Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Decision on Limone suit expected by late March

U.S District Judge Nancy Gertner told Boston-area media that she expects to have a decision by late March or early April in a $100 million lawsuit against the federal government, according to a story by Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe. The suit was filed by Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati and the families of the late Henry Tameleo and the late Louis Greco.
Those four men were convicted of murder in a 1968 state case that was based largely on the perjured testimony of mob enforcer Joseph "the Animal" Barboza, who cooperated with the FBI. The FBI reportedly had knowledge that Barboza's testimony was false but did not share the information with state prosecutors. Barboza now appears to have had more to do with the crime charged to the four men - the March 12, 1965, murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan - than they did. Surveillance tapes created by the FBI caught Barboza and another gangster/informant Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi asking New England Mob Boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca for permission to kill Deegan.
Greco and Tameleo died in prison. Limone served 33 years in prison, and Salvati served 30 before winning parole. In 2001, the federal government release evidence showing that the men were not guilty of the Deegan murder.
Limone, Salvati (bottom right) and the families of Greco and Tameleo are seeking compensation for the years of imprisonment. Attorneys for the federal government have argued that there was no federal involvement in the prosecution of the four men, as it was entirely a state matter.

At the conclusion of the trial, Salvati, now 74, told the press, "We waited 42 years, and we're still waiting."

Mystery surrounds Guatemala killings

Investigators are still puzzling over the Feb. 25 murders of four imprisoned former police officers in Guatemala, according to a story by James C. McKinley Jr. of the New York Times.

The victims were Luis Arturo Herrera, head of the Guatemalan National Police organized crime unit and three of his men. The men were shot to death while in custody at a high security prison in Cuilapa, 40 miles east of Guatemala City. Investigators are trying to determine how gunmen might have passed through seven or eight locked doors to gain access to the prisoners. Twenty-two prison guards have been questioned, according to a story by Juan Carlos Llorca of the AP.

The four officers had been arrested Feb. 22 and charged with the Feb. 19 killings of three diplomats, who were representatives of El Salvador at the Central American Parliament based in Guatemala City. Herrera and his men confessed to the killings, saying they mistook the diplomats for drug dealers.
When the four police officers were initially detained in Guatemala City, the government received word that their lives were in danger. The four were moved to a cell in Cuilapa for their protection.
Some believe the officers were killed by other inmates in the prison, which is largely populated by gang members. (Prisoners rioted at about the same time the murders occurred.) But others say a group of gunmen in military uniforms entered the prison and committed the murders without any interference from prison personnel.
Guatemalan President Oscar Berger (right) said he believed the four men were killed by members of an organized criminal entity in order to keep them quiet. Rodrigo Avila, head of police in El Salvador agreed and noted, "It is clear that the people who committed these killings have some level of influence inside the police, prison or governmental structure."

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 tphunt@gmail.com.)
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website Mafiahistory.us; 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.