AS the head of the Patriarca crime family, Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme unleashed a sickening reign of terror on the streets of Boston.
The mob boss, who admitted to being behind a string of gangland killings, died behind bars on Tuesday aged 89.
His 2018 trial had served as a throwback to the days when the New England mob was a feared and powerful force.
His stringy gray hair and thin build make him almost unrecognizable from the bulky, feared mafia jurors that jurors saw in photos from the ’90s.
That trial resulted in a life sentence for the 1993 murder of a Boston nightclub owner.
But Salemme, who died Tuesday, had already been linked to numerous murders in the gang wars of the 1960s.
In fact, Salemme ran the Patriarca crime family in the early 1990s before helping prosecutors convict a corrupt FBI agent.
This came after he learned that other gangsters had spoken to the authorities about him.
Salemme was living in Atlanta under the name Richard Parker when the remains of nightclub owner Steven DiSarro were found in 2016.
The discovery once again made the elderly ex-mob boss a government target.
Salemme claimed he had nothing to do with DiSarro’s death but was convicted after his once best friend testified against him.
Another former mobster told authorities he saw Salemme’s son strangle DiSarro while Salemme stood by.
Salemme’s son, known as “Frankie Boy”, died in 1995.
DiSarro’s nightclub, The Channel, was under investigation at the time over the Salemmes’ involvement in the deal.
Shortly before DiSarro’s death, the FBI informed him that he was about to be charged and should work with the government against the Salemmes.
Known as “Cadillac Frank” thanks to his work in an auto repair shop, he had already spent 16 years behind bars for trying to kill a lawyer, who survived but lost a leg when his car was blown up in 1968.
After his release from prison, Salemme was badly injured in a shootout outside a pancake house in suburban Boston.
His tenure as mob boss ended when he, notorious Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and others were indicted in a full-blown racketeering case in 1995.
Salemme and Bulger fled after being alerted to the impending indictment by Bulger’s FBI agent, John Connolly Jr.
Salemme was arrested in Florida a few months later while Bulger spent 16 years on the run.
Bulger was eventually arrested in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 81 before being killed by fellow prison inmates in 2018.
The criminal case revealed that Bulger and Salemme’s best friend, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, had been secretly working as an FBI informant.
Angered that his fellow mobsters had turned on him, Salemme agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with authorities.
Salemme testified in 2002 against Connolly, who was convicted of helping Bulger avoid prosecution.
In exchange, Salemme was released early from prison and entered the Witness Protection Program before being arrested again for DiSarro’s death.
Salemme’s longtime attorney Steven Boozang said Sunday his client was nothing but a “gentleman” to him.
He said he believes the man has “regrets for many things he did in his life, particularly the impact it had on his immediate family and the families of others.”
Before he was sentenced to life in prison in 2018, Salemme called the proceedings “ridiculous” and said DiSarro’s family wasn’t told the truth.
But he seemingly predicted years earlier that his own story would end up behind bars.
“You’re not going to beat the government,” Salemme said in 2004. “Let’s face it. One way or another they will get you.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6948250/francis-cadillac-frank-salemme-dead-patriarca-crime-family/ In Francis ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme’s sick reign of terror, the leader of the Patriarca family dies in prison at the age of 89