Saturday, September 29, 2007

Secrets: Three defendants guilty of 10 murders

Calabrese, Lombardo, Marcello
could be sentenced to life in prison

Jury deadlocked on Schiro charge

The jury in Chicago's Family Secrets trial on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007, convicted three aging mob bosses of ten gangland murders, according to an Associated Press story by Mike Robinson.

Frank Calabrese, Sr., 70 (at right, top); James Marcello, 65 (at right, second from top), Joseph Lombardo, 78 (at right, third from top); and already facing long prison sentences in connection with racketeering convictions, now face the possibility of life behind bars for the racketeering murders. The jury deadlocked on whether Paul Schiro, 70 (at right, second from bottom), was guilty of murder. Family Secrets defendant Anthony Doyle, 62 (at right, bottom), was not charged with involvement in the racketeering murders. Schiro and Doyle still face significant jail time - up to 20 years each - due to their racketeering conspiracy convictions in the case.
The five defendants were convicted of racketeering conspiracy on Sept. 10. Jurors then deliberated for eight days on the murder charges, which relate to slayings as long ago as 1970.
Joseph Lopez, attorney for Calabrese, complained of the media circus surrounding the case and promised an appeal, according to a story by Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune. "I don't think anybody charged with a case like this could get a fair trial anywhere, because of the publicity prior to trial," he said.
  • Calabrese was convicted of seven murders: the 1980 shotgun deaths of William and Charlotte Dauber, the 1981 car-bombing of Michael Cagnoni, and the slayings of John Fecarotta, Michael Albergo, Richard Ortiz and Arthur Morawski. Calabrese was earlier convicted of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, running an illegal gambling enterprise. He was initially charged with 13 racketeering murders.
  • Marcello was convicted of participating in the June 1986 beating deaths of brothers Anthony and Michael Spilotro. Marcello was earlier convicted of racketeering conspiracy, obstructing a criminal investigation, running an illegal gambling enterprise and tax fruad conspiracy. He was initially charged with three racketeering murders.
  • Lombardo was convicted of the 1974 shooting death of Daniel Seifert, who was expected to testify in a federal investigation of Lombardo. Lombardo was earlier convicted of racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He was charged only with the Seifert murder.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining eight murders, including the 1981 slaying of Nicholas D'Andrea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell Mars noted that jurors seemed to have difficulty convicting on just the testimony of mob turncoat Nicholas Calabrese.
"It seems that they... wanted to have some solid corroboration for our main witness," Mars said. "So it seems they're broken down along the lines of Calabrese's testimony."
Some of the murder charges were supported through statements on surveillance tapes and/or forensic evidence, he noted.

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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.