Two Chicago area book signings scheduled at Borders Books involving former Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Jr. were canceled after an anonymous threat, a Borders official said today.
“We can confirm that our Oak Brook store received a voice mail threatening violence should Mr. Calabrese’s scheduled book signings take place,” said Mary Davis, spokeswoman for Borders. “Given the controversial nature of the content of the book, we viewed this as a legitimate threat. The safety of our employees and our customers is of the utmost importance and that is why we made the decision to cancel Mr. Calabrese’s events.”
Oak Brook Police Chief Thomas Sheahan said that a male caller who disguised his voice threatened anyone responsible for the Frank Calabrese Jr. book signings. According to Sheahan, the unidentified caller said that “no rats can sign books here.”
“We take any threats seriously,” Sheahan said. “This is an ongoing investigation, and we’ll take appropriate action.”
Calabrese is a co-author of “Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family.”
Calabrese volunteered to help the FBI bring down the infamous Chinatown Crew run by his father, Frank Calabrese Sr. The son’s offer to cooperate with federal authorities led to his uncle, admitted Outfit hitman Nicholas Calabrese, becoming the FBI’s main witness in the storied trial that led to life sentences for Outfit bosses and the solving of more than a dozen mob murders.
“My publicist told me that Borders had canceled because they’re concerned about their employees and patrons,” Frank Calabrese Jr. said today. “I want people to know that this stuff still exists. There was a threat that if I did my book signing at the Oak Brook store, that patrons and employees of Borders would be harmed.
“Somebody doesn’t want people to read my book, or somebody doesn’t want me in Chicago talking about this stuff. …People get scared. Even a big corporation like Borders.”
Calabrese Jr. has recently opened up about the relationship between the Outfit and the city’s political class, and has been naming names.
Now living in another state, Calabrese Jr is in Chicago on a publicity tour. The Tuesday book signing was scheduled for the Border’s store at 1500 16th Street in Oak Brook . Wednesday’s scheduled signing was at the store at 150 North State Street in downtown Chicago. Davis said both events have been canceled.
Thanks to John Kass
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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