Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Family Secrets mob trial with Sun-Times reporter Steve Warmbir

Dr. Pat has his say

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Patrick Spilotro, a dentist who is the brother of slain mobsters Anthony and Michael Spilotro, had his say in federal court Thursday at the sentencing of mob boss James Marcello.

Marcello is the man who drove the Spilotro brothers to their deaths in 1986, delivering them to the home where they would be jumped and killed.

Patrick Spilotro told the judge how much he misses his brothers and what their deaths did to their families.

"Let the court know that this chapter in our lives ends here, and let it be an example to others everywhere," Spilotro said. "James Marcello passed on the pain he has known. And now today, he will reap what he has sown.

Spilotro was referring to the mob murder of Marcello's own father.

Spilotro also said he believed that his brother Anthony's good friend, Joseph Lombardo, took part in the order of his brothers' murders.

He also listed all the others noted at trial who participated, the vast majority of them dead by now.

"These people who denied my brothers a prayer deserve no mercy," Patrick Spilotro said.

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Pat, since you are such a tuff guy why dont you go after the guys that are free , walking the streets. Oh i forgot your bothers where to ANGELS

Exactly what I was going to say. What about all the pain and suffering your brothers inflicted upon people? Did they ever give anyone a chance for prayer?

This sentencing is another example of horse shit. The Government takes the word of an admitted hit man (Nick Calabrese) who would probably blame Martians and Space Aliens if he had to, and puts another person behind bars based on circumstancial evidence.

What makes Nick Calabrese such a reliable source?

And as far as Pat quoting the Bible (Reap Sown, etc...) He should stick to Dental journals or whatever it is that Dentists read.

They should reserve life sentences to people like George Ryan and Blagojevich - both Treasonists.

I have no faith in the legal system whatsoever.

the good doctor needs to tend to patients, and not live in denial as his denial is that he believes that his brothers were church going family men, honorable men and good figures to follow, which is so far from the truth.....and what he is moaning and complaining and whining about like a little girl is that one gangster killed another gangster, and the dead gangster is his i feel sorry for any of them...NO WAY, AND NO WAY DOC, YOU SHOULD LEARN TO SHUT UP AND QUIT CRYING LIKE A BABY. YOU SHOULD STEP UP AND BE A MAN AND APOLOGIZE TO THE FAMILIES YOUR BROTHERS MADE VICTIMS OF, AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, HERE'S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BROTHERS

Spilotro was born and raised in Chicago, went to Steinmetz High School and was a bully from an early age Spilotro became a "Made Man" in 1963, after squeezing a man's head in an industrial vice to get a confession, and was assigned to a large bookmaking operation. For a while, Spilotro was a bail bondsman for reputed mob associate Irwin "Red" Weiner. Spilotro's boyhood friend, Frank Cullotta, admitted that for many years he'd done "muscle work" on Spilotro's behalf, including the 1962 "M&M Murders" of James Miraglia and Billy McCarthy[citation needed]. Spilotro had ordered the killings after the two men robbed and murdered three businessmen in a suburban Chicago neighborhood where several members of the Chicago Outfit lived, territory that was considered off limits to criminal activity.

After his own arrest, Cullotta subsequently became a federal witness, or a "snitch" to save himself, after he thought Spilotro was out to kill him. In November 1981 Meanwhile, Spilotro was tried before Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Maloney, in Chicago, for the Miraglia and McCarthy killings, while Cullotta's foiled executioner Neumann was sentenced to life in prison in 1983. Judge Maloney did not accept Cullotta's statements as evidence or as proof "beyond a reasonable doubt." The judge, in turn, acquitted Spilotro. (In 1992, Judge Maloney was convicted through Operation Greylord of accepting bribes in several unrelated cases, including murder cases.) Spilotro and Rosenthal worked together to embezzle profits from the casinos (i.e., "the skim"), which were then sent back to The Outfit and other Midwestern Mafia families, such as Kansas City, St. Louis and Milwaukee. Spilotro, in 1976, formed a burglary ring with his brother Michael and Blitzstein, utilizing about eight associates as burglars. Tony had had an affair with Rosenthal's wife, Geraldine McGee Rosenthal

