It could have been just idle chitchat among bored prison inmates. The problem was, they weren't your average inmates, and the subject of their threatening chatter was the chief justice of the United States.
Languishing at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa., mobsters from three top Mafia families allegedly had murder on their minds in 1979, according to recently released FBI documents. The intended victim was Warren Burger. At least that was the story a confidential informant told the FBI two years later.
What seemed to make the idea plausible were the players — big names in two of New York City's Mafia families and a Montreal don, the documents show.
The bureau took the information seriously enough that Burger was alerted. In addition, FBI headquarters in Washington approved going to mobsters in seven U.S. cities to warn them off doing anything rash.
The documents appear to reveal, for the first time, a purported Mafia plot against the chief justice of the U.S.
The FBI's 15-month investigation, which petered out when agents came up dry on evidence, was detailed in part in 143 pages of documents that were released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Best of the Month!
- Chicago Mob Infamous Locations Map
- The Chicago Syndicate AKA "The Outfit"
- One Family's Rise, A Century of Power
- Mafia Links of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
- THE OUTFIT'S GREATEST HITS
- Top Ten Signs a Mafia Boss is Nuts
- Profile: Harry Aleman
- Firm with reputed mob ties flourishes
- Top Ten Ways The Mafia Can Improve Its Image
- Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics by Chris Christie