taken, O'Rourke said.
During his recovery, Eto agreed to "flip" for the feds, O'Rourke said.
"He really had nowhere else to go," O'Rourke said
Eto not only fingered Gattuso, a Cook County sheriff's officer, and Campise, as the gunmen, but he also provided intelligence about mob activity to the FBI.
O'Rourke said he learned that soon after the shooting, the mob planned to murder Gattuso and Campise. O'Rourke said he and then-U.S. Atty. Dan Webb tried to persuade the men to cooperate with the government, but they refused.
On July 14, 1983, their bodies were found in the trunk of car in Naperville. Eto, meanwhile, was placed in the witness-protection program, O'Rourke said.
In 1989, Eto testified against a state legislator implicated in the Operation Greylord investigation. Eto was 72 when he testified in 1991, telling the court he had spent 40 years in the Chicago Outfit.
"I've never seen a witness like him," Shapiro said. "Completely unflappable."
Hollander - June 10, 2006 09:39 AM (GMT)
Attorney paints Calabrese as good fella
June 10, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Mob loan shark Frank Calabrese Sr., accused of 13 mob hits, is not a member of the mob, his lawyer said Friday.
When Calabrese Sr. was describing the induction ceremony to his son -- on secretly tape-recorded conversations -- he was merely describing a scene from the 1990 mobster movie "Goodfellas," his lawyer contends.
When Calabrese Sr. was caught talking about mob sitdowns, they were nothing more than "alternative dispute resolution meetings," according to the filing by Calabrese attorney, Joseph Lopez.
When Calabrese Sr. described how shotgun shells ripped apart a human body at a murder scene, it was no more than mere "puffing."
And when Calabrese Sr. learned that his brother Nick could be cooperating with the feds, Calabrese Sr. did not "send his blessing" to have him killed.
Calabrese Sr. was sending his blessing to have him left alone, the motion claims.
The mobster, it appears, has found God.
"I pray every night that he doesn't become a Judas," Calabrese Sr. is quoted in one transcript as saying about his brother.
In another part, Calabrese Sr. discusses his taste in books of the Bible. In the quote, he apparently is referring to the Old Testament, which he calls the "First Testament."
'God was a little stern'
"I like, enjoy reading the First Testament of the Bible, 'cause God was a little stern. He was stern. And, I appreciate that, and I look at that, and I can relate to that," Calabrese Sr. says.
Calabrese Sr.'s son, Frank Calabrese Jr., secretly tape recorded his father while both men were in prison in 1999 on a separate case. Calabrese Jr. put his life on the line by wearing a disguised recording device while both men strolled in the prison yard. Calabrese Jr. got nothing of substance from recording his dad, other than the hope that his father remains in prison for the rest of his life, law enforcement sources said.
The court filing by Calabrese Sr.'s attorney, made late Friday, was in response to a prosecution filing earlier this week, which called Calabrese Sr., "a serial murderer for the Chicago Outfit."
Lopez wants to get the 69-year-old Calabrese bonded out of jail. The prosecution wants to keep him locked up. His trial with other mobsters, including Joey "The Clown" Lombardo and reputed Outfit boss James Marcello, is scheduled for next May. A judge may decide on the request Monday.
Lopez argues Calabrese Sr. represents no danger to society and is not a risk to flee. In the motion, Lopez attacks Calabrese Sr.'s son and brother, both of whom are cooperating against him with federal authorities.
Prosecutors contend that Calabrese Sr. is likely to flee, noting he kept $1.5 million in cash in safety deposit boxes at one time and had stashed fake identity documents under nine different names.
Hollander - July 22, 2006 03:48 PM (GMT)
Calabrese wants his trial to be 'family affair'
July 22, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Reputed Outfit killer Frank Calabrese Sr. calls the government's criminal case against him involving 13 murders a family affair.
After all, the two star witnesses at trial will be his son and brother.
That's why Frank Calabrese Sr. wants to be tried alone and not with the 11 other defendants in what's been called the most important federal prosecution of the mob in Chicago history.
"This case is really a family affair rather than a multi-defendant prosecution," Calabrese Sr.'s attorney, Joseph Lopez, wrote in court papers filed Friday. The trial is set for May.
"The Calabrese Trio should be able to battle out in their own arena," Lopez wrote.
The filing makes clear that part of the Calabrese Sr. defense strategy will be, in effect, to put his own family on trial.
In the motion, Calabrese Sr. calls his son, Frank Jr., a lowlife, "a social misfit" and contends he broke into the family vacation home.
Sources familiar with the Calabrese family, though, point to the father as the malignant influence, contending he brought the same brutality he used on the streets into his family home.
The accusations from Calabrese Sr. come in sharp contrast to the expressions of love he expressed for his son just last month when Calabrese Sr. was trying to get a federal judge to set a bond so he could get out of jail.
Federal prosecutors had warned trial witnesses would be in jeopardy if Calabrese Sr. were released. But the elder Calabrese, through his attorney, expressed nothing but love and adoration for his son.
The judge kept Calabrese Sr. in jail.
On Friday, Lopez saw no contradiction between the statements of love and such phrases as lowlife.
"Love's got nothing to do with it," Lopez said. "It's business. It's strictly business in the courtroom."
Frank Calabrese Jr. is not charged in the current case but is providing key evidence for prosecutors.
He secretly recorded his father while both were in prison in 1999 on another matter in Milan, Mich., catching his father allegedly talking about mob murders and other Outfit business. The son made the recordings at risk to his life, law enforcement sources have said.
Calabrese Sr. also wants to be tried separately because he expects to come under attack from the other defendants.
"The one's family who is causing the problems is the one who gets the brunt of the finger-pointing," Lopez argued.
GangstersInc - August 1, 2006 05:24 PM (GMT)
Reputed mob boss' lawyers ask to keep feds' tapes out of trial
July 26, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
When Chicago's reputed top mob boss, James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, was serving time, he'd meet with a visitor -- his half-brother, Michael -- and discuss running his operation from prison, the feds contend.
In secret recordings made by the feds, James Marcello also suggested the Outfit would profit from a casino in Rosemont.
Now Marcello's attorneys want to keep those recordings out of the trial, scheduled for May, in which Marcello and other alleged top mob leaders are charged -- a case that puts 18 murders at the Outfit's door.
From December 2002 to August 2003, the FBI secretly recorded conversations and videotaped meetings in a prison visiting room in Milan, Mich., between Marcello and his brother, his son and a friend, according to the defense filing.
The motion doesn't detail what conversations the feds could play at trial, but defense attorneys Marc Martin and Thomas Breen argue that the recordings shouldn't be allowed because the feds didn't act quickly enough to seal the recordings from tampering once they were made. The defense lawyers contend there are other technical but important defects in the requests the prosecutors made to a federal judge to make the recordings in the first place.
Marcello's defense attorneys, who did not return phone calls, want other secret recordings banned from trial, too.
Defense seeks info on jurors
Alleged mob killer Frank Calabrese Sr. was secretly recorded by his son, Frank Jr., when both were in prison on another case. Frank Calabrese Jr. put his life on the line to get his father to talk, allegedly about mob hits. Some of those statements Frank Calabrese Sr. made are "powerfully incriminating" against Marcello, according to the defense motion.
Playing those conversations involving Marcello wouldn't be fair because Marcello's attorneys can't force Calabrese Sr. to take the stand to be questioned about them, because Calabrese Sr. is a defendant in the case as well, Marcello's attorneys argued.
Marcello also wants a federal judge not only to order prosecutors to provide criminal background information on prospective jurors but also any information that jurors have ever been audited. The second part of the request is highly unusual. Marcello is charged with a tax crime, and his attorneys apparently want to find out if any jurors would be biased.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the defense requests
Hollander - August 12, 2006 01:29 PM (GMT)
Mobster accused of race bias
August 12, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR AND STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter
Michael Guthrie is a successful oral surgeon who wanted to live in a multimillion-dollar home in South Barrington.
Peter DiFronzo, a reputed-made member of the Chicago mob and brother of top Chicago mobster John "No Nose" DiFronzo, was happy to sell him a vacant lot in South Barrington for about $500,000.
That is, until Peter DiFronzo found out Guthrie was black, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County court this week.
Guthrie, who didn't know about DiFronzo's own background, is asking to get back the money he spent on an architect to design his house.
Guthrie also wants punitive damages against DiFronzo but doesn't name a dollar amount in the lawsuit.
The oral surgeon didn't return a phone message Friday, but his attorney said he's just standing up for his rights.
