The Chicago Syndicate: Bookie Refuses to Testify in Court Against the Mob
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bookie Refuses to Testify in Court Against the Mob

A host of hit men, henchmen, burglars, gamblers and loan sharks who have crossed paths with the Chicago Outfit over the years are scheduled to testify at the Family Secrets mob trial, but at least one career bookie wants to take a pass.

Joel Glickman, 71, was taken into custody late Monday after defying an order from U.S. District Judge James Zagel to testify. Glickman had been slated to tell jurors that he paid between $1,300 and $2,000 a month in "street taxes" to defendant Frank Calabrese Sr. and other reputed mob figures to run his gambling operation.

Zagel reminded Glickman, who wore a black short-sleeve shirt unbuttoned at the neck, that he had been granted immunity from prosecution to talk about his history with the mob, but Glickman was steadfast in his refusal to answer any questions posed by Assistant U.S. Atty. Markus Funk.

"I respectfully refuse to testify," Glickman said calmly several times before Zagel found him in contempt of court and ordered him taken into custody. Zagel warned he would bring Glickman back to the courtroom Tuesday to ask him again whether he wishes to answer questions.

Loraine Ray, Glickman's attorney, declined to comment on her client's reasons to remain mum despite immunity. According to documents filed by prosecutors in the case, Glickman was to testify that he had dozens of gamblers as regular customers in the 1970s and made about $150,000 a year.

If Glickman continues to refuse to testify, Zagel could arguably hold him in custody throughout the expected three-month trial, if not longer, legal experts said.

After court Monday, Calabrese's attorney, Joseph Lopez, said Glickman has "no reason whatsoever" to fear his client. The relationship between the men ended in the 1960s, Lopez said. "I hope he changes his mind and comes to court," Lopez said. "I hate to see the man locked up for this."

Before Glickman's exchange with the judge, jurors did hear from a number of witnesses Monday, all of them testifying against Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, who is among the five defendants being tried on sweeping charges of racketeering conspiracy.

At the heart of the conspiracy case are 18 decades-old gangland slayings. But despite that, the trial isn't expected to produce many "CSI" moments.

Key evidence will come mostly from witnesses and secret government recordings, not the advanced scientific analysis of DNA, ballistics or fiber evidence. Yet jurors looked on Monday as an old-fashioned fingerprint was projected onto a large screen at the front of the courtroom.

It appeared on a copy of a title application for a 1973 Ford LTD, signed for by the generic-sounding ACME Security Service. But under the "Se" in "Service," investigators say, is a print from the left middle finger of Lombardo. And the car in question was one of two allegedly driven from the scene of the murder of federal witness Daniel Seifert. The shotgun slaying in front of Seifert's wife and young son is the lone murder with which the reputed Outfit leader has been charged.

The FBI agent who found the print more than three decades ago was on the stand. He's now a thin, retired, white-haired man who keeps busy with "a little bit of farming."

Roy McDaniel told jurors he is a former supervising fingerprint specialist with the FBI who has made "several million" comparisons. He said he had 40 years of experience, testified in court nearly 100 times and even played a role on the FBI's disaster team that processes prints at the scenes of plane crashes and other disasters.

McDaniel testified about his work with a hint of a Southern accent. "You have [fingerprints] before you were born, and you will have them until you decompose after death," he said.

McDaniel said he took control of more than a dozen documents related to the Ford LTD that were retrieved from the Illinois secretary of state's office in Springfield and sent to Washington D.C. It was October 1974, about a month after Seifert had been ambushed and gunned down outside his Bensenville plastics business. Seifert had agreed to testify against Lombardo and others in a pension fraud case months before he was killed.

McDaniel told the jury how he sprayed the title application with a solution, dried it and then steamed it to make latent prints visible. The marks left on the document by a finger's friction ridges matched a finger on FBI fingerprint card 673515E, the one carrying the prints of Lombardo, McDaniel said.

"Only that one finger, of everybody in the world, could've made that particular print," McDaniel said as jurors watched the overhead screen or on their own TV screens near their seats.

On cross-examination McDaniel acknowledged that he had only attempted to match the print to the defendants in the case who Seifert was set to testify against.

Lombardo leaned back in his chair most of the day, occasionally standing so witnesses could identify him. To some he returned a nod or even a hand wave as he sat back down.

Others who testified included several former employees of a North Side CB radio store who told jurors that in the months after Seifert's death, they told authorities that Lombardo had routinely bought police scanners from them before the murder. A scanner was found in the Ford after the gunmen abandoned it at a car dealership.

Thanks to Jeff Coen

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