Friday, February 6, 2009

Outfit's Marcello sentenced to life in prison

Former Chicago mob boss James Marcello, convicted of racketeering and racketeering murders in the 2007 Family Secrets case, was sentenced yesterday to life in prison, according to reports by Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press.

Prosecutors believe Marcello (right) was the highest ranking mob leader brought down in the case. Among other crimes, he was convicted of involvement in the 1986 murders of brothers Anthony and Michael Spilotro. The Spilotros beaten bodies were found buried in an Indiana cornfield. Michael Spilotro head led an Outfit arm in Las Vegas for more than a decade. The Spilotro story was fictionalized in the movie "Casino."

At sentencing, Marcello maintained his innocence, allowing his attorneys to speak for him: "Mr. Marcello has denied his involvement in the Spilotro brothers' murder... That's all he can do."

Marcello was also convicted of participating in the 1981 beating death of Nicholas D'Andrea. D'Andrea and Spilotro relatives spoke at the sentencing hearing yesterday.

"[Marcello] should have known better," said Patrick Spilotro, brother of the murdered Spilotros, "having lost his own father in a grisly, horrible fashion - stuffed into a 50-gallon barrel."

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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.