Spilotro was implicated in the murders of Bill McCarthy and James Miraglia, known to the public as the "M&M Murders." There was a 70 percent increase in murders in Las Vegas following Spilotro's arrival. McCarthy and Miraglia were two young robbers who had robbed and shot two businessmen and a woman in the mobster populated neighborhood of Elmwood Park, near Chicago. They were also in debt to Spilotro's old boss, Sam DeStefano. Their bodies were discovered on May 15, 1962, in the trunk of a car dumped on the Southwest Side of Chicago. Both had been beaten badly and had their throats slit. From McCarthy's injuries, it seems his head was placed in a vise, popping out his eye, presumably to persuade him to disclose the whereabouts of Miraglia. The murder of Bill McCarthy (re-named "Tony Dogs") is included in Martin Scorsese's 1995 film Casino.

Spilotro may have been involved in the attempted car bombing murder of Lefty Rosenthal on October 4, 1982. He was also incriminated in the murder of his onetime mentor "Mad" Sam DeStefano on April 15, 1973, while DeStefano, his brother Mario and Spilotro were all facing trial for the murder of Leo Foreman, a local collector for the mob, who had been tortured to death in Sam DeStefano's basement. Spilotro is further suspected of murdering real estate heiress Tamara Rand; Teamsters Union executive Allen Dorfman, alongside whom Spilotro was indicted in 1984; and Danny Siefert, the manager of the International Fiber Glass Company. Siefert was to be a principal witness in the fraud case but was shot in front of his wife and four-year-old son in September 1974. The fiberglass company was later burned to the ground by arsonists, whereupon they claimed the insurance money.

When Spilotro gained control of Las Vegas, he is alleged to have murdered Frank "the Bomp" Bompensiero, the consigliere of the "Mickey Mouse Mafia" in California. Bompensiero may have been cooperating with the FBI and was viewed as an embarrassment to the bosses in the Midwest. (Before his murder, Bompensiero helped Spilotro locate Tamara Rand, who was pressuring Frank Rosenthal's front man Allen Glick to make good on a $2 million loan.)

According to former Willow Springs, Illinois, police chief Michael Corbitt, rumors on the street implicated Spilotro in the murder of former Chicago Outfit boss Sam Giancana. The FBI believes Spilotro was also involved in the torture murder of loan shark enforcer William "Action" Jackson, who worked for DeStefano in the 1950s and 1960s. The Chicago Outfit thought Jackson had become an FBI informant in 1961. Spilotro allegedly took Jackson to a meat packing plant, where he hung him by a meat hook inside the rectum and then crippled Jackson by smashing his knees with a hammer and poking his genitals with an electric cattle prod. Jackson was left near death for three days before finally succumbing to his injuries.






I read that Patrick Spilotro called out John DiFronzo during this same statement and challenged law enforcement to go after him. Also, I read somewhere that the FBI had him under survellience while they were searching for Lombardo while the latter was "unavailable." Anyhow, is a DiFronzo indictment the Grand Prize for the government? Family Secrets is no doubt a huge deal, but DiFronzo is considered the Big Boss, is he not? Accardo, Aiuppa, Ferriola/Carlisi's successor? (It's been confusing, as the media has basically referred to all the defendants as bosses, except Schiro.) Is there any kind of a buzz about an impending DiFronzo indictment?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: As I noted in my story in the Chicago Sun-Times, Patrick Spilotro did indeed challenge the FBI to get John DiFronzo indicted.

DiFronzo is certainly in the upper echelon, but last time I checked, was not considered an active, top leader of the Outfit.

It appears the feds believe DiFronzo took part in the Spilotro murders, but all they have is Nick Calabrese's testimony putting him there, and nothing else to back it up, as they did in other murders in the Family Secrets case.

So while it would be fair to surmise that the feds would want to charge DiFronzo, his indictment wouldn't be any more of a feather in the government's cap than say, Lombardo or Marcello. And don't forget, the Calabrese brothers killed more than a dozen people, and they were taken out in the Family Secrets case.

