New York police who led double lives as Mafia hitmen jailed
Tuesday 06 June 2006
Two former New York City policemen were sentenced to life in prison yesterday by a federal judge who told the guilty pair that by moonlighting for the Mafia while wearing their shields they had committed "probably the most heinous series of crimes ever tried in this courthouse".
A jury in Brooklyn convicted Louis Eppolito, 54, and Steven Caracappa, 64, in April at the end of probably the most sensational police corruption trials ever seen in New York City. Once respected detectives with 44 years of service on the force between them, they were found guilty of helping to commit eight murders on behalf of the Luchese crime family between 1986 and 1990.
It was a case fraught with ironies. Caracappa had helped the New York Police Department set up its Mafia crime-fighting unit shortly before retiring in 1992. Eppolito, meanwhile, had never hidden the fact that his father had been a member of the Gambino crime clan. He even wrote a book about becoming an "honest cop" in a crooked family,Mafia Cop.
Eppolito also had a bit part in the mob film Goodfellas and had hopes of parlaying his book into a Hollywood film after he and Caracappa uprooted from New York in the early Nineties and settled into a life of retirement in Las Vegas, where they were both arrested last year.
The jury heard that the pair earned $4,000 (£2,130) a month in under-the-table cash from the Luchese underboss, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, to deliver inside information from the NYPD to the family. Bonuses were paid for each killing they helped arrange. For one they were paid $65,000. Prosecutors said at the trial that they carried out three of the assassinations personally and facilitated the other five.
The men often used their police cruisers as a cover to pick up targets for assassination. A corpse of one of their victims was found stuffed in a car boot with a dead canary in his mouth.
The federal prosecutor in the case, Daniel Wenner, said yesterday that it represented "the bloodiest, most violent betrayal of the badge the city has ever seen". Judge Jack Weinstein imposed the sentences after receiving written submissions from some of the families of the victims, including Michael Greenwald Weinstein, whose father was a jewel merchant near Times Square when he suddenly vanished 1986. Israel Weinstein's body was buried under concrete and not uncovered for 19 years.
"Losing a father at a young age is hard enough, but to lose a father in such a violent and mysterious way is nothing short of horrific," Judge Weinstein said. "I don't know which crime was more monstrous, the actual murder or the concealment of his body."
The episode of the so-called "Mafia Cops" may not yet be over. Eppolito has said he plans to appeal the conviction on the grounds that his defence lawyer was incompetent. He is asking for a retrial in which his new lawyers would call Gaspipe Casso to the stand. Moreover, legal experts say there may be grounds for appeal because of statute of limitation concerns.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
David Cameron explains selfie with Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela Memorial
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 John McAfee's $100 'anti-NSA' device: 'this is coming and cannot be stopped'
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >
£77099.84 - £96375.26 per annum + Bonus + Benefits : Harrington Starr: My clie...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Package: Harrington Starr: Trading appli...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...