The deal's off
Guthrie "feels he didn't do anything to be treated that way," said attorney LaOuida Glover.
"I don't think [Guthrie] cares who they are," Glover said.
Guthrie signed a contract in April 2004 to buy the lot in the Magnolia Pointe subdivision in South Barrington, according to the lawsuit. Guthrie also agreed to other terms, including a requirement that he build a home on the lot within 18 months and that the home be more than 7,000 square feet, excluding the basement and counting the two-story foyer only once.
DiFronzo, who lives in South Barrington, owned the property but was also acting as an agent for the developer, Zitella Development Corp., according to the lawsuit.
In July 2004, developer Sam Zitella asked Guthrie's real estate agent if Guthrie was black, according to the lawsuit.
Soon after, DiFronzo's attorney sent a letter to the dentist, telling him that the deal was off because they couldn't agree to terms.
Guthrie was advised to walk away
Guthrie argues the deal died because DiFronzo didn't want to sell to a black man.
Guthrie's real estate agent and lawyer suggested Guthrie take his earnest money and walk away because DiFronzo "apparently would make every step of the way difficult for [Guthrie] including living in his new home on the lot," according to the lawsuit.
DiFronzo and Zitella did not return phone messages on Friday.
The Sun-Times reported business ties between the two men in a November 2005 story. Zitella, a well-known developer, has been a long-time customer of DiFronzo's company, D & P Construction, using the company's Dumpsters. While D & P is in the name of Peter DiFronzo's wife, law enforcement authorities believe Peter DiFronzo controls it.
Hollander - August 16, 2006 12:30 PM (GMT)
Feds target Vrdolyak
August 16, 2006
BY NATASHA KORECKI, FRAN SPIELMAN, DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO Staff Reporters
Former Chicago Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak, the charismatic bad boy of Chicago politics, is the target of a federal grand jury investigation, sources have told the Sun-Times.
At least part of the probe is tied to his longtime friendship and business dealings with Stuart Levine, a GOP insider cooperating with the federal government in two high-profile investigations.
Facing significant prison time, Levine decided in recent months to talk to investigators, sources say, and agreed to wear a wire. Sources would not say whether Levine recorded Vrdolyak, but they did say Levine has provided investigators with potentially incriminating information on Vrdolyak.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not elaborate on the nature of the probe against Vrdolyak, 68, a onetime Democratic chairman who switched to the Republican party and once ran for mayor as an independent.
Led 'Vrdolyak 29' in the '80s
Vrdolyak -- nicknamed "Fast Eddie" -- often joked about being the subject of numerous federal investigations but never getting charged, longtime associates say. Vrdolyak once led the "Vrdolyak 29," a coalition of white aldermen who thwarted Mayor Harold Washington's initiatives in the 1980s. He also led the "coffee rebellion," a minor uprising against Mayor Richard J. Daley.
After leaving Chicago politics, Vrdolyak became an attorney for the town of Cicero under former Town President Betty Loren-Maltese, who is serving a prison term for corruption. He is the godfather of Loren-Maltese's daughter.
"For him to get caught up in this stage of his life is kind of bizarre," said a Democratic ward boss who asked not to be named.
Levine, 60, was indicted last year in two separate cases linked to his positions on two state boards: the Teachers Retirement System, a multibillion-dollar pension fund; and the Health Facilities Planning Board, which helps oversee hospital construction projects.
Levine was charged with influence-peddling and insider dealing while on the health board. In the TRS case, he is accused of steering pension fund investments to firms that had hired consultants recommended by him.
Levine, who straddles Republican and Democratic administrations, could prove to be one of the biggest government witnesses in some time. He was initially appointed to the two state boards under Republicans but was reappointed by Gov. Blagojevich, a Democrat. He and Vrdolyak have had previous business dealings, sources say.
Vrdolyak's lawyer, Michael Monico, refused comment, as did Levine lawyer Jeffrey Steinback. Attempts to reach Vrdolyak were unsuccessful.
puparo - August 17, 2006 12:34 PM (GMT)
just found me a batch of several hundreds of pictures back
now funny enough several hundred cover the Chicago gangsters from the old till about the 80 or 90ties
photos of capone and his mama Teresa, wife mae and his brothers Matt, Albert, Ralph, James, John and a picture of the dead brother Frank (killed by police who stand in the back).
William "three fingered " white, Mike "the pike (Hihihihi)" Heitler, Frank "Diamond" Maritote, Sam Hunt , Phil D'andrea etc etc
also pitures of the dutch killed criminals Nico van Golde and bodybuilder Ronald van Kleef
also pictures of the trial of the 1922 chinatown murders in Amsterdam
but the chiago pictures are funny for this chapter i will bet
puparo - August 17, 2006 12:51 PM (GMT)
also a picture of the killed Edward o'hare in his car
don't think i saw that one on the net before
Hollander - August 26, 2006 06:22 PM (GMT)
'Recipes' for mob activity?
August 26, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Reputed mob killer Frank Calabrese Sr. would chat about "recipes" over the phone with his wife while he was in prison in Milan, Mich.
In one recorded conversation between Calabrese Sr. and his second wife, Diane Calabrese, she asks the aging gangster, "You talking about the German chocolate one?"
"Yes," Calabrese Sr. replies.
But it's not food they're talking about, the feds say.
They're talking about illegal money collections from mob activities.
The fresh details came to light Friday night as federal prosecutors responded to a slew of pre-trial motions filed by the defendants in what some observers call the most important prosecution ever against the Chicago mob.
Such mob heavyweights as James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs and Calabrese Sr. are on trial in a case that puts 18 hits at the Outfit's doorstep.
Calabrese Sr. and Marcello want any tape-recorded conversations between them and their wives while the men were in prison disallowed at trial because of marital privilege.
'She's ... a little slow'
The feds argue otherwise, saying both husbands and wives knew they were being tape-recorded during their prison phone chats and had no expectation of privacy.
In the case of Diane Calabrese, they suggest she helped further the illegal activity her loan-sharking husband allegedly was involved in. Diane Calabrese has not been charged with any crime.
Calabrese Sr.'s attorney, Joseph Lopez, dismissed the government's filing as "just more nonsense."
The feds contend that Calabrese Sr., known for talking in code, would refer to various collections as "recipes."
In one Nov. 11, 1999, phone conversation, Calabrese Sr. asks his wife: "Miss Engel was supposed to give you a recipe that you were supposed to send me, with all the different size of the, of the ounces of, of a flour and stuff."
"Yeah," Diane Calabrese replies.
"What happened?" Calabrese Sr. asks.
"She's working on it. She's, you know, a little slow," his wife replies.
In short, the feds contend, Calabrese Sr. is asking where the money from a specific collection is.
In another motion, prosecutors argue against a defense request to have separate trials for the defendants in the case, arguing in part that some witnesses are in danger and that making them testify more than once at multiple trials only increases the risk against them.
Without providing specific numbers, prosecutors point out that "a number of witnesses" have been placed in witness protection, while the FBI has moved others who feared retaliation from the mob.
Some grand jury witnesses went to jail rather than testify in the investigation, while others changed their grand jury testimony after they were threatened, the feds contend.
puparo - September 2, 2006 11:10 PM (GMT)
Little Al - September 7, 2006 05:03 AM (GMT)
Top Chicago mobster Little Tony Zizzo has been missing for a few days now. Here's the newest updated Tribune story on it.
Police seek information on missing mobster
By David Heinzmann and Jeff Coen
Tribune staff reporters
Published September 6, 2006, 8:16 PM CDT
Westmont police Wednesday asked the public for information about the whereabouts of Anthony Zizzo, an elderly organized crime figure who was last seen Aug. 31 driving away from his home in the suburb.
While the Police Department is taking the lead in the investigation, which was launched after Zizzo's wife filed a missing person report, federal authorities are now also participating in the investigation, law enforcement sources said.
Westmont officials confirmed Wednesday that Zizzo's vehicle was recovered Saturday in the parking lot of a restaurant in Melrose Park. Police said he suffers from kidney failure and did not take medication with him when he left home.
Zizzo's wife reported him missing Friday morning. She had last seen him the day before as he drove away from their home in the 5700 block of South Cass Avenue, police said. When last seen, Zizzo, who is 5-foot-3 and 200 pounds, was wearing a gray shirt, black pants, a black windbreaker and black athletic shoes. He has thinning gray hair, blue eyes and wears metal-rimmed glasses.
It is unclear what his plans were when he left home, but some sources familiar with the case said he may have been headed for a meeting in the Rush Street area of Chicago.
