Please read about more mystery deaths. Lots more soon. Read below.
5 mobsters down, but more work ahead
September 11, 2007
Joseph "The Clown" Lombardo wasn't pleased with Monday's verdict in the Family Secrets Outfit conspiracy trial in federal court.
He was found guilty, along with the other street bosses and soldiers. Well after the verdict, as court was ending, Lombardo jabbed his cane into the courtroom floor, making angry, frustrated gestures at his veteran criminal defense lawyer Rick Halprin.
Why he was angry with Halprin was anyone's guess, but I'll speculate that Lombardo expected some kind of a miracle. But this was federal court, not Cook County Circuit Court, and so there were no friendly ward organizations to sprinkle magic fairy dust over some local judge.
Now, about those 18 killings ...
It wasn't Halprin who put Lombardo's fingerprint on the title application for a car used in the 1974 murder of federal witness Danny Seifert. It was Lombardo who pressed his finger there. Now he's paying for it: The 78-year-old Outfit boss won't be free until the demons come for him at the end of his days.
While Lombardo was animated, Jimmy Marcello, 65, kept his face as smooth as egg whites on a plate, cheeks pale against his black polo shirt and gray sports jacket, in that west suburban let's-go-to-Rosebud look. He gave his lawyer Marc Martin a kiss on the cheek.
Anthony "Twan" (Passafiume) Doyle -- the 62-year-old Chicago cop and Chinatown crew bone crusher and debt collector who found himself on federal tape talking about cattle prods for Outfit informants -- closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair.
He might have been wondering why he didn't plead guilty and take 5 years, rather than face up to 20 on the racketeering charge. Or he might have merely closed his eyes to avoid the jury that stood, individually, bravely affirming their convictions of Doyle and the others.
We couldn't see Frank Calabrese Sr., 70, too well. His lawyer Joe Lopez had him hunker down behind file folders. So I couldn't see if he looked like a benign cheese salesman from Wisconsin, the way I'd seen him at the beginning of all of this, or the kind of man who'd put his heel against your neck as he pulled the rope.
But there was one more. Paul "The Indian" Schiro, 69, a jewelry thief who previously was convicted in an unrelated case and worked in the gang led by former Chicago Police Chief of Detectives William Hanhardt.
Schiro stood behind the visibly upset Lombardo, but Schiro, ever the servant, kept still. He hasn't made a face throughout this long trial and kept his flat again on Monday. Lombardo waved his arms, a spindly primate, and Schiro just stood there, like a butler, the loyal domestic ready to clean up again after his boss if something got spilled.
They're all guilty now, with more arguments set for Tuesday about which of the men should be held responsible for 18 previously unsolved murders in this case.
And I wonder -- and I'm sure the Outfit is wondering -- where the feds go from here? Do they keep pushing on the old murders? Or do they begin to finally focus on the connection between local politics and the Outfit?
I don't know. But I do know there are other unsolved slayings of recent vintage.
Though 18 are on their way to being resolved, here are a few unsolved deaths.
One of these isn't even called a murder. It's called an accident. A Chinatown accident in Will County.
Nick LoCoco, 64, an Outfit bookie and retired City Hall hack -- also indicted in the City Hall Hired Truck scandal -- died in November 2004.
LoCoco died of a crushed skull while taking a horseback ride during football season. How odd. I'm not a gambler, but I've never heard of a bookie deciding to take a horsey-back ride on a Sunday afternoon between NFL games. But LoCoco apparently did, and he died for it.
If you believe that bookies take horseback rides during NFL games, you might be what Twan Doyle calls a "chumbolone," Chinatown slang for someone lacking the necessary wits.
But you're reading this, so you're no chumbolone.
Another strange case was last year's disappearance of mobster Anthony Zizzo, 71, involved in Family Secrets, who left his Jeep at a Melrose Park restaurant and has never been found.
The 2001 killing of Anthony "The Hatch" Chiaramonti at a Brown's Chicken and Pasta place in Lyons remains unsolved, as is the December 1999 slaying of Bridgeport neighborhood burglar and hitman Ronnie Jarrett.
Jarrett, the friend of Outfit turncoat Nicholas Calabrese, was gunned down outside his home. Witnesses said they saw two African-American men running, which is about as believable as Nick LoCoco on a horse with a game on TV.
In 1999, Chicago water taxi service owner Donald Schemel, 48, received two bullets behind his ear at 1900 S. Lumber St., after his business was being harassed by City Hall inspectors.
And Michael Cutler, 19, was killed in 1998 in an apparent robbery on the West Side. Cutler was a witness in the savage beating of Lenard Clark, a young black teenager who was assaulted by the son of Frank "Toots" Caruso. Frank Jr. was convicted of the sensational crime. And Cutler got one in the chest.
What does this tell us?
That the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office still have much work to do.