All that said, I do not believe that an indictment of DiFronzo is imminent.

Tom sure hit the nail on the head. I'm sure Tony and his brother Michael are "angels" in heaven. Ha! Ha!

To both of you-
For people that dont have faith in the legal system I hope no one in your family is never murdered or raped or hurt in anyway that they have to go to trial to put the person away. It is not easy and its not fun. Regardless of who the people were that were killed, the people that did it still deserve to pay for their actions. If I killed someone I'd expect to go to jail. These people did not do it out of self defense, they did it because they were making them selves look tough. They deserve to rot in jail, then when they meet God on that faithful day they deserve to rot in Hell.

STEVE: I assume that you attended the entire trial. Was there any physical evidence produced linking Marcello to the Spilatro or D'Andrea murders? If I am not mistaken, the feds were not even able to establish the crime scene for the Spilatro's. If Nick Calabrese was present, he would be able to tell the feds which house it took place or at least who owned the house at the time.

I wonder why Pat Spilatro started his crusade against organized crime after his brothers died? Why didn't he get his brothers out of that profession while they were still alive? It probably seemed cool to him back then. Maybe he even went down to Vegas and lived it up like a big shot while his brothers had some clout down there?

One thing is certain; we will all be judged by the Lord on our last day. That is not in question. What is in question is how you convict someone for the murder of three people without evidence.

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: There wasn't DNA or fingerprints linking James Marcello to any of the murders, a point well made by his defense attorneys at trial.

Then again, these murders are more than 20 years old, and you often don't have either the preservation of physical evidence or it can be so degraded as to be useless.

Readers of the blog can agree with this or not, but after covering a lot of criminal trials, I can tell you physical evidence isn't the only reliable kind of evidence that can be used to convict someone at trial.

There's a big difference between no evidence at all -— and no physical evidence.

Nick Calabrese — no matter what you think of him — gave testimony that was generally consistent and reliable on more than a dozen Outfit hits.

What he testified to was often backed up by his brother, Frank Sr., as he was secretly recorded by his son.

A jury listened to all the evidence and reached a mixed verdict — finding all the defendants guilty of racketeering but not finding them liable for all the murders.

As for Pat Spilotro, it appears he is genuinely mad that the Outfit killed his brothers and that's what motivates him. I've never heard him claim his brothers were angels. I've heard him say the two men were his brothers, and he wanted the people who killed them held responsible.

To Dr. Pat, sorry for your loss. But come on. Your brothers were no angels. matter of fact, your brother Tony was a monster, and killed more people than we can count.You brother lived a life full of being a bully, and tough guy.The relatives of the people your brother killed, probably feel he got his just reward. I am sorry for your loss,but if your brother was a good guy, he would be here today.


So when does the book come out?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: No book plans for me as of yet.

Steve, In the Marcello brothers recorded prison conversations they refer to Spilotro as Zhivago do you have any idea why?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I've asked a variety of sources that question, and I haven't come up with a good answer. I open it up to anyone who wants to answer it.

The feds also need recent criminal activity to pin on DiFronzo.

The federal government does not prosecute murders. That's prosecuted by the state.

I don't know if Dr. Spilotro realizes that.

In order to prosecute federally the feds need a racketeering conspiracy to lump it into.

The only reason Calabrese, Marcello, and Lombardo could be prosecuted for murder conspiracies was because they were able to charge them with recent crimes -- gambling, extortion, etc.

There is a 5-year statute of limitations on a RICO case. That is, you have to have committed a crime within the past 5 years on behalf of a "criminal enterprise," such as the Chicago Outfit, which, of course, was the criminal enterprise in this case.

So, the feds obviously don't have evidence of DiFronzo's involvement in any crimes or conspiracy to commit crimes within the past 5 years. Therefore, he cannot be charged with the Spilotro brothers' murders.

The feds could hand it off to the state to prosecute for murder.

Of course, Nick Calabrese would have to agree to testify at a state murder trial.

However, as Mr. Warmbir wrote, all they have is Calabrese's words to go on in those murders.

