The courtroom scene: Before the verdict

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No smiles for Frank Calabrese Sr.

Before the verdict in the Family Secrets case, the mobsters put on a good face.

Frank Calabrese Sr. chatted with his attorney, Joseph R. Lopez, a skilled cook, about how to cook lobster tail.

Ever the flirt, Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo flashed a wink and a smile at two female attorneys.

James Marcello gave a wave and a smile to his son, James Jr., a faithful attendee of his father's trial.

Paul Schiro showed the same poker face he did through trial and sat huddled with his attorney.

Then the verdicts came.

Calabrese Sr. was found responsible for 7 of 13 murders.

He licked his lips repeatedly, a quick flick of the tongue, lizardlike, as the findings were read. His eyebrows arched. He leaned slightly forward. When he turned around to look at the gallery, his eyes were red. The killer was slightly teary eyed.

Joseph Lombardo slouched in his chair, his head tilted to the right, held up by his palm. When he was found liable for the Daniel Seifert murder, his head tilted sideways a little bit more. Then he straightened up and stared into space, expressionless.

James Marcello clasped his hands together but otherwise showed no emotion.

And Schiro, the only man out of the four mobsters not found liable for a mob hit, still sat stonefaced, not even a glint of relief of his face.

--Thanks to the crack Sun-Times staff of Abdon Pallasch and Art Golab for their observations from the gallery.

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They all deserve to rot in hell.

Were either of Calabrese's sons on hand during the verdict--or his family?

Furthermore, did you see any recognizable faces there, like Toots, Rocky Lamantia, Mike Sarno or Jarret JR,?

Any one of that manner? Any kind of reactions?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: None of the people you mentioned were in the gallery to hear the verdict.

Steve did any of the Calabrese family attend the initial verdicts? Particularly Nick Calabrese (the son), relatives, etc?

My only regret in all of this is that Nick now gets to possibly walk (not sure what "deal" he's getting).

And he was the worst of all these guys.

And what gets me about some of the murders like the Ortiz murder is that Nick Calabrese did the killing as he did with a few other murders yet Frank took the fall for them. I guess if your involved in any way you go down too. Thats how the cookie crumbles.

Steve superb unbiased reporting over the last few months. You didn't bash people in the case, or people mentioned in the case (Like your insane counterpart at the trib John Kass). After all until today these guys were innocent.

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I did not see any members of the Calabrese family at the verdict.

Just playing devil's advocate, I don't know if you can say Nick Calabrese was the worst of the bunch. He and his brother killed roughly the same number of people, according to court testimony.

Of course, when you're talking about men who kill people for a living, this may be a distinction without much of a difference.

Frank Calabrese Sr. did not pull the trigger in the Ortiz and Morawski murders, but he was pretty hands on in the other murders, according to court testimony.

And without Nick Calabrese's testimony, the case would have been substantially weaker. Nick Calabrese, of course, testified for his own self interest, to avoid the death penalty.

Remember, it's far from clear that Nick Calabrese gets to walk.

In fact, I would be stunned if he got a slap on the wrist from U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel, who is a law-and-order jurist, no matter how valuable an informant's cooperation.

I said it a few times before, when a couple of names that have come up in this trial no longer are alive,it wont be long before the two brothers are in the witness protection program,again it will make for one hell of a movie script

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Steve Warmbir

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Warmbir gives a run-down of the trial, witnesses, court proceedings and more.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Warmbir published on September 28, 2007 12:16 PM.

The jurors gave their verdict. What's yours? was the previous entry in this blog.

A Son's Eulogy for His Father is the next entry in this blog.

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