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Feb. 21, 2022

The Hit Parade 1964


18 men were murdered gangland-style in 1964 in mafia boss Raymond Patriarca's jurisdiction. Only one of those murders was ever prosecuted. The FBI had chosen a side in the McLean-McLaughlin feud, and used first murder of 1964 to bring the McLaughlins to their knees.

Dorothy Barchard - Bonus Episode

Jimmy Flemmi - Episode 19

McLaughlin/McLean Feud - Episode 13

Pro Lerner - Episode 18

Joseph Barboza - Episode 24

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Questions or comments, email lara@doubledealpodcast.com or nina@doubledealpodcast.com

Thank you for listening!

All the best,

Lara & Nina

Transcript

Lara:

 

Welcome back everyone! Today Nina and I are discussing the gangland slayings that occurred in the Boston area in 1964. We’ll be talking about the victims, the hitters and our theories about why these men were targeted, and who the actual perpetrators might have been. The title, “the hit parade” might sound strange to some, but in those days if someone was marked to be taken out, the guys would say, “so and so is on the hit parade.”



Nina:

 

18 men were killed between March and December of 1964 including one in Rhode Island. Jimmy Flemmi murdered Margaret Sylvester in October, but we won’t be covering her murder in this episode. Although many people, including the authorities, knew who committed these murders, no one except for Georgie McLaughlin and Robert Cook were ever tried.



Lara:

 

And we have our doubts that Georgie actually killed the first victim that year. When we were reviewing witness statements, court testimonies, and press coverage of the William Sheridan murder, we were shocked by the conflicting information that was given. Since William was the first victim that year, we’ll start with his murder. We’re going to take you through Georgie’s apprehension and trial before we move onto the other slayings. Included in that timeline will be the prior attempts on Georgie’s brother Punchy and those made on Georgie. We won’t cover the details about Punchy’s slaying until episode 32. 



Nina:

 

Before we get into Sheridan’s murder, let’s give a brief background again on the McLaughlin brothers and the ongoing feud between them and the Winter Hill gang led by Buddy McLean. We had a whole episode dedicated to the alleged origin of the conflict that we called “On the Waterfront” since many of the players were longshoremen. I’d encourage you to go back and listen to it for more depth. I’ll just introduce our main characters again, starting with the McLaughlin brothers.

 

Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin was born on May 16, 1917. Punchy got his nickname from his time as an amateur boxer in the 30s and 40s. Next there was Bernie born December 30, 1921 and Georgie was born in 1927. Their parents were John and Anna McLaughlin both born in Ireland. There were 11 kids in total, 5 boys and 6 girls. 



Their mother, Anna McLaughlin, died in June 1941. Two years later, one of the McLaughlin boys, John, died in a car accident on his way home from Baltimore to celebrate Fathers Day with his family. He was just 23 years old. Then in January ‘45, the oldest McLaughlin boy, Charles, died while serving in World War 2 in the Philippines.



Lara:

 

The three surviving brothers were Punchy, Bernie, and Georgie. Their arch-rival Buddy McLean shot Bernie once in the head and four times in the body on October 31, 1961 in broad daylight with over 100 witnesses. Buddy and Bobo Petricone were charged the following day. A police officer, Russ Nicholson, wasn’t charged, even though he was known to be the getaway driver. Nicholson was murdered in May 1964, and we’ll be discussing his murder later in the episode.

 

No indictment was returned for Bernie’s murder, but on May 16th, 1962 Buddy was sentenced to 2 years in Walpole State Prison for an earlier charge of assault and destruction of property.

 

Buddy McLean had been an FBI Confidential Informant since at least 1960, but we think it was probably much earlier than that. In 1960 Jerry Angiulo, Raymond Patriarca’s underboss, was approached by one of his men. He told Jerry that he had heard that Buddy McLean was an informant for the FBI. Jerry’s response was, “whoever said that is a fuckin’ idiot!” 

 

Jerry was curious why Buddy would be helping the Feds, so he questioned the allegation. The response was that the Feds hated the McLaughlins as much as Buddy did and both wanted to wipe them out any way they could. Jerry’s man asked if he should let the McLaughlins know. Jerry’s response was, “fuck no! I fuckin’ hate those assholes. They’ve been grabbing up sections of Boston, and they’re always looking for more!”

 

However, as you’ll see in this episode, Jerry’s opinion changed and shifted as time went on and the conflict between the rival gangs became a part of everyday life in Boston.



Nina:

 

At a Labor Day picnic in 1961 the McLean gang beat Georgie McLaughlin to within an inch of his life, and almost left him for dead before thinking better of it and leaving him on the front lawn of a hospital in Newburyport.

 

In November that same year, Georgie was involved in a serious car accident when his car overturned on Cambridge St. in Brighton. He was hospitalized, suffering from multiple lacerations and contusions of the face and body. The police said that the accident had occurred because of wet road conditions, but the timing was awfully suspicious since it was just a couple of weeks after his brother Bernie had been murdered.

 

Six months later, Georgie was beaten and stabbed. He had been seen driving his late brother, Bernie’s, car on the evening of May 8th. Police were called to Third St in Chelsea at 4 in the morning on May 9th where they found his blood soaked car on the side of the road. But Georgie had disappeared. When the cops went to search the surrounding area for clues, the car sped off. That same morning a man appeared in a nearby hospital with a knife wound to his throat. 

Georgie was scheduled to appear in court on the 17th for an appeal on an automobile violation but he failed to show. His lawyer stated that Georgie had been beaten over the head with a lead pipe and was unable to appear. He continued to lay low after that.



Lara:

 

Now that our listeners have some background, let’s talk about the first slaying of 1964. 



Nina:

 

On March 15th, at roughly 1 in the morning William J. Sheridan was shot once in the head after leaving a Christening party that had taken place in Roxbury. He was just 20 years old. Although he did have one prior arrest, he had no convictions and worked as a bank teller. When the shooting occurred he was stepping out of the entrance to the building where the party had taken place. 15 witnesses were interviewed at the scene. On the 16th an article ran in the Boston Globe describing the scene and what forensics had determined. It stated that Sheridan was killed by a sniper from a long distance. A larger than .22 caliber bullet entered between his eyes. But the medical examiner was clear in stating that it was a “small round ammunition.”



Lara:

 

But the police said that it was a case of mistaken identity, and that Georgie McLaughlin believed he shot Buddy McLean at close range. Mind you Georgie supposedly had an argument with Sheridan. Considering how many times Georgie had been in the company of Buddy McLean, that theory doesn’t make sense. And how could Georgie have shot him from a building across the street when he was standing in front of the building when the shooting happened? Initially, a 30 year old woman who lived in the building and was friends with both Georgie and William Sheridan was detained. She was held without bail until a hearing that was scheduled for April 1st.





Nina:

 

She was cleared and released during the hearing, but by now a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Georgie. In May, Georgie was added to the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list for “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution”. The Feds detailed how Georgie had been court martialed from the Navy in 1947 for his bad conduct and how his psychiatric exam at that time determined that he had “a psychopathic personality marked with aggressive tendencies.” Acquaintances noted that he had a drinking problem and could become violent when drunk.



