Octogenarian New England ex-mob boss
convicted of 1993 murder
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[June 23, 2018]
By Nate Raymond
BOSTON (Reuters) - A federal jury on Friday
found a former boss of the New England mob and one of his associates
guilty of the 1993 murder of a nightclub owner whose remains were
discovered buried in Rhode Island two years ago.
Jurors in Boston convicted Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, 84, and
Paul Weadick, 63, of killing club owner Steven DiSarro because they
believed he would cooperate with federal investigators.
The case stemmed from an era when organized crime in Boston was run by
Salemme, who headed the New England family of La Cosa Nostra in the
1990s, and James "Whitey" Bulger, the gangster serving life in prison
whose criminal career was depicted in the 2015 film "Black Mass."
"Today's conviction, in some ways, ends a long and dark chapter in the
history of our city," U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said.
Both men are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 13 and face a mandatory
life prison term after being convicted of murdering a federal witness.
Steven Boozang, Salemme's lawyer, said he was disappointed and plans to
"They were a tough set of facts," Boozang told reporters. "We thought we
had overcome them, but we didn't."
Prosecutors said Salemme had a secret interest in a South Boston music
venue called The Channel, which DiSarro had purchased.
Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, a longtime partner of Bulger's who had
known Salemme since the 1960s, testified during the trial that Salemme
had been concerned DiSarro was speaking to authorities and might
implicate him in criminal activities.
Flemmi, the prosecution's star witness who himself is serving a life
sentence for 10 murders, said he witnessed DiSarro's strangling on May
10, 1993, when he went to Salemme's home to talk to the Mafia boss.
[to top of second column]
L-R: Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, Stephen Flemmi, Francis
Salemme Jr and Luigi Manocchio appear in a U.S. government
surveillance photograph taken in 1993 provided by the U.S.
Attorney's Office in Boston, Massachusetts. U.S. Courtesy U.S.
Attorney's Office/Handout via REUTERS
Flemmi said he saw Salemme's now-deceased son, Frank Jr., strangling
DiSarro as Weadick held his legs and the elder Salemme watched.
Flemmi, 84, said he quickly left because he was concerned Salemme
might be under surveillance. But he said Salemme later told him
DiSarro was killed and that his body was buried at a Rhode Island
Salemme was only charged in 2016 when authorities discovered
DiSarro's remains behind a mill in Providence, Rhode Island.
Boozang, Salemme's lawyer, in his closing argument on Monday called
Flemmi a "sociopath." Boozang contended Flemmi made up the story to
implicate a top organized crime figure and win a potential reduction
in his sentence.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Scott Malone, Richard Chang
and David Gregorio)
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