The final episode in our three-part series on the 1965 murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan. If you haven't listened to the previous episodes, you can listen here:
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Welcome back! At the end of last week’s episode we left off with the indictments of the six men charged in the death of Teddy Deegan. They were Peter Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco, Ronnie Cassesso, Roy French, Henry Tameleo and the government's star witness, Joe Barboza. If you’ve missed the first two parts of Teddy’s story, the links are in the show notes.
After the indictments were returned, the Suffolk County DA Garrett Byrne issued a statement commending the FBI for their work in the case. A memo from the Boston SAC to Hoover noted:
“As a matter of information, this entire case which was presented to the grand jury by DA Byrne was developed through the efforts and able handling of Barboza by SA H. Paul Rico and Dennis M. Condon of the Boston office. They also cooperated fully with DA Byrne in the preparation of this matter for the grand jury. I know that this indictment would not have been possible in any sense of the word if it were not for the efforts of these agents and the FBI at Boston. . . . I further recommend that Supervisor John F. Kehoe who supervised this entire program and was involved deeply in the developments and the planning relative to Barboza and the matters attendant to this indictment be strongly commended for his excellent supervision.”
Before we get into the trial, I want to mention that in January 1968 charges were brought against Ronnie Cassesso, Ralphie Chong Lamattina and Nicky Ventola. The three were accused of offering $50,000 to another prisoner at the Norfolk prison named Robert Glavin to confess to the murder of Teddy. Glavin was doing life already forkilling Wilfred Capalbo in Worcesterwho was a local loan shark back in May of ‘66, but Glavin wasn’t going to play along with the trio. Someone wrote on his tee shirt “Rat = PC” (protective custody). Glavin had to be transferred out of Norfolk.
The court was unable to proceed because of issues with the attorneys’ schedules who were representing each of the men. Glavin would go on to testify at the Deegan murder trial, but then decided to escape. Hefledfrom the Barnstable County jail after sticking a gun in the back of the head of a corrections officer in October of ‘68. Glavin made it out toPortland, Oregonwhere he made a living as a writer for a local publication. His adventure came to an end in December of ‘69 when he was captured in New Haven, CT.
The murdertrial beganon May 27, 1968. Judge Felix Forte presided over the trial.
A Harvard Law grad, Forte had been the judge in the 1956 Brinks trial. Ed McNamara and his FBI team had brought their investigation to a successful conclusion, achieving guilty verdicts for all the men allegedly involved. You’ll recall that their star witness in that case was Specky O’Keefe, who it is now very clear was given a script to memorize and then coached by the Feds.
Forte had been rewarded for his work and gave lectures in Sicily, Italy, and Sardinia afterward. He represented President Kennedy at the 1961 centennial celebration of the unification of Italy, and received a cross of the Cavalier of the Crown of Italy.
We need to FOIA the Brinks case.
Forte had also presided over the travesty that was the 1965 Georgie McLaughlin murder trial. The Feds were planning on similar satisfying results in the Deegan murder trial, and were leaving nothing to chance.
All of the accused had been held without bail except Barboza who was being held by the US Marshals in protective custody including at one point in Fort Knox where one of his guards was then MP John Morris who would later become known for being one of the corrupt FBI handlers of Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi. Tameleo, Salvati, Cassesso and Barboza were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and Limone, Greco and French were charged with the actual murder. One thing that irks me is that in every newspaper article Teddy was referred to as an associate of Georgie McLaughlin as if that was the reason for Teddy’s murder. The early days of the trial were filled with pretrial motions and jury selection. On May 27th, Barbozapleaded guiltyto a conspiracy charge to kill Anthony Stathopoulos. No sentence was imposed by Judge Forte. The other six men were also charged with conspiracy to kill Stats that same day. Barboza faced no further charges in Teddy’s death.
The jury selection process delayed the beginning of the trial until June 29th, one month and a day in total. On the first day the jurors weretaken by busto the murder scene in Chelsea and the Ebb Tide in Revere. OnJuly 1st, the jurors learned that Teddy had been shot a total of six times, and the jury was shown slides of the wounds. Barboza, Stathopoulos and a man who lived near the murder scene were scheduled to testify. Barboza wasfirst to take the stand. He stated that his relationships with the six defendants were both “business and social.” Barboza testified that the murders of Deegan, Hannon and Delaney were ordered by “the office’ referring to Raymond Patriarca because they were the perpetrators of the Puopolo home invasion. According to Barboza’s tale, he met with Peter Limone on January 20, 1965 who told him that “the office” couldn’t allow them to get away with the robbery.
I want to note that Hannon and Delaney were already dead by the time Barboza’s alleged meeting with Limone took place. During Barboza’s testimony he said that the police had found clothing that belonged to the Puopolo family in Hannon’s home which was proof that their murders were justified. I am of the opinion that Barboza and Jimmy Flemmi planted the clothing there to cover up the fact that it was them and Sacramone who committed the robbery.
