Tuesday, October 16, 2007

FBI's DeVecchio comes to trial

Roy Lindley DeVecchio, an ex-FBI supervisor accused of cooperating with brutal Mafia bigshot, was in Brooklyn State Supreme Court yesterday for the opening of his trial, according to a story by Michael Brick of the New York Times.

DeVecchio, 67 (right), has been a well respected law enforcement professional and retains the support of many of his FBI peers. He made a significant contribution to the landmark Mafia Commission Case in the 1980s, which put the nation's top crime bosses behind bars.

Prosecutors charge that he lost his way between 1980 and 1993 and began trading information with a Colombo Crime Family capo, the late Gregory "the Grim Reaper" Scarpa Sr., who also served as an FBI informant. They say that he accepted cash and other compensation for cooperating with Scarpa in his efforts to eliminate Mafia rivals and other suspected informants. DeVecchio is accused of causing four murders and of failing to stop several others.

The prosecution witness list includes Linda Schiro, Scarpa's common law wife.

DeVecchio defense attorney Douglas Grover insists that Schiro has engineered her testimony in order to sell books. He argued that the working relationship between his client and Scarpa was not inappropriate. "Gregory Scarpa, as ugly and miserable a human being as he was - a made member of the Colombo Crime Family - was a top echelon FBI source," Grover said.

DeVecchio waived his right to trial by jury. His fate will be decided by Judge Gustin L. Reichbach. DeVecchio's attorneys tried a number of maneuvers to avoid state trial, including arguing for the case to be heard as a federal matter.

Gregory Scarpa Sr. (left), who is believed to have played a role in extracting information from Ku Klux Klansmen about the murders of civil rights workers in the 1960s, died in prison in 1994 at the age of 66.

His son, Gregory Scarpa Jr., followed him into an organized crime career. The younger Scarpa, now in prison on a racketeering conviction, is also expected to testify in the DeVecchio trial. Prosecutors say the two Scarpa's teamed up for the Sept. 24, 1984, murder of Mary Bari in the Occasions Bar in Bensonhurst, according to a story by Alex Ginsberg of the New York Post. Scarpa Jr. allegedly held Bari in a bear hug as Scarpa Sr. put three bullets into her head. Prosecutors say the Scarpas learned from DeVecchio that Bari was about to lead federal investigators to her fugitive boyfriend, reputed Colombo Crime Family bigshot Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico.

About Me

My photo
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.