Lara:

 

In the early morning hours of July 25, 1964, more than 20 uniformed police and detectives raided a Beacon Hill apartment building. A woman had phoned the police at about 4 in the morning reporting that she believed that Georgie was hiding out in the building. But of course he wasn’t there. This time the sedan was white with Florida plates and Georgie was alleged to have a machine gun in his car.

 

In August, after Harold Hannon was found dead, the State Police stated that Hannon’s car was the one that Georgie was seen fleeing the Sheridan murder scene in. We’ll get into Hannon’s murder later in this episode. You might remember if you listened to episode 13 that Georgie’s fancy green sedan matched the description of the vehicle used during the attempt on Specs O’Keefe’s life during the Brink’s saga. But the plates were not NJ plates nor was the vehicle purchased in NJ. Even so, Georgie’s car was impounded. 



Nina:

 

On November 18, 1964, Sam Cufari and Jerry Angiulo met with Raymond Patriarca at the Coin-O-Matic. The wiretap there picked up Cufari stating that he’d recently been in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He’d been there getting married, but he failed to mention that little detail to Raymond and Jerry. Anyway, he told them that he had heard that Georgie McLaughlin had been down there about six months prior. But “the locals wanted no part of him” and he didn’t remain in Hot Springs very long (34.30).

 

Jerry told them that he’d been in contact with an unnamed individual who was attempting to make arrangements for Georgie McLaughlin’s surrender. The District Attorney Garrett Byrne had apparently agreed to a bond in the amount of $35,000.

 

Angiulo said that he’d told the person (who I believe was Punchy McLaughlin) to make sure that he got a definite deal from Byrne because he did not trust him. And he was right!




Lara:

 

Five days later, at just after 11 o’clock in the morning, Punchy McLaughlin was shot with a twelve gauge sawed off shotgun while he sat in his parked car on Regent Circle near Beacon Street in Brookline near Washington Sq. And that’s nowhere near the Beth Israel Hospital in case Frank Salemme is listening and can’t recall the area he claims to have shot Punchy in. The initial police report said that Punchy had been partially dragged from the car by his assailant, who had first shot through the car window, shattering it. But the gunman was forced to flee in a black 1962 Pontiac sedan with Rhode Island registration plates after witnesses stopped at the scene. Punchy staggered from his bloodstained car to the barbershop of the Beaconsfield Hotel where he collapsed. He was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital by the police who said he was in critical condition. It didn’t look like he’d survive, and the last rites were administered before he was wheeled into what would be an eight hour surgery. The shots had smashed his jaw, and sliced his liver.



Nina:

 

When the cops asked Punchy who had shot him, he shook his head, which the cops took to mean that he didn’t know. But maybe he just wouldn’t say. The area where the attack took place was one of Punchy’s regular haunts. He frequently purchased boxes of candy at a nearby shop and a two pound box from the same store was sitting on the front seat of his car at the time of the attack. He’d been warned to stay away from the neighborhood as his life was in danger. But he’d returned to the area for a meeting with an unnamed man who Punchy refused to identify.

 

A few days later, Raymond Patriarca told Sammy Granito that the assailants should have used double 00 buckshot instead of the birdshot they apparently did. He added that one of the hardest ways to attack an individual was to attack him from the outside while the supposed victim was inside the car. More of Raymond’s words of wisdom.

 

He also theorized about who might have done the attempted hit, but as usual, Raymond knew less than nothing.

 

He told Sammy Granito not to get involved with either the McLeans or the McLaughlins, saying that he intended to let them fight it out and step in when the fight was over. Raymond stated that Buddy McLean had told Teddy Fuccilo to tell Raymond that he wanted no trouble with the Italians. Raymond sent word back that as long as Buddy and his people didn’t bother his people, Raymond didn’t care what he did.



Lara:

 

However, in another memo sent by SA Kehoe, he reported that Raymond had said that because of his association with the McLaughlin brothers, he would favor them.

 

Decades later, Frankie Salemme claimed that he and Stevie Flemmi had dressed as Rabbis in the Beth Israel parking lot to take a shot at Punchy. But that was categorically untrue. The man sat in front of a Senate Committee and lied through his teeth! And the press ran with that bullshit story. No one checked the news articles or Brookline PD reports about the attempted hit to verify what Frankie said. Obviously Salemme had read the articles years back and the Beth Israel hospital was the only detail that stuck in his head. And what because Israel was part of the name he threw in the Rabbi bit?



Nina:

 

You know I’ve been combing through his statements, and we’ll tear them apart as we go. 

 

Three weeks later, Punchy was ready to go into hiding. His associate Spike O’Toole’s life was also under threat. He and Francis Xavier Murray had received telegrams threatening their lives the day before they were set to be released from prison. The telegrams read: “You will receive the same benefits as Harold [Hannon].” We’ll get into Hannon’s murder later on in this episode. The Staties took the threat seriously and gave the two men protection as they left the jail. 

 

The first person that Spike went to see after being released was Punchy, who likely sent him to his brother, Georgie, who was still on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List.



Lara:

 

Dorothy Barchard brought a suit against Spike for non-support of their two toddler daughters in January of 1965. It was not her own idea. She had applied for aid from the State, but officials had insisted that she name the father of her children. Otherwise, they said, she would not be eligible for assistance. Spike was arraigned on a morals charge for having two children out of wedlock with Dorothy. When he was brought in by the police, Spike admitted to them that he was “a friend” of Georgie McLaughlin’s. And when he was asked further if he knew where Georgie was, Spike answered deadpan, “probably shot up someplace.”

 

On February 24, 1965 Georgie was apprehended in an apartment in Dorchester along with Spike. We both believe that Dorothy was the one who tipped off the Feds, most likely SA Rico, who she had been informing to since 1956.

 

They were arraigned the following day and held without bail for 30 days until a hearing was scheduled. John Fitzgerald represented Georgie during the hearing while he was guarded by 100 officers. His case was bound over to Superior Court and a hearing took place on March 4th. During that hearing, Fitzgerald’s partner Al Farese represented Georgie. Farese and ADA Pino had a heated argument. Pino promised Farese that he would be allowed to interview the witnesses, one of whom had been flown back from California.



Nina:

 

Maureen Dellamano was also indicted as an accessory after the fact in the murder of Sheridan because Georgie was in her apartment just after Sheridan had been shot. The newspapers described her as a striking platinum blonde. According to witness testimony Dellamano screamed, “George just shot someone” immediately after Sheridan was killed. Two days afer the shooting when the police searched her apartment a gun was found hidden in a TV set, but it was not the murder weapon. 

 

On April 9th. 1965 Spike O’Toole and Frances Bithoney were also indicted as accessories after the fact. Spike was held at Charles St., but Frances, like Maureen, was free on bail. The trial was set for October 5th. Georgie had to sign a waiver as he had the right to a speedy trial, but the court wanted to delay it because they claimed he wouldn’t receive a fair trial.



Lara:

 

In the meantime Georgie was being held in the hole at Charles St and a guard was assigned to watch him and his cell 24 hours a day because of the escape risk that Charles St was prone to. 