Barboza also testified that Limone offered him $7500 for the hit on Teddy, but Barboza said he needed to check with Henry Tameleo first before making a decision. The conversation with Tameleo supposedly took place later that month in the Ebb Tide when Tameleo gave his blessing for the hit. How convenient that the conversation didn’t take place at the coin-o-matic. By now the public was aware that there was a wiretap placed in Raymond Patriarca’s office. Barboza said that “the office”owned 20% of the Ebb Tideand since Teddy walked in waving a gun at Barboza that was an offense towards “the office.”
Like they cared!
The only one who cared was Barboza. He was afraid of losing his street rep.
A side note about Henry Tameleo’s interest in the Ebb Tide. On April 15, 1965, a little over a month after Teddy was killed, the wiretap at Raymond Patriarca’s picked up a conversation between Henry and Raymond about the Ebb Tide. Henry told Raymond the Ebb Tide had become a hangout for the local hoodlums, and that he advised that all of them stay out of the club until “the heat is off.”
Well how did that work out? Three months later, Romeo Martin had his last meal there thanks to Barboza.
Ok, back to Barboza’s testimony. He went on to say that he first met Cassesso and Greco in Florida in 1963. Then in February of 1965 he supposedly met with Cassesso and Greco and offered to cut them in on the $7500 fee being paid to him by Limone. According to Barboza’stestimonyRoy French had been robbing with Teddy and had problems with Buddy McLean, so French agreed to set up Teddy in exchange for Barboza squashing Roy’s beef with McLean.
During Barboza’s second day of testimony, he described how he received payment from Limone claiming Limone handed him 7 packets of $1000 each and five $100 bills. The payoff occurred in a car that was parked in the North End not far from the doghouse which was the nickname for Jerry Angiulo’s headquarters. Barboza reported that he told Limone that he and Cassesso were responsible for the hit with the assistance of French luring Teddy to the spot where he was killed. He went on to say that French shot Deegan twice in the back of the head while Greco and Romeo Martin waited inside of the building. Furthermore, Barboza claimed that he, Cassesso and Salvati drove off when they saw a Chelsea police officer approaching their car. The three of them were supposed to kill Stathopoulos. To add to the pile of lies and provide a reason for why Greco’s name was never mentioned before Barboza’s Grand Jury testimony, Barboza said Greco wanted to keep his involvement a secret!
How could anyone sitting on that jury buy anything that came out of that man’s mouth?
Just look at the photos of him and the videos of him are worse, but the court withheld actual evidence so the jurors really only heard Barboza’s version of events. Or rather Rico and Condon’s scripted version of events.
Barboza continuedretellinghis tale claiming they all met at an apartment on Fleet St. to divide up the money that he received from Limone. The tally was $1500 each to Cassesso and Romeo Martin, Salvati and Chico Amico $750 each and $1500 in his own pocket to be split with Greco. According to Barboza, Limone wasn’t upset that Stats got away.
Wrapping up his three days of testimony he added that Roy French reported to him that Stats called atty Al Farese the night Teddy was killed believing Teddy and Roy had been arrested.
He also tried to claim that Farese wasn’t really Stats’ lawyer and lied to the police when they asked him how he knew about Teddy being in Chelsea, claiming attorney-client privilege.
Barboza testified that he was present in Farese’s office with Roy French later and Farese said: “We’re in trouble” because he wasn’t Stats’ lawyer and shouldn’t have claimed a lawyer-client relationship. Barboza claimed that French told Farese that Stats would be taken care of, and Farese replied: “I hope so, because we’ll be in trouble if it isn’t.”
I want to add that Farese and Fitzgerald were law partners in the same office and if one wasn’t available they frequently covered for each other’s clients including Barboza who benefitted from both Farese and Fitzgerald’s counsel.
You’ll recall that Al Farese had represented Barboza on multiple charges over the years.
After the July 4th break, the cross examination of Barboza began. While on the stand on July 5th, Barboza told Atty. Ronald Chisholm that he was becomingconfusedby the defense counsels’ questioning.
Because he was a fucking liar! You can’t keep track of lies, but the court allowed the charade to continue.
Well, it was Forte presiding, after all! Ronnie Chisholm dragged out a calendar, and got Barboza to revise his testimony about his trip to Florida. Chisholm kept pounding away at Barboza, getting Barboza to admit that he, his wife and child were living in protective custody guarded by the US Marshals.
Chisholm also tripped Barboza upwhen he asked offhandedly: “Didn’t [Deegan] pull a gun on you once?”
Barboza sat forward on the stand and barked: “Mr. Chisholm, no one pulled a gun on me.”
But Ronnie asked again: “Didn’t Mr. Deegan pull a gun on you at the Ebb Tide three weeks before, and make you back down?”
Barboza regained control and calmly answered: “Definitely not.”
The man was a liar and couldn’t stand the fact that wiry Teddy had the balls to not only pull a gun on Barboza, but do it in the ebb Tide in front of Barboza’s crew!
Teddy had only started carrying not six months prior. But that first set from Cassesso didn’t even work! Maybe he’d gotten a new set by then.
The trial continued on Saturday, with Limone’s attorney,Robert Stanziani beginning his questioning of Barboza. Stanziani called the jury’s attention to the fact that Barboza had lifted his cup of water with his left hand. Which was significant because ballistics had shown that one of Deegan’s murderers was left-handed.