Zizzo, 71, was a major figure in the organization of mob kingpin Sam Carlisi and went to prison with his boss and several others in 1993. He was released in 2001.
Zizzo, who lived in Melrose Park before his conviction, was described as the No. 3 person in command of the late Carlisi's crew. He supervised loan sharking and gambling operations, prosecutors said.
According to court records, Zizzo was the former boss of a Carlisi crew enforcer and debt collector, Anthony Chiaramonti, who was gunned down outside a Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant in Lyons in November 2001. That killing was the last-known hit in the Chicago mob world.
At the time of Zizzo's conviction, federal authorities said he and some co-defendants were believed to have information about several unsolved mob murders. Each was named in connection with events that preceded the murders of Anthony and Michael Spilotro and bookmaker Phillip Goodman, according to a prosecution filing in the Carlisi case. It did not link anyone to the actual crimes, however.
Last year, federal prosecutors charged several reputed Chicago mob leaders in connection with a number of unsolved murders. Zizzo was not named, but one of his 1993 co-defendants, James Marcello, was charged in the massive federal conspiracy case.
GangstersInc - September 7, 2006 07:48 AM (GMT)
Years ago a guy emailed me saying he knew Zizzo and had been in prison with John Cerone. He was a dentist who had committed a crime, he wouldnt tell me what type of crime. Dont have his emails anymore, too bad. He was an old guy, early 70s.
Hollander - September 9, 2006 10:07 AM (GMT)
GangstersInc - September 16, 2006 01:23 PM (GMT)
Alleged mobster seeks treatment for back pain
Published September 15, 2006
Accused mob boss Frank Calabrese Sr. asked Thursday to get back treatment at a medical facility in Rochester, Minn.
Calabrese's attorney, Joseph Lopez, said his client needs spinal surgery and "is in extreme pain for arthritis of the disk."
Calabrese, 69, is being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center while he and 11 other alleged mobsters await trial next year on racketeering charges connected to 18 murders.
"He has numbness in his lower back and on many days cannot get of bed without assistance," Lopez stated in a motion.
The correctional facility has permitted Calabrese to use a stationary bicycle as physical therapy, Lopez said.
Lopez noted that Calabrese is on 10 medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood clots. He underwent heart surgery in 1996 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Lopez said.
Lopez did not specify what medical facility Calabrese would like to go to for back treatment.
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
Hollander - September 22, 2006 09:44 AM (GMT)
Behind the scenes with a H'wood fixer
Sidney Korshak was known as the "man who kept the secrets" in Hollywood. But only now, a decade after his death, are we starting to glean just how indispensable the shadowy lawyer was to the town's stars and moguls.
Seymour Hersh, Nick Tosches and Brian Ross did early spadework, but no one has dug so deeply into "The Fixer" as Gus Russo does in his 623-page probe, "Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers."
Korshak "could make the mob gambling debt of a celebrity's son disappear, deliver an actor to one studio while still under contract to a competitor, see that his mistresses got leading roles in famous movies, and make intractable labor problems evaporate," according to Russo. "Kirk Douglas, Clark Gable, Warren Beatty, Gregory Peck and countless others loved Korshak. ... Steve McQueen, Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner learned crossing Korshak was never a good idea."
Dana Wynter, ex-wife of Korshak's friend Greg Bautzer, says the lawyer helped end the affair between Sammy Davis Jr.and Kim Novak. "Sidney asked [Novak] to look at some pictures. Apparently Sammy Davis had cameras set up in the bedroom and had a whole file of these things, with various prominent white actresses. ... [Novak] looked at them and then started to tear them up, and then Sidney said to her, 'Don't bother to tear them up, because we have the negatives.' Then he said, 'We're telling you, if he doesn't stop it, he'll lose his other eye.'"
Korshak introduced Beatty to socialite Jan Golding Amory at New York's La Grenouille restaurant. Beatty wooed Amory, the former wife of one of Korshak's business partners, with the line, "Do you want to [bleep]?" - prompting Korshak to "burst into laughter" as she politely declined.
Korshak threatened a Teamster strike to persuade MGM to let Al Pacino out of a deal so he could film "The Godfather." Talk-show host Steve Allen is quoted as saying that his wife, Jayne Meadows, insulted a mob associate at the movie's premiere. According to Allen, the next morning, the couple found "an enormous severed leg and shoulder of a horse" on their front porch.
Ronald Reagan didn't forget the support Korshak and his Mafia-linked clients gave him when he was running for governor of California and for President. In April 1986, when the President's Commission on Organized Crime delivered its final report on the mob's influence on unions, Korshak's name was conspicuously missing.
While many of Russo's stories are vintage, the book could come into play in the current California attorney general's race, in which former Gov. Jerry Brown is running. Russo contends that Brown accepted campaign contributions from Korshak and unions with suspected mob ties during the 1970s and then granted them political favors.
"It's laughable and idiotic," Brown's campaign strategist, Ace Smith, told the L.A. Times. "It's in the same category as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. If you're looking for information like that, you should check out Al Capone's vault."
Originally published on September 20, 2006
Hollander - September 28, 2006 12:04 PM (GMT)
Michael Madigan to candidate: Explain alleged mob ties
House speaker still not backing Giannoulias for treasurer
September 27, 2006
BY CAROL MARIN Staff Reporter
Mike Madigan doesn't get mad. He gets even. And boy, does he get even.
Lobbing another political hand grenade, the state Democratic Party chairman and Illinois House speaker said Tuesday he is withholding his support for Democratic treasurer nominee Alexi Giannoulias until he answers "those allegations of connections to the mob."
"I want some answers," Madigan said. "The allegations are there."
The powerful Southwest Side Democrat made the remarks at his annual fund-raiser when I asked him why Giannoulias' photo was still not on the party's Web site.
A North Side banker and political novice, Giannoulias, you will remember, beat Madigan's choice for state treasurer in the primary, Downstater Paul Mangieri.
That gave Giannoulias the chance to square off against Republican nominee Christine Radogno in November.
Bank loaned cash to felons
But Giannoulias, 30, became engulfed in controversy. The Chicago Tribune published articles about millions of dollars his family-owned bank loaned to two convicted felons and an alleged money-launderer.
Broadway Bank is not accused of anything illegal, but it has been a political embarrassment for Giannoulias, who first called one of the men a "very nice person," then later said he had been too "cavalier."
Reached out to Madigan
The bombshell from Madigan recalls his cryptic comments in 2002 about never-explained "indiscretions" of then-Democratic gubernatorial nominee Rod Blagojevich. This time, Madigan is being more pointed.
"I mean my history in politics, if you were alleged to be connected to the mob, you were done, but life seems to go on," he said.
Giannoulias told me he feels he has satisfactorily answered reporters' questions about the loans.
"I would love to sit down with the speaker at some point," he said. "I've put calls in to his office and see if we could sit down and talk about how we could uh, you know, work together."
But Giannoulias conceded he's stumped about what he can do to bring Madigan on board.
"You know, I don't know," he said. "I'm a political outsider to some of this, you know, silliness."
TheyTookMyNames - October 14, 2006 03:18 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (GangstersInc @ Sep 7 2006, 01:48 AM)|
| Years ago a guy emailed me saying he knew Zizzo and had been in prison with John Cerone. He was a dentist who had committed a crime, he wouldnt tell me what type of crime. Dont have his emails anymore, too bad. He was an old guy, early 70s. |
I have been following the story on Zizzo since it broke. They said the F.B.I. is in on the "search" for Anthony. That's nonsense! He is not listed on any missing persons lists.
I believe the F.B.I. brought him in due to his knowledge of the outfit's doings. Especially now that Joey "The Clown" Lombardo is in custody. Not to mention James Marcello and the rest of his crew that also has been indicted. Zizzo was not included in the indictment but I am sure he is privy to everything that happened. Since he's older and in bad health the indicted gangsters probably wanted him silenced just in case.
I am just surprised at how there has been no more mention of Zizzo in the news. :ph43r:
Hollander - November 11, 2006 01:09 PM (GMT)
McDonnell brokered JFK-mob deal, according to book
November 5, 2006
BY ROBERT C. HERGUTH Staff Reporter
As the Kennedy clan maneuvered to get JFK elected president, they turned to the Chicago mob for help -- and disbarred Chicago attorney Robert McDonnell helped the two sides connect, according to a controversial 1997 book by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.
Mr. McDonnell, according to The Dark Side of Camelot, helped arrange a secret meeting between the future president's father, Joseph Kennedy, and then-Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana. A deal was supposedly struck, with the mob helping turn out the vote.
