Monday, January 15, 2007

Feds Learn of 38 Hits and Chicago Mob Hierarchy from Mobster

Friends of ours: Nick Calabrese, Jimmy Marcello, Frank Calabrese Sr., Tony Spilotro
Friends of mine: Michael Spilotro

Made mobster Nick Calabrese has told the FBI more about mob hits than any other witness in Chicago history.

He should know. He took part in 16 of them, the feds say. And filled the feds in on 22 more.

Apart from the murders, Calabrese described to the FBI the secret ceremony mobsters underwent to get "made" into the organization -- promoted to its top echelon. He told them what other mobsters were made with him in 1983. And he outlined the hierarchy of organized crime in Chicago.

So it's little wonder the reputed head of the Chicago mob, Jimmy Marcello, had a great deal of curiosity when he heard in prison that Nick Calabrese was cooperating with the feds.

Calabrese, who has no deal with the feds, is one of the key witnesses in the upcoming Family Secrets mob trial in May -- one of the most important ever in the federal effort to wipe out the Outfit in Chicago.

Calabrese is testifying against his brother Frank Calabrese Sr., a brutal loan shark and alleged mob hit man. Calabrese Sr. and Marcello are charged along with other top mob leaders in a case that pins 18 previously unsolved murders on the Outfit.

Frank Calabrese Sr. will also have to face his own recorded words at trial. His son Frank Jr. put his life on the line by secretly recording his father while both were in prison on another matter. Frank Calabrese Sr. allegedly talked about mob hits and other matters he never should have spoken about.

Nick Calabrese can tell jurors about allegedly taking part in mob hits with both his brother and Marcello.

Nick Calabrese, for instance, can relate to jurors how Marcello allegedly drove mobsters Anthony and Michael Spilotro to a home in the Bensenville area in June 1986 on the ruse that they were to be promoted in the Outfit.

Instead, they were beaten and strangled to death in the basement, with Tony Spilotro, the mob's man in Las Vegas, denied his last request: to say a novena before he was slain.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir, Natasha Korecki, and Frank Main

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