Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Secrets: Prosecution's closing arguments

Assistant U.S. Attorney Markus Funk assailed defendant Frank Calabrese Sr.'s character during closing arguments in Chicago's Family Secrets trial yesterday, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun Times.

Funk played the jury clip after clip of Calabrese's secretly recorded conversations. "You can hear that man laughing, laughing about the murders," the prosecutor said at one point.

Calabrese (right) is charged with involvement in 13 mob murders. The prosecutor also outlined the evidence against the other defendants in the trial, Joseph "the Clown" Lombardo, James Marcello, Paul Schiro and former police officer Anthony Doyle.

Funk noted that, in order to believe the stories presented by defendants who took the stand, the jury would have to accept that several of them were unlucky enough to be caught by federal eavesdropping devices as they play-acted, according to a story by Rob Olmstead of the Chicago Daily Herald.

When Lombardo took the stand, he testified that he merely acted the part of a mob boss from time to time. He insisted he had no connection to the underworld.

The prosecutor urged jurors to stand up for the rule of law: "Who gives them the right to take the lives of other human beings? How is it that they can just walk into a business and demand money?"

Funk was scheduled to complete his closing remarks today. Closing arguments are expected to continue through Thursday.

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US Mafia was born in New Orleans

book cover


Deep Water:
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia

Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related 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.