Much later, Mr. McDonnell married Giancana's blunt-spoken daughter, Antoinette, who today doesn't necessarily buy the story.
Regardless, she allowed that Mr. McDonnell certainly had "a colorful past," which included stints as a World War II soldier, a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. It was in the latter profession that he often was in the news, representing some fearful figures such as alleged mob murderer "Mad Sam" DeStefano.
Despite expressing concern over the years that he might get whacked, when Mr. McDonnell died on Oct. 29, it was from natural causes, his family said. He was 81.
"He liked to live on the edge -- much to the chagrin of my mother and myself," said Mr. McDonnell's brother Greg. "My brother was a rogue, but he was a good rogue."
Mr. McDonnell was raised on the South Side around 82nd and Wood, said his brother. His mother was a housewife; his father worked for a family contracting business. Mr. McDonnell attended St. Ignatius High School, where he played football. He went to the University of Notre Dame and played football there, too, but left before graduating. World War II was under way, and Mr. McDonnell "went to the draft board and said, 'Take my number,' " his brother said.
He ended up as an Army infantry squad leader and was shot several times after helping overtake a German machine gun nest in Italy. A German medic helped treat him, and Mr. McDonnell later intervened on the medic's behalf after the German was captured by Americans and was going to be killed by them, Greg McDonnell said. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, his brother said.
After returning to the U.S., Mr. McDonnell finished school and got a law degree. He served as a Cook County prosecutor before becoming a criminal defense attorney.
He embraced the fast life, especially drinking and gambling, but life wasn't always pleasant. When his River Forest home burned in 1960, he reportedly went into hiding, fearing the blaze was started by the mob. Mr. McDonnell served prison time for trying to bribe a union official, and he was twice disbarred.
Services have been held.
GangstersInc - November 13, 2006 07:12 PM (GMT)
Clown's defense may be no joke
Could argue he dropped out of conspiracy
November 13, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
When Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo was out of prison in the early 1990s, he felt his parole officer was hassling him over his alleged leadership of the Chicago Outfit.
So Lombardo told the parole officer that he would make him the head of the Chicago Outfit, a source familiar with the matter said.
Of course, Lombardo did nothing of the sort, but that didn't stop Lombardo from aggravating his parole officer when the man came by on surprise visits to check up on him.
Had the parole officer called any mob meetings? Lombardo would ask.
More important, was the parole officer getting his take?
Lombardo even took out a newspaper ad saying he wasn't a "made" member and telling anyone who heard his name used in connection with crimes to call his parole officer.
Beneath the clownery of more than a decade ago lie the seeds of a possible defense today.
Charged with murder
Lombardo, 77, is charged along with other reputed top Chicago mobsters in one of the most significant cases ever against the Outfit. Prosecutors place responsibility for 18 mob hits on the organization Lombardo was allegedly a part of for decades.
The feds have charged Lombardo with only one of the murders specifically, that of Daniel Seifert, who was shotgunned in front of his family in 1974 before he could testify against Lombardo in a criminal case. Lombardo will argue he has an alibi for the time the murder happened.
Lombardo was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1983 for conspiring to bribe Sen. Howard Cannon to kill or at least delay legislation deregulating the trucking industry. In 1986, he was sentenced to 16 years -- later reduced to 14 -- for his role in maintaining hidden interests in several Las Vegas casinos and skimming their proceeds. He got out in 1992.
Never a 'made' member?
In the current case against him, Lombardo is expected to deny ever being a "made" member of the mob.
But if the jury doesn't buy that, then Lombardo could argue he clearly dropped out of any criminal conspiracy more than five years ago -- given the ad he took out in 1992.
By law, withdrawing from a conspiracy more than five years before an indictment is brought is a valid defense to not being part of any ongoing conspiracy. The feds charged the case last year.
Lombardo's attorney, Rick Halprin, declined to comment on the defense but when pressed did not deny that Lombardo's defense team is considering a so-called withdrawal defense, among its options.
Rarely used strategy
It's a defense that's rarely used, because the standard for withdrawing from a criminal conspiracy is high -- for instance, calling the cops and telling them you're no longer part of a criminal conspiracy.
It would likely be up to a jury to decide whether Lombardo's actions, such as taking out the ad, met the standard, and whether he truly did drop out -- a claim federal officials are expected to contest vigorously.
The possible defense was suggested in a recent court filing by Lombardo's defense team that sought copies of all his parole and probation material.
Lombardo reportedly has an unblemished record since his release from prison, and that information could be used to buttress his claim that he had nothing to do with organized crime after his release.
GangstersInc - December 2, 2006 07:26 PM (GMT)
SITE UPDATE: Added a profile of Antonino "Joe Batters" Accardo to the site:http://gangstersinc.tripod.com/Accardo.html
puparo - December 2, 2006 08:02 PM (GMT)
i guess you know who the burglars were????
if you don't
i have them still at my files
GangstersInc - December 2, 2006 08:34 PM (GMT)
puparo - December 2, 2006 08:39 PM (GMT)
and they indeed got the "tough" treatment
GangstersInc - December 3, 2006 06:33 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (puparo @ Dec 2 2006, 09:39 PM)|
| and they indeed got the "tough" treatment |
Pup, you think I should've added more details regarding the burglar story in Accardo's profile?
GangstersInc - December 6, 2006 05:16 PM (GMT)
Reputed mob boss seeks relief
By Rudolph Bush
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 5, 2006, 8:12 PM CST
An alleged mob boss complained to a federal judge Tuesday about back pain and asked for more cell space to prepare for trial on racketeering charges involving 18 murders.
Frank Calabrese Sr., 69, told U.S. District Judge James Zagel that he isn't able to concentrate on preparing for the trial because of chronic back pain.
He also complained about overcrowding at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is being held while he awaits trial in May.
Calabrese, an alleged leader of the Chicago outfit, faces trial with 11 co-defendants, including alleged mob leader and killer Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, 77.
Many of the defendants in the case are old enough to collect Social Security, and several have complained to Zagel of a variety of ailments, including bad eyesight, back pain, heart troubles and poor hearing.
Calabrese said his hearing wasn't that good, either.
"I can't hear out of one ear, and the other ear is partially working and partially not," he said. "And anything I could get to help me, I would appreciate."
Zagel and federal prosecutors said that they would look into the matter but stopped short of promising any quick relief.
Zagel said that getting Calabrese into a different room might require putting him on a different floor, which in turn could bring him into contact with other defendants in the case—something federal prosecutors have sought to avoid.
"I would be reluctant to interfere with the separation order," the judge said.
Tribune wire services contributed to this report.
firstname.lastname@example.org Chicago Tribune
Hollander - December 20, 2006 12:34 PM (GMT)
Calabrese Jr. wore wire, mob boss warned
December 20, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Two years before the information became public, the head of the Chicago mob warned that the oldest son of a Chicago mobster was wired up.
In a secretly tape-recorded conversation top Chicago mob boss James Marcello told his half-brother, Michael Marcello, in the visiting room of a federal prison not to talk around Frank Calabrese Jr.
"The oldest guy, the son, he's got one of these things on," James Marcello told his brother, pointing to his chest and mid-section during the Jan. 9, 2003, conversation.
"So, if he comes around be careful," James Marcello warned.
The dialogue is quoted in a recent government filing in what's been called the most significant prosecution of the Outfit in Chicago history. Among those charged include both Marcellos and Frank Calabrese Sr., who is accused of having a role in 13 mob murders out of 18 charged in the case.
It's unclear how James Marcello found out about the closely guarded secret that Frank Calabrese Jr. was cooperating with the feds and had worn a wire on his father. The fact was reported first publicly in the Chicago Sun-Times in February 2005.
Federal authorities had no comment on the matter Tuesday.
Both Marcello brothers and reputed mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. are in federal prison awaiting trial in May.
Frank Calabrese Jr., who is not charged in the current case, put his life on the line by secretly recording his father while they both were in prison on another matter.
Frank Calabrese Sr. allegedly talks about mob murders on the tape-recordings, and his talkativeness has sparked great ill feelings toward him among his fellow mobsters awaiting trial with him at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
Frank Calabrese Sr.'s brother, Nick, is also cooperating, and the Marcellos are heard talking about his cooperation as well. That talk was spurred, in part, after Nick Calabrese did not return home from prison as scheduled in November 2002.
Michael Marcello was visiting his brother in prison in Milan, Mich. They want the secret tape-recordings barred from trial, but prosecutors argue that the brothers had no expectation of privacy while inside the prison and that the conversations are relevant to the case.
