OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Who Betrayed DiSarro to the Mob?
The Mafia murder trial in Boston is generating new questions about Irish and Italian mobsters, who talked to who and how it resulted in Steven DiSarro's murder.
Steven DiSarro was murdered in 1993 and buried in a pit in Rhode Island until he was dug up by the FBI in 2016. The government has charged Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, Sr., the former boss of the Patriarca mafia family, and Paul Weadick with his murder and given immunity to other mobsters who helped bury his body.
Steven DiSarro was the owner of a rock and roll club in South Boston and his secret partners were mobsters, including Frank Salemme, Sr. according to the federal government. The government is specifically charging Salemme and Weadick with "murder of a witness."
When DiSarro was killed, he was not in the witness protection program, he was on his own and regularly interacting with the mobsters who allegedly killed him. The FBI was trying to persuade him to become a witness when he was murdered.
According to testimony, the Mafia was aware he was being targeted by the FBI and killed him. How did they know he was a target of the FBI?
The federal court is allowing reporters to live tweet the trial, and we are privileged to have great journalists in the courtroom giving us the play-by-play as it happens. I am following Tim White from WPRI, Laurel Sweet from the Boston Herald, Bob Ward from Boston Ch 25, Shelley Murphy from the Boston Globe and award-winning investigative journalist Michele McPhee to learn what is going on in the courtroom. My radio show prohibits me from attending the proceedings.
According to testimony, from former Mafia Capo Robert "The Cigar" Deluca, Salemme told him DiSarro was stealing money from the nightclub, and he was also giving information to the government. Retired FBI agent Robert Walther was investigating Salemme and the Patriarca Mafia family from 1988 to 1995. The agent testified that he approached DiSarro to become a witness in March 1993. He said DiSarro didn't become a witness, and he never heard from him again. Two months later, DiSarro was dead and buried in a pit by members of the Mafia.
Interestingly, Agent Walther testified that he purposely decided not to document his offer to DiSarro in his report, because he was concerned about the potential witness' personal safety. Why was an FBI agent concerned that his report would be reviewed by someone who would harm a potential witness? What led this experienced FBI agent to edit his report out of concern that it would lead to DiSarro being harmed?
Of course, we now know that FBI agent Robert Walther was correct. Someone told Salemme that DiSarro was a source of jeopardy for him as an informant, and he shared that with others in his Mafia crew. DiSarro was murdered and tossed into a pit by underlings of Salemme inside of 60 days of the FBI approaching him.
Frank Salemme and Paul Weadick are on trial for the murder of Steven DiSarro today. But should they be joined by someone else at the defense table? Who gave the information to the mob that caused them to move so quickly to silence DiSalvo, and how was Agent Walther able to predict what was going to happen in the case?
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.