Also, the feds do not simply hand off cases to be prosecuted by the state, especially a big, mob-related case that draws a lot of publicity.

The feds would rather keep it and try to bring charges later than give it away to the state to prosecute.

In other words, the feds would want the credit for putting away John DiFronzo for the Spilotro murders.

HEY everyone, why is everyone on here got so much to say? stop defending people you dont sound kinda fruity and obsessed.

also..."salvatore"? stop trying to sound italian.dork.

Steve- In your expert opinion, will there be family secrets 2? Also knowing the system better than most of us, is there a good chance that Nick could get less than life because he helped the feds? Could there be a big headline the day after the sentencing, or was he just try to avoid the death penalty?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I think there will be more, significant mob prosecutions. But I don't think there will ever be a case as significant as Family Secrets. Joseph Lombardo, Frank Calabrese Sr., and Frank Schweihs do not have contemporary equivalents — certainly not in the Chicago mob.

I think there is a possibility that Nick Calabrese will get less than life in prison. His sentence is one of the most fascinating questions left in the case.

im sure it was just a simple oversight on your part but i think your friday article forgot to point out that it wasnt only the men downstairs that were wearing gloves but it was also the men upstairs that were wearing gloves i know you remember this testimony by the star witness and these paranoid men still went in the house and still went downstairs with these gloved men im surprised one or both didnt run out of the house since the thought they were in trouble also you forgot to mention that one of those glovede men in the basement according to the star witness who is such a truthteller was actually at his place of business on the phone all day from 1100 till 600 and those tapes were played in court the guys phones were tapped i know you remember this also steve....... reasonable doubt

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: Here's the way I recall the testimony of Nick Calabrese.

The killers downstairs were the men who were wearing the gloves. In fact, James Marcello's defense attorney, Thomas Breen, scored a point with Calabrese when he asked, "Did Michael Spilotro say, 'Hey guys, why is everybody wearing gloves? This looks like a hit.'"

That was one of the most solid points any defense attorney made during the trial.

The point was that the men were wearing gloves at all, and why this wouldn't raise suspicions among the highly paranoid Spilotro brothers.

Nick Calabrese did testify that he recalled a mobster being upstairs in the Bensenville area home at the time of the murder, and there were tape recordings that showed the mobster would likely have been at home at the time.

That's another inconsistency that Marcello's attorneys made a lot out of, and rightly so.

But at the end of the day, the jury heard all those arguments — the ones you're making and the ones the extremely skilled defense attorneys made — and still found Marcello liable for the Spilotro murders. When they heard all the evidence, the inconsistencies didn't bother them enough to find Marcello was not liable for the murders.

You can argue that Nick Calabrese lied to cut his time on his own murders, and the jury fell for it.

Or you can argue that the murders happened more than 20 years ago, and like anyone, he's not going to remember everything entirely accurately.

Either way, the jury found Calabrese believable, when his testimony was confirmed or supplemented by other evidence, and the judge also has noted that he believed Calabrese was truthful.

As for the story, I didn't forget those points on Marcello's defense, as you suggest. I left them out of the most recent story because it was a sentencing story, not a trial story.

Marcello lost in a court of law. As a matter of historical fact, he is now responsible for the murders of Anthony and Michael Spilotro.

The point of a sentencing story is not to detail Marcello's defense — which I did at the time of the trial in stories and blogs probably more than anyone— but to tell what happened at his sentencing. That's what the story did.