 

In an August letter to the Massachusetts Attorney General, Edward Brooke, Georgie wrote:

 

“This letter is in no way trying to entice or involve you or your decision in my present case, but merely a humble appeal for your legal knowledge, or guidance, concerning my incarceration. 

 

The legality of the manner of my treatment here is very much in question. The treatment here for the past five months has been one of a convicted man. I have only been indicted and waiting for my trial.”



Nina:

 

The letter continued:

 

“No man awaiting trial here has to wear striped prison clothing except me. They keep me incommunicado from the other men waiting trial, with a court officer or jail officer posted outside my door to fulfill this duty. Any inmate who attempts to approach me to even say hello is threatened with a solitary confinement lockup in which he will lose his due visiting privileges, etc. Officers are instructed not to converse with me. All my meals are brought to me in my cell. There is no requested chair in my cell. I have to stand up and eat off a two foot high shelf. My family is not allowed to visit me on regular visiting days. If the Deputy Sheriff is not here to sanction it on the other days, they cannot visit me. When visitors do receive permission they have to converse with me through the bars of the window of my cell. Any normal parcels – sandwiches, magazines – left for me at the front door are accepted by the officer in charge of the door, but never reach me. Long time service officers working here inform me that to their knowledge I am the only inmate ever not allowed to attend the church service of his faith. This is only scratching the surface of the ill treatment I have been receiving here for five months. There is more to this unnecessary harassment that I have been receiving than just security provisions. However, the issue at hand is not to expose any individuals, but only to seek fair and impartial treatment like any other indicted man awaiting trial.”



Lara:

 

The office of the Attorney General acknowledged that they’d received the letter but were unsympathetic to the inhumane conditions that Georgie was being kept in. “I am sure that you are aware that maximum security must be maintained in cases where a person is awaiting trial for a capital offense. From the description of the treatment described in your letter, it would appear that this is what is being done. I find nothing to indicate such treatment is inhumane. However if you feel that certain rights of yours are being violated, I suggest that you bring this to the attention of your attorneys. They are very competent and would know just how to handle such a situation.”



Nina:

 

These people were sick. They’d be the first to lecture you about the gulag, though.

 

As a punishment for his letter to the Attorney General, even the prison uniform was taken away. With the justification that Georgie might commit suicide. 

 

"You wouldn't keep an animal in a cage like this, I've never seen anything like it." Georgie’s attorney told Boston Globe journalist Jerome Sullivan

 

On August 31, a judge denied a petition by attorney John E Fitzgerald for Georgie to be allowed to wear civilian clothing, attend mass, and have visitors.



Lara:

 

As Georgie was sitting naked in Charles Street awaiting trial in complete violation of his rights, Punchy was hiding out in Canton, trying to avoid assassins. But someone knew exactly where he was holed up because at just a little after noon on August 16 as Punchy drove along Canton Street in Westwood  on his way to West Roxbury for an appointment, another attempt was made on his life. Near the Norfolk Golf Club a car with three or four men in it pulled alongside him. A hail of bullets peppered his car, at least one of them going through the windshield and smashing his right hand. About 15 shots were fired in all, most of them smashing into the car. 

Punchy, in a frantic effort to escape, drove left handed at high speed to Route 128 moving the wrong way down an entrance ramp, then north on the southbound lane of 128 to a gas station on Route 1 in Westwood where he staggered into the office and collapsed, his clothing covered in blood. The gas station attendant applied a makeshift tourniquet with his belt and notified the police. 



Nina:

 

Shell casings found near the scene of the attack were described by police as slightly less than .38 caliber from an automatic weapon. Punchy was first taken to the hospital in Norwood, where he told the local police chief that he didn’t see who shot him “and I don’t know why they should want to kill me.” Punchy was given blood plasma and transferred to Mass General Hospital where his right hand had to be amputated. After a 16 day hospital stay, Punchy returned to Canton. But his hideout was no longer a secret. 

 

The same day that Georgie’s appeal for better jail conditions was rejected, Punchy told the Boston Globe’s Jerome Sullivan:

 

“They were lying in wait for me. I think they’d been watching and waiting for many days. The funny part of it is I had been up very early that morning and had gone into town to get the papers. Nothing happened. Then about noon I pulled out from the house. I was heading for West Roxbury on an errand. As I drove along, I noticed a beach wagon with some men in it on Dedham Street. They put on the brakes and followed me. They had a walkie talkie and were in contact with some guys hiding in the woods. One of them was in a tree. I think they were about to give up their stake-out for the day when I drove along. Then came the bullets – from a repeating rifle and a machine gun. The first bullet went through the windshield and ripped into my right hand. Fifteen or 20 tore into the car, raking the side of it. I had to drive left-handed with my right hand hanging by my side, bleeding like the devil.”

 

A little over a month after the attempt on his life, Punchy was fitted with a prosthetic hand.



Lara:

 

Frankie Salemme tried to take credit for this second murder attempt on Punchy’s life too, saying that after they botched it, FBI SA Rico showed up at his shop, with the newspaper report in his hand. “Boy, what a sloppy piece of work that was. Other people coulda got hurt.”

 

“I don’t know where his starting point is,” Frankie admitted to Rico.

 

A few days after that, Salemme claimed that Rico showed up again with a piece of paper that he slipped to him with Punchy’s address in Canton on it.

 

But his timeline is totally off. According to Frankie, Rico didn’t tell them where Punchy was staying until after the second botched attempt. But that’s impossible because the only way he and Stevie Flemmi would have been able to lie in wait for Punchy in Canton was if they knew where Punchy was staying, and what route he’d be taking into town.




Nina:

 

I don’t buy that Frankie and Stevie were involved in any of the attempts on Punchy’s life. I think that Frankie perjured himself for two reasons: first, because he needed to maintain his street cred. Frankie had made a deal with the Feds and was placed in Witness Protection in 2003. But in order to make that happen, he needed to make himself out to be much more important than he actually was. Copping to unsolved murders that he didn’t actually commit gave him more leverage with the Feds, and helped him get a better deal. In exchange, he had to sit in front of the Congressional Committee and perjure himself. 

 

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Frankie was trying to hide the fact that he was a Confidential Informant for the FBI. He was given a CI number in early 1963, before both Buddy McLean and the Flemmi brothers. You have to imagine that since Salemme does not appear to have had an arrest record prior to that, it was a similar story to Richie’s. The Feds trapped him in some kind of a sting operation and left him no real choice: life in prison or cooperate. I’d just have more respect for Frankie if he’d admitted it all those years later. Most likely, Salemme was dropped from the program sometime after Rico told him and Stevie to go on the lam in September 1969. Clearly part of the deal Frankie made with the Feds in 2003 was that they wouldn’t publicize his past as a Confidential Informant.



Lara:

 

I completely agree with you. As we move on through this season and the next, we’ll revisit Salemme’s claims.