Barboza told Chisholm and Stanziani that he was “going all the way” regardless of the consequences to provide the state’s case. “I don’t care now,” he said.
At one point, Barboza shot out his hand, pointing it at Stanziani and insisting, “I’m telling the truth!”
Grieco’s attorney, Lawrence O’Donnell, accused the DA of leading the witness through his objections. Judge Forte, of course, sided with the DA.
Stanzianicontinued grilling Barboza on Monday. Ronald Chisholm was chastised by the Judge for making comments during Stanziani’s questioning. Barboza asked Stanziani to step away from him several times when Stanziani was showing him letters Barboza had written to Virginia Tresca, a woman who lived in Somerville who he was keeping company with.
The following day it was atty. O’Donnell’s turn tocross examineBarboza. He testified that he orchestrated the murder but didn’t participate in it or witness the shooting. Barboza stepped off of the witness stand in order to show how the events unfolded using a board and props. The car and flag were green, and O’Donnell told Barboza that he hoped he wasn’t offended by the color green. Barboza asked, “Why should I be offended? I’ve got some good Irish friends.” O’Donnell then asked, “Was Teddy Deegan one of them?” But Barboza didn’t respond. The end of the cross examination came when O’Donnell attempted to question Barboza about his conversion to Judaism in 1964. DA Zalkind objected and Judge Forte brought the session to an end.
O’Donnell had one more day to question Barboza. It was hiseighth dayon the stand, and tempers were flaring. One question thrown at Barboza was if Mission Impossible was his favorite TV show. Barboza said, “it used to be but now my favorite is the FBI.” When O’Donnell asked him about his wife, Clare Cohen, Barboza lost it and shouted, “You don’t like Jews, do you?” O’Donnell denied Barboza’s accusation saying he’d defended people of all creeds and colors in his work as a public defender. Nothing pertinent came out of that day's testimony.
On July 11th, Atty. Joseph Balliro finally got his chanceto interrogateBarboza. Barboza stated that he agreed to orchestrate teddy’s murder in an effort to increase his status with the LCN, and that the money meant nothing to him. He described Peter Limone as a high ranking LCN member. There was no shortage of drama during their exchange either. Barboza asked why Balliro was looking at him that way. Balliro replied, “May the record show it was a look of disgust.” Not to be one upped, Barboza shot back, “ No it wasn’t! You’re trying to irritate me.”
The next day, State Police Ballistics Expert, Captain John Collins took the stand to give details about the three guns that were used to kill Teddy. Captain Collins testified under cross examination by Balliro that there was the possibility that four guns, three .45s and a .38 had been used instead of three. Chelsea Police CaptainJoseph Kozlowskialso took the stand. Balliro requested that Kozlowski submit the written reports of the night Teddy was killed.
The Chelsea police failed to provide the original report and instead submitted a new one. In Kozlowski’s revised statement, he claimed that he saw Romeo Martin’s car at 10 pm on the night of March 12, 1965, but under cross by Balliro he stated it was closer to 9 pm which matched the initial reports. When questioned by Balliro why he had changed his testimony to correspond with Barboza’s testimony, Kozlowski stated that after conferring with two other officers in 1966 it “refreshed” his memory.
Who were the two officers SAs Rico and Condon?
They were probably blackmailing Kozlowski too!
Surely they had no shortage of “kompromat” on more than a few people.
For our listeners who aren’t familiar with the Russian wordkompromat, it translates to compromising material used to coerce politicians, businessmen and public figures. The Russians aren’t the only ones who used it, Hoover was known to have endless files ofkompromaton individuals.
We’ll have to do a bonus episode about who Hoover maintained surveillance on.
Oh! That will be a good one! Commies, MLK, and other politicians.
As we mentioned in previous episode, this is what Kozlowski’s original report said:
Chelsea Captain Joseph Kozlowski was around Fourth Street at about 9:30 P.M. and saw a red car with the motor running and three men inside. The rear license plate was obstructed, but it would later be revealed that it was Romeo Martin’s car. Officer Kozlowski approached the driver and the driver sped off. He described the driver as Romeo Martin. The man in the back seat was “stocky with dark hair and a bald spot in the center of his head.”
That description was clearly Jimmy Flemmi but obviously Barboza and the Feds had to make sure that Jimmy’s name was left out of the case entirely. To solve this problem, Barboza told the jury that Joe Salvati was dressed in a disguise that included a wig that made him appear bald.
Prior to his testimony, Stathopoulos was asked to identify Louis Greco as one of the men at the scene of the Deegan murder. According to Stathopoulos, prosecutor Jack Zalkind pressed him to testify that Louis Greco was the other man who came out of the alley with Roy French. Stathopoulos told Zalkind that he was not able to identify the second man.
Zalkind then informed Stathopoulos that he did not have to be 100% certain, but that 99% certainty was sufficient. Stathopoulos was aware that the individual who came out of the alley was carrying a gun in his right hand, and that he did not have a limp. Later, Stathopoulos was told that Greco was left-handed, and that he did have a limp. When Stathopoulos asked Zalkind how he would be able to identify Greco in court he was provided the order of seating for the defendants. In Stathopoulos's opinion, both Jack Zalkind and Detective John Doyle knew that Louis Greco was not at the scene of the Deegan murder, but “they wanted him bad.”