Hollander - December 21, 2006 11:30 AM (GMT)
Ice Bar's mob links
December 21, 2006
BY STEVE WARMBIR AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters
Bar owner Anna Marie Amato also pleaded guilty to a felony drug possession case in 2005 but under the special probation she received, she did not have a felony conviction entered on her record, allowing her to keep her liquor license, according to court records and a city spokeswoman.
Amato, 50, has not returned phone messages requesting comment in recent days.
• Posey's shot at dogs cued raid: cops
Amato is the daughter of Kenneth Bratko, a longtime associate of Lombardo and a convicted felon. Bratko was convicted in February 1970 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking part in the hijacking of more than $300,000 in cameras from a truck headed to Melrose Park. Bratko was charged with Ernest "Rocky" Infelice, the late Cicero mob boss whose conviction was later thrown out.
Five years before, Bratko was acquitted along with top Chicago gangster Marshall Caifano in a $48,000 insurance fraud scheme in Chicago.
Bratko was the subject of a confidential 1975 memorandum by an investigator from an Illinois state commission looking into an organized crime takeover of the truck-hauling industry. Bratko was accused of initiating the takeover while he was still in federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., but never charged.
Bratko did not return phone messages on Tuesday.
Pleaded guilty to crystal meth
Bratko's daughter, Amato, and another Bratko family member were among the investors in the mob-tied casino, the Curacao Caribbean Hotel & Casino, according to an investor list from 1989 obtained by the Sun-Times. The casino operation, suspected of washing money for the Outfit, was the subject of an IRS criminal investigation, but no charges resulted, sources said. The hotel later declared bankruptcy.
As for Amato, she pleaded guilty last year to possession of crystal meth after police caught her paying $400 for 3.2 grams of it. Amato received a special two-year probation for first-time drug offenders that allowed her to avoid having the felony entered on her record as long as she successfully completes her probation. Without a felony on her record, the city did not have grounds to revoke her liquor license, said Rosa Escareno, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Business Affairs and Licensing.
Hollander - January 13, 2007 12:42 PM (GMT)
Metro & Tri-State :: printer friendly » email article »
U.S. marshal charged with information leak
January 11, 2007
BY FRANK MAIN AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters
A deputy U.S. marshal was charged today with leaking information about the whereabouts of a Chicago Outfit mobster in witness protection.
John Ambrose is charged with using his official position to obtain and disseminate information relating to the status, substance of cooperation and travel of Nick Calabrese, who was in the U.S. Marshals Service's witness security program.
Nick Calabrese is a key witness in the upcoming Family Secrets mob trial, scheduled to begin in May. Calabrese is the brother of Frank Calabrese Sr., a man charged in 13 mob hits and one of the top mobsters on trial in the case.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported in September that Ambrose was placed on administrative leave while federal authorities investigated the allegations.
The deputy, a member of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, was required to surrender his badge and gun, sources said.
In 2005, federal authorities charged 14 people in the sweeping mob indictment. The investigation, which is continuing, pinned 18 previously unsolved murders on the Chicago Outfit.
Ambrose has spearheaded several high-profile fugitive arrests, including the capture of an Italian mobster living in the west suburbs and a Chicago street gang member named as one of the country's 15 most-wanted fugitives.
Hollander - January 16, 2007 11:15 AM (GMT)
Deputy U.S. marshal charged with mob ties
Federal officer accused of leaking information to mob figures about witness
The Associated Press
CHICAGO - A federal deputy marshal was charged Thursday with leaking information about a reputed mobster’s cooperation with prosecutors as they investigated the top echelon of Chicago’s organized crime family.
John Thomas Ambrose, 38, a former supervisory inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, surrendered Thursday at the FBI’s Chicago office, officials said.
Ambrose is accused of revealing information concerning the cooperation and travel plans of Nicholas Calabrese, expected to be a key witness in the government’s Operation Family Secrets murder conspiracy case.
Ambrose appeared briefly before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason, who released him on a $50,000 unsecured bond and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Jan. 30. Ambrose declined to comment as he left the courtroom, but defense attorney Francis C. Lipuma told reporters that his client denies violating the law and plans to go to trial.
“John Ambrose is not connected to the mob at all,” Lipuma said.
Prosecutors said Ambrose told them in a Sept. 6 interview that he passed the information to an associate of reputed mob boss John DiFronzo in hopes of getting information on the whereabouts of organized crime figure Joseph Lombardo, a fugitive at the time.
Lipuma said the government’s claim that Ambrose wanted to ingratiate himself to DiFronzo was based on “an FBI agent’s impressions” and was not what Ambrose said.
Lombardo, among those charged in the Operation Family Secrets indictment, was subsequently captured and is due to stand trial in May.
Calabrese, 63, of Chicago, is among 15 defendants charged in a sweeping indictment alleging a long-term conspiracy by Chicago mobsters to commit at least 18 murders.
The victim include Tony Spilotro, the mob’s one-time man in Las Vegas, who was beaten to death and buried in a corn field.
Gary Shapiro, the first assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, said that the alleged leak “constitutes an egregious breach of his law enforcement duties” but that there is no evidence Calabrese or other witnesses were ever in danger.
Ambrose has been on leave since September. He is charged with theft of government property, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Hollander - January 17, 2007 12:28 PM (GMT)
'I didn't do anything wrong'
Former cop denies passing info to reputed mobster
January 17, 2007
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter
Speaking publicly for the first time, a former cop accused of receiving sensitive information about the mob from a deputy U.S. marshal denied he did anything wrong.
William Guide became agitated Tuesday when asked if he passed on to a reputed mobster sensitive information he got from deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose.
"I didn't do anything," an emphatic Guide told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday. "I didn't do anything wrong. You don't know the whole story. You're making me out to be the bad guy in this whole thing."
Guide was responding to a story in Tuesday's Sun-Times in which Ambrose's lawyer, Frank Lipuma, said if the government's allegations were true, Guide "may or may not have taken advantage of Mr. Ambrose."
Ambrose, 38, was charged last week with theft of information after the government said he leaked confidential material about protected mob witness Nick Calabrese to "Individual A." Sources say that is Guide. Guide has not been charged in the case.
His lawyer, Rick Beuke, said Guide looks at Ambrose as a son. Beuke said he doesn't believe there was anything sinister going on between Ambrose and Guide, two longtime friends.
If Ambrose talked about anything sensitive, he may have just been bragging, Beuke said.
"He wanted to impress Guide like he'd want to impress a father," Beuke said. "It's like a kid coming home and saying: 'Dad, I hit a home run.' "
Ambrose twice briefly guarded Calabrese, who is set to testify in a mob trial this spring, when he was in Chicago. Shortly after, the feds say Ambrose revealed to Guide confidential facts he obtained from a file on Calabrese.
That information made its way to mobsters, the government alleges. The feds released transcripts of prison surveillance tapes in which reputed mobsters -- Jimmy and Michael Marcello -- can be heard discussing specifics about Calabrese's movements in Chicago and his cooperation. In coded language, they refer to both Guide and Ambrose, the FBI said. Information about Calabrese came from a file Ambrose had accessed, the feds allege.
Served time with DiFronzo
The Marcellos refer to getting information from the "baby-sitter," whose father was a cop convicted in the Marquette 10. Federal authorities say that's specific information identifying Ambrose.
They allege that a third party passed the information to mobsters and do not allege that Ambrose disclosed sensitive information intending it to go to the mob.
Ambrose denies wrongdoing.
Guide briefly served prison time with reputed mobster John "No Nose" DiFronzo.
Close friends for years
Guide was a Chicago Police officer when he was convicted in the Marquette 10 scandal in the 1980s along with Ambrose's father, Thomas. Thomas Ambrose died in prison at age 37. Since then, Guide and John Ambrose have been close friends, talk often and share a love for wrestling, both of their attorneys said.
"John was seeking out Bill's approval. He wanted Bill to be proud of him as a marshal," Beuke said.
Beuke said Guide and DiFronzo know each other. But he doesn't believe there's an ongoing friendship.
Beuke said Guide, a South Sider, runs a pizza business and is too busy working to be a mob associate.
"I don't think there's any evidence of Bill passing along any information to the mob," Beuke said.
Hollander - January 17, 2007 03:36 PM (GMT)
Veteran lawman accused of leaking info to the mob
By Chuck Goudie
January 11, 2007 - A deputy US marshal is charged with revealing information about a mob informant in the witness protection program. The ABC7 I-Team has learned there are serious questions about the deputy's background. He has family ties to the Marquette 10 Chicago police scandal back in the 1980s.
