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Archive for October 10th, 2019

Dan Moldea: On The 44 Anniversary of Jimmy Hoffa’s Disappearance. Here’s What I Think Happened

The writer, a Washington investigative journalist specializing in organized-crime and political-corruption investigations, is a Jimmy Hoffa murder expert. He is the author of “The Hoffa Wars” (1978) and eight other books. Tuesday marks the 44th anniversary of the unsolved disappearance of Hoffa, who wanted to regain the presidency of the Teamsters. 

James R. Hoffa

By Dan Moldea

Jimmy Hoffa disappeared 44 years ago today.

In early August 1975, while serving twenty years at Trenton State Prison for manslaughter, inmate Ralph Picardo received a visit from his accountant, who was accompanied by Stephen and Thomas Andretta, two of the alleged co-conspirators in Hoffa’s murder a few days earlier.  Picardo, who was a close friend of the Andretta brothers, told the FBI in or about November 1975 that he had spent some time alone with Steve Andretta during that prison visitation.  According to Picardo, Andretta had given him a few details about the murder.

Picardo told the FBI that, based on what he had learned from Andretta, Hoffa had been murdered near Detroit in a killing engineered by New Jersey mobster Anthony Provenzano, the Andretta brothers’ boss.  After his death, according to Andretta via Picardo, Hoffa was stuffed into a 55-gallon oil drum, loaded onto a Gateway Transportation truck, and shipped to New Jersey.

Shortly thereafter, Picardo made a deal with federal prosecutors and became the most credible witness about the Hoffa case to date.

When he was asked by the FBI specifically who had murdered Hoffa, Picardo replied that he didn’t know for sure but added that Salvatore Briguglio, Provenzano’s top lieutenant, had earlier received a contract from his boss to kill Hoffa in late 1973 or early 1974.  Provenzano sent Briguglio a note, delivered by his brother, Gabriel Briguglio, asking him to execute the Hoffa hit.

Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano

When Picardo was asked by the FBI where Hoffa was taken in New Jersey via the Gateway truck, he again replied that he didn’t know for sure but added that his friends in the Provenzano crew frequently disposed of dead bodies at a landfill in Jersey City, owed by Phillip Moscato, a soldier in the Genovese crime family.

In 1975-1976,  I revealed—in what was my biggest contribution to this case—that a vicious Hoffa rival, Rolland McMaster, was the mystery man behind a series of acts of violence—bombings, beatings, shootings, and general sabotage—directed primarily against Hoffa’s allies in Detroit’s Local 299, the last of which was a car bombing just twenty days before Hoffa vanished.

On the day of Hoffa’s murder, McMaster was with his brother-in-law, Stanton Barr, who was the head of Gateway Transportation’s steel division in Detroit.  Also, one of McMaster’s top goons was Jim Shaw, a long-haul driver for Gateway, who, directed by McMaster, had participated in the earlier anti-Hoffa violence in Local 299.  In addition, on the night before Hoffa’s murder, McMaster and Barr had met with Provenzano at a restaurant in Detroit, according to another federal witness, Donovan Wells, a long-time business associate of McMaster.

Dan Moldea’s book.

Only Person Living or Dead

Notably, I am the only person in the world, living or dead, who has interviewed all of these suspects—the Andretta brothers, the Briguglio brothers, Moscato, McMaster, Barr, and Shaw.  And most of these interviews were recorded.

I also recorded interviews with other persons of interest, including Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien, Hoffa’s “foster son,” and Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who would later falsely claim to have killed Hoffa.

Confirming that Ralph Picardo “basically had it right,” Phillip Moscato told me—on tape—that he and Briguglio had unloaded the barrel containing Hoffa’s body from the Gateway truck and then buried it at his landfill in Jersey City.

Read more »

Separating Fact from Fiction in the Hit on Mobster Joey ‘Crazy Joe’ Gallo

The author is an organized crime researcher.

By Andy Petepiece

Frank Sheeran

Charles Brandt’s bestselling book, “I Heard You Paint Houses” is the foundation of Martin Scorsese’s new film, “The Irishman.” Brandt conducted many interviews with long-time Teamster Frank Sheeran who claimed he killed Jimmy Hoffa. Among many other crimes that Sheeran took ownership of was the 1972 murder of notorious Mafioso Joseph “Crazy Joe” Gallo. Sheeran lied to Brandt about this event which brings all his other statements into question.

Most experts agree that the Colombo family put out a contract on Joey Gallo. Sheeran’s story was that he was ordered to carry out the hit after running into Gallo at the Copacabana night club in the early hours of April 7, 1972.  Sheeran claimed he knew that Gallo would be in Umbertos restaurant later on and that he had a seating plan of the new joint. These latter two points are outright lies.