Finally onJuly 12th, Anthony Stathopoulos took the stand as a prosecution witness. He began his testimony stating that a Chelsea Policeman was in on the burglary that Teddy and Roy French were supposed to participate in. The unnamed policeman was the person who left the door unlocked to the Beneficial Finance Co. where Teddy was killed. Stats said he first learned about the Chelsea score from the proprietor of a dairy shop named Charles Moore. Moore had told him the heist would have to happen during the second police shift as the beat cop on duty would go along with it. That ended his testimony for the day.
Stats wasback on the standon Monday. He said he saw two men walk into the alley where Teddy was the night of his murder, Roy French and Louis Greco. This testimony was false but the Feds had convinced Stats that Greco wanted to kill him and if Greco remained on the streets he would kill Stats. Considering how many attempts had been made on Stat’s life, one can understand why he believed the Feds, and thought it prudent to agree to perjure himself by placing Greco there. To top everything else off he had been in protective custody at that point since September of ‘67. His life was in the hands of the Feds.
Back to Stats’ testimony. He said that Roy French had asked the two of them when he came to the car if either of them were carrying a gun. They both replied in the negative. Teddy had a screwdriver. The following day he was back on the stand retelling his prior statements about how he believed when he heard the gunshots that Teddy and French had run afoul of the police.
The next witness to take the stand was Chelsea Police Lt. Thomas Evans. During Evans’ testimony Atty.O’Donnell accusedthe court of double standards holding the prosecution in higher regard than the defense counsel. Judge Forte immediately called a recess. When Evans took the stand again that afternoon, he testified that later that evening he questioned French who had been locked up that night for a fight at the Ebb Tide. There was blood on French’s shoes and jacket which he explained to Evans were a result of the altercation. Evans returned the shoes and jacket to French when atty. Fitzgerald arrived to bail French out. Stats’ brother Roberto was the last to testify that day verifying that he did lend his car to his brother the evening of March 12th.
OnJuly 17th, Balliro asked Judge Forte to declare a mistrial on behalf of Henry Tameleo based on the grounds that comments made about Tameleo by other attorneys during the trial would have prejudiced the jury members’ opinions of Tameleo, preventing him from receiving a fair trial. Forte then “victimized” himself saying that the court was subjected to insults and insinuations made by the defense counsel. The remarks were made after the jury had left the courtroom. Needless to say a mistrial was not declared.
In his first public appearance since a car bombing took one of his legs, Atty. John Fitzgerald was to testify for the government. Fitzgerald was driving Barboza’s James Bond style car at the time of the bombing. Balliro jumped to his feet and demanded that the jury be removed when he saw Fitzgerald being brought in by the court officers in a wheelchair. While that commotion was going on Judge Forte called FBI SA Dennis Condon to the stand. Condon had received permission from the Department of Justice to testify at the trial.
Balliro began questioning Condon:
Mr. Balliro: Is it fair to say that you and Agent Rico have been major figures, so to speak, with regard to the investigations surrounding the information furnished by Mr. Barboza?
Mr. Condon: No, sir.
Mr. Balliro: It is not?
Mr. Condon: No, sir.
Mr. Balliro: Well, you have been participating in it, is that correct?
Mr. Condon: As it pertains to Federal matters, yes.
Mr. Balliro: But not as it pertains to State matters?
Mr. Condon: We have not been the principal figures, no, sir.
Mr. Balliro: I see. But you have been part of it, is that correct?
Mr. Condon: Yes, sir.
Mr. Balliro: All right. Since Mr. [Barboza] has been testifying on State matters rather than Federal matters, do you say that you have no longer been concerned about the purity of testimony that he might give in a State court, a Federal court or any kind of court?
Mr. Condon: I am always concerned about the purity of testimony on the part of any witness involving any matter that I am concerned with.
Obviously the Feds had adopted an end justifies the means policy not just encouraging informants to perjure themselves but their agents as well.
Condon would double down on his lies 35 years later when questioned by the Burton Committee, claiming that local prosecutors developed the Deegan case and that the FBI did not take credit for developing the Deegan prosecution.
Back to the trial. John Fitzgerald took the stand and described his alleged meeting with Henry Tameleo at the Bay Side Lounge in Revere on July 11, 1967 during which Tameleo told him that Greco was his “agent” in all of his dealings with Barboza. During Fitzgerald’s second day of testimony he said he met Louis Greco at his law partner, Al Farese’s house on August 6, 1967. According to Fitzgerald, Farese told him they were willing to have Arthur Pearson say that Chico Amico stabbed him. Pearson would then say Barboza and a second man saved him. You can hear more about that case in episode 24. Fitzgerald said that Farese and Greco offered $25,000 for him to give to Barboza and a promise to “straighten out” Pearson. Supposedly Farese made a motion with his finger in a gesture like firing a gun.