The deputy charged is John Thomas Ambrose. His father Tom Ambrose served prison time in the Marquette 10 police scandal.
There is a hit movie out right now called "The Departed" starring Jack Nicholson as a mob boss. It centers on a cop who is actually working for the mob. It is fictional story. But in Chicago that same scenario is playing out in real life, with a 9-year veteran lawman accused of helping the outfit by secretly leaking information that might have compromised the biggest outfit case in Chicago in 20 years.
"No system is perfect. Much of what we do depends on trust and confidence and honor," said Gary Shapiro, US. state's attorney.
According to federal prosecutors, 38-year-old John Thomas Ambrose broke the trust, compromised that confidence and dishonored his oath to uphold the law. Ambrose appeared Thursday afternoon before US Magistrate Michael Mason on federal theft charges.
According to the FBI, Ambrose fed Chicago organized crime bosses, including Jimmy "the Man" Marcello, a steady diet of "highly sensitive, confidential information" about a key witness in the federal investigation of more than a dozen unsolved Chicago mob killings.
"The breach could have put at risk the life of one of the most important witnesses ever developed in Chicago against the Chicago Outfit. It could have put at risk US Marshal's, and family members of that witness," said Robert Grant, FBI special agent in charge.
Conversations between Marcello and his brother at the federal prison in Milan, Michigan, had been secretly recorded by the FBI. The conversations included coded references to "the status, substance of cooperation and travel" of Nicholas Calabrese, a defendant and key witness in the FBI's Operation Family Secrets.
Federal agents say they had to break the mob code, deciphering that Ambrose was "the babysitter." The FBI was "polizia." Mob leader Joey "the Clown" Lombardo was Pai-Achi, the name of a clown in a famous Italian opera. The Spilotro brothers who had been tortured and buried alive in a cornfield were "shivago," and the code for wife, "moolieri."
Ambrose's lawyer contends, he's no hoodlum.
"He is not connected to the mob at all. It rests on impressions and opinions of an FBI agent who wrote that affidavit. She said so herself and she is interpreting what they are saying," said Frank Lipuma, Ambrose's attorney.
Ambrose's father Thomas was a disgraced Chicago cop, a key figure convicted in the Marquette 10 police corruption case 20 years ago.
Authorities believe that while the father was serving time at the downstate Marion penitentiary, he renewed a boyhood friendship with Chicago mob king John "No Nose" DiFronzo , and that after Thomas Ambrose died, his son john, the deputy US marshal, struck up a relationship with DiFronzo , all leading to questions about why Ambrose was hired in the first place.
When interviewed by the FBI, Ambrose said he understood he made a mistake but that his intention was to ingratiate himself to DiFronzo and others to help his career. He thought they might help him locate fugitives including the recently captured Joey "the Clown" Lombardo.
Ambrose has been on leave from the US Marshal's Office since September and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. He is out on $50,000 bond.
Hollander - January 22, 2007 12:35 PM (GMT)
January 22, 2007
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
The mob hit men were under the gun -- literally -- as they exited the brown Ford LTD and approached their target in front of the His 'N Mine Lounge in Cicero.
One of them, Nick Calabrese, felt he had a choice. Either kill the intended victim, Richard Ortiz, an alleged dope peddler who had crossed the mob -- or be killed himself.
Nearby, in the car he just left, sat his brother, Frank Calabrese Sr., with a gun aimed out the window. Frank Calabrese Sr. was providing cover for the hit men.
He could just as easily mow them down if they froze on the job.
Nick Calabrese had no doubt his brother would do it if he didn't complete the job, according to federal court testimony.
It was not a new feeling for Nick Calabrese. He and other family members often worried that Frank Calabrese Sr. was going to kill them. In fact, Frank Calabrese Sr. instilled fear and terror into his family every day.
Interviews with friends and acquaintances of the family and law enforcement sources along with a review of court records provide fresh details on life in the Calabrese family.
The stereotype of the mobster -- whether it's Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone -- is that while he does business brutally, he treats his family with honor and respect.
Calabrese Sr. shattered that perception, according to interviews and court records.
2 in family to testify
In the 1983 murder of Ortiz, the victim had been stalked for months. Nick Calabrese had called off one hit attempt because he believed it was too risky. But rather than tell his brother the truth and incur his wrath, he told him another hit man, James DiForti, froze during the job.
Frank Calabrese Sr. told Nick Calabrese he should have killed Ortiz anyway.
And then Frank Calabrese Sr. told his brother he should have killed DiForti, as well.
Such brutality and ruthlessness may help explain why Calabrese Sr. has not one but two family members cooperating against him in a case that has been called the most important mob prosecution in Chicago history.
The investigation is called Family Secrets, and it indeed will reveal some of the deepest family secrets of the Chicago Outfit.
But underlying the case are other family secrets -- those of the Calabrese family -- that many never saw but that still haunt the family.
At the trial starting in May, Nick Calabrese will testify about the mob killings he and his brother went out on together, such as the Ortiz killing. In that case, Nick Calabrese and DiForti went through with the hit at the His 'N Mine.
Calabrese Sr.'s son Frank Jr. was less involved in the mob life and has gone clean. He will tell jurors about the conversations he had with his father as they walked the yard while in prison together on another case in 1999 -- conversations he secretly recorded at great risk to himself to ensure his father never saw freedom again.
In those conversations, Calabrese Sr. may have believed he was advising his son on mob life and planting the seeds with him to continue the Calabrese legacy in the Outfit.
Instead, he may have been sowing his own destruction.
Frank Calabrese Sr. is even recorded once on tape telling his son he would send "his blessing" if other top mobsters determined his brother Nick was cooperating and had him killed.
How Frank Calabrese Sr. treated his children became a sore point between Calabrese Sr. and his brother Nick. The tension reached a high point during the first federal case against them in 1995, according to law enforcement sources.
Both sent to prison
While Frank Sr. and Nick had deep involvement in their street crew, Frank Jr., had much less involvement, while his son Kurt's role was virtually nonexistent.
Nick Calabrese felt his brother could have better looked out for his sons in the case and worked to reduce any chance of prison time for the two young men. But in the end, both went to prison. While Calabrese Sr. was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison, son Frank got 57 months and Kurt got 2 years.
When Frank Calabrese Jr. and his younger brother, Kurt, were growing up in Elmwood Park, their childhood, from the outside, seemed normal and all-American, according to people who know them.
They lived in a tight-knit, Italian-American neighborhood, going to school at John Mills Elementary and to what was then Holy Cross High School.
In the community, Frank Calabrese Sr. worked to portray himself as a great father, one who was always friendly with the neighborhood kids.
Inside the home, though, was a radically different story.
Calabrese Sr. would at times erupt in rages, even over the smallest matters, and scream like a maniac at his two sons, according to sources who know the family. Following the humiliation would come the beatings, with Kurt Calabrese often taking the worst of it.
It was a reign of terror that left both sons dreading the time their father came home every day. The abuse continued into adulthood.
When Kurt Calabrese, for instance, got married in the early 1990s, the matter was not a cause of celebration for his father.
Kurt was seeing the granddaughter of Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra, a brutal mobster who was Calabrese Sr.'s mentor in the mob.
Neither Calabrese Sr. nor LaPietra wanted the two young people to see each other, but the two fell in love and secretly got married.
On his wedding night, Kurt Calabrese broke the news to his father while they were sitting down at a restaurant in the west suburbs.
Calabrese Sr. was stunned that his son would disobey him and punched him in the face.
Fearing for his life, Kurt Calabrese hightailed it out of the restaurant and drove off. The two engaged in a high-speed chase, with Kurt Calabrese eventually eluding him.
Chicago political operative Frank Coconate, a friend of Frank Jr.'s, pointed to that confrontation as an example of the price the family paid for Calabrese Sr.'s decisions.
"That's what the Outfit does, it makes you choose between them and your family," Coconate said. Frank Calabrese Sr. "chose the mob and threw his family in the gutter."
Despite often taking the worst of the abuse, Kurt Calabrese is not cooperating in the case, law enforcement sources said.
Calabrese Sr.'s attorney Joseph Lopez denied that his client ever abused his children and said the elder Calabrese loves both sons dearly.
But Lopez also went on the attack on Frank Calabrese Jr., calling him a con artist who "could sell air conditioners to Eskimos."
