It's official. The remains found behind an East Providence apartment building in November 2008 are those of mob associate Joseph "Joe Onions" Scanlon.
Scanlon died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the state Medical Examiner's Office. The M.E. used forensic anthropology and DNA analysis to identify the remains and the cause of death.
“We hope that this information will bring closure for the family,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “This death occurred 30 years ago. We hope this gives them peace."
Scanlon disappeared April 3, 1978. From that day, until his remains were discovered, authorities could only suspect Scanlon was the victim of a gangland slaying. In fact, Patriarca crime family associates Nicholas Pari and Andy Merola served time in prison in connection with Scanlon's death, even though investigators never found the body.
It wasn't until November 2008, when State Police arrested Pari during their investigation "Operation Mobbed Up," that they discovered the location of Scanlon's body.
Pari told investigators the remains could be behind the Lisboa apartment complex on Bullocks Point Ave in East Providence. After days of excavating the site, authorities uncovered the remains which have now be postively identified as Scanlon's.
Pari died of cancer at the age of 71, a month after Scanlon's remains were uncovered. Merola died in 2007 without divulging the secret.
Thanks to Nancy Krause
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