 

The trial of Georgie, Spike, Dellamano and Bithoney commenced on October 5th as scheduled. Atty. Joseph Sax was representing O’Toole, Fitzgerald was representing Dellamano, Robert Stanziani was representing Bithoney, Al Farese was representing Georgie, and Forte was the trial judge. Georgie’s brother, Punchy, made it his mission to be present in the courtroom during the trial. 

 

At the trial it was revealed that Thomas Lynch had an argument with Brendan Flaherty the evening of the shooting. After the run in he went into the ground floor apartment to get a beer. According to these witnesses, they saw Georgie with a pistol in his hand in the courtyard and Sheridan in the doorway to the building about three feet apart from each other. Thomas Barry was the first to testify. He stated that he didn’t see the shooting, but did hear Dellamano yell out that Georgie killed someone. Flaherty was the second witness to testify, and upon questioning by Farese he said that he had 6 whiskey highballs prior to the shooting and didn’t actually see Georgie shoot Sheridan but rather only heard Dellamano scream that he had. Flaherty couldn’t even remember how he got to the party.



Nina:

 

How would she know anyway? She was in the apartment when the shooting happened, not present at the scene. And again the medical examiner had said Sheridan was shot either from across the street or from a building across from the doorway. He never said anything about close range! And as late as April 1965, the media was still reporting it that way: a sniper took out Sheridan. 

 

But during the second day of testimony a former Marine, Herbert Josselyn stated that he was 15 to 20 feet away from Georgie and Sheridan at the entrance to the building and they appeared to be arguing. Josselyn went on to say that Georgie was holding what appeared to be a .45 caliber Colt pistol with a 7 to 8 inch long barrel. Again the medical examiner had stated that Sheridan was killed with a weapon that was slightly larger than a .22 caliber.



Lara:

 

Look there is a huge difference between a .22 and a .45. I was the proud owner of a .45 caliber Colt Combat Commander. Granted I only ever fired a weapon at the range but if you’re shooting at something with a .45 at close range you’re going to blow a giant hole in it. A head shot at 3 feet from a .45 would nearly blow someone’s head off. How could the medical examiner and forensics team make such a mistake?



Nina:

 

The forensics team didn’t make a mistake. The Feds held back the evidence because it didn’t match the story they wanted told. 

 

Back to the trial. The next witness to testify was Donald Buckley. It was his aunt who was holding the Christening party. Sheridan had an argument with her shortly before he was killed, and according to Buckley, Sheridan wanted to go back in and apologize to Buckley’s aunt, but Buckley told him to leave it alone. Sheridan, Buckley’s brother, and a friend walked him out around 11 pm. So where was Sheridan for the two hours before he got killed? Just loitering in the hall? Buckley was inside when he heard a noise that he thought was a firecracker after midnight and when he went out he saw Sheridan lying in the building entrance with a bullet hole between his eyes. 



Lara:

 

Thomas Lynch testified that he also had an argument with Georgie that evening over a bottle of beer. When Georgie refused to take the beer bottle from him, he went inside of Dellamano’s apartment to get one. It was shortly after that when Sheridan was shot. Again, he only heard the shot, and didn’t witness the shooting.

 

Forgive me, but what sort of a Christening party was this? Drunks having petty beefs over beers and who knows what. Where was the poor baby during this whole thing? Soooo trashy!



Nina:

 

The following day, FBI SA Leonard Frisoli testified about Georgie’s arrest on February 24th, 1965. He described the raid and the arrests of Georgie and Spike O’Toole. Spike and Bithoney had rented the second floor apartment under her name about 10 days prior to their arrest. Upon cross examination Frisoli stated that Bithoney and her child were screaming. Spike was found in his bed in his underwear. Georgie was also in the bedroom. At the time the only person the Feds had a warrant for was Georgie, but the other two were taken in initially for harboring a fugitive. 

 

Frankie Salemme claimed later that SA Rico had asked Frankie for a throwaway gun and Salemme provided Rico with an untraceable .38. He told Frankie that he intended to kill Georgie when they raided his hideout. When it didn’t go down that way, Frank says he questioned Rico about it, and Rico said that the other Feds had all agreed to it, but there was one holdout, and they’d had to shelve the idea. 

 

It’s so similar to the raid on Louis Arquilla and Frank Martin Feeney in Minneapolis in 1957 in the timing and technique. And Spike was shacked up with another woman while Dorothy was suing him for child support. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.



Lara:

 

Dorothy had to be the one who gave them up. I’ll save my breath about Frankie for now. And as for Rico the one holdout had to be SA Comen, the boy scout who was eventually driven out of the FBI. Between dad’s stories and Pro’s antics, Comen must have been losing his mind. 

 

On October 20th Punchy McLaughlin was killed while waiting to board a bus to the court house. He was shot 7 times on the corner of the VFW Pkwy and Spring St in West Roxbury. It was the third and final attempt on Punchy’s life.



Nina:

 

Frankie Salemme tried to take credit for the final hit on Punchy too. The only reason to think that he and Stevie Flemmi may have done the first two is because Punchy survived both. And let’s be honest, Frank Salemme was totally incompetent. But the truth of the matter is that Punchy McLaughlin was such a savage that he beat death twice, not because his assassins were unskilled. 



Lara:

 

But the trial continued on. On October 23rd the sister of the only eyewitness took the stand. Janice Josselyn said her brother told her in a phone conversation that he was drunk when the shooting happened and that he didn’t know anything. She went on to say that she tried phoning her brother on February 25th, 1965 the day after Georgie was captured. Herbert Josselyn had been living in California since the shooting. According to her, he called her back the following day and told her, “Why don’t they leave me alone? I don’t know anything. I was drunk.” 



Nina:

 

When Herbert was questioned he said he never received any calls from his sister, but New England Telephone supplied the records showing multiple attempts to contact him. Plus his sister had a witness to her phone calls who also testified. California never produced any records until Georgie’s appeal years later, but there were no calls from that number. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t call from somewhere else. Punchy McLaughlin was buried the following day, but the Suffolk County Sheriff refused to allow Georgie to attend the funeral. 



Lara:

 

On the final day of the trial, Georgie made a statement, “I tell you the shot that killed Sheridan was meant for me, not that kid. I had a brother who was watching this case every day. He was shot down while on his way.” I couldn't find any trial testimony regarding the ballistics reports. Had Farese done his job, it would have been clear that Georgie couldn’t have killed Sheridan since the guns didn’t match. The notion that Georgie would mistake Sheridan for Buddy just a couple of feet from Sheridan and after an argument is ridiculous. He and his brothers knew Buddy personally and had more than ample face time with him to know the difference. There wasn’t even a resemblance. 



Nina:

 

Al Farese punted. Any decent defense lawyer would have gotten Georgie acquitted on the ballistics alone. He let Georgie get the death penalty. We will be talking about Al, his background and his other cases in the next episode.

 

It is far more plausible that Georgie was correct that the kill shot was intended for him and not for Sheridan at all. To recap, Georgie had had three known attempts on his life by the time of the Sheridan murder. First at the Labor Day picnic in 1961 when the McLean crew beat him to within an inch of his life, and almost left him for dead before thinking better of it and leaving him on the front lawn of a hospital in Newburyport. Then the car “accident” in November that same year, and another beating in May 1962. Georgie’s brother, Bernie had been murdered by Buddy

McLean in broad daylight in October 1961. And Punchy had two attempts on his life before he was finally assassinated in October 1965. 