Calabrese Jr., who is believed to be living out of state, put his life on the line by secry recording his father, according to court testimony and law enforcement sources. FBI agents did not have the ability to listen in on the conversations as they happened, and if his father attacked him, agents -- whose presence at the prison was a secret -- were not close enough to protect him, law enforcement sources have said. Calabrese Jr.'s key reason for cooperating with the government was to keep his father locked up for good, sources said.
People who associated with Calabrese Sr. say no one was safe from his wrath. Even having breakfast at a restaurant with Calabrese Sr. could turn into a free-for-all. Calabrese Sr. would be very particular about his order.
If the waitress should make an error, the mobster would erupt in a fury, spewing obscenities.
Calabrese Sr.'s demanding nature has not mellowed with age.
Well-known Chicago private investigator Ernie Rizzo learned that firsthand when Calabrese Sr. hired him last year to help him prepare for trial, according to a source familiar with Rizzo's account.
Calabrese Sr.'s trial strategy is to try to dig up dirt on his son Frank Jr. in an attempt to undermine his testimony.
Wanted phone numbers
It's unclear how attacking the son, though, will counter Calabrese's Sr. own words on hours of secretly recorded conversations in which he discusses mob hits. His attorney has suggested in court that Calabrese Sr. was merely bragging about things he actually never took part in.
Calabrese Sr. wanted Rizzo's office number. And his cell phone numbers. Plus his home phone number. And the phone numbers of any bars where he hung out.
Calabrese Sr. also was frustrated with his attorney, Lopez, because Lopez allegedly wasn't taking his calls -- or calls from his representatives -- as often as Calabrese Sr. wanted.
So Calabrese Sr. wanted to find out if Rizzo had better luck with Lopez. Calabrese Sr. wanted Rizzo to keep a log on how many phone calls it took before the attorney answered Rizzo's calls.
That way, Calabrese Sr. would have something to badger Lopez about.
Calabrese Sr. "orders people around like a hit man," Rizzo would say, according to the source.
The thing that disturbed Rizzo most was that Calabrese Sr. would try to get to meet him alone, away from his lawyer, at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the Loop, where Calabrese Sr. is being held. The one-on-one meeting never took place.
Hollander - January 29, 2007 12:26 PM (GMT)
The mobster who won't die
Tourists love Capone sites, but city cringes at gang legacy
January 28, 2007
BY DON BABWIN
Al Capone refuses to be rubbed out.
Chicago officials shun any association with the world's most famous gangster, whose Prohibition-era exploits made his name synonymous with the city. But 60 years after his death, they still can't run him out of town.
Visitors from all over the world come searching for anything to do with Capone, who died Jan. 25, 1947.
'I'm just fascinated by it all'
They drive by his house. They leave flowers, coins and cigars at his grave. They take pictures of places associated with him -- never mind that everything from hotels where he ran his criminal empire to the garage where his henchmen carried out the St. Valentine's Day massacre are long gone.
''It just seems to be that era, the mobsters, gun fights . . . I'm just fascinated by it all,'' said Nancy Spranger, of Fenton, Mich., before stepping on an Untouchable Tours bus -- complete with fake bullet holes -- to see sites tied to Chicago's gangland past.
Much of the mobster's history, though, is left to their imagination because Chicago officials have made little effort to preserve or promote sites tied to his legacy.
''Anything that glorifies violence, we are not interested in,'' said Dorothy Coyle, director of the city's office of tourism.
For decades, city officials have rebuffed preservationists' pleas to spare buildings associated with the mobster. In the 1980s, they gunned down an effort to designate Capone's house on the South Side as a national historic landmark.
A short-lived mobster-themed entertainment center/ museum called ''Capone's Chicago'' was greeted with loud complaints that it insulted Italian Americans and romanticized a cold-blooded killer.
Jonathan Fine, president of Preservation Chicago, understands why the city wouldn't want reminders of Capone, but he doesn't believe there is a conspiracy to wipe out those sites.
Even so, he said, each teardown destroys a bit of the city's history. ''Destroying history is the most shameful legacy of all,'' Fine said. ''You can't erase it, so you might as well embrace it.''
Laurence Bergreen found Chicago officials far from receptive when he was researching his 1994 book, Capone: The Man and the Era.
''They rebuffed me: 'Why don't you write about the symphony, architecture, Mayor Daley?' '' he recalled.
John Binder, author of The Chicago Outfit, thinks that the lingering influence of organized crime in Chicago has the city dead set against anything that smacks of mobsters. ''It's not that they want you to forget about the past; they want you to forget about the present,'' he said a few days before a deputy federal marshal was arrested on charges that he fed information about an informant to the mob.
''There has been a strong hostility of the city to this kind of history,'' Binder said. ''They don't like this image of Chicago.''
Yet many people still are drawn to the city's mobster past.
Capone is the subject of 50,000 hits a month on the Chicago History Museum's Web site -- five times the number of inquiries about the Great Chicago Fire and ''by far the number 1 hit on our Web site,'' museum curator John Russick said.
Untouchable Tours owner Don Fielding said he has been able to stay in business for 18 years -- longer than Capone was around, he'll remind you -- because ''people like the idea of somebody getting away with something.''
Capone surely did -- for a while -- raking in tens of millions of dollars as head of a massive bootlegging, prostitution and gambling operation during Prohibition. Widely suspected in a number of murders but never charged, Capone, nicknamed ''Scarface,'' was brought down by federal income tax evasion charges and, ultimately, his own lifestyle.
After a trial in which his men tried to bribe jurors, Capone was convicted and spent seven years in federal prison. He died in 1947, his mind ravaged by syphilis.
''He's kind of been elevated to this status as the quintessential example of [the] American gangster,'' Russick said.
Thanks to countless films, television shows and books, he has stayed there.
''You hear somebody say, 'This guy's a regular Al Capone,' you don't need to say another word about the guy,'' said Robert Schoenberg, author of the book Mr. Capone. ''He's infected the national consciousness,'' Schoenberg said.
Union Station a big draw
Make that international consciousness. Tourists from Europe and Asia are particularly interested in Capone and love to see and hear about the places where his torpedoes pumped his enemies full of lead, tour guides say.
''European tourists who watch a lot of American gangster show reruns, they are fascinated,'' said guide Michael LaRusso Reis. ''The French and the Italians love to go to Union Station in Chicago where they filmed the baby carriage scene,'' in ''The Untouchables.''
About the only thing that has changed, guides say, is tourists don't pretend to shoot imaginary tommy guns as much as they used to.
Hollander - February 1, 2007 01:52 PM (GMT)
Capone's neglected place in the sun
February 1, 2007
BY MARK BROWN Sun-Times Columnist
MIAMI -- There's not a drop of water in the grand 30-by-60-foot swimming pool in the backyard of the Palm Island house where Al Capone made his home, and the landscapers don't seem to have made a visit here in many a decade.
Inside the house, the plumbing hasn't been updated since a 29-year-old Capone bought it from a member of the Anheuser-Busch family in 1928, just eight years after it was built. The walls are cracked, and the hardwood floors are long overdue for refinishing.
But if you stand in the far back corner of the yard near the boat dock, Biscayne Bay lapping at your heels, you can look across that pool and scraggly lawn toward the two-story stucco house and imagine the time when this was Capone's Florida getaway -- the place where he played the misunderstood celebrity bootlegger, and later where he came to die.
And if you like the view, it could be all yours for $6.8 million. "It's basically the same as when he lived there," said listing agent Barbara Hagen.
Entertained pols, boxer Dempsey
Even though professional football was never known to be one of his sporting "enthusiasms" (a movie line by the way that was never known to pass from Capone's lips), there was no missing an opportunity Wednesday to use my Super Bowl trip to pay a visit to Scarface's house, especially with it being on the market.
Henry "Hank" Morrison, a retired airline pilot, has decided he's ready to part with the place he has owned for 35 years, having purchased it for $56,000, long before 300,000-square-foot parcels of waterfront property in Miami Beach were gold mines.
I wrote the other day about how Chicago and Miami have been an uneasy fit over the years, but for better or worse, Capone is our shared piece of history.
Unlike most snowbirds who have come here over the years to escape the cold, Capone came here to escape the heat -- the kind applied by law enforcement and criminal adversaries. I'm sure he liked the weather, too, and some say he liked to keep an eye on his liquor shipments from the Bahamas, though others maintain he mostly kept his nose clean here because some of the locals tried to put the heat on him, too.
This is where Capone was hiding in plain sight during the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. It's where he entertained local politicians and held forth to the press on his innocence. It is said he frequently hosted boxing great Jack Dempsey. Miami was the jumping-off point for Capone's frequent visits to Havana.
