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

Recently in Sentencings Category

Frank Calabrese Sr. spoke for about 40 minutes in front of Judge James Zagel before he was sentenced to life in prison.

Calabrese Sr. often rambled, and he offered little new for anyone familiar with his complaints about the trial, his family and his life.

One thing that is clear is that Calabrese Sr. is not too fond of the highly restrictive lockdown he's on in prison.

It's the kind of lockdown done for the most dangerous terrorists. Calabrese Sr.'s lawyer has compared it to how Hannibal Lecter was treated.

And the feds don't have to tell you why. They just do it to you. (Calabrese Sr. was placed under those conditions because he once again threatened to kill the federal prosecutor in the case, Markus Funk, sources have told the Chicago Sun-Times.)

Calabrese Sr. went through his Greatest Hits of gripes.

In short,

-His brother and two sons are liars.

-His sons want to keep him in prison, so they can keep the money they stole from him. Also stolen from him were some antique cars.

-He didn't kill anybody and feels sorry for the victims' families. May God bless them, he said.

-He was a nobody and never part of the mob.

Quote: "I'm not no big shot. I'm nothing but a human being. You cut my hand, and I bleed like anyone else." (Whether he knows it or not, Calabrese is paraphrasing Shylock from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice in these last two lines, which is interesting, since Shylock, too, was a violent loanshark who felt betrayed by family.)

-He's sick and has gone from five to six medications a day, to 15.

-He never beat his sons, especially not Kurt. He would never beat anybody, since he himself was a victim of child abuse.

-It's unfortunate somebody left a fake bomb at his son's Kurt's house, right before the trial started, but it wasn't him; he had nothing to gain.

-People should read the Bible, especially the part about sons betraying fathers.

-He never threatened or extorted his friend who owns Connie's Pizza, although he acknowledged the obvious fact the man looked scared to death on the witness stand. Calabrese Sr. suggested his friend was scared of the government.

-All he wants is peace and for all the lies to stop.

In one new wrinkle, he offered to sit in a room with the jury one-on-one and suggested they would come away with an entirely different impression of him than they did from the trial.

Frank Calabrese Sr. never lacks for positive thinking.

Here's what is in the Chicago Sun-Times tomorrow on the Frank Calabrese Sr. sentencing. More to come.

For decades, Frank Calabrese Sr., one of Chicago mob's most prolific hitmen,
worked in the shadows, escaping punishment for the devastation he left on
the streets and in his own home.
On Wednesday, came his reckoning.
Calabrese Sr., 71, was sentenced to life in prison for what a federal judge
called "unspeakable" crimes in one of the most dramatic sentencing hearings
at federal court in Chicago in recent memory as part of the Family Secrets
mob case.
A jury had found Calabrese liable for seven of 13 murders he was accused of
at trial. But U.S. District Judge James Zagel sentenced Calabrese for all 13
slayings after finding prosecutors had proven them by clear and convincing
evidence, which is allowed by federal law.
Calabrese was confronted by testimony from 10 people who described the
wreckage of their lives after Calabrese killed their fathers, their
brothers, their sons, their loved ones.
"You broke my heart," said Charlene Moravecek, whose husband, Paul Haggerty,
Calabrese Sr. murdered in 1976.
"But you didn't take my dignity," Moravecek said, staring daggers at
Calabrese Sr. "You'll never take my dignity."
"God bless you," the mob killer said.
"Don't even try," Moravecek replied.
The judge noted the case against Calabrese Sr. was unique. Not only did his
brother, Nick, testify against him, but so did his son, Frank Jr.
Nick Calabrese was a mob hitman turned government witness who told the jury
about the murders he and his brother committed.
Frank Calabrese Jr. secretly recorded his father while they were in prison
and got him to brag and laugh about mob murders he took part in.
On Wednesday, another son not involved in the Family Secrets case, Kurt
Calabrese, also testified as a victim, saying his father would beat him "at
a moment's notice" since he was a child.
Calabrese Sr. would threaten to bite the nose off his son's face and said he
could make him disappear whenever he wanted, Kurt Calabrese said.
Still, Kurt Calabrese said he forgave his father.
Calabrese Sr. was having none of it.
"You better apologize for the lies you told," Calabrese Sr. snapped back.
"You, Kurt, were treated like a king," Calabrese Sr. later said.
"You never hurt me, you never beat me, you never threw me down," Kurt
Calabrese asked.
"I hit you with a strap and a paddle when you were younger," his father
For his part, Calabrese Sr. gave a 40-minute speech to the judge, in which
he denied killing anyone, expressed sympathy for the victims' families and
attacked his two sons as liars.
"I'm not no big shot," Calabrese Sr. said. "All I can want is peace. I would
love to have my boys back again."

Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo is up for sentencing Monday.

Among the crimes he will be sentenced for is the 1974 murder of Bensenville area businessman Daniel Seifert who was scheduled to testify against Lombardo at a federal trial.

Check out the FBI 302 Report summary of the agents' interview with Seifert's wife, Emma, just after he was slain.

Judge James Zagel has set new sentencing dates for the Family Secrets case.

They are:

Paul Schiro and Anthony Doyle on Jan. 26
Frank Calabrese Sr. on Jan. 28
Joseph Lombardo on Feb. 2
James Marcello on Feb. 5
Nicholas Calabrese on Feb. 23

All are at 2 p.m. in courtroom 2525 before Zagel.

A man who worked for the video poker company run by mobster Michael Marcello was sentenced to 30 months behind bars Tuesday.

Thomas Johnson, 53, of Willow Springs, was also fined $7,500.

Johnson worked for Marcello's M & M Entertainment, located in Cicero, and collected proceeds from the illegal gambling devices that were placed in bars.

Marcello is the half-brother of top Chicago mob James Marcello, who is to be sentenced later this month in the Family Secrets case.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Sentencings category.

Q&A is the previous category.

The trial scene is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.