 

Of course we have our theories. First, we believe the hitter was Pro Lerner. As you know, Pro was a member of Jack Kelley’s crew by this time. In addition to his skill with a bat, he was also a skilled sniper. Few, if any, of the other hitters in the area had that skill, but Pro did. The second reason is the stories Lara overheard over the years. We don’t want to cover the Buddy McLean assassination in this episode, but the similarity in technique between Sheridan and Buddy’s murders in striking. 



Lara:

 

Now the why. As we’ve mentioned in prior episodes, Jack Kelley and his crew were initially aligned with the McLaughlins. Dad got picked up by FBI SA Rico in early 1962 when he was running guns for the McLaughlins. But along the way Punchy started to pressure Jack Kelley looking to shake him down over the Plymouth Mail Robbery.

 

Ronald Wysocki wrote an article that ran on December 24, 1964 claiming that Jack had Punchy shot because he was blackmailing him. Although the article only referred to Jack as the Plymouth Mail gang. When Punchy was shot in Brookline he had $25,000 on him which was believed to be part of the extortion payment.

 

I heard the same story that Punchy was shaking down Jack. Punchy should have known that Jack wasn’t going to play that game with him. It would have been worth the $25 grand to Jack to get Punchy out of his hair.





Nina:

 

So possibly the bullet was meant to kill Georgie as a warning to Punchy, but Georgie moved after Pro pulled the trigger and Sheridan took the bullet instead. The second theory is that Buddy McLean was the target, and Pro mistook Sheridan for Buddy since the shot was fired from so far away. 

 

The reason Jack had it in for Buddy was that Buddy was sleeping with the wife of one of his crew members. I don’t want to name her here, as it’s never been made public. Although she’s deceased, I know for certain her relatives are listening. Jack knew about the affair, and also knew that Buddy was trying to get close to her husband as Buddy suspected he was involved in the Plymouth heist. Jack wouldn’t let that happen. 

 

I can’t imagine that Pro would have made that kind of mistake, though. I still think that Georgie was right, that he was the target. We’ll never know the answer, but if Georgie is still alive and free as we believe he is, and if any of our listeners know him, please let him know that we believe he was innocent of the murder of William Sheridan.



Lara:

 

Yes, if any of our listeners have contact with him, please pass that message along.

 

Let’s move onto the next slaying of 1964. Francis Benjamin’s body was found on May 4th. His body was discovered headless in the trunk of a stolen car that had been abandoned in Old Harbor Village in South Boston. Benjamin was the father of 6 children. He had been released from Walpole Prison 2 weeks prior to his death where he had served 5 years for armed robbery. The medical examiner believed that he had been shot in the head before being beheaded.



Nina:

 

The FBI alleged that Jimmy Flemmi shot Benjamin with a revolver that was stolen from a policeman, and cut off his head so a ballistic match couldn’t be made. Which, frankly, sounds exactly like something a Flemmi would do. Stevie and the teeth! Maybe it was their brother, Michael’s, gun!

 

But according to the book “Love and Feared: Buddy McLean”, Benjamin had walked into a bar and said that Buddy McLean was going to wipe out the entire McLaughlin gang and take over Charlestown. Supposedly an unnamed man from Roxbury who was an ally of the McLaughlins walked up to him and shot him in the head. After that the man called Punchy to help him dispose of the body. The same theory about why the head was cut off was repeated in that story. There is no way in hell that if Jimmy was the killer that he was going to call Punchy. Jimmy was aligned with Buddy McLean and claimed Punchy was out to kill him.



Lara:

 

I tend to believe that it was Jimmy. Benjamin and he had been in the can together. Who knows what kind of a beef they had with each other, or maybe it was over drugs. Benjamin’s murder was never solved.

 

A little over a week later on May 12th, 33 year old former MDC police officer Russell Nicholson was shot to death. His body was found wrapped in a blanket, on a stream embankment in the woods off Indian Springs way at 9:30 in the morning.  The authorities were concerned at first that the body was Georgie McLaughlin’s, who was on the lam from the Sheridan murder

 

Nicholson had been the getaway driver for Buddy McLean when he and Bobo Petricone murdered Bernie McLaughlin. He resigned after charges of being in the company of people of ill repute. One theory was that Stevie Hughes and Wilfred Delaney scooped up Nicholson while he was out shaking down married men who were having affairs. They drove him out to Wilmington where Punchy and Georgie were waiting. Punchy shot him followed by Georgie who said, “this is for Bernie”. 



Nina:

 

Now how anyone would know that story is the question. When we get to the murders of Hannon and Delaney, we might have an answer. 

 

Of course the newspapers ran that Punchy had it in for Nicholson and vowed to kill him even if it meant his own demise. The police said that Russell was killed somewhere else and taken to the woods afterwards. So that does not match the story told in Buddy’s biography. I do believe that someone from the McLaughlin crew killed Nicholson. But no one was ever tried for his murder and it still remains unsolved.

 

We should also note that after just about every murder in 1964, Georgie’s name was brought into it, either as a suspect or as a friend of the victim.



Lara:

 

I want to mention another murder that happened just a few days after Nicholson was killed. Anthony Brazzo of Chelsea was dumped off by someone in the hallway of a Revere hospital after he was shot in the head. Before the man took off he shouted that his friend was hurt. His car was found in the parking lot of a Revere strip mall. The police believe it was used to drop Brazzo off at the hospital. At the time of his murder he was an insurance salesman with a wife and child. But he did have a record. He was arrested with Connie Frizzi, a cohort of Joe Barboza’s, in 1945 for an attempted robbery in Boston’s West End. Then in 1946 he was arrested in Chelsea for shooting at a patrol car. He was sentenced later that year to 12 to 15 years in state prison in NH for armed robbery and kidnapping. 



Nina:

 

A nurse identified James L Collins as the person who had dropped Brazzo off at the hospital. Collins was arrested on murder charges, but was never indicted. No further arrests were made, and eventually Brazzo’s name was dropped from the running list of gangland slayings. But considering his association with Connie Frizzi, I suspect it wasn’t a case of mistaken identity. Brazzo survived in the hospital for two weeks before succumbing to his wounds. His murder is still unsolved and likely to remain so. Connie Frizzi died in 2000.



Lara:

 

The next two victims were Vincent Biesi and Paul Colicci. On July 23rd both were found shot to death in the trunk of Colicci’s car in Quincy, MA. Both had been shot in the head. And speaking of cars, both of them had been seen the month before riding around in Harold Hannon’s green sedan. Both Colicci and Biesi hadn’t been seen for 10 days prior to their bodies being found. On July 13 Colicci was reported missing, and on July 19th the Providence police department had issued a missing person alert for Biesi. Colicci had served 10 years in Charlestown State prison for gem theft, and had been convicted of illegal possession of a firearm in a Providence court in the beginning of July. His record dated back to the 40s. He was a paratrooper before being dishonorably discharged from the army. Colicci even wrote a letter to Raymond Patriarca while in prison referring to him as “boss.” That letter was never sent. Both men were said to be associates of Raymond’s, but the Providence police said Biesi was clean.