For some reason, Capone didn't give Miami a rat-tat-tat reputation. That would come later. But he certainly helped establish it as a place for northern mobsters to keep a second home.
Palm Island, where Capone's compound is located, is a man-made spit of land connected to the mainland by the MacArthur Causeway. To enter the island, you pass through a gated checkpoint with a guard shack. The guard raised the gate without asking our business.
Capone's house has its own guardhouse, an addition built by Capone, as were the pool and a pool house, where Morrison has tenants. The address is plainly marked. Flowering bougainvillea line a front privacy wall, also added by Capone. At least, I think it was bougainvillea. Florida writers always write about bougainvillea.
Died there at 48
Inside the compound, we found a long-neglected fish pond made from coral.
The four-bedroom, three-bath house is not the mansion you might expect for $6.8 million, the key there being location, location, location.
If you're going to buy it, though, you'd better like the look of what real estate agent Hagen of Majestic Properties calls "very old Miami Beach," because the house is protected as historically significant -- not because of its connection to Capone but because of the architectural significance of its pre-war construction.
"No, you cannot tear it down," Hagen said firmly.
Hagen has a real estate agent'sf accenting the positive. "It hasn't been spoiled," she says of the overdue updates, conceding that the new owner is "going to need to bring it into today."
She doesn't hide from the Capone history either. She says it's not much of a factor with most potential buyers.
Capone came here pretty much for good after his 1939 release from Alcatraz, except for a futile hospital stay to try to beat the syphilis that ravaged his brain and left him a broken man. He died 60 years ago last week in the upstairs front bedroom at 48.
As we left, I noticed the only detail that may help mark this as Capone's house, a hidden panel in the gate door, the kind they had in the speakeasies to check you out before granting admittance. The panel was swung open, stuck in that position from paint and humidity. A tiny lizard peeked through the opening, as if to ask, "What's the password?"
GangstersInc - February 9, 2007 04:34 PM (GMT)
Deputy marshal pleads not guilty
February 1, 2007
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Almost 24 years ago to the day Wednesday, crooked Chicago cop Thomas Ambrose was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shaking down drug dealers by U.S. District Judge John Grady.
On Wednesday, the cop's son, federal Deputy Marshal John Ambrose, in a random twist of fate, faced the same federal judge on his own charges.
Dad died in prison
John Ambrose, 38, pleaded not guilty to charges that he leaked information about a key government witness in the upcoming Family Secrets mob trial involving 18 unsolved mob murders.
The information about witness Nick Calabrese eventually wound up in the hands of top Chicago mobster James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, who was in prison at the time and desperate to learn if Calabrese was cooperating against him.
Calabrese, who the feds say confessed to 16 mob murders, is cooperating against Marcello and Calabrese's own brother, brutal loan shark and alleged mob killer Frank Calabrese, who is in prison awaiting trial.
Ambrose's attorney, Frank Lipuma, had no comment on Grady's hearing the case. Ambrose will fight the charges at trial.
Ambrose is said to think that his father wasn't treated fairly throughout the criminal justice process.
Former Chicago Police Officer Thomas Ambrose was one of the infamous Marquette 10 cops who took bribes from heroin dealers to allow their empires to run. Thomas Ambrose later died in prison.
GangstersInc - February 9, 2007 04:37 PM (GMT)
George Knapp, Investigative Reporter
I-Team Exclusive: Mob Hitman Secrets, Part 2
Check out videoclips at:http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6049132
Feb 8, 2007 12:22 AM
The Mafia bosses who once controlled Las Vegas are long gone, but their ghosts are about to be resurrected. Federal prosecutors in Chicago are working on one of the largest, and perhaps last, trials of organized crime kingpins in America, targeting some of the men who pulled the strings in Las Vegas during the darkest days of mob influence in the city.
At least 18 unsolved gangland murders could finally be solved. One former Las Vegas mobster says he's ready to tell the court what he knows about those crimes. Frank Cullotta has been in hiding for 25 years but he surfaced long enough to give an exclusive interview to the I-Team's George Knapp.
George Knapp: "Do you think of yourself as a hitman?"
Frank Cullotta: "Not really. I guess if you kill one person you're a hitman. I don't think of myself as a hitman."
But hitman or not, Frank Cullotta did kill people on orders from the mob. He murdered a man named Jerry Lisner in this house on Rawhide and left the body in the swimming pool. Cullotta won't say how many others he may have killed, but it's more than just Lisner.
When things began to unravel for the mob in Las Vegas, everyone was expendable, even the other members of the Hole in the Wall Gang, like Ernie Devino and Joe Blasko, both of who were slated for death. And the boss himself, tough Tony Spilotro, who was beaten to death in front of his brother Michael and then both were dumped in a cornfield. Even though Spilotro okayed a hit on his pal Cullotta, Cullotta still winces when he thinks of the brutal way Spilotro died.
Frank Cullotta said, "I know that Tony was a violent person himself and that he killed a lot of people and hurt a lot of people, but I grew up with this guy. I just don't think if I had to kill him, I could kill him that way. I'da just shot him."
The murder of the Spilotro brothers is one of the charges now facing 14 Mafia figures in Chicago, including longtime mob kingpin Joey The Clown Lombardo, the boss to whom Spilotro reported. Cullotta thinks Lombardo had to okay the Spilotro murders, as well as the murder of the mobster who botched the burial of the bodies. He's pretty sure a Mafia soldier named Al Tocco was also in on the hit and that the upcoming trial just might be the end of the line for the Chicago mob.
Frank Cullotta said, "I would think it's the end. I don't think it will ever be as strong or as organized as it was."
What about certain Las Vegas mysteries? Who tried to kill Frank Lefty Rosenthal by planting a bomb under his car on Sahara Avenue?
Contrary to law enforcement suspicions, Cullotta says it wasn't Spilotro for the simple reason that if Tough Tony had done it, Lefty wouldn't have escaped. What about their former lawyer, now Mayor Oscar Goodman? Might he have anything to fear from a tell-all book by Cullotta? Did he ever cross the line?
Cullotta said, "Nah, he's just got a big mouth. I got nothing to say about him. He's got the right job. He likes everyone to see him and hear him."
For the record, the mayor is no fan of Cullotta's either and says the former gangster is a notorious liar. Former strike force prosecutor Don Campbell who helped turn Cullotta from killer to witness says Cullotta's testimony was critical in the conviction of numerous mob figures, but he scoffs at Cullotta's suggestion that the Hole in the Wall members were modern Robin Hoods who only stole from other crooks.
Don Campbell, former federal prosecutor, said, "Like hell. They were absolute scum of the earth. They would turn on anyone. Themselves. They would rob their own mother. They were despicable human beings."
Cullotta says he's a much different person since going straight. He owns a business in an undisclosed town and says some of his new neighbors have figured out who he is from seeing old TV footage.
Cullotta said, "They know I'm a changed guy. I live a legitimate life. I don't harm nobody. They don't feel uncomfortable around me. As a matter of fact, they feel protected. Don't ask me why."
Cullotta's tell-all book is slated for release in late April. The Chicago mob trial is expected to begin in May.
Hollander - February 14, 2007 11:41 AM (GMT)
Feds may add fleeing charge to 'Joey the Clown,' 'German'
Called a 'parking ticket' compared to other counts
February 14, 2007
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter
Reputed mob killers Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo and Frank "The German" Schweihs have been charged with a slew of serious crimes for their alleged roles in the Chicago Outfit.
On Tuesday, a federal prosecutor announced the two men could face an additional charge -- one that a defense attorney dubbed "a parking ticket" compared to the other allegations against them.
In a move that left some defense attorneys scratching their heads, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitch Mars said Lombardo and Schweihs could face an additional charge of fleeing after they were indicted in 2005 in the case called Operation Family Secrets.
Both men were later captured and are being held without bond.
The new charge would add little to the serious prison penalties the two men face, if they are convicted on the most serious counts against them.
Government 'up to something'
Lombardo's defense attorney, Rick Halprin, downplayed the additional possible fleeing charge, calling it "a parking ticket" compared to the other accusations, including murder.
"The government is obviously up to something, and I'm trying to figure out what it is," Halprin said.
Defense sources speculated that the fleeing charge could be an effort to tie Lombardo to Schweihs, who is currently quite ill, and to the Chicago Outfit overall in recent years.
Counter withdrawal defense?
That could be an attempt to counter a possible defense by Lombardo called a withdrawal defense.
At trial, Lombardo could argue that he was never a "made" member of organized crime and had withdrawn from any conspiracy years before he was charged in the current case -- a valid legal defense.