Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jerry "The Monk" Scalise, Reputed Mob Jewel Thief, Freed from Custody

Convicted jewel thief Joseph "Jerry" Scalise was ordered released from custody following Tuesday's decision by Judge Harry Leinenweber denying the government's motion to revoke a pre-trial release order.

The 72-year-old Scalise has been in the Metropolitan Correctional Center since his arrest last April along with Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71, and Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69, as they allegedly scouted banks to rob in the western suburbs. Federal authorities picked up the three as they were preparing to rob the Bridgeport mansion of deceased Chinatown Outfit boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra. They were arrested outside LaPietra's one time home with burglary tools, guns, ammo and communications equipment, according to federal agents. At the time of their arrest, there was speculation by mobologists that Scalise and crew were going into LaPietra's former castle-like residence to retrieve the famous Marlborough diamond-missing since a daring daylight burglary in 1980. The 45-carat diamond was stolen from Graff Jewelers in London, UK. Scalise and Rachel were arrested as they arrived at O'Hare International Airport that evening, minus the diamond. Both men were convicted in the theft of the diamond, among $4 million in stolen gems, and served time in a British penitentiary.

Last month, in an effort to prevent Scalise's bond, prosecutors connected him to a Chicago mob hit squad known as The Wild Bunch based on testimony by an admitted mob assassin during the renowned Family Secrets trial. "In its attempt to connect Mr. Scalise to the 'Wild Bunch,' the government relies on the testimony of Nick Calabrese, a confessed murderer, and Frank Calabrese, a convicted murder, given during the 'Family Secrets' trial," wrote Scalise's attorney Edward Genson. "The testimony regarding Mr. Scalise's involvement in the "Wild Bunch" was based solely upon hearsay and was not substantiated by any independent evidence at trial, nor was it substantiated by any evidence on the record&. Furthermore, Mr. Scalise was never arrested or questioned regarding his participation in any of these alleged homicides either before or after the Family Secrets trial."

Scalise will be under house arrest while he's out on $500,000 bond, secured by property posted by his girlfriend, family and friends. His co-defendant's Arthur Rachel and Robert Pullia are currently out on bond.

Thanks to Ann Pistone, Barb Markoff and Chuck Goudie

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't he be in some type of trouble for just planning to rob the home of a former heavy-weight like LaPietra? I understand
    "the Hook" is dead and buried, but the neighborhood has traditions, the Outfit has it's own ways/code of conduct. It just seems kinda hinky that an "Outfit Connected Thief" would even consider robbing a former boss's home, what about LaPietra's family members, not to mention any old, loyal friends still around? Wouldn't this be taken as a sign of disrespect?

    ReplyDelete