Nina:

 

Carlton Eaton was brought in for questioning in that double homicide, but was never charged. Carleton would himself become a murder victim 2 months later. We’ll cover his death shortly.

 

Eaton wasn’t the only one questioned. Raymond Patriarca was contacted by the Providence PD about the murders. Patriarca stated that he thought that Colicci was “a little soft in the head” and had tried to shake down many people when he was in jail. However, since he had been released he had apparently attempted to live a good life. 






Lara:

 

Louis the Fox Taglianetti  was also questioned and told Raymond that he had furnished no information to the cops. Raymond told him that he’d really told the cops off and practically had thrown them out of his office.”

 

But Patriarca was very affable to the cops according to SA Kehoe’s monitoring of the wiretap at the Coin-O-Matic. Further discussions seemed to indicate that Raymond was not responsible for the murder nor did he know who was. 

 

However, in September Raymond gave Sammy Granito money to give to Joseph “JR” Russo and Vincent DeSciscio in appreciation for the murder of the pair. 



Nina:

 

The Feds knew this because it was on the wiretap at Raymond’s, and SA Kehoe reported it in a memo to Hoover in DC, but the Feds did nothing.

 

In late July Henry Tameleo reported to Raymond that the BPD were looking for Romeo Martin because they had heard he’d been murdered. They contacted Ronnie Cassessa who produced Martin at a local precinct station to prove that he was still alive. 

 

Tameleo advised Raymond that he had attempted to contact Wimpy Bennett but had been unable to locate him. He had wanted to ask Wimpy about the recent double homicide. Patriarca stated that it was probably a good thing that Tameleo hadn’t been able to get in touch with Wimpy. “What we don’t know about, we are not responsible for.”



Lara:

 

More Raymondisms! Like the others, the Colicci and Biesi murders were never solved. Less than two weeks later on August 4th, the bodies of Harold Hannon and Wilfred Delaney were found. Their naked bodies were spotted in the Boston Harbor. Hannon’s hands and feet had been bound with tape and rope, he was blindfolded, gagged and his throat was wired with what was described as a Chinese torture knot. As Hannon struggled he strangled himself, but all of this was after his genitals had been burnt off with a blowtorch. The coroner determined that Hannon was dead before being dumped in the harbor. Delaney’s body showed signs of a vicious beating and strangulation, but the medical examiner found water in his lungs which meant he was still alive when he was thrown in the water. After further testing the medical examiner found evidence of alcohol and tranquilizers in his bloodstream. 




Nina:

 

Delaney had been charged in September 1956 with assault with intent to murder Edmund Fisher. The indictment alleged that Wilfred and his brother, Wayne, had beat up Fisher and threw him off of a railroad trestle. Fisher lay on the tracks for nearly 24 hours before being found. Wilfred went on the lam and was arrested by the FBI the following August on a warrant charging unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. The two brothers were eventually convicted in October of 1957, Wilfred was sent to Walpole and Wayne was sent to Concord.



Lara:

 

Delaney was arrested in late August 1961 while attempting to break into a parked cigarette vending truck on Route 35 in Danvers. His partners in crime were William B. O’Sullivan, Spike O’Toole, and Francis Xavier Murray. To make matters worse for themselves, the men tried to bribe the cops not once but twice after their arrest. The first time at the scene of the crime and the second time at the police station. But this only resulted in additional charges. The police also suspected the crew of robberies in Lawrence and Salem over the summer. They were released on $5000 bail. In late September, O’Sullivan, Murray, and O’Toole were all given suspended sentences and fined $500. Delaney was found innocent. Which still seems odd because Delaney’s 1957 sentence had included a 5 year parole period once he got out.



Nina:

 

Hannon had a 40 year long criminal record and an awful reputation including abusing prostitutes. At the time of his killing he was rumored to have recently robbed a bookie and that was alleged to have been the motive for his killing.

 

According to Buddy McLean’s biography, Hannon was tortured and killed in order to obtain information about Punchy McLaughlin’s whereabouts and Delaney was collateral damage. Buddy McLean allegedly arranged for Dorothy Barchard to lure Hannon and Delaney back to an apartment for sex. They had no clue it was a trap. Hannon gave up the info to Buddy and Joe McDonald that Punchy was meeting people in front of a variety of police stations and wouldn’t let anyone know the location until just before the meeting. 

 

Delaney was also interrogated. I assume that is how the information on the hit on Nicholson was obtained. But I have to state again that this information isn’t reliable. As we’ve picked apart timelines from that book, many events don’t ring true. Also according to his story it was Joe McDonald who gave the tranquilizers and alcohol to Delaney before strangling him. The coroner said it was one of the most grizzly murder scenes he had ever witnessed. 




Lara:

 

Let’s cover what was going on shortly before Hannon and Delaney were killed. In late June, the wiretap at Raymond’s picked up a conversation between Raymond Patriarca, Peter Limone, and Jerry Angiulo. Jerry stated that Harold Hannon had recently approached Peter Limone about the possibility of Georgie McLaughlin surrendering to the authorities. Limone contacted Jerry and Jerry contacted a bail bondsman to see if he’d provide bail to Georgie. The bondsman said he would but that it was really up to a judge to decide if bail would even be an option given that the charge was murder. Jerry asked about jurisdiction and the bondsman told him that since no indictment had been returned by the Suffolk County Grand Jury, that it would be up to the District Court to make a decision on bail.



Nina:

 

Jerry told Raymond that he had one condition whereby Georgie would surrender and that was that he not surrender to the FBI. What Jerry was suggesting was that Hannon should go around the Feds and cut them out altogether. 

 

I can only imagine how upset SA John Kehoe, who was listening to the wiretaps, and the other FBI agents must have been over this slight. The FBI had a warrant out for Georgie for what they said was his “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution”, and had placed him on their Top Ten Most Wanted List. When we were researching this episode, someone called it the “Most Hated List”, which is a much more accurate description, in my opinion. 

 

But it wasn’t just about jurisdiction. The Feds had it out for the McLaughlin brothers, and were willing to do anything to bring them down. The why of that is still an open question. Frank Salemme testified to Congress that it was because the McLaughlins made fun of SA H Paul Rico behind his back because he was always bragging about his relationship with Hoover. He claimed that the McLaughlins were wired too and that the Feds heard everything the McLaughlins were saying about them. There are many things in Frank’s testimony that are obvious lies and there are some that strike me as being credible. This is one that I’m willing to deem to be on the more credible side. 

 

Raymond and Jerry agreed that they’d suggest a lawyer to Hannon, but that Hannon would have to make all the negotiations on his own and they wouldn’t be involved beyond what they’d already done.



