Friday, July 6, 2007

Chicago 'Family Secrets' trial

Trial updates:

- Roy L. McDaniel, a retired FBI fingerprint analyst, testified that reputed crime boss Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo's fingerprint was found on a car title document for a vehicle used by the 1974 killers of Daniel Seifert, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times. Seifert was set to testify that Lombardo was stealing funds from a Teamsters Union pension fund.

- Ronald Seifert, brother of murdered Daniel Seifert, testified that Daniel's wife told him she suspected Lombardo's involvement in the murder, according to Sun-Times coverage. Emma Seifert earlier testified that she was able to identify Lombardo among her husband's masked assassins by his build and his stride. Defense attorneys pointed out that she did not reveal her suspicion to police investigating the murder. She responded that she remained silent out of fear for her family. Ronald Seifert said Emma told him of her suspicions on the day of Daniel's death.

- Joel Glickman, an acknowledged bookmaker, refused to testify against defendant Frank Calabrese Sr. on July 2 despite a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to stories by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times and Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune. Glickman, 71, was asked if he had paid a "street tax" to Calabrese. He responded "I respectfully refuse to testify." Judge James Zagel found Glickman in contempt and sent him to lockup. He is expected to spend at least the duration of the trial behind bars. Prosecutors expected Glickman to testify that he paid between $1,300 and $2,000 a month for permission to run his gambling operation.

- Jim Stolfe, owner of Chicago's Connie's Pizza chain, testified Tuesday that he was approached in the early 1980s with a demand for a $300,000 "street tax," according to a video report by John Drummond of CBS-2 in Chicago. When Stolfe approached Frank Calabrese Sr. with the problem, Calabrese arranged for Stolfe to pay $100,000 instead. Later, he realized that Calabrese was behind the extortion racket.

- On Tuesday, Frank Calabrese Jr. (above) took the stand and began testifying against his father, a reputed bigshot of the Chicago Outfit., according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times. The younger Calabrese recalled being caught after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his father's underworld enterprises. Frank Sr. "pulled out a gun, and he stuck it in my face and told me, 'I'd rather have you dead than disobey me.'" Frank Jr. recalled going out with his father and his uncle Nick Calabrese on collections, and he testified that his father had him set fire to a garage. The theft from his father was in support of a cocaine habit, Frank Jr. revealed on the stand.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.