The next outfit news will be the indictment of the “large guy” from Westchester.

thanks for your detailed response, and I know it was a sentencing story, but i still wanted to point out that fact, but i also know for a fact that breen went out of his way to ask the question if the men upstairs also were wearing gloves, and nick said yes, thats when breen then asked if michael said " hey guys why is everyone wearing gloves is this a hit?" then breen asked why didnt he run out of the house and nick for some reason didnt have an answer to that, but the bottom line is im positive that nick said the guys upstairs were in fact wearing gloves, nick even said that they shook the gloved hands of the men upstairs. nick pushed it to far with his little details and the govt almost paid for it, but they got their conviction for now.i also know this, marcello never said anything on tape to support anything nick said about murders i think you are refering to prison tapes in which newspapers articles were dicussed but you never heard marcello say anything like "oh crap im in trouble now" or anything to that effect what marcello said on tape about calabrese was he never did anything with him.those tapes say absolutly nothing as far as murder is concerned. but if a man shows interest in whats being said about him in the newspapers, who is coming home in 3 months after serving 10 1/2 years,is used to convict him thats a joke,dont forget marcello was denied halfway house so the govt could tape him some more, only in america!and you dont have to remind me what last thursday was all about, he was convicted and had to be sentenced, i understand that and if you pointed out what i said already in the papers or on the blog i stand corrected, but i know you didnt point out anywhere that the men upstairs were wearing gloves also. but im positive nick said they were,i believe he said there were 4 men upstairs. and even though it was a sentencing story you talked about the men downstairs, and im talking about the men upstairs. i know you have put a lot of effort into this trial and have pointed out what a great job marcellos attorneys did, and they sure did!i hope one day we will see a story about the reasons the jury could have aquitted.but i know your higher ups, or the govt dont care about reading any of that, but anyone interested in fairness might. marcello will have more chances to point out these inconsistencies at appeal. in the meantime thanks for your time and your detailed response. look foreward to your story and the looks on peoples faces when marcello is finally vindicated! again thanks for you time, sorry this was so long

On my way home from work, I sometimes drive down the street the Westchester Guy lives on. A few times I've seen a big, white SUV parked out front of his property. Not to long ago, Chuck Goudie did a five minute news story about a big name upper echelon Outfit guy, which featured--to my surprise--the same white SUV.

Any ideas on why there’s still a Mafia?

If it was ever acceptable to be a rackateer because of unfair economic or cultural conditions, that time has long, long passed. I mean, some of Merc/CBOT traders are sons and nephews of old Outfit guys with very recognizable names. What's more, individuals like Cerone's son are educated, successful professionals. NOT criminals. I understand that such people may have been provided these opportunities because of whom their fathers/elders were, but that doesn’t mean they themselves are gangsters. They’ve moved on.

Any of these higher-up guys that stood trial are shrewd and business savvy enough to have had successful careers in some legitimate line of work. Even without an education. Instead, they pursued lives of crime. I realize that when you look at it it with regard to the bottom line, a rackateer can make far more money than someone working a straight job. However, for the last couple decades it’s been so easy for the government to throw mobsters in prison, toss away the key, and ensure that they forfeit every red cent to their name. Morally, financially, and legally, joining a criminal organization is clearly NOT a rational option. (To say nothing of the fact that you could also very easily end up like any of these guys’ victims.) So why is there still a mob?

Evil? Greed? Laziness? Stupidity? Romanticism?

That judge was spot-on when he said that the most reprehensible aspect of Marcello’s participation in the mob was that he and his brother know better. They can sympathize with horror and destruction organized crime inflicts on society because it cost their own father his life.

I’ve heard some people argue that the Mafia is a cultural, traditional thing. Now, that’s ridiculous. If someone wants to celebrate Italian culture or instill in his/her children an appreciation of their Italian heritage, why not discuss how Cicero was the greatest orator in the history of the world; how Italy was the seat of Early Modern Humanism and the Renaissance; how some of the greatest poets, philosophers, artists, mathematicians, scientists, and theologians from the Hellenistic Age up until the Enlightenment were Italians. Won’t there come a time when America outgrows organized crime? The mob is BS.

I suppose that some of these guys’ sentences could be overturned on appeal, and rightfully so if the government failed to do its job. But this larger question still remains.

Steve, Now that the Boys have been sentenced to life,Does it mean
that they don`t get a chance for parole? I mean the judge didn`t say
life without parole.

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: In the federal system, life in prison means life in prison.

Will da governmemnt prosotuce some of da people who gave hush money to the Calbrase family

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: They did prosecute someone who gave hush money to Nick Calabrese — James Marcello.