Lara:

 

The following year in January, the Boston Globe ran an article attempting to link the Hannon and Delaney murders to the murder of Philip Goldstein in 1959. We covered Goldstein’s murder briefly in our episode about Pro Lerner’s early days. Pro was arrested for planning to rob Goldstein’s son in December 1961. We were able to rule out Pro as a suspect in the murder because he was in South Carolina at that time performing on the baseball field which was covered in the press. But because of the similarities in how Hannon and Goldstein had been bound and knotted, law enforcement couldn’t overlook the possibility that they were killed by the same person. Like the others, no one was ever charged with their murders. 



Nina:

 

The timing is just very suspicious. There’s Jerry telling Raymond every little minute detail about Hannon and his negotiations for Georgie and then about one month later, Hannon gets tortured to death. And that brings back up the two guys from Providence Biesi and Colicci who were seen with Hannon shortly after the conversation on the wiretap. The bottom line is that the people with the most motivation to kill Hannon were the Feds. And when Punchy made another attempt in November to get Georgie into protective custody, he was shot at. I know you think it was Red and Pro who made that attempt and I’m inclined to agree but that just raises more questions, about Pro specifically.



Lara:

 

No shortage of duplicity in these stories. To muddy the waters, you have guys claiming hits that weren’t theirs. The Feds were listening to their conversations, and certain Feds that wanted certain individuals knocked out of the box and others in charge had access to that information. I still think Pro killed Sheridan, Buddy Mclean, and more than likely Punchy. What I’m not so sure of is at whose behest. Pro knew dad was an informant as did Jack, so there is the possibility that Pro had access to Rico through him. We know Jack did. So the “reasons” behind the hits are what I have my doubts about. 



Nina:

 

That’s what I’m questioning. Was it really because Punchy and Buddy were shaking down Jack? We’ll discuss it further when we cover the hit parade of 1965.

 

But let’s get back to 1964.

 

The next victim was Leo “Iggy” Lowry. On September 2nd, Lowry’s badly beaten body was discovered by a book salesman at 3 in the afternoon near the edge of Cross Street, off Route 139 in North Pembroke. His throat was slashed, but he died from a bullet fired into the back of his head. He’d been dead a little under 24 hours when his body was discovered. He had been last seen alive on August 31st leaving a bar in the South End of Boston, somewhere between 1:30 and 2:00 in the morning. Police said they believed that Lowry was slain at some other location and his body dumped. 



Lara:

 

Lowry had  served time for breaking and entering, larceny, and two escape attempts: once from Deer Island in 1951, and another from Charles Street Jail in Boston in 1952. Lowry had been employed as a foreman at a Boston construction firm at the time of his death. The main suspect in Lowry’s murder was Jimmy Flemmi. According to Casey Sherman’s book “Animal”, Lowry was bisexual and had been prostituting himself while he was in Charlestown State Prison. But upon Lowry’s release he fell for the wife of a gangster who was in the same circle as Joe Barboza and Jimmy Flemmi. The unnamed gangster spotted Lowry and his wife leaving a bar and followed them. In a fit of rage the upset husband tried to cut off Lowry’s head and when that proved too difficult, he shot him in the head. A couple of weeks later the gangster's wife shot him in the leg. Supposedly, Jimmy relayed the story to Barboza. Now how Jimmy would know that story is the question.



Nina:

 

It seems more likely that Jimmy killed Lowry. Whether it was over drugs or some jail secret, we will never know. Lowry’s murder also went unsolved, although again the Feds listed Jimmy Flemmi as his killer. 

 

Just two days after Lowry was found, Ronald Dermody’s dead body was discovered slumped across the front seat of a parked car on the corner of School and Belmont Streets in Watertown at 11 o’clock in the evening. Just fifteen minutes earlier, Ronnie had made a phone call to an attorney he’d been in contact with previously about getting his drivers license reinstated. Speaking of drivers licenses, Spike O’Toole’s drivers license was found in Ronnie’s wallet. Ronnie was trying to go straight and had a chance at a new job. But now the cops were after him. They’d been informed that Ronnie had been the one who had shot at 33 year old Charles Robinson on Broadway in Somerville the previous night.



Lara:

 

According to his attorney, Ronnie “was clearly upset. At times he bordered on incoherence. He was frantic. Ronnie told him: “The cops are after me everywhere. They think I shot some guy in Somerville. I didn’t do it. If I did, I wouldn’t even bother you. I’m leveling with you. I can take care of myself. It’s my wife I’m worried about. The cops went to my house and kicked in my door. You’ve got to help her. She hasn’t got anything to do with it.”

 

“Have your wife call me at this number… I’ll be there in about half an hour.” the lawyer promised. There was a slight pause in the conversation as Dermody fumbled for a piece of paper and pencil to write down the number. The lawyer waited for the second call, but it never came. The next day he learned that Dermody was dead. 



Nina:

 

According to the attorney, Dermody was on his way to contact his wife. The lawyer said that Dermody gave no indication in the conversation that he feared someone wanted to kill him.

 

Ronnie had allegedly made another phone call that night to someone else that he thought could help him. FBI SA H Paul Rico. Ronnie knew Rico from back in the mid-50s when he’d been arrested for robbing a bank in Pawtucket with Whitey Bulger. But unbeknownst to Ronnie, Buddy McLean was a favorite Confidential Informant of Rico’s. Rico set up a meeting with Ronnie, but Rico didn’t show up alone, he had Buddy with him. Buddy shot Ronnie 3 times in the head through a partially opened window on the passenger’s side of the vehicle. The fatal bullet struck Ronnie in the neck and passed out on the left side of his head, leaving a trickle of blood that ran down his face. 



Lara:

 

A witness reported hearing the gunshots, then about a minute later, the slamming of a car door and a car engine firing up. Her husband stepped outside in time to see Rico and Buddy driving away in a blue sedan. The two men returned to Rico’s home in Belmont, where Rico let Buddy hide out in his basement until the danger of arrest had passed.

 

Ronnie was the first of Whitey Bulger’s original crew to be released from prison, and the first to be murdered. The reason given for why Buddy wanted to kill Dermody was that Dermody had made some insane deal with the McLaughlins to kill Buddy, if the McLaughlins would kill Spike O’Toole. Which makes no sense, because as we all know, Spike was on the McLaughlins’ side, and he was sitting in jail when Ronnie was supposed to have gone to the McLaughlins to make this deal. Spike also had two children with Dorothy Barchard, who was Ronnie’s sister-in-law. 



Nina:

 

I want to touch briefly on SA H Paul Rico’s FBI career up to this point. He applied to be an FBI agent in the wake of the Brink’s Heist, and finished his training in April 1951. He returned to Boston on a hardship request in March of ‘52 because his father was ill.

 

In March ‘56, Rico and his partner SA Herbert Briick arrested Whitey Bulger in a bar in Revere. The story goes that Rico already knew Whitey from his days hustling in local gay bars where Rico supposedly went to recruit informants. Rico received a promotion as a result of his successful apprehension of Bulger. In addition to this achievement, Whitey convinced his accomplice’s wife, Dorothy Barchard, to become a Confidential Informant for the FBI, a role she played well into the late 1960s if not beyond.