They made the man a judge! He was collecting Barboza’s shylock money, driving his car and banging Dorothy Barchard who was banging Spike O’Toole, Barboza and who knows who else!! We know thekompromatthe Feds had on Fitzgerald!
And then he went crying to the Feds when his home insurance was canceled because of the bombing. Talk about chutzpah.
You’ll recall that when Fitzgerald’s leg was blown off six months earlier, his first demand, before he was put under anesthesia, was that SAs Rico and Condon come to see him.
In recovery, Fitzgerald told the two agents that he was going to write a letter to Barboza telling him that because he lost a leg in the bombing, Barboza should turn on these people and provide testimony that would send them all to jail. Rico told Fitzgerald that he would prefer that Barboza testify about whatever he could, without Barboza being pressured into testifying against specific individuals. Rico said in his report, “If we feel that at a later date that Baron is “holding out,” we then may ask Fitzgerald's assistance, but we do not want Baron to be motivated by revenge.”
A 1970 memo from JH Gale to Cartha DeLoach noted that “SA Rico was additionally instrumental in developing a second witness [in the Deegan case], attorney John Fitzgerald…”
Fitzgerald also wrote a letter praising Rico at about the same time, which read in part: “In all my dealings with [Paul Rico] I have never found him making unethical promises or deals or undertaking commitments which he could not fulfill. In closing, although I lost a leg in the so-called ‘war against organized crime,’ if I had to do it over again I would follow the same road, and my motivations would largely be the result of the integrity, professionalism, and the high traditions of your organization as exemplified in my eyes by Paul Rico.”
He left out the part about the benefits of banging Dorothy for nearly a decade! I almost choked reading Fitzgerald’s quote!
I don’t know how you said that with a straight face. Fitzgerald wouldn’t know integrity and professionalism if it blew off his leg. Entrapping informants, blackmailing witnesses into committing perjury, and ordering murders.
Well for him those were high standards!
After Fitzgerald’s testimony, the State rested their case. Monday, July 22nd would see the defense present their side.
Balliro rested his case without calling a single witness in defense of Henry Tameleo. The first person to take the stand was Peter Limone. He stated that hefirst met Barbozain February of 1965, and that bad blood existed between them from the start. First because Limone had refused to fire Barboza’s girlfriend as a waitress in a West End social club in which Limone was active, and second because of Limone’s friendship with a man who owed money to Barboza.
He denied ever contracting Barboza to kill Deegan. But he did admit to giving street loans to people at a 2% interest rate. When asked if he knew Jerry Angiulo,Limone saidthat he was friends with both Jerry and his brother Danny. Limone also said he was a manager at Jay’s lounge which was owned by Jerry’s brother, Michael Angiulo.
Limone’s wife also testified that day. Shestatedthat her husband was with her at a doctor’s appointment on the day and time that Barboza claimed to have been contacted by Limone to kill Deegan. The next person to testify was Roy French. He vehemently denied that he set up Teddy doing so in dramatic fashion getting up from the stand and acting out the events that happened on the evening of March 12, 1965. Histestimonyconfirmed what Stathopoulos had said earlier. French said that Teddy led the way into the alley. Teddy was about 15’ in front of him when French fell down and the shots rang out. To add to the impact of the testimony French threw himself on the courtroom floor and crawled as he said he did that night. He also denied ever meeting Barboza, or ever owning or carrying a firearm.
John Civettitestifiedfor Peter Limone. He was the man who took a loan from Barboza that Limone referred to in his testimony. The loan was for $50 to be paid back $10 a week for six weeks for a total of $60, but Civetti had fallen behind on his payments. Barboza stabbed him multiple times and the only reason he wasn’t killed was because Ronnie Cassesso stepped in and stopped Barboza.
The tension grew in the courtroom and Judge Forte sent the jury out anddemandedAtty. O’Donnell to his chambers. When Forte returned to the courtroom he banned any further motions for a mistrial by the defense attorneys.
The following day, Grecotook the standand said he knew Barboza but always disliked him. When asked if his nickname was “Red Rose”, Greco confirmed that yes he earned that nickname because he liked to garden and loved roses. He also testified that he and his family had been living in Florida during the month of March 1965 and didn’t return to Massachusetts until late April or early May of that year. Like the othershe deniedin participating in the planning or murder of Teddy. He held up under Zalkind’s brutal cross examination, denying Stathapolous’ claim that he was there in the alley the night Teddy was murdered. Zalkind wanted to know about his use of the word Judas when he was arrested and if it was about Roy French. Greco said he was referring to Barboza who everyone knew had become an informant.
JosephSalvatifollowed Louis Greco on the stand.Salvati saidhe didn’t know Barboza personally at the time of Teddy’s murder, but he had seen him around the North End. Barboza stood out as he always dressed in all black with a black hat. That concluded the testimony.
During the closing arguments, Zalkind admitted that the world would be a better place without men like Joe Barboza. Zalkind blamed the six defendants for Barboza’s existence, saying men like them enabled Barboza to prey on people.