Thanks for the work on this blog, Steve.

Have you noticed that one of the Family Secrets prosecutors - Scully - testified in the Blago impeachment and was named a judge in Lake County?,5_1_WA12_JUDGES_S1.article

March 12th for Doyle
March 26th for Nick

These are the new dates. And both are at 2pm like the others.

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: Tip of the hat for the tip.

Third request to find out when the trial starts for turned Federal Agent John Ambrose last I heard the 17th of February but never heard anything! Thanks

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I've answered this before, but I know it's not always easy to check all the questions people ask after each posting. Also, if I didn't answer quickly enough, in any event, my apologies. The trial has been rescheduled to Monday, April 13.

Will Fitzgerald and Grant be called to the stand for this phase of the Ambrose trial?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I expect they would be.

Thanks for the response. It's highly unusual to have a sitting US Atty. testify, correct? I understand the circumstances, but still...

And what do you know about Diane MacArthur. We know a lot about the male prosecutors. But it's more fascinating to hear about the women who work in this testosterone-laden environment. Has she been a prosecutor on any high-profile trials?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: It's unusual, sure, but prosecutors need that testimony from Fitzgerald to prove an element of one of the charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane MacArthur is certainly considered to be on the A Team in the office. She's been on plenty of high profile cases.

What the heck happened to Warmbir? Did he get whacked-out or something?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: Nope, still here. Just back from vacation.

Was there any witness testimony or released documents that came out during the course of the trial, or at any time throughout the drawn-out Family Secrets case in the last few years, in which the late Michael Ricci was nicknamed, referred to in code, or otherwise called "Mooney"? Thank you.

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: None that I can recall. But I can check.

Isn`t there any other Mob News you can Write about, I Mean Dr. Pat had his Say, Move On!

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: More entries are on the way.

lol @ Book Worm's Entry!!!

Isn't "Mooney" the nickname for the late Sam Giancana?

Yes, Mooney was one of the nicknames for Sam Giancana. Very, very well-known nickname. I had my doubts about it is why I was asking. But this guy that claimed that was another nickname for Doyle definitely did attend some of the trial. That still doesn't mean he didn't make up a nickname for some oddball reason or someone told him that was Doyle's other nickname for some oddball reason.

I do know the Chicago mob, in particular, like to recycle their nicknames.

I remember when the Hanhardt jewel-theft ring was busted up about a decade ago, which, coincidentally, included Paul Schiro, that one of the guys indicted was nicknamed "Cherry Nose." Of course, there was a well-known big-time Chicago mobster of the past named Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe, who was part of the so-called "Hollywood Extortion Case" and killed back in the '50s. That guy's nickname had to have come from Gioe's, I would think.

I'm sorry, I meant Ricci's nickname, not Doyle's. That Doyle sentencing article and related blog about it that I'd just read scrambled my mind there in that last comment. Just realized that after I submitted the comment and wanted to point that out to clear up any confusion about it.

I worked elbow to elbow with Dr. Spilotro all through the '80. I knew his family and I knew the men on trial. I have no comment about any of his family members or the men on trial. I will say that Dr. Spilotro is one of the finest, most decent people I've ever known. He is extremely intelligent and honorable. He was at work everyday and raised 12 wonderful children. He did no one wrong. He is a family man who did what he had to do for the past 20+ years to finally have some piece of mind. I have nothing but respect and love for this very brave man. None of you who speak poorly of him could ever come close to filling his shoes. Why don't you grow some balls and get over it.
Congratulations Dr. Spilotro! God bless you and your family.
I love you, C.M.

How does anyone know about Mad Sam Destefano's sound proofe basement I scoped out his house and it lookes like every other house I dont think he did any high profile stuff there the neighbors would have known something I think it happned at mario's in the burbs do pictures exist of his basement I mean he was investigated bigtime by the F.B.I or is this all hear say

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Warmbir published on February 5, 2009 7:25 PM.

Sentenced to life, but at least he's not Frank Calabrese Sr. was the previous entry in this blog.

"Twan" up for sentencing Thursday is the next entry in this blog.

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