The Chicago Syndicate: Reputed Mobster Charged in Cop Assassination
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reputed Mobster Charged in Cop Assassination

A reputed mobster was charged Thursday with ordering a hit on an off-duty New York Police Department officer who at the time was married to his ex-wife _ a slaying that had gone unsolved for more than a decade.

An indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn also brought new charges in three other gangland killings dating to 1994. They included that of William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, an underboss with the Colombo organized crime family whose body was discovered in October buried in a wooded area of Long Island.

The case demonstrates investigators' determination to catch mob killers "no matter how much time passes," U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell at a news conference.

The indictment charged Joel Cacace, 67, the former acting Colombo boss, and two other men in the shooting death of Officer Ralph Dols on Aug. 25, 1997. Cacace already is behind bars after pleading guilty in 2004 in a mistaken mob hit on a 78-year-old judge whose son, a former prosecutor, was the intended target.

Dols was killed "merely because he was married to Cacace's ex-wife," said David Cardona, head of the criminal division in the FBI's New York office.

Authorities refused to discuss how the cases were solved. But in recent years, mob turncoats have identified killers _ and sometimes pinpointed the remains of their victims _ in other cases that had gone cold.

Dols, 28, was ambushed around midnight as he arrived home from a shift as a uniformed housing police officer. While parking his car, a man jumped out of a dark-colored Chevrolet, fired seven shots, then fled.

The killing touched off an intense, wide-ranging investigation involving federal and local authorities. It also drew attention to the officer's wife and her alleged links to the Mafia through three other men from her past: a brother and reputed Colombo soldier who was convicted of murder in 1981, a husband found shot to death in 1987 in an apparent mob hit and Cacace.

In the Cutolo slaying, prosecutors say the victim was targeted in May 1999 because the Colombo boss believed he was trying to take over the family. He was gunned down in a basement apartment, then buried in Farmingdale, Long Island, court papers said.

Thanks to Tom Hays

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