On that fateful night Gallo was accompanied to Umbertos by his new wife Sina Essary, her young daughter Lisa, Gallo’s recently widowed sister Carmella Fiorello, associate Peter “Pete the Greek” Diapoulos, and his date Edith Russo.  After the shooting, Sina Gallo and Carmella explained to the police and FBI that they had initially planned to go to Luna’s restaurant but found it closed. They then accidentally came across Umberto’s and decided to go in to eat. (see FBI report NY92-4123)

Peter Diapoulos later confirmed this version in his book “The Sixth Family” on page 143. After seeing a show at the Copacabana, Greek wished to call it a night but, “he (Gallo) …wanted to go to Su Ling’s. It was closed… Then he decided on Luna’s….but it was shut and dark when we drove up.” Diapoulus then explained how they turned a corner and came upon the still open Umbertos. The Gallo party went in much to their later regret. They ended up there by chance.

The versions of Carmella, Sina, and Diapoulos are in accord. There was no way Sheeran would know beforehand they would be in Umbertos let alone have a seating plan of the place.

Brandt either didn’t check the FBI reports on the shooting or chose to ignore them. Instead, he believed Sheeran’s version. This confidence was misplaced.

An FBI report sent to FBI Director Hoover at 10:10 AM, the day of the killing, includes Gallo’s sister’s description of the shooter to the NYPD. “Lone assailant described by sister as white, male, five feet seven inches, Italian, age early forties. ”

According to “top echelon informants” quoted in an April 12/72 FBI memo “…the participants in the gang killing of Joey Gallo were Carmine DiBiase, also known as Sonny Pinto and his close associate (Phil Gambino) …”

An April 13/72 FBI report contains this information, “NYPD has a witness (Carmella Gallo) who stated photo of (the brother) of Vincent Aloi, Acting Boss, Colombo Family, resembles individual who killed Gallo. It is noted that the photo of Carmine DiBiase closely resembles photo of (Benny Aloi)….” Carmella has picked the wrong guy, but this person looked like an Italian and NOT Irishman Sheeran.

Lead Shooter

Peter Diapoulos recognized DiBiase as the lead shooter.  On page 144 of “The Sixth Family” the Greek states, “Just then, at the side door I saw Sonny Pinto. ….Sonny firing shots right for our faces.” Diapoulos knew DiBiase and recognized him immediately. This was NOT Frank Sheeran shooting.

Read more »

Racist, Former New Jersey Police Chief Found Guilty of Lying to FBI

Bordentown Township Police Chief Frank Nucera.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A racist, former New Jersey police chief was found guilty Wednesday of lying to the FBI after he allegedly assaulted a handcuffed black teenager at a hotel and denied playing a role in the arrest.

The jury, however, remained deadlocked on federal civil rights and hate crime charges and were asked to continue deliberating.

Former Bordentown Township Police Chief Frank Nucera, 62, was the first law enforcement officer charged with a federal hate crime in at least a decade.

Nucera’s fellow officers secretly recorded him dozens of times using racial slurs. He said Donald Trump, who was a presidential candidate at the time, was the “last hope for white people.” He compared black people to ISIS and animals, said they should “stay the fuck out of Bordentown” because they had “no value,” and even suggested a firing squad should kill black people.

Nucera could be sentenced to up to five years when he is sentenced Feb. 6 for lying to the FBI.

The jury is still deliberating on two counts of hate-crime assault and deprivation of civil rights, The Trentonian reports.  Each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

“We’re gonna wait and see what happens tomorrow,” defense attorney Rocco Cipparone Jr. said outside the courtroom. “Of the three counts, this is the lesser of three evils. That doesn’t mean I’m happy with it. But it is what it is and I have to accept it at this point.”

Fellow officers said Nucera slammed a handcuffed black teenager’s head into a door jam after he was falsely accused of swimming in a hotel pool without paying for a room.

Nucera insisted to FBI agents that he was not involved in the arrest.

Group of Armed Men Tried to Rob a DEA Agent. It Didn’t Go Well

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A group of armed men chose the wrong person to mug.

An undercover DEA agent was in a residential area of northeast Atlanta investigating drug trafficking Tuesday when the armed men approached the agent and tried to mug him.

Nearby agents responded and exchanged fire with the muggers. One suspect was shot and taken to the hospital, Chad W. Cook, associate special agent in charge of the DEA in Atlanta, said told reporters.

“Other agents on the scene attempted to intervene and shots were exchanged between the assailants and the agents,” Cook said.

Three suspects were arrested, and they are being charged in federal court. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe.

No federal agents were injured.