Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nick Calabrese Blasted by Attorney on Cross Examination

Friends of ours: Nick Calabrese, James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, Sam Carlisi, Frank Calabrese Sr., Anthony Spilotro
Friends of mine: Michael Spilotro

An attorney for James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, the reputed head of the Chicago Outfit, today blasted a star witness' account that Marcello was made into the mob in a 1983 ceremony.

Marcello is half Irish, and according to the testimony of Outfit killer Nicholas Calabrese, only men who are fully Italian can be made members of the Chicago Outfit.

Marcello's attorney, Thomas Breen, asked Calabrese on the witness stand if he had met Marcello's "lovely mother Mrs. Flynn," referring to her maiden name.

"And Mrs. Flynn is as Irish as Paddy's pig, isn't she?" Breen said.

"Then Jimmy Marcello lied," Calabrese shot back, apparently a little rattled. "[Marcello's sponsor] Sam Carlisi lied, they lied to the boss."

Nicholas Calabrese gave a detailed account of how he, Marcello and Calabrese's brother, Frank Calabrese Sr., were made with several other men in a ceremony in a closed Chicago area restaurant in 1983.

Breen suggested through his questioning that Calabrese was lying about many details he gave to FBI agents and told jurors from the stand.

Breen asked Calabrese about the making ceremony.

"They serve food?" Breen asked.

"No," Calabrese said.

"No corn beef for Mr. Marcello?" Breen jabbed.

Calabrese has admitted to taking part in at least 14 murders for the mob. As part of his plea agreement with prosecutors, he is avoiding the death penalty and hoping to get something less than life in prison. He's testifying against his brother Frank Calabrese Sr., Marcello and three other men on trial.

Earlier in the trial, Breen scored a point when he was able to get Nicholas Calabrese to say he did not recognize the photo of one of the men that he took part in killing, Nicholas D'Andrea, in Chicago Heights in 1981.

Calabrese said he had only seen the man briefly. The mob was interested in grilling D'Andrea about the attempted murder of a south suburban mob boss but beat D'Andrea so badly that he died before questioning.

The attorney for Calabrese's brother, Frank Calabrese Sr., revealed during his questioning earlier in the day that a family member of one of Nicholas Calabrese's murder victims secretly recorded Nicholas Calabrese during a prison visit.

Nicholas Calabrese took part in the murders of the mob's man in Las Vegas, Anthony Spilotro, and his brother, Michael Spilotro. Their brother, Dr. Pat Spilotro, a dentist, was a friend of Nick Calabrese and also did his dental work, Nicholas Calabrese testified. The dentist visited Nicholas Calabrese in prison once and recorded him, but Calabrese told him nothing about the murders.

In 2001, Nicholas Calabrese sent Pat Spilotro a Christmas card from prison, telling him that he had made a decision he never believed he would have made. Nicholas Calabrese was referring to cooperating with the FBI, according to court testimony.

"God willing, I'll be home next Christmas," Calabrese wrote.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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