Lara:

 

Rico tried to recruit dad when he was locked up in Charles Street jail in 1957, but according to Richie, he refused to cooperate, and Rico hated him on the spot. However, 5 years later, things changed. Rico knew that dad was running machine guns for the McLaughlins and trapped him while he was doing just that. With the threat of a lifetime in prison hanging over his head, dad agreed to become a Confidential Informant for the FBI. 

 

Rico was juggling multiple CIs by 1964, not just dad. His portfolio included: Dorothy Barchard, Buddy McLean, George Ashe, Jimmy Flemmi and his brother Stevie, to name a few. 



Nina:

 

I personally think that Ronnie was killed because of his past association with Whitey Bulger. He knew too much. Every single one of Whitey Bulger’s original crew was murdered except for two people, Richard and Dorothy Barchard. Why Richard was allowed to live out his days in relative peace is another mystery. What did he have to do or promise to make that happen? He went to the grave with that secret. Rico probably put that story out about Dorothy and Ronnie. And the media never mentioned that Dorothy was Ronnie’s sister-in-law, so they all bought it.



Lara: 

 

I agree with you. The whole story about Ronnie wanting to be with Dorothy and wanting to kill Buddy for that “privilege” is insane. Spike was in jail at the time. And forgive me, but Ronnie would have needed more than Spike out of the way considering how many guys Dorothy was keeping company with. But it was the only story that got any traction. Like the others, no one was ever charged in Ronnie’s murder. The next to be killed was Carlton Eaton

 

Eaton was found dead on September 26th. Earlier that year Eaton had been arrested with Iggy Lowry on charges of writing bad checks. At the time of Eaton’s killing he was estranged from his wife and three kids. His record went back to 1948 and included convictions for breaking and entering, bad checks and auto thefts. He served time in both Concord and Plymouth.

 

Joseph Barboza said that he killed Eaton while he was driving, Eaton was in the front passenger seat and Nicky Femia was in the back of the car. After shooting Eaton Barboza realized some of Eaton’s brain matter was in his hair. Barboza proceeded to put it in his mouth, but he spit out the piece of his skull. Barboza claimed that he killed Eaton because he had stolen Chico Amico’s diving equipment and owed him money from a bet Eaton made with Amico. Barboza was never charged with Eaton’s murder, nor was anyone else.



Nina:

 

The next slaying victim was Anthony Sacramone. Sacramone was murdered in Everett in the early morning hours of October 17, 1964. He was stabbed four times in his head and neck before being shot twice in the back of the head. The Everett police said, “Whoever murdered Sacramone first tried to stab him to death, then went berserk and shot him when the knife failed to kill.”

 

Everything about that description says Jimmy Flemmi murdered Sacramone. But the Feds were covering for Jimmy and told the Everett police that Teddy Deegan had committed the murder. They claimed that Teddy and Sacramone were in the car doing drugs, and Teddy lost control and attacked Sacramone.



Lara:

 

That makes no sense. Anthony Sacramone and his brother Americo were both with Buddy McLean from the time Americo was in the can with Buddy McLean. Everyone knew that. Just like everyone knew Teddy was with the McLaughlins. I don’t care how much of a junky you were, there’s no way you're getting in a car with the enemy. And I never once heard anything about Teddy being on drugs. Dad’s crew gossiped as much as Raymond and Jerry about the other guys’ personal lives. If someone was an addict they would have been going on about it endlessly. But as we know Jimmy was an addict and would later die from a heroin overdose in prison. Although no one was ever tried for Anthony Sacramone’s murder, it is more than likely that his killer was Jimmy Flemmi.



Nina:

 

There were two slayings in November. William J. Treannie on November 13th and Edward P. Huber on November 26th. Treannie’s body was found dismembered in two suitcases in the trunk of a car in Boston’s South End. Huber’s body was found in Hingham. He was estranged from his wife and had been roommates with Treannie. 

 

Treannie, Huber, John Murray and George Ashe were allegedly involved in a burglary ring which the authorities claimed pulled off 1500 burglaries in 18 months. I don’t know how they came up with that number, because the math doesn’t work. That’s like 3 burglaries a day every day with no off days. George would be killed the next month. We’ll talk about that shortly. John Murray was killed in January of 1965. We’ll be discussing that in episode 32.



Lara:

 

Their other two roomates were arrested for their murders. William Murray and Robert Cook were charged. Murray was acquitted, but Robert Cook was convicted of the slaying of Treannie and sentenced to life. An unnamed witness who was in protective custody testified that Treannie had killed Huber and was also the one who disposed of his body in Hingham with the help of the mystery witness.



Nina:

 

Great, another innocent guy who probably got shafted by these people. 

 

On December 16th George P. O’Brien was killed. He was shot three times on East Broadway in South Boston. It was believed not to be related to the gang war, but rather the result of a barroom brawl. O’Brien’s record consisted of petty crimes. He and the two men who were in the bar that evening had been charged the week before for breaking and entering and were each released on $10,000 bail. In early 1965, the police said they had a 25 year old suspect from Southie that they were investigating. But he was never arrested nor was anyone else.




Lara:

 

The final murder of 1964 was George Ashe who was killed on Christmas night. Ashe was stabbed 50 times and shot in the head. His body was discovered in the front seat of his sedan at roughly 6 am on the 26th. Hoover was informed of the murder on the same day that it took place. It was believed that Jimmy Flemmi murdered George Ashe because he found out that Ashe was also an informant for the FBI. George Ashe had made a deal in 1959 to get a reduced sentence on a murder accessory charge. His handler was SA H. Paul Rico, who also happened to be Jimmy’s handler. 



Nina:

 

Ashe had been released from prison in May of ‘64. I want to note that Ashe was a bartender at the club that Jack Kelley and his crew frequented. The brutality of Ashe’s murder is very simialr to that of Anthony Sacramone which in my mind definitely screams of Jimmy Flemmi’s handiwork. The Feds all the way up to Hoover were aware of this and continued to use Flemmi as an informant anyway. Jimmy was only later dropped as a Top Echelon Informant when he became a fugitive after failing to appear in court. I believe that there were other FBI Informants that have never been named, and that it is likely that more than a few ended up like George Ashe, victims of H. Paul Rico and his favorites.



Lara:

 

I agree, and I still believe that Rico had it in for the McLaughlins because of the conversations that got back to him of Georgie saying that Rico was having threesomes with Hoover and Tolson. And that even Rico’s fellow Feds couldn’t stand him because of his constant bragging about his relationship with Hoover. It’s one of the few stories of Salemme’s that I buy.

 

Well that’s it for today. Thank you all for listening. I’ve updated our website. You can now leave us voicemails in addition to sending us emails. If you have any information or thoughts you’d like to share, please feel free to message us. We love hearing from you. Next week’s episode is titled “The Defense Never Rests” in honor of the late F. Lee Bailey’s book. We’ll be covering the defense attorneys of these men and dad’s self proclaimed double agent status that includes cigar tubes and mice. You’ll have to listen in to hear that story. Also, I want to thank you guys for sharing our episodes. Our downloads are on the way up. Please keep sharing, following and leaving reviews!

 

Nina & Lara:

 

BYE!!!!!!!