Mobser Who Once Survived Attempted Assassination Outside IHOP on Trial for Murder

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Anthony Cardinale, a defense lawyer who has represented mobsters, described the trial of 84-year-old Francis P. Salemme as a “last vestige” of such federal prosecutions.

“Everybody’s been burned to a crisp here by informants,” he said.

Cardinale is better known as "Cadillac Frank", described by the New York TImes as a fearsome gangster who admitted to multiple killings, went to prison for a car bombing that blew a man’s leg off, and survived an assassination attempt outside an International House of Pancakes.

Salemme is now on trial for the murder of a man whose remains turned up behind a mill building in Providence, R.I last year, the murder itself having taken place more than a quarter of a century ago.

It is alleged that back in 1993, Mr. Salemme and a son, Frank Salemme Jr., had a secret stake in a nightclub managed by a real estate developer, Steven DiSarro. The Salemmes worried that Mr. DiSarro might become a cooperating witness in the criminal activities of Salemme. They say Mr. Salemme stood by as his son strangled Mr. DiSarro while another associate, Paul M. Weadick, held his legs, then had him buried in Providence. The younger Mr. Salemme died years ago; the other two men now stand charged with one count of murdering a witness.

The New York Times writes:

These days, organized crime in New England is “in a continuous state of uncertainty and disarray because of so many leadership changes,” said Brendan Doherty, the former superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. “It’s not what it was 20 to 25 years ago, but there’s no one trial that’s going to put an end to it.”

Mobsters today, Mr. Doherty said, have expanded to more sophisticated crimes than nightclub shakedowns, like major bookmaking operations, high-end loan sharking, offshore gambling, real estate flips, fraudulent loans and drug trafficking.

“The new young criminals coming in — they don’t even know who these old-time mobsters are,” Mr. Doherty said.


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