In their closing arguments,the defense attorneys pointed out that the prosecution had offered no witnesses to corroborate Barboza’s testimony. Limone’s lawyer, Robert Stanziani,called Barboza “a criminal bent on revenge.” “He knows the ways of the streets and gutters. That’s the way he lived – by the gun.” He quoted a letter written by Barboza to his girlfriend, Virginia Tresca: “I don’t care whether they are innocent or not. They go.” Stanziani maintained that Barboza’s purpose in testifying, other than revenge, was to secure his freedom and receive money so he could take up again with Tresca.
The case was handed over to the jury on the evening of July 30th. Theyspent seven hours and five minutes in deliberations, reaching a decision just before noon on the 31st. Judge Forte had been laid up in the Deaconess hospital with a fever but was rushed back to the courthouse with a State Police escort to hear the verdict and impose the sentence. Louis Greco, Ronnie Cassesso, Peter Limone, and Henry Tameleo were given the death penalty.Tameleo and Cassesso had already been sentencedto 5 years in prison in the Willie Marfeo murder case back in March. French and Salvati were sentenced to life in prison. Louis Greco was the only one who chose to make a statement to the court prior to being sentenced: “I’m guilty of two things: going to Lechmere Sales and lying about my refrigerator and domestic troubles with my wife. I’m also guilty of being born of Italian parentage. I’m not guilty of this murder. I took a lie detector test, and it showed that I didn’t do it.”
Forte addressed the jury:
“You have given notice that the community will not stand for gangland murders. You had the courage of your convictions and it did take courage. Thank you.”
All six men were transferred to Walpole State Prison where the electric chair was located.
Frankie Salemme later recounted that after the convictions were handed down, Rico and Condon came into the shop like they usually did. Condon was elated over their success, and said, “I wonder how Louie Greco likes it on death row.”
Salemme replied, “how can you say that, Dennis? You’re a Knights of Columbus, you’re a holy name society.”
“Well, if you’re so smart and you think you know so much, why don’t you get on the stand and testify?” Denny shot back.
“Dennis, who is going to listen to me? Who is going to believe me? I’ll get on the stand if you do. You won't get by St. Peter in the gate, you can't, you broke one of the ten commandments, thou shalt not bear false witness, you can't get by him, Dennis.”
Salemme continued, “Once I hit the sore spot of the religious aspect with him, then he really blew his top.”
According to an FBI memorandum written by SA Raymond Ball on August 2, Frankie Salemme was very vocal in his disgust of the verdict. He stated that the DA Garrett Byrne was trying to make an empire for himself and that something should be done about Fitzgerald, saying it was too bad they hadn’t finished him.
Where’s the lie?
Salemme said that the District Attorney’s office had lied, the witnesses in the trial had lied and also the Feds had lied and the only ones that did not lie were the defendants.
Given that the men were all convicted of murder filing for appeals was an expected part of the process. But before that could happen attorneys Ronald Chisholm, Robert Stanziani and Lawrence O’Donnell had to face contempt charges. They werechargedwith acts of misconduct and disobedience. Duringthe trialO’Donnell accused Judge Forte of hovering over Barboza like an anxious mother. Chisholm had told Forte that he was employing a double standard in how the defense counsel had been treated versus the prosecutors. In the end nothing came of the charges.
On May 1, 1970,The Boston Globereported that Boston Police Detective William Stuart said that he believed Tameleo, Limone, and Greco were not involved in the Deegan murder. But theMassachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the sentencesof all six men just a few days later.
Joseph Barboza submitted an affidavit on July 28, 1970, stating that he intended to recant his testimony from the Deegan trial. He said that he wished to recant “certain portions” of his testimony that related to “the involvement of Henry Tameleo, Peter J. Limone, Joseph L. Salvati and Louis Greco in the killing of Teddy Deegan.” Decades later it would become public knowledge that the four names provided byBarbozawere consistent with information already in the hands of law enforcement.
The following day journalistJerome Sullivan ran a piece in the Boston Globe detailing, Barboza’saffidavit. That same day Atty. Balliro filed motions for a new trial for Henry Tameleo. A few days laterLimone filed motions for new trialalso.
On August 27, 1970 attorney F. Lee Bailey wrote a memorandum to Balliro:
“Among other things, Joseph Salvati and Louis Greco were not present at all. Further, Henry Tameleo and Peter Limone had nothing to do with arranging Deegan's murder nor had they any reason to believe that it was going to occur. The person sitting in the rear of the automobile which the Chelsea Police Captain saw was in fact bald and was Vincent “Jimmy” Flemmi.”
Aguard at Walpole saidthat Barboza asked to see Henry Tameleo on one of his first days back at Walpole in the summer of 1970. The guard said he brought Tameleo to Barboza, and Barboza told Tameleo that he was sorry he had lied about Tameleo after Tameleo had been like a father to him. He said it grieved him and that he couldn’t sleep at night. “He swore on his children that he would straighten it out.”
But less than two years later, in February 1972,Henry Tameleo was indicted on charges of race fixing at Suffolk Downs. Joe Barboza was the state'sstar witness in the race fixing probe.
I hope Tameleo spit in Barboza’s face!
