FILE – This 1995 file photo taken in West Palm Beach, Fla., and released by the FBI shows Francis P. “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, was sentenced for the killing of a nightclub owner in 1993. Salemme faces life in prison when he is sentenced in a federal court on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Boston. (Federal Bureau of Investigation via AP, File)
BOSTON – An 85-year-old former New England Mafia boss who was convicted for the killing of a nightclub owner in 1993 to take him out to talk with the authorities was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.
Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, the former head of the New England family of La Cosa Nostra, was found guilty in June in the killing of Steven DiSarro, whose remains were discovered in 2016.
Salemme’s co-defendant, Paul Weadick, also received a mandatory life sentence.
Before being sentenced, Salemme stood up and said: “the real story” a day will come.
The federal prosecutor, Fred Wyshak, called Salemme ruthless and barbaric, and said that he “richly deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Salemme’s trial transported jurors back to a time when the Mafia was a feared and powerful force in Boston and the surrounding area. With slicked-back grey hair and a weak frame, Salemme is almost unrecognizable from the huge mafia boss depicted in grainy surveillance photos of his heyday.
Another former member of the family told the authorities that he saw Salemme son strangled DiSarro while Weadick held the nightclub owner feet, and Salemme was. Salemme’s son, who was known as “Frankie boy,” died in 1995.
The authorities were looking for Salemme’s involvement in DiSarro’s nightclub the Channel. The federal government had told DiSarro he would be sued and gives them information about Salemme.
Salemme and Weadick, the lawyers said the other gunman, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, was taking Salemme down and help yourself. Flemmi, the notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, the partner and once good friends with Salemme, is serving a life sentence for killing 10 people.
Salemme and Weadick insisted they had nothing to do with DiSarro kill.
Salemme, who is admitted to a lot of other murders, lived in Atlanta under the name Richard Parker in 2016, when the FBI received a tip that the remains were buried in the neighbourhood of a mill building in Providence, Rhode Island. Salemme’s lawyer asked why he would admit to that slaughter, but never fess up to ordering DiSarro death.
Salemme decided to cooperate with the government after learning that Bulger and Flemmi were informing the FBI behind his back. In exchange for the government cut his sentence for a 1999 racketeering conviction and he went into the witness protection program.
He was kicked out of witness protection in 2004, when he was charged with lying to investigators for the suggest of another gangster murdered DiSarro, but was later allowed back under the protection of the government.