Sunday, December 17, 2006

Aislin Silva is laid to rest

A decade after her murder and mutilation at the hands of Massachusetts mobsters, Aislin Silva was finally laid to rest on Dec. 11, according to a story by Megan Tench of the Boston Globe.

Silva's dismembered remains were discovered Dec. 1 within a hillside near William A. Welch Elementary School in Peabody MA, according to a Dec. 2 story by Raja Mishra of the Globe. Authorities had been searching for Silva since the 19-year-old's disappearance on November 12, 1996.

Two days after her disappearance, police found blood, hair and some samples of flesh matching Silva's DNA inside a dumpster at a Danvers MA car wash. They also found several bags of lime at the site.

A police excavation team began digging into a field near the Peabody school back on June 30.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts indicated that Silva was killed on orders of New England Mafia crew leader Paul A. "Big Paul" DeCologero. On Sept. 28, DeCologero, 48, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was convicted March 20 of racketeering crimes, including the murder.

DeCologero ordered the young woman murdered after police raided the Medford MA apartment of her boyfriend and crew member Stephen DiCenso. A number of high-powered handguns were discovered. DeCologero reportedly feared that Silva would tell authorities about the crew's drug trafficking activities.

Crew member Kevin Meuse, who is believed to have physically committed the murder by snapping Silva's neck, apparently hanged himself in prison in 1997.

Other members of DeCologero's crew have been imprisoned. Paul J. DeCologero, 32, nephew of the crew leader, was convicted of conspiring to kill Silva and sentenced to 25 years. Another nephew John P. DeCologero Jr. went to prison after a racketeering conviction. Joseph Pavone, 33, was convicted of witness tampering and sentenced to six years.

In spring 2005, Derek Capozzi, 33, was sent to prison for 23 years after a conviction for being an accessory to the murder of Silva. He reportedly assisted in dismembering her body after the murder.

DiCenso pleaded guilty to racketeering and cooperated in the investigation of the murder. He overdosed on heroin in 1996 and lost his ability to speak. In Capozzi's trial, DiCenso testified by typing responses to questions into a computer.

According to DiCenso's testimony, the crew initially tried to kill Silva by giving her a lethal overdose of heroin at DiCenso's apartment. She resisted taking the drug. The following morning Meuse showed up at the apartment and killed the teen after sending DiCenso out to get hacksaws and a metal cutter.

Other MobNews items related to the Silva murder:
Mass. men sentenced for witness tampering 09-02-2006
Mass. police search again for teen's remains 06-30-2006

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.