The Chicago Syndicate: Jack Gail and Joseph Granata Recorded on Mob Tapes
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Wednesday, September 16, 1992

Jack Gail and Joseph Granata Recorded on Mob Tapes

As Jack Gail and Joseph Granata drank coffee in a Rosemont restaurant last December, they talked privately of their experiences as killers, according to secret tape recordings.

Granata, 51, a former Chicago mob enforcer turned government informant, said he liked to see his victims plead for their lives.

''You just wanna have fun,'' Granata told Gail, a felon from Highland Park. ''What ya do is let him beg, let him beg, let him beg. Did you ever have a . . . . beg?''
''No, I never let anybody beg,'' responded Gail, according to a recording of the conversation that was entered into court proceedings in Lake County on Tuesday.
''Oh, I love it,'' Granata continued.
''Let me tell you something,'' said Gail, continuing the conversation. ''When I do that there ain`t no conversation, nothin.` See, I`m a believer. . . I don`t deal with them (lying).''
''I laugh,'' Granata replied. ''I bust out laughing. You`re gonna see, I`m gonna laugh. Cause I love it. I laugh and they look and they go, `Oh, it`s all right, this is all a joke.` ''

Granata, who said he was an enforcer for Joseph Ferriola, a late Chicago crime boss, recorded the conversation in his role as an undercover government informant. In the Rosemont restaurant meeting on Dec. 2, and in other meetings that Granata recorded with Gail, the two men talked frequently of murders and trafficking in drugs.

Lake County Assistant State`s Attorneys George Strickland and John Kornak say the tapes prove Gail`s propensity for crime, and they asked Circuit Court Judge Raymond McKoski to consider the tapes when he sentences Gail on Thursday.

A jury in August convicted Gail, 47, of armed violence and possession of a controlled substance.

The charges involve some cocaine and a .357 Magnum revolver that Gail purchased from Granata in January in the parking lot of the Lake Forest Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway. Gail faces 6 to 30 years in prison.

His attorney, Dennis Berkson of Chicago, objects to McKoski considering the tapes when he sentences Gail. He contends that Granata is a liar and that the conversations are puffery and braggadocio by two men trying to impress each other with their toughness.

''What we have here is two individuals who are lying to each other,'' said Berkson, pleading with McKoski on Tuesday not to consider the tapes. ''I don`t think that anyone can say that Mr. Granata is an honest man.''

Berkson said the state is attempting to ''bring in other crimes that have not been proven or corroborated'' against his client.

Strickland said there is no corroboration because the drug trafficking and murders that Gail and Granata were planning before Gail`s arrest did not happen. ''What we are basically trying to do is show what they were going to do in the future,'' Strickland said.

McKoski said he will review the taped conversations and decide which parts he will consider at the sentencing hearing on Thursday.

At the time of his arrest in January, Gail was living in the Highland Park home of Karen Canzoneri. Her husband, Salvatore, a pizza company owner, was slain in his home in 1989. The murder has never been solved.

Gail faces another trial on Oct. 5 on charges that he solicited the murder of Gabriel Ponzio, a man in Florida whom Gail disliked. The murder never took place.

Thanks to Robert Enstad.

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