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85-Year Old Chicago Mobster Still Has Soft Spot for Al Capone

Chicago Mobster Sam Valpendesto may be 85. He may appreciate a good early bird special meal. And he may be eligible for a senior discount at the movies. But he’s still very dangerous, prosecutors insist. A judge agreed.

Al Capone/fbi photo

Al Capone/fbi photo

By MIKE ROBINSON
The Associated Press
CHICAGO –– Even at age 85, reputed mobster Sam Volpendesto clearly has a soft spot for the days when Al Capone was boss in Chicago’s ruthless mob scene. In wiretap recordings released by federal prosecutors Monday, he seems to delight in telling how he lived among “very dangerous people” and watched one mobster put a human body through a meat grinder.

Prosecutors argued that Volpendesto is still a dangerous man, and only six years ago set off a pipe bomb that demolished a video poker company in Chicago’s suburban Berwyn. No one was injured, but prosecutors said it was a warning to stay away from the mob’s gambling monopoly in the area.

The recordings made by a confidential informant in May 2005 are part of a sweeping federal racketeering case. Volpendesto, diminutive and white bearded, is among seven men accused of plotting to carry out burglaries, robberies, arsons and other crimes dating back to 2001.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier seemed to agree with prosecutors and on Monday denied bail for Volpendesto, who has pleaded not guilty to racketeering and other charges. He has sought bail several times since his arrest last summer.

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