Barboza’s cellmate at Walpole in the Summer of 1970 was a man named William Geraway. Geraway was in prison for the 1967 murder of David Sidlauskas. We briefly discussed Sidlauskas in episode 27. It’s believed that Johnny Martorano was actually responsible for Sidlauskas’ death. Geraway had also been accused of murdering Tony Veranis, but his own closing testimony was apparently so eloquent that the jury found him not guilty. Veranis was also Johnny Martorano’s handiwork. Years later he would confess to the murder as part of his plea agreement with the authorities. No shortage of wrongfully convicted people in Massachusetts.
That’s for sure!
Geraway later claimed that Barboza had threatened his family and that’s why he turned him in. According to Geraway’s version of events, he went to Ronnie Cassesso and told him: “This guy’s gone. He’s never getting out of prison. He’s not hitting the street.”
“And Cassesso asked me what happened and I told him and he said: “well, he might get off and go his own way.”
“I said, no, he’s not going his own way because he’s not getting out. I’m nailing him today. I’m sending for the DA. Today!”
“Cassesso said, “...let him get out of prison. If you don’t, he’ll be screaming. He’ll be down on all of us.”
So I said, “alright, he’s got two days. And two days after he left, I turned him into the DA.”
Geraway turned Barboza in for the murder of Clay Wilson in California. But in November 1970Geraway signed an affidavit:
“Barboza admitted to me that five out of the six men he gave testimony against, four of whom are on death row, were innocent.” The men he included among the innocent were Henry Tameleo, Peter Limone, Louis Greco, and Joseph Salvati.
Anthony Stathopoulos executed an affidavit on January 5, 1971. It stated:
“Barboza told me that he was going to keep Flemmi out of it because he said that Flemmi was a friend of his and the only one who treated him decently.'”
In April 1971, James Southwood of the Boston Herald Traveler reported that Barboza told him that if the government was betraying him,he would get revenge. “I put those people in jail and I can get them out.”
That same month a Boston newspaper reported that Boston Detective William Stuart swore in an affidavit that he gave evidence to John Doyle, Chief Investigator for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, that Louis Greco, Peter Limone, Henry Tameleo, and Joseph Salvati were innocent of the Teddy Deegan murder. Stuart said that Doyle did not care and indicated that the men were probably guilty of other crimes.
In June of 1972,the death penaltywas ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in the landmark case:Furman v. Georgia. Massachusetts complied with the ruling, but the court refused to review the men’s convictions.
Later that year in October,Ronnie Cassesso and his auntwere indicted on charge of conspiring to have William Geraway tell authorities that Joe Barboza had lied during the Deegan trial. The indictments said that Geraway was asked to commit perjury and say that Barboza told him of the false testimony while they were in prison together. The Norfolk County DAclaimedthat he had intercepted $10,000 in cash that was intended to pay off Geraway, and the object of the perjury plot was to get Geraway to say that Barboza had lied on the stand at the Deegan trial. Geraway was placed in protective custody at Walpole. He eventually pleaded the fifth at Cassesso’s trial and the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.
On January 5, 1973,Jimmy was transferred from Walpole to a prison in Illinoisalong with Georgie McLaughlin, and Ronnie Cassesso. Peter Limone was sent to a prison in Oregon. The authorities claimed that they’d been plotting to take over the prison.Limone and Flemmi sued later that month. They were transferred back to Walpole.
In May 1974, Cassesso and Grieco tried again to seek a new trial in their case. They chargedBarbozawith committing perjury. F. Lee Bailey was scheduled to testify on behalf of the defense. Attorney Tom Troy filedon behalfof Cassesso and Grieco. But by June of ‘74, Troy still couldn’t find Tony Stats. Their request for a new trial was denied.
Joseph Salvati sought a parole hearing in November of 1980. The former chairman of theMassachusetts Parole Boardrequested the hearing on Salvati’s behalf and supported his bid to have his sentence commuted. At the time of the request Salvati already had 150 furloughs. Tameleo and Greco were seeking new trials at the same time. PeterLimonewas working as a janitor at a prerelease center in Boston. Salvati, Tameleo and Greco’s requests were denied.
In May of 1983 Limone, Tameleo and Grecofiledappeals.
By 1984 Louis Greco had taken eight lie detectors of which he passed all of them. He was seen by the parole board in 1984 with affidavits from Roy French and Attorney F. Lee Bailey, but his request was once again denied.
That same year, one event would shed light on what the Boston FBI Field Office was up to during the 1960s. John “Red” Kelly testified at the murder trial of Louis Manocchio. We will be doing several episodes about this chain of events in season 2. Jack Kelly testified that he was asked to commit perjury by SA Rico in the Marfeo/Melei murder trial. He testified that hedidcommit perjury. SA Rico was also found to have committed perjury in that trial. When asked why he committed perjury, Kelly stated, “Well, my life was in their hands.” Later, Stathopoulos provided a similar explanation for why he committed perjury at the the Deegan murder trial. It would be over a decade before the truth about Rico and the Boston field office would be brought to light. But Jack’s testimony would be the catalyst that led to the investigation.
I want to note that at the time of Jack’s testimony, the FBI never even addressed Jack's claims. No investigation was started. Had the FBI done their job, other lives might have been saved. The following year HenryTameleo died from respiratory failureon August 18, 1985. He’d been granted a commutation hearing by the parole board just two days earlier.
On August 27, 1991 Ronnie Cassessopassed awayleaving behind his wife and three kids. During his stay in Walpole Prison, Ronnie ran thegift shopwhere he could be reached by phone. His nickname was the maitre d’, and he was known for riding around in his blue Cadillac on his weekend furloughs. Nina will write a blog post about Ronnie soon.
After countlessappeals and commutationrequests, Louis Greco also passed away in prison in 1995. The tragedy of his wrongful conviction would also lead to the death of one of his sons after his family won their lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With the money in hand, his son overdosed and passed away.
On March 27, 1997 Joseph Salvati finally got his sentence commuted andwon his freedom. That same year, Greco’s attorney, John Cavicchiaccused the governorWeld of playing politics with murder. Cavicchi said that all Greco wanted to do was die in a Veteran’s Home, but Weld denied him that dignity. Greco had been diagnosed with terminal cancer at the time of his last commutation request.
With the scandal of Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi’s informant fiasco, the Boston FBI’s web of secrets began to unravel. Senator Dan Burton’s Senate Hearings would shed light on what was really going on in Boston dating back to the early 60s. Dad too would find his relationship with the FBI and other Federal Agencies being called into question. He took a different route and outed himself. We’ll cover that later next season. Most importantly these hearings exposed the injustice that had been done to the falsely accused and the decades long corruption of the Boston FBI Field office.
During the hearings, it was revealed that Special Agents Rico and Condon were so involved in the state case that they participated in the state grand jury preparation. Thirty-five years later, the FBI redacted information pertaining to grand jury appearances. Nevertheless, it appears that the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself and his staff were being kept informed of state grand jury developments in the case.
And every former law enforcement officer I speak to says that the Feds have no jurisdiction in
murder cases. From a legal standpoint that is true, BUT the FBI had been involved in multiple murder cases. The Marfeo/Melei case for instance that we mentioned earlier in this episode.
The Committee went on to say:
“There appears to be no doubt whatsoever that the FBI played the pivotal role in the state's case. There is no indication that FBI personnel did not play as significant a role in assisting the state as in the Deegan case. Indeed, a letter from federal prosecutor Edward Harrington to Gerald Schur, who ran the Justice Department's Witness Protection Program from Washington, D.C., indicated just how involved federal law enforcement was in the Deegan case and its aftermath. As one senior FBI supervisor wrote to Deputy Director Cartha DeLoach:
“As a result of the FBI investigation, in State court in Boston, Massachusetts, six more were convicted in the 1965 slaying of Edward Deegan. La Cosa Nostra members Henry Tameleo, Ronald Cassesso, Peter Limone, and Louis Greco were all sentenced to death while two confederates were given life sentences.''
The Committee agreed that the information obtained from the microphone surveillance of Raymond Patriarca would have provided some indication that there were problems with the Deegan murder prosecution. On August 8, 1971 J. Edgar Hoover informed the Attorney General that Boston Police Commissioner (and former FBI agent) Edmund McNamara had requested that the Patriarca information be made available to his office. Suffolk County District Attorney Garrett Byrne made the same request. A few days later, those requests were rejected. Although these requests did not target information relevant only to the Deegan prosecution, the information found in the logs would have shown that Barboza had lied at the trial.
How did the Feds sleep at night?
They never lost a second of sleep over it. Remember Rico’s snarky remark during the hearings?
“What do you want, tears?
Rotten to the core!
And to top it off they received letters of commendation from Hoover:
Dear Mr. Rico,
The manner in which you performed in the investigation of a local murder case involving Roy French and others was splendid and I want to commend you. The successful prosecution of these subjects was a direct result of your noteworthy development of pertinent witnesses. I want you to know that I am most appreciative of your fine services.
J Edgar Hoover
Dear Mr. Condon,
In recognition of the excellent fashion in which you performed in the investigation of a local murder case involving Roy French and others, I am pleased to commend you. You were highly instrumental in the development of principal witnesses, and through your effective testimony at the trial, all the subjects were successfully prosecuted. I do not want the occasion to pass without conveying my appreciation to you.
I want to know why he singled out Roy French.
You’ve got me!
All charges were dropped against Peter Limone on January 31, 2001. Roy French was freed in December of that same year. The charges against Louis Greco were posthumously dismissed in 2004 and Tameleo in 2007. Salvati was awarded $29 million, Limone was awarded $26 million, and $47 million was awarded to the estates of Greco and Tameleo. This award was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 2009.
Peter Limone died June 19th, 2017 and Roy French passed away in January of this year. Joseph Salvati is the only survivor of the six men, 89 years old and living in the Boston area.
That’s it for today. Thank you all for listening. Next week we’ll be discussing Frank Smith. If you’ve been listening in this season, you might recall his name. Frank was a bank robber, hitman, associate of Raymond Patriarca and a Nazi sympathizer who lived out his later days in Maine. Please consider making a small donation to Nina and I, so we can upgrade our equipment and help cover our production expenses. And of course please share an episode and leave us a review!
Nina and Lara:
Season 2 is finally here!