Monday, October 22, 2007

Mobster weeps during DeVecchio testimony

Testifying Oct. 18 about his experiences within the Colombo Crime Family, ex-mobster Lawrence Mazza, 46, broke down and cried on the witness stand, according to a story by Scott Shifrel of the New York Daily News. Mazza was testifying for the prosecution in the murder trial of former FBI supervisor Roy Lindley DeVecchio.

Mazza recounted his work, which included shooting and killing underworld rivals, on behalf of Colombo capo Gregory "the Grim Reaper" Scarpa (left). "I was his right hand man - very, very close," Mazza said. During the 1990s Colombo Family civil war, Mazza and his underworld colleagues would cruise around Brooklyn streets looking for their human targets.
When Mazza told of his personal background and his early desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, a New York Fire Department lieutenant, he began to cry. He noted that he spent a year at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, studying police and fire science, while he worked as a supermarket delivery boy. A chance meeting with Scarpa's girlfriend, Linda Schiro, changed all of his plans. Mazza wept uncontrollably, and a break had to be called in the trial.

Prosecutors charge that DeVecchio (right) provided information to Scarpa that aided him in his attacks on his rivals. DeVecchio insists he is innocent of wrongdoing. A number of current and former FBI agents have publicly supported him.

Mazza was arrested in 1993 and began cooperating with authorities the following year. He served time in prison for racketeering and murder.

Scarpa died in prison in 1994 at the age of 66. His son, Gregory Scarpa Jr., followed him into the mob and into prison. He is now serving time on a racketeering conviction.

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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.