The Chicago Syndicate: Daniel Bounds
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Showing posts with label Daniel Bounds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daniel Bounds. Show all posts

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Who Robbed Joe Batters?

It's the stuff of Chicago mob lore, cloaked in mystery.

Thieves rob the home of ruthless Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo while he's away.

Then one by one, in brutal retribution, they are rubbed out.

One well-known career burglar, not involved in the Accardo job, got so nervous he'd be killed anyway that he took a lie detector test to prove his innocence and sent it to mob bosses.

Now, the mystery around the burglary in the late 1970s is clearing as the fullest account yet of the crime and the bloody consequences is being offered in a court document made public Thursday.

It's just one of the tales on tap as part of the Family Secrets federal trial, involving the top names in the Chicago Outfit, including reputed mob leaders James "Little Jimmy" Marcello and Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo.

Those alleged mobsters and others have been charged in a case involving 18 unsolved Outfit murders.

The trial won't only be about those murders. It will reveal a secret 40-year history of the Outfit itself.

On the Accardo burglary, ace thief John Mendell was simply out to get back what he had already stolen, according to the document.

Mendell had led a burglary crew that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry from Levinson's Jewelry. The only problem was that Accardo was a friend of the owner.

Mendell went into hiding as he learned top mobsters were angry with him and looking for revenge. He hid the loot in the rafters of his business. But it wasn't safe there for long -- another group of burglars broke in and stole the items.

Mendell wanted his loot back and led his crew to break in to Accardo's home, where the jewelry was stashed in a walk-in vault.

The feds believe this because one of their witnesses -- whose name is blacked out in the court document -- allegedly went on the jewelry store burglary with Mendell but balked at pulling the heist at Accardo's home.

Mendell was lured to his death by a fellow burglar he knew and trusted, Ronald Jarrett, according to the new document. Jarrett worked for reputed hit man Frank Calabrese Sr. Jarrett died in 2000, shot in a mob hit outside his Bridgeport home.

Participating in Mendell's murder were Calabrese Sr., his brother Nick Calabrese, Jarrett and mob hit man Frank Saladino, the court filing alleges. Nick Calabrese is cooperating with the feds and expected to tell jurors in detail how Mendell was killed. He was beaten without mercy, his body punctured by an ice pick. Five other burglars met a similar fate.

The government filing also sheds more light on the slayings of Anthony Spilotro, the mob's man in Las Vegas, and his brother Michael in 1986. The brothers were lured to a Bensenville area home, on the promise of promotions within the mob, but they were beaten to death by several mobsters, authorities say.

In 1986, federal investigators had secretly wired phones at Flash Trucking in Cicero, allegedly the headquarters for years of the Cicero mob, as well as the home phone of Cicero mob boss Rocco Infelise. Investigators heard Infelise, James Marcello and top mob boss Joseph Ferriola exchange calls to set up a meeting with Outfit leader Sam Carlisi at a McDonald's in Oak Brook on June 13. The next day, the Spilotros were slain.

All of the witness names are blacked out in the heavily redacted court document, but the Sun-Times has reported the names of several witnesses, including reputed Outfit hit man and career burglar Robert "Bobby the Beak" Siegel, failed mob assassin Daniel Bounds, mob leg breaker James LaValley and burglar and mob killer Frank Cullotta, a close associate of Anthony Spilotro.

Cullotta is expected to be a key witness against Lombardo but will likely undergo a vigorous cross by Lombardo's attorney, Rick Halprin. "From what I've been told, Cullotta, in Sicilian, means mendacious," Halprin said.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mob All-Star Lineup for Family Secrets Trial

Friends of ours: Frank "The German" Schweihs, Frank Calabrese Sr.. James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, Joseph "The Clown" Lombardo, Nick Calabrese, Robert "Bobby the Beak" Siegel, Richard Mara, Daniel Bounds, Alfred Pilotto, Frank Cullotta, Tony Spilotro, James LaValley
Friends of mine: Frank Calabrese Jr., Michael Talarico

One man is a reputed Outfit killer and master thief who stormed jewelry stores with a crew so skilled it's been called "the New York Yankees of robbers." Another served as intermediary between illegal Asian gambling and an alleged Outfit hit man, Frank "The German" Schweihs. Still a third has run a well-known Bridgeport restaurant and was allegedly connected to the crew of brutal loan shark Frank Calabrese Sr. All three are expected to testify in what will be the most important mob trial in Chicago in decades.

Prosecutors have put the mob's top leaders on trial and tied them to 18 unsolved Outfit murders. Facing charges that could put them behind bars for life are reputed Chicago Outfit chief James "Little Jimmy" Marcello and top mobster Joseph "The Clown" Lombardo, among others.

The star witnesses at trial will be the brother and son of Frank Calabrese Sr. The brother, Nick Calabrese, has admitted to 16 mob hits, many committed with his brother, he says. Calabrese Sr.'s son, Frank Calabrese Jr., secretly recorded his father while they were both in prison.

Details of other key witnesses expected at trial are in a federal court filing that is under seal. But the Sun-Times has learned who some of those witnesses will be.

Limoges JewelryAmong the top witnesses will be Robert "Bobby the Beak" Siegel. Siegel was part of a crew of mobbed-up robbers who hit jewelry stores across the country -- mainly in California and Florida -- taking in millions of dollars in loot over the years.

The robbers wore Halloween masks and body armor, used automatic weapons and performed their robberies with military-like precision, authorities said.

"We prosecuted them to the fullest. But we recognized they were the New York Yankees of robbers," said former Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmund Searby, who prosecuted Siegel and his cohorts in 1993 for a series of jewelry store robberies. A heavy prison sentence prompted Siegel to flip and spill all he knew to the feds, including several murders he allegedly committed or knew about, authorities said.

Another witness at the upcoming trial is expected to be Yu Lip Moy, a former head of the National On Leong Trading Association and a former Pittsburgh restaurant owner who was a key witness in the On Leong gambling case in Chicago the early 1990s. Moy has testified he paid off Schweihs as part of an agreement with the Outfit to allow illegal Asian gambling in Chicago to continue.

Another restaurant owner, Michael Talarico, is listed as a potential witness. Talarico has run the well-known Bridgeport restaurant Punchinello's for years and allegedly worked as a bookmaker. The Sun-Times has previously reported he was held in federal jail in Chicago for not testifying before a Family Secrets grand jury, but was later released.

While Talarico is still listed as the license holder for the restaurant, a phone message at the restaurant said it is under new management. Talarico is a part of the influential Roti family by marriage and once was married to Schweihs' daughter.

When asked about Talarico, Joseph Lopez, the attorney for Frank Calabrese Sr., said he expected Talarico's testimony to deal more with Nick Calabrese than Frank Calabrese Sr.

Lopez blasted Nick Calabrese as "a mass murderer."

"Instead of going after off-duty cops for fighting in bars, [Cook County State's Attorney] Dick Devine should be going after a mass murderer who has killed more people than the Brown's Chicken massacre and Richard Speck combined," Lopez said.

Nick Calabrese is cooperating with federal prosecutors but does not have a deal with them yet.

Prosecutors would not discuss witnesses, and defense attorneys declined to discuss the contents of the sealed court filing.

When asked about some of the potential witnesses, Lombardo's attorney, Rick Halprin said: "It's just round-up-the-usual-snitches, who have been telling the same stories for 20 years."

Other witnesses expected at trial include Outfit burglar Richard Mara; failed Outfit assassin Daniel Bounds, who turned himself into the FBI after botching the hit of south suburban mob boss Alfred Pilotto; Outfit killer and burglar Frank Cullotta, a close associate of Tony Spilotro; mob leg breaker James LaValley, and former adult bookstore owner, William "Red" Wemette, who was shaken down by Outfit thugs.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir


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