The Chicago Syndicate: Robert Cruz
Showing posts with label Robert Cruz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert Cruz. Show all posts

Friday, March 21, 2008

Reward Offered on Murder Case from Mob Burial Ground

Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Reward Offered on Murder Case from Mob Burial Groundand John E. Zaruba, DuPage County Sheriff, are asking for the public's help in solving the 1997 murder of ROBERT CHARLES CRUZ. In appealing to the public for help, they have also announced that a reward of up to $10,000 was being offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or persons responsible for this crime.

CRUZ, age 50, was last seen in Kildeer, Illinois on December 4, 1997. His body was unearthed by a construction crew working on a site in unincorporated DuPage County on March 20, 2007. He had been shot twice in the head and wrapped in a roll of carpet. The site where CRUZ' body was discovered was just yards away from an area where two other bodies were found in 1988, in what became known as the "Mob Burial Ground".

CRUZ was released from prison in Arizona in 1995. He had a lengthy criminal record and was a known associate of members of the Chicago LCN and other criminal elements. It is possible that this association led to his death, although no claims of responsibility have ever been received by law enforcement.

Anyone having any information about CRUZ' murder is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Tale of Two Mobsters

Two men with connections to Chicago organized crime, both of them believed to be outfit enforcers, one is dead the other is in court. In this Intelligence Report: the tale of two mobsters.

There are really only two ways out of the mob life and one is more permanent than the other. You are either murdered...or put in prison. This is...a tale of two mobsters-enforcers-with deep connections to the Chicago outfit. One was found buried in a suburban construction site. The other was found in court...extending his long criminal record.

We begin with Robert Charles " Bobby" Cruz...who spent 14 years on death row for a contract hit on an Arizona businessman and his mother-in-law, a conviction eventually thrown out. Cruz came to Chicago for the 1997 trial of his hitman-cousin, Harry Aleman. A few days after Aleman was convicted, Cruz vanished. Last week--ten years later -- Cruz' corpse was found by a sewer crew in DuPage County...minus his trigger finger and a few other digits...a subtle message that the assassin would never work again.

As authorities were identifying the remains of one mob enforcer...the i-team found another one walking to court.

This is long-time Chicago outfit enforcer Victor "Popeye" Arrigo, arriving with his daughter for a hearing in Maywood. Arrigo's rap sheet reaches back to 1956 and reads like a crime encyclopedia, but at age 70 he admits to be going soft.

On this day, he stood before criminal court judge William Wise on theft charges--but not the big jewel capers or cartage heists he and the outfit are known for. "They accuse me of taking salami, cheese...stuff like that," said Victor "Popeye" Arrigo.

One of the mob's toughest enforcers, Arrigo was hauled away by west suburban Berkeley police on charges that he stole $40-dollars worth of Italian and Hungarian salami from a grocery store.

Arrigo chalks-up the larceny up to old age. "When you hit 69, 70, you do goofy things...just to see if you can get away with it...i got caught. That's about it," Arrigo said.

Arrigo contends the grocery store plunder was not an outfit job--and authorities believe him.

Like many of the old time wise guys he grew up with, Arrigo's public demeanor could win him citizen of the year. "Nice talkin' to you. Anything else you want to say? Say hello to Chuck for me."

I met the mobster more than ten years ago--during his last run in with the law on gun charges...and at that time, learned the heritage of his mob nickname: "Popeye". It's for the detachable glass eyeball he wears as the result of barroom shootout.

When Arrigo is bellying up to the bar he says he enjoys popping out his eyeball and placing it on top of his beer money...then telling the bartender he is merely keeping an eye on his cash.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mob Bones Belong to Cousin of Hit Man Harry Aleman

Friends of ours: Harry Aleman
Friends of mine: Robert Charles Cruz

Just days after his cousin, reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman, was sentenced for a murder, Robert Charles Cruz disappeared from his Kildeer home.

For nearly 10 years, authorities suspected Cruz had purposely vanished, but his credit cards and bank accounts never were touched. Last week, construction crews digging new sewers for a townhouse development in unincorporated DuPage County came across the body of a man wrapped in tarpaulin and carpet, buried 8 1/2 feet down. On Wednesday, the DuPage County coroner's office publicly identified that the man as Robert Charles Cruz, 50. He had been reported missing on Dec. 4, 1997.

Cruz's body was found just 50 yards from where two other organized crime-connected bodies were found in 1988. An informant had told the FBI there was a mob burial ground in DuPage County near the home of former mob syndicate member Joseph Jerome Scalise.

At the time, an FBI task force descended on the area near Bluff Road and Illinois Highway 83 for five months and found the remains of Robert Anthony Hatridge, a minor associate of Gerald Scarpelli, a crime syndicate killer-turned-informant; and Mark Oliver, another minor organized crime figure.

Now, the FBI and DuPage County authorities are investigating Cruz's murder. Law enforcement sources said it appeared Cruz had been shot.

Cruz's body was identified through fingerprints and through tattoos on his arm, said Tom Simon, special agent and spokesman for the FBI. Family members have been notified, he said.

In addition to his familial relationship to Aleman, who remains in prison, Cruz had his own brushes with trouble. He spent 14 years on Death Row in Arizona before his conviction for hiring three men to kill a Phoenix businessman and his mother-in-law on New Year's Eve in 1980 was overturned and a new trial ordered. .

Prosecutors at the time said Cruz hired the men, including two from Chicago, to murder Patrick Redmond because the man refused to sell an interest in his Phoenix printing shop to Cruz, who wanted to use it to launder money from Las Vegas connections. Redmond's 70-year-old mother-in-law was visiting and died after her throat was cut.

Cruz was tried four more times. He was acquitted in 1995 after the jury decided the state's primary witness, a participant in the killings, was unreliable.

Cruz later moved to Kildeer and was a fixture at Harry Aleman's 1997 trial for the murder of a Teamsters' union official. Cruz sat every day in the courtroom where the attorney in his Arizona appeal, Kevin McNally, defended Aleman.

Cruz had been instrumental in Aleman's decision to change attorneys and hire McNally just before the trial. Days after Aleman was sentenced to 100 to 300 years in prison, Cruz disappeared. He had last been seen hanging Christmas lights from the gutters of his home.

Thanks to Angela Rozas and Maurice Possley

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mob Hit Man Harry Aleman's Cousin Found in Mafia Graveyard

Construction workers laying sewer pipe found the skeletal remains of a former death row inmate with mob ties at a suburban Chicago site about 50 yards from where the bodies of two other men connected to organized crime were found in 1988.

The DuPage County coroner's office identified the latest bodyEverybody Pays, found wrapped in a blue tarp, as Robert Charles Cruz. FBI spokesman Tom Simon said the body was identified through fingerprints and tattoos.

Cruz was 50 when he disappeared from his Kildeer home on Dec. 4, 1997. His cousin, reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman, had just been sentence to 100 to 300 years in prison for the 1972 murder of a Teamsters official. Cruz had been in the courtroom each day of Aleman's 1997 trial.

Cruz had also spent 14 years on death row in Arizona for allegedly hiring three men to kill a Phoenix businessman and his mother-in-law. That conviction was overturned in 1980 and a new trial was ordered. Cruz was tried four more times and acquitted in 1995.

The construction workers found Cruz's remains more than eight feet underground while laying sewer pipes for a new townhouse development.

Federal and county authorities are investigating Cruz's death as a homicide.

The other two bodies found in the area were located after an informant told the FBI there was a mob burial ground in DuPage County near the home of a former mob syndicate member. FBI agents found the remains of Robert Anthony Hatridge and Mark Oliver, both